Take that, Taliban! Malala has a book deal!

Posted: March 29, 2013

THERE ARE many ways to become a published author, but the toughest way Tattle knows of is to get shot.

So congrats to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who took a bullet from the Taliban last October as she returned home from school.

Little, Brown and Co. will publish the 15-year-old's memoir in the United States and much of the rest of the world. Publisher Weidenfeld and Nicolson announced it would release I Am Malala, about the traumatic event and Malala's long-running campaign to promote children's education, in Britain and Commonwealth countries this fall.

"Malala is already an inspiration to millions around the world. Reading her story of courage and survival will open minds, enlarge hearts and eventually allow more girls and boys to receive the education they hunger for," said Michael Pietsch, executive vice president and publisher of Little, Brown.

A Taliban gunman shot Malala on Oct. 9 in northwestern Pakistan. The militant group said it targeted her because she promoted "Western thinking" and, through a blog, had been an outspoken critic of the Taliban's opposition to educating girls.

The shooting sparked outrage in Pakistan and many other countries, and her story drew global attention to the struggle for women's rights in Malala's homeland. The teen even made the short list for Time magazine's "Person of the Year" in 2012.

Malala was brought to the U.K. for treatment and spent several months in a hospital undergoing skull reconstruction and cochlear implant surgeries. She was released last month and has started attending school in Britain.

Malala said in a statement Wednesday that she hoped telling her story would be "part of the campaign to give every boy and girl the right to go to school."

Publishers didn't reveal the price tag for the book deal but numerous sources are reporting it was worth $3 million.

Here's betting Malala takes that money and builds a school.

From 'Australian Idol' to 'The Sapphires'

When Tattle met Jessica Mauboy last September at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, she was so giddy, she could barely contain herself.

Her film, "The Sapphires" (see review and an interview with Chris O'Dowd on Page 34), had played to a standing ovation the night before, and it was at the top of the box-office charts back in Australia, just three months after its premiere at Cannes.

It was quite the whirlwind for a small-town indigenous Aussie who had previously turned a runner-up finish on the fourth season of "Australian Idol" into a singing career Down Under.

In Toronto, however, she was not just a spokeswoman for her film, but for her people, telling the mostly-true story of an Aboriginal '60s girl group that faced discrimination at home but found success singing Motown hits to U.S soldiers in Vietnam during the war.

"I'm so proud," said Mauboy. "A homegrown, indigenous Australian film has never been received like this before. It's just a massive ride right now."

Mauboy said the story of the film and the women it's based on have been well-known in indigenous families for decades, "but only just now," she said, have these women "been recognized for the beginning of their journey. Even in our own country people had no idea this had occurred."

"The Sapphires" opens in Philadelphia today. Look for Jessica on episodes of the "Ellen" show next month from Australia.


* Veronica Mars and Crosby Braverman have a daughter.

Lincoln Bell Shepard was born to Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard on Thursday.

(Tattle's cousins Mindy and Tom gave birth to a boy named Lincoln earlier this month.)

"Lincoln Bell Shepard is here," Dax tweeted. "She has mom's beauty and dad's obsession with breasts. Hooray!"

* Your Top Three richest hip-hop stars according to Forbes magazine:

1. Sean "Diddy" Combs: $580 million.

2. Jay-Z: $475 million.

3. Dr. Dre: $350 million.

* In addition to screenplays for "Anna Karenina" and "Shakespeare in Love," Tom Stoppard's theatrical works include a play called "Rock 'n' Roll."

Now Stoppard is returning to the topic with a radio drama inspired by Pink Floyd.

The play celebrates the 40th anniversary of the release of the band's "The Dark Side of the Moon."

The BBC said Thursday that it is "a fantastical and psychedelic story based on themes from the seminal album."

Stoppard's "Dark Side" is due for broadcast on BBC radio in August, with a cast including Bill Nighy and Rufus Sewell.

Taylor Swift will appear on the May 14 season finale of the hit show "New Girl." No other details were provided.

"New Girl" stars actress-singer Zooey Deschanel as the awkward but bubbly Jessica Day, who lives with three male roommates.

Maybe Taylor will play her awkward, bubbly girlfriend, who steals her boyfriend.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.

Email: gensleh@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5678

On Twitter: @DNTattle

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