The Lavin Agency is a speakers bureau, based in New York City and Toronto. We exclusively represent leading thinkers, writers, and doers who inspire ideas and dialogue that make the world a better place.
Salman Rushdie explains why prose literature—more so than movies, television, and theater—has historically been, and continues to be, at the forefront of opposition to tyranny. Though literature can survive tyranny, the writers behind the ideas seldom do. The question becomes: how can imaginative artists continue to tell the stories of their time without being assaulted, jailed, or worse.
On Wired’s website today, neuroscience speaker Jonah Lehrer interviewed Charles Fernyhough, whose new novel, A Box of Birds, “explicitly attempts to explore the impact of neuroscience on our self-conception.” The cross-pollination of fiction and science has been a recurring theme in Jonah’s work. In this video, he spoke with the Lavin Agency about how the Modernist writers actually anticipated neuroscience.
All writers have roots they draw from — travel, work, family. My roots are in science and it is fertile ground for fiction.
Ideas in fiction have to be handled like high explosives. Novels aren’t pedagogical instruments, or instructions in law or physics or any other discipline. A novel has to be an emotional experience, a trip of the imagination, and because science has raised so many issues that concern and affect humans, it’s a good starting place for me.
Alan Lightman explains why science is his inspiration in an interview withThe Toronto Star. His new novel, Mr g, tells the story of creation through the eyes of God.
Is Lev Grossman’s Magicians series Harry Potter for grown-ups? The Guardian certainly seems to think so:
I am far from the first to call The Magicians and The Magician King Harry Potter for grown-ups. Deconstructing the Potter mythos is so clearly part of Lev Grossman’s intent that it is hard not to make the obvious, but also inaccurate, comparison. In fact, it would be fairer to say that The Magicians is a book for the generation who grew up loving Harry Potter, but are experiencing the crushing disappointment of outgrowing their fantasies. The Magician King is Harry Potter for grown-ups … who have learned to hate Harry Potter.
HBO will adapt Carl Hiaasen’s 2004 novel Skinny Dip — a mystery about an heiress who swims to safety while holding onto a bale of marijuana — for television, reports Variety. Michael Oates Palmer and Michael Keaton, who has a wide-ranging first-look deal at HBO, will executive-produce.
“The Magician King,” Lev Grossman’s sequel to his bestseller, “The Magicians,” centers on a group of 20-something magicians who rule a Narnia-like kingdom filled with talking sloths, prophetic hares and magic keys. Mr. Grossman, who has been compared to both J.K. Rowling and Jay McInerney, tried his hand at literary fiction before turning to fantasy. He says supernatural fiction is fast becoming a dominant strain of contemporary literature. “We are the mainstream,” he says. “Literary fiction is a subculture.”