Fiction: August 2008 Archives

Buffalo Grove native a finalist for Thurber Prize

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Larry Doyle, whose experiences at Buffalo Grove High School were the inspiration for his 2007 debut novel I Love You, Beth Cooper (Ecco), is one of three finalists for the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor.

Doyle, a former writer for "The Simpsons" and "Beavis and Butt-Head" and current contributor to the New Yorker and Esquire magazines, is now in post-production for the movie version of I Love You, Beth Cooper. Hayden Pannetierre (the cheerleader on NBC's "Heroes") stars as the title character, who gives a nerdy classmate a night he'll never forget after he professes his feelings in his high school valedictory speech.

Larry Doyle
Buffalo Grove native Larry Doyle wrote I Love You, Beth Cooper, which is now
being made into a movie.
(John J. Kim / Sun-Times)

The other two finalists are Patricia Marx for Him Her Him Again The End of Him (Scribner) and Simon Rich for Ant Farm (Random House). The award will be presented in October at New York's famed Algonquin Hotel, once home to New Yorker cartoonist James Thurber.

Beth Cooper Him Her Him Ant Farm

Here's a YouTube video of Doyle talking about his novel, shoes and "The Simpsons," among other things. It's in two parts:

Edwards scandal a boon for McInerney

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A 20-year-old book could shed some light on the political scandal du jour.

Alison Poole, the promiscuous party girl protagonist in Jay McInerney's 1988 novel Story of My Life was apparently inspired by Rielle Hunter, the woman at the center of the John Edwards sleaze-o-rama. And now the book is getting hurried back on to bookstore shelves by Random House imprint Vintage Books, according to the Associated Press.

story of my life

Apparently McInerney met Hunter -- then known as Lisa Druck -- when she was an aspiring actress in New York City.

Former Democratic presidential candidate and current U.S. senator Edwards finally admitted to an affair with Hunter after months of speculation -- based on a National Enquirer report -- that Edwards fathered a child with Hunter. The two met when Hunter produced videos for Edwards as he prepared to launch his presidential race. Edwards has denied paternity of the child, a daughter.

As of Monday afternoon, ''Story of My Life'' was No. 470 on's best-seller list and was out of stock.

McInerney, 53, is best known for the million-selling Bright Lights, Big City.

'Breaking Dawn' with Stephenie Meyer

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I may not get the appeal of the whole vampire lit thing -- much like I don't get NASCAR or the movie "Borat," the 84 most unfunny minutes in the history of cinema -- but I do recognize its wild popularity. Ever since Anne Rice came on the scene with Interview With the Vampire and "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" became must-see TV for teens everywhere, beautiful bloodsuckers have filled many a pocket paperback.

Author Stephenie Meyer seems to have tapped into an even greater audience with her young adult "Twilight" series, which features beautiful teenagers -- some vampires, some not -- who share all the angst of high school, along with a few more otherworldly pressures.

In grand Harry Potter fashion, bookstores nationwide stayed open late last Friday night to host "Twilight" parties in anticipation of the release of Breaking Dawn (Little, Brown, $22.99), Meyer's fourth and final installment in her vampire romance series. (Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse are the first three.)

Breaking Dawn

And today the Associated Press reports that the book sold a whopping 1.3 million copies in the first 24 hours of its release -- not nearly as much as the final Harry Potter book (8.3 million), but huge nonetheless.

If you missed CBS's "Sunday Morning" yesterday, here's the show's segment on the Mormon housewife and her rise to literary stardom:

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Fiction category from August 2008.

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