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Posts Tagged ‘John Updike’

David Cronenberg to Adapt Don DeLillo Novel

cosmo.jpgCritically-acclaimed director David Cronenberg will shoot a filmed version of Don DeLillo‘s ‘Cosmopolis”–a 2003 novel studying one eventful day in the life of a young New York City millionaire.

According to Variety, Cronenberg will write the screenplay and direct the film, which is scheduled for shooting in 2010, traveling between Toronto and New York.

Here’s an excerpt from John Updike‘s review of the book: “In a land of chunky, garish, anxiousto-please books, Don DeLillo’s thirteenth novel, ‘Cosmopolis,’ is physically cool, as sleek and silver-touched and palely pure as a white stretch limo, which is in fact the action’s main venue.” (Via Publishers Weekly)

Calder Picks Authors and Sticks With Them

As literary agent Rachel Calder tells the Cambridge Evening News, it’s difficult to predict a hit, but when you’re the UK agent of record for the likes of Annie Proulx, Mary Wesley and Denise Mina, the ability to predict becomes easier. But if there’s one thing that irritates Calder, it’s would-be authors clearly in it for the money:

“People do send in formulaic stuff to make money and they’re nearly always terrible. Whether you’re writing a thriller or a more difficult book, you can’t fake it. At the moment I’m trying to sell a novel which I personally find quite challenging but I love what the writer is doing. I hate it when people come and ask me about short cuts. There are none. Readers can tell if you’ve really sweated over the order of the words.”

Calder also prognosticates on the future of publishing, saying that bookstores won’t die out “because they’re loved by people who like reading. You can’t hang around Amazon the same way you can a bookshop.” And as for paperbacks, they “will also survive because they’re cheap and portable. But unlike ipods, if you drop them they’re OK.”

Scene @ the American Academy of Arts and Letters Annual Ceremonial

ceremonial.jpg

What do Joan Acocella, Paul Auster, David Markson, Don DeLillo, John Updike, William Vollmann, Deborah Eisenberg, Stephen Sondheim, Reynolds Price, Richard Ford, Garrison Keillor, Jim Harrison, Mary Gordon, John Corigliano and many, many more luminaries in the literary, artistic and music worlds have in common? They all sat on the stage at the American Academy of Arts & Letters‘ Annual Ceremonial, held in the organization’s Harlem-area auditorium to honor the best and brightest in the arts. Some, like Gold Medal for Fiction winner Updike, have been members for nearly half a century; others, like Dana Spiotta, Junot Diaz, Tony D’Souza and Adam Rapp, received generous monetary awards honoring their recent writing-related outputs.

It may just be my own biased viewpoint that makes me think the Academy is a well-kept secret within the current state of the arts community, but then, it might not: while the turnout was strong, it was decidedly bereft of publishing professionals and those under the age of 35. And Academy President Ezra Laderman‘s opening remarks, highlighting how “we’re in an extraordinary time for the arts” thanks to questions about intellectual property, the decline of a proper arts curricula in any American school and eschewing artistic endeavors for market forces, had just the barest whiff of the old school. And yet it was remarkably clear how much the Academy, and its members, care about the arts and about ensuring that promising writers and artists continue the non-profit’s legacy, and how old school values produce a certain dignity that’s easy to admire. One need only listen to Updike’s spare remarks about how his induction into the Academy as its then-youngest member helped further his career by exposing him to peers as well as “magi-like writers” whom he revered. Bestowing awards onto Diaz and Spiotta is a step to the future, and I look with interest to see which younger writers the Academy recognizes from here on in.

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