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Fangoria Hires Women to Reinvent Frankenstein Myth

Mary Shelley, as portrayed by Elsa Lanchester in “The Bride of Frankenstein” (1935) by Universal Pictures

Not only is Fangoria back on the beat after a year-long hiatus, but the classic horror magazine is branching out into film production, and one of its first projects will be a female-fronted version of Frankenstein called “After Birth,” the directorial debut of Laura Moss (who also co-wrote the script). From the synopsis given by The Hollywood Reporter, this tale sounds like the true heir to Mary Shelley’s original tale – which, as Jill Lepore documented earlier this year, owes more to the author’s biographical experience than history has been willing to consider (in the years immediately before writing Frankenstein, she gave birth to a child who died, and then became pregnant again almost immediately after). It sounds like this will be a fascinating entry into the feminist Frankenstein mythos that for once doesn’t focus on “The Bride.”

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As students head to college – for the first time, in many instances – there are many new connections being formed, and some of them will last a lifetime. Others won’t last the month, and this article by LitHub called “What Your New Roommate’s Favorite Book Says About Them” explains why you should head straight to the bookshelf to figure out how much to invest in this new relationship. There are too many gems contained here to list, so you’ll have to scroll through it yourself to find out which book elicits the following warning: “There’s a tutu hidden in one of those suitcases, and it is going to be put to very good use.”

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New Yorkers, and recreational education junkies! Clear your calendars on the 26th to check out this new public Think Olio seminar series, Words Shape Worlds: The Discourse of Courtrooms, which promises to draw from several high-profile cases (including the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and the more recent Jane Doe v. Brock Turner case) to “uncover the ways in which language carefully shapes what happens in the courtroom.” Naturally, there’s an adventure component involved: in between the two seminar sessions, participants are expected to independently attend a night court session as part of a homework assignment issued by Columbia doctorate and expert linguist, Maureen Matarese, who presides over this series.

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As you might imagine, So You Want To Talk About Race author Ijeoma Oluo ends up encountering a lot of people – both online and at her book events – who want to talk to her about race. In some instances, however, they want to talk at her about race, or pose the kinds of questions that reveal their own lack of serious thought on the subject. Oluo documented one of these from a book festival in Decatur, GA, sharing a story with her Twitter followers “about the white boy who tried.” Suffice to say the author’s undeniable expertise and aplomb carry the day, serving as a reminder to readers tackling difficult subjects and seeking input from experts: don’t ask anyone a question that you could answer yourself with just a little more digging, particularly if they’ve literally written a book on the subject.

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In fifteen cities across the country, Banned Books Week will be an opportunity to see Banned Together, a collection of live “censorship cabaret” events, which the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund says will be “comprised of songs and scenes from plays that have been challenged or banned in America.” The full listing of events can be found here – be sure to forward to your younger, more impressionable, and otherwise imminently corruptible friends so they can go experience the social anxieties of yesteryear firsthand.

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Readers love to fight over which books (and authors) deserve prestigious awards, but archives from the Booker Prize released by the British Library prove that the savagery that occurs behind the scenes makes our internet commentary look as harmless as a birthday party bounce-house. Former Booker administrator Martyn Goff talks to The Guardian about the archive’s spicier contents, including the fact that the 1976 award ended up being decided by a coin toss. Past judges are also on the record standing in vehement opposition to certain honorees: “In 1985, when Keri Hulme’s The Bone People won, judge Joanna Lumley had told Goff that the book was ‘over-my-dead-body stuff’ and ‘its subject matter [child abuse] finally indefensible.'”

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Novelist Ingrid Rojas Contreras (Fruit of the Drunken Tree) knows the value of a good story, having been taught by her psychic mother how much better people respond to symbols and narratives than to honest, actionable advice. In this essay for Buzzfeed, Contreras shares instances from her childhood when she observed this magic work on strangers and family members alike, imparting lessons that apply just as neatly to the craft of writing as they do to reciting incantations over bottles of tap water: “You have to choose the words accurately, you see. You can’t be inexact. A vagueness on your part, and kaput.”

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Missoula, Montana remains a hub of literary life, and is home to stalwart publications such as The Missoulian and the Missoula Independent – but the latter locked its doors unexpectedly this week, and devastated employees and readers alike are left looking for answers about their fate. Lee Enterprises, the company that owns both newspapers, has yet to release a public statement about the closure, but in the meantime the newly displaced members of the Independent‘s bargaining committee are speaking out: “We’re still in shock and will have see what happens,” one is quoted in the article. “We just hope they’re abiding by all laws in shutting it down and not letting us into the building.” As recently as last month, it was hinted that the paper’s future was in jeopardy, following the declining trend in newspaper budgets across the nation.

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Kate Bush has always been more than a musician, and an upcoming book release compiling her lyrics will further consecrate her legacy as a talented wordsmith. We won’t have to wait long for the book, entitled How To Be Invisible, which the article claims will be released this year. Anyone who doubts Bush’s impact on the music world should listen to this Pitchfork interview with rapper Big Boi, in which he wistfully recalls the formative years he spent obsessing over “Running Up That Hill.”

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The viral video of a Scottish grandmother cracking herself up while reading The Wonky Donkey aloud to her grandson (see below) has had an unintended side-effect: it’s made the picture book into a bestseller, and The Guardian reports that the publisher is now scrambling to keep up with the demand, rushing another 50,000 copies into print (the video has been viewed more than 3 million times worldwide). The book’s illustrator Katz Cowley explains that while “The Wonky Donkey has been a household name in Australia and New Zealand since it was first published in 2009, the book had been only ‘an underground success’ in the UK.” It just goes to show that no one knows what a book’s true destiny will be, or how long one might have to wait to find out.