Hannibal Lecter is a known quantity. He is the thinking man's boogeyman, made larger than life first in Thomas Harris' novels, then in a variety of films. The character was, is, iconic. So when NBC announced it was developing a series revolving around the character in 2011, conventional wisdom declared it a terrible idea. After all we knew about Hannibal Lecter, how would it be possible to revisit the character and his world in a new and interesting way?
The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, was through upsetting expectations.
In her novel I Always Loved You, author Robin Oliveira imagines a passionate scene between Edgar Degas β a French artist known for his paintings of dancers β and Mary Cassatt β an American painter known for her scenes of family life. The kiss in the novel is pure fiction, but then again, "nobody knows what goes on in their neighbor's house, let alone what happened between two artists 130 years ago," Oliveira says.
Los Angeles blogger Rebecca Woolf uses her blog, Girl's Gone Child, as a window into her family's life. Naturally, it includes oodles of pictures of her four children.
She says she's probably taken tens of thousands of photos since her oldest child was born. And she remembers the moment when it suddenly clicked β if you will β that she was too absorbed in digital documentation.
No fewer than three comedies about finding love in midlife open this week, all of them shiny with major stars. Is it time to stop whining about the dearth of romantic comedy for mature audiences? Only if you prefer quantity to quality.
The last time Robin Williams had a leading role in a film was in 2009, a year when, apart from the Razzie-nominated Old Dogs, he starred in the World's Greatest Dad. Bobcat Goldthwait's film, about a dad who finds his son dead in the bathroom and turns him into a posthumous celebrity by writing him a moving fake suicide note and online diary, turned an innocuous plot into delightfully dark satire.
As the seventh X-Men movie begins, New York City is in ruins, its residents nearly annihilated. Yet X-Men: Days of Future Past's true plight is overpopulation. The film is so stuffed with characters that including twin versions of Professor X and Magneto scarcely boosts the confusion.
The mustache and mullet make the man. Or so the man hopes.
In Jim Mickle's Cold in July, Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall) is a small town Texas entrepreneur in 1989, his days spent running a little frame shop on the main strip in town, evenings at home with his wife and slightly annoying little boy. This is a time and place where men are expected to be men, and if you're lacking in the rugged masculinity department, some creative hairstyling and some wispy lip fuzz may be your attempt at a solution. If that fails, having a gun in the bedside drawer can't hurt either.
Michael Cunningham is known for his lyric and evocative language, and his sixth novel, The Snow Queen, is no exception, though the novel's plot leaves something to be desired. The setting is Bushwick, Brooklyn. It's November, 2004, and the neighborhood, though lightly gentrifying, is still a no-man's-land of desolate streets, industrial warehouses, and lopsided apartments. Two brothers, Barrett and Tyler Meeks, along with Tyler's fiancee, Beth, are living their lives the best they can in a two-bedroom on Knickerbocker Avenue.
This is FRESH AIR. Ellen Willis was the first rock critic for The New Yorker is. She was also a radical feminist writer and activist. Her work appeared in the Village Voice, where she was a columnist, as well as in Rolling Stone and The Nation.
Finally today, let's take a minute to congratulate our graduating seniors. But according to our next guest, we might want to take another minute to congratulate the senior pranksters. They've been busy this year already. Students in Chandler, Ariz., managed to park several cars in the school's main hallway. This week, high school students in Northborough, Mass., brought a goat and a chicken into school in the middle of the night.
Norman Rockwell's The Rookie has sold for $22.5 million at auction Thursday. The 1957 painting of baseball players in a locker room was sold by Christie's auction house β heady heights for a work that first appeared on a magazine that sold for 15 cents.
Update at 12:50 p.m. The Final Price
While the "hammer price" of the Rockwell painting was $20 million, Christie's says the painting's final price is $22,565,000, reflecting a buyer's premium. We've updated this post to reflect the auction house's final calculation.
Can you write about the future these days without it being apocalyptic? It's not clear whether Monica Byrne was trying to answer that question in her debut novel, The Girl in the Road β but she does it anyway. Taking place near the end of the 21st century in India and Africa β as well as on a high-tech bridge that spans the Indian Ocean between the two β the book isn't short on misery, tragedy or violence. It certainly isn't optimistic. At the same time, it gracefully dodges the apocalypse-mongering that's become all but de rigueur in near-future science fiction.
Meet the Posts β no relation to Emily and her rules of etiquette. The stressed family of New Yorkers in Emma Straub's breezy summer read, The Vacationers, are the kind of people who pack their troubles on top, for easiest access, when they head off on a trip together.
Brothers Charles and David Koch are the subject of the new book Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynasty. The author, Daniel Schulman, describes the Kochs as having pumped hundreds of millions into remaking the American political landscape, trying to bring their libertarian views into the mainstream.
The French Riviera is once again flooded with celebrities, photographers and fans. The annual Cannes Film Festival is underway, an event known for its international flavor and glamour and the festival's opening film this year "Grace of Monaco" has both of those in spades. It's about the life of Hollywood star Grace Kelly and her difficult transition from actress to princess.
We learned today that the upcoming sequel to Man Of Steel will be called Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
This is interesting for several reasons. First of all, "Dawn Of Justice" sounds like a dirty movie about sheriffs. Second of all, "Dawn Of Justice" sounds like it precedes the Morning Of Reckoning, the Afternoon Of Relief, the Dusk Of Regret, the Evening Of Resignation, and the Hot Muggy Midnight Of History Repeating Itself, all leading up to Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice: The Next Day.
Even the most restrained plot summary of Francine Prose's latest novel sounds like a teaser for a late night Lifetime TV movie. Here goes: In the Paris of the late 1920s, a butch lesbian race car driver named Lou Villars has her license revoked by the French government for daring to dress as a man in public. Lou goes on to become a performer in a risque review at the Chameleon Club, a smoky nightclub where threadbare artists and thrill-seeking aristocrats mingle in the half-light.
What if a single taste of one fruit β in this case, the durian β changed the course of your entire life?
That's what happened to Lindsay Gasik and Rob Culclasure, a young couple who visited an Asian grocery store in Eugene, Ore., in 2009 in search of the football-sized fruit with thick, spiky skin. They were curious to try it after hearing that the durian's pungent smell and custard-like flesh had the power to drive people delirious with craving.
There's a photograph of my mother's side of the family that I often think about. In it are my mother, her five siblings, and a host of children and cousins. Nestled into the center of the photograph is my grandmother, small and frail by then, but without whom none of the rest would be there.
That sense of marvelling at what multitudes could come from one person β within sight of that person β stayed with me throughout My Real Children.