‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Has a New Ending & Stephen King Has a New TV Show

Your essential literary news from around the web

VP Joe and Dr. Jill Biden Score Book Deal With Macmillan

Everyone’s favorite man to meme, Vice President Joe Biden, and his wife Dr. Jill Biden, have signed a three-book, non-fiction publishing contract with Macmillan. VP Biden will be writing two of the three books, and it’s been announced that the first one will be centered on his personal and political challenges in 2015, with a particular focus on the devastating loss of his son Beau Biden to brain cancer. There’s no word on what Dr. Biden’s book will cover, but it will surely add more insight into the years of the Obama Administration, along with the forthcoming projects from Barack, Michelle, and Hillary. Hard to tell if these books will add or subtract to the public’s disillusionment, but I imagine it will dredge up a lot of complicated emotions for readers. Like trying to be happy for your ex for moving on, but still harboring intense romantic feelings of longing. Come back, guys. Please? [Politico/ Aidan Quigley]

Stephen and Owen King’s ‘Sleeping Beauties,’ Is Being Adapted for TV Before It’s Even Published

It’s hard to believe that the heart-melting father/son duo in this picture were capable of co-writing the forthcoming horror novel, Sleeping Beauties. Their latest work due out in September is about what would happen if women disappeared from society. In the book, women in a small Appalachian town are overcome by “a cocoon-like gauze” when they fall asleep. While sleeping, their consciousness goes somewhere else, and if they’re disturbed they become wild and volatile (which sounds like most people getting woken up, to be honest). Anyways, there’s one woman, Evie, who is not affected by the epidemic. The story follows her struggle as the men wonder whether her immunity is a medical miracle or a sign of her possible demonic nature. People are already so hyped about this book that Anonymous Content acted early and secured the rights for adapting the novel into a TV series. Anonymous Content has a pretty good track record, too, with True Detective and Mr. Robot to their name. [Bustle/Kristian Wilson]

Woman Finds Rare First Edition of Dostoevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’ and Cashes In Big Time

An anonymous woman recently bid £14 on a box of books and soon realized that one of those books would warrant an auction of its own. After returning home with her newly purchased haul, she claims she didn’t give much thought to the collection of fairly common titles, but decided to research their value online nonetheless. She was completely floored when she found that a book from the same 1886 first English edition of Crime and Punishment that she had just acquired was sold in the U.S. for $12,000. She contacted auctioneer Chris Albury, who claims, “I nearly fell off my chair when I received a blurry image and a brief description of this book in an email valuation one morning.” It turns out that it is one of less than 10 copies left in existence. The relic went for £13,500 at auction, and the woman plans to use the money for home renovations and maybe even a vacation. [The Guardian/Sian Cain]

PEN America to Present Women’s March with Award for Free Expression Courage

7th West and 34th Street

Amazon Will Open Two Bookstores in NYC

Earlier this year, the online retail behemoth Amazon announced a plan to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in New York City, at the heart of Columbus Circle. Well, it seems the company has now shifted its offline phase into full gear. Today the company released word of a second planned store, this one on 34th street, right across from the Empire State Building. The store is scheduled to open this summer, during peak tourist season. So, will the store service out-of-towners or find a way into locals’ hearts? [LA Times/Michael Schaub]

The Handmaid’s Tale Audiobook Has Bonus Content

Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handsmaid’s Tale has been enjoying a second coming thanks to the dystopia-like political conditions we’ve been experiencing in Trump’s America. The award-winning audiobook, narrated by Claire Danes, has been available for years, and now it’s been revamped with an afterword from Atwood herself, explaining the inspiration for the book and its relationship to today’s troubling times. The audiobook also features an extended ending. Formerly, the book ended on the haunting lines: “Are there any questions?” Asked by Professor Pieixoto, after she concludes her lecture. Well, in this new version a cacophony of voices shout out questions that all readers have likely wanted to ask themselves. Finally, an essay from Valerie Martin read by Allyson Johnson puts a poignant finish on the project. [The Washington Post/ Katherine A. Powers]

About the Author

More Like This

There’s No Surgery for Loneliness

Sarah Rose Etter on "The Book of X," her surreal new novel about the traumas of living in a body

Jul 15 - Jane Dykema

“Infinite Detail” Imagines an Apocalypse Many of Us Long For

Tim Maughan and Annalee Newitz discuss whether a world without the internet is a dystopia or a utopia

May 13 - Annalee Newitz

In “The Water Cure,” Toxic Masculinity Is Making Women Physically Ill

Sophie Mackintosh on the looming threat of dystopia in 2019

Jan 9 - Deirdre Coyle