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Dragon Tattoo Sequel Gets a New Title, Cover Art

The next installment in Stieg Larsson's best-selling Millennium series will officially be called The Girl in the Spider's Web, according to the book's U.S. publisher. Alfred A. Knopf unveiled the title as well as the book's cover art on Tuesday, adding that Web will hit bookstores on September 1. As previously reported, Swedish writer David Lagercrantz finished the book in November, after receiving the green light from Larsson's estate and original publishers. (Larsson died in 2004 of a heart attack.) "Stieg Larsson was a master at creating complex narratives, narratives made all the more forceful because of the journalistic authority with which they were originally written," Lagercrantz said in a statement released to NPR. "That was something that informed my approach to book four, and I'm confident Millennium readers will identify with the storylines in Spider's Web."

Lagercrantz wrote the book under high security. »

Mariel Hemingway Says Woody Allen Tried to Seduce Her at 18

In her forthcoming memoir, Out Came the Sun, Mariel Hemingway claims Woody Allen tried to coax her into joining him for a romantic getaway in Paris. The two had worked together on Allen's Manhattan when the actress was a minor. After she turned 18, Hemingway says the 44-year-old director flew to her parents' home in Idaho with the invitation. "Our relationship was platonic, but I started to see that he had a kind of crush on me, though I dismissed it as the kind of thing that seemed to happen any time middle-aged men got around young women," Hemingway writes, according to a book excerpt obtained by Fox News. Although Hemingway told her parents she was unsure of the room and sleeping arrangements, her parents encouraged her to go.

"I'm not going to get my own room, am I?" »

The Cover for Harper Lee’s New Book Will Hopefully Make All Those Complicated Feelings Go Away

Harper Lee's second novel Go Set a Watchman is coming in July — news that was greeted first with applause, then with a growing sense of unease, as reports came in that the 88-year-old Lee might not be of sound mind. As Lee's team works to reassure fans that everything about the new release is all aboveboard, People has the first look at the book's cover. There's a train on the cover! How can you feel weird about a book that has a train on the cover?

Game of Thrones Will Officially Spoil the Books — Good!

At a recent event in the Oxford Union, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss confirmed what everyone other than George R.R. Martin knew to be the case: GOT is going to end before Martin's books do. The possibility has been out there from the beginning, but with Martin's next book not arriving until 2016 at the earliest and Benioff and Weiss holding firm to their seven-season plan, the showrunners acknowledged that the grand conclusion of the Song of Ice and Fire saga will hit screens before it ever makes its way onto the page. "I kind of wish there were some things we didn’t have to spoil in terms of the books," Benioff admitted, "but we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, so the show must go on."

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  • Posted 3/22/15 at 9:00 PM
  • Books

Wrestling With Saul Bellow: A New Biography Renews the Fight Over the Author’s Reputation

In 1994, Brent Staples, an editorial writer at the New York Times, wrote an account of Saul Bellow that was first published in The New York Times Magazine and then later as part of his memoir, Parallel Time. Raised in impoverished circumstances in Chester, Pennsylvania, Staples, who is black, described discovering Bellow upon his arrival in Hyde Park to attend the University of Chicago. Simultaneously in thrall to Bellow’s fiction and stung by Bellow’s fictional characterizations of black people, Staples “wants to lift [Bellow] bodily and pin him against a wall. Perhaps I’d corner him on the stairs and take up questions about ‘pork-chops’ and ‘crazy buffaloes’ and barbarous black pickpockets. I wanted to trophy his fear.” At the same time, “I wanted something from him … I wanted to steal the essence of him, to absorb it right into my bones.” 

Without Bellow’s fiction, I would not have survived my younger life. »

  • Posted 3/13/15 at 8:34 AM
  • Nbcc

Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson Celebrated at the National Book Critics Circle Awards

Watching Toni Morrison accept the National Book Critics Circle’s Lifetime Achievement Award last night, bookended by standing ovations, wheelchair-bound but undiminished in a shimmering silver dress and jaunty grey beret, was a little like watching Bruce Springsteen perform a nostalgia gig at the Stone Pony. She’s an arena player, the only living American winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. To see her in the New School’s auditorium (elegant and spacious as it is) on the night of the NBCC awards (influential as they are) is to be reminded that book critics are most excited not by their collective power, but by their ability to surprise — even upstage.

Roz Chast had been so certain of defeat that she’d bet her two parrots’ lives on it. »

  • Posted 3/13/15 at 2:37 AM
  • Books

One Agency Investigating Harper Lee Has Checked Out

One of the state agencies looking at elder abuse claims tied to Harper Lee has finished its job, the New York Times reports. Joseph Borg, director of the Alabama Securities Commission, told the paper Thursday that the author "has opinions and seems to be aware of what is going on with her book and the book deal." After news broke of the To Kill a Mockingbird follow-up last month, friends, fans, and acquaintances in Monroeville, Alabama, and beyond began worrying that the 88-year-old author had been hoodwinked into publishing Go Set a Watchman. Another set of investigators, for the Alabama Department of Human Resources, are reportedly still trying to figure out if that's the case here and were continuing interviews this week.

  • Posted 3/12/15 at 12:20 PM
  • Obits

Fantasy Author Sir Terry Pratchett Dead at 66

Author Terry Pratchett died Thursday after a long battle with early onset Alzheimer's, a disease he called an "embuggerance." He was 66. Born to a middle-class family outside London, Pratchett worked briefly as a journalist before publishing his first novel, The Carpet People, at age 23. The flat world of that book would later inspire the setting of his crowning literary achievement, the 40-book Discworld series, set in a fantasy world balanced on the back of a giant turtle. Fans were attracted by Pratchett's trademark blend of light satire and warm humor, and he was the U.K.'s best-selling author of the 1990s. He was knighted in 2009 for his "services to literature," an honor Pratchett said he was "flabberghasted" by. A year later, he gave a moving lecture about Alzheimer's, euthanasia, and death for The Guardian, concluding, "If I knew that I could die at any time I wanted, then suddenly every day would be as ­precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I could die, I would live. My life, my death, my choice."

  • Posted 3/12/15 at 11:56 AM
  • Books

How Ian Fleming’s James Bond Was Born in Jamaica

James Bond, one of the most iconic characters to emerge out of the postwar wreckage of Europe, was born in Jamaica. Ian Fleming, a former intelligence officer, first visited in 1943 while the island was still under British rule and built a house he called Goldeneye on the northern coast three years after. It was here that he would write all of his James Bond novels, starting with Casino Royale in 1952, up until The Man With the Golden Gun, which was published after his death in 1964. Matthew Parker’s new book Goldeneye Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica explores the complicated relationship Fleming had with the island as it moved from British colony to independent nation. Here are the ten most interesting things Vulture learned, from Fleming’s terrible habits (70 cigarettes a day!) to how he felt about Sean Connery.

Fleming smoked 70 cigarettes a day and drank like a fish. »

  • Posted 3/12/15 at 3:05 AM
  • Books

The State of Alabama Is Also Concerned About Harper Lee’s Mental Condition

The skepticism behind Harper Lee's decision to publish a To Kill a Mockingbird follow-up has not abated. Now it has been revealed that Alabama officials have been investigating at least one report of potential elder abuse. The New York Times reports that over the course of the last month, the state has interviewed Lee, employees at her assisted-living facility, and her friends — the latter group still seemingly split into one camp that contends the author is lucid and another that says she's in her own world.

What is going on here? »

Harper Lee Tells Reporter to ‘Go Away!’

Harper Lee can still write a letter, that's for sure. After Birmingham News reporter Connor Sheets made several attempts to track down the elusive author, he finally decided on sending her a two-page letter. It was quickly sent back to him, "wrinkled and refolded," with a very special, clear (and seemingly lucid!) response at the bottom: "Go away! Harper Lee." Now, that's best kind of autograph you could ever get:

Read an Annotated Excerpt From Adam Rapp’s Novel Know Your Beholder

Adam Rapp is perhaps best known as a playwright, having earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his 2006 work Red Light Winter. But he's one of these creative polymaths who seems to excel at everything he does--whether its film directing (Winter Passing, with Zooey Deschanel) or screenwriting (he's written for the L Word and In Treatment, among other shows). Now, he's trying his hand at a still relatively new form. Though Rapp has written a handful of YA books, Know Your Beholder, which tells the story of a shattered rock musician trying to rebuild his life, is his second attempt at a novel in the classic sense. Here is the first chapter, with annotations from Rapp. 

Part One: Small-Town Snow

I haven’t left my house in almost a month.

It’s either Tuesday or Wednesday — most likely Wednesday — and three days ago a foot of snow fell on Pollard, Illinois, and its surrounding farmlands: storybook snow as soft as sifted cake mix. Although an old municipal plow has scraped down the street exactly twice—the driver’s head enshrouded in wool — clearly it’s been an effort in futility as the snow continues to fall at a dizzying rate.

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  • Posted 3/3/15 at 12:41 PM
  • Primer

A Timeline of the Abuse Charges Against Bill Cosby [Updated]

Thirty years ago this fall, The Cosby Show debuted on NBC, and its star was catapulted into the comedic stratosphere. The timing is prime, then, for the release of a sprawling biography. Written by former Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker, Cosby: His Life and Times documents the man’s rise from the Philadelphia projects, while also detailing the creation of his family sitcom and the murder of his son Ennis in 1997.

The book is notable, however, for its complete avoidance of sexual abuse allegations that have dogged Cosby for more than a decade. In a statement to Buzzfeed's Kate Aurthur, Whitaker says, "I didn’t want to print allegations that I couldn’t confirm independently." Regardless, their absence is glaring. Consider the following timeline an appendix to the book.

"Tamara Green, a lawyer, alleges that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in the 1970s." »

  • Posted 3/2/15 at 1:00 PM

Veronica Roth’s Divergent Follow-up Will Be Star Wars–esque

When you've already explored a postapocalyptic Chicago, the only logical next step is to follow up with a galaxy far, far away — or so seems the case for Veronica Roth. The author of the Divergent trilogy has announced another new series, via HarperCollins Children's Books, "in the vein of Star Wars." The two books, slated for 2017 and 2018, will "tell of a boy's unlikely alliance with an enemy." "Both desperate to escape their oppressive lives, they help each other attain what they most desire: for one, redemption, and the other, revenge," Roth says. As long as there's weird daddy issues involved, we're in.

  • Posted 2/26/15 at 10:14 AM

Drew Barrymore Is Finally Publishing Her Life Story

How do you celebrate turning 40? By inking a book deal to publish your life story, of course. People reports that Drew Barrymore will release a collection of autobiographical essays, via Dutton. The book's described as "humorous, emotional, and welcoming" — so, a lot like Amy Poehler and Tina Fey's recent memoirs, we're guessing. Barrymore previously chronicled her famously tumultuous childhood in 1991's Little Girl Lost, but says her new book will include more stories from that time in her life, like "living on her own at 14 (and how laundry may have saved her life), getting stuck in a gas station overhang on a cross-country road trip, saying goodbye to her father in a way only he could have understood, and many more adventures and lessons that have led to the most important thing in her life, which is motherhood."

Last year Barrymore also published Find It in Everything, a collection of personal photography. There's no expected release date or title for her new book yet, but we're seriously hoping it digs up a lot of old Hollywood dirt.

  • Posted 2/25/15 at 2:42 PM

Secret Girl: Decoding Kim Gordon’s Eternal Cool

There’s a great song on the first Sonic Youth album called “Shaking Hell.” The opening minute and a half — steely, ominous, unsteadily motoric — sounds like a piece of factory equipment malfunctioning in the moments before somebody loses a limb. Then, very suddenly, the machinery jams, the tempo slows to a crawl, and we hear the voice of the bass player, Kim Gordon, at once nervous and bracingly warriorlike: “She’s finally discovered she’s a …. He told her so!” 

Read More  »

Nelson George on D’Angelo and How His New Book Is Like The Lord of the Rings

For more than 20 years, Nelson George, the filmmaker, former Village Voice columnist, and music-cultural critic, has been dealing less with churning out think pieces on R&B divas or swagged-out rappers and concentrating more on fiction, ranging from semi-autobiographical to romance to crime noir. His latest, the recently released The Lost Treasures of R&B (Akashic Books), is the newest volume to feature D Hunter, a tormented, HIV-positive bodyguard-investigator who comes back to live in a Brooklyn he hardly recognizes and tries to solve a few mysteries, mainly the whereabouts of a rare 45 featuring Otis Redding and Diana Ross on vocals. Now 57, the born-and-based Brooklynite talked to Vulture about his new book and the fun he had bringing his love for soul and fiction together.

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  • Posted 2/24/15 at 8:00 AM
  • Books

Did Amazon Sink the Queen of Online Erotica?

Jaid Black, the “queen of steam,” isn’t feeling well, so she’s dispatched Christian, a muscular, handsome 40-something, to greet me at the front door of her West Hollywood home. It’s tempting to refer to Christian as a manservant, because a beefcake butler whose modeling bio boasts of a knack for finding G-spots would fit tidily into this story (and he does ask if we need anything), but in fact, he’s an aspiring actor and personal trainer to A-list talent agent Kevin Huvane. He’s also a friend of Black’s who’s willing to fetch the chocolate-caramel creamer for her coffee. 

“I was like, Either I’m a sexual deviant, which is always a possibility, or they’re wrong. Turned out they were wrong.” »

  • Posted 2/20/15 at 1:57 PM
  • Books

There’s a New Sherlock Holmes Story by Arthur Conan Doyle, and You Can Read It Right Here

We've officially got a trend: After Harper Lee and Dr. Seuss, Arthur Conan Doyle is the third author this month whose lost work has been rediscovered and reintroduced to the world. In Doyle's case, the forgotten work is a short Sherlock Holmes story from 1904, written as part of a fund-raising campaign for a new bridge in the Scottish town of Selkirk. "Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, By Deduction, the Brig Bazaar" was published in a one-off book called The Book o' the Brig, a copy of which was recently found by historian Walter Elliot. (He'd had it for 50 years but forgot about it.) And since Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain, we've published the very meta tale below. 

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  • Posted 2/18/15 at 2:39 PM

The Best of Haruki Murakami’s Advice Column

Celebrated novelist Haruki Murakami is a master of the heartbreaking and the surreal. So who better to start an online advice column? In January, the Japanese author began soliciting and responding to reader-submitted questions. Murakami's website is in Japanese, but we translated some of the best back-and-forths. It's weird — and weirdly charming — stuff. 

Read More  »

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