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We now know what the first person to review A Clockwork Orange thought of it. Maire Lynd, an in-house fiction reader for publisher William Heinemann, wrote in a 1961 report: “With luck the book will be a big success and give the teenagers a new language. But it might be an enormous flop. Certainly nothing in between.” The novel’s 50th anniversary edition—restored as Anthony Burgess originally wrote it—was released yesterday, with a foreword by Martin Amis and a previously unpublished interview with Burgess, in which he said, “It is ironic that I am always associated with A Clockwork Orange. This, of all my books, is the one I like least.”
Beatrix Potter’s most popular literary invention now travels! The Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson has written a sequel to the classic children’s story, dispatching Peter Rabbit to Scotland to discover his apparently forgotten heritage.
Have you ever wanted to see how a novel is made? Sign up here. At 9 a.m. on 12 September, Silvia Hartmann will type up her next novel with Google Docs, while readers observe her writing process live. It’s not a one-way street: readers will be able to comment on the storyline and provide feedback as the novel develops. There’s no indication as to what the novel will be about, but perhaps here’s a clue: she apparently writes fiction titles under the nom de plume Nick Starfields.
Amherst College believes that an 1859 daguerreotype found in their archives is an image of the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson in her mid-20s. There is currently only one authenticated photograph of the author—as a teenager in 1846.
British actor Aaron Johnson’s passionate relationship with his wife, artist Sam Taylor-Wood (who is 23 years older than him), was apparently his inspiration for Count Vronsky in the new film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. He confessed he arranged to use the name “Taylor-Johnson” on a trailer released on his wedding day because “I just don’t see why women need to take the man’s name. I wanted to be a part of her just as much as she wanted to be part of me.” Surely this is the mark of a true romantic lead? Catch Anna Karenina, also starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law, in cinemas today.
Lastly: a riff on the publishing process in .gif form. ‘Nuff said.
Emily joined Litro in April 2012 as Literary Editor & Web Designer. She made over the website and introduced new developmental and editorial features to strengthen Litro's online presence. She left her position in January 2013, taking a backseat as Contributing Editor to concentrate on writing. She is a freelance journalist with a special interest in travel writing and foreign reporting (with an inclination for Asia and Latin America), and is now based in Malaysia. English is her native language, but she also speaks Mandarin and Spanish, having spent 2007-08 travelling in Central America.