by Lindsay Deutsch)
Kenyan author comes out: One of Africa's leading literary figures, Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina, has come out of the closet, becoming one of the highest profile Africans to do so in a vastly homophobic society, as a response to a new wave of legislation further criminalizing homosexuality in Nigeria and Uganda. Wainaina broke the news in an essay first published on the website Africa is a Country, and also published a six-part documentary on YouTube that discusses the struggles of being gay in Africa.
Book-to-movie: 2014 is shaping up to be a wonderful year for book-to-movie adaptations. In a slightly more discerning list than Buzzfeed's roundup of the top 16 to look forward to, Publishers Weekly has its 11 most anticipated book adaptations for this year. And as it cleverly closes: "Sorry, endless flotilla of YA adaptations, 2104 belongs to PTA and Pynchon." For those still catching up on this year's movies, The New Yorker examines the books that inspired Inside Llewyn Davis and Saving Mr. Banks. (Plus, James Franco has released the violent trailer for his film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Children of God.)
American literary culture: Chinese/British writer Xiaolu Guo is making news for comments she made about American literature on a panel at the Jaipur literature festival in Japan this weekend. "I think certain American literature is overrated, massively overrated, and I really hate to read them," she said during the panel discussion, which also included Jonathan Franzen and Jhumpa Lahiri, who did not disagree with her.
Clicky titles: Here in this brave new world of online journalism, we journalists are hit with a barrage of tips to get people to read our articles (or at least click on them for the ad dollars). Maybe that's why we find this tongue-in-cheek list from The Millions so hysterical -- "Read Me! Please!: Book Titles Rewritten to Get More Clicks." In it, Twilight becomes The Shiniest Guy In School Had Her at "You're My Particular Brand of Heroin" and Oliver Twist is -- and you'd totally click this, too -- Watch This Kid Burst Into Tears When He's Refused Some More Porridge.