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Book news: Lions and authors and movies, oh my

February 19, 2009 |  3:34 pm

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Five authors under 35 have been named finalists for the Young Lions Award: Jon Fasman ("The Unpossessed City"), Rivka Galchen ("Atmospheric Disturbances"), Sana Krasikov ("One More Year"), Zachary Mason ("The Lost Books of the Odyssey") and Salvatore Scibona ("The End"). The winner will get $10,000, possibly from the hand of Ethan Hawke, who founded the award with Rick Moody and other supporters of the New York Public Library. The prize is named for the  marble lions that guard the library's central branch at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

Happy birthday to author Amy Tan, who turns ... well, let's just say she's no longer eligible for the Young Lions Award. She shares her birthday with Carson McCullers (who died in 1967); both writers have books that are included in The Big Read.   

Robert Ludlum has been dead for eight years, but he's still hot in Hollywood. Films based on his book that are in the works: "The Matarese Circle," with Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington and to be directed by David Cronenberg; the more mysterious "The Sigma Protocol" and "The Parsifal Mosaic"; and a fourth "Bourne" film, again starring Matt Damon.

At Slate, Willing Davidson asks, "Why does Hollywood take our favorite novels and turn them into crap?" I have a hard time getting upset about Hollywood's film adaptations — they generally make authors wealthier and better-known. Although I imagine both benefits are more fun if you're still around to enjoy them.

— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo credit: Mara 1 via Flickr.

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