Two great literary figures were lost this weekend: Harper Lee and Umberto Eco. Harper Lee, an important American icon – the author of one of America’s greatest twentieth-century contributions to literature, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) – died at the age of 89. The beloved, yet very private writer died in Monroeville, Alabama, the city in which she was born. Tributes have poured in to honour her and to celebrate the literary legacy she left behind. Although the recent publication of her long-awaited follow-up novel, Go Set a Watchman, was released to mixed reviews, it is her Pulitzer prize-winning debut for which she will long be remembered.
— Vintage Books (@vintagebooks) February 22, 2016
Umberto Eco, the Italian writer, semiotician and philosopher most famous for his novel The Name of the Rose (1980) and his essays, passed away on Friday 19 February at the age of 84.
In other book news:
On Saturday 20 February, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Award 2016 nominees were announced. Best Novel will be fought for by seven authors, including Ann Leckie (again) for Ancillary Mercy, Naomi Novik for Uprooted and N. K. Jemisin for The Fifth Season. The Andre Norton award for Young Adult fiction has nine nominees, including Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona, Fran Wilde’s Updraft and Kate Elliott’s Court of Fives.
Ian McEwan’s novel On Chesil Beach is to be turned into a feature film, and will star Saoirse Ronan, whose career took off with the Academy Award-winning 2007 film adaptation of another of McEwan’s novels, Atonement.
Saoirse Ronan will pay Florence in a big-screen version of Ian McEwan’s novel On Chesil Beach pic.twitter.com/cHHdJYEWhe
— Empire Cinemas (@EmpireCinemas) February 18, 2016
Sharp Objects is the next Gillian Flynn novel to be given the green light, this time for television. The show of Flynn’s debut novel will be directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club), and rumour now has it that Amy Adams will star as lead character Camille, a reporter investigating some small-town murders.
We will now get a chance to catch up with Rey, Finn and space-faring Resistance fighters a lot sooner than Christmas 2017! It was announced last Friday that a five-issue comic book will be created as an adaptation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The comic will be written by Chuck Wendig, who wrote the Aftermath novel in 2015 for the Star Wars universe.