CHARLOTTE BRONTË

In this entry in The British Library Writers' Lives series, Sellars brilliantly captures the talent, determination, and tragic life of the author of Jane Eyre; she covers the basics- -e.g., that Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontâ wrote as Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, respectively, because 19th-century England was not ready for women writers. The biography makes revealing use of a multitude of original sources: letters, diaries, and original manuscripts, all laid out for readers to examine. What becomes apparent is Charlotte Brontâ's determination to succeed as a writer, despite the many tragic deaths of loved ones; her craving for ``literary success'' revealed itself in a ``lifetime of single-minded independence.'' Some of the manuscripts and original sources reproduced are impossible to read and act more as decoration, but on the whole, this portrayal of Charlotte Brontâ's life conveys how an astute and original mind coped with overwhelming grief and despair to triumph creatively. (full-color and b&w photos and reproductions, maps, chronology, further reading, index) (Biography. 11-15)

Pub Date: March 5, 1998

ISBN: 0-19-521439-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1998

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A rather chaotic and messy tale of talent, determination, and success in the world of independent film and TV that hardcore...

LIKE BROTHERS

A quirky inside portrait of brotherhood within the “insane Hollywood system.”

Marx, Coen, Farrelly. Add to that list the Duplass brothers, who have been carving out a place for themselves as writers, directors, producers, and actors (Mark in The League, Jay in Transparent, etc.). In her foreword to this jumpy, eclectic collection of odds and ends, Mindy Kaling writes that the brothers are funny, “woke as hell,” and have a “tireless entrepreneurial spirit that inspires.” The brothers write that the book is “filled with essays on all kinds of things,” which isn’t exactly true. There are some—e.g., a short piece on why the band Air Supply is so good or the value of The Karate Kid Part II (even though “there are so many things wrong with this movie”)—but mostly this is a hodgepodge of autobiographical sketches, lists of favorite movies (actually the same list slightly edited over and over), emails, rough screenplays, advice to young filmmakers, Mark’s short story “The Blowjob,” edited by Jay, comments from their wives, and “Airport” 1-5, in which the brothers make up filmic scenarios inspired by the people they see walking and sitting about. We learn that they grew up outside New Orleans and had great boyhoods. Creative and ambitious kids, they played around with a video recorder their father gave them and started writing little scenarios and filming them. In 1996, they started Duplass Brothers Productions and got to work. We follow them in action as they fail (Vince del Rio) and succeed (Cyrus). They made The Puffy Chair for $10,000 and premiered it at the Sundance Film Festival. Other successes followed, including HBO’s Togetherness series (2015), until cancelled, and Room 104 (2017).

A rather chaotic and messy tale of talent, determination, and success in the world of independent film and TV that hardcore fans will enjoy.

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-101-96771-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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MAGIC JOHNSON

CHAMPION WITH A CAUSE

The fantasy world we build around professional athletes took a serious hit when this NBA superstar announced his HIV infection and retirement. Here, a simply phrased account of Johnson's record-breaking basketball career is sandwiched between an analysis of the announcement's immediate effects and a look at his other career as a successful businessman. This is timely but superficial: the ``If I can get it, anyone can'' message is delivered, but readers will not learn much more about AIDS or the AIDS crisis, nor are they directed to other books or organizations that might help. Marginally useful for assignments; better efforts are probably in the pipeline. B&w photos. (Biography. 11-13)

Pub Date: May 5, 1992

ISBN: 0-8225-0546-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Lerner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1992

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