'Philip Roth': Blake Bailey's story behind the story arrives
FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2008, file photo, author Philip Roth poses for a photo in the offices of his publisher in New York. A biography of the late author, "Philip Roth: The Biography" by Blake Bailey, comes out April 7. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)NEW YORK – The life of Philip Roth was a story. Blake Bailey's “Philip Roth,” a volume Roth had imagined in some form for more than 20 years, comes out April 6. AdThe “real” Philip Roth has been a quest for countless critics — and the author himself — since his 1969 bestseller “Portnoy's Complaint” left many readers believing that Roth and his lusting narrator were one and the same.
In 'Ma Rainey,' channeling the blues of August Wilson
Following “Fences” and “Ma Rainey,” he intends to continue adapting Wilson’s famed American Century Cycle, a 10-play series spanning each decade of the 20th century. All of Wilson's plays hum with the sorrowful beauty of the blues but “Ma Rainey" is soaked through. On a sweaty, summer day, a band has gathered at a white-owned recording studio to cut a new record with Ma Rainey (Davis), the pioneering “Mother of the Blues,” and an unapologetically liberated woman from the South. It’s Cutler and Slow Drag and Ma Rainey talking," says Wolfe. For Davis, Ma isn't a character she wants to let go of, or stop admiring.
Final goodbye: Recalling influential people who died in 2020
The world also said goodbye to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a lion of the civil rights movement who died in July. Other former political figures who died this year include Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, New York Mayor David Dinkins, Arizona Gov. Here is a roll call of some influential figures who died in 2020 (cause of death cited for younger people, if available):___JANUARY___David Stern, 77. The guitarist who supplied the scratching, seething sound that fueled the highly influential British punk band Gang of Four. He fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music.
Show goes on for Olivier Awards, even with UK theaters shut
Scott and Ian McKellen were among acting winners as Britains Laurence Olivier Awards celebrated the best of the London stage in bittersweet fashion Sunday night, Oct. 25, 2020 - most U.K. theaters remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)LONDON – Andrew Scott and Ian McKellen were among acting winners as Britain’s Laurence Olivier Awards celebrated the best of the London stage in bittersweet fashion Sunday night — most U.K. theaters remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. McKellen won a special Olivier — his seventh — for his one-man 80th birthday tour of the U.K., staged before the pandemic as a fundraiser for regional theaters. A handful of theaters have reopened to reduced, socially distanced audiences, but many are still shut and relying on emergency funding from the government to stay afloat. Olivier organizers say the next awards ceremony will likely not be until 2022, because so little work has been staged this year.
Walter Mosley to receive honorary National Book Award
NEW YORK Walter Mosley is receiving an honorary National Book Award, cited for dozens of books which range from science fiction and erotica to the acclaimed mystery series that has followed the life of Los Angeles private detective Ezekiel Easy Rawlins. The National Book Awards are presented by the non-profit National Book Foundation. But like such previous medal winners as Ray Bradbury and Elmore Leonard, he has never been nominated for a National Book Award in a competitive category. Mosley knows well the reason: Crime fiction is usually bypassed when lists for a years best books are considered. In a statement Thursday, National Book Foundation Executive Director Lisa Lucas noted the quantity, and quality, of Mosley's work.
Blake Bailey's 880-page Philip Roth bio to arrive in April
NEW YORK In the Fall 2012, as the willing subject of one of the most anticipated literary biographies in recent memory, Philip Roth joked that he had surrendered power over his own life to author Blake Bailey. This is madness.Bailey's Philip Roth: The Biography is coming out April 6, 2021, W.W. Norton & Company announced Thursday. But Roth and Miller, the nephew of Roth's friend Arthur Miller, had different ideas for the book and parted ways in 2009. Why should a gentile from Oklahoma write the biography of Philip Roth? Bailey remembered Roth asking him. Roth also lists recommended subjects, everything from his former landlady, to the mores and ethos of Bucknell to the McCarthy era of the 1950s.