HBO Drops Dueling Trailers for HOUSE OF THE DRAGON



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Staying Grounded After Heaven & Earth Success

After years (decades, really) of being criminally under-celebrated, James McBride is finally getting the recognition he deserves. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, the rare book that wins the double brass rings of both critical and commercial success, was one of the biggest books of 2023, and the momentum doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. But McBride, long accustomed to being a “David” in the publishing industry, isn’t letting his newfound Goliath status go to his head. In a wonderful profile by the NYT’s Elizabeth Harris, McBride discusses how his life has changed since he started putting up the kind of numbers that are usually reserved for celebrity memoirs and—more important—the many ways in which it hasn’t. The key, it seems, is that his writing career is just one of the critical elements in McBride’s. Aspiring writers, take note. This is how you keep your feet on the ground even as your star rises.

Pick a Side

The hype cycle for House of the Dragon, which returns for a second season on June 16, kicked off last week when HBO dropped dueling trailers. GoT is not my flavor, so I understand about 15% of these words, but I love the concept. 

One trailer focuses on Rhaenrya, Prince Daemon and their forces on Dragonstone, and the other is centered on the King’s Landing team of Alicent, her father Otto and her children King Aegon and Prince Aemond. Taking place 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” Season 2 of “House of the Dragon” will officially mark the start of the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war.

Here’s the black trailer for Team Rhaenrya:

And the green for Team Alicent: 

Shortlist Announced for the Dylan Thomas Prize

Each year, the Dylan Thomas Prize, created in honor of the Welsh poet who died in 1953 at the age of 39, seeks to honor the “exceptional literary talent” of writers under 40 years old. Is it an arbitrary criterion? Sure, but show me a literary prize that doesn’t have arbitrary criteria of some kind. A more notable unique feature of the Prize is how wide of a net it casts. The Prize is open to “all published literary work in the English language” and celebrates fiction in many forms, including novels, short stories, poetry, plays, and screenplays. Expand your literary horizons with the 2024 shortlist.

An App Created to Help Schools Manage Book Bans is Actually Fueling Them

Follow the money, kids.


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