James Ellroy, author of the bestselling 1990 noir novel L.A. Confidential, has a few harsh words to say about the novel’s 1997 film adaptation, which starred Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger, and Kevin Spacey. This was surprising, considering the film won numerous Oscars, including Best Picture and currently has a 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But James Ellroy made it clear in his panel during the weekend of the Hay Festival, according to The Guardian, that he did not care for it.
He said the novel was as ‘deep as tortilla’, while also noting he did not care for the the majority of the performances and even considered that the plot itself made no sense. He thought the action lacked a soul, focused on action and spectacle as opposed to the deeper significance he gave the book. He did, however, like the money he was given to the rights to the book, noting it was a gift he never had to give back.
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James Ellroy hasn’t shied from controversy before, expressing the belief that Citizen Kaneis a sh*tty film and expressing disinterest in any events after 1972, preferring immensely to write about the period before that. He refused to answer questions at the end of the panel about ‘contemporary issues’. Either way, this showcases that no matter how good or popular your movie is, the author may not like it.
What are your thoughts on this? Tell us in the comments!
These are some very cool awards with great authors behind them, earning some well earned recognition for their spooky titles! The full list of winners and nominees can be found here. Grab some of them for your continued reading list! And try to find some this year that’ll possibly make the cut for next year’s awards!
Upon completing a diligent google search of the name, “Sally Rooney,” one thing becomes clear: the internet seems to be unsure of whether this Dublin native is twenty-seven or twenty-eight years of age…but also that this woman has a fire inside of her… The type of fire that propels the rocket of a writer’s heart towards truth. In 2015, Rooney wrote an essay entitled “Even If You Beat Me” which pretty much launched her career. She has described the essay as being a little bit too revealing, but I imagine all writers feel this way when looking back at something written when they were relatively anonymous, before the onslaught of critique and recognition. In her essay, she deconstructs the experience of debating at the university level; she personalizes it in a way that is riveting. The entire essay basically becomes a blunt yet universally resonate metaphor for the pursuit of success.
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Successful debaters are the most popular, have the most friends, are listened to the most but are ultimately living shallow and lonely lives. Rooney examines the idea of societal disconnect as debaters achieve a phony state of celebrity; sometimes even faking knowledge and experience just to win a game. Her essay emphasizes the importance of understanding the reality of one’s place and living in the real world, being motivated not by greed or comfort but by existential relevance. Be honest and good, help people. At least that’s what I took away from it. I can’t imagine people in the debate community were very happy with her essay but I think it’s awesome. She clearly has a voice that hungers to say something different and real.
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After people read it, they wanted more of whatever she had, so she utilized the before referenced fire and went to work. This eventually led to her debut novel Conversations with Friends (a doomed romance of sorts) which was apparently subject to a seven-party auction for publishing rights (at least according to Wikipedia. Yeah, I used Wikipedia just now. I apologize to everyone who has ever advised against that). Her newest novel, Normal People just won the Costa Novel Award for best book of 2018. Sally Rooney is the youngest author to ever win this award. Hell yeah. Unfortunately, it takes things like awards for people to notice the work of others (ironically), regardless, Normal People is now flying off the shelves in the UK. The novel takes place five years ago and explores the relationship between two characters, Connell and Marianne, who attend the same school in Ireland. That’s really all that needs to be said, read it.
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Sally Rooney is consistently receiving rave reviews for work that focuses on relationships and characters more so than plot. For writing coming of age tales that point a finger at adulthood archetypes. Her editor at Faber and Faber has infamously (someday infamously if Rooney keeps this up) described her as a “Salinger for the Snapchat generation.” She is abundantly real, witty, critical of herself and the world around her. In an interview with Irish Independent, she once said, “There is a part of me that will never be happy knowing that I am just writing entertainment, making decorative aesthetic objects at a time of historical crisis.”This sort of thinking contributes to prose that is thoughtfully rooted in realism. Normal People was snubbed by the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, making the longlist but failing to make the short, however, won the Costa Novel Award anyway; the final sentence of her essay feels appropriate here: “Even if you beat [her], [she’s] still the best.”
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Normal People is about to be adapted by BBC Three with the help of Academy Award-nominated director of Room, Lenny Abrahamson.
You clearly possess an astute understanding of the lost art that is properly sporting a slick leather jacket.
It was just this week that Stuart Turton was named the winner of the Costa first novel prize and awarded £5,000 for his book. According to The Guardian, Turton’s novel, Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, was described by judges as an “ingenious, intriguing and highly original mindbender of a murder mystery”. However, Turton himself said the process of writing it was “awful”.
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The novel follows the beautiful young Evelyn who is murdered at her parents’ party. However, she doesn’t die just once; she is murdered over and over as each day repeats itself with no break in the mystery. That’s when Aiden, a party guest, tries to find the killer. But each repeated moment and day he tries, he returns in the body of another guest. His time is running out as he tries to find the clues when it seems like maybe someone doesn’t want him to.
The book sounds phenomenal and the judges made this choice with 117 additional entries in front of them. “We were all stunned that this exciting and accomplished novel, planned and plotted perfectly, is a debut,” the panel had said. Interestingly enough, the winners in the past have been huge bestsellers from authors like Zadie Smith to Nathan Filer. However, Turton didn’t have the typical author story.
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The 38-year-old Cheshire resident never had the desire to be an author, he simply loved Agatha Christie as a child. This pushed him to write his one attempt at a crime novel when he was 21. When he saw it as “phenomenally bad”, he went on to travel all over the world and have all sorts of jobs from working on a goat ranch to cleaning toilets. It was a couple years later while he was working as a travel writer in Dubai that the idea for Evelyn suddenly came to him.
“It was the body-hopping and the Groundhog Day loop. I didn’t have anything else, the characters or murder, I just had that concept. The moment I got it, I thought: ‘Oh crap, now I’ve got to go and do that, and I’ve got to be in England, I need that atmosphere, those stately homes. I need to be lost in drizzly forests, I cannot do that in the desert… I was terrified the entire time, from the moment the idea came and I knew I had to follow through on it.”
It still didn’t come easy from there. He changed his ideas and plans more than he could say, until he finally decided to allow the story to flow where it may. Now, as a winner of this honorable award, Turton and four others will go on to compete for book of the year, a £30,000 prize.
Check out the list of winners below with the youngest winner being only 27! They were chosen from 641 entries altogether, so we know this will be some of their best work yet.
This 2018, the Women Poets’ Prize is honoring its first set of victors. The new literary prize commemorates beloved UK editor Rebecca Swift, who prematurely died of cancer in April 2017. A poet herself, Swift was dedicated to helping writers tackle the problem of the dreaded slush pile— the mound of un-agented manuscripts that most publishers don’t have the resources to read through. In 1996, she founded The Literary Consultancy (TLC), a group providing editorial feedback to developing writers. Throughout her life, she also performed charitable workwith the goal of providing mental healthcare to underprivileged women. The Women Poets’ Prize celebrates Swift’s life, as well as her undying passion for women and poetry. Here are its first three recipients.
my skin gets its shine from maggi noodle seasoning packets / golden fairy dust that glows when touching water / fluorescent lines around the edge of / a girlhood seen through sheets of rainbow plastic / chemical green authentic ramen flavour / special purple packaged pho / mama’s instant hokkien mee / dollar fifty flaming hearts / hands in the shape of a bowl to carry this cup / of burning liquid salt and foam / mouthful of a yellow winter morning / you shouldn’t eat this shit it gives you cancer / melts your stomach lining / 99% of all this plastic comes from China / if we consume it all maybe we’ll never die
Europeans hunted you mercilessly,
because you beakies wouldn’t be doves or albatross.
Those whitish irises probably grotted and balled and seized,
black undertail coverts jutting at strumpet-starved sailors,
marooned on Mauritius, exotic, just not Bideford, Perth or Poole.
Why gobble pebbles big as nutmegs to temper your guts,
and prove fresh meat for rusky sailors, declaring you foul?
The Women Poets’ Prize isfree to enter, true to Swift’s vision for female writers. In addition to the varied professional development opportunities, winning poets receive £1,000 and the opportunity for exposure. Maybe you’ve found a new poet whose work you can explore— and maybe, you’ve found an opportunity for your own writing.