Bestselling author Michael Lewis will release a new book this March that centers on Wall Street.
“Michael is brilliant at finding the perfect narrative line for any subject,” Lewis’s editor Starling Lawrence said in a statement. “That’s what makes his books, no matter the topic, so indelibly memorable.”
The new work will be titled “Flash Boys” and will be published by W.W. Norton & Company.
“The book gives readers a ringside seat as the biggest new story in years prepares to hit Wall Street,” W.W. Norton & Company said in a statement.
“Flash” will hit shelves on March 31.
King’s Landing – the capital city created by author George R.R. Martin as the center point of his "Game of Thrones" series – will briefly become a reality.
To celebrate the release of season three of HBO's adaptation of "Game of Thrones" on DVD, the British town of Kings Langley will change its name to King’s Landing for a week of February, according to the Independent. The two main signs reading “Kings Langley” in the town will both be changed for the week.
The DVD of the latest season of the TV show is being released on Feb. 18. King’s Landing is the capital city of Westeros, the fictional country where “Game of Thrones” is based.
According to RadioTimes, the idea came about after a “Game of Thrones” producer was waiting for a train and heard the name of the town announced as a stop.
“This re-naming is a great opportunity to put Kings Langley and Dacorum on the map,” parish and borough councilor Alan Anderson, who also worked on the idea, told Hemel Today.
The town is urging businesses to create special promotions for the week as well.
The fourth season of HBO's “Game of Thrones” will premiere on April 6.
A very small painting of roughly 9 x 13 inches has been drawing crowds to the Frick Collection in New York. The painting everyone wants to see? Carel Fabritius’s 1654 “The Goldfinch,” the portrait of a little European songbird perched on its feed box. The painting appears on the cover of Donna Tartt’s new novel of the same name. In the book, 13-year-old protagonist Theo Decker steals “The Goldfinch” from the Metropolitan Museum of Art after falling victim to a terrorist bomb attack inside the museum.
The painting is part of the traveling exhibition "Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis" in The Hague. The show opened on October 22, 2013, the same day the novel was released, but neither the author nor the museum knew about the overlap beforehand. The exhibition will close on January 19.
Initially, the museum had predicted that the highlight of the exhibition was going to be Johannes Vermeer’s “The Girl with a Pearl Earring,” which has been made famous by a book of its own. Art critic Deborah Solomon told WNYC that besides inspiring Tartt, Fabritius’s “The Goldfinch” also inspired Vermeer when he was painting his masterpiece. "I love that the novel is drawing so much attention to this most worthy, but unassuming and humble, masterpiece," Solomon said.
Theo Decker says about Fabritius’s “The Goldfinch,” “When I looked at the painting I felt the same convergence on a single point: a glancing sun-struck instance that existed now and forever. Only occasionally did I notice the chain on the finch's ankle, or think what a cruel life for a little living creature – fluttering briefly, forced always to land in the same hopeless place.”
The museum expects the show to have more than 200,000 visitors. It's an impressive turnout at a museum where the annual attendance normally falls somewhere between 275,000 to 300,000.
Think fiction can only be found between the covers of a book – or in the quiet glow of an e-reader?
The Twitter fiction festival, which runs from March 12 to 16, invites Twitter users and authors across the country to tell stories in 140-character bursts using the hashtag #TwitterFiction. This year, Twitter is teaming up with the Association of American Publishers and Penguin Random House to promote the event and choose featured storytellers.
The goal, according to festival organizers, is to give “authors of all kinds a chance to bring fiction to life with Twitter, and gives readers a chance to experience fiction in a brand new way.”
Here’s how it works. Authors and everyday Twitter users alike can submit pitches for Twitter stories by February 5 for a chance to become an “featured storyteller” whose Twitter fiction will be showcased alongside a group of well-known authors including Alexander McCall Smith, Maisey Yates, Gabrielle Zevin, Bill Roorbach, and Anthony Marra. During the festival, everyone is invited to share his or her Twitter stories with the Twitterverse using the hashtag #TwitterFiction.
The first Twitter fiction festival, held in 2012, included 29 “showcased projects” and more than 25,000 tweets published with the hashtag #twitterfiction, including some very innovative entries.
British author Lucy Coates told 100 Greek myths in 100 tweets including this gem: Sly stableboy slays king in waxed waggon wheel fiasco. Olympic Games will be 'Dad's undying legacy' vows brave Hippodamia #twitterfiction
Author Elliot Holt wrote a mystery from the perspective of several guests at a rooftop party that started with one guest plunging to her death. The story concluded, “Was Ms. Brown’s death a #homicide, a #suicide, or an #accident? You decide. Read the evidence. Then tweet your verdict…using the appropriate hashtag…”
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan told “Black Box,” a science fiction story for The New Yorker that ran both on Twitter, one tweet at a time, and in print.
Writers can use the medium to crowdsource plots, tweet pictures and videos to build narrative, use multiple handles to weave tales, and invite feedback from twitter followers.
For a platform more commonly used to chat, gossip, eavesdrop, and share news, we’re excited to see Twitter used to create and share fiction.
“We have been tracking lots of interesting experiments with creative storytelling on Twitter,” Andrew Fitzgerald, Media R&D at Twitter, told the LA Times during the launch of the Twitter fiction festival. “From our perspective, our hope is that this inspires more experimentation.”
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.
A new trailer has arrived for the TV adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling “Outlander” historical novels.
The “Outlander” series follows Claire Randall, a former nurse living in the 1940s who travels through time after entering a stone circle in Scotland and ends up in the 1700s. There, she meets and falls in love with Scotsman Jamie Fraser.
The TV series stars Caitriona Balfe as Claire and actor Sam Heughan as Jamie.
The new clip shows the stone circle and has a voiceover of Claire relating her experience.
“Something happened to me,” she says. “And I know it doesn’t make any sense, but I seem to have fallen through time.”
Quick images show Claire with her husband Frank (Tobias Menzies, who also portrays Frank’s ancestor Black Jack Randall) in the 1940s, soldiers fighting during World War II, Menzies as Jack Randall, and what looks like Claire arriving with Jamie at Castle Leoch, the home of one side of Jamie’s family.
The TV series is set to premiere this summer.
One of the most talked-about aspects of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling thriller “Gone Girl” was the book’s ending, which divided readers.
So fans will be interested to hear that the film version of “Gone Girl” is reported to have a different ending from the novel.
The screenplay for the movie was also penned by Flynn. Actor Ben Affleck, who is starring in the film as husband Nick Dunne, was apparently taken aback by how different the finale is.
“He would say, ‘This is a whole new third act!’” Flynn recalled in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “’She literally threw that third act out and started from scratch.’”
So how different is the ending?
(Warning! Major spoilers ahead for “Gone Girl”....)
Readers who were dissatisfied by the book may be hoping that the film will end with wife Amy coming to justice. As those who read the novel know, it turns out that Amy, the supposedly missing wife of Nick, is alive and has tried to frame him for her murder. However, when she runs out of cash and has few other options (and after killing the man who took her in), she returns home, claiming she was kidnapped. Many readers wanted to see Amy punished for everything she did, but instead, after she becomes pregnant with Nick’s child through her own machinations, Nick stays with her and does not turn her in.
Flynn had previously spoken with Entertainment Weekly about the novel’s conclusion.
“You’re never going to find the aha! clue because she thinks she’s already thought of everything and that’s who she is,” she said of Amy.
So will the movie end with Amy paying for what she’s done? Or will it be a smaller change?
The film adaptation of “Girl” is set to hit theaters on Oct. 3.
HBO has released a new trailer for the upcoming fourth season of “Game of Thrones.”
Fans got pretty lucky this time – while the trailer released last year was only a minute long, this preview offers nearly a minute extra of footage of the upcoming episodes.
(Warning: spoilers for season 3 follow!)
The new clip shows a lot of knight Jaime Lannister, who’s back from his long march home, as well as hopeful queen Daenerys and her team and Tyrion, the less-loved Lannister brother, who is struggling in the wake of the return of his father to the capital.
The trailer, which is backed by the song “Feral Love” by Chelsea Wolfe, begins with a shot of what looks like a dragon flying over buildings.
It then shows the tyrannical King Joffrey sitting at a feast.
“They know I saved the city, they know I won the war,” Joffrey tells his uncle (and father) Jaime.
“The war’s not won,” Jaime informs him.
Meanwhile, the priestess Melisandre oversees more burning objects and Ser Jorah Mormont, adviser to exiled queen Daenerys, says, “It’s tempting to see your enemies as evil. But there’s good and evil on both sides in every war ever fought.” (And Daenerys is seated on a throne inside somewhere.)
“They have a choice,” Daenerys says. “They can live in my new world or they can die in their old one.”
Meanwhile, Tyrion is led through an audience in handcuffs.
“Things are a bit tense right now,” he says. “I don’t think I’m talking my way out of this one.”
And Jon Snow, illegitimate son of Ned Stark and member of the Night’s Watch, is still having trouble up north.
“If the wildlings breach the wall, they’ll roll over everything and everyone,” he says.
We also get brief glimpses of Arya, Bran, Theon, his sister Yara, and Petyr Baelish as well as what appears to be the new character Oberyn Martell, a prince of Dorn.
Excited? Check out the full preview.
The new season of "Thrones" will premiere on April 6.
Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In,” which was first released this past March and which advises women on how to succeed in the workplace, quickly became a bestseller and sparked a nationwide conversation.
Now Sandberg is planning to release a new edition of the book this April which will be aimed at college graduates and will include six new chapters as well as a letter from the author. Subjects will include how to succeed in a job interview, advice on a first salary, and “how millennial men can lean in,” according to USA Today. The new edition will be titled “Lean In For Graduates.”
Sandberg told USA Today she didn't expect the book would have such an effect on people.
“I never imagined in a billion years [it] would spark this amount of conversation," she said. "This is changing people's lives.”
“Lean” ranked at number 11 on the New York Times combined print and e-book nonfiction list for the week of Jan. 19.
Poet Everett LeRoi Jones, known as Amiri Baraka, died on Thursday, Jan. 9, in Newark. Baraka had been hospitalized at Newark's Beth Israel Medical Center since Dec. 21. His death was attributed to "failing health." Baraka was 79.
A political activist, poet, playwright, and critic, Amiri Baraka was one of the most important and controversial African American literary voices. "Amiri Baraka believed poetry to be a process of discovery of one's inner feelings," his website says. "Like the projectivist poets, he has always been of the opinion that the poetic writings should follow the shape of writer's own breath. During the African-American Civil Rights Movement, Baraka's politically charged essays and writings proved to be extremely influential for the local audiences."
His experience growing up in Newark and its milieu were very complex, and he believed that his feelings of resentment about racial prejudice fueled his writing. He often tried to shed light on the black experience by sharing personal anecdotes, such as the time he was denied admission into a segregated library as a child. His influences ranged from Allen Ginsberg and Ray Bradbury to Miles Davis and John Coltrane.
Baraka was friends with Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, and was a writer associated with the Beat Generation in the 1960s. After Malcolm X’s assassination in 1965, he decided to live by more radical ideals. He then helped found the Black Arts Movement that started in Harlem in the same year.
He wrote in his 1965 nationalist poem, “Black Art,” a manifesto for the movement: “[...] we want ‘poems that kill.’ /Assassin poems, Poems that shoot /guns. Poems that wrestle cops into alleys /and take their weapons leaving them dead /with tongues pulled out and sent to Ireland.”
In 2002, Baraka’s writing sparked controversy for allegedly implying in his poem “Somebody Blew Up America” that Israeli workers at the World Trade Center had advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. Critics were quick to accuse him of antisemitism, which he denied. "The recent dishonest, consciously distorted, and insulting non-interpretation of my poem by the Anti-Defamation League is fundamentally an attempt to defame me and, with that, an attempt to repress and stigmatize independent thinkers everywhere," Baraka said. He was the New Jersey’s poet laureate at that time, and the controversies over the poem caused the state to remove his position in 2003.
Baraka also wrote several books about the history of black music, including the 1963 seminal study "Blues People: The Negro Experience in White America and the Music That Developed from It," which influenced ideas about the significance of African American culture.
"I think the ‘Blues People: The Negro Experience in White America and the Music That Developed from It’ might be his signature work. And that introduced jazz studies to the American academy," historian and author Komozi Woodard told NPR.
While some critics have criticized Baraka’s writing as homophobic, antisemitic, ad hominem, and even misogynist, others say his highly political and incendiary works have great literary merit. Recently, critic Arnold Rampersad named Baraka as one of the most historically significant African American literary figures, next to Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and Zora Neale Hurston.
Baraka taught at both Yale University and George Washington University, and was a professor emeritus at Stony Brook University of New York. His recognitions included awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and PEN/Faulkner Foundation.
Here in January, a month of predictions, at least one piece of prognostication about the upcoming year in national letters seems a pretty safe bet: In 2014, as in other years, some of the best literary work will come from the nation’s small presses.
Look no further than last year for evidence of the success that small presses had in attracting top talent.
Consider, for starters, Verlyn Klinkenborg, who concluded a 16-year run last month as a member of the New York Times editorial board. Klinkenborg, perhaps best known for his popular “The Rural Life” columns about country life, published his first collection of essays, also called “The Rural Life,” with Little, Brown in 2002.
But last year, when Klinkenborg brought out a follow-up, “More Scenes from the Rural Life,” he used a small publisher, Princeton Architectural Press, a 30-year-old firm that specializes in titles about architecture and design.
That seemed an odd fit for Klinkenborg’s essays, which stress musings on horses and chickens and trees rather than design issues, but Princeton’s production values proved a big plus for the book, with elegant line drawings by Nigel Peake that offered a perfect complement to Klinkenborg’s exquisite prose.
Klinkenborg explained the odd-couple pairing of author and publisher by noting that Kevin and Jennifer Lippert, top executives at Princeton, are also his friends and neighbors.
Phyllis Theroux is another writer previously connected with major publishers who opted for the small press route in 2013. Theroux is best known for an acclaimed memoir, “California and Other States of Grace,” published by William Morrow, as well as the more recent “The Journal Keeper,”’ released in 2010 by Atlantic Monthly Press. But “The Good Bishop,” Theroux’s 2013 biography of the socially liberal Catholic leader Walter F. Sullivan, was published by Orbis Books, a small religious press operated by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.
The subject matter of “The Good Bishop,” although of obvious interest to Catholics, should also resonate with a secular audience, too, since the book is, at base, a fascinating account of a shrewd political genius. And here, as in her other books, Theroux’s gift for the lapidary sentence remains vivid. Listen to how she describes Sullivan’s funeral: “For several long minutes, while the congregation waited in silence for the funeral party to return, there was nothing to contemplate but the marble altar at whose base the bishop’s coffin had lain. Morning sun clothed the bare altar with radiance. The bright emptiness emphasized what was no longer there.”
Brian Doyle’s resume also includes collaborations with both large commercial publishers and small presses. A celebrated essayist whose work recently appeared in Houghton Mifflin’s “The Best American Essays 2013,” Doyle has a regular Friday column in the online edition of The American Scholar. In April, Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, will publish “The Plover,” Doyle’s lyrical new novel about a mystical ship in the Northwest and its haunted Captain Declan.
But last year, in advance of the Doyle’s publishing venture with big-league publisher St. Martin’s, he released “The Thorny Grace of It,” his latest collection of essays, through the much smaller Loyola Press.
“Thorny Grace” contains Doyle’s signature reflections on faith, fatherhood and family, delivered in a tone that alternates between puckish humor and open-hearted emotion.
The latest books from Klinkenborg, Theroux and Doyle are just a few of the quality titles that small presses continue to generate. All of which means that in 2014, readers who want good work might do well to think small.
Danny Heitman, a columnist for The Advocate newspaper in Louisiana, is the author of “A Summer of Birds: John James Audubon at Oakley House.”