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looking-for-alaskaActress and director Sarah Polley (Away From Her, Stories We Tell) has been picked to adapt the John Green novel Looking for Alaska. Since the (massive) success of The Fault in Our Stars, Polley has been chosen to write the screenplay for the film version of Green’s first novel. Alaska joins another of the author’s much-loved books – Paper Towns – also being adapted for the big screen. Forget the supernaturally heightened, or the action-packed – contemporary box office performances seem to be showing that modern teen films can sell big based on premises involving authentic drama with meet-cute quirky romance (more The Spectacular Now and Perks of Being a Wallflower than Twilight).

Speaking of adaptations, Ewan Mcgregor will be starring in a film of American Pastoral, a Pulitzer-prize winning novelby Philip Roth from 1997, about an all-American family turned upside down when the protagonist’s daughter becomes embroiled in political terrorism during the Vietnam War. The Scottish actor will be playing the all-American family patriarch.

Evie Wyld has gone from strength to strength this year with her novel All the Birds, Singing, which has now won the Miles Franklin Award. This award is Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, and is now one in a growing list of wins for the British writer and bookseller.

James Patterson is donating £250,000 to UK and Irish independent bookshops to encourage reading schemes for children. This donation comes after recent announcements of increasing numbers of independent bookstores and libraries closing across the country, and the impact this will have on the next generation of readers.

Unnerving truths have been alleged recently about SF author Marion Zimmer Bradley. The author of the 1983 classic retelling of Arthurian legend, The Mists of Avalon, who died 15 years ago, has been accused by her daughter of sexually abusing her daughter and others. This shocking news has appalled fans of the writer’s work and again raised debate over the idea of respecting an artist’s work versus questioning their personal morality.

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