News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff.
In Memoriam: Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher, who was best known for her iconic portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, died Dec. 27 after suffering a heart attack. She was 60 years old. Fisher was the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and singer/actor Debbie Reynolds (Singin’ in the Rain.) In addition to her work as an actress, Carrie Fisher also wrote several novels and memoirs, including Postcards from the Edge and 2016’s The Princess Diarist. Postcards from the Edge, a semi-autobiographical novel, drew on her personal struggles with bipolar disorder and drug addiction; it was later made into a movie starring Meryl Streep. The Princess Diarist, published last month, is a memoir about the Star Wars years. Fisher was flying home following a book tour in London when she experienced a heart attack. She died a few days later. Her mother, Debbie Reynolds, suffered a stroke and died a day after her daughter.
Obituaries: BBC; LA Times; New York Times. NPR’s Fresh Air also rebroadcast three interviews with Fisher, from 1990, 2004, and 2016. And writer John Scalzi pays glowing tribute to Fisher’s writing in a piece for the LA Times — from which I learned that Fisher also worked as a “script doctor” for some of the biggest films of the ’90s.
Richard Adams, familiar to millions of readers as the author of Watership Down, died Dec. 24, 2016, at the age of 96. His novel about a colony of rabbits escaping from a doomed warren began as a story told to his children on their drive to school. The novel was first published by a one-man publishing firm in 1972. It was quickly snapped up by Penguin, which marketed it to both children and adults, and became a runaway bestseller. Shardik, the story of a great bear, was his next book, followed by The Girl in a Swing and Plague Dogs, but none ever quite matched the success nor the public acclaim of Watership Down.
Book News & Announcements
- Pantsuit Nation Book Deal Raises Questions (Publishers Weekly)
- J.K. Rowling reveals she is working on two novels, one under her own name and the other as Robert Galbraith, the pseudonym used for her Cormorant Strike mysteries. (The Guardian)
- Milo Yiannopoulis, controversial Breitbart editor, lands a reported $250,ooo book deal (Los Angeles Times)
- Wonder Woman writer and artist dropped by DC over “challenging relationship” (The Guardian)
- President Obama plans to write a book after leaving the Oval Office (LA Times)
- In 2017, publishing really needs a blockbuster (Carolyn Kellogg, LATimes)
- The Master List of 2017 Reading Challenges (girlxoxo)
- 11 Websites To Find Free Audiobooks Online (BookRiot)
All is lost.
That’s it for this week!