Authors

Opening Gambits

Two weeks ago, The Independent invited folks to submit the first few words of a classic unpublished novel. The response was overwhelming. Here, Boyd Tonkin, a former Booker judge and literary editor of The Independent, introduces the winner and the best of the runners-up in Opening Gambits

Murdoch's library up for sale

The Beeb Is Reporting Novelist Dame Iris Murdoch's personal collection of almost 1,000 books will go on sale for between £125,000 and £150,000 on Thursday.

The books are being sold by the novelist's widower, Professor John Bayley, who said it was "painful" to sell his late wife's library but he had no room for them in his Oxford home.

Marilyn Manson as Willy Wonka?

I'd heard rumors about a new, Tim Burton-directed version of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a couple years ago, but this is the first confirmation that it's in the works. Apparently, Dahl was never too keen on what Hollywood did to his work (Willy Wonka and The Witches), and his widow has been hesitant to give consent to new projects. She was, however, won over by Tim Burton, who she said, looked like Edward Scissorhands. The article also confirms a long-standing rumor that Marilyn Manson is very interested in playing the candy maker, Willy Wonka. Hoo boy!

Shakespeare may have smoked pot

Clay pipes found at the site of Shakespeare's home offer a clue that the Bard may have lit up on occassion, according to a South African anthropologist. The only evidence offered aside from the pipes are images and references made in sonnets and plays. Other scholars dispute the anthropologist's work as being one toke over the line. More from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The Man Who Sounded The Fire Alarm

Lee Hadden writes \"There is an interesting article on Bruce [That\'s Ray, not Bruce]Bradbury and the 50th Anniversary
of his novel, Fahrenheit 451, in the Wall Street Journal of May 14, 2003:
\"The Man Who Sounded The Fire Alarm,\" By JOHN J. MILLER
Mr. Bradbury has written some 30 books, more than 600 short stories,
and countless numbers of poems, essays and screenplays. Even as an
octogenarian, he gets up every morning and spends a few hours composing.
His most recent novel, \"Let\'s All Kill Constance,\" came out in January to
mixed reviews. A new collection of 100 short stories is slated for release
in August.
Amid this prodigious output, \"Fahrenheit 451\" is the book for which
Mr. Bradbury will be best remembered. Perhaps that\'s because the concept is
so unforgettable: In the near future, firemen don\'t put out fires; they
start them instead. Books have been outlawed. When they\'re discovered,
first responders hurry to the scene. The title refers to the temperature at
which paper burns?
One of the often-overlooked details of \"Fahrenheit 451\" is that the
censorship Mr. Bradbury describes was not imposed from the top by a
ruthless government. Rather, it seeped up from the indifferent masses. \"

Moose To Sue Over Book

CNN Says The police chief who helped lead the task force of investigators during last autumn\'s Washington-area sniper shootings filed suit Wednesday to win the right to tell his story in a book.
Lawyers for Montgomery County Chief Charles A. Moose sought a federal court injunction barring the county Ethics Commission from taking any action against him for writing about the events surrounding the shootings.

Book lovers put Austen in pride of place

Charles Davis writes \"Full story at
Telegraph.co.uk

The old ones really are the best - and the best of them all is Jane Austen\'s Pride and Prejudice which has been voted the \"best-loved\" novel by a woman author.
\"

Iris Murdoch\'s personal library to be sold

John Bayley, husband of author Iris Murdoch, has announced that he will be selling his late wife\'s personal library of over 1000 books, saying that he doesn\'t have room in his house. The books, many of which are covered in Murdoch\'s scribblings in Greek and Latin, will be sold in one lot at the Antiquarian Book Fair in London in June. The collection is valued at approximately 150,000 pounds. Murdoch, whose descent into Alzheimers was dramatized in an Oscar-winning film in 2001, died in 1999. More info here at the BBC.

Discussing Cultural Democracy with Siva Vaidhyanathan

The Anarchist in the Library: writes "Here's An Interview with

Siva Vaidhyanathan author of "The Anarchist in the Library," a book on intellectual property.
While the topics he ponders as the author of The Anarchist in the Library and assistant professor of Culture and Communications at NYU can be pretty complicated, he always keeps the discussion interesting, down-to-earth, and--above all--human. Because in a culture transformed by advanced technology, that's what's often missing."

Sci Fi Authors Protest Patriot Act

Jen Young spotted a Small Blurb at SciFi.com that says SF authors and editors joined protesters on April 12 in Portland, Ore., to object to the USA Patriot Act. The authors and editors read poems and stories and speeches in protest and to promote free speech, organizers said.

Marchers stopped at the Multnomah County Central Library and took a list of supposed "subversive" books—such as the Koran, the Anarchist Cookbook and Teach Yourself French—and checked the books out en masse.

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