News: October 2008 Archives

Studs Terkel, rest in peace

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Division StreetHard TimesWorkingAmerican DreamsTouch and GoThe Good WarComing of AgeHope Dies LastP.S

Roger Moore feted in France

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As French Culture Minister Christine Albanel named British actor Roger Moore a commander in France's National Order of Arts and Letters in Paris yesterday, Moore claimed the award was worth "more than an Oscar."

Moore, 81, has never won the Oscar, nor has he ever been nominated for one. Best known for playing James Bond on the big screen in the '70s and '80s -- he played the role longer than any other actor -- Moore can add author to his resume. His memoir, My Word is My Bond (Collins, 336 pages, $27.95), is due out next week. (Look for the Sun-Times review in this weekend's Sunday Show section).

Roger MooreMy Word is My Bond
Roger Moore and wife Christina
pose for the camera as Moore
is named Commander of Arts
and Letters by the French
culture ministry.
(AP photo)

Director Cronenberg writing a novel

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Film director David Cronenberg says he's wanted to write a book for 50 years -- and now he's finally doing it.

Cronenberg, attending the Rome Film Festival this week, says he's written 60 pages so far -- and it won't be horror or science fiction, like many of his films.


David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg poses in front of a
still image from his film "Scanners"
during an art exhibition at the Rome
film festival.
(Alessandra Tarantino~AP)


''Based on the pages I have written we found publishers all over the world, which is very terrifying to me,'' Cronenberg told reporters at the festival. ''It's at a very delicate phase right now, so I can't really talk about it. It's not like Stephen King. I don't know what it's like but you wouldn't call it a horror or science fiction novel at all. But what it is exactly, well, I don't know yet.''

Cronenberg's best known films are scattered across the '80s: "Scanners" (1981), ''Videodrome'' (1983), ''The Fly'' (1986) and "Dead Ringers" (1988). More recently he has garnered acclaim for two collaborations with actor Viggo Mortensen, "A History of Violence" (2005) and "Eastern Promises" (2007).


Chicagoans among National Book Award nominees

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lazarus creatures blood

Chicago is well represented in this year's National Book Awards, with three of city's authors making the list of finalists: Aleksandar Hemon in the fiction category and Reginald Gibbons and Patricia Smith in the poetry category.

Hemon, who adopted Chicago as his home in 1992, when the fighting in his homeland of Bosnia stranded him here, is nominated for his novel The Lazarus Project (Riverhead, $24.95). (Read review)

Hemon's competition includes: Rachel Kushner for Telex From Cuba (Scribner); Peter Matthiessen for Shadow Country (Modern Library); Marilynne Robinson for Home (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), and Salvatore Scibona for The End (Graywolf)

Gibbons, a professor of English and classics at Northwestern in Evanston, is nominated for his latest poetry collection, Creatures of a Day (Louisiana State University Press, $16.95). And Smith, a Chicago native and four-time National Poetry Slam champion who now makes her home in New York, is nominated for Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press, $16). (Read review of Blood Dazzler)

The rest of the competition in the poetry category includes: Frank Bidart for Watching the Spring Festival (Farrar, Straus & Giroux); Mark Doty for Fire to Fire (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), and Richard Howard for Without Saying (Turtle Point).

Nonfiction nominees:
Drew Gilpin Faust for This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Knopf)
Annette Gordon-Reed for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (Norton)
Jane Mayer for The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (Doubleday)
Jim Sheeler for Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives (Penguin)
Joan Wickersham for The Suicide Index: Putting My Father's Death in Order (Harcourt)

Young People's Literature nominees:
Laurie Halse Anderson for Chains (Simon & Schuster)
Kathi Appelt for The Underneath (Atheneum)
Rudy Blundell for What I Saw and How I Lied (Scholastic)
E. Lockhart for The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (Hyperion)
Tim Tharp for The Spectacular Now (Knopf)

The winners will be announced Nov. 19 in New York.

Tina Fey working on a book

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As if she weren't busy enough, what with writing, producing and starring in her own Emmy-winning TV show ("30 Rock"), starring in movies ("Baby Mama") and, oh yeah, moonlighting at her old job ("Saturday Night Live"), playing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin to great hilarity -- Tina Fey's going to write a book!

NUP_132752_0016
Tina Fey as Sarah Palin on "Saturday
Night Live."
(NBC photo)

The New York Observer reported last Friday that Little, Brown & Company will release a book of -- what else? -- humorous essays written by the 38-year-old 21st century comedy wonder woman.

It stands to reason that Fey would write a book. She has said on numerous occasions that even though she's gained fame and visibility through her TV acting, she sees herself first and foremost as a writer. Proof positive came last year when she proudly walked the picket line with her Writers Guild brethren during their three-month strike. She also had this to say when she picked up her writing Emmy (for "30 Rock") just a couple of weeks ago: I'm very proud to be a writer, I would not have any of the other jobs I have if I had not been a writer first."

Little, Brown hasn't yet released any details on the deal. Stay tuned...

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