Going Viral Nets a Two-Book Deal | Book Pulse

Book Deals and Movie News

Following up on the news earlier this week, Kristen Roupenian lands a two-book, seven-figure deal. The NYT reports Scout Press, an imprint of S&S, will publish her short story collection in 2019. “Cat Person,” her buzzy and topical short story in The New Yorker, went viral and “became the magazine’s second most-read article of 2017 despite being published in the Dec. 11 issue.”

The Warner Bros. and Amazon Studios’ adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize–winning The Goldfinch gets new cast members. Variety reports Ashleigh Cummings (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) will play Pippa. Already reported, Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars) will play Theo. Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk) and Willa Fitzgerald (Little Women) are also on board. John Crowley (Brooklyn) is directing.

Kenneth Branagh’s live-action adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl gets some big name stars too. Entertainment Weekly reports that Judi Dench will “play Commander Root, the steely leader of the fairy police force.” Josh Gad “will star as Mulch Diggums, a kleptomaniacal dwarf who works for the fairies (and himself).” Lara McDonnell (Love, Rosie) will play “elf hero Captain Holly Short” and Nonso Anozie (Cinderella) will fill the role of “Fowl’s bodyguard Butler.”

Briefly Noted

Michael Dirda reviews Christmas: A Biography by Judith Flanders (Thomas Dunne: Macmillan), writing that “Yuletide has almost always been more rowdy and secular than reverent or religious.” USA Today has a review as well, giving it 3.5 out of 4 stars, calling it “fascinating and lively.”

Author Louis Bayard looks at Christmas murder for The Washington Post, featuring a number of holiday murder mysteries including How the Finch Stole Christmas!: A Meg Langslow Mystery by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books: Macmillan).

LitHub picks its “Best Crime Books of 2017,” including Mette Ivie Harrison’s For Time and All Eternities (Soho Crime: Random House).

Looking ahead to 2018, Bustle has a list of new books from popular authors forthcoming in the new year, including Force of Nature by Jane Harper (Flatiron: Macmillan). They also count “The 25 Most Anticipated Nonfiction Books of 2018,” including Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith (Penguin).

Slate offers background and a critique of “Cornel West’s Reckless Criticism of Ta-Nehisi Coates.”

John Williams, the daily books editor and a staff writer at The New York Times, writes about why he appreciates the author William James, saying The Varieties of Religious Experience (Penguin) is “a profound balm.”

The NYT profiles Deborah Feldman, author of Exodus: A Memoir (Plume: Penguin) and Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots (S. & S.), an American who has moved to Berlin and has become “a rising star in Germany.” Her readings sell out and German critics say that she “brings to the German intellectual scene a Jewish intellectualism that is new, vital and fresh.” The Times also features John Latouche, “a prolific lyricist of Broadway’s golden age” and a man who seemed to know just about anyone worth knowing, who is now the subject of the book The Ballad of John Latouche: An American Lyricist’s Life and Work by Howard Pollack (Oxford UP). The Times writes the book at “nearly 500 dense but rich pages—is the first survey to fill in the gaps of Latouche’s liquor-soaked life and career as a lyricist whose clever writing for Broadway and experimental theater prefigured Stephen Sondheim.”

Finally, the NYT considers Bethlehem: Biography of a Town by Nicholas Blincoe (Nation Books: Hachette), a book about the history of the storied city, and offers their list of the best self-help and how-to books of the year.

Literary Passing: Yu Guangzhong, an exiled Chinese poet whose work, as the NYT writes, “came to symbolize the aching separation, displacement and longing for cultural unity felt by many in mainland China and in the Chinese diaspora,” has died.

Literary hoaxer Clifford Irving, who “concocted a supposedly authorized autobiography of the billionaire Howard Hughes based on meetings and interviews that never took place” has died as well. His The Autobiography of Howard Hughes landed him in jail, for conspiracy and grand larceny.

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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ's reader's advisory columnist. She writes The Reader's Shelf, RA Crossroads, Book Pulse, and Wyatt's World columns. She is currently revising The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2018). Contact her at nwyatt@mediasourceinc.com.

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