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Quick Takes: New short story from Dashiell Hammett

March 02, 2011

A previously unpublished short story by the late crime writer Dashiell Hammett will appear in the Strand Magazine this week, its managing editor, Andrew Gulli, said Tuesday.

But 14 other stories that he discovered while researching the author at the University of Texas will remain unseen, he said, because Hammett's estate decided not to publish them.

"So I Shot Him" revolves around the character named Rainey who challenges a man to overcome his irrational fear of water, with surprising consequences.

The Strand Magazine is a quarterly that has brought to light previously unseen works by authors including Agatha Christie, Graham Greene and Mark Twain.


Musicians offer to return to work

The striking musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra offered Tuesday to return to work and end a contentious, nearly five-month walkout if management agrees to establish a binding arbitration panel to work out unresolved issues between them.

Musicians' spokesman Karl Pituch said that they're offering to submit contract issues that have not been resolved to a three-person panel composed of union and management representatives and play music again while those issues are hammered out.

Orchestra management officials said in statements they were "delighted" that musicians are prepared to return and had communicated with the union's attorney to learn more.

—Associated Press

Moonves talks 'Men' savings

Though CBS misses the ratings from the loss of its top comedy, "Two and a Half Men," CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves downplayed the financial effect at an investor conference Tuesday. The network, he said, was saving money on production costs.

"Short-term, financially, it is actually a gainer for us," Moonves said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco. "Doing eight less original episodes saves us a lot of money."

Moonves said he didn't know how the Sheen drama ultimately would end up, and he would not speculate on whether there would be a ninth season next year of television's highest-rated comedy.

Warner Bros., meanwhile, confirmed Tuesday that it planned to pay the crew of "Two and a Half Men" for four of the eight canceled episodes.

—Meg James and Joe Flint

Arts, humanities medalists named

Actress Meryl Streep, musicians Van Cliburn, Quincy Jones, Sonny Rollins and James Taylor, and "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee are the household names among this year's winners of the National Medal of Arts, a career-achievement award that President Obama will confer Wednesday in a ceremony at the White House.

Those known more to aficionados are Abstract Expressionist sculptor Mark di Suvero; Robert Brustein, founder of the Yale Repertory Theatre and American Repertory Theatre; and Donald Hall, who was poet laureate in 2006-07.

Also announced were the National Humanities Medals, with authors Philip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates as the best-known names. Other honorees are poet/novelist/conservationist Wendell E. Berry; publisher Daniel Aaron, founder of the Library of America; historians Bernard Bailyn and Gordon Wood; scholars Jacques Barzun of Columbia and Stanley Nider Katz of Princeton; literary critic Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria; and biographer Arnold Rampersad.

—Mike Boehm

Katie Holmes sues magazine

Katie Holmes sued the publishers of Star Magazine on Tuesday, accusing them of libel over a magazine cover that insinuated she was a drug addict.

The actress filed the lawsuit against American Media Inc. in federal court in Los Angeles. She said a January cover that featured the headline "Katie DRUG SHOCKER!" was false and not supported by the actual story in the magazine.

Star Magazine said it stands by its story.

—Associated Press


Book deals: Actress Anjelica Huston, the 59-year-old daughter of movie director John Huston, is writing a memoir that Scribner plans to publish in 2013, and Bristol Palin, the 20-year-old daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is writing a book about her life that publishing house William Morrow says will be on shelves this summer.

Maestro sidelined: Conductor James Levine, 67, will miss the final concerts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's season, through March 19, due to a back injury, the symphony said Tuesday.

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