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Modern Literary Mystery May Be Solved

Italian journalist thinks he knows who the real Elena Ferrante is

(Newser) - It's what the New York Times calls "one of the most intriguing literary mysteries in recent history." But now Elena Ferrante, author of several best-selling novels who has lived under that pseudonym since the early 1990s, appears to have been unmasked by Italian journalist Claudio Gatti. In... More »

His Zombie Books Were a Hit, but Now His Publisher Is Suing

Hachette claims Seth Grahame-Smith's follow-up novel isn't up to snuff

(Newser) - When Seth Grahame-Smith published the hit novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with Hachette Book Group in 2009, which sold more than 2 million copies and was translated into more than 20 languages, he was largely credited with "unleashing" zombie mashups on the world, as the Guardian reports. But... More »

Author: My Character's Rape Was Based on My Own

Jessica Knoll says acknowledging gang rape when she was 15 is 'a start'

(Newser) - The author of the best-selling novel Luckiest Girl in the World is starting a frank conversation with her readers, admitting a year after her novel's release that the excruciating rape scene in her book is based on events that happened to her at a party when she was 15,... More »

Harper Lee's Lawyer: She's 'Humiliated' by Controversy

Assisted-living worker says author is 'sharp as a tack'

(Newser) - As debate swirls over how much input Harper Lee had in a decision to publish a second novel, her lawyer and friend Tonja Carter—who found the text last summer—says the author is certainly capable of making the choice. In fact, Lee is "extremely hurt and humiliated" by... More »

How a Christmas Gift Changed Harper Lee's Life

And those of generations of readers

(Newser) - If it hadn't been for a New York City couple, the world might never have seen To Kill a Mockingbird. Its author, Harper Lee, was a ticket agent for British Overseas Airways in 1956, and it was difficult for her to find time to write with a separate full-time... More »

Literary 'Queen of Crime' PD James Dies at 94

Her sales have surpassed 10M in the US

(Newser) - PD James, a mystery writer whose books have flown off the shelves, has died at age 94, the New York Times reports. James, who earned the nickname "The Queen of Crime" for her novels, several of which were made into TV shows and movies, died peacefully at home in... More »

Meet the US Senate's Crime Novelist

Barbara Mikulski's heroine is a crime-fighting senator

(Newser) - If the American electorate ever actually throws the bastards behind the shutdown out, at least one career legislator has a plan B in place. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the Maryland Democrat who's the Senate's longest-serving woman, is also the published author of a pair of novels, notes Roll Call... More »

French Spy Novelist Is Must Read— for Real Spies

Gerard de Villiers is plugged in: NYT profile

(Newser) - American readers might not be familiar with French spy novelist Gerard de Villiers, unless they happen to work for the CIA. The New York Times has a fascinating profile of the prolific, 83-year-old author, whose racy novels—wildly popular outside the US—have an uncanny ability to provide accurate, inside... More »

Philip Roth Pens Open Letter to Wikipedia to Fix Error

... and it works, after he is first rejected as a 'credible source'

(Newser) - Philip Roth glanced at the Wikipedia entry for his novel The Human Stain and learned that his book was inspired by the life of the late writer and literary critic Anatole Broyard. The problem, writes Roth in an open letter to Wikipedia published in the New Yorker , is that the... More »

Philip Roth: I Did Not 'Crack Up'

Novelist refutes magazine, says it was a bad reaction to sleeping pill

(Newser) - Philip Roth isn't happy with the Atlantic: A recent piece in the magazine said he suffered from "a 'crack-up' in his mid-50s," and the novelist says that's simply "not true." The Atlantic Wire points out that the episode, "whatever you call it,... More »

Mexican Novelist Carlos Fuentes Dead at 83

He was a giant among Latin American writers

(Newser) - Author Carlos Fuentes, who played a dominant role in Latin America's novel-writing boom by delving into the failed ideals of the Mexican revolution, died today in a Mexico City hospital at age 83. Mexico's National Council for Culture for the Arts confirmed the death of Mexico's most... More »

Do Yourself a Favor: Read Dickens

As he nears 200, the novelist is more relevant than ever: Michael Levenson

(Newser) - Charles Dickens wrote in the 19th century, but at nearly 200 years old, he’s an expert on the 21st century as well. "For the mid-Victorians, government intervention was unthinkable, the market was king, only private philanthropy was tolerated," writes Michael Levenson for Slate . In other words, to... More »

9/11 Too 'Meaningless' to Inspire Great Novels

Because 'life, not death, is the novelist's subject': Laura Miller

(Newser) - Ten years later, and still no great 9/11 novels? Yes, because "at its heart, 9/11 was meaningless," writes Laura Miller at Salon . "I realize that sounds inflammatory, but hear me out." A novelist explores "the winding and unwinding of long strands of cause and effect,... More »

Martinis, Vinegar: Famed Writers' Favorite Snacks

Authors look to everything from sherry to popsicles for inspiration

(Newser) - Some of history's greatest writers have relied on "food for thought." For Truman Capote, a daily regimen of coffee, tea, sherry, and martinis was his path to creative greatness. Others kept it simpler: Marcel Proust relied on espresso, while Jesus Land author Julia Scheeres swears by the... More »

Philip Roth Wins Man Booker Prize

...but one member of the 3-person judging panel quits in protest

(Newser) - Philip Roth, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American author of the 1960s cultural touchstone Portnoy's Complaint and more than two dozen other novels, was named today as the winner of the Man Booker International Prize for fiction. Roth beat 12 other short-listed authors—including Britain's John le Carre, Australia's... More »

The Next Stieg Larsson?

Maybe, but Norway's Jo Nesbo actually came first

(Newser) - Get ready to hear three names a lot: Jo Nesbo, Harry Hole, and Stieg Larsson. Nesbo is a Norwegian crime novelist ridiculously popular in his homeland, Hole is his alcoholic detective protagonist, and Larsson, of course, is the late Scandinavian author whose Dragon Tattoo trilogy has the publishing world salivating... More »

New Authors Will Continue Parker’s Crime Novels

Spenser, Jesse Stone live on despite death of Robert B. Parker

(Newser) - The two most famous creations of late crime novelist Robert B. Parker will live on. His estate will allow two writers to continue the Spenser and Jesse Stone novels, reports Publishers Weekly . Michael Brandman will take over the Spenser series, which debuted in 1974 and now number 39. Ace Atkins... More »

'Jewish Jane Austen' Wins Booker Prize

Howard Jacobson's comic novel is 'profound,' 'wise'

(Newser) - The writer who once called the Man Booker Prize an "absolute abomination" was last night awarded the prize for his 11th novel, The Finkler Question. Howard Jacobson, who calls himself "the Jewish Jane Austen," was “truly flabbergasted” by the honor, reports the Telegraph . “I was... More »

Oprah Mends Fences With Novelist Who Dissed Her

Jonathan Franzen's 'Freedom' lands coveted book club slot

(Newser) - Nine years after Oprah Winfrey chose Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections for her book club, and the "uncomfortable" novelist talked his way out of appearing on her show, he's getting another chance, reports the New York Post . The media magnate's people won't confirm the Oprah's Book Club selection—likely the... More »

How to Write a Crappy Nicholas Sparks Novel

They're not as unique as he'd like you to think

(Newser) - Nicholas Sparks isn’t a romance novelist, OK? He writes fiction, thank you very much, and he’s made it clear in various interviews that he thinks he’s one of a kind. But on the off chance you’d like to write your very own Nicholas Sparks romance novel—... More »

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