June 3, 2013
By Caren Lissner As the "new adult" genre moves beyond books, what does it mean about our own willingness to grow up? At the end of last month, the editors of Publishers Lunch, the publishing industry's daily digest of book deals, announced that they would add a new subgenre of literature to their ever-growing database of deals. "Welcome, new adult books," they wrote. "With six 'new adult' deal reports in the last month alone, we have created a new Deals subcategory for this growing genre.
March 13, 2013 |
There are plays about adolescence and plays for adolescents. Theatre Confetti's inaugural production, A. Rey Pamatmat's Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them , aims high at adults, but its bull's-eye is a younger target audience. Plenty of plays with kids as their subject make an easy transition to adulthood: Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive and Noah Haidle's Mr. Marmalade are but two examples of adult works with children as their messengers. But despite what could, in certain circles, be considered "adult themes," Pamatmat's sincerity and the straightforward, episodic nature of his script keep Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them squarely within the realm of Hansel-and-Gretel-style child-fantasy fulfillment (that's the Grimm edition, not this year's bounty-hunting witch-chasers)
October 26, 2012 |
In people years, the World Wide Web is barely 21. In technology time, it sometimes seems like eons since the first website went online in 1991, as the personal computer has morphed into increasingly powerful desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. Innovations, companies and devices have come and gone in the years since - which makes it all the more remarkable that we're focused this week on announcements by Apple and Microsoft, two players there at the start thanks to their pre-Web origins.
October 8, 2010 |
A glop of rom-com pabulum, Life as We Know It stars Katherine Heigl as Holly, tightly wound Atlanta chef, and Josh Duhamel as Messer, loosey-goosey sports producer. Fixed up by their respective best friends, they abort their blind date three minutes in. Three years later, when they are named foster parents to Sophie, said friends' orphaned infant, Holly and Messer take baby steps toward adulthood. With pratfalls and teardrops, the film swings from sitcom to sit-dram.
September 23, 2010 |
"Never Let Me Go" takes place in a monochrome British boarding school wherein each gray, regimented day blends dully into the next. The school is called Hailsham, but it might also be called Charlotte Rampling's Dour School for Expressionless Children Living Hopeless Lives, and you can guess, from Rampling's look of merciless authority (Judi Dench was unavailable) that nothing good goes on there. And you have to guess because "Never Let Me Go," adapted from Kazuo Ishiguro's equally withholding novel, is sly about doling out the details of the school's dark secret.
June 4, 2010 |
Not a great place to grow up, the Strobbe house: a cramped, ramshackle place with the toilet out back, a drunken father and three drunken uncles, their kindly but ineffectual mother pottering around, and Gunther - the protagonist of this very fine film from Holland - trying to focus on his schoolwork while mopping up the vomit and dodging the brawls. The Misfortunates , a beautifully shot adaptation of a semiautobiographical novel by Dimitri Verhulst, toggles between black and white and color, between Gunther's stormy adolescence, with its boozings and beatings, and his adulthood, when he's an aspiring novelist (he has the rejection letters to prove it)
May 19, 2010 |
Four fifth graders at the Russell Byers Charter School practically spit out the news of where they're headed next year: Springside, Agnes Irwin, Episcopal, and the Haverford School. Tuition at each elite private school runs well over $20,000 a year, but if the children suffer from sticker shock, they don't let on. Neither does Laurada Byers, 61, who sits across from her giddy charges silently sweating the dollar signs. Though many of Byers' brightest lights land at other rigorous charters or city magnets, it can be harder for them to get into Masterman than Baldwin.
May 8, 2010 |
Ten miles from the Ohio border, Mike Gallagher, a 27-year-old from Philadelphia who is "just taking a stroll" to San Francisco, reflected on his monthlong trek across Pennsylvania. Once he passed Lancaster, he said, "it was like breaking through the atmosphere. Everything was new. " He is reporting his experiences on his blog, thewalk2010.com - like the time he decided to lie down for a rest near Bedford and drew the attention of police, who had received calls from passing motorists that there was a dead man on the side of the road.
December 3, 2009 |
'Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living," says Mary Karr. "My life is certainly worth living. " That borders on understatement. Karr has distilled three acclaimed memoirs from her 54 turbulent years on the planet. Tonight at the Free Library she will be reading from her newest one, Lit, which chronicles a failed marriage, motherhood, alcoholism, and saving grace. It follows The Liars' Club in 1995, which recounts Karr's childhood in East Texas with a dipso, flipso mother, and Cherry in 2000, which plumbs her rebellious adolescence.
April 19, 2009 |
It was the rip-roaring Wall Street 1980s. Women were stuffing shoulder pads into power suits for a workforce on stock market steroids. The J. Geils Band was striking it rich with a more traditional spin: "Centerfold," a chart-topping ode to a classmate-turned-nude model. And in home-economics class, public school, Delaware County, Generation X was being prepared for the next two decades of boom-to-bust financial Darwinism by learning to make trail mix. I also learned to embroider purple thread onto the white felt teeth of a stuffed mouse with floppy ears.