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Authors’ Lives Fodder for Rom-Coms

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A film company is hoping to turn the life of author Jane Austen into a romantic comedy. They couldn’t have picked a worse subject. Austen is a classic novelist, one whose books Emma, Sense and Sensibility and the beloved Pride and Prejudice have themselves been turned into delightful romantic comedies on screen. Austen’s formula — a witty tale of a young woman drawn into a romance that is thwarted or …

‘Purity’ Isn’t Franzen’s Best

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Jonathan Franzen’s career offers a cautionary narrative — for us as much as him. As far back as 1996, with Perchance to Dream, his long essay published in Harper’s on the state of contemporary fiction, he has filled the role of both avatar and scapegoat, an ambitious writer who can’t (or won’t) steer …

Felicia Day Loves the Internet, Despite Trolls

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Felicia Day is well aware that not everyone knows who she is. Those are the people who aren’t immersed in the gaming culture, who haven’t spent wide swaths of their lives playing World of Warcraft, or watching her Web series about it, called “The Guild.” They’ve never seen her in Joss Whedon’s Buffy …

Film Pioneers Describe Early Days in ‘My First Time in Hollywood’

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Everyone’s first time was different. Screenwriter Ben Hecht said his first day in Hollywood in 1926 was “like a year in Siberia.” Screenwriter Frances Marion arrived in 1912 and was shocked when she tried to find an apartment. …

On Prose: A Writer’s True Art — Rewriting

Friday, June 5, 2015

An empty blue-book for a student writing an essay in an important exam. A blank white computer page for someone composing a cover letter for a job they desperately need. A soft linen sheet of stationery awaiting just the right words to console a friend who’s suffered a …

Book Notes: Hanover Resident’s New Poems Address Loss and Life Changes

Friday, June 5, 2015

Hanover poet Carol Westberg’s new collection of poems, Terra Infirma (David Roth Books, $18) is a reflection on a time in life when fragile health, tragedy and sadness occupy too much space and haunt too many dreams. These delicately crafted and tender poems, which deal with Westberg’s loss …

Book Review: Hartland Author’s New Young Adult Stories Revolve Around an Obscene Gesture

Friday, June 5, 2015

Jo Knowles, the writer of young adult novels who lives in Hartland, has a keen, instinctive empathy for adolescents. She’s able to get under their skin, take their temperature moment to moment and record the rapid shifts in their moods, from acute self-loathing and microscopic introspection to defiant …

Author Tackles Feminism in the Middle East

Sunday, May 31, 2015

In parts of the Middle East, some women are groped as a matter of course. There are men who feel free to run their hands over women, like they’re buying produce, or a cow. Mona Eltahawy has endured that and much worse, as a young woman and as …

The Legend of ‘Fight Club’ Lives On

Sunday, May 31, 2015

If you’re Chuck Palahniuk, the first rule of Fight Club is that you never escape Fight Club. And maybe, almost 20 years later, you don’t want to. “It’s the thing you dream of, being co-opted by the culture,” says the Portland, Ore., novelist, who’s famous for raucous, wildly …

Book Details Heroic WWII Doolittle Raid

Sunday, May 24, 2015

After Pearl Harbor and before D-Day and the Bomb, there was the Doolittle raid on Tokyo. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, hoping to rally the American public for what he knew would be a long war, had ordered a …

On Poetry: Former Dartmouth Professor Was a Man of Orthodox Faith, but Unorthodox Humility and Insight

Friday, May 22, 2015

This column is distinctly different from any of its predecessors. In it, I will try to sell you on a book called The Grace of Incorruption, written by a great man and a great friend who died in …

Book Review: Vivian Gornick and the Ghosts of New York

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Odd Woman and the City: A Memoir by Vivian Gornick; Farrar, Straus and Giroux (176 pages, $22) Vivian Gornick’s The Odd Woman and the City is a book of ghosts. Ghosts of the past; ghosts of New York, which is for her both home and character; ghosts …

Book Notes: Valley Native Wesley McNair Wins Award for New Book

Friday, May 8, 2015

After years of boiling down memories of his Upper Valley childhood hardships into poetry, Wesley McNair this spring harvested acclaim for exploring through verse what his mother endured growing up in the depths of the Great Depression. In …