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.”

Charles Dickens’ Contribution to Science to Feature in Exhibition

By | Authors, Culture, Literary Events, Literary Places, News | No Comments
Charles Dickens: Man of Science is a current exhibition running at the Charles Dickens Museum until November 11th and the exhibition is looking at the author’s contribution to science, and notably medicine.

Dickens astute observations on human behaviours means he spotted many illnesses and their symptoms before they were recognised by the medical community and his descriptions so accurate that they can be used to build correlation between symptoms and disease.
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£2m Revamp Complete for National Centre for Writing

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The National Centre for writing relaunches in Norwich this week following a £2 million revamp for the historic Dragon Hall. It was previously known as the Writers’ Centre, Norwich but now the facility is to be a “Physical and digital space to explore the artistic and social power of creative writing, and support the creation and enjoyment of world literature” according to a spokesman interviewed by The Bookseller this week.

Parts of the historic Dragon Hall date back to 1430, meaning any renovations had to be sympathetic. The project was given the go ahead back in 2016 and was backed by a number of high profile patrons including Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith, Elif Shafak, J. M Coetzee, and Sarah Perry.
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9 year old’s story about a refugee child is a competition winner

By | Children's Literature, News | No Comments
9 year old Frasier Cox won The Book People’s 2017 Bedtime Story Competition with his beautiful poem inspired by the theme of friendship.

The Book People ran the competition earlier last year and from the 1300 entries a shortlist of 3 stories were chosen from different age ranges- 5-7 years, 8-9 years, and 10-11 years. The shortlisters were respectively Jackson Mendoza, Frasier Cox, and Amy Chick. From those three winners one final overall winner had to be decided upon by three judges.

Frasier’s story was written in the style of a poem and is about a hypothetical friendship between himself and a refugee boy. His warmth, empathy, and humanity shone through and won him the coveted prize of having his book illustrated and published. After being told of his success, Frasier told The Book People:  “I’m really pleased and very excited to have won The Bedtime Story Competition and can’t wait for my story to be made into a real book. I love reading and writing stories and to know that my book will be read by children all over the country makes me very proud.”

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Mary Shelley to Be the Focus of ‘Genius’ Season 3

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In 2017, National Geographic launched a new TV series called Genius, which explores the lives of famed historical figures one might well label a genius. The first season followed Albert Einstein, the second Pablo Picasso, and it has now been confirmed that a third season is in the works and will follow the gothic writer Mary Shelley.

“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein left an indelible mark on generations of imaginations,” said Carolyn Bernstein, EVP, global development and production for National Geographic Global Networks. “Equally inspiring is the story of Shelley’s relentless innovation, coupled with her desire to live on her own unconventional terms despite immense societal and cultural obstacles.” Read More

Little Women is back with a modern twist!

By | Adaptations, News | No Comments
Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women 150 years ago and since September 30th, 1868 it has inspired and entertained readers all over the world.

Many adaptations have been made- from TV to radio to movies- and now we have something new: a modern retelling of the classic story of sisterly love. Directed and screen-written by Clare Niederpruem with Kristi Shimek, this tale of family, love, and growing up will hopefully spark a whole new generation of Little Women fans.

The movie will star Lea Thompson as Marmee, Sarah Davenport as Jo, Melanie Stone as Meg, Allie Jennings as Beth, Elsie Jones as Young Amy, and Taylor Murphy as Older Amy.

It is released on September 28th 2018.

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