Book news: 'Albert Nobbs,' lady friends, and fiction and place
Are you going to see "Albert Nobbs"? The film, which has been nominated for three Oscars (cross-dressing Glenn Close is thought to give Meryl Streep some competition) may be among the award season's most literary. It was adapted from a short story by Irish writer George Moore, the screenplay was co-written by Booker prize-winner John Banville, and it was directed by Rodrigo Garcia, son of Nobel prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Speaking of literary people and the screen, writer A-J Aronstein writes in The Millions about HBO coming to the suburban neighborhood he grew up in to film "The Corrections." Aronstein's childhood home was up to be the Lamberts', right at the center of the book; Aronstein wrote his undergraduate thesis on Franzen's 2001 novel. What are the odds? Too great, apparently. They picked another house. Which was probably for the best; John Jeremiah Sullivan wrote about the mixed experience of his North Carolina home being used in "One Tree Hill." That essay, which appeared in GQ, is in "Pulphead: Essays:," a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle nonfiction award.
Susan Straight's 2001 novel "highwire Moon" was a finalist for the National Book Award. The Southern California writer has made her hometown, Riverside, the setting and center of much of her work. Now she's writing at KCET about the Inland Empire; she has explored a sheep farm, looked at metal sun shades and visited her grandmother's old trailer park. Her fantastic essays are accompanied by photographs that make the place look like a mid-century heaven that time forgot.
A fantastic new essay by Emily Rapp appears in The Rumpus, where she writes of the power of female friendship. "Here’s the truth: friendships between women are often the deepest and most profound love stories, but they are often discussed as if they are ancillary, 'bonus' relationships to the truly important ones. Women’s friendships outlast jobs, parents, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, and sometimes children." If that last bit sounds alarming, wait until you reach the end of her piece.
-- Carolyn Kellogg