Fans of historical and literary fiction mourned the death of author E.L. Doctorow this week, his long career brought to a close by complications from lung cancer. He wrote a dozen novels, including the experimental Ragtime, in addition to his short stories, dramas and critical essays. His subversions of expected genre in each of his stories won readers over, and remain one of the most memorable characteristics of Doctorow’s work.
It likely won’t be a surprise to those in the book community, but the reader response to Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee’s controversial second published novel (or first draft or sequel, depending on who you ask) has been overwhelmingly positive. At least, in terms of sales. In its first week in online and physical bookstores, more than 1.1 million copies of Watchman have been sold, with print runs still ongoing at HarperCollins.
While it may not be the first animated Disney movie one might suggest for a live-action adaptation, The Sword in the Stone has now been added to the roster of live-action films the studio will be producing in the next few years. T.H. White’s first Once and Future King novel inspired the original animated film, but no word has yet been shared regarding how much of the animated version may make it into the new film. Disney has previously announced live-action remakes of Beauty and the Beast, Tinkerbell, and Mulan.
Did you know Australia sold “restricted classification” books in sealed wrappers? Neither did I. The practice has been highlighted this week as new editions of Bret Easton Ellis’ contentious American Psycho were delivered to Imprints Booksellers in Adelaide sans plastic covers. As co-owner Jason Lake explained to media,
“I had a phone call from a lady on Tuesday who was quite aggressive and questioned why we were selling this classified product out of its wrapper. My defence was it came to us like this. There’s no way I would have removed the wrapping.”
Police later requested that Lake remove the books from shelves, and Pan Macmillan, the publisher, has worked to ensure all future orders of the books will have shrink-wrapping.