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Gay Talese Goes Back on His Disavowal of The Voyeur’s Motel

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."

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  • Posted 6/30/16 at 3:54 PM
  • Writing

Lindsay Lohan Is Writing a Book About ‘How to Overcome Obstacles’

Lindsay Lohan, who has found her twin, made it through high school, and somehow survived 2011, is writing a book. She revealed the news to Vanity Fair in an interview, saying:

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  • Posted 6/30/16 at 2:42 PM

A 9-Year-Old Reporter Has a Book Deal, Because No One Dares Tell a Child That Print Is Dead

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.

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 October

The four-year wait to read Lil Wayne's prison memoir, Gone 'Til November, has finally 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. Cover art has yet to be revealed.

The Best Books of 2016 (So Far)

This week, Vulture is looking back at the best entertainment releases so far in 2016. To date we've touched on albums, video games, and comics. Now books get a turn.

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.

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Cormac McCarthy Still Alive at 82

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.

John Green Reveals Why You Won’t See a Looking for Alaska Movie Anytime Soon

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!
 

  • Posted 6/14/16 at 3:00 PM

Homegoing: Yaa Gyasi’s Rich, Epic Slave-Trade Debut

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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11 Books That Make the Best Father's Day Gifts

So far we've told you what to get for your dad who doesn't like golf, your dad who does like booze, and your baby-daddy dad. Next up, what to buy your dad who enjoys a good read — or just likes to stare at pictures of David Bowie and Ed Ruscha’s omelettes.

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J.K. Rowling Has Some Harsh Words for the ‘Bunch of Racists’ Upset With Casting a Black Hermione

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child an upcoming two-part West End play set 19 years after the Harry Potter books end will be going into previews at London's Palace Theatre on June 7. Primarily following Harry's youngest son Albus as he grapples with his family's legacy (while Harry is stuck grudgingly working at the Ministry of Magic), the original stage production generated headlines last year by casting Olivier-award winning actress Noma Dumezweni, a black woman, as Hermione. Potter's author, J.K. Rowling, has already expressed delight over the casting decision (tweeting: "Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione"), but she has now expounded on her opinions beyond the constraints of social media.

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7 Books You Need to Read This June

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

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6 Things We Learned From the New Winds of Winter Chapter

Over the weekend, George R.R. Martin gave fans yet another glimpse at The Winds of Winter, reading a never-before-seen Aeron Grey chapter, "The Forsaken," for the crowd at Balticon on Sunday. Martin's apparently had the chapter in his back pocket for a while now — he offered it as a reading option at another convention all the way back in 2011 — and he warned listeners that they were in for some horrors. "This [chapter] is similar in character to Ramsay Bolton," he told the crowd after they'd voted to hear it. "You are some sick motherfuckers."

Modern fandom being what it is, a slew of summaries soon went up around the web, and a group of fans have since banded together to create a complete transcript of the new chapter. What did we learn? Mostly that "sick" was an understatement.

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Emma Cline’s Masterful (and Quite Traditional) Manson-Family Debut Novel

In The Girls, her first novel, Emma Cline has taken the story of the Manson Family as a template and made her own sly alterations. Some of these are cosmetic: The setting is moved from Southern California to the outskirts of the Bay Area; no historical names are retained. Others are in the interest of streamlining the narrative: A few characters seem to be composites of real-life figures and several wholly imagined; the predictions of a Beatles-themed apocalyptic race war that Manson was spouting before the Family’s murders (he called it “Helter Skelter”) have been entirely dispensed with. Cline has retained the essential structure of a gang of hippies living in hedonistic squalor on a remote ranch, the women sexually in thrall to a buckskin-clad charismatic leader who keeps them around with the shared delusion that he’s destined to become a rock superstar. A grisly night of speed-fueled murders goes down, and there’s blood on the wall. Cline’s crucial decision, signaled in her title, is to tell the story in the voice of a minor, off-and-on member of the re-imagined cult. Now middle-aged and looking back on the strange summer of 1969, when she was 14, Evie Boyd is a narrator in the mold of Nick Carraway, but her Gatsby isn’t the Manson figure (here renamed Russell Hadrick). It’s a woman named Suzanne Parker, one of the murderers and a figure with a charismatic power all her own.

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Francis Ford Coppola Is Going to Publish the Glorious Behemoth That Is His Godfather Notebook

Touting the "publishing sensation of the year for every film fan," Regan Arts announced Tuesday that Francis Ford Coppola is reproducing his famous Godfather notebook for public consumption. “This notebook was my private work reference to The Godfather film, and after many years, I’m excited to share it with those who may be interested," the director said in a statement. The book includes initial impressions of Mario Puzo's novel of the same name, as well as ideas that would inform Coppola's creative process during production. It is also roughly 720 pages. Check out the beautiful anvil cinematic treasure in action:

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Could We Just Lose the Adverb (Already)?

I’m cursed with a mind that looks at a sentence and sees grammar before it sees meaning. It might be that I’m doing math by other means, that I overdid it with diagramming sentences as a boy, or that my grasp of English was warped by learning Latin. Translating Horace felt like solving math problems. Reading Emily Dickinson began to feel like solving math problems. You might think this is a cold way of reading, but it’s the opposite. You develop feelings. Pronoun, verb, noun — I like sentences that proceed in that way, in a forward march. Or those tricked out with a preposition, another noun, and a couple of adjectives. Conjunctions and articles leave me unfazed. If these combinations result in elaborate syntactical tangles, it thrills me. It’s cheap words I hate, and I hate adverbs. 

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Chuck Palahniuk Launches Kickstarter for a Lullaby Movie With Indie Filmmakers, Files His First Screenplay

Chuck Palahniuk's Lullaby could make the leap to celluloid thanks to a Kickstarter launched earlier this morning by the author and two Portland filmmakers. The 2002 novel marked Palahniuk's fifth major release, coming six years after Fight Club; it tells the story of a reporter who tries to eradicate a "culling song" responsible for a rash of infant deaths. As Palahniuk explains in the campaign's teaser, he got the idea during the real-life trial of his father's murderer in 1999. "Lullaby is the book about dealing with whether or not I advocated the death penalty after the man was convicted of killing my father," he says below. "Lullaby is about this supernatural form of ancient power."

Watch the campaign teaser here. »

Lena Dunham Publishes Diary for Charity

Writer/actress/director/voice of a generation Lena Dunham dropped a surprise paper mixtape (a book) on Tuesday morning.


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10 Great Galleys From BookExpo America 2016

The quietest BookExpo in memory dissipated in a smattering of slow meetings and short autograph lines well before the closing time of 5 p.m., as the chosen few New York publishing staffers deemed worthy of Chicago hotel rooms and airfare caught their shuttles to O’Hare. BookExpo America, the country’s largest book fair, conducted a noble experiment, leaving New York for the first time since 2008 even as publishers grow less inclined to spend money on booths in an age of seamless communication. BEA’s stated goal was to draw in more booksellers from the heartland. It worked, per officials, but at the cost of foot traffic from the East Coast. (Knopf touted a digital sampler in lieu of its anchor cocktail party; the show floor was 20 percent smaller than last year’s; houses ranging from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to tiny Bellevue Press sat this year out entirely.) But those who did venture to the Midwest discovered the benefits of a slower pace and more elbow room.

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Han Kang’s The Vegetarian Beats Ferrante to Win 2016 Man Booker International Prize

South Korean writer and professor Han Kang and her British translator Deborah Smith have won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for fiction, the English-translated equivalent of the Man Booker Prize, which was won last October by Marlon James. Kang's The Vegetarian, a three-part novel about a Korean wife's radical decision to go vegetarian and the "increasingly bizarre and frightening" effect it has on her life, beat out works by Elena Ferrante and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk. She becomes the first South Korean author to win the prestigious literary award.

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  • Posted 5/14/16 at 9:00 AM

Books Expo America Tackles The Tough Subject of Children in Peril

“I think writing about the death of children would have been incredibly painful if I was a mother,” said Emma Flint, one of the authors touted at Book Expo America’s hype-generating “Buzz Panel” Wednesday afternoon in Chicago. Her forthcoming first novel, Little Deaths, fictionalizes the scandal surrounding Alice Crimmins, a Queens mother whose children were strangled in 1965. “The death of children is obviously a tragedy, particularly the murder of children, but I’m writing about the effects of those deaths on their mother, and I think it would have been just too painful.”

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