Amazon.com Widgets
James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list
Click

Kari Gunter-Seymour

from WYSO 91.3

Meet Ohio’s New Poet Laureate: Kari Gunter-Seymour 

By JASON REYNOLDS

Governor Mike DeWine has picked Kari Gunter-Seymour to be Ohio’s new poet laureate.

In the middle of a pandemic and nationwide protests, Kari Gunter-Seymour says poetry is more important than ever.

“When we write our truths, we bring things to light and create understanding. And from there we grow and find our way through these things that are so difficult for us right now,” she says.

And Ohio’s new poet laureate won’t be resting on her laurels. Gunter-Seymour says she applied for the position because it would allow her to bring poetry to people in need.

“The thing that I want to do the very most is work with teens and adults in recovery because of the healing nature of poetry.”

[ click to continue reading at WYSO ]

Posted on June 15, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »

From The Master

from The New Yorker

Pursuit as Happiness

By Ernest Hemingway

Photo illustration by Ben Giles

That year we had planned to fish for marlin off the Cuban coast for a month. The month started the tenth of April and by the tenth of May we had twenty-five marlin and the charter was over. The thing to have done then would have been to buy some presents to take back to Key West and fill the Anita with just a little more expensive Cuban gas than was necessary to run across, get cleared, and go home. But the big fish had not started to run.

“Do you want to try her another month, Cap?” Mr. Josie asked. He owned the Anita and was chartering her for ten dollars a day. The standard charter price then was thirty-five a day. “If you want to stay, I can cut her to nine dollars.”

“Where would we get the nine dollars?”

“You pay me when you get it. You got good credit with the Standard Oil Company at Belot across the bay, and when we get the bill I can pay them from last month’s charter money. If we get bad weather, you can write something.”

“All right,” I said, and we fished another month. We had forty-two marlin by then and still the big ones had not come. There was a dark, heavy stream close in to the Morro—sometimes there would be acres of bait—and there were flying fish going out from under the bows and birds working all the time. But we had not raised one of the huge marlin, although we were catching, or losing, white marlin each day and on one day I caught five.

We were very popular along the waterfront because we butchered all our fish and gave them away, and when we came in past the Morro Castle and up the channel toward the San Francisco piers with a marlin flag up we could see the crowd starting to run for the docks. The fish was worth from eight to twelve cents a pound that year to a fisherman and twice that in the market. The day we came in with five flags, the police had to charge the crowd with clubs. It was ugly and bad. But that was an ugly and bad year ashore.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on June 2, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »

“Of course I’m Meg”

from The New York Times

In a New Collection of Old Stories, Madeleine L’Engle Is Back

By Heidi Pitlor

According to Madeleine L’Engle, who died in 2007, “You have to write the book that wants to be written.”Credit…Sigrid Estrada

In “A Wrinkle in Time,” an adolescent girl’s fury is nothing to be renounced — instead, it’s ammunition to be stockpiled in the battle against evil.

“‘Stay angry, little Meg,’ Mrs Whatsit whispered. ‘You will need all your anger now.’” Mrs Whatsit’s words are radical, written as they were decades before the Riot Grrrl and Girl Power movements and their celebration of female wrath. Meg Murry helped pave the way for Hermione Granger, Katniss Everdeen and Beatrice Prior. With some heavy-duty extrapolation, one might say that Murry’s spirit can also be found in the environmental activist Greta Thunberg (mocked by the president of the United States for being “very angry”), Parkland’s gun control advocate Emma González (called an unimpressive “skinhead lesbian” by one Republican candidate) and countless other young women who have harnessed their outrage into political movements against powerful forces.

When asked, Madeleine L’Engle once admitted, “Of course I’m Meg.” For years, L’Engle fought a culture that scorned girls’ emotions and intelligence. She also faced off against a myopic publishing industry. “A Wrinkle in Time” — a book of speculative fantasy woven through with physics, metaphysics and theology — was rejected by 26 publishers before it found a home. Editors questioned whether the audience would be adults or children. The story was not what people expected from middle-grade fiction; perhaps most galling, the book was not just one thing at all. Meg — and maybe Madeleine — could be angry, but also impatient, loyal, insecure, determined, underachieving. Of course a girl — a person — is never just one thing either.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on May 19, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »

BRIGHT SHINY MORNING for Harry and Meghan

from The Financial Times

Letter: A book on the City of Angels fit for a prince

From Lyndon Heal, Madrid, Spain

While I wouldn’t challenge Janan Ganesh’s assertion (FT Weekend, April 25) that ‘the seminal book about 20th century LA by a London professor (Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, by Reyner Banham), might I suggest Prince Harry read James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning as another perfect introduction to the diversity of life in LA.

Lyndon Heal 
Madrid, Spain

[ click to read at FT ]

Posted on May 18, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Lord Of The Real

from The Guardian

The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

When a group of schoolboys were marooned on an island in 1965, it turned out very differently from William Golding’s bestseller, writes Rutger Bregman

by Rutger Bregman

A still from the 1963 film of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
 A still from the 1963 film of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Photograph: Ronald Grant

For centuries western culture has been permeated by the idea that humans are selfish creatures. That cynical image of humanity has been proclaimed in films and novels, history books and scientific research. But in the last 20 years, something extraordinary has happened. Scientists from all over the world have switched to a more hopeful view of mankind. This development is still so young that researchers in different fields often don’t even know about each other.

When I started writing a book about this more hopeful view, I knew there was one story I would have to address. It takes place on a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific. A plane has just gone down. The only survivors are some British schoolboys, who can’t believe their good fortune. Nothing but beach, shells and water for miles. And better yet: no grownups.

On the very first day, the boys institute a democracy of sorts. One boy, Ralph, is elected to be the group’s leader. Athletic, charismatic and handsome, his game plan is simple: 1) Have fun. 2) Survive. 3) Make smoke signals for passing ships. Number one is a success. The others? Not so much. The boys are more interested in feasting and frolicking than in tending the fire. Before long, they have begun painting their faces. Casting off their clothes. And they develop overpowering urges – to pinch, to kick, to bite. 

By the time a British naval officer comes ashore, the island is a smouldering wasteland. Three of the children are dead. “I should have thought,” the officer says, “that a pack of British boys would have been able to put up a better show than that.” At this, Ralph bursts into tears. “Ralph wept for the end of innocence,” we read, and for “the darkness of man’s heart”.

This story never happened. An English schoolmaster, William Golding, made up this story in 1951 – his novel Lord of the Flieswould sell tens of millions of copies, be translated into more than 30 languages and hailed as one of the classics of the 20th century. In hindsight, the secret to the book’s success is clear. Golding had a masterful ability to portray the darkest depths of mankind.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on May 10, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News, Weirdness | | No Comments »

MILFology

from Inside Hook

The Long and Decorated Literary History of the MILF

From Chaucer to Mrs. Robinson, one of literature’s most subversive archetypes is also a surprisingly old one

BY ELIOTT GROVER

history definition milf
KRISTEN LIU-WONG

“How many of you,” I ask a roomful of half-awake 18-year-old students, “are familiar with the term MILF?” There’s a frenzied exchange of knowing smirks. 

Determined to maintain an academic tone, I ask the next question. “And how many of you know the etymology of this acronym?”

“Mom I’d like to fuck!” one particularly enthusiastic scholar blurts out. 

“Thank you,” I say over the tsunami of snickers. “That’s what it stands for. But where does it come from?”

Roughly half the students in my film elective correctly identify Stifler’s mom, the sultry divorcée from the 1999 comedy American Pie, as MILF Zero, the woman to whom those four letters owe their provenance. “Here’s the thing,” I press on, “Stifler’s mom may be Hollywood’s most explicitly sexualized and predatory mother. But she wouldn’t exist without Mrs. Robinson.”

“Who’s Mrs. Robinson?” a student inevitably asks. And that’s where our unit on The Graduate begins. 

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on May 8, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Man Myth Warhol

from The Observer

New Biography ‘Warhol’ Separates the Man From the Myth

By David D’Arcy

Andy in Studio, New York, Union Square, 1976. Michael Childers

Warhol, by Blake Gopnik, begins moments after the militant feminist and Factory hanger-on Valerie Solanas shot the artist in June 1968. Warhol, then 39, lost his heartbeat and a lot of blood, and had gone into cardiac arrest. A bullet that passed through his body punctured a lung. It was thanks to an Italian surgeon who happened to be visiting another patient that the presumed DOA was saved.   

Gopnik’s staggering description of opening up the Warhol’s chest reads more like a slaughterhouse dismemberment than anything medical.    

For Andy Warhol (1928-87), who attended church every week, coming out alive was a miracle. By that fall, despite painful permanent damage to his stomach and esophagus, he turned the slashes on his body into a fashion joke—“I’m so scarred I look like a Dior dress,” he said upon returning to work. Richard Avedon photographed his lacerated midriff as if Warhol were St. Sebastian—a martyr who survived.

[ click to continue reading at Observer ]

Posted on May 5, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Return of The Stoics

from The Guardian

Stoicism in a time of pandemic: how Marcus Aurelius can help

by Donald Robertson

A bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
A bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Photograph: DEA/G DAagli Orti/De Agostini via Getty Images

The Meditations, by a Roman emperor who died in a plague named after him, has much to say about how to face fear, pain, anxiety and loss.

The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was the last famous Stoic philosopher of antiquity. During the last 14 years of his life he faced one of the worst plagues in European history. The Antonine Plague, named after him, was probably caused by a strain of the smallpox virus. It’s estimated to have killed up to 5 million people, possibly including Marcus himself.

From AD166 to around AD180, repeated outbreaks occurred throughout the known world. Roman historians describe the legions being devastated, and entire towns and villages being depopulated and going to ruin. Rome itself was particularly badly affected, carts leaving the city each day piled high with dead bodies.

In the middle of this plague, Marcus wrote a book, known as The Meditations, which records the moral and psychological advice he gave himself at this time. He frequently applies Stoic philosophy to the challenges of coping with pain, illness, anxiety and loss. It’s no stretch of the imagination to view The Meditations as a manual for developing precisely the mental resilience skills required to cope with a pandemic.

First of all, because Stoics believe that our true good resides in our own character and actions, they would frequently remind themselves to distinguish between what’s “up to us” and what isn’t. Modern Stoics tend to call this “the dichotomy of control” and many people find this distinction alone helpful in alleviating stress. What happens to me is never directly under my control, never completely up to me, but my own thoughts and actions are – at least the voluntary ones. The pandemic isn’t really under my control but the way I behave in response to it is.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on April 26, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

COVID Reads

from The Millions

On Pandemic and Literature

by Ed Simon

Less than a century after the Black Death descended into Europe and killed 75 million people—as much as 60 percent of the population (90% in some places) dead in the five years after 1347—an anonymous Alsatian engraver with the fantastic appellation of “Master of the Playing Cards” saw fit to depict St. Sebastian: the patron saint of plague victims. Making his name, literally, from the series of playing cards he produced at the moment when the pastime first became popular in Germany, the engraver decorated his suits with bears and wolves, lions and birds, flowers and woodwoses. The Master of Playing Cards’s largest engraving, however, was the aforementioned depiction of the unfortunate third-century martyr who suffered by order of the Emperor Diocletian. A violent image, but even several generations after the worst of the Black Death, and Sebastian still resonated with the populace, who remembered that “To many Europeans, the pestilence seemed to be the punishment of a wrathful Creator,” as John Kelly notes in The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of all Time.

The cult of Sebastian had grown in the years between the Black Death and the engraving, and during that interim the ancient martyr had become associated with plague victims. His suffering reminded people of their own lot—the sense that more hardship was inevitable, that the appearance of purpled buboes looked like arrows pulled from Sebastian’s eviscerated flesh after his attempted execution, and most of all the indiscrimination of which portion of bruised skin would be arrow-pierced seeming as random as who should die from plague. Produced roughly around 1440, when any direct memory of the greatest bubonic plague had long-since passed (even while smaller reoccurrences occurred for centuries), the Master of the Playing Cards presents a serene Sebastian, tied to a short tree while four archers pummel him with said arrows. Unlike more popular depictions of the saint, such as Andrea Mantegna’s painting made only four decades later, or El Grecoand Peter Paul Reubens’s explicitly lithe and beautiful Sebastians made in respectively the 16th and 17th centuries, the engraver gives us a calm, almost bemused, martyr. He has an accepting smile on his face. Two arrows protrude from his puckered flesh. More are clearly coming.

[ click to continue reading at MM ]

Posted on April 19, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

The F-word Re-discovered

from The Daily Mail

World’s earliest record of the F-word is discovered in manuscript written by bored Scottish student in 1568 locked away in the vault of the National Library of Scotland

  • Earliest written use of the F-word dates back to a 500-year-old manuscript
  • Uni student wrote the manuscript as plague locked down his Edinburgh home   
  • It was shown from the National Library of Scotland for a BBC documentary 

By LUKE MAY

The world’s earliest recorded use of the F-word lies in a Scottish manuscript penned by a bored student who was in lockdown due to the plague.

A documentary airing on Tuesday will show off the Bannatyne Manuscript, which dates back to 1568 and is kept under lock and key in the National Library of Scotland. 

Scotland – Contains Strong Language will see singer Cora Bissett take a tour of her country and find out more about Scotland’s relationship with swearing. 

[ click to continue reading at Daily Mail ]

Posted on April 13, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

The Bluest Eye

from The New Yorker

Toni Morrison’s Profound and Unrelenting Vision

“The Bluest Eye,” which was published fifty years ago, cut a new path through the American literary landscape by placing black girls at the center of the story.

By Hilton Als

Morrison in 1970, the year that her intellectually expansive, spiritually knowing first novel, “The Bluest Eye,” was published. Photograph from Chester Higgins Archive

Before closing the book on that town and those people, the author has us pause for a few final images and thoughts framed by regret, shame, and horror. The book? Toni Morrison’s début novel, “The Bluest Eye,” which turns fifty this year. As the story ends, one of its protagonists, the blighted Pecola Breedlove, has been more or less abandoned by the townspeople, who have treated her with scorn for most of her life; now she’s left to wander the streets in madness:

The damage done was total. She spent her days, her tendril sap-green days, walking up and down, up and down, her head jerking to the beat of a drummer so distant only she could hear. Elbows bent, hands on her shoulders, she flailed her arms like a bird in an eternal, grotesquely futile effort to fly. Beating the air, a winged but grounded bird, intent on the blue void it could not reach—could not even see—but which filled the valley of the mind.

Spectacular even alongside other early novels bathed in the blood of gothic dread—William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” (1930), say, or Flannery O’Connor’s “Wise Blood” or Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” (both published in 1952)—Morrison’s book cut a new path through the American literary landscape by placing young black girls at the center of the story.

Like all the principal characters in “The Bluest Eye,” Pecola lives in Lorain, Ohio, where Morrison, who died last August, was born in 1931. When we meet Pecola, she is eleven years old but already ancient with sorrow. Her only escape from the emotional abuse that her family and her classmates heap on her is to dream. And the dream is this: that someone—God, perhaps—will grant her the gift of blue eyes. The kind of blue eyes Pecola has seen in pictures of the movie star Shirley Temple. The kind of blue eyes that she imagines lighting up the face of the girl on the wrapper of her favorite candies, Mary Janes. Pecola feels, or the world has made her feel, that if she had blue eyes she would, at last, be free—free from her unforgivable blackness, from what her community labelled ugliness long before she could look in a mirror and determine for herself who and what she was. Not that she ever looks in a mirror. She knows what she’d find there: judgment of her blackness, her femaleness, the deforming language that has distorted the reflection of her face. Eventually, Pecola does acquire, or believes she acquires, blue eyes. But in those harrowing final images, Claudia MacTeer, Morrison’s spirited nine-year-old narrator, sees what Pecola cannot, what her madness, the result of all that rejection, looks like to the rest of the town: “Grown people looked away; children, those who were not frightened by her, laughed outright.”

In this short, intellectually expansive, emotionally questioning, and spiritually knowing book, the act of looking—and seeing—is described again and again.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on February 7, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »

Liz Wurtzel Gone

from CNN

Elizabeth Wurtzel, a controversial writer whose work will live on

Opinion by Holly Thomas

Elizabeth Wurtzel was a pioneer of the confessional memoir.
Elizabeth Wurtzel was a pioneer of the confessional memoir.

The opposite of controversial is irrelevant. So believed Elizabeth Wurtzel, who was herself controversial and will remain relevant for years to come. Wurtzel, a journalist, lawyer and author of “Prozac Nation,” died this week of complications from breast cancer. She was just 52.

Her obstinance in the face of her cancer diagnosis was almost uncomfortable to see. Last year, in a column for the Guardian, she nonsensed everyone who had told her “sorry” about her illness, declaring: “Everyone else can hate cancer. I don’t.”She continued: “I like the person I am with cancer and because of cancer…. I evolved. I am a student of curing the brokedown mirror that shards the brain.” She became an advocate for testing for the BRCA genetic mutation, which she unknowingly carried and which caused her cancer. As was typical in her previous writings about depression, feminism and other topics, she made no allowances for deviating perspectives. She gave only hers.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on January 8, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

First Illustrated Book Found

from The Observer

The Oldest Copy of the First Illustrated Book Has Been Discovered in Egypt

By Helen Holmes

Detail from one of the coffins of Gua, chief physician of Djehutyhotep, governor of Bersha. The paintings recall drawings from the Book of Two Ways. Werner Forman/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

It’s always exciting when some kind of human civilizational first is discovered or unearthed by experts, as evidenced by the thrill generated by a recent discovery of cave paintings, thought to be the earliest example of pictorial storytelling, which were uncovered Indonesia. Now, a new study covered this week by the New York Times reports that the oldest copy of the first illustrated book has been found in Egypt by researchers working under the direction of University of Leuven Egyptologist Harco Willems.

Called the Book of Two Ways, the extraordinary narrative told in the tome is about what happens to the soul after death. It’s been dated to be approximately 4,000 years old and at least 4 decades older than any of the other known copies, of which there are approximately two dozen. The text was discovered in a village on the eastern side of the Nile river after Willems’ decision in 2012 to reopen and study the contents of a burial shaft once looted and long abandoned. A detailed report of the findings were published in The Journal of Egyptian Archeology’s September edition.

[ click to continue reading at The Observer ]

Posted on January 3, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Steinbeck’s Knickknacks

from The Observer

John Steinbeck’s Weirdest Knickknacks Are Going Up for Auction in February

By Helen Holmes

John Steinbeck smoking a cigarette at his home in Sag Harbor, Long Island. Getty Images

Within the context of an ultra-modern 21st century that’s increasingly aware of the cultural dominance of white male authors and intent upon dismantling this hegemony, John Steinbeck epitomizes the figure of the 20th century Great American Novelist. He was a profuse chronicler of this country’s underclass and a sprawlingly observant study of human characteristics, and he also based his most evil character, Cathy Ames, upon his ex-wife, a former nightclub singer named Gwyn Conger. Based on recent evidence, it’s also clear that Steinbeck was a fan of deeply weird knickknacks: on February 27, the author’s birthday, a great deal of items formerly owned by the writer of East of Eden will go up for sale under the outfit Curated Estates, which obtained the objects via Steinbeck’s descendants.

Many of the belongings that will be going up for auction feel typical to prolific writers: letters, autographed books and photographs are all among Steinbeck’s collection. Elaine Steinbeck, the author’s third wife, had kept all of these items secure within her estate. However, Steinbeck was also an eccentric who had an affinity for weird home decor. The author held onto a lock of his own hair from when he was a baby, a tiny coffin containing a hummingbird wrapped in multicolored string that was made for him by a witch doctor in Mexico, and a trash basket made out of an elephant’s foot. (Clearly, the author was no staunch conservationist). However, Steinbeck was also in possession of a society invitation that spoke to his influence and popularity: a telegram from John F. Kennedy, inviting him to attend the latter’s 1961 Presidential inauguration.

[ click to continue reading at The Observer ]

Posted on January 2, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Sam & Aaron Taylor-Johnson Fight

from TIME Magazine

Why Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson Fought to Get A Million Little Pieces in Front of Audiences

BY SAM LANSKY

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson attend the Build Series to discuss 'A Million Little Pieces' on December 02, 2019 in New York City.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson attend the Build Series to discuss ‘A Million Little Pieces’ on December 02, 2019 in New York City. Getty Images—2019 Dominik Bindl

“Do what you want with it.” That was more or less what James Frey told the director Sam Taylor-Johnson when she and her husband, the Golden Globe-winning actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, approached him about bringing Frey’s 2003 book A Million Little Pieces to the screen. “I’m not going to be there,” Sam remembers Frey saying. “I’m not going to read your script. I may not ever see the movie. But if you respond to the material and you like it, do it!”

For Sam, director of Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades of Grey, adapting Frey’s bestseller about his struggle to get clean from drugs and alcohol in a Minnesota rehab was a longtime dream. It also ended up proving a challenge: “Every step of the way with this movie has been pushing a boulder up a hill,” she says now. 

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on December 12, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News, Projects | | No Comments »

James Frey Reads AMERICAN CLASSICS

from Youtube

Posted on November 7, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News, Projects | | No Comments »

James Frey AMERICAN CLASSICS

from Instagram

[ join me on Instagram ]

Posted on October 27, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News, Projects | | No Comments »

476 by James Frey

from Instagram

[ click to view on Instagram ]

Posted on September 30, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News, Projects, Site News | | No Comments »

New Greta Van Fleet for A MILLION LITTLE PIECES Soundtrack

from Alternative Nation

Greta Van Fleet New Song “Always There” Revealed

By Brett Buchanan

Greta Van Fleet have reportedly recorded a new song titled “Always There” for the soundtrack of the film ‘A Million Littles Pieces.’ The film is set for release on December 6th, and is based on the 2005 book by James Frey. Greta Van Fleet singer Josh Kiszka squatted in a bathing suit photo yesterday, before later deleting it.

The book is described as, “At the age of 23, James Frey woke up on a plane to find his front teeth knocked out and his nose broken. He had no idea where the plane was headed nor any recollection of the past two weeks. An alcoholic for ten years and a crack addict for three, he checked into a treatment facility shortly after landing. There he was told he could either stop using or die before he reached age 24. This is Frey’s acclaimed account of his six weeks in rehab.” The film is starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Odessa Young, Giovanni Ribisi, Juliette Lewis, and Charlie Hunnam. Sam Taylor-Johnson is the director of the film.

[ click to continue reading at Alternative Nation ]

Posted on September 27, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News, Projects | | No Comments »

Books As Art

from Roadtrippers

The art of traditional bookmaking lives on at the Book Club of California, a quiet paradise for bibliophiles

San Francisco’s century-old book club has more than 10,000 rare and letterpress-printed volumes on display

By Molly Fosco

The Albert Sperisen Library at the Book Club of California
The Albert Sperisen Library at the Book Club of California. | Photo: Molly Fosco

When I pick up a new book, I try to decide if the story is worth reading. Are the characters relatable? Is the plot exciting? Typically, I’m not checking whether the book was printed on a letterpress or if the end papers are hand-tipped. At the Book Club of California, however, it’s a very different story. 

No longer the exclusive members-only club it once was, the Book Club of California is a non-profit open to the public. It supports the art of bookmaking, typography, design, and literature about California history and the American West. Located in San Francisco’s bustling Union Square neighborhood, the club is housed inside the World Affairs Council Center, a place where people gather to discuss global issues. 

The rather unassuming building facade is easy to miss, but walking through the entrance of the wooden double doors on the fifth floor transports visitors back to early 20th-century San Francisco. 

Books as art

Thousands of books in glass-doored cabinets line the walls. Victorian-era couches, lamps, and dark wood tables decorate the room, and there’s even a working 19th-century Columbian printing press. A swanky bar that looks like it belongs on the Titanic sits in the corner. This isn’t a coincidence—the club was founded in 1912, the same year the ill-fated ship ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Luckily, the Book Club of California has fared much better.

[ click to continue reading at Roadtrippers ]

Posted on September 12, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Prince

from The New Yorker

The Book of Prince

Prince had grand plans for his autobiography, but only a few months to live.

By Dan Piepenbring

“Funk is the opposite of magic,” Prince said. “Funk is about rules.”
© The Prince Estate

On January 29, 2016, Prince summoned me to his home, Paisley Park, to tell me about a book he wanted to write. He was looking for a collaborator. Paisley Park is in Chanhassen, Minnesota, about forty minutes southwest of Minneapolis. Prince treasured the privacy it afforded him. He once said, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, that Minnesota is “so cold it keeps the bad people out.” Sure enough, when I landed, there was an entrenched layer of snow on the ground, and hardly anyone in sight.

Prince’s driver, Kim Pratt, picked me up at the airport in a black Cadillac Escalade. She was wearing a plastic diamond the size of a Ring Pop on her finger. “Sometimes you gotta femme it up,” she said. She dropped me off at the Country Inn & Suites, an unremarkable chain hotel in Chanhassen that served as a de-facto substation for Paisley. I was “on call” until further notice. A member of Prince’s team later told me that, over the years, Prince had paid for enough rooms there to have bought the place four times over.

My agent had put me up for the job but hadn’t refrained from telling me the obvious: at twenty-nine, I was extremely unlikely to get it. In my hotel room, I turned the television on. I turned the television off. I had a mint tea. I felt that I was joining a long and august line of people who’d been made to wait by Prince, people who had sat in rooms in this same hotel, maybe in this very room, quietly freaking out just as I was quietly freaking out.

A few weeks earlier, Prince had hosted editors from three publishing houses at Paisley, and declared his intention to write a memoir called “The Beautiful Ones,” after one of the most naked, aching songs in his catalogue. For as far back as he could remember, he told the group, he’d written music to imagine—and reimagine—himself. Being an artist was a constant evolution. Early on, he’d recognized the inherent mystery of this process. “ ‘Mystery’ is a word for a reason,” he’d said. “It has a purpose.” The right book would add new layers to his mystery even as it stripped others away. He offered only one formal guideline: it had to be the biggest music book of all time.

[ click to continue reading in The New Yorker ]

Posted on September 10, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

A MILLION LITTLE PIECES – In UK Theatres Today

Posted on August 30, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News, Projects | | No Comments »

More ST-J on A MILLION LITTLE PIECES

from The Guardian

Sam Taylor-Johnson: ‘I’ve lost people very dear to me through addiction’

The film-maker on adapting James Frey’s controversial rehab memoir A Million Little Pieces, whether she’s still making art and the joy of chickens.

by Tim Lewis

Since leaving the art world to become a film-maker, Sam Taylor-Johnson has shown impressive range. Her debut feature film, Nowhere Boy (2009), was a tender depiction of John Lennon’s childhood. She followed it with the less tender Fifty Shades of Greyin 2015. Now she’s back with A Million Little Pieces, an adaptation of James Frey’s scandalous semi-memoir about his rehab after years as an alcoholic and drug addict. Taylor-Johnson co-wrote the screenplay with her husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who also stars in the film. They live, most of the time, in Los Angeles.

You read A Million Little Pieces when it came out in 2003. It obviously stayed with you?
Yeah, it did. I remember reading it and being really overtaken by it; I think is the right word. I was in the world with him and on the journey. Then when it got optioned by whatever studio it was and it was going to be made into a big movie and there was this director and that director, I’d always have a tinge of jealousy. Even though I wasn’t a film-maker then, I’d be like: “What an amazing piece of material to have.” So I tracked it for a long time and I’d always keep my ear to the ground.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on August 25, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News, Projects | | No Comments »

Frey and Taylor-Johnson on A MILLION LITTLE PIECES

from Vogue UK

“We Were Living And Breathing It”: Sam Taylor-Johnson On Making A Million Little Pieces With Her Husband

by LIAM FREEMAN

JEFF GROS

Vogue sat down with James Frey, author of the infamous 2003 memoir A Million Little Pieces, and his friend Sam Taylor-Johnson, who has directed her husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a hotly-anticipated film adaptation hitting cinemas next week.

The response to James Frey’s 2003 memoir A Million Little Pieces is the stuff most authors only dream of. His unflinching retelling of his alcoholism, drug addiction and subsequent rehabilitation, aged just 23, spent 15 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Three years later, in 2006, controversy hit when it was revealed that Frey had embellished certain details. Yet, while he was publicly criticised for this – in particular by one of his most ardent supporters, Oprah Winfrey; at the time, A Million Little Pieces was the fastest-selling book in her television books club’s 10-year history – his captive audience only grew, and to date it’s sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

Frey sold the film rights to A Million Little Pieces in the early 2000s, however, the movie was never made. Until now. Directed and co-written by Sam Taylor-Johnson, a friend of Frey’s and director of Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades of Grey, the film debuted at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Taylor-Johnson collaborated on the script with her husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who stars as Frey, and he’s joined on screen by Charlie Hunnam, Juliette Lewis and Odessa Young as Frey’s fellow patient and girlfriend Lily.

Vogue sat down with Frey and Sam Taylor-Johnson to hear about the making of the long-awaited big screen adaptation.

[ click to continue reading at Vogue ]

Posted on August 22, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News, Projects | | No Comments »

A MILLION LITTLE PIECES Director on FIFTY SHADES

from THE LIST

Sam Taylor-Johnson would never want to repeat Fifty Shades directing experience

Sam Taylor-Johnson
Sam Taylor-Johnson

Sam Taylor-Johnson says she had an “intense and maddening” experience while working on the first instalment of the Fifty Shades of Grey’ film series

Sam Taylor-Johnson would “never want to repeat” the time she spent working on ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.

The 52-year-old filmmaker, who is married to Aaron Taylor-Johnson, 29, confessed that her intense experience directing the first instalment of the erotic drama film series, based on the novel trilogy by E.L James, is not one she wishes to repeat. 

In an interview with the Sunday Times’ Stella magazine, she said: “Making that movie taught me so much that I didn’t want to learn and I would never want to repeat those lessons, but it did make me focus on what I do want to do.

“It was an intense; maddening experience – but then, would I have made this movie had not gone through that? It’s that thing of never looking back.”

The ‘Nowhere Boy’ director recently worked on 2018 drama film, ‘A Million Little Pieces’ – based on the novel by James Frey – which follows a young drug-addled writer coming to the end of his time at a detox facility.

Sam’s husband Aaron plays James and Sam revealed that after reading the book originally following its publication in 2003, she knew immediately that she wanted to transform the story into a film.

[ click to continue reading at THE LIST ]

Posted on August 20, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News, Projects | | No Comments »

A MILLION LITTLE PIECES – Official Trailer

from Vanity Fair

A Million Little Pieces: James Frey’s Notorious Memoir Goes to Hollywood

Watch the exclusive trailer for the upcoming movie, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

[ click to view at Vanity Fair ]

Posted on August 8, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News, Projects | | No Comments »

Toni Morrison Gone

from AP

World mourns the death of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison

By HILLEL ITALIE

NEW YORK (AP) — 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.

“Toni Morrison passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends,” the family announced. “The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing.”

Few authors rose in such rapid, spectacular style. She was nearly 40 when her first novel, “The Bluest Eye,” was published. By her early 60s, after just six novels, she had become the first black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize, praised in 1993 by the Swedish academy for her “visionary force” and for her delving into “language itself, a language she wants to liberate” from categories of black and white. In 2012, Barack Obama awarded her a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“Her writing was not just beautiful but meaningful — a challenge to our conscience and a call to greater empathy,” Obama wrote Tuesday on his Facebook page. “She was as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page.”

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on August 6, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »

“I could puke every time I hear it.”

from the Guardian

From everyteen to annoying: are today’s young readers turning on The Catcher in the Rye?

JD Salinger’s Holden Caulfield once seemed the universal voice of teenage angst, but now he’s too quaint for young people. Can we learn to love it again, asks Dana Czapnik

by Dana Czapnik

A first edition from 1951.
 Falling out of favour … A first edition from 1951. Photograph: Roberto Brosan/Time & Life Pictures/Getty

ere’s a thought. Teen angst, once regarded as stubbornly generic, is actually a product of each person’s unique circumstances: gender, race, class, era. Angst is universal, but the content of it is particular.

This might explain why Holden Caulfield, once the universal everyteen, does not speak to this generation in the way he’s spoken to young people in the past. Electric Literature gave this explanation of The Catcher in the Rye’s datedness: “If you’re a white, relatively affluent, permanently grouchy young man with no real problems at all, it’s extraordinarily relatable. The problem comes when you’re not. Where’s The Catcher in the Rye for the majority of readers who are too non-young, non-white, and non-male to be able to stand listening to Holden Caulfield feel sorry for himself?”

On the one hand, Yes! On the other, Oof!

I’ve had conversations about Catcher with undergraduate students in creative writing classes I’ve taught, and every one has complained about disliking Holden. In my limited network of young people, Catcher is not only no longer beloved, it has become something even more tragic: uncool.

But is it as simple as Electric Literature posits – that if you’re not white, privileged and male, it’s hard to see yourself in Holden? After all, this is partly why I wrote my coming-of-age novel The Falconer, told from the perspective of a young woman in early 1990s New York. Maybe hating on Holden has turned into its own form of adolescent rebellion. Catcher was an incendiary novel when it was first published and was banned from many school districts. Reading it once felt subversive; now it’s a reliable presence on most curriculums. And once adults tell you something’s good, aren’t you supposed to hate it?

But it’s not just girls and kids of colour who are turned off by Holden; I have found that my white, male students didn’t like him either.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on August 1, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »

Thanks

from The Fix

Silencing that Voice 

By Boozemusings Co…

In the last few months of my long and illustrious drinking career, there was a voice that began to whisper melodically to me. I heard it’s song nightly near the end of the second bottle of wine. The voice was darkly magical, very seductive and beautiful, and I was luckily still present enough to find it terrifying.

That voice said,

” you are mine” “we are a team” “we are beautiful together” “we are powerful together” “everything is us” “nothing else matters” “nothing else matter” “nothing else matters” ….

I did not stop drinking four years ago because I was troubled by hangovers or weight gain. I was the classic high functioning alcoholic, still at the stage where no one knew but my kids and husband. I was fit, healthy and outwardly together. I was an admirably successful closet drunk.

The reason that I stopped drinking was that voice.

That seductive whisper of

“nothing else matters” “nothing else matters” “nothing else matters”.

That voice was addiction. That voice was death. I knew that if that voice had a chance to grow it would win and I would not only lose everything, I wouldn’t care that I had.

I read a lot of addiction and recovery biographies in my first sober months. Reading stories of women like me who had loved drinking but fought to stop and were surprised to find empowerment in sobriety, really helped me stay on track and look forward with hope. But of all the brave recovery biographies that I read the one that spoke to me the most was not written by a woman like me. It wasn’t the story of a high functioning middle-aged mom who drank to black-out most nights and hopped back on the hamster wheel each morning. The story that mirrored my love affair with the effect of the drug and the seductive voice in my head was written by James Frey. His biography, A Million Little Pieces, begins with him at 23, half-dead from his raging addictions to everything lethal, wheeled into rehab by his desperate parents. That was the story that was my “ah-ha!” moment from beginning to end.

[ click to continue reading at The Fix ]

Posted on July 17, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Roth, Frey, Easton-Ellis

from Facebook

Posted on July 6, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News, Los Angeles | | No Comments »

BRIGHT SHINY MORNING (New French Edition)

from Facebook

[ click to join me on Facebook ]

Posted on June 10, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News, Projects | | No Comments »

Decadent U.

from Esquire

The Secret Oral History of Bennington: The 1980s’ Most Decadent College

Fall, 1982. A new freshman class arrives at arty, louche, and expensive Bennington College. Among the druggies, rebels, heirs, and posers: future Gen X literary stars Donna Tartt, Bret Easton Ellis, and Jonathan Lethem. What happened over the next four years would spark scandal, myth, and some of the authors’ greatest novels. Return to a campus and an era like no other.

BY LILI ANOLIK

image
Kate Aichele/Bennington College; Mark Norris (Tartt and Lethem);
Ian Gittler (Ellis).

What Café du Dôme was to the Lost Generation, the dining hall at Bennington College was to Generation X—i.e., the Lost Generation Revisited. The Moveable Feast had moved ahead six decades and across the Atlantic, and while, of course, southwestern Vermont wasn’t Paris, somehow, in the early-to-mid eighties, it was, was just as sly, louche, low-down, and darkly perdu. And speaking of sly, louche, low-down, and darkly perdu, check out the habitués. Seated around the table, ready to gorge on the conversation if not the food (cocaine, the Pernod of its era, is a notorious appetite suppressant), berets swapped for sunglasses, were the neo F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Djuna Barnes: Bret Easton Ellis, future writer of American Psycho and charter member of the literary Brat Pack; Jonathan Lethem, future writer of The Fortress of Solitude and MacArthur genius; and Donna Tartt, future writer of The Secret History and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Goldfinch. All three were in the class of 1986. All three were a long way from home—Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Grenada, Mississippi, respectively. All three were, at various times, infatuated and disappointed with one another, their friendships stimulated and fueled by rivalry. And all three would mythologize Bennington—the baroque wickedness, the malignant glamour, the corruption so profound as to be exactly what is meant by the word decadence—in their fiction that, as it turns out, wasn’t quite, and thereby become myths themselves.

Every prodigy needs his or her very own Gertrude Stein or Sherwood Anderson—i.e., a mentor and model. Bennington had those in profusion, teachers who were also artists: journalist Joe McGinniss; novelists and short-story writers Nicholas Delbanco and Arturo Vivante; and poet, mystic, and self-chronicler Claude Fredericks. And then there were the supporting figures (and fellow students), so fascinating they threatened to eclipse the main: writers Jill Eisenstadt, David Lipsky, Lawrence David, Reginald Shepherd; Brixton Smith Start, lead guitarist of post-punk British band the Fall; and Quintana Roo Dunne, only child of Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne.

So grab a tray, pull up a chair, and try not to look like you’re eavesdropping.

[ click to continue reading at Esquire ]

Posted on May 31, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Naked Bookseller Gone

from the Parker Pioneer

Quartzsite’s ‘Naked Bookseller’ Paul Winer dies

By John Gutekunst and Brandon Bowers

Long-time Quartzsite resident Paul Winer died the evening of May 7 at his home. He was 75 years old.

Winer was best known as the owner of Reader’s Oasis Books in Quartzsite, where he gained notoriety as the “naked bookseller.” He was also a professional entertainer and musician. He was even an artist, drawing a comic strip on local events entitled “As the Crow Flies.”

Long-time Quartzsite resident Paul Winer died the evening of May 7 at his home. He was 75 years old.

Winer was best known as the owner of Reader’s Oasis Books in Quartzsite, where he gained notoriety as the “naked bookseller.” He was also a professional entertainer and musician. He was even an artist, drawing a comic strip on local events entitled “As the Crow Flies.”

[ click to continue reading at the Pioneer ]

Posted on May 8, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Next Page »