JD Salinger estate finally agrees to ebook editions

Authors son explains that wish for accessibility has persuaded trustees to look past his fathers dislike of digital media After years of refusing to allow publishers to digitise his works, the estate of JD Salinger has announced that the authors famously small body of work will be published as ebooks for the first time. Salingers son Matt said that the author had always valued accessibility, but preferred the experience of reading a physical book. The Catcher in the Rye author, who died in 2010 at the age of 91, also hated the internet; Matt And in 2009, Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury told the New York Times: They wanted to put a book of mine on Yahoo! You know what …

Catch-22: has George Clooney broken the curse of the unfilmable novel?

Its a modern American classic, but Joseph Hellers fractured story has defied suitable translation on to the screen until now Fans of the unfilmable novel must be having a terrible time of it now. In the last three weeks alone, two of the most notorious examples have made their way to screen. Admittedly one Amazons Good Omens functions as a pretty watertight argument for never trying to adapt an unfilmable book. But the other is Catch-22, and that functions as an equally watertight argument to the contrary. I have to admit that I didnt see this coming. Throughout its gestation, the Catch-22 series seemed like an almighty act of hubris; as if Hulu, still drunk on the success of The …

Judith Krantz, sex-and-shopping novelist, dies at 91

The bestselling author behind bonkbusters such as Scruples and Princess Daisy has died at her home in Los Angeles Judith Krantz, who chronicled the sex and shopping of the super-rich and super-beautiful in bestselling novels from Scruples to Princess Daisy, has died at the age of 91. The American writer, who sold more than 85m copies of her 10 novels in more than 50 languages, died at her Bel Air home from natural causes, surrounded by her family, friends and dogs, she liked the capital letters went to Wellesley College and wrote for womens magazines including Cosmopolitan on subjects such as The Myth of the Multiple Orgasm. She turned to fiction at the age of 50 with Scruples. This story …

Judge’s copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover temporarily barred from leaving UK

Marked-up novel used in landmark 1960 obscenity trial sold to overseas buyer last year A copy of Lady Chatterleys Lover used by a judge at the books landmark 1960 obscenity trial, with all the rude bits carefully and dutifully marked up by his wife, has been temporarily stopped from leaving the UK. The arts minister, Michael Ellis, has placed an export bar on a copy of the DH Lawrence novel taken in to court by Sir Laurence Byrne. The government now hopes a UK-based buyer will be able to match the 56,250 asking price. The decision was made on the advice of a committee of experts chaired by Sir Hayden Phillips, who said the copy was a witness to one …

Robinson Crusoe at 300: why its time to let go of this colonial fairytale

Defoes book has inspired novels, Hollywood movies and games but the shipwrecked slave-trader should never have become a role model In February 1719, two months before the publication of South Sea Company founded just eight years earlier to manage the national debt and awarded a contract to supply the Spanish colonies in Latin America with several thousand African slaves per year should oversee the founding of a British colony at the mouth of the River Orinoco on the coast of present day Venezuela. The government would be required to furnish six Men of War, and 4000 regular Troops, with some Engineers and 100 pieces of Cannon, and military Stores in Proportion for the maintaining and supporting the Design, but the …

On those long, gruelling roads, I hunted for the memory of the child I used to be

I drove on bitumen highways and overgrown dirt tracks, trying to find the bridge between my youth and the writer I had become My family migrated from the UK to Western Australia in 1972. I was seven when we arrived. A real estate agent collected us from Ive always wanted to be able to fix things and Ive always wanted to drive. Watching men work on cars and motorbikes was part of my girlhood. Sometimes you got to touch a spanner or pick up a rag. Mainly you went back and forth to the fridge for beer. The sound of an engine failing to catch, weakening and weakening with each turn of the key, made me anxious. Cars broke down …

‘I’m not a gay writer, I’m a monster’: did James Purdy foresee Trump’s America?

At first he was feted. But then his novel about a handsome, Yale-educated serial rapist made him an outcast. Ten years after his death, has the scabrous authors time finally come? On 6 August 2015, the American author and playwright Cabot Wright Begins. A scabrous satire about three of New Yorks sacred cows publishing, politics and psychiatry the novel concerns the battle for the biographical rights of the titular Wright, a handsome, Yale-educated stockbroker and serial rapist. New York Times book critic Orville Prescott called it the sick outpouring of a confused, adolescent, distraught mind. A counter-attack from Susan Sontag hailed it as a bravura work of satire, but the damage was done. If my life up to then had …

Anti-vaxxers, the Momo challenge … why lies spread faster than facts

With Trump making six false claims a day and bogus Brexit claims spreading, we live in a disorienting post-truth era. It all began with the David Irving trial, writes Jonathan Freedland The queasiness keeps coming back, a very specific malady that I thought Id put behind me nearly 20 years ago. But each time I read about, say, the bogus version of the Momo challenge, or the rise and rise of the anti-vaxxer movement, the symptoms return, stronger than ever. If asked by a doctor to describe the sensation, Id say it feels as if the ground beneath my feet is slipping away, that there is nothing firm or solid to stand on. What triggers it are lies, usually in …