Shakespeare Gets a Co-Author
The Oxford University Press (no slouch when it comes to the academics of Shakespeare, obviously) is officially crediting Christopher Marlowe as co-author of Shakespeare’s three Henry VI plays. The new co-authorship credit is based on comparison of the language used in the Henry plays to other Marlowe works, and this is the first time a major publisher has gotten behind “Shakespeare trutherism.”
Real-Life Hogwarts to Open in 2017
We’re all a little bummed we didn’t get our letter to Hogwarts as kids, and now you don’t need one. A real-life school of witchcraft and wizardy is opening next year in France, complete with a sorting ceremony and classes in potions and charms. Two catches: only 100 students will be admitted, and all lessons will be conducted in French. Opportunity to do your best Fleur Delacour?
A Strange History of Books Bound in Human Skin
Because it’s Halloween, have a long-read about the (naturally) dramatic history of books bound in human skin. My favorite tidbits: doctors were some of the first to bind books in…people…, often using the skin of executed criminals to bind books about the criminal’s exploits. Also, someone bound Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen in skin, which seems especially inappropriate and icky.
Chimamanda’s Feminist Suggestions
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of the best fiction writers doing things with feminism today, and she gave us a gift on Facebook of all places in her Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions. It’s a letter to a new mother about raising a daughter in a feminist way, and she recommends everything from considering the language you use to speak to your children, to never speaking of marriage as a woman’s ultimate achievement. Well worth a read, whether you have children or not (and no matter their gender, if you do).
Thanks to Thrill Me by Benjamin Percy for sponsoring This Week in Books.
In Thrill Me, best-selling author Benjamin Percy dissolves the boundaries between literary and genre fiction. He explores how Cormac McCarthy, Ursula K. Le Guin, Stephen King, and others engage plot, character, dialogue, and suspense. He also makes clear the literary importance of “exploding helicopters, giant sharks, robots with laser eyes, pirates, poltergeists, were-kittens, demons, slow zombies, fast zombies, talking unicorns, probe-wielding martians, sexy vampires, barbarians in hairy underwear…”Percy’s distinctive blend of anecdotes and advice, round out a perfectly thrilling roadmap for writers and readers hoping to understand how and why the best fiction keeps us riveted to the edge of our seats.