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Friday, Mar 28, 2008

Charles Frazier remembers Anthony Minghella
Fascinating piece in the LA Times by Cold Mountain author, Charles Frazier, detailing his friendship with the late Anthony Minghella. Minghella directed the film version of Frazier’s book, and chose to make Frazier a key part of the film’s production. The men were colleagues and close friends:


The next January, we spent a wet week driving around North Carolina, hiking in the mountains, talking about books, staying up late watching movies—“McCabe and Mrs. Miller” for one. We drove all through the mountains and down to the Atlantic, 700 miles at least. It was like a college road trip.


Frazier’s article is a wonderful insight into Minghella’s artistic desires, his sensitivity, and, particularly, his adoration of writers.


Investment banker is India’s most successful English-language author
We thought it was Salman Rushdie—how wrong we were. The New York Times this week profiled Chetan Bhagat, author of the Nick Hornby-esque Indian hits Five Point Someone and One Night at the Call Center. One Night is India’s fastest-selling novel.


The article outlines Bhagat’s return to India (he wrote his novels while living in the United States), and his desire to make a difference in his country. Bhagat also reacts to his critics. From the Times piece:


“The book critics, they all hate me,” Mr. Bhagat said in an interview here.


But he has touched a nerve with young Indian readers. Mr. Bhagat might not be another Vikram Seth or Arundhati Roy, but he has authentic claims to being one of the voices of a generation of middle-class Indian youth facing the choices and frustrations that come with the prospect of growing wealth.


“I think people really took to the books mainly because there is a lot of social comment in there,” Mr. Bhagat said. “It’s garbed as comedy.”




Real-life Book Thief caught by determined librarian

Rob Lopresti, the librarian at Western Washington University in Bellingham, has become something of a hero in his community—and perhaps to book lovers everywhere. Rob’s refusal to accept that his library had been the target of a simple, run-of-the-mill theft, he put on his Sam Spade hat and uncovered a veritable ring of library such thefts across the US and Canada.


The Great Falls Tribune reports:


About 100 volumes of a book series called the Congressional Serial Set, dating back to the 1830s, had maps and other pages ripped from them. In all, the thief ripped 648 pages of historic lithographs, maps and other materials from the WWU library’s collection, according to the magazine article.


Lopresti found the documents listed for sale on eBay. He decided to purchase a handful of them to match with his lost property. His detective work paid off, but now, he notes, all valuable items in his library are now locked away from public view.


Maynard and Jessica to become a major film
Hot-shot producer Scott Rudin has purchased the rights to Rudolph Delson’s excellent Maynard and Jessica, according to Reuters Canada. The book details the evolving relationship between the titular characters throughout 2000-2002. It’s told from the very strange perspectives of more than 30 characters including Maynard and Jessica’s family members, their friends, a Russian scam artist, birds, and an emergency brake on a train. 


According to this article, Delson is happy with Rudin’s choice of screenwriter, Liz Meriwether, but he says he won’t be involved in the adaptation. Perhaps Scott Rudin could take a lesson from Mr. Minghella…

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