With the feud still simmering between Bret Easton Ellis and David Foster Wallace (which, granted, isn’t much of a feud given that one of the writers is dead), doesn’t it make you wish we had more literary gossip to sink our deconstructionist teeth into? Happy to oblige…
In this issue of WRITER’S BLOCK: The Magazine of Literary Gossip
The English Impatient
Michael Ondaatje’s cafe-clearing tantrum in Montreal
A witness tells WRITER’S BLOCK that the award-winning writer became miffed when an exclusive St-Laurent bistro failed to honour his reservation time. Matters escalated when the serving staff couldn’t properly pronounce his name. Mr. Ondaatje became verbally abusive after the maître-d’ tried to mollify the author by informing him that Life of Pi was one of his favourite books. “This is why I should never leave Toronto!” shrieked the wrathful writer.
J.D. Salinger’s last wish: “Let me out of here!”
Noted “reclusive” author, the late J.D. Salinger, didn’t get out much, it’s true. But a former chef to the Catcher in the Rye author reveals exclusively to WRITER’S BLOCK that Salinger was held against his will in his New Hampshire home.
“Mr. Salinger was monitored around the clock by a rotating team of interns from The New Yorker,” says chef Boris Chestnut, whose upcoming book Ketchup in the Rye will be published in August. “It was a plot by his publisher to keep the cult of Mr. Salinger alive so that people would keep reading that nasty little book over and over.”
According to Mr. Chestnut, the seldom-seen Salinger longed to experience the pleasures of modern life but was restrained from doing so.
“One of the last things he told me was that he really, really wanted to roller-disco,” says Mr. Chestnut. “As I said, he hadn’t been out for quite some time.”
Pain in the Assonance
Trouble on the set of “America’s Next Top Poet”
According to a staffer on the hit reality show (Monday nights on LIT-TV), dub poet Lavonda James is refusing to co-write with preternaturally petulant partner Saschssha Emo because the latter has locked herself in a small storage hutch and will communicate only with words containing the letter C.
“Saschssha’s calling it ‘conceptual communication,’” said the staffer, “but Lavonda’s calling it ‘crazy cockamamie crap.’
Lavonda and Saschssha had been favoured to win the competition after their rousing blank verse tour-de-force entitled “Beef Flap Sonata (with Communism on the Side).” But with the couplet’s verses now turning to curses, it looks like the team to watch may be nouveau-beat poet Bongos Malloy and 7-year-old limerick sensation Naomi Nantucket.
“Naomi really puts the ‘try’ in ‘poetry,’” said the staffer.
Bestselling Beach Bods 2010!
The sun also rises on these bards of the beach and scribblers of the sea. But who has the best bookends and who should maybe lose the book flaps? Buff biographers, saggy scribes and pert poets aplenty. Photo exclusives: Stephen King in a thong! Maya Angelou in a diphthong! Plus: Which author best pulls off the sweatpants-sandals-socks combo best? Find out inside!
Charlotte’s Web of Lies
Exclusive book excerpt!
Historian Arthur Frondgrass reveals the secret life of Charlotte Brontë: the brawling, the binge drinking, the secret affairs, the cow-tipping and much, much “moor.” Exclusive excerpt from his book Jane Err.
Angelina Jolie carrying Douglas Coupland’s baby!
Or is she? Fiction or non-fiction? Or perhaps some sort of meta-fiction wherein telling the story about the story of the bastard child is in itself a construct around which we unwittingly reveal our prejudices about fame and celebrity, not to mention where we place literature and art within our cultural values. Plus, Jen runs back into Brad’s arms at the news!