Daily News from Poets & Writers

Paramount Delays Release of Film Version of The Kite Runner to Protect Child Actors

by Staff
Paramount recently announced it will push back the release of the film version of Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel The Kite Runner (Bloomsbury, 2003), directed by Marc Forster, in order to protect its child actors whose performances, particularly in a rape scene, could trigger violence in Kabul. Afghan and American officials, as well as the actors’ families, have expressed concern that the film may exacerbate hostility between ethnic groups—the politically dominant Pashtun and the historically oppressed Hazara.

NEA Launches Initiative to Celebrate Historic Poetry Sites

by Staff

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) unveiled yesterday a pilot initiative to celebrate national historic sites related to poetry. As part of the NEA’s Big Read, the new program will give Extraordinary Action grants to encourage communities to commemorate American poets in the regions in which they lived.

Palatella Succeeds Shatz as Nation's Literary Editor

by Staff

The Nation recently announced that books editor Adam Shatz is stepping down after four years to take a position at the London Review of Books. Shatz will be succeeded by John Palatella, who will be the magazine's new literary editor covering books and the arts.

More Fiction From James Frey: HarperCollins to Publish Novel

by Staff
Less than two years after James Frey admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he had fabricated sections of his memoir A Million Little Pieces, the infamous author is set to publish again. HarperCollins announced yesterday that it had acquired Frey's third book, a novel titled Bright Shiny Morning, and plans to publish it next summer.

Bangladeshi Author Faces Criminal Charges After Last Week's Attack

by Staff
Thirteen years after she fled her native Bangladesh when thousands of Muslims threatened to kill her for blasphemy, author Taslima Nasrin is being charged with "hurting Muslim feelings," the New York Times reports. The charge follows an attack last week at a book party for Nasrin's novel Shodh (Getting Even), during which dozens of protesters shouted slogans describing the author as "anti-Muslim" and "anti-Islam." They threw chairs, overturned tables, and, according to a report last week in the Guardian in London, Nasrin was slapped. She escaped unhurt but told reports she was in shock.

Wisconsin Media Technician Wins Contest for Worst Writing

by Staff

Jim Gleeson, a forty-seven-year-old media technician from Madison, Wisconsin, was recently named winner of the 25th annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, but it’s unlikely that the distinction will earn him any book deals. The award, sponsored by San Jose State University, is given for the year’s worst writing. 

Judge Orders Albert to Pay $350,000 to Film Company

by Staff
On Tuesday, a Manhattan district court judge ordered fiction writer Laura Albert to pay a total of $350,000 in legal fees and other costs to Antidote International Films. Albert, who gained notoriety for publishing and posing as her alter-ego, JT Leroy, had used the fictitious name to sign a film contract and tax forms with Antidote prior to the disclosure of her true identity in 2005. Last month, she was convicted of fraud and ordered to pay $116,000 in damages.

Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie to "Star" In Adaptation of Beowulf

by Staff

A film adaptation of the Old English epic poem Beowulf is set to release on November 16. Directed by Robert Zemeckis—the man who gave audiences Back to the Future (all three parts) and Forrest Gump, for which he won an Oscar, among many others—the movie version of Beowulf owes more to the style of filmmaking he utilized in The Polar Express.

Mediabistro Sold for $23 Million

by Staff

On Monday, founder Laurel Touby sold Mediabistro, the Web site serving freelance writers, editors, designers, and other media and creative professionals, for $23 million to Jupitermedia Corporation, an Internet research company that owns several media Web sites.

Glass Sets Cohen's Poems to Music

by Staff

Last Saturday night, the poetry of Leonard Cohen and the melodies of Philip Glass were featured in the New York City premiere of Book of Longing, a ninety-minute concert at Lincoln Center.