Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Richard Yates

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Kathy Bates will reteam with her "Titanic" co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Sam Mendes' drama "Revolutionary Road."

Dreamworks is putting out the film about a suburban Connecticut couple whose relationship deteriorates amidst the post-World War II period in the 1950s. The project is based on the 1961 acclaimed novel of the same name by Richard Yates. Bates will play Mrs. Givings, who sells the couple their home and introduces them to the town.
(from Cinema Confidental copyright 2007)

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For me, the novel Revolutionary Road is one of the finest pieces of literary art of the last fifty years. While it secured Richard Yates' literary reputation, it didn't do much for his bank account. He spent most of his troubled years teaching. Among his students at the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop were Max Allan Collins and James Crumley.

His Collected Storis is now available. I'd put it up with Hemingway's First Fifty. I think it's that good. If you've given up on most contemporary literary fiction, go back a generation or two and see what the post-war men and women accomplished. And there's no better place to start than with Richard Yates.

1 comment:

John Kenyon said...

Couldn't agree more, Ed. Revolutionary Road is among the best books I've read, and while I shudder a bit at the notion of DiCaprio as Frank Wheeler, anything that brings a bit more attention to Yates' work can't be a bad thing.