Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This Week in Reading July 12 - 18

Obituaries: Journalist / fantasist John A. Keel (79), novelist Vassily Aksyonov (76), playwright / screenwriter Judi Ann Mason (54).

Authors born this week -

Nobel Prize in Literature
Novelist S. Y. Agnon (1966), poet Pablo Neruda (1971), playwright Wole Soyinka (1986)

Novelists and story writers
William Makepeace Thackeray, Isaac Babel, Nathalie Sarrault, Christina Stead, Jessamyn West, Irving Stone, Hammond Innes, Margaret Laurence, Anita Brookner, Clive Cussler, Iris Murdoch, Susan Howatch, Richard Russo, Christopher Priest, Joe Keenan

Poets and Playwrights
Reinaldo Arenas, Yevgeny Yevtushenko Playwrights: Oscar Hammerstein II, Clifford Odets, Arthur Laurents, Tony Kushner, J. Michael Straczynski

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Thinkers: Jacques Derrida, Thomas Kuhn Believers: Mary Baker Eddy Scientists: Paul Stamets Historians: Kenneth Clark, Pierre Berton

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Ida B. Wells Officials, Media and Others
Milton Berle, Phyllis Diller, Peter Schickele, Bill Cosby Essayists: Henry David Thoreau, Walter Benjamin, Rudolf Arnheim, Northrup Frye, Charles Champlin, Jerry Rubin, Maulana Karenga,Tony Kornheiser, Scott Ritter Journalists: Hunter S. Thompson Editors: Thomas Bullfinch, Arianna Huffington Officials: S. I. Hayakawa, Nelson Mandela Media and others: Roald Amundsen, R. Buckminster Fuller, Art Linkletter, Woody Guthrie, Richard Simmons, L. Brent Bozell

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Erle Stanley Gardner Crime: Donald E. Westlake Suspense: Jean-Christophe Grange

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Science Fiction:
George E. Slusser

Western / Historical Fiction Writers
Westerns: Owen Wister

Visual Artists
Illustrators: Bruno Schulz

Young People’s Writers
Children’s: Clement Moore, Cheech Marin, Brian Selznick Teens: Leon Garfield

Events to read about:
Rembrandt, Joshua Reynolds, the Rosetta Stone, Henry James and J. D. Salinger's books, Wrong Way Corrigan, the last tsar, H. L. Mencken watches the Scopes Trial, Nadia Comaneci earns the first "10."

This Week’s Questions:

Sometimes a new word needs to be coined for a specific literary concept; sometimes a word is created by a typo which looks like it could fit a literary concept. For example:

Lilterature - Sappy books meant primarily to lift one's spirits.

Silence Fiction - Novels about censorship

Buyographies - Ghost written life stories paid for by celebrities

Wisterns - Romance novels with ranch settings

Franticsy Fiction - Suspenseful horror novels

Mastery and Detection Fiction - How-to novels

Deference Encyclopedias - What you want to hear, not what you need to know

And the obvious ones:

Hysterical Fiction
Court Stories

Any others? Send us your humorous literary concepts.

Answer to Last Week’s Questions:
In 1971 Francis Steegmuller won a National Book Award for her biography of playwright Jean Cocteau, Cocteau: a biography.

In 1982 David McCullough won a National Book Award for his biography of Teddy Roosevelt, Mornings on Horseback.

Short story writer Alice Munro won the United Kingdom's Man Booker International Prize for 2009. The prize is for the author's significant work in fiction overall and is given only every other year.

The books discussed last week in the National Book Awards temporary blog of the 77 Fiction Winners of the National Book Award were The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren, The Collected Stories of William Faulkner, From Here to Eternity by James Jones, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. This week we get novels by Saul Bellow, another Faulkner, John O'Hara, Wright Morris, John Cheever, Bernard Malumud, and Phillip Roth. Enjoyable to read.

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