Toni Morrison, celebrated author of at least 30 books, has passed away, the BBC reports today.
Image via People
Morrison’s most famous novels include The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon, and Beloved won both the Pulitzer Prize and The American Book Award in 1988. Morrison won more than 30 across her 40 year writing career, including the Nobel Prize for Literature, Commander of the Arts and Letters, Library of Congress Creative Achievement Award for Fiction, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, and honors from several prominent universities. Morrison is quoted, as well, on The National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
Toni receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama, April of 2012 | Image via BBC News
Toni Morrison was a senior editor at Random House for 20 years before becoming a professor at Princeton, and held teaching positions at many prestigious universities, including Yale, Bard, and Rutgers.
Morrison’s death was confirmed by her family this morning, after a brief illness. She leaves behind a sorrowful family and a monumental legacy of massive contribution to the literary cannon. Toni’s words were an inspiration for women and people of color across the world.
Morrison was 88, and passed away peacefully in her sleep. She will be missed dearly.
Sink your teeth into this, vampire fans. A new Draculatv series, based on the original novel by Bram Stoker, is coming to Netflix and the BBC. While not airing for quite a while (the supernatural drama is expected to air in late 2019 or early 2020), what details have been revealed are quite salivating. According to The Radio Times the series will be a collaboration between the BBC and Netflix, with the two corporations working together to air the series. Dracula will be helmed by the creators of Sherlock, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. Dracula himself will be played by Claes Bang, a Danish actor who said he would be ‘thrilled’ by the opportunity. He was further quoted as saying:
“I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Dracula, especially when the script is in the hands of the incredible talents of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and the team responsible for Sherlock.”
Bang will be joined by a wide ensemble of actors to help bring the bloody world of Dracula to life. Actors Joanna Scanlan, Chanel Cresswell, Matthew Beard, Lydia West, Dolly Wells, John Heffernan, Lujza Richter and Morfydd Clark, Paul Brennen, Sofia Oxenham, John McCrea, Phil Dunster and Millicent Wong will be joining the drama in as-yet unknown roles. Mark Gatiss himself will also be in the cast, having expressed an interest in playing Dracula’s mad henchman Renfield. But nothing is set in stone yet.
Image via The Radio Times
The show will last approximately three episodes, each of undisclosed length but since this is from the creators of Sherlock, we’re guessing each episode will be movie length in runtime, an hour or more to get their money’s worth of the material. The show’s plot will be, naturally, an adaptation of the Dracula novel but offering a new spin to make it relevant to modern audiences. Moffat said the show will re-centre Dracula as the hero of his own story, as opposed to the antagonist he was in the book and most other adaptations. He will be at the center of the action, as opposed to a more shadowy figure who makes fleeting appearances to menace the heroes. Moffat and Gatiss described the process as difficult, keen to give Dracula center stage but also not take away from his evil at all. They hope their hard work pays off and say they ‘handled’ making Dracula both the main character and truly evil. But we’ll have to wait to see how that plays out onscreen.
Image via The Radio Times
The series is currently in production, having recently completed its second episode. The show is currently filming at Bray Studios, Maidenhead, which was also the location of many classic vampire films starring Christopher Lee as the titular Count, made by Hammer Film Productions. Not much else is known about the show at this time, how closely it will adapt the book or even what the plot will be but the BBC released a short synopsis as a little teaser:
‘Three feature length episodes will re-introduce the world to Dracula, the vampire who made evil sexy. In Transylvania in 1897, the blood-drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London. And be warned: the dead travel fast.’
We can’t wait to see this adaptation of a classic horror novel coming to television. We’ll keep our eyes and ears peeled for further developments. Until then, watch the shadows and keep your garlic close!
Starved for more Harry Pottercontent? Well look no further, Potterheads, as exciting news as been unveiled today! According to Book Riot, Warner Brothers is in the very early stages of developing a Harry Potter prequel series for TV. The series will be attached to Warner Brothers’ upcoming streaming service. The series will occur mostly at Hogwarts, according to the press release, as well as occasional visits to other parts of Europe. While the Harry Potter franchise is already packed to the brim with novels, video games, board games, movies, comics, and Broadway plays, we can’t help but be excited for this latest addition to the ever popular young adult fantasy series!
Image via Harry Potter wiki
More news has been released, including that the show will center around new characters (although if it’s at Hogwarts we can bet you’ll see cameos of fan favorites like various professors and administrative presences in the Wizarding World). However, being in the early stages of development, the plot, the premise, and even the characters themselves haven’t been announced yet for obvious reasons. But we can always speculate about WHAT will happen in this prequel series.
Here are a few premises we’d love to see in the show:
+ A show about a new batch of students dealing with the ins and outs of daily life at Hogwarts with no overarching main villain. One of the greatest strengths of HarryPotter was its relatability for young people about the hardships of growing up and schoolwork. No need to thrust Voldemort 2.0 in there, fretting about O.W.L.S. is drama enough.
+ A flipped premise, showcasing the POV of the teachers instead of the students and pulling back the curtain to give us a behind the scenes of Hogwarts.
+ An anthology series, showing different stories about Hogwarts, with a different premise and storyline every week. One week you’d have a student, one week you’d have a teacher, maybe the following week someone gets lost in the Forbidden Forest, and maybe one week it could center around some of the ghosts that haunt the school!
Image Via Pottermore
What premises would you personally like to see in this show? Are you excited to see a Harry Potter television series? Let us know in the comments! And keep an ear peeled for further news, we’ll let you know when we hear anything more!
According to NPR, there is big news in the publishing world for bookseller Barnes & Noble. Eight months ago, Barnes & Noble revealed it was exploring possible avenues for a potential sale. Now, Barnes & Noble revealed in a press release on Friday that it had reached an agreement with Elliott Management and will be sold to the corporation for 683 million. This move will mean Elliott Management will own the largest bookseller in the United States, which unfortunately has been suffering as of late. Much like other physical bookstores, Barnes & Noble is facing stiff competition from online competitors: primarily Amazon, which today dominates the book world. Amazon regularly sells over 50% of books, leaving bookstores such as Barnes & Noble in the dust. For the past several years, Barnes & Noble has seen its revenue slid downward slowly but surely, presenting numerous challenges for Elliott with this newfound sale to the corporate giant.
Image via CNN
James Daunt will act as the CEO for Barnes & Noble. Recently, he helped British bookstore Waterstones turn its profits around and pull itself from a similar slump to the one Barnes & Noble has found itself in. Elliott’s financial backing, with 34 billion at least in store, should prove a boon for the struggling giant in booksellers. In any case, the deal will be finalized in September, and we’ll see if the deal pays off.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!