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Harmony Korine Adapting Alissa Nutting’s Tampa, Correctly Judging a Book by Its Cover

Harmony Korine is working on an adaptation of Alissa Nutting's Tampa, the filmmaker told the crowd at the Miami Beach Cinematheque according to the Playlist. The novel, which concerns a 26-year-old middle-school teacher's attempts to seduce the 14-year-old boy of her dreams, is so perfectly Korinian that Slate once begged Hollywood to hire him to direct the movie version. (Who ever said that #content can't accomplish anything?) Korine suggested the film might air on HBO, which would fill the inappropriately sexual student-teacher gap left by the ending of Girls.

Talking to the Author of The Nix, Fall’s Splashiest Debut Novel

Coinciding with the weirdest election in living memory is this fall’s most ambitious first-time literary effort, The Nix. Forty-year-old Nathan Hill’s whirligig of personal and political history, out August 30, spins around an estranged mother and son whose lives intersect with two convention protests: the Chicago Democratic Convention–cum–riot of 1968 and the tamer RNC affair of 2004. Throw in some formal pyrotechnics reminiscent of Don DeLillo and you’ve got sky-high expectations for the 600-plus-page novel.

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Room Author Emma Donoghue on the Appeal of Putting Good Kids in Bad Situations

The success of Emma Donoghue’s 2010 novel Room — about a mother and child living in horrific captivity — turned the Irish-Canadian novelist into a star, one who’s burning even brighter following last year’s Oscar-nominated adaptation of that book. So it’s fair to say that a great many readers are hungry for her upcoming novel, The Wonder. Well, maybe hungry isn’t the right word. The new book spins the strange tale of an 11-year-old Catholic girl, Anna O’Donnell, living in a small Irish town in the 1850s who becomes a media sensation when she refuses to eat, claiming she’s surviving on manna from Heaven. A hard-nosed nurse from London is sent to find out what’s really going on. Here, Donoghue explains why children are stronger than they seem.

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45 New Books to Read This Fall

Hopefully, you've had a few minutes to play around with our Fall Entertainment Generator. But if you’re looking for straight and simple lists of things to look out for by medium, we’ll be breaking them out separately. Here's a look at fall book releases.

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Bob Odenkirk to Write Comedic, Non-Legalese Memoir

Better call your local book retailer for a preorder. Bob Odenkirk will be releasing a book of personal essays — described as a "comic exploration" of his life and work — for Random House. Specifically, the memoir will explore Odenkirk's genre-bending career path that includes his early years writing for Saturday Night Live, creating and starring in Mr. Show With Bob and David with David Cross, and dramatic acting turns in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. In a statement, Odenkirk said the memoir will be "a comic 'bildungsroman,' if you will — defined by Webster’s Dictionary as 'a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character' — except this will be more memoir and the main character, Bob Odenkirk (actor, writer, comedian, gadabout), doesn’t grow morally or psychologically." A title and release date have yet to be announced.

What Vulture's Critics Are Most Excited for This Fall

Movies
David Edelstein has his eye on the heavy stuff.

Snowden
Sept. 16
Oliver Stone takes on the multi-tentacled story of the multi-tentacled surveillance state and the alleged traitor (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Needless to say, Stone does well with manic, paranoid conspiracy narratives (JFK was insane but wildly entertaining).

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You, Yes You, Can Be the Lucky Owner of Truman Capote’s Ashes

In the event you happen to be a massive Truman Capote enthusiast with an equally massive disposable bank account, allow us to present you with the strange deal of a lifetime. The famed author's cremains which are stored in a Japanese wooden box and dated from August 28, 1984 have been put on sale at the Los Angeles–based auction house Julien's Auctions. "I am sure people are going to think this is disrespectful," Julien's Auctions chief executive Darren Julien told Vanity Fair. "But this is a fact: Truman Capote loved the element of shock. He loved publicity. And I’m sure he’s looking down laughing, and saying, 'That’s something I would have done.'" Bequeathed to his good friend Joanne Carson, the wife of Johnny Carson, Julien said the Carson estate "didn’t know what to do" with the ashes after she passed away last year. (They, interestingly, were reportedly split between Carson and Jack Dunphy, who was Capote's companion of many years.) The cremains are expected to fetch between $4,000 and $6,000, but if you're looking for something a little more practical, other Capote items such as photographs and a polo shirt are also being auctioned off. No signed In Cold Blood limited editions, unfortunately.

Vulture’s 2016 Fall Entertainment Generator: The Best Shows, Films, Books, and More

Clear out the DVR, stretch your page-turning fingers, and prepare for the deluge: We're about to move from the summer, with its avoidable blockbuster dreck and largely inessential TV lineups, and into the entertainment-rich months of fall. To ensure that your limited reading, watching, and listening hours are well-spent, we've produced another edition of our Fall Entertainment Generator — an interactive guide to this season's 306 best offerings. Just select a genre (blockbuster, indie, something adventurous, something trashy) and mood (laugh, cry, scared, thrilled, inspired, or feel-smart) and watch as your cultural calendar turns into a thrilling to-do list.

  • Posted 8/18/16 at 12:06 PM

With Here I Am, Jonathan Safran Foer Has Written a Philip Roth Novel in the Style of a Hallmark Card

A divorce, a suicide, a bar mitzvah, an earthquake, an all-out Middle Eastern war, and the putting to sleep of a family dog: These are the fictional events that bind Jonathan Safran Foer’s third novel Here I Am. A work of domestic psychological realism, with an imagined geopolitical catastrophe grafted on, Foer’s first book of fiction in 11 years is a stark departure from Everything Is Illuminated (2002) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005). His earlier books had in common quick pacing, various but always antic modes of narration, magical-realist flourishes, and melodramatic plots, designed to stimulate maximum sympathy for the victims and survivors of real-life atrocities.

If the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, 9/11, and the bombings of Dresden made for obvious objects of sympathy, Foer was still writing entertainments, not history. Critical reactions tended to vary according to whether reviewers were sufficiently amused by, say, the malapropism-driven narration of Everything Is Illuminated, to grant Foer license to render history as a gory cartoon. But reviews aside, Foer gained a wide audience. Both of his novels were made into award-winning films, and no doubt readers and viewers alike laughed and cried. That was the more-or-less explicitly stated goal of an author given to compiling humorous catalogues of the world’s sadnesses, as well as to having a character imagine a subterranean reservoir that would brim with all of Manhattan’s nocturnal tears, filtered down through pipes under every New Yorker’s pillow.

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  • Posted 8/17/16 at 11:45 AM

3 New Harry Potter E-Books Are Coming for Those Who’ve Forgotten Their Pottermore Passwords

Pottermore, a website with a name that gets more accurate with each passing year, today announced the imminent arrival of three new Harry Potter e-books on September 6. The three collections in what's being called the Pottermore Presents series — Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable GuideShort Stories From Hogwarts of Power, Political and Pesky Poltergeists, and Short Stories From Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies — are each composed of material previously published on the website as well as new writing from J.K. Rowling. It's kind of like when a band reissues an album you already have, and then adds a few live tracks and B-sides so you'll buy it again. Crafty, Rowling.

11 Funniest Moments From Amy Schumer’s The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo

Amy Schumer’s raw new book, The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, surprisingly touches on some extremely deep stuff while unsurprisingly making readers laugh out loud throughout. Although Schumer openly discusses her personal experiences with sexual assault, relationship abuse, family fallouts, and her father’s chronic illness, she also shares quirky stories about her angst-filled younger years as well as some of her craziest sexual encounters and (surprise) the time she got her lower back tattooed by a drunk guy named Kurt in the East Village. If you find yourself feeling guilty for laughing at her pain, just keep in mind she’s probably laughing with you, unapologetically, in true Amy Schumer fashion. Here are some of the book's funniest moments:

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7 Things We Learned About Amy Schumer From Her New Book

Once you achieve a certain level of comedy success, duty requires you to accept a staggeringly large advance to tell your life story in the form of a collection of humorous essays. Now, much like Tina FeyAmy PoehlerMindy Kaling and Lena Dunham before her, Amy Schumer has made her offering to the comedy gods in the form of a quasi-memoir titled The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo. She's quick to clarify that this is not an autobiography; rather, it's a collection of stories from her life as a “daughter, sister, friend, comedian, actor, girlfriend, one night stand, employee, employer, lover, fighter, hater, pasta eater and wine drinker.” While it doesn't quite have the wisdom quotient of co-writer Jessi Klein's recent memoir, there are still plenty of fascinating tidbits contained within its pages:

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Lady Gaga Is Releasing an Italian Cookbook With Her Dad

There's Mario Batali, there's Giada De Laurentiis, and now there's Stefani Germanotta. The singer-songwriter now known as Lady Gaga will be releasing a cookbook in November, titled Joanne Trattoria Cookbook: Classic Recipes and Scenes From an Italian American Restaurant, with her father, Joe Germanotta. Inspired by the restaurant Joe and his wife, Cynthia, own and operate on Manhattan's Upper West Side called Joanne's Trattoria, the cookbook has "collected recipes and entertaining anecdotes inspired by [Joe's] world famous restaurant." Joe himself authored the book, while Gaga penned the forward. Che bella! Ravioli ravioli give me the formuoli!

What Will Manhattan Be Like After Sea Levels Rise? Kim Stanley Robinson’s New Novel Imagines

If sea levels rise over the next century as much as scientists predict, how will New York City survive? Sci-fi legend Kim Stanley Robinson's latest novel, New York 2140, explores that very question, presenting a future metropolis in which "Every street [has become] a canal, every skyscraper an island." In Robinson's telling, 22nd-century New Yorkers don't simply flee for drier climes; instead, they dig in and adapt, the way they always have. Vulture is pleased to exclusively present the novel's official cover art, which presents a vision of Manhattan where many downtown landmarks are completely underwater. The book hits stores on March 21, 2017 — if you want to brush up on the science of rising sea levels before then, click here.

In Conversation With Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead’s latest novel, The Underground Railroad — rushed last week to early publication after being anointed by Oprah Winfrey — turns the metaphor of the American fugitive-slave network into a literal system of stations traveled by preternatural locomotives. The (painful, beautiful, brilliantly imagined) journey of the slave Cora from a cruel Georgia plantation through a handful of states, each “a state of possibility” portending America’s fractured racial history, has gestated in Whitehead’s mind for sixteen years — almost as long as he’s been roving across his own series of bizarre fictional landscapes. There were the acclaimed early novels, The Intuitionist and John Henry Days, cheeky and weird extended metaphors for racial and industrial anxiety that earned him a MacArthur “genius” grant. There was the less admired satire Apex Hides the Hurt, followed by the autobiographical Sag Harbor, about Whitehead’s upbringing as an upper-middle-class black New Yorker. Along came Zone One, a joke-splattered zombie thriller, and the midlife-crisis poker stunt memoir The Noble Hustle. And then, finally, the unlikely completion of the novel he never thought he’d write, followed by, probably, a level of fame and posterity he’d never imagined. Skinny and dreadlocked in a jaunty short-sleeved plaid shirt, Whitehead sat down with us on Tuesday over a cappuccino near his West Village home. 

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Here’s Your First Look at the Cover of Joel McHale’s New Book, Thanks for the Money

Joel McHale has starred in The Soup, Community, and the X-Files reboot, and this fall he returns to TV in CBS's The Great Indoors. How did he find time to write a book? I don't know, you'll have to ask him. Regardless, we're pleased to present the exclusive reveal of the cover for McHale's new memoir, Thanks for the Money, which tells the story of the actor's adolescent misadventures, his time in the Hollywood trenches, and his lifelong battle with dyslexia, "something he didn’t consider dealing with until after he’d accepted a job that required him to, you know, read." The book will also go deep behind the scenes of Community's "turbulent" set, which will hopefully satisfy Community fans' hunger for more stories about Chevy Chase being a prick. Thanks for the Money goes on sale October 25 everywhere books are sold, and also on his website, JoelMcHale.com, where only one book is sold.

What Do Computers Know About Plot?

Nearing a million views on YouTube is a four-minute clip of a lecture by Kurt Vonnegut. He draws two axes on a chalkboard: beginning to end, ill fortune to good fortune. When the hero rejoices, the graph goes up, and when he despairs, it nosedives. (It’s a little like those dials CNN gives focus groups.) Vonnegut sketches two basic stories: a rise-and-fall story he depicts as “man on hill” and its inverse, a U-shaped curve of redemption called “man in hole.” He wonders what technology might do with his thesis: “There’s no reason why the simple shapes of stories can’t be fed into computers.” 

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An Encyclopedia of Every Literary Plot, Ever

How many plots are there in fiction? Millions, two, or 36, depending on whom you ask. There’s William Wallace Cook’s chart-crazy Plotto, first published in 1928; there’s crisp guides like Christopher Booker’s The Basic Seven Plots and Ronald B. Tobias’s 20 Master Plots; there’s even a couple of computer programs — many, over centuries, have tried to count the ways to tell a story. With a little help from those, here is a far-from-comprehensive encyclopedia of every archetypal plot we know.

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Is It Story That Makes Us Read?

Recite a plot backward and you’ll discover some things. Try it with a classic you haven’t read in years. You remember the green light on the last page of The Great Gatsby, of course, and probably Gatsby’s corpse in the pool a chapter earlier. Do you remember who killed him? It was Wilson, the husband of Tom Buchanan’s lover, Myrtle, who was run over by Gatsby’s car with Daisy at the wheel. It was Tom who told Wilson, a man with a few screws loose, that the car belonged to Gatsby, so you could make a case that Gatsby’s death was all Tom’s fault — that he was the real killer and had plenty of motive. You could also argue that Fitzgerald’s end plot is a shambolic mess heaped on a pile of coincidence, though there’s a beauty to the end of the novel that does express one of its great themes: that Gatsby was a careful man who involved himself with careless people and died as a martyr to their carelessness. 

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Tama Janowitz Is No Longer a Slave of New York

“Wear jeans and hiking shoes or paddock boots as we will be with the horses and berry picking,” the writer Tama Janowitz texts me at 9 a.m. on a Saturday, planning an idyllic day in upstate New York.

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