Kenneth Slawenski, the author of an acclaimed new J. D. Salinger biography (and the great website Dead Caulfields), is a bit like his hero: There’s no author photo on the book, a minimal “about the author” note, and he’s granted only a few interviews. But Salinger fans, rest assured, Slawenski is no phony: “I know it's inevitable that they are going to draw a correlation between me and Salinger, but this isn't a stunt . . . This is just the way I am."
Why is James Franco planning to adapt Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying for the screen? Doesn’t the actor/author/Oscar host/college student have enough to do (and some sleep to catch up on)? We’d like to ask him, but we’ll settle for the next best thing: Christian Lorentzen’s “Internal Memo,” James Franco edition.
Yesterday the 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists were announced, leading us to play the old “one of these things is not like the other” game: Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids—which takes place decades ago—is oddly shoehorned into the “current interest” section along with an Obama biography, a book about Afghanistan, and two books about the recent financial crisis.