Today in publishing and literature: Charlie Kaufman is writing a book, Hemingway's softer side, and a new scene from The Pale King makes us miss David Foster Wallace.
Charlie Kaufman has cemented a deal with Grand Central Publishing for his first novel. Nobody knows what it's called, what it will be about, or how much the Adaptation screenwriter stands to earn from his foray into the land of literature. Though if the novel is anything like his scripts for Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation., Synecdoche, New York it will ultimately be a sweet, simple story about the importance of memory and our capacity to love and be loved in return, which will incorrectly be described as transgressive and Out There, because Charlie Kaufman's name is on it. [Deadline]
Margaret Wise Brown wrote Goodnight Moon, a much-beloved bedtime story. She was also a bit of a card: she had affairs with men and women, spent her first royalty check on a cart loaded with flowers and was once scolded for trying to bring "giant orange trees and live birds" into her Paris hotel room. She also didn't care much for children, telling a Life magazine reporter, "I won’t let anybody get away with anything just because he is little.” It's enough to make Katie Roiphe wonder if the best children's writers are adults who "don’t understand adulthood" and "haven’t moved responsibly out of childhood the way most of us have, into busy, functional, settled adult life." She reaches a bit, wondering: "Is it possible that the most inspired children’s book writers never grow up?" Probably not. Everyone, whether we like it or not. But holding on to childish things, recalling the sentiment of someone three-feet tall and constantly ignored -- that's doable And the best know how. [Slate]