Stephen King Defends Decision to Give Bob Dylan Nobel Prize for Literature

By December 9, 2016Literary Awards, News

Controversy was recently caused when the singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel prize for literature. Some writers and critics publicly disagreed with the decision, stating that Dylan was more a musician than a writer.

Famed horror writer Stephen King has defended the decision and has accused critics of having sour grapes. As The Guardian reports, in an interview with Rolling Stone, King said: “People complaining about his Nobel either don’t understand or it’s just a plain old case of sour grapes.”

He went on to directly call out writer Gary Shteyngart, saying: “I’ve seen several literary writers who have turned their noses up at the Dylan thing, like Gary Shteyngart. Well, I’ve got news for you, Gary – There are a lot of deserving writers who have never gotten the Nobel prize. And Gary Shteyngart will probably be one of them.”

King went on to argue that Dylan’s songs have opened the door for others and inspired people to take up writing themselves. After news broke that Dylan had won the award, further controversy was caused when the singer remained silent. The Nobel committee revealed it was unable to contact him and some began to accuse Dylan of arrogance. Silence was eventually broken after Dylan contacted the academy and thanked them for the award. He said he would be unable to attend the ceremony but did send a speech to be read out.

Dylan’s music certainly seems to have struck a chord with King. Recalling the first time he heard Subterranean Homesick Blues on the radio as a teenager, King said: “There was a guy on WBZ radio out of Boston … he played Subterranean Homesick Blues. Hearing it was like being electrified. It was like this pressurised dump of lyrics and images.” He went on to say both his children and grandchildren listen to Dylan, a rare achievement in today’s throwaway music culture. “My kids listen to Dylan, and so do my grandkids. That’s three generations. That’s real longevity and quality. Most people in pop music are like moths around a bug light; they circle for a while and then there’s a bright flash and they’re gone. Not Dylan.”

Adaptation of The Miniaturist to Air This Christmas

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In the spring we brought you the news that filming had started for the BBC adaptation of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist with filming taking place in Amsterdam, where the novel is set. The historical novel is set in 1686 and the judging by the photos released this is to be a lavish adaptation and now we can confirm it’s on the BBC Christmas schedule!

Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Nella Oortman, with Romola Garai playing her cold, domineering sister-in-law Marin. Nella’s husband will be portrayed by Alex Hassel of Cold Mountain fame and that’s just a small number of the excellent cast. Read More

Chris Riddell in War of Words with John Lewis over Moz Likeness

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Author and illustrator Chris Riddell got into a little Twitter spat last week with retailer John Lewis over the Moz character from the new advertising campaign, and a week on it’s still rumbling on as the ever witty and creative Chris Riddell continues with a stream of monster talk.

The former children’s laureate, Riddell, pointed out that Moz the Monster bears a striking similarity to Mr Underbed, his own monster character. Riddell then went on to show blow by blow how the stories are almost identical, and even the monsters bear a striking resemblance. Read More

A Wrinkle in Time: Release Date and New Trailer

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A few months ago Disney announced that they’d be adapting the classic sci-fi A Wrinkle in Time and released a small first trailer to give a taste of what was to come. All we knew at that point was that the film was marked for a spring 2018 release but this week, Disney have released a first trailer for the movie, and we have a release date too!

If you are beyond excited, and don’t have the advantage of being able to create A Wrinkle in Time then you’ll have to wait a little while yet, March 9th is the release date for cinemas. Read More

National Book Award Winners 2017 Announced

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The final winners of the National Book Awards 2017 was announced this week at the 68th National Book Awards ceremony. Last month we brought you the list of all the National Book Award finalists, and now we have the final winners in each category.

The National Book Awards is one of the oldest and most prestigious literary prizes known and each year honours winners in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature and this year also honoured Annie Proulx, and Richard Robinson, Chairman, President & CEO of Scholastic. Read More

Catch 22 To Get TV Adaptation, and George Clooney will Direct and Star

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Catch 22 is one of those novels everyone tells me I should read, but despite many (7 to date) attempts, I can’t get past page 100. So I for one am absolutely thrilled to hear there is to be a serialised adaptation of the black comedic satire that has become the most famous anti-war book ever written.

We haven’t seen Clooney on the small screen since ER, nearly twenty years ago but with Catch 22 he’ll not only star in the six episode series but he’ll be directing it too! Clooney won’t be taking the star role, he’ll be playing Yossarian’s commander, Colonel Cathcart. Read More

Orwell Statue Unveiled at BBC Broadcasting House

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On the 7th November this year, a brand new statue of one of my all time favourite authors was unveiled outside the BBC’s London Head Quarters, at New Broadcasting House.

Eric Blair had worked at the BBC as a producer for the “Empire Service” over 70 years ago and some suggest that it is this time at the BBC that gave him the inspiration for room 101, in his now famous novel 1984 which he penned under the more familiar name George Orwell.

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