Missing Mad Men?

Mad MenWith the final series of Mad Men now sadly finished, here are nine books available to loan from Leeds Libraries; nine books that will allow you to re-live – at least part – of the Don Draper chronicles:

Revolutionary Road (Richard Yates) 

While Matthew Weiner – the show’s creator – says that he’d never heard of Richard Yates when writing his pilot episode, this 1961 novel about a frustrated suburban couple shares many of the themes later explored in Mad Men.

 

John Cheever

Weiner, however, openly acknowledges the influence of Cheever – the ‘Bard of Suburbia’ – and especially his highly-regarded short stories. The library has the complete collection, as well as Cheever’s journal, where the torturous – indeed, Draper-esque – contradictions of the author’s life quickly become apparent to the reader.

Mad Men: Dream Come True TV (ed., Gary R. Edgerton)

The relationship between literature and Mad Men is apparent in this fascinating collection of essays by academics exploring the explicit and implicit themes of the show. While the book only covers the first three seasons it does include an interview with series producer Scott Hornbacher, which illuminates some of the story behind the show’s genesis during a golden era for American TV drama.

Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution (Brett Martin); The Revolution was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers who changed TV drama forever (Alan Sepinwell) 

Two books that further explore that creative explosion in American TV over the last 15-years. Difficult Men provides a narrative account of the background events to the shows in question – from The Sopranos through The Wire and onto Breaking Bad – while Revolution is a more thematic, analytical, look at what each one of those shows brought to viewers.

Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ‘60s and Beyond (Jane Maas) 

Noticeably, both the two books above focus almost entirely on those shows telling stories of men; ignoring, for instance, programming like Sex and the City and, more recently, Girls. And, while Mad Men, is ostensibly about the journey of Don Draper, it is as much about the story of Peggy Olsen and the changing nature of female consciousness through the 1960s. This book tells the same story – but as fact, not fiction.

The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy and the Making of Modern Advertising (Kenneth Roman) 

Jane Maas worked under legendary advertising creative David Ogilvy. This biography of Ogilvy details the extraordinary life of one of the – many – models for the fictional Don Draper.

From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbour: Front-Line Dispatches From the Advertising War (Jerry Della Femina) 

Ogilvy famously spoke of the “lunatics taking over the asylum” during the 1960s – referring to the new generation of publicity-hungry ad-men like Della Femina, who were almost as famous as their creations. Della Femina’s 1970 memoir was an inspiration for Mad Men and he served as a series consultant during the show’s first season.

The Golden Age of Advertising: The 1960s (ed., Jim Heimann) 

As brash as the personalities were on Madison Avenue, in the final analysis the advertisements are what truly mattered. This Taschen book contains some of the most memorable adverts from the 1960s; artefacts that hold a mirror to the tumultuous America of the 1960s.

America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s (Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin)

 

Mad Men has “done” the 1960s better than any other comparable cultural work. Eschewing the Forrest Gump approach – in which the central character exists outside history, adapting smoothly to their changing times and being directly affected by the major events of the era – Mad Men is more subtle; showing its characters dealing with that change one day at a time, with the familiar mixture of everyday adaptation, resistance, apathy and passion that defines lives lived in history. America Divided provides the reader with all they need to better understand the life and times of Mad Men’s richly-drawn characters.

Female Authors top of the list for the Desmond Elliott Prize

Desmond-Elliott-2015Three female authors will compete for The Desmond Elliott Prize 2015.

All three authors shortlisted for this year’s £10,000 award, which is for debut novels, are published by Penguin Random House.

Emma Healey is shortlisted for Elizabeth is Missing (Viking), Carys Bray for A Song for Issy Bradley (Hutchinson), and Claire Fuller for Our Endless Numbered Days (Fig Tree).

Chair of judges, author Louise Doughty, said: “It’s fascinating to see that each writer arrived here from slightly unorthodox beginnings and it’s a testament to The Desmond Elliott Prize that it identifies and rewards the very best new writing talent, whatever the author’s date of birth. Our shortlist shows that there’s no age limit on being a sparkling new arrival on the literary scene.”

our endless numbered daysFuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days is about a young girl who is taken to live in a cottage in the forest by her survivalist father.

Fuller originally studied sculpture at Winchester School of Art, specialising in wood and stone carving, then ran her own marketing company for 23 years.

She began writing fiction in her 40s, spurred on by National Novel Writing Month.

Elizabeth is missingHealey’s Elizabeth is Missing is about an elderly woman who is searching for her old friend called Elizabeth. Fuller’s first degree was in bookbinding, after which she worked in an art gallery. She eventually enrolled in the UEA Creative Writing Course before Elizabeth is Missing went on to sell at auction.

Bray’s A Song for Issy Bradley is about a Mormon family coping with the death of a child. Bray was restricted from writing until recently, and five years ago she and a song for issy bradleyher husband removed their family from the Mormon faith.

Dallas Manderson, chairman of the prize trustees, said: “We are delighted to present these outstanding titles in our search for this year’s best debut. The judges have done an admirable job selecting a shortlist from a particularly strong and varied longlist this year and we look forward to seeing which book ultimately comes out on top.”

Doughty is joined on the judging panel by bookseller Jonathan Ruppin and journalist and author Viv Groskop. The winner will be revealed at a ceremony at Fortnum & Mason on 1st July, where she will be presented with a cheque for £10,000.

Adapted from an article from The Bookseller Magazine

Calling all budding crime writers

How to write crime fictionNew book this week, How to write crime fiction by Sarah Williams

This book provides a comprehensive overview of all the different kinds of crime fiction, with examples from successful contemporary writers in each of the different genres, and clear explanations and exercises to help the beginning writer hone their craft, and discover the kind of crime fiction, the plots, the themes, the language, that work best for them

 And find out how the experts do it Talking about detective fiction by P. D James

Dealing with the craft of detective writing and sharing her personal thoughts and observations on one of the most popular and enduring forms of literature, the author examines the challenges, achievements, and potential of this genre.

The crime writer’s guide to police practice and procedure by Michael O’Byrne – ‘The Crime Writer’s Guide To Police Practice And Procedure’ is the detective in your pocket – something you can reach for when you feel your writing needs that short sharp shock of real-life investigating