Book News: Joan Didion's Life, As Seen On Kickstarter
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
Joan Didion is getting the Kickstarter treatment. Her nephew, Griffin Dunne, has turned to the crowd-funding site in order to put the iconic writer's life on film, in a proposed documentary that borrows one of Didion's lines for its title: We Tell Ourselves Stories To Live.
The documentary, which will be made in collaboration with director Susanne Rostock, aims to cobble together a vision of Didion's life and career from old footage, the assembled memories of the writer herself and more than a dozen interviews with other artists such as Patti Smith and Vanessa Redgrave.
While some critics have taken issue with the tone of the Kickstarter page — just $2,500 will get you a pair of Didion's personal sunglasses — the project's had no difficulty finding backers. As of this writing, with 29 days to spare, the campaign is just $5,000 away from achieving its $80,000 goal.
For Words: It's rare that this sentence gets uttered, so allow me a moment to savor it: There's been an awful lot of hubbub over the dictionary lately. Multiple dictionaries, in fact. The Collins English dictionary is out with its latest print edition, the BBC reports, slipping "selfie," "adorkable," "photobomb" and some 50,000 other newly added words into its pages with the more stately standbys. Photobomb, which was Collins' word of the year, also gets some recognition from the Chambers Dictionary, whose editorial board shortlisted it before opting instead to honor "overshare." Meanwhile, scrabblers — scrabblists? — are up in arms over the new versions of the Scrabble dictionary, which are flush with errors, typos and inconsistencies.
Booking It Out Of The Bronx: The Bronx will soon no longer have even one full-service bookstore, according to The New York Times. After close to 15 years in the borough, Barnes & Noble has elected not to renew its lease at the store, planning to close the location at the end of December. Despite a recent wave of gentrification, only a couple of specialty booksellers remain in the Bronx — none that offers readers a general selection of titles.
Neverland, Restored: The house and gardens that helped inspire J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan is set to inspire an entirely new generation of children. The Moat Brae House, at which Barrie lived for several years as a child, will become Scotland's first center for children's literature, The Guardian reports. Saved from demolition in 2011, the location is now undergoing restoration, with the aim to offer "inspiring exhibitions and activities which will enable visitors to learn about, experience, and enjoy the built, natural and literary heritage it affords," according to the website of the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust. The Moat Brae House is expected to be ready by 2017.