Bookish News

Stan Lee (1922-2018)

Thursday, November 15th, 2018
By Jodie Brandt, Brilliant Books Comics Curator

Stanley Martin Lieber, known to the world as Stan Lee, was born on December 28th, 1922 in New York, New York. A storyteller from a very young age, Mr. Lee would eventually collaboratively create such iconic comic book characters as the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, and the one I most closely identified with, Spider-Man.

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The [Alternative] Nobel Prize for Literature

Friday, July 20th, 2018

With 2018's Nobel Prize for Literature on hold until next year, an alternative prize has been developed by a group of Swedish journalists, writers, and cultural figures.  The group has formed what they call the "New Academy" in protest of the scandal-riddled Swedish Academy that administers the Nobel Prize.  The members of the New Academy wrote that "We want to show people that serious cultural work does not have to occur in a context of coercive language, irregularities or abuse. The New Academy, whose members are extremely driven and knowledgeable individuals, will work according to the time plan of the traditional Swedish Academy."

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Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Visionary and volatile science fiction writer Harlan Ellison has died.

A prolific writer, Ellison produced thousands of works ranging from books to articles to reviews to screenplays.  He insisted that his work should be considered "fiction" or "speculative fiction" rather than science fiction, and was known for his contentious and provocative statements.  He reportedly once sent a dead gopher to a publisher and frequently called out film and television studios when their stories too closely resembled his own. 

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Anthony Bourdain (1956-2018)

Friday, June 8th, 2018

Chef, television host, and author Anthony Bourdain has died.  He was 61.

Bourdain was a chef at the New York restaurant Les Halles when his first book, Kitchen Confidential, propelled him to national recognition.  He worked first with Food Network and then the Travel Channel, where he earned two Emmy awards for his series Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.  Most recently, Bourdain had joined CNN to continue exploring food and culture around the world. 

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Happy Birthday, Nikki Giovanni!

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

Happy birthday to poet and activist Nikki Giovanni!

Born in 1943, in Knoxville, Tennessee, Giovanni grew up in a family of storytellers.  She was especially close to her grandmother, who taught young Giovanni a great appreciation for her African American heritage.  Because of this, the oral storytelling tradition is especially strong in her poetry...

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Gardner Dozois, 1947-2018

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Gardner Dozois, courtesy Ellen Levy FinchIf you have ever read a copy of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, or picked up a copy of The Year's Best Science Fiction anthologies, then you are probably aware of Gardner Dozois.  A Science Fiction Hall of Fame inductee and winner of both Hugo and Nebula Awards, Dozois spent his life spreading the love of speculative fiction to the cosmos.

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Philip Roth (1933-2018)

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Philip Roth, one of the 20th century's preeminent writers, has died.

Roth's career as a writer was long and prolific.  He wrote well into his seventies before officially retiring in 2012.  His work earned him numerous honors, including two National Book Awards, the Man Booker International Award, National Book Critics Circle awards, and a Pulitzer Prize.  Sadly, though he was a perennial favorite, the Nobel Prize for Literature eluded him.

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Happy Birthday, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Today is the 159th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of one of the most recognized characters of all time: the incomparable detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1859, Conan Doyle inherited his love of literature from his mother, who shielded her son from the harsh realities of living with his alcoholic father by reading and telling dramatic stories.  Conan Doyle in turn used stories to win himself friends after a wealthy relative paid for him to be sent to boarding school.  When it came time to choose a career, however, Conan Doyle opted instead to pursue...

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