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Posts from the ‘News and Notes’ Category

A Prequel To Gone With The Wind Is Coming

I’ve never quite understood why readers would be interested in a sequel (or prequel) written by someone other than the original novel’s author.

Essentially, it’s glorified fan fiction. I could go out and write 300 pages of a novel called 1985 but how would I, or anyone, really know if George Orwell would bless such a sequel.

All that to tell you that an authorized prequel to Gone With The Wind will be released in October. The prequel, written by Donald McCaig, is called Ruth’s Journey. The story will focus on Mammy, who has been given the name “Ruth” by McCaig, and her journey from Haiti to Georgia.

McCaig has made a career out of the Gone With The Wind story. He wrote an authorized prequel called Rhett Butler’s People in 2007. The only other authorized prequel or sequel to Gone With The Wind was the much-pooped-upon Scarlett sequel, written by Alexandra Ripley, in 1991.

Atria Books, which is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, will publish Ruth’s Journey. According to Peter Borland, editorial director at Atria Books:

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The Search For Zora Neale Hurston’s Grave

We’ve moved on past most of the discussion on Their Eyes Were Watching God, since I reviewed the novel last week.

But I didn’t want to miss the chance to point out a this cool story around the discovery of Hurston’s grave site.

Zora Neale Hurston died on January 28, 1960. She was poor and living in a nursing home. Some friends and family raised $600 to buy her an unmarked grave, and she was buried in a segregated cemetery in St. Lucie County, Florida on February 7, 1960.

From that point, despite having written a brilliant novel in Their Eyes Were Watching God, and despite having been one of the early voices of the African-American woman in literature, Hurston was pretty much forgotten in the literary community.

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The Wake-Up Times Of Famous Authors

You might remember my tirade against morning people a few months ago?

Okay, so it wasn’t really a tirade against anyone—the post was more of a defense of night owls. We’ve been taking a beating the last few years while the trend to praise the morning person as the model of success has gone into overdrive.

As a night owl, I got tired of hearing that I was a slacker, even though I bust my butt getting stuff done after 8 p.m. So I wrote that post.

Then, a few weeks ago, I saw this infographic—which beautifully illustrates everything I tried to articulate in that post.

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The Future Of Cuddling Is Here

Did Martin Amis predict the future?

A little bit, yes.

Let me introduce you to this passage about cuddling, yes cuddling, from Money:

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Faulkner’s Advice For Reading His Novels

I guess this means I need to read The Sound and the Fury three more times to get it.


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Kirk Douglas, Meet Lorne Guyland

I misspoke (miswrote?) in my preview of Money last week.

In the post, I said that the character of Lorne Guyland in Money was based on Kirk Douglas, who later would actually play Lorne Guyland in the movie adaptation of Money.

That’s incorrect, at least the second part.

There hasn’t been a film version of Money, unless you include the BBC adaptation. Lorne Guyland was based on Kirk Douglas, that’s true. But that connection came from Martin Amis’s experience working with Douglas when he was writing the screenplay for the movie Saturn 3.

This comes from an interview with Martin Amis by The Independent:

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Why 1984 Almost Didn’t Happen

Though I won’t be revisiting George Orwell anymore in this project, I thought this piece of information was worth sharing.

Orwell’s 1984 nearly didn’t happen.

While on a camping trip in Scotland, Orwell took a small motor boat out with his son, niece and nephew. The boat got caught up in the tide and flipped. The group didn’t have on life jackets and were taken in by a whirlpool.

Orwell’s son, Richard, described the incident:

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Homer Simpson stars in…The Day Of The Locust?

Man, movie trailers in the 1970s were all kinds of horrible.

They were cheesy, too long, and with terrible music.

Take a look at this official trailer for The Day of the Locust (released in 1975):

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24 Hours That Changed Literature

This is one of the more interesting little tidbits I’ve discovered about an author since I’ve started this project.

Nathanael West died the day after his good friend F. Scott Fitzgerald died in 1940.

Here’s how our friends at Wikipedia describe his death:

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The Curious Case Of Henry Roth

While researching Henry Roth, author of Call It Sleep, I found his obituary as it appeared in The New York Times on October 15, 1995.

One of the more curious aspects of Roth’s career, as described in the obituary, was his absence from the literary world for nearly 40 years. He wrote Call It Sleep in 1934, when he was 28 years old. The book was well-received but only sold 4,000 copies and it soon went out of print.

Roth wrote 75 pages of another novel, but eventually succumbed to “writer’s block” and never finished it. He wouldn’t write another novel until the 1970s. As The New York Times puts it:

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