02 November 2012
Reimagining a classic is always a dangerous proposition.Author Gillian Cross and illustrator Neil Packer recently took on the Olympian task of packaging "The Odyssey" for a younger audience, presumably to serve as a placeholder until they encounter Homer in sophomore year of high school. To be clear, no one, including Cross and Packer, intends this to serve as a replacement for the original.However, this version does succeed as an appealing introduction for the uninitiated – and for the rest of us, it provides a welcome opportunity to view an old friend in a new light. (Click here to read the rest of the review at Page Views)
10 September 2012
23 May 2012
“Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” –“The Little Prince”
Today (May 16), the Paris auction house Artcurial will auction off two recently discovered pages of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved classic “Le Petit Prince.”
The auction house estimated the worth of this literary find between 40,000€ to 50,000€ (app. $52,000 to $65,000). This may seem like a high price tag for two thin pages of nearly illegible writing, but it would not be surprising to see it fetch an even greater sum.
After all, “The Little Prince” has sold 140 million copies worldwide and is the world’s second most translated book behind the Bible.
But more interesting than the monetary value is this question: Why was this passage left out of the final manuscript? While we’ll probably never know the answer for sure, the omission of this particular passage sheds some light on the book’s breathtaking success. Read more at Page Views
14 May 2012
Graduation season is fast upon us. It's likely that your local bookstore (if you’re lucky enough to still have a local bookstore), has already dusted off its “Gifts for the Graduate” display.
These will always feature picture books because, with their uplifting messages and a small word count, they make great gifts for the pomp and circumstance crowd.
However, it is important to choose carefully. Give the right picture book and you arm your graduate with precious wisdom for the road ahead. Choose poorly and you just dropped good money on a long-form greeting card.
Bookstores will inevitably suggest the classic (Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”) and the cloying (Sandra Boynton’s “Yay You! Moving Out, Moving Up, Moving On”), but if you want to reach beyond the cliché, here are 10 alternative gift ideas: Read more at Page Views
10 May 2012
Some thoughts on Maurice Sendak in the NYDailyNews:
Sendak, who died on Tuesday at 83, knew that he was a writer unlike any other. “I think what I offered was different,” he once said in an interview, “but not because I drew better than anybody or wrote better than anybody, but because I was more honest than anybody.” Read more at the NYDailyNews
21 April 2012
Since the Pulitzer Board won't tell you what you should read, here are some suggestions: The Pulitzer Board's Word Problem
The Pulitzer committee caused quite a stir this week by deciding not to award a proize for fiction in 2012. But if you look closely at the three finalists (Denis Johnson's "Train Dreams," Karen Russell's "Swamplandia!" and David Foster Wallace's "The Pale King"), you'll see that they all have one thing in common that virtually disqualified them from winning anything this year: Too many words.
20 April 2012
07 April 2012
It's been almost 2 years, but I've started writing again. I still have a lot of rust to knock off, but so far I've contributed 2 short pieces to Page Views, the new NY Daily News book blog:
"To help new parents get started in the brave new world of children’s literature, here are some complementary book pairings: a “grown-up” book and its picture book counterpart. These pairings offer a bridge between reading worlds by featuring recognizable characters, similar styles, and parallel themes. And most importantly, none of these pairs feature any (overt) messages about the joys of pooping."
"Dartmouth College announced this morning that its medical school will be named after Audrey and Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss, who graduated from there in 1925).Since it does not inspire confidence to have a doctor who refers to body parts as "Thing 1" and "Thing 2", we thought it would be useful to prepare a new recommended reading list for incoming medical students."
I've missed writing, so hopefully this will help me get back on track. If not, I'll be sure to post again in another 2 years.