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  • Posted 11/16/17 at 2:04 PM

Annie Proulx Gave One of the Best National Book Award Speeches in Recent Memory

The least suspenseful part of the National Book Award ceremony can be the most fun: the speech given by each year’s winner of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Winners of that lifetime-achievement prize tend to be over 80, and to expound passionately on the general theme of “kids today.” In 2013 E.L. Doctorow seemed to argue that technology would eat our brains; the following year Ursula Le Guin called the assembled book publishers “commodity profiteers.” (No one is really sure what Gore Vidal said in 2009.) Last night, 2017 winner Annie Proulx gave one of the best speeches in recent memory, maybe because her conclusion was so gleefully ironic, and her gloom so well grounded in a year that truly does, on so many levels, suck. Here it is in full:

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  • Posted 11/16/17 at 8:00 AM
  • Books

The Strange Task of Researching a Book About the Apocalypse in 2017

Over a year ago, in an era long past, I began inquiring into the matter of the apocalypse. It is important to remember that it was still possible, way back in the early autumn of 2016, to reflect upon the end of the world as an abstraction. I had decided that I was going to write a book about apocalyptic dread — about, among other things, its various manifestations in contemporary culture, as well as my own anxieties (as a father of a 3-year-old, and more generally as a human being) about ecological catastrophe, the instability of globalized economic systems, the prospect of nuclear devastation, and other sources of general bad vibes.

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Call Me by Your Name Book Club, Part Two: Boundaries Begin to Blur

And we’re back: Vulture’s book club has returned to Italy, to the 1980s, to Billowy and apricocks, and of course, the summer love of Oliver and Elio. This second installment is a supersized edition, where we’re talking through the two middle chapters of André Aciman’s novel Call Me by Your Name: “Monet’s Berm” and “San Clemente Syndrome.” (If you need a quick refresher, here’s our conversation about the first chapter; if you just want the movie’s trailer to leave you bleary-eyed again, have a look at that here.) We mentioned in our introductory post that we’d combine chapters two and three because they’re natural companions: This is when Elio and Oliver’s relationship snaps into focus. There’s less time devoted to deciphering each other’s curt replies, and this is when is when they take their weekend trip to Rome.

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Wendi McLendon-Covey’s 10 Favorite Books

Bookseller One Grand Books has asked celebrities to name the ten titles they’d take to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. Below is The Goldbergs star Wendi McLendon-Covey’s list.

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Call Me by Your Name Book Club, Part One: Longing Stares and Unreliable Narrators

Here we are, as promised: It’s time to join us for the first installment of Vulture’s new book club, which we’re launching with André Aciman’s novel Call Me by Your Name. Last week, we discussed the question of whether you should read the book before watching the film, so if you’re here, it means you’ve made the right choice. Also, this is an official announcement that we’ll be giving out copies of Call Me by Your Name signed by André Aciman as part of a lovely partnership with our good friends at Picador. We’ll be giving them to our favorite commenters, chosen by us, because this is our book club dammit, and someone has to make some choices.

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  • Posted 11/8/17 at 9:00 AM

Matthew Modine’s 10 Favorite Books

Bookseller One Grand Books has asked celebrities to name the ten titles they’d take to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. Below is Stranger Things star Matthew Modine’s list.

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7 Books You Need to Read This November

Each month, Boris Kachka offers nonfiction and fiction book recommendations. You should read as many of them as possible.

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Everything That Happened to Twin Peaks Characters in the 25 Years Between Seasons

It’s tough to complain about a season of television that once seemed like it would never happen, but however much fans enjoyed Twin Peaks: The Return, it was noticeably devoid of details in one area: What happened to everybody in those 25 years between seasons? A quarter-century is a pretty long time!

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Lauren Hutton’s 10 Favorite Books

Bookseller One Grand Books has asked celebrities to name the ten titles they’d take to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. Below is model Lauren Huttons’s list.

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Should I Read Call Me by Your Name Before I See the Movie?

We’re about a month out from the November 23 release of Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name starring a dancing Armie Hammer and former rapper Timothée Chalamet falling in love in a small town in northern Italy, and already the hot takes have begun. So if you’re feeling left out, we want to redirect your attention instead to the book. Yes, the book! The original novel by André Aciman, from 2007, is a stirring tale of love, lust, and body fluids. It’s gay canon! And you now have plenty of time to go to a bookstore, purchase a copy (or download it on your Kindle or, better yet, listen to the audiobook), open a bottle of Montepulciano, curl up on the couch, and read it.

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  • Posted 10/30/17 at 12:01 PM

Lin-Manuel Miranda on Adapting The Kingkiller Chronicles, How It Inspired Moana, and the Lady Lackless Song He Wrote

When Lin-Manuel Miranda first reached out to fantasy scribe Patrick Rothfuss to tell him he liked his work, the author had never heard of the composer. (“My friends were like, ‘Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit!’” Rothfuss told me in a recent interview. “But I live in the opposite of New York. I live in small-town Wisconsin.”) These days, on stages at Comic Cons, Rothfuss likes to describe Miranda as “my new best friend.” The two are working together to adapt his beloved fantasy trilogy, The Kingkiller Chronicles, into a series of movies, and their affection for one another is well-documented. When Rothfuss announced the news on Twitter last year, he confessed that he didn’t quite know how to tell the world: “I might be too excited to play this elegant, Lin. I’m too much of a geek for you.”

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  • Posted 10/30/17 at 9:44 AM

Patrick Rothfuss Is About to Be Fantasy’s Next Superstar

Shortly before his first book was published in 2007, fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss promised an interviewer that fans wouldn’t have to wait much longer to learn the fate of Kvothe, the roguish magician at the center of his story. He’d already written the next two books in the trilogy and would release them over the next two years. “You know the sophomore slump?” Rothfuss asked. “I don’t have to worry about that.”

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  • Posted 10/27/17 at 10:06 AM

Soon You Will Be Able to Swoon Over Jane Villanueva’s Romance Novel in Real Life

Time to support niche artists. Jane Gloriana Villanueva, a young romance novelist out of Miami has just written a hot new historical novel. Her debut, Snow Falling, transposes her “straight out of a telenovela” life story into 1902 Miami, full of mustaches, intrigue, and railroad tycoons. You might have seen her talk about it on the heartwarming TV series Jane the Virgin, but soon you will be able to read it in real life. Adams Media, a Simon & Schuster imprint, is publishing Snow Falling, the book from within the show, on November 14. You can preorder it here, as it’s the perfect holiday gift for your friends who love Jane the Virgin and your friends who don’t watch Jane the Virgin and maybe need a little encouragement.

How I Became Good at Literary Parties

This piece originally appeared in New York’s 50th anniversary issue, My New York – a special edition that attempts to capture the city’s voice through first-person stories, spoken and written, about how our disparate lives intertwine. Read them all here

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Chelsea Handler’s 10 Favorite Books

Bookseller One Grand Books has asked literary celebrities to name the ten titles they’d take to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. Below is comedian, television host, and author Chelsea Handler’s list.

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Anna Faris’s Memoir Is Haunted by the Ghost of Her Breakup With Chris Pratt

Anna Faris’s new memoir, Unqualified, is a strange artifact. Much like reading #Girlboss soon after Nasty Gal declared bankruptcy, or revisiting any profile of Elizabeth Holmes written in the year 2014, it’s a bizarre feeling to read a story penned in one context (that of Anna and Chris, smitten Hollywood golden couple) and published in a very different one (two months after they unexpectedly announced their separation). As a result, the ghost of Chris Pratt and Anna Faris’s relationship haunts the pages of this memoir, making the reading experience a rather depressing and confusing one. Faris sets out to offer advice gleaned from her own life, but the explanation that many readers will want most is one that the book is in no position to provide.

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  • Posted 10/24/17 at 11:41 AM

So, Who’s the Super A-list Book Editor Secretly Consulting on Younger?

Everyone knows that Younger is very charming and lovely and full of literary high jinks. But behind the façade of Diana Trout’s statement necklaces, a real-life publishing mystery is currently afoot in the show’s writers’ room: An extremely in-demand book editor has been serving as a consultant since season two, where he’s guided the writers on current publishing trends and up-to-date industry jargon to encourage them to write more authentic story lines. Per Vogue, this anonymous gent has been an industry veteran in New York City for about 20 years, and has published titles that include a “blue-chip White House memoir, another one by a ’70s musical legend, and a novel that won the Man Booker Prize not long ago.” Essentially, when Darren Star has a question about anything vaguely bookish, he can call him anytime. “What I try to do is make sure they get the details and the lexicon right,” the man only known as “Ghost” explained. “There is not a question about this industry I could not answer, for better or for worse. Publishing is inherently entertaining.” Take your guesses!

Here Are 5 Nice Things Chris Pratt Says About Anna Faris in Her Book’s Foreword

Even though Chris Pratt and Anna Faris have split, beloved nice-guy Pratt still offered an introduction to Faris’s new memoir. In the chapter, Pratt has a hard time figuring out what exactly a “foreword” is — half of his six-page introduction to Anna Faris’s book is him deducing how to write one — but he praises his ex’s patience and kindness, even in the face of paparazzi. “When I was asked to write the foreword for Unqualified, Anna’s memoir, I immediately said yes without even thinking about it. And boy did a lot happen between then and now. So much. Like … soooo much,” Pratt writes, alluding to their late-summer separation. The Guardians star says he’s excited to co-parent their son with her, and has plenty of other pleasantries to drop:

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The Long, Bizarre Relationship Between Jann Wenner and Mick Jagger

In those early days, Jann Wenner was the star of his own magazine. For people who first got their hands on Rolling Stone, in 1967, the editor with the Swedish-sounding name — or was Jann a girl? Not many knew (it was pronounced Yahn) — was their avatar in print, their gate-crasher at the Fillmore, a superfan as attuned to pot humor and art school nudity as they were, as versed in antiwar rhetoric, as hot to get his sticky fingers on a new Stones LP. Rolling Stone arrived on newsstands like a secret handshake: In a canny bit of salesmanship, Wenner offered a complimentary roach clip with every subscription, the “handy little device,” each one lathed by his future brother-in-law, sculptor Bob Kingsbury.

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  • Posted 10/19/17 at 12:37 PM
  • Media

Joe Hagan on His Controversial New Jann Wenner Biography

A few years ago, journalist and former New York contributor Joe Hagan ran into Rolling Stone co-founder and magazine-world legend Jann Wenner at a cafe in a small town in New York. They struck up a conversation, one that ultimately led to Hagan’s biography of the mercurial publisher, Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine, which comes out October 24. “I was flattered that was interested in the idea of my writing the book,” says Hagan. “But I also knew that he had a reputation for burning people, and I wanted to make sure that if I was going to take the project on, I could do it with enough journalistic freedom that I’d still have my integrity after it was all done.”

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