Warhorses going strong. Both of them.
Mr. Tom Hanks. Ms. Tina Brown.
Whose books are lighting up our holiday season.
Twice Oscar-winner Tom Hanks has written screenplays, and now makes his fiction debut as the author of seventeen short tales. Uncommon Type, Some Stories, published by the prestigious house of Knopf.
Leaping onto the best sellers list the week it landed in the book stores.
Each story involves a typewriter, accompanied by a photograph from Tom’s collection of vintage Remington’s and Royals, Underwoods and Hermes introducing each story.
His is an easy to read writing style flirting with whimsy and satire for just us folks.
The stories open a window into Tom’s vivid Imagination. Would they have been published if Tom Hanks were not the author? Apparently another imprint, Penguin Books, expressed interest.
The New Yorker published Alan Bean Plus Four, about Home Depot guys aiming to build a rocket ship in their backyard.
We wonder if Tom wrote these between takes during filming … if so, he’s not one to waste a moment, much like other fellow workaholics. The stories took three years to write.
What’s next? “No idea,” he tells Knopf’s Emily Reardon. “Leave me alone.”
Come Christmas, Tom’s film, The Post, co-starring Meryl Streep, opens. About Washington’s newspaper of record. Tom’s cast as the prize-wining editor Ben Bradlee, with Meryl as publisher Katharine Graham.
Already touted by award groups as Oscar-worthy.
“Last night – just hours ago,” (begins an excerpt from A Junket in the City of Light). “I was the guy in a huge movie that everyone was talking about, the guy who made out with the glamorous beauty, a guy with a fine ass. In the capitols of Europe – and America – I was hustled around like a politician, into cars and into ballrooms filled with camera-toting, question-hollering, reporters. I waved to seas of people, many of whom waved back, even though no one knew who I am, even though I am in fact a no one. Although, I have in my possession … certain documents …”
A Queen. Born to the royal purple journalism royalty. Her career of writing and editing since her youth is tantamount to genius with nonstop accomplishments. Editing The Tatler in her twenties, moving onto revamping The New Yorker and bringing her brand of sword-sharp words after taking over the editorship of The New Yorker with a healthy spanking for a rousing new life. Adding photographs, which were verboten during William Shawn’s reign.
Then came her eight years editing Vanity Fair, and convincing Demi Moore to pose stark naked for the news making Annie Leibowitz cover, no less — in her final month of pregnancy.
Soon publishing and editing Talk, her creation financed by who-the-hell-knew-him-then-as-we-do-now, Harvey Weinstein.
Next: creating the hot-to-trot online success, The Daily Beast, a name picked up from an Evelyn Waugh novel, Scoop (1938), one of the funniest books about newspapers that critic Christopher Hitchens describes as “pitiless realism.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, you have been under her spell for all these years.
Ms. Tina Brown. The author of The Vanity Fair Diaries 1980-1982, just released by Henry Holt.
“I’ve always kept a diary … since I was ten,” she says. “Nobody read the excerpts but me.”
Here, she chronicles her whoop-dee-do days and nights while editing Vanity Fair.
More than 400 pages sizzle with hilarity and gossip in the midst’s of the Who and the Who.
Read with amazement of the inexhaustible life she’s lived and doubtlessly pursues.
Her diary entries hop-skip-jump with recollections of Michael Jackson, Nancy and Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump. Dip here, dip there, and find yourself galloping with the glamerati of Hollywood, Washington, Londontown, wherever.
A Tina Brown treasure to talk about.
“I was right about the mob scene.” Tina writes in an excerpt dated Saturday, December 19, 1987. “It looked as if Trump had emptied out every croupier from his casinos and every gold digger who ever got into spaghetti straps. There was a crowd of screaming celebrity groupies on the outside. On the inside, the atrium was festooned with poinsettias and red balloons and the escalator glided up and down width cargos of gawking boldfaces. On the ground floor, heaving arbitrageurs danced the night away to deafening pop hits. Donald Trump himself looked sleek and starry as a prosperous young seal in his tux and white evening scarf. “Can you believe this party!” he kept exclaiming. “No, seriously, can you believe it? Love your magazine! Beautiful piece on Ivana. Byoodiful!” It was indeed a great piece by Michael Shnayerson. He revealed that Ivana refers to her husband as ‘the Donald,’ which seems to be catching on.”
We predicted – didn’t we? – two columns ago that Prince Harry would propose marriage to Meghan Markle before the end of the year, as he has.