Stephenie Meyer is once again writing in the daylight! The author, best known for her astronomically popular young-adult series Twilight, will be moving away from the teen demographic to release a new spy thriller for adults called The Chemist on November 15. (She previously released another non-Twilight novel, the adult sci-fi book The Host, in 2008.) The novel will revolve around a female ex-operative forced to go on the run from the U.S. government, which fears she knows too much about a highly classified operation. "The Chemist is the love child created from the union of my romantic sensibilities and my obsession with Jason Bourne/Aaron Cross," Meyer said in a statement. "I very much enjoyed spending time with a different kind of action hero, one whose primary weapon isn’t a gun or a knife or bulging muscles, but rather her brain." So, let the guessing game begin: Which actress is going to play her in the inevitable film adaptation?
Halfway through Jessi Klein’s new essay collection You’ll Grow Out of It, the Inside Amy Schumer head writer and executive producer describes visiting a therapist after a particularly challenging breakup in her late 20s. “The first time Connie and I met, I had the feeling I imagine an orphaned baby animal gets when it spots a female of another species and chooses her to follow her around until she becomes its new mother, like the post-tsunami baby hippo that latched onto a matronly female tortoise,” writes Klein. “She reminds me of my mom, without being my mom.”
When I arrived at her cottage in Newfane, Vermont, Helen DeWitt was at work in a spacious room on the first floor. On the table in front of her was a page of notes in longhand, an overturned mass-market paperback of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, and an ashtray full of Marlboro 100’s butts. On the wall was a photograph of her grandfather, Marine Corps General Ralph DeWitt, in uniform, his chest decorated. DeWitt was wearing a Hawaiian shirt, rumpled work pants, and an old pair of running shoes. There was a daybed in the corner and a cast-iron stove a few feet from the table. “This stove is from 1918 and it’s still working,” she said. “And if you’re a writer, back in the day of Hemingway, you actually could have a typewriter that would see you through your career. It might not last a hundred years, but it would see you through your career, and if laptops had that kind of longevity, look, I would not be broke.”
Much and more has been made of Game of Thrones' sixth season finally surpassing George R.R. Martin's books, and though the claim can sometimes be overstated — Sam and Jaime's stories this year took heavily from A Feast for Crows — it's true that, for the first time, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were painting on a nearly blank canvas. They're not the only ones: Somewhere in Santa Fe, Martin himself is putting what fans hope are the finishing touches on The Winds of Winter, a book that's expected to cover much of the same narrative territory. Though the books and show are telling their own separate versions of the story, they're still working from the same general, GRRM–created road map. What can we learn about Winds from what we saw on HBO? Here's a guide:
Somewhere between singing nonstop songs during guest appearances on Comedy Bang! Bang! and popping up in movies with other comedians, Ben Schwartz is taking on a new project: co-writing an illustrated guide to dating for Millennials. Entertainment Weekly reports that the actor is teaming up with his friend, television writer Laura Moses, for a book titled Things You Should Already Know, You Fucking Idiot. Though Schwartz is probably best known as loveable-scamp/mostly harmless douche Jean-Ralphio on Parks and Recreation, this is actually his fourth book. Previously, he and Amanda McNally penned such classics as Grandma’s Dead: Breaking Bad News With Baby Animals; Maybe Your Leg Will Grow Back!: Looking on the Bright Side With Baby Animals; and Why Is Daddy in a Dress?: Asking Awkward Questions With Baby Animals. Presumably this book will feature less big-eyed small critters, unless one of its first points is "Things you should already know: People like staring at cute animals, you fucking idiot."
The 50th-anniversary reissue of Valley of the Dolls has prompted a flood of celebrations of Jacqueline Susann's supposedly disposable chronicle of pill-popping. One reason for that novel's enduring popularity? Its status as an all-time-great Beach Read. That's a slippery category, but the formula is pretty straightforward. Whether mass-market candy or high literature, a beach read needs narrative momentum, a transporting sense of place, and, ideally, a touch of the sordid. Even a book that takes a little work shouldn't feel that way in the hot sun, and you'll hardly break a sweat with any of the 100 greats listed here, in chronological order.
This week, Vulture is providing Summer Selections: picks for the best beach-worthy books, comics, music, and podcasts of the past 18 months, as chosen by creators of that entertainment. Today we're highlighting nonfiction books; here's our panel:
Shea Serrano is a writer who wrote The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed. He's six-foot-four and has a lot of muscles. More muscles than you're expecting.
Golly gee willikers, Ellie Kemper is putting out a book! Entertainment Weekly reports that the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star signed with Scribner to publish a memoir in 2018. Like all her bosses and former co-stars before her, Kemper's book will detail her journey to becoming a famous funny woman, including stories from her days on the sets of The Office and Bridesmaids (oh, the stories). It'll also feature personal essays about her childhood in St. Louis, absolutely none of which will be plagiarized.
If You Got Money, and You Know It, Head on Over to Your Local Book Retailer to Buy Lil Wayne's Prison Memoir When It's Released in OctoberBy Devon Ivie
The four-year wait to read Lil Wayne's prison memoir, Gone ’Til November, will soon come to an end. Back in 2012, it was announced that the memoir was going to be released (aptly) in November of that year, but it lingered in literary purgatory until this week, when yesterday the title began appearing on the websites of numerous book retailers. In a switch from Grand Central Publishing, Penguin is scheduled to release Wayne's tell-all on October 11; they're describing it as a "deeply personal and revealing account" of his eight-month stint on Rikers Island back in 2010. Until it's released, take a gander at the cover art below.
This week, Vulture is providing Summer Selections: picks for the best beach-worthy books, comics, music, and podcasts of the past 18 months, as chosen by creators of that entertainment. Today we're highlighting fiction books; here's our panel:
Jenny Han is the New York Times best-selling author of the books To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You, and the upcoming Always and Forever, Lara Jean. She is also the author of the Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy and the co-author of the Burn for Burn trilogy. Her books have been published in more than 25 languages.
J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN
J. Courtney Sullivan is the author of the New York Times best-selling novels Commencement, Maine, andThe Engagements, and a co-editor of the essay anthology Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists.
Literary immortality, or the lack of it, is one of the central themes of Cynthia Ozick’s seventh essay collection, Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays. Now 88, Ozick is convinced that what she calls “lastingness” will elude her. Not everyone is quite so sure. Her six novels and seven story collections contain some of the best sentences of the last half-century, and her often surprising plots meld such influences as Kafka, Henry James, and the Kabbalah into something unique in her generation (or in any). Ozick the critic is sharply discerning and often fierce, erudite but never obscure. In person, she’s self-effacing and kind. On a recent visit to her home in New Rochelle, not far from where her Russian Jewish parents raised her in the northern Bronx, I was treated to bottomless mint ice tea and brownies she insisted I take home in a plastic bag. I was also told, very firmly, just how “screwy” the world has become.
After distancing himself from his latest book, The Voyeur's Motel, in an interview with the Washington Post posted last night, Gay Talese has taken back his comments in which he vowed not to promote his book in light of revelations that some of his source's accounts of supposedly real events may not be true. "When I spoke to the Washington Post reporter," Talese said in a statement acquired by NPR, "I am sure I was surprised and upset about this business of the later ownership of the motel, in the '80s. That occurred after the bulk of the events covered in my book, but I was upset and probably said some things I didn't, and don't, mean. Let me be clear: I am not disavowing the book and neither is my publisher. If, down the line, there are details to correct in later editions, we'll do that." Talese's publisher, Grove/Atlantic, adds that the book will come out as planned on July 12, though it did not specify whether Talese would still promote it.
In The Voyeur's Motel, Talese explores the account of Gerald Foos, a motel owner who allegedly spied on his guests using an annex he built in the motel from the late ’60s to the early ’90s. The book garnered a lot of early buzz, with Steven Spielberg snapping up the film rights and tapping Sam Mendes to direct the adaptation. The only problem: Foos did not own said motel from 1980 to 1988, when some events referenced in The Voyeur's Motel are said to have taken place. When the Washington Post presented Talese with this information, gleaned from property records, Talese promptly begged off some of the book's claims. He told the paper: "I should not have believed a word he said," and added that he would not promote the book "when its credibility is down the toilet."
Sure, in today’s media landscape the existence of the humble newspaper reporter might soon seem as mythical as the Easter Bunny, but no one dares ruin the gung-ho belief in print journalism of 9-year-old Hilde Kate Lysiak. Lysiak, who, with the help of her journalist dad Matthew Lysiak, runs her Pennsylvania town’s only local newspaper, the Orange Street News, has now been tapped by Scholastic to pen a four-book series.
In the past, the pint-sized sleuth has covered everything from fluff pieces catering to her readers (important ice cream news!) to hard-hitting investigations into nearby tornado damage and murder scenes (really) in her monthly newsletter and blog. While Lysiak's father is in charge of editing and typing the newsletter, Hilde takes to her bike to chase down leads — she even has DIY press credentials. The book series, Hilde Cracks the Case, will follow a kid detective and will likely take place in Hilde's real hometown of Selinsgrove, because there's no way a book publisher could come up with a small-townier small-town name than that.
The first half of 2016 has seen the release of many, many good new books, especially fiction, and especially fiction by young authors. The fall will offer new novels by many familiar authors — Colson Whitehead, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Lethem — but my hunch is that the year will be remembered for the emergence of a new generation and the last words of one great voice.
Like the brook trout standing in the amber current of the mountains, or the cold grey light that announces morning in the West, Cormac McCarthy is still alive. Thanks to a hoax tweet that was picked up by author Joyce Carol Oates and many media outlets, news of the acclaimed author's death spread like a brushfire through the eternal graveyard of the desert on social media Tuesday morning. However, McCarthy's publisher confirms the novelist is alive and well — or, as Cormac McCarthy might put it, not yet dead.
How do you want your tea this morning? Would you prefer it ... Green? If so, you're in luck, as author John Green is going in about why there has not been a movie version of his YA book Looking for Alaska, thus completing the unofficially Greenlogy of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns. After a meme of a hypothetical LFA film poster — starring Kaya Scodelario! — began circulating, Green took to Twitter, his fourth-favorite medium, to correct the record. Turns out, there's not going to be a movie anytime soon, since it's currently languishing in development hell. "To my knowledge, Paramount (who own the rights) have no plans to make a film," he writes. "I sold the rights in 2005. Paramount refuses to sell them back to me for any price. You'd have to ask them why."
Still, Green noted, not having a movie version isn't the worst thing in the world, linking to an old Tumblr post where he admitted, "If they made a movie, it might be brilliant, and it would certainly sell a lot of books, but readers would inevitably lose some of the connection they feel to the story." Bit of a Champagne problem, really. Hey, that sounds like the title of a John Green book!
Yaa Gyasi’s first novel, Homegoing, opens with a family tree tracing seven generations descended from two half sisters born in Ghana around 1750. They share the same mother, but their fathers are leaders of two peoples, the Fante and Asante, who are both victims of, and complicit partners with, the English in the slave trade. One daughter, Effia, marries a white slave trader and colonial governor (the active verb is misleading here; more accurate to say she is married off to) and lives in a castle by the coast. Esi, the half sister Effia never knows, is captured and for a time dwells as a prisoner in the ghastly dungeon of the same castle. Before she is taken Esi is told a secret by one of her own family’s slaves:
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