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Patton Oswalt Quotes Daughter on Wife's Death

7-year-old Alice has a few wise words

(Newser) - Comedian Patton Oswalt hasn't said much online about the sudden death of his wife , true-crime writer Michelle McNamara. But when he posted, People reports, it was a doozy: "When your mom dies you're the best memory of her," Oswalt quotes his 7-year-old daughter Alice as saying.... More »

Writer Checks Spam Folder, Learns She Won $150K

Who wouldn't think a 'good news' email asking for a phone number was a hoax?

(Newser) - For those of you who blindly delete the emails that get sent to your junk folder, witness the story of Helen Garner. The Australian writer checked the contents of that folder last week and read one that smacked of a hoax: A Yale University employee had "good news" and... More »

Simpsons Co-Creator Sam Simon Dead at 59

He was 'the real creative force' behind the show, writer says

(Newser) - A creative force is gone: Sam Simon, who influenced The Simpsons and who gave away most of his millions to charity, died yesterday at age 59. He was diagnosed with colon cancer a few years ago, the New York Times reports. He didn't invent The Simpsons' characters—that credit... More »

TV Writer Divorces: OITNB Helped Me Realize I'm Gay

Lauren Morelli is now dating one of the show's female stars

(Newser) - It's a tale of divorce and romance that seems like only Hollywood could invent, and it kind of did: A female writer for the TV show Orange Is the New Black has split from her husband of two years because she says the show helped her realize she was... More »

5 Writers Even Slower Than George RR Martin

JRR Tolkien, Junot Diaz couldn't match pace of Game of Thrones books

(Newser) - Fans are impatient for George RR Martin's next installment in A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series behind Game of Thrones. But instead of getting on his case, let's consider some authors who take even longer to write a book than he does. Yohana Desta offers... More »

Popular Author Who Wrote of His Depression Kills Self

'Funny Story' creator Ned Vizzini dead at 32

(Newser) - A popular author of young-adult fiction who made his name chronicling his own teenage depression killed himself in Brooklyn today, reports the LA Times . Ned Vizzini, 32, jumped from his parents' roof, his brother tells the AP . Vizzini first found success with his 2006 autobiographical novel It's Kind of ... More »

On the Road's 'Camille' Dead at 90

Carolyn Cassady was married to Neal for roughly 15 years

(Newser) - Carolyn Cassady, a key figure in the Beat Generation of writers—both as character and author—has died at age 90 after slipping into a coma following an emergency appendectomy, the New York Times reports. Cassady, who inspired the character of Camille in Jack Kerouac's On the Road, was... More »

Alice Munro May Be Done Writing

Author, 81, says she's 'probably' finished

(Newser) - Less than a year after Philip Roth announced he had stopped writing books, another literary great may be retiring: Alice Munro. The 81-year-old Canadian author, widely regarded as one of the world's greatest short story writers, told Canada's National Post during a recent interview that she was "... More »

Literary Nobel Goes to Chinese Author Mo Yan

Writer's work 'oft-banned, widely pirated'

(Newser) - Applauding the "hallucinatoric realism" of his work, the Swedish Academy has awarded China's Mo Yan the Nobel Prize for Literature. The author "merges folk tales, history, and the contemporary," judges said. Time magazine has called Mo "one of the most famous, oft-banned, and widely pirated... More »

Want to Save the Media? Get Ad Writers Who Can Write

Michael Wolff thinks crappy writing is to blame for the persuasion industry's failures

(Newser) - People often blame disruptive technologies for the decline of the advertising industry, and the media industry that relies on it. But the real problem, Michael Wolff writes in USA Today , is that ads in every medium have become less persuasive, and Wolff thinks he knows why: "There are no... More »

Gore Vidal Dead at 86

Outspoken man of letters dies after long illness

(Newser) - Celebrated American man of letters Gore Vidal has died at the age of 86 after a long illness. Vidal—a novelist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, and political commentator—died of complications from pneumonia at his home in the Hollywood Hills, reports AP . In his long career, he penned 25 novels, including... More »

Planned Parenthood Rejects Comic's $500K

Tucker Max offered enough to have center in his name

(Newser) - The guy who wrote the bestseller I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell offered Planned Parenthood $500,000, enough to have a location named after him—but the organization has turned the money down. The humorist has been called a misogynist for some choice tweets, the Huffington Post notes. One... More »

Angry Ex Hits 'Moonstruck' Scribe With Sex Lawsuit

John Patrick Shanley denies allegations by Amanda Jencsik

(Newser) - A former flame of John Patrick Shanley has hit the writer with a $5 million lawsuit for allegedly abusing her during a violent sexual relationship, the New York Post reports. But 61-year-old Shanley, the Oscar-winning author of "Moonstruck" and "Doubt," denies that he committed any non-consensual sex... More »

American Travel Writer Kidnapped in Somalia

Michael Scott Moore was considering writing a book about Somali pirates

(Newser) - Somali gunmen have kidnapped noted travel and surfing writer Michael Scott Moore, and are demanding an unknown ransom for his release. Moore, a Manhattan Beach native currently living in Berlin, holds both US and German citizenship. He was in Somalia because he was considering writing a book about Somali pirates,... More »

James Franco Sells Book Straight to Amazon

Yet another occupation for busy actor

(Newser) - Jack-of-multiple-trades James Franco is about to peddle his latest endeavor on Amazon. The actor's first novel, Actors Anonymous, has been acquired by Amazon's new fiction editor and the tome will head directly to the company's online store. The work is supposed to be a barely-fictionalized version of... More »

'Subversive' Chinese Writer Gets 9 Years in Prison

Chen Wei called for free speech, political reform

(Newser) - A Chinese writer has been hit with a nine-year jail sentence for "inciting subversion of state power" after he posted online essays demanding free speech and government reform, reports the BBC . The sentence follows a two-hour, closed-door trial that Chen Wei's wife called "a performance" whose outcome... More »

Andy Rooney: Our 'Lovably Cantankerous Commentator'

Even if he did get mean at times

(Newser) - If Andy Rooney is in the "great beyond," he's probably picking a few bones about "all that harp-playing" and "the long line at the Pearly Gates," Frazier Moore muses for the AP . And why not? It was Rooney's unmistakable style during a 92-year-life... More »

China Blocks Top Writer's Trip Abroad

Liao Yiwu prevented from attending Australian literary festival

(Newser) - China has blocked one of its leading writers from leaving the country to attend an Australian literary festival. Liao Yiwu was imprisoned for four years after writing a bold eulogy for those who died in the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. After asking him to meet at a local teahouse, officials... More »

Inside James Frey's Sweatshop-Like Novel Factory

Controversial author hires writers to churn out novels on the cheap

(Newser) - James Frey, infamous for angering Oprah with his "fake memoir" A Million Little Pieces, idolizes Vonnegut, Hemingway, and Henry Miller. He's the kind of writer who talks about wanting to "change the game" and "move the paradigm." Yet he's also the head of Full Fathom Five,... More »

Jane Austen's Style? Not Actually Jane Austen's

An editor was likely the one to polish her prose, says professor

(Newser) - Jane Austen is known as a “perfect stylist,” but those perfectly crafted sentences may not actually be hers. After studying 1,100 pages of Austen’s handwritten, unpublished manuscripts, an Oxford professor concluded that “the polished punctuation and epigrammatic style … is simply not there,” she... More »

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