Did you know Norman Mailer directed films? He did, four of them, and according to Sam Adams at Slate, the best thing to come out of Mailer’s relatively short-lived cinematic career was an epic fight scene between Mailer and Rip Torn that happens at the end of Maidstone. That 1970 movie was “shot over five days on several East Hampton estates and featuring a cast of dozens headed by—who else—Mailer himself, as art-house pornographer and potential presidential candidate Norman T. Kingsley.”
While the rise of self-publishing has been a boon to writers flying under the radar of traditional publishing houses, it hasn't been easy for self-published authors to get review attention. But for a price, gettingbookreviews.com founder Todd Rutherford can change that, the New York Times reports. For $499, Rutherford will write twenty positive reviews of a self-published book. For $999, he’ll write fifty. Before long, Rutherford realized that demand was outpacing supply, and advertised on Craigslist to see how little he could pay freelance writers while still keeping his clients—book authors—happy. The answer was $15 a review, or half that if the reviewers decided not to give a book a five-star rating. (They rarely do). Rutherford now earns $28,000 a month, and one of his top reviewers, a twenty-four-year-old named Brittany Walters-Bearden, made $12,500 after several months working for him. She told the Times that in order to write a three-hundred-word review, she spent on average fifteen minutes reading the book. “There were books I wished I could have gone back and actually read,” she said. “But I had to produce 70 pieces of content a week to pay my bills.”
The Norton Anthology of English Literature is turning fifty, and to celebrate, founding editor M.H. Abrams, chats with current editor Steven Greenblatt about what’s changed over the years, and why the book remains relevant.
Britain’s BBC Two has announced that will air a six-hour adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies in late 2013.
Bill Clinton has become a somewhat prolific book blurber, giving literary endorsements to books on climate change, studies of economic development, and a memoir by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.