Friday High Five: Dinosaur erotica, Eleanor Catton and Lego Art
NZ’s Eleanor Catton wins Man Booker Prize
Eleanor Catton has been announced as the winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize for her second novel, The Luminaries. Aged 28, she is the youngest ever author to win the prize (and only the second ever New Zealander). Her book is also the longest ever novel to win.
There’s a wonderful interview with Eleanor in yesterday’s Guardian, where she airs her frustration with the different ways men and women writers are treated, literary ‘bullying’, and her belief in the novel form as a builder of empathy and carrier of ideas. ‘I have observed that male writers tend to get asked what they think and women what they feel,’ she said.
Dinosaur erotica: the next literary cash-cow
Abstinent vampires, virgins who enjoy BDSM … what’s the next literary trend? Apparently, it’s dinosaur erotica. Okay, it might not have the mass-marker appeal of Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey, but New York magazine recently spoke to a couple of friends who are raking in the dollars with dinosaur erotica.
‘One day, I was walking and I thought about the movie Jurassic Park. My perverse mind immediately went to my work, and I pictured dinosaurs having their way with women. I died laughing. I was about to dismiss these thoughts as the workings of my freaky mind, but then I had an epiphany. Dinosaur erotica was something new that I’d never tried before.’
Bret Easton Ellis vs Alice Munro
‘Alice Munro was always an overrated writer,’ claimed Bret Easton Ellis via Twitter last week, ‘and now that she’s won the Nobel, she always will be.’ Hmmm. Jealous much?
Colorado Review delivers a comprehensive takedown of Easton Ellis’s comments. ‘It’s telling that Ellis’s most engaging writing of late has been his Twitter account, which boasts over four hundred thousand followers. He seems custom-built for the form: snarky, throwaway idiocy that attracts attention for about five minutes and is just as quickly forgotten. Munro’s work – towering, thoroughgoing, whole-lives-on-the-page type stuff – is nearly its ideological opposite.’
World’s Best Lego Art
Lego is one of the world’s most popular and enduring kids' toys, even in the age of electronic entertainment. But the tiny bricks can also be used to create art. A new book, Beautiful Lego, collects 200 images of the world’s best Lego art.
Why gay teens are being expelled from Christian schools
Rolling Stone magazine reports that private Christian schools in America are exploiting local laws to raise money, while expelling kids for not being straight. As religious institutions, they have the right to uphold any faith-based belief system they choose.
‘Many Christian schools in Georgia and across the nation have [such] policies [of expulsion for homosexuality], sometimes explicitly written into a pledge that students or their parents must sign when they enroll. At certain schools, a student need not even engage in acts of sexual “impurity”; simply identifying as gay or acting in support of a gay friend can lead to dismissal.’