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Claudia Adrien

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Family Endurance: The Vicar of Wakefield

By Claudia Adrien. Mar 11, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literature

Published in 1766, The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith became one of the most widely read novels of the Victorian era. It is widely referenced in British literaturefrom Charles Dickens' Tale of Two Cities to Jane Austen's Emma and George Eliot's Middlemarch. A book about family endurance, the drama surrounds the characters of the Primrose family: Dr. Primrose as the Vicar of Wakefield, his wife, and their many children. The Primrose's idyllic country life is turned upside down when they lose their financial footing and a daughter is abducted.

     
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Arthur Miller: Writing During the Red Scare

By Claudia Adrien. Mar 3, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: History, Drama

The Cold War was an era clouded by persistent paranoia, not only between the United States and the Soviet Union. When it came to its own citizens, the U.S. government was, in some cases, just as fearful as it was about foreign threats—especially when it came to the Hollywood crowd. Indeed, in October 1947, members of a congressional committee, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), began investigating members of the movie industry who they suspected were communist sympathizers. They banned the work of 325 screenwriters, actors, and directors*. Among those blacklisted were composer Aaron Copland, writers Dashiell Hammett, Lillian Hellman, and Dorothy Parker, playwright Arthur Miller, and actor and filmmaker Orson Welles.

     
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Robert Louis Stevenson, A Life in Quotes

By Claudia Adrien. Nov 13, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

"Everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was."-- Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson was supposed to follow in his father's engineering footsteps. Instead, he became a literary giant whose travels and adventures inspired his classic works Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Stevenson died in Samoa in 1894, far from his native Edinburgh. His dynamic life provided him with a wisdom that came across in his musings on the human experience. In appreciation for this legendary author, we have compiled some of his best quotations on life, travel, and self-discovery.

     
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Harry Houdini: From Vaudeville Performer to World-Class Magician

By Claudia Adrien. Oct 29, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

The feats of Harry Houdini amaze us even today. In his Chinese Water Torture trick, Houdini was suspended upside down in a locked glass-and-steel cabinet overflowing with water. In another stunt, he strapped himself into a straitjacket and then, suspended by his ankles, would escape before a crowd of onlookers. Sometimes he dislocated his shoulders in the process. Even now, nearly a century after his death, Harry Houdini remains the world's most well-known magician.

     
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Five Books That Brought Michael Crichton Fame and Fortune

By Claudia Adrien. Oct 21, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, Science Fiction

Michael Crichton was one of America's most popular science fiction writers, known not only for his books but also for many successful film adaptations. His novels have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide and the movies have grossed billions in revenue. Beyond working as a novelist, Crichton was also a physician, director, and screenwriter. Here we highlight five of Crichton's bestselling novels.

     
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The Unrealized Promise of Truman Capote, Author of In Cold Blood

By Claudia Adrien. Sep 27, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

Although Truman Capote is best known for his works Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958), and In Cold Blood (1965), it was his short stories that first launched his writing career. In 1946, Capote won the prestigious O. Henry Award for his short story "Miriam." He has since become one of America's most recognized and eccentric 20th-century writers.

     
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The PEN/Faulkner Award And Notable Winners

By Claudia Adrien. Sep 24, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, American Literature

The PEN/Faulkner Award is one of the highest honors given to American citizens for fiction writing. The award was initially established by William Faulkner who used his 1949 Nobel Prize winnings to create the the William Faulkner Foundation. The primary goal of the foundation was to support emerging fiction writers. Although the foundation was later dissolved, the award came under the management of PEN, the international writers' association.

     
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James Alan McPherson, First African American to win a Pulitzer Prize

By Claudia Adrien. Sep 14, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, American Literature

In 1978, author James Alan McPherson became the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize. He won the award for his work Elbow Room, a compilation of short stories in which McPherson explored the haunting realities of race relations between blacks and whites.

     
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Raymond Benson, the First American writer of James Bond

By Claudia Adrien. Sep 4, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: James Bond, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Strong film screenplays provided the foundation for Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, and the five other actors to bring James Bond - or 007 - to life. These movies have captured the imaginations of movie-goers for decades. Of course, many of the screenplays derived from original James Bond books and short stories. Ian Fleming was the first James Bond author, the originator of the series. However, there have been seven other authorized James Bond authors; the first American writer was Raymond Benson.

     
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A Retrospective on Suspense Novelist John D. MacDonald

By Claudia Adrien. Jul 22, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Crime and suspense novelist John D. MacDonald published more than 78 books, with more than 75 million copies in print by the time of his death in 1986. Among his varied achievements, his novel, The Executioners, was adapted into the Hollywood film Cape Fear. Novelist Stephen King called MacDonald "the great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller."

     
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