Good news for fans of Hilary Mantel! Her final historical novel, centered around protagonist Thomas Cromwell, completing the trilogy of works around the life of the famous English statesman, according to The Guardian. The first two novels were titled Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the first novel charting Cromwell’s rise to greatness, while the second began to show the situation that would lead to Cromwell’s real life execution. The final novel, entitled The Mirror and the Light, will cover the final four years of Cromwell’s life, leading to his death by beheading in 1540.
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It’s been eight years since the last segment of the Cromwell story, so it should come as no small release to fans to see that publisher HarperCollins has officially announced that The Mirror and the Light will debut in early 2020, March to be exact. For her part, Hilary Mantel said she had a ‘long journey’ with her protagonist and hopes that readers will see his life through to the end as she has. The publisher has noted the final novel is every bit as engaging as the first two, being immersive and casting a new light on politics through the novel’s themes. The novel plays out like a relationship between predator and prey, as Thomas finds himself losing allies, surrounded on all sides, as the clock ticks closer to the inevitable as the year of his death looms on the horizon.
Mantel answered a few questions from fans, including whether she had trouble killing off her longtime protagonist. In response, she said:
“People ask me if I’m having trouble killing off Thomas Cromwell. No, why would I? It is 10 years’ worth of effort and it is lovely to have the encouragement of people who are waiting for it, but that’s why I want to deliver them something that is the very best.”
Well, it certainly feels like the author is committed to ending the series on the best possible foot and sticking to her guns! This is sure to be a huge release when it comes next year. Are you excited? Tell us!
Shocking news. According to The Guardian Stan Lee’s former business partner has been charged with four counts of elder abuse. Keya Morgan, who was a close companion of comic book legend Lee, and has now been issued with an arrest warrant by the Los Angeles superior court. The charges include false imprisonment, forgery, and fraud. Morgan had previously been accused of abuse toward Stan Lee when he tried to get police arrested who were visiting Lee’s house to perform a welfare check. He was arrested and charged with filing a false police report.
Morgan was further accused of exploiting his relationship with Stan Lee, isolating him from friends and family, using him to embezzle artwork, cash, and other assets. Furthermore, he was accused of taking over Stan Lee’s twitter account and launching a lawsuit against Pow! Entertainment against Lee’s consent. Lee’s friends and family noted Morgan was the latest in long line of men who attempted to attach themselves to Stan Lee and manage his personal affairs before the Marvel creator passed away.
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Morgan has for his part denounced the comments, calling them ‘100% false’ but has declined further comment, making anything he says to the contrary clearly suspect. We only hope Morgan is served Justin for any injustices he may have committed to Stan Lee in life and that more attention is paid to elder abuse, especially in the entertainment industry. Rest in peace, Stan Lee, and we hope justice is served.
An exciting, if bittersweet piece of news comes in the form of the release if Prince’s unfinished memoir, which, according to The Guardian, has finally received a release date. Random House has that the memoir, entitled The Beautiful Ones, will be released on 29th October. An epic volume, the memoir will span from Prince’s childhood to his final days. It will contain Prince’s incomplete manuscript, along with personal photos, scrapbooks, and lyrics. Prince originally announced the book in 2016, saying the starting point for the book was his first memory and continuing onwards from there. Prince managed to complete fifty handwritten pages before he died of a fatal overdose, just weeks after the announcement of the book.
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The book will include an introduction by New Yorker writer Dan Piepenbring, who was originally slated to collaborate with Prince on The Beautiful Ones. The book has been called a beautiful tribute to Prince’s life, touching on what made him so beloved to his fanbase and a cultural icon. The book will be deeply personal and will touch on everything it can in Prince’s long career/life.
Another sad passing in the world of literature. Gene Wolfe, a massively influential figure who was praised by famed authors such as George R.R. Martin, Ursula K. Le Guin and Neil Gaiman, has passed away. According to The GuardianGene Wolfe died at the age of eighty-seven, leaving behind a famous body of work. His magnum opus is The Book of the New Sun , which ranked only third in a fantasy magazine of the best fantasy novels, behind only The Lord of the Ringsand The Hobbit.Taking placing in an apocalyptic earth where mankind has regressed to a medieval era, the novels blended science fiction and fantasy to become something wholly unique.
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Wolfe’s passing was mourned by his longtime publisher, Tor, and numerous other authors in the industry. Tor said he was a ‘beloved icon’ and will be ‘dearly missed’ while leaving behind a body of work that will live on forever in SF fame. Neil Gaiman praised Wolfe’s work, saying he was possibly the finest American writer who ever lived. George R.R. Martin considers him the best the science fiction genre has produced, while Le Guin said he was ‘our Melville’. For his efforts, Gene Wolfe received the title of grand master of science fiction in 2012. Wolfe himself had earlier noted his early work out of college was terrible and he was living from paycheck to paycheck before he became famous.
Gene Wolfe leaves behind a legacy of his great work, as well as being hugely influential on the writer’s community around him, inspiring others to create worlds. We salute you, Wolfe, and will remember your work forever.
Girl power! Women have dominated the Man Booker International Shortlist, with five female authors and an all-female cast of translators up for the £50,000 prize. According to this article from the Guardian have never so many women shortlisted before, with the prestigious award in fiction having underrepresented women in the past but has never had some many women shortlisted before. Women authors have been systematically underrepresented in translation before but the chief judges of this latest gathering claim the dominance of women was merely a ‘happy coincidence’ and ‘not political.’