paper trail

Truman Capote's ashes up for sale; Prisoners get more access to books

Truman Capote

Bob Odenkirk will write “a comic ‘bildungsroman’ . . . except this will be more memoir and the main character, Bob Odenkirk (actor, writer, comedian, gadabout), doesn’t grow morally or psychologically.” Nick Offerman of Parks and Recreation is still fixated on his former character, Ron Swanson, and has written a new book about his East LA woodshop, to be released in October. Pretty Little Liars’s Ian Harding, who plays writer and former English teacher Ezra Fitz, will release Odd Bird, a book of essays on life and bird watching, next spring.

Robert Seethaler, a character actor who had a role in Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, is a writer as well. His novel A Whole Life, which comes out in the US this September, was a best-seller in Germany. He talks to the New York Times about the origin of his book, why he prefers writing to acting, and his next literary project—a novel about a small-town graveyard: “After this I’ll probably need to rest for a few years and laugh as much as possible.”

Truman Capote’s ashes will be auctioned next month in Los Angeles at a starting price of $2,000. After the author died at Johnny Carson’s home in 1984, his ashes remained there until Joanne Carson’s death last year. Although the Carson estate was unsure about their plan to sell off the “carved Japanese box” containing the late writer, Julien’s Auctions owner Darren Julien can think of no better honor for Capote. “It really embodies what Truman Capote was and what he loved to do. Truman told Joanne that he didn’t want his ashes to sit on a shelf. So this is a different way of honouring his request.” Julien hopes that whoever decides to buy the ashes will be a New York resident “or someone that travels a lot and can take him with them.”

The Daily Beast reports that “Donald Trump used his campaign funds to buy thousands of copies of his own book at retail cost” in a possibly illegal move that turns political donations into royalties paid into Trump’s personal accounts.

A new program in London will offer books to everyone in police custody in the city. “Books for Nicks” came to life after Constable Steve Whitmore arrested a young man, who then asked him for a book to read while he was being held. Whitmore offered him Catcher in the Rye. "The look on his face was amazing, his attitude and hostility towards me completely changed and it created common ground for us to talk about.” Library Journal has an in-depth look at the holdings of Rikers Island’s branch of the New York Public Library that opened last month. “Very little content is prohibited by DOC other than ‘the obvious stuff,’” said librarian Sarah Ball. "'We are asked by the department not to bring in books about how to make weapons, or fighting techniques.’”

A panel on David Bowie and Prince, a conversation with Margaret Atwood, and readings by several New York poet laureates are just a few of the events at this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival.