January 7, 2015 |
A few months before martial law was declared in Poland on Dec. 13, 1981, the poet and samizdat writer Stanislaw Baranczak arrived at Harvard. He was the Alfred Jurzykowski Professor of Polish Language and Literature there until Parkinson's disease forced him to retire in 1997. He died of pneumonia Dec. 26 at age 68. Baranczak was a cofounder of a pre-Solidarity organization, the KOR, was arrested for supporting the workers, and was fired from his teaching post at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan.
December 31, 2014
AMERICAN LEAGUE Most Valuable Player Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels, a native of Millville, N.J., will be honored as the Outstanding Pro Athlete of the Year by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association at its 111th annual banquet on Jan. 16 at Cherry Hill's Crowne Plaza Hotel. Trout, who has not yet confirmed his attendance, also won the award 2 years ago after he was named the AL's Rookie of the Year. The 23-year-old, who became the youngest unanimous MVP pick in major league history, was a huge crowd favorite in May when he played here against the Phillies.
December 19, 2014 |
DAN STERLING , "the guy that brought down Sony," is from West Philadelphia. So wrote 24/7 Molly Eichel on philly.com yesterday. Sterling, you see, is the fella who wrote "The Interview," the film at the center of the Sony hacking scandal. The movie, which now may never be seen, stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as TV journalists tasked with assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un . Sony canceled the theatrical release after hacker group Guardians of Peace threatened an attack on theaters screening the film.
December 7, 2014 |
Over the last few weeks, Philadelphia-based investigative reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely has received international attention for her Rolling Stone article "A Rape on Campus," telling of the gang rape of a student, identified only as "Jackie," at a fraternity party at the University of Virginia. On Friday, after a series of news reports questioned Erdely's work, Rolling Stone issued an apology citing unspecified discrepancies in the story. "Because of the sensitive nature of Jackie's story," the magazine's managing editor, Will Dana, wrote, "we decided to honor her request not to contact the man she claimed orchestrated the attack on her, nor any of the men she claimed participated in the attack, for fear of retaliation against her. ... "There now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced," the statement read.
November 22, 2014 |
David Appell told an interviewer in 2012 that "my first instrument was my brother's ukulele. " His musical abilities eventually expanded. And they expanded enough that the nation soon heard much of what he published, beginning as a song writer and producer for Cameo-Parkway Records in Philadelphia in the 1950s and 1960s. Among the hits which Mr. Appell wrote was "Let's Twist Again," which Chubby Checker made famous. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, Mr. Appell, 92, formerly of Cherry Hill, died at Collingswood Manor, an assisted living community.
November 6, 2014 |
Seymour Shubin, 93, of Paoli, a best-selling mystery writer, died Sunday, Nov. 2, at his home of complications from an earlier fall. Mr. Shubin's books were reviewed in The Inquirer, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Daily News, and other publications. He was an influential part of the Philadelphia literary scene in the 1970s and 1980s, winning many major awards for fiction writing. Mr. Shubin was born in Philadelphia to Isadore and Ida Shubin, Russian immigrants active in the Jewish community.
November 4, 2014 |
Tom Hanks, man of letters Seems James Franco and Snooki aren't the only celebs who know how to write stories and poems and books and such. Tom Hanks , 58, the only human on the planet it is impossible to dislike (even we can't help but adore the perennial movie good guy), has signed with Alfred A. Knopf to publish a collection of his short stories. Hanks, who recently published a yarn in the New Yorker, says each story is inspired by a piece from his extensive collection of typewriters.
October 29, 2014 |
JIM MOFFATT once wrote that he used to tell his journalism students at Rutgers-Camden, "Just remember that while you guys are doing sex and drugs on Friday nights, I'm chasing commas at the Inquirer. " It never failed to get a laugh, although he wrote that once, after delivering the quip, an older student remarked, "Mr. Moffatt, you ought to get a life. " "Gee, I said to myself, I thought I had a life," he wrote. The piece was a sort of farewell note to the newspaper business, printed in the Inquirer on Nov. 11, 1996, shortly before his retirement after 32 years as a copy editor.
October 28, 2014 |
Betty White Bohlen, 94, a writer and longtime resident of the Quadrangle in Haverford, died Thursday, Oct. 16, of respiratory failure at home. Mrs. Bohlen spent most of her adult life on the Main Line. She graduated from Abington High School in 1938. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in English literature and creative writing in 1943 from the University of Pennsylvania, where she pledged the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. An author, Mrs. Bohlen wrote two novels and many articles and stories for such publications as the Chestnut Hill Local and the Quadrangle Times.
September 20, 2014 |
Does God exist? What was Nixon really like? And perhaps most important: Will the Eagles make it to the Super Bowl? You can ask Sam Harris, Henry Kissinger, and Ray Didinger those questions, or anything else on your mind. Authors Harris ( Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion ); Kissinger ( World Order ), and Didinger ( The New Eagles Encyclopedia ) may not give you the definitive answers, but they will give you highly informed opinions. They are just three on the impressive roster of more than 50 writers coming to Philadelphia over the next few months for the Free Library's annual author series.