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‘One big virtual love-in’: how children’s book authors are creating online sanctuaries

Authors are going online in real time to engage children and create a safe place where imaginations are fired The childrens author and illustrator wunderkind live on Instagram. And they are pure magic. Jeffers, in quarantine in Belfast, is reading a story a day, having started with his first ever book How to Catch a Star. According to Jeffers, [This is] for all you folks stuck at home in the coming weeks due to Covid, I will be reading one of my books every weekday, and talking about some of…

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Netflix and Disney to shut down productions due to Covid-19 but Frozen sequel to arrive early to streaming

Disney chief says animated film will provide fun and joy during challenging period while company halts production on live-action movies Walt Disney will fast-track the release of the Frozen sequel to its streaming platform in a bid to spark fun and joy during the coronavirus outbreak, while at the same time joining US streaming giant Netflix in shutting down some of its productions. The company said on Friday that Frozen 2 would be available on its digital streaming platform Disney+ from Sunday in the US, three months earlier than scheduled.…

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Code Orange: Underneath review a thrilling new form of molten metal

The Pittsburgh quintet marry technical mastery with genre-fusing risk in a record of poetry and spectacular potency Despite its reputation as the satanic scourge of curtain-twitching suburbia, metal can be prone to the kind of squabbling you might see at a parish council meeting, with endless taxonomic arguments about whether something is death or thrash or black metal. Such petty bloviating is silenced by Grammy-nominated Pittsburgh quintet Code Orange, whose fourth album throws thrash, hardcore punk, math rock, sludge, metalcore, industrial, screamo, grunge, nu-metal and classic rock into a centrifuge,…

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Is My Dark Vanessa the most controversial novel of the year? Author Kate Elizabeth Russell speaks out

Exploring issues of abuse and consent, Russells novel My Dark Vanessa could not be more timely. She talks about the pressure to write a likeable victim and the line between fiction and memoir When, in 2018, Kate Elizabeth Russells agent presented publishers with her first novel, Kristen Roupenian. After years spent studying in near-penury, having money in the bank feels weird, Russell tells me. She had always told her husband, who works in academia: Ill move wherever you get a job, just dont expect me to bring in money. In…

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Lena Dunham: Caroline Flacks death hit me with a sickening power

I adored the former Love Island host, and wish we could have shown her a more hopeful reality: that women who err and fail are worthy of love My adoration for Cher) and the empathy she brought to a bloodless and occasionally unkind television format lent her an air of approachable glamour, a local-girl-done-good sheen, aspirational but earthy. Not since I saw Storm I C Cup, and took comfort in her durable, bounce-back brand of vulnerability. Her quotes about heartbreak (I feel at my most calm, in control and happiest…

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I knew pretty quickly I was on to something: James Ellroy on writing The Black Dahlia

The death of wannabe starlet Elizabeth Short became entwined in Ellroys mind with the murder of his mother and inspired his bestselling novel I had written six novels before Dahlia, but my primary income throughout this time had come not from books, but from being a golf caddy. At first, I worked at the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, but around the time my first book, Browns Requiem, was published in 1981, I moved to Westchester County, about half an hour outside New York City. I had first heard…

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Plcido Domingo says harassment apology gave ‘false impression’

Spanish opera singer says his words had been misunderstood after apology triggers backlash Plcido Domingo has rowed back on an apology he made over sexual harassment allegations just two days earlier, after his mea culpa triggered a backlash and cancellations in Spain. The Spanish opera singer, who faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment, forcibly kissing, grabbing or fondling them in incidents dating to the 80s. On Tuesday, the AGMA union said an internal inquiry found the singer had engaged in a pattern of inappropriate activity. Domingo said he was withdrawing…

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Suffrage review: epic retelling of US women’s long battle for the vote

A century after the 19th amendment, Ellen Carol DuBois makes the familiar new and sheds light on a fight against injustice It was a decidedly anticlimactic end to a life-changing campaign. The document was sent by train to Washington in the middle of the night. A government employee met the train and rushed it to the secretary of state, Bainbridge Colby, who signed the Proclamation of Ratification at dawn, three days after Tennessee became the 36th state to vote for womens suffrage. There were no photographers to record the moment,…

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Trump reportedly calls John Bolton a ‘traitor’ and wants to block his book

President reportedly told aides and media figures book shouldnt be published before Novembers election John Bolton is a traitor and his reportedly told aides and media figures. The presidents views on news of a book deal for fired in September last year. He offered to testify in the Senate but Republicans voted not to call witnesses during a trial which duly ended in Trumps acquittal, despite leaks from Boltons book manuscript seeming to show The Room Where It Happened was slated for publication in March but it has been held…

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Everything we wanted: the race to find the next Billie Eilish

The search for the new Billie is undoubtedly under way. But how will record labels attempt to replicate her success? Last week, No Time to Die a huge swoop of a song that wants to bottle a feeling of timelessness. It ratchets up what has already been quite the year already for her, as last month she became the youngest person to win best record, best song and album of the year (as well as best new artist) Sheeran and Ocean Eyes online in 2015 and signing to A&R hothouse…

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Trump’s Oscars rant? He just wants Hollywood to see he’s a star

The US presidents tirade against Parasites best picture Oscar, preferring Sunset Boulevard and Gone With the Wind, masks his own frustration at being cold-shouldered by Tinseltown The only real surprise was what took him so long. Nearly two weeks after Parasite became the first foreign-language film to win the Oscar for best picture, hadnt actually seen Parasite: Was it good? I dont know. Clearly he is less concerned about the movies quality than its provenance. Here he is, trying to make America great again, and a foreign movie takes Hollywoods…

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Minamata review Johnny Depp attempts redemption in heartfelt look at disaster that struck Japanese town

Johnny Depp plays real-life US photojournalist W Eugene Smith who travels to cover the story of mercury poisoning that caused horrendous disfigurements Minamata is not a masterpiece and there are one or two cliches here about western saviours and boozy, difficult, passionate journalists who occupy the perennial Venn diagram overlap between integrity and alcoholism. This movies producer-star Johnny Depp has form on this score, with his W Eugene Smith whose glory days were in the second world war and the decades following, working for Life magazine in that now-forgotten era…

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The diehards of doom! Why Doctor Who is the show fans love to hate

For 56 years and counting, Whovians have been railing against the wheres, whys and, well, everything about their beloved series. Will anything quell this rage? WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE MAGIC OF DOCTOR WHO? This was the question posed in full caps by the president of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society in its magazine, TARDIS. The year was 1977, and the story under scrutiny was The Deadly Assassin. Today, this Manchurian Candidate-riffing conspiracy thriller is regarded as one of Doctor Whos all-time greats, from the height of Tom Bakers stripy…

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The Lost Boys review a bloody, ingenious reflection on youth

Joel Schumachers vampire romp endures for its wonderfully grown-up treatment of being young This sprightly and satirical 80s spin on JM Barries lost boys from director Joel Schumacher is now rereleased in UK cinemas. Screenwriter Jeffrey Boam was reportedly drafted in to sexngoth up a story that was originally much more innocently Peter Pan-ish, and yet this version probably has more to say about the concept of staying for ever young. The film is certainly an amazing time capsule for the 80s and arguably one of the great 80s kids-heroism…

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Billie Eilish: No Time to Die review a Bond theme befitting the Craig era

The pop sensation sidelines her trademarks for a tasteful track that matches the haunted solitude of its leading man the Beatles without earmuffs. The Beatles had the last laugh 007 presumably had to reach for hearing protection when Paul McCartney was commissioned to write the theme song for Live and Let Die but for years, the Bond themes pandered to their heros tastes, invariably coming from artists who were more likely to be found playing the Talk of the Town than the Marquee club. That changed dramatically in the 80s.…

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