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Boy, 4, Lands Book Deal

Nadim Shamma-Sourgen writes 'purely childlike' poems

(Newser) - Not many poets try picking their nose on national television. But then, Nadim Shamma-Sourgen doesn't have much media experience: He just landed his first book deal at the age of four, the Guardian reports. "The poems talk about such important feelings, like love and loneliness, and Nadim finds... More »

JK Rowling's Idea for Kids in Lockdown Starts Today

She'll be releasing 'The Ickabog,' a 'political fairy tale,' in 34 free installments ahead of print edition

(Newser) - JK Rowling is set to release her first children's book unrelated to the Harry Potter series—and this time it's free. The Ickabog, a fairy tale "about truth and the abuse of power" in an imaginary land, written "in fits and starts" between the Harry Potter... More »

Fan Asks JK Rowling to 'Tell Me the Truth.' So She Did

Author reveals 'true birthplace' of her 'Harry Potter' books: a London apartment

(Newser) - On Thursday, a Harry Potter fan implored JK Rowling on Twitter to "tell me the truth"—and she did, with a reveal that may have surprised many readers. CNN notes that the initial tweet included a picture of the Elephant House, a coffeehouse in Edinburgh, Scotland, which has... More »

Neil Gaiman: A Hacker Did This to Me

The 'American Gods' author sees his marital woes go public

(Newser) - Really, I was hacked. That's all it is. So said Neil Gaiman after his Goodreads account showed he was reading the book Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder while his marriage fell into disarray, Mashable reports. His marital woes became public recently when... More »

At Age 4, He Knew He'd Write. His Creation: a Famous Witch

'Strega Nona' author Tomie dePaola dies at age 85 after complications, surgery following a bad fall

(Newser) - Tomie dePaola, the prolific children's author and illustrator who delighted generations with tales of Strega Nona, the kindly and helpful old witch in Italy, died Monday at age 85 at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, according to his literary agent. He was badly injured in a fall... More »

World War Z Author Calls Out 'Onion of Layered Lies'

Max Brooks says government could've prevented much of the current panic

(Newser) - Of the coronavirus-themed celebrity PSAs released so far, Max Brooks' entry with his famous dad Mel—in which the two communicate with each other through a sliding-glass door—has become one of the most shared . The author of 2006's apocalyptic World War Z explains to SYFY Wir e that... More »

Romance 'Came Out of Me,' She Said. Now She's Gone

Johanna Lindsey died this year at age 67

(Newser) - One of the world's best-loved romance writers is gone. Johanna Lindsey—whose pirates, aristocrats, and brave heroines sold at least 60 million copies—died earlier this year with stage 4 lung cancer, the New York Times reports. She was only 67. "Since I was old enough to appreciate... More »

Centuries-Old Manuscript Has a Surprising Author

Queen Elizabeth I's messy handwriting was the big giveaway, historian says

(Newser) - In what the Daily Express is calling a "royal bombshell," a centuries-old manuscript recently unearthed in a UK library turns out to have been penned by someone rather unexpected. The 42-page text, a translation of a book by the Roman historian Tacitus, has taken up residence at London'... More »

Why Irish Politicians Are Seeking to Unearth James Joyce

They want him repatriated by 2022, but it won't be easy

(Newser) - James Joyce could be in for an international move some 70 years after his death. Officials in Ireland hope to dig up the country's "premier writer" in order to repatriate his remains and those of his wife, kept at a Swiss cemetery, before the 100th anniversary of Joyce'... More »

Students React to Writer's Talk by Burning Her Book

Jennine Capó Crucet was speaking out against white privilege

(Newser) - A visiting novelist at Georgia Southern University inspired such debate Wednesday that some students set her book on fire, BuzzFeed reports. Jennine Capó Crucet told a student audience about her novel, Make Your Home Among Strangers, which depicts a Cuban American girl trying to fit in with a privileged, mostly... More »

That 'Handsome and Perceptive Lady' Has Died

Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison was 88

(Newser) - Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, a pioneer and reigning giant of modern literature whose imaginative power in Beloved, Song of Solomon, and other works transformed American letters by dramatizing the pursuit of freedom within the boundaries of race, has died at age 88, reports the AP . Publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced... More »

Well-Known Columnist Apparently Got 'Swatted'

Someone called cops, told them Leonard Pitts Jr.'s wife was being murdered in their home

(Newser) - "It was an interesting way to start the morning," says columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., and that may be just a bit of an understatement. After someone made a hoax call to police reporting that the wife of the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist was being murdered inside their Bowie, Md.... More »

He Disappeared on a Road Trip. Now, a New Development

Authorities believe body found in Calif. river is that of automotive writer David Gordon Johnson

(Newser) - It's not the news the family and friends of David Gordon Johnson had been hoping for. Per the New York Post and CNN , the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office reported Friday that a body was found Thursday in the Mokelumne River, near the inlet of a lake, north of... More »

Jewish-American Fiction's 'Jackie Robinson' Is Dead

Herman Wouk was known for his lengthy historical novels

(Newser) - Herman Wouk, who regaled millions with his bestselling novels about World War II and the Holocaust, died on Friday at his California home. He was 103, NPR reports. The author of sweeping historical novels like The Winds of War and War and Remembrance—as well as the Pulitzer-Prize winning The ... More »

Award-Winning Green Book Has Many Seeing Red

Director Peter Farrelly says sorry for exposing himself

(Newser) - Green Book racked up big wins at the Golden Globes on Sunday, including a best picture honor, but it's now making headlines for different reasons. USA Today reports the film had a "bad day" Wednesday, and the Cut reveals one issue: director Peter Farrelly used to "flash... More »

Neil Simon, King of Broadway Comedy, Is Dead at 91

The writer died of complications from pneumonia

(Newser) - Playwright Neil Simon, a master of comedy whose laugh-filled hits such as The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, and his Brighton Beach trilogy dominated Broadway for decades, has died. He was 91, the AP reports. Simon died early Sunday of complications from pneumonia surrounded by family at New York... More »

Nobel-Winning Author Who Tackled Colonialism Dead at 85

VS Naipaul divided readers with his stories of Caribbean and African peoples

(Newser) - The family of Trinidad-born British author VS Naipaul says the Nobel Literature laureate has died at the age of 85, the AP reports. The family said in a statement late Saturday that the novelist had died at his London home. The writer's wife, Nadira Naipaul, said he "died... More »

Author Tom Wolfe Dead at 88

He wrote 'Bonfire of the Vanities,' 'The Right Stuff,' was pioneer of New Journalism

(Newser) - Tom Wolfe, author of works including The Right Stuff, the Bonfire of the Vanities, and A Man in Full has died in Manhattan at age 88, reports the New York Times . The cause of death was unclear, but Wolfe had been recently hospitalized for an infection. In addition to his... More »

He Soured on Film. He Became a Legend for TV

'Hill Street Blues' creator Steven Bochco dies at 74

(Newser) - Steven Bochco, a writer and producer known for creating the groundbreaking police drama Hill Street Blues, died Sunday. He was 74. A family spokesman says Bochco died in his sleep after a battle with cancer. Bochco, who won 10 primetime Emmys, created several hit television shows, including LA Law, NYPD ... More »

Writer Leaves Dunham Project Due to Her 'Well-Known Racism'

Zinzi Clemmons says she goes way back with Dunham, advises women of color to avoid her

(Newser) - Lena Dunham caused a stir last week when she and Girls co-creator Jenni Konner issued a statement defending a Girls writer from allegations of sexual assault against a teen. She has since apologized , but that didn't appease one of the writers for her Lenny e-newsletter. Per Vulture , Zinzi Clemmons... More »

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