The Whole Family [(1908; Wikipedia)] is a bit of an oddity - a 'shared-world' by twelve prominent authors, each focusing on an individual member of an extended New England upper class family. William Dean Howells sets up the framework in the opening chapter ... [I]n the second story, Mary Wilkins Freeman overturns the whole table with a wonderfully feminist reinterpretation of a secondary character. The rest of the book is a scramble to put the apples back in the cart ...In "5 Goodies from Gutenberg," Jared Shurin revisits a round-robin novel he reviewed in more detail last summer at Pornokitsch, but it's not the only classic collaborative fiction available online. [more inside]
Fan Letters To Agatha Christie show how her works reached across the world to bring entertainment and solace to a wide variety of people, from prisoners to school children.
The Dead Authors Podcast: Legendary time-traveling writer H.G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) welcomes literary giants to The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles for a lively discussion in front of a live audience. Unscripted, barely researched, all fun! [more inside]
Crime fiction is a magnifying glass that reveals the fingerprints of history. From Holmes and Poirot to Montalbano and the rise of Scandi-noir, Mark Lawson investigates the long tradition of European super-sleuths and their role in turbulent times. [more inside]
However, I do have a major criticism of her work, and fans be forewarned, it makes Agatha Christie sound like a cheap, opportunistic, exploitative monster that would have made Harvey Levin proud. Agatha Christie's book The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side, later made into a movie starring Elizabeth Taylor, turns out to have been very loosely based on the tragic case of Gene Tierney's daughter, born deaf and severely mentally disabled after a fan snuck out of quarantine for Rubella to get an autograph from the actress. Drew Mackie explains.
Can vocabulary analysis detect the onset of Alzheimers Disease in writers? In 2004, a team at UCL demonstrated that Iris Murdoch's last novel had simpler sentence structure and a smaller vocabulary than her earlier books. Now a team at the University of Toronto has corroborated that research, and suggests that Agatha Christie too suffered from the disease at the end of her career.
Decades after it was written on the eve of World War II, a lost Poirot story by Agatha Christie has been found. Today it is published in the Daily Mail for the first time: The Capture Of Cerberus (scroll half way down the page). [more inside]
Agatha Christie and Archaeology. 'Many years ago, when I was once saying sadly to Max it was a pity I couldn't have taken up archaeology when I was a girl, so as to be more knowledgeable on the subject, he said, 'Don't you realize that at this moment you know more about prehistoric pottery than any woman in England?' [more inside]