The story of his sister’s life and death moves Dreher to acknowledge his own weaknesses and his part in the pain that is in his family.
Over the course of the next month, Dallas will read Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451. We want to give you two copies of the book so you can give one away.
Bill Holston reflects on an event this week that brought together a diverse group of refugees in Dallas who have captured their experience of this city in verse.
Tim has the news and links over on FrontBurner.
Author Chris Cleve will discuss his latest novel as part of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Arts & Letters event.
On the one hand A Rough Guide is about his time reporting from the often sureal post-war landscape of Belgrade. But the book is also a deeply personal, sometimes self-effacing account of the author’s slide into drug-hazed disillusionment with journalism that found Simpson inventing alter-egos, fabricating quotes, and blowing off his day job to pursue the madcap dream of starting a musical festival.
Dr. Samet teaches literature at West Point, and has written two books on literature, obedience in American political life, and the education of soldiers. Here’s the full release:
Have you been Facebooked and mass emailed about North Texas Giving Day over the past week? I’m sure you have, and you’ve probably heard from D Magazine. We are working with the Friends of the Dallas Public Library to raise money to buy books for DISD ninth and tenth graders through The Big Read Dallas program.
Brandon Kennedy, who, you may remember, penned this article this past April about McMurtry, his collection, and his bookstores, set out to Archer City and returned with this dispatch over on Fine Books and Collections about what proved a difficult trip.
For a literary nonfiction conference dedicated to nonfiction’s uneasy relationship to fiction, it was ironic just how much that happened at the Mayborn bordered on the surreal.
LocationMacGorman Chapel and Performing Arts Center 4616 Stanley Avenue Fort Worth, TX 76115
DatesThrough Jan 13, 2013
The famous ancient manuscripts are on display in Fort Worth, part of an exhibition that offers more than just static artifacts.
When people who are familiar with Collins’ musical career hear about the drummer and singer’s life-long love of The Alamo, it raises eyebrows.
As we’ve mentioned, Phil Collins is not only the author of the greatest drum roll in rock and roll history, he is an Alamo-obsessed history buff and one of the foremost collectors of Alamo artifacts.
That’s what the former D Magazine scribe says on his webpage this morning. The deal with publisher Harper Collins was struck thanks to his manuscript for the first volume, The Merchant Princes: A Far Ranger Adventure.
Dallas author Ben Fountain jumped from law to letters with a splash, his short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara. Following up that success, however, has been more difficult
Author Larry McMurtry will auction off 350 thousand books this August. Is this the beginning of the end of his legendary bookstore, Booked Up?
LocationGood Records 1808 Greenville Ave. Dallas, TX 75206
This covers so many different types of nerd, I don’t even know where to begin taking fanboy shots. So we’ll just get to the good news. Yesterday, award-winning author and graphic novelist Neil Gaiman accompanied musician and wife Amanda Palmer—who performs with the “cabaret punk” act Dresden Dolls and has a successful solo career as well—for a Violitionist session in little old Denton.
Violitionist continues to rack up an impressive list of increasingly more well-known names for its bedroom-based interview series, and I was surprised by the sight of Gaiman popping up in my Facebook feed. His is an image I know quite well, since I based my leather jacket and sunglasses look on him in 9th grade, complete with Morpheus shirt. The jury is still out on whether or not I actually pulled that style off with any amount of success on my 14-year-old, 110 lb, six ft frame, but, “nerd” and “fanboy,” indeed.
Gaiman and Palmer were interviewed and even performed a duet together. The clip should premier sometime in late May. If you can’t wait until then, Amanda Palmer will be performing a “ninja” gig at Good Records this evening at 6 pm, which I’m assuming means kind of secret, and kind of not secret at all. The event is free.
The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture will present their seventh annual MLK Symposium this evening at the Winspear Opera House with a conversation focusing on the cultural conditions that led to the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s. “The World Dr. King Inherited and Changed,” as the program is titled, will feature keynote speaker Isabel Wilkerson, the first African American woman Pulitzer Prize-winner.
Wilkerson is the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, the culmination of more than 15 years of research into the movement of African Americans from the south to urban centers between 1915 and 1970. In addition to telling a general history of the migration, the book focuses on three individuals, each story representative of the trends that led African Americans to places like New York, Los Angeles, and Florida.
Wilkerson will also be joined at this evening’s symposium by two panelists, each of whom also have personal histories rooted in the “great migration.” Dr. Carol François, a longtime Dallas resident who grew up in Pennsylvania, has served as a teacher, principal, Dean of Instruction, Chief of Staff of Dallas ISD, and Associate Commissioner of Education for the State of Texas. Dr. Robert Green is the former Dean at Michigan State University who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. His father migrated to Detroit.
The program will begin with a keynote address by Wilkerson, followed by an interview and discussion. For more information, visit here.
Robert Edsel is the Dallas writer who has made a name for himself hunting down priceless works of art that fell into Nazi hands during World War II. His efforts have contributed to one documentary, The Rape of Europa, and you can read about the 2011 Texas Medal of the Arts recipient in this D Magazine profile. Now, according to the LA Times, Edsel’s book, The Monuments Men, about the soldiers who helped save art in the aftermath of the Second World War, will be adapted into a new movie directed and starring George Clooney. (h/t Art&Seek)
Photo: Robert Edsel by Matthew Hawthorne for D Magazine
Diana Senechal, an author, journalist, and teacher, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, an annual award bestowed on an up-and-coming thinker who is recognized as a leader in the humanities.
Merritt Tierce, a Denton-dwelling writer, was one of six women to receive the national Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, last week in a ceremony in New York. The award carries a grant of $25,000, and it is awarded to emerging woman writers as a way of helping them build their writing careers. Tierce’s story is a moving one, especially for any of us who have ever attempted to make a go at this difficult trade. After attending the renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she returned to Denton and began waiting tables. Tierce writes in her submission for the award:
“Last night at the restaurant I experienced a moment of dissonance. It was as if I had never left. I went to Iowa, which doesn’t make me a writer by any means, but nonetheless gave me a taste of what it’s like to live as a writer. To make the words the thing life is organized around. I don’t believe anyone owes me anything because I want to be a writer; I’m not afraid of hard work. But I see clearly that for me the time to write depends on money. The Foundation can buy me that time.”
Now she has that time. You can read Tierce’s story “Suck It” here. Here’s the full release:
Let me point you to this very attractive book by Alec Williams and Leslie Coulture about Denton’s legendary Fry St. entitled The Fry Street Neighborhood 1977-1986: A Photographic Memoir. About the book by Williams and Coulture, who works for the Denton Public Library:
Fry Street earned its greatest notoriety in the early 1970s when it is rumored that Willie Nelson, while on the Johnny Carson show, said that the best dope he ever got was on Fry Street in Denton, Texas. Or maybe it was the police officer, who, while on the Johnny Carson show, said that Denton was the drug capitol of the world. It’s hard to say.
The origin of these accounts started in the late 1960s. Growing and selling illegal drugs had become widespread in Denton County and drug arrests peaked on October 31, 1970, when 132 persons were arrested throughout the county.
Whatever the case, Fry Street had always been a place of lively activity. It borders the University of North Texas, and old storefronts have mirrored the changing times. It was a good place for students to try their hands at a first business, a great place for a group of musicians to start a band, and a fun place to hang out.
If you want a taste of what to expect in the tome, check out Williams’ Flickr page which is chock full of historic images.
Image: Gilbert Olivarez, the owner of Fry Street Classics at the 1985 Fry Street Fair (via Williams’ Flickr)
The new movie Sarah’s Key, currently playing at the Angelika Film Center, began its life as a best-selling novel by French author Tatiana de Rosnay. The road from writer to screen wasn’t an easy one. It took de Rosnay nearly 10 years to find a publisher for her book, and condensing its interlacing narratives into a 111-minute movie proved complicated. We spoke with the author about her book and the new film.
FrontRow: Let’s start by talking about adaptations. This is the first movie you’ve done. Was there some trepidation in terms of the interpretation? And how involved were you in working through screenplays?
Tatiana De Rosnay: No, all of this has been really an extraordinary adventure for quite different reasons. When the movie deal came in, the producer, Stéphane Marsil, happened to be a friend of my sisters, so I knew who he was. And then Serge Joncour was the guy who wrote the script; I know him very well. So when I finally met Gilles Paquet-Brenner, the young director, I really felt like I was part of a team and that they were not going to butcher my work. And that’s very important because as a writer I’ve heard so many horror stories about really bad adaptations and writers being upset and worried and finally disappointed at what the movie turns out to be. So this is absolutely not the case for me.
FR: That’s always the fear, and especially a story like this, that can be sensationalized in some way or could kind of lose the sense of tone, which is what makes the movie so powerful. In terms of tone and in terms of the overall story what was sort of the essential core for you — what kept it together?
TDR: The two story lines — Sarah’s voice and Julia’s voice — were how I constructed the book. I couldn’t have written this book if I didn’t have those two visions. And when I saw the movie — when I read the script, it’s difficult for us writers to read scripts because it’s so different from what we write, it’s just like sentences. Because you don’t see the actor’s power when you read a script you just really blur.
FR: There’s no texture to it.
TDR: Exactly. So it’s kind of difficult for a writer. But I could tell that the script was jumping backwards and forwards from 1942 to now. And I could tell it was respecting my book perfectly. But it just seemed so dry, and it wasn’t until I saw the movie that I realized to what extend Gilles has respected all of my book, which for me was the voice was going from Julia to Sarah. There is also a key scene in the book where Julia is confronted with her father-in-law, who finally tells the truth about her coming home — that’s really how I fixed those two together like a puzzle. And I was worried about how Gilles was going to do that, but he pulled it off beautifully.
FR: When could you tell that Gilles had managed to figure out how to translate your story for the screen?
TDR: I had to see the movie about four times to kind of understand how he did it because the first time I saw it I cried so much that I just couldn’t see a thing. I just sobbed from the first scene to the last, and then the second time I was still so moved that I really was caught up in it too emotionally. It wasn’t until really the third or fourth time that I could honestly say, “Oh that’s how he did that. I see how he roped that to that.” Gilles is able to pick out these random parts in my book and just like make them into something which is not technically that way in my book but which absolutely works in the movie. He told me, we spent so much time studying how you constructed the book, how you built that story and trying to find out we could pull out one of your threads without something, you know, all the stitches falling apart. And he said to me afterwards I feel like I know your book better than you do [laughs].
FR: The taboo here is that you are talking about the Nazi atrocities in the context of France. Was there any backlash from the French public over your book?
TDR: Of course, this book, what you probably don’t know is it took me at least three years to get it published. Nobody wanted it. I wrote it nearly 10 years ago and it was published in 2007.
Image: Sarah’s Key author Tatiana de Rosnay and Melusine Mayance, who plays Sarah in Gilles Paquet Brenner’s film (courtesy of The Weinstein Company).
The idea of Dallas as a literary hotbed is a hard sell. No one knows that better than George Getschow, journalist, writer, University of North Texas professor, and architect of UNT’s Mayborn Conference. The Mayborn is a seminar and workshop dedicated to the art of literary nonfiction, and in the seven years since it launched, it has quietly drawn some of the nation’s leading luminaries, including Paul Theroux, Susan Orlean, and Gay Talese, to a nondescript hotel in Grapevine.
The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference kicks off this Friday, and over on the Dallas Morning News‘ website (sub. req.) writer, UNT professor, and Mayborn director George Getshow has an interview with keynote speaker Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper’s Wife and One Hundred Names for Love, in which she speaks about the role of language in her marriage after her husband’s stroke robbed him of the ability to speak.
We shared our work with each other, discussed books, talked by phone several times a day when one of us was traveling and played endless word games. For instance, Paul used to improvise silly songs about me throughout the day, little domestic operettas really. I include some in One Hundred Names.
The story behind the title of “One Hundred Names for Love” speaks volumes about your shared love affair with words. Would you share it with our readers?
Paul felt sad that he couldn’t remember any of his many pet names for me. So I suggested, partly as a form of speech therapy, that he try making up some new ones. And with much effort, he did, conjuring up a new name every day for 100 days in a row. All zany and wonderful. Whatever aphasia allowed out he tried to give a romantic spin to: “My Little Bucket of Hair,” “Dream Hobbit,” “Spy Elf of the Morning Hallelujahs,” “Smooch Owl” and so on.
Photo by Michael Weschler
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