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Claudia Adrien

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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."


Ten Things You Didn't Know About Cormac McCarthy

By Claudia Adrien. Jul 16, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

Cormac McCarthy has been described as the best unknown novelist in America. Although lauded in literary circles as a "writer's writer" and the William Faulkner or James Joyce of this era, McCarthy became better known later in his career with his Pulitzer-Prize winning work All the Pretty Horses. Further notoriety came when his book No Country for Old Men was adapted for film by the Coen brothers. The movie won four Academy Awards.


The Dalai Lama, Spiritual Leader in Exile

By Claudia Adrien. Jul 5, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Biographies

His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is a Buddhist monk and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Born July 6, 1935 into a farming family in northeastern Tibet, Lamo Dhondup was designated as the reincarnation of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, when he was two years old.


Famous Authors Who Changed Their Names

By Claudia Adrien. Jul 3, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

We know Nathaniel Hawthorne best as the author of The Scarlet Letter, The Marble Faun, and other classics in American literature. What you probably didn't know was that "Hawthorne" wasn't the author's real surname. Born on July 4, 1804 as Nathaniel Hathorne, he added the "W" to his name so he wouldn't be associated with his ancestor John Hathorne, who was the only judge involved in the Salem witch trials.


Dickens in the Dictionary: Neologisms Coined by Legendary Authors

By Claudia Adrien. Jun 23, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book History, Book News

From Charles Dickens to Norman Mailer, writers past and present have expanded the English language with neologisms, or new words and phrases. Even the word neologism is one, borrowed from the French néologisme.


Maurice Sendak and the 'In the Night Kitchen' Kerfuffle

By Claudia Adrien. Jun 9, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

"Maurice Sendak might faint but a staff member of Caldwell Parish Library, knowing that the patrons of the community might object to the illustrations of The Night Kitchen, solved the problem by diapering the little boys with white tempera paint. Other librarians might wish to do the same."

So ran the entire letter from Caldwell, Louisiana librarian Betty B. Jackson in the December, 1971 issue of School Library Journal. Though the letter was published unedited, the journal's editorial staff placed it under the headline "Three-Cornered Censorship" and opposite a half-page illustration of the "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo" image from Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen. In this iconic picture, the story's protagonist, Mickey, is depicted au naturel, which is why the book had raised eyebrows at Jackson's library--and in plenty of other places around the country. But negative reactions to the book were later overblown by the press. 


Dashiell Hammett, Father of the Hard-Boiled Detective Novel

By Claudia Adrien. May 25, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature

Dashiell Hammett lived many lives. Before he became a well-regarded writer, Hammett was a newsboy, a stevedore, a laborer, advertising copy writer, and a sergeant in the ambulance corps during World War I. However, it was his experiences as a detective that gave him the impetus to write mystery novels.


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