Ages 18+.

Marjorie Kellogg, creator of Tell Me that You Love Me, Junie Moon, 1922-2005

Marjorie Kellogg

Marjorie Kellogg, whose title character in her 1968 bestselling novel, Tell Me that You Love Me, Junie Moon, was immortalized by Liza Minnelli in the movie adaptation, has died.

Ms. Kellogg, a graduate of Smith College, was a hospital social worker. With the encouragement of her friend and fellow writer Paula Fox, Kellog wrote her tender funny novel about three friends with daunting disabilities who set up housekeeping together. Ms. Kellogg also wrote the screenplay for the 1970 movie by the same name which was directed by Otto Preminger.

Tory Dent, author of HIV, Mon Amour, dies at 47

Tory Dent

Tory Dent, who chronicled a life of joy and creativity even as she struggled courageously with HIV/AIDS, succumbed to the illness on Friday, December 30, 2005.

Dent won several awards for HIV, Mon Amour (2000), the second of her electrifying trilogy of AIDS-themed volumes of poetry. Her first unflinching look at the disease, What Silence Equals, was published in 1993, five years after her initial diagnosis. Ms. Dent lived long enough to see the publication of the final volume, Black Milk which was released last year.

Whitbread Category winners announced January 3, 2006

Ali Smith, author of The Accidental, has won the Whitbread Novel Award, after twice being denied last year (Man Booker and Orange Prize for Fiction). Ms. Smith beat out such Whitbread heavyweight contenders as Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down) and Salman Rushdie (Shalimar the Clown).

Other category winners that were announced today are:

Biography Award – Hilary Spurling for Matisse the Master: A Life of Henri Matisse, the Conquest of Colour, 1909-1954

Fabulous Fiction Firsts (Booklist's)

The 2005 Top 10 First Novels selected by the editors of Booklist.

Dear Zoe by Philip Beard

It's All Right Now by Charles Chadwick

A Long Stay in a Distant Land by Chieh Chieng

26a by Diana Evans

Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala

The Bad Mother's Handbook by Kate Long

The Missing Person by Alix Ohlin

In the Province of Saints by Thomas O'Malley

First Love by Adrienne Sharp

Islands by Dan Sleigh

Hale County, Alabama, Revisited

Almost 70 years after James Agee and Walker Evans immortalized three white sharecropper families of rural Alabama in Let us now praise famous men, Hale County is again in the news.

It seems like folks have been flocking to this remote and impoverished area of western Alabama to check out the 40-odd modest dwellings for the poorest of the poor, built with soda bottles, car tires, hay bales and Chevrolet windshields. The architects are Auburn University students, working under the Rural Studio program founded by Samuel Mockbee. Proceed and be bold : Rural Studio after Samuel Mockbee chronicles the Studio's recent successes after Mockbee's death in 2001.

Rona Jaffe, 1931-2005

Rona Jaffe

Before there was Bridget Jones, decades before Chicklit entered our lexicon, Rona Jaffe blazed the litery way to modern urban females mixing professional ambitions with romantic shenanigans.

Ms. Jaffe, who died December 30, 2005, while on vacation in London, wrote of what she knew. A Radcliffe graduate at 19, she was approached six years later by Hollywood to write a movie tie-in reverse. Her instructions: write a "guilty plesaure" book to rival Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman, a Ginger Rogers blockbuster for which Rogers won an Oscar in 1941. Jaffe promptly penned The Best of Everything (1958 -- will be ordered January 15, 2006) and, within six months, she was at the top of the New Times Bestseller, list. The movie came out in 1959, starring Hope Lange, Joan Crawford, and Diane Baker.

Does hip hop matter?

Confession: When I was about sixteen, I was talking on the phone with someone who was older, "wiser", and definitely more hip than myself. When he asked me if I had a "The Source." I naively responded, quite enthusiastically, that I did. Too bad I thought he said thesaurus and that I had no idea that he was, in fact, talking about a hip hop magazine.

Had Hip Hop Matters been around then and had I browsed it, I would have saved myself the humiliation.

Hip Hop Matters seeks to answer the question of why hip hop matters. The author, S. Craig Watkins is not afraid to delve into the many issues that surround this art form. He explores and complicates the notions of profit versus politics, responsibility, authenticity, identity, economics, bombast, style, credibility, ownership, misogyny, fidelity and much more. This is a far-reaching study about the implications of hip hop with respect to popular culture, politics and beyond.

Poet Pattieann Rogers wins the 2005 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry

Pattiann Rogers

Pattiann Rogers, one of America's best modern poets, was awarded the prestigious Lannan Literary Award for Poetry for 2005. The Lannan Literary Awards and Fellowships were established in 1989 "to honor both established and emerging writers whose work is of exceptional quality."

In awarding Rogers the $125,00 purse, the Lannan Foundation said of her writing: "Roger's wise and complex poems read like a series of witty but deeply felt explorations of the phusical world and the presence of the divine." Among her twelve volumes of poetry are: Generations (2004), Song of the World Becoming: New and Collected Poems, 1981-2001 (c2001), and The Expectations of Light (c1981).

Margaret Hodges, prolific children's author, dies at 94

Margaret Hodges, author of dozens of books for children, died December 20, at the age of 94. In addition to her popular retelling of well-loved legends, Hodges also wrote many biographies for children.

Ms. Hodges, a former children's librarian, received numerous prestigious literary awards, including the Caldecott Medal for Saint George and the Dragon: A Golden Legend (adapted from Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene), illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, (1984).

Patricia Van Tighem, 1958-2005

Canadian Patricia Van Tighem, whose harrowing account of her savage mauling by a grizzly in 1983 is recounted in her memoir The Bear's Embrace: A Story of Survival, has died.

Van Tighem and her husband Trevor Janz were hiking near Montana in the Canadian Rockies when a brown grizzly appeared out of nowhere and attacked her husband. In horror, Van Tighem sought refuge in a nearby tree but the bear climbed after her and destroyed her face.

Van Tighem's life since then had been a nightmare of endless surgeries, relentless pain, and severe bouts of post-traumatic stress syndrome. When she wrote The Bear's Embrace in 2001, her family hoped it would trigger a full emotional recovery.

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