Alison Bechdel Loves Harriet The Spy; Random House Will Try to Tackle TV

Today in books and publishing: The Writer goes on hiatus; watching the Cloud Atlas trailer; say hello to Random House Television; Alison Bechdel chats with NYT. 

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Today in books and publishing: The Writer goes on hiatus; watching the Cloud Atlas trailer; say hello to Random House Television; Alison Bechdel chats with NYT. 

Random House aims at the small screen. Swept along in this grand migration from pages to screens, Random House has launched a television effort. Random House Television will be a collaborative effort between FremantleMedia and Random House, both owned by media conglomerate Bertelsmann. The new company plans to use Random House’s editorial and publishing teams to obtain performance rights and develop content for network, cable, and premium television. They'll also summon Random House authors to write original television scripts. [Variety]

Alison Bechdel, Harriet the Spy superfan. Graphic novelist Alison Bechdel—whose new memoir Are You My Mother? hit shelves earlier this year—talks with The New York Times about her reading life. She's currently engrossed in Jeanette Winterson's Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, another memoir from a lesbian writer who butted heads with her mother. Bechdel also reveals that Harriet the Spy made her want to become a writer, she didn't care for The Marriage Plot, and she sometimes daydreams about Jane Austen: "I used to have an elaborate fantasy about getting to be Jane Austen’s tour guide to the modern world. But then I started thinking it through too realistically, and imagined her having a psychotic break, and the whole thing lost its hold on me." [The New York Times]

Cloud Atlas, starring Tom Hanks. "Each of the narratives is set in a different time and place, each is written in a different prose style, each is broken off mid-action and brought to conclusion in the second half of the book." That's Publishers Weekly explaining the narrative structure of David Mitchell's sprawling postmodern novel Cloud Atlas. That doesn't exactly sound like the best source material for a box office smash. Calling it the "weirdest trailer of the year," our own Richard Lawson writes, "presents a curious and curiously stirring muddle; it's a little off-putting, and yet also an urgent enticement to see the film and piece it all together." Here we are, eight years after the book's publication, watching a trailer for a Cloud Atlas film starring Tom Hanks and directed by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis. [The Atlantic Wire]

The Writer goes on hiatus. The Writer magazine has been guiding working writers through the craft for 125 years now. But writers better start looking elsewhere for tips about the trade, because the magazine will go on hiatus starting in October. In an email to Writer contributors, editor Jeff Reich writes, "Kalmbach Publishing Co., which owns The Writer, is currently looking for a buyer for the magazine, and our hope is that The Writer will re-emerge under the careful stewardship of a new owner." Boston Globe reporters William H. Hills and Robert Luce founded the magazine in 1887 as "a monthly magazine to interest and help all literary workers." [Galley Cat]

Guarding "the oldest, most complete, most accurate text of the Hebrew Bible." [The New York Times Magazine]

The little free library trend hits Pittsburgh. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Cloud Atlas isn't the only book-to-film adaptation on our radar. [Christian Science Monitor]

Ursula K. Le Guin: "Science fiction is not about the impossible, the nonexistent—that’s fantasy." [Wired]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.