Netflix Is Jumping on the Atwood Train
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The literary world is off to a dystopia-heavy start to the week. From Atwood fever to the occupation of Century City to that booming dictionary-sanctioned thud that just sounded from your colleague’s office, here’s all the bookish news from around the web. Steel yourself — we still have four more days until that long weekend.
TV Can’t Get Enough of Margaret Atwood
The politically trying times we’re living in have given way to a dystopian renaissance of sorts, and Margaret Atwood’s novels are at the forefront of the literary and filmic movement. For the better part of a year, we eagerly awaited the arrival of The Handmaid’s Tale adaptation on Hulu, and since the first episode became available in April, the reviews have been widely positive. The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum applauded the series’ take on the 1985 novel for being “heavy-handed in the best way,” and portraying the grim social stratification of the fictional Gilead “through gorgeous tableaux of repression.” (Doesn’t that sound like a piece of artwork Trump would commission? Ah, yes. Can you place it right next to the Andrew Jackson?)
Well, turns out Netflix wants a piece of that pie. The streaming service is in the process of developing a miniseries based on Atwood’s 1996 historical fiction novel, Alias Grace. This past weekend saw the release of the first images from shooting. The story of Alias Grace concerns the conviction of the mid 18th-century Irish immigrant, Grace Marks, for killing her bosses. It will star Sarah Gadon, and the adaptation was written and produced by Sarah Polley. Big names are also collaborating on the project; Mary Harron, who previously worked on American Psycho, will be directing the series, and Oscar-winner, Anna Paquin, will be taking on the role of the housekeeper Morgan Montgomery.
[Salon, Matthew Rozsa]
Merriam Webster Adds the Internet Neologism “Headdesk” to Its Lexicon
What’s the word for when the crushing weight of existence bears down on your shoulders and forces your head to make repeated, banging contact with your cheaply shellacked Ikea desk? Oh yeah, headdesk!
That sound you hear from the M-W office this morning… https://t.co/nylCr54WxT
Thanks to Merriam-Webster, perhaps the sassiest dictionary around, we now know how to properly label what many of us have been doing with mounting frequency since the election of our grammatically (and otherwise) challenged President. According to HuffPo, Merriam-Webster officially adopted the word headdesk after Trump misused AND misspelled the homonym “counsel/council” for the second time on Twitter. After several of their staff injured themselves to the point of concussion, they released this explanation for the origin of the one-up to facepalming.
[Huffington Post, Claire Fallon]
The American Writers Museum Opens in Chicago
If you’re a resident or happen to find yourself in the Windy City, check out the first ever American Writers Museum! Mashable says that the institution’s founder, Malcom Hagan, was inspired to create the gallery after visiting the Dublin Writers Museum. Hagan, a manufacturing executive and bibliophile, couldn’t understand why something similar didn’t exist in the U.S., so he took it upon himself to make a homage to our country’s literary tradition. The museum features 13 interactive exhibits, including, a Word Waterfall, high-tech fridge poetry, and more!
[Mashable, Chris Taylor]
The Amazon Bookstore Takeover Targets L.A.
In the last year, we’ve reported on Amazon’s brick-and-mortar expansion in NYC: this spring, the online retail mega-giant opened up a location in Columbus Circle, and this summer, another store opening looms in Herald Square, just around the corner from the Electric Lit offices. Last week, the company announced its newest plan to open up a physical store in a Century City mall located on the toney cross streets of Santa Monica Boulevard and Century Park West. It will be the first Amazon bookstore to open in Los Angeles, but given the company’s ambitious plans in the east and their domination of the pacific northwest, we can only imagine that several more locations will be coming soon.
I’m just going to leave this link to the Indie Bookstore Finder, here…
[L.A. Times, Carolyn Kellogg]