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After Caroline Calloway: should ghostwriters speak out against their subjects?

Natalie Beachs tell-all about the controversial influencer wasnt the first case of a ghost exposing their subject, following Julian Assange and Donald Trump Thirty years after ghostwriting Donald Trumps The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz described the experience as like putting lipstick on a pig. He felt a deep sense of remorse at helping bring the man who would become president gain wider attention. Andrew OHagan famously detailed the extraordinary essay in influencer Caroline Calloway: from Instagram captions to the aborted book that once attracted a $375,000 (300,000) publishing…

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The Goldfinch Movie Lays a Big Egg in Toronto

The first thing you have to know about Donna Tartts heartfelt novel, and for that reason it will forever fall into the camp of Bad Book-to-Movie Adaptations, the ones that are such a cumbersome disaster that they make book lovers seethe. The second thing you need to know is that it is impeccably shot by the great Roger Deakins, whos so talented he could make a storage unit into a place of beauty (which he does here!). And so, as the movie drifts along to a rote script that reproduces…

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Sontag: Her Life by Benjamin Moser review heavyweight study of a critical colossus

Susan Sontags rise from gawky swot to opinion leader is incisively charted Art, Susan Sontag declared in 1965, is the supreme game which the will plays with itself. Sontag, supremely wilful, played the game with herself: she began as a critic of art, but turned into what she called an art object endowed with this quality of assurance, authority that she viewed as the barbed, bristling armature of style. At first, what mattered was the sparky contents of Sontags head; by the end she was best known for the way…

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Crime writer thinks women store credit cards inside their vaginas

Some men seem to have real trouble with cis womens anatomy. Men Writing Women, a Twitter account that catalogs the bizarre things men think women and their bodies do, has found another entry for that hall of fame. This one is by author Stuart Woods, who wrote in his 2018 book Desperate Measures the following sentence: The girl had a tiny purse tucked into her vagina, just big enough to hold her drivers license, a credit card, and a few bucks. We dont get real pockets in pants because we…

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Yogi Berra’s baseball bat and a $17,500 typewriter: a visit to the auction of Philip Roth’s estate

The great American novelist died last year and a huge stash of personal effects went on sale last week. J Oliver Conroy went along About 10 years ago, Philip Roth asked his friend Russ Murdock the longtime caretaker of Roths rural Connecticut home and, as he got older, of Roth himself to carve his headstone. Roth told Murdock, a stonemason, to model it on Albert Camuss: just names and dates, in simple block letters, etched into a stone Murdock later dug up on the property. Then, last spring, Roth, who…

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Cats trailers weirdness would have appealed to TS Eliot, suggests estate

Trustees of the poets legacy, welcoming the forthcoming film, say it is no stranger than his Old Possums Book of Practical Cats Although the trailer for the film adaptation of Cats divided the internet when it was released last week, TS Eliot would likely have approved of the rich strangeness that has disturbed so many, according to his estate. Thomas Stearns Eliot wrote the poems that form Old Possums Book of Practical Cats, on which both Andrew Lloyd Webbers stage musical and Tom Hoopers forthcoming film are based, in the…

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Kendall Jenners Dark Post-Breakup Read and the Art of Celebrity Performative Book-Holding

Is literacy the new tiny sunglasses? This week, the Daily Mail published a her split from basketball player Ben Simmons. But the shots, specifically of Jenner and Sabbats reading material, are the best evidence we have of a Kardashians rich interior life since Kylie Jenner started realizing stuff. Rather than stuffing her Cannes suitcase with Pepsi cans and tabloids, Jenner packed herself a copy of Darcie Wilders literally show me a healthy person. Next to her Sabbat, a 21-year-old described literally show me a healthy person as 97 pages of…

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The Wizard of Oz at 80: how the world fell under its dark spell

The 1939 classic has inspired everyone from David Lynch to Salman Rushdie. Novelist and super-fan Luiza Sauma explores why the films message about home still holds such power Eighty years ago, in the summer of 1939, 16-year-old Judy Garland appeared on cinema screens as the orphan Dorothy Gale, dreaming of escape from bleak, monochrome Kansas. Find yourself a place where you wont get into any trouble, her aunt beseeches, too busy for poor old Dorothy, who soon breaks into song: Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue / And the…

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Romance novelists pledge to confront abortion ‘taboo’ after Alabama ban

State senates near-total abortion ban prompts demand for genre to treat issue as a normal part of life, not a moral lesson Dip into the fast-moving world of romantic fiction and it quickly becomes clear that very few of the fictional couples Alabamas state senate passed a near-total ban on abortion, writers are asking themselves why none of these heroines ever considers termination. According to the Guttmacher Institute, an organisation promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, its a common experience for women in the US, with an abortion by…

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Trust Exercise by Susan Choi review masterly study of power and its abuses

The Pulitzer-nominated novelist develops the issues raised by #MeToo within the setting of a suburban American drama school Sarah and David, 15-year-olds at an elite and unconventional drama school in 1980s suburban America, fall in love. An early misunderstanding is manipulated by a charismatic teacher, Mr Kingsley, who sets a series of emotionally exposing improvisations known as trust exercises to confuse and divide them, using adolescent emotion as the raw material of his art. Then visiting teacher Martin arrives from England: he seduces Sarahs best friend Karen with a callousness…

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Top 10 end-of-the-world novels

Fresh from writing his own first sci fi thriller, physicist and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili chooses favourite books that tackle the Earth in peril Having written a books, I decided three years ago to try my hand at fiction. How hard could it be, I reasoned arrogantly. Well, harder than I thought. But I enjoyed writing Margaret Atwoods In Sunfall, science is trying to save the world. So, here are my top 10 end-of-the-world science fiction books: 1. line on climate change, I cannot but admire the man who gave us…

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Why we are addicted to conspiracy theories

The long read: Outsiders and the disenfranchised have always embraced the existence of wild plots and cover-ups. But now the biggest conspiracy-mongers are in charge In January 2015, I spent the longest, queasiest week of my life on a cruise ship filled with conspiracy theorists. As our boat rattled toward Mexico and back, I heard about every wild plot, secret plan and dark cover-up imaginable. It was mostly fascinating, occasionally exasperating and the cause of a headache that took months to fade. To my pleasant surprise, given that I was…

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Ottessa Moshfegh: I erase the books I love from my mind its how I move on

The American novelist why she wishes she had written Lolita and having an existential crisis while reading Tuck Everlasting The book I am currently readingAn advanced copy of The White Devils Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Franciscos Chinatown by Julia Flynn Siler. The book that changed my lifeI cant really say. Maybe I am a bit too militant about detachment, but every time I love a book, my heart breaks for a few weeks, I tell a few people, and then I erase it from my mind.…

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Jordan Peterson book returns to New Zealand bookshops after Christchurch attack

Whitcoulls reportedly removed the book from sale in light of some extremely disturbing material being circulated Controversial academic Jordan Peterson has publicised the reinstatement of his self-help book 12 Rules for Life at New Zealand book chain Whitcoulls, after it was removed from sale following the Christchurch attacks. Last week, images of an email from Whitcoulls were posted on social media in which a spokeswoman for the bookseller told a customer that it had taken the decision to remove Petersons book from sale in light of some extremely disturbing material…

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Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams: one of the last men to be executed in California

The once-feared leader of the Crips, put to death in 2005, had a warning for UK gangs. Tony Thompson met him in prison On 13 March 2019, Californias governor, Gavin Newsom, died by lethal injection on 13 December 2005, after last-minute appeals by his lawyers and a clemency petition to then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger were unsuccessful. Tony Thompson spoke with Williams in this piece originally published on 27 November 2004. divider Stanley Tookie Williams is not typical of the 629 death row inmates at San Quentin prison in San Francisco.…

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