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Book News Goes to the Movies (Hey, It’s Friday!)

  • Blonde Ambition: Today, Book News is a little movie mad.

    First comes word from the Cannes Film Festival that Naomi Watts's next role will be Marilyn Monroe in the big-screen version of Joyce Carol Oates's controversial novel Blonde.

    Blonde caused a stir on its publication in 2000, not least because its 700 pages went into salacious detail about Monroe's sex life. One chapter included a meeting with a studio executive who required her to perform sexual favours in order to further her career.

    The book referred to the men in Monroe's life only by nicknames — "the Ex-Athlete", "the Playwright" and "the President" standing in for Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller and John F Kennedy.

    No word on how faithful the film will be to scenes like this:

    In one scene from the book, Monroe engaged in a sexual act with the President while he spoke to Fidel Castro on the telephone. Oates said that her Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel was not historically accurate in all detail but had a "poetic truth".

    That would be some, err, interesting poetry on the big screen.

  • Secret is Out: Fox Searchlight has picked up the rights to Wayne Wang's film version of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, based on Lisa See's bestselling novel.

    The film stars Gianna Jun and Li Bing Bing as friends with a special bond from childhood who live isolated lives with bound feet, but communicate with each other via a secret language; an added contemporary story mirrors their devotion. The film is about 50/50 English and Chinese, says Searchlight

    Click here to read Lisa See's Powell's Q&A.

Book News Round-up:

  • The Daily Beast talks to Sebastian Junger about his new book, War, and the war in Afghanistan. In case you missed his picture in the margin to the right, Junger will be our guest blogger next week.
  • Let's check in on the Monkey See blog gang as they make their way through Moby-Dick.
  • The first New Yorker cover to feature a farting cow. And a beautifully illustrated one, at that.
  • And now this has happened. I expect the rain of frogs and the boiling-over of the seas any minute now.

    Also, I can't get this sound out of my head of a judge's gavel banging one last time — KUNG! KUNG! — and the echo lingering in the stillness...

÷ ÷ ÷

Chris Bolton co-created the all-ages webcomic Smash, which will soon be published by Candlewick Press, and created the comedy series Wage Slaves. His short story "The Red Room" was published in Portland Noir from Akashic Books.

Books mentioned in this post

4 Responses to "Book News Goes to the Movies (Hey, It’s Friday!)"

    manwith7talents May 14th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Thank God, finally. I hate Law and Order.

    monkeywomantoo May 14th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    regarding monkey see/moby dick, why do people continue to torture themselves reading moby dick? i did it too. melville became to me like a severly geeky and long winded roommate that you eventually go to tremendous lengths to try to avoid untill you just have to pack up your stuff and sneak out in the middle of the night. did i learn something from the experience? probably. was it worth it?
    not really. it's a really loooong book.

    Susannah Leigh May 14th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Maybe this version of Blonde will be better than the 2001 television movie starring Poppy Montgomery. Considering how awful the book is, my hopes aren't high.

    Kurt May 14th, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Indeed who does Melville think he is? Craming all that stuff about whales and ships and the catching of the one with the other into a book about whaling, subtitled "The Whale". Why, it's almost as if he hadn't to be used as a textbook in an english class at all!

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