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Pete Dexter

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July 24, 1988 | Sonja Bolle and Jack Miles
How does a Sacramento Bee columnist come to write a novel about a murder in Cotton Point, Ga., in the late 1940s? The short answer is: He grows up there. Pete Dexter lived in Georgia from his fifth to his ninth year and often returns: "Seems like I just end up down there, Georgia, Tennessee. No family there, mostly friends. An ex-wife down there too, somewhere." But that answers only the Georgia half of the question. How does a Georgia boy start writing about a murder?
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December 12, 2012 | By Mark Olsen
Among the biggest surprises in the Screen Actors Guild nominations Wednesday morning was Nicole Kidman's best supporting actress nod for the little-seen movie “The Paperboy.”  In the film, set in late-1960s Florida, Kidman plays Charlotte Bless, a mess of short skirts, tight pants, tall hair and smudgy eyeliner, who becomes involved in a dangerous romantic entanglement with a man jailed for murder (John Cusack). Kidman has long been notable for her bold choices in roles. But her trashy turn in “The Paperboy” seems particularly at odds with her image both as a fashion icon and a dedicated wife and mother living a quiet life outside Nashville.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 30, 2009 | Tim Rutten
When it came to the subject of biographies, Sigmund Freud was at his most implacable: "Whoever undertakes to write a biography," he said, "binds himself to lying, to concealment, to hypocrisy, to flummery and even to hiding his own lack of understanding. . . . Truth is not accessible; mankind does not deserve it, and wasn't Prince Hamlet right when he asked who could escape a whipping if he had his deserts?" How did Freud feel about autobiographies? Don't ask. In his latest book, newspaper columnist turned novelist turned screenwriter Pete Dexter has taken the literary-psychoanalytic bull by the horns and -- with characteristic and stylish aplomb -- blown smoke in its formidable face.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 30, 2009 | Tim Rutten
When it came to the subject of biographies, Sigmund Freud was at his most implacable: "Whoever undertakes to write a biography," he said, "binds himself to lying, to concealment, to hypocrisy, to flummery and even to hiding his own lack of understanding. . . . Truth is not accessible; mankind does not deserve it, and wasn't Prince Hamlet right when he asked who could escape a whipping if he had his deserts?" How did Freud feel about autobiographies? Don't ask. In his latest book, newspaper columnist turned novelist turned screenwriter Pete Dexter has taken the literary-psychoanalytic bull by the horns and -- with characteristic and stylish aplomb -- blown smoke in its formidable face.
BOOKS
August 27, 1989 | CHARLES SOLOMON
Anger hangs like a pall over this brooding story of interracial murder in a small Southern town during the '50s. The coldly amoral Paris Trout feels no remorse when he inadvertently shoots a black teen-ager and wounds her guardian, but his trial releases tensions hidden within the social fabric of Cotton Point, Ga.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 2003 | Susan Salter Reynolds, Times Staff Writer
"I am the guy who breaks things," Pete Dexter says, looking up from under his eyebrows, a worried but amused expression on his wide-open face. "... for fun," he adds. This is exactly how Dexter, Mr. Noir (in both the literary and personal sense), writes his exquisite, painful novels.
BOOKS
January 1, 1995 | RICHARD EDER
Paris Trout, the violently bigoted Southerner who, in Pete Dexter's novel of the same name, stood monstrously for the darkest human and social instincts, has spawned several baleful fingerlings. There is, at the start of Dexter's new novel, "The Paperboy," Sheriff Thurmond Call of Moat County, Florida. He had, "even by the standards of Moat County, killed an inappropriate number of Negroes in the line of duty."
BOOKS
February 4, 2007 | Art Winslow, Art Winslow, a former executive editor and literary editor of the Nation, writes frequently on books and culture.
IN a farewell to readers in Philadelphia, where he had been a columnist at the Daily News for better than a dozen years, Pete Dexter wrote that he had come to the city empty but no longer was.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 1989 | CLAUDIA PUIG and ALEENE MacMINN, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
Local playwright Marlane Meyer, whose "The Geography of Luck" opens Tuesday at South Coast Repertory, has been awarded the PEN Center U.S.A. West 1989 Literary Award for drama for her play, "Kingfish," which premiered last fall at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. Also receiving awards are writers Pete Dexter, Mae Briskin, Paul Monette, Ellen Howard, Virginia Euwer Wolff Naomi Foner, Shawn Hubler, Lennie LaGuire, Robert Duncan, William Everson and Lee Tae-bok. The 1Oth annual awards banquet will be held Saturday at the Biltmore Hotel.
NEWS
August 1, 1996
I applaud Kelvin Christopher James' brashness and his efforts to get his work before the public ("He Takes a Lot of Pride in His Fling With a Demon Lover," July 23). More writers should do the same. However, when he lets his ego fly and tells us his writing is "superior to anyone else in America right now," I'd like to remind him of a few names, since he sounds like someone who doesn't read much: Jayne Anne Phillips, Toni Morrison, Peter Mathiessen, Cormac McCarthy, Philip Caputo, Lucia Berlin and Dorothy Allison.
BOOKS
February 4, 2007 | Art Winslow, Art Winslow, a former executive editor and literary editor of the Nation, writes frequently on books and culture.
IN a farewell to readers in Philadelphia, where he had been a columnist at the Daily News for better than a dozen years, Pete Dexter wrote that he had come to the city empty but no longer was.
BOOKS
November 9, 2003 | Thomas Curwen, Thomas Curwen is a Times staff writer.
Pete DEXTER is a master of manipulation. As if his characters aren't enough on their own -- who can forget Paris Trout from the 1988 National Book Award-winning novel of the same name? -- he has to throw them into a room together, no matter the circumstances, just to see the sparks fly, and fly they do. Take this scene from his latest novel, "Train," set in 1950s Los Angeles. A man and a woman are racing along a lonely stretch of Coast Highway north of San Diego.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 2003 | Susan Salter Reynolds, Times Staff Writer
"I am the guy who breaks things," Pete Dexter says, looking up from under his eyebrows, a worried but amused expression on his wide-open face. "... for fun," he adds. This is exactly how Dexter, Mr. Noir (in both the literary and personal sense), writes his exquisite, painful novels.
NEWS
August 1, 1996
I applaud Kelvin Christopher James' brashness and his efforts to get his work before the public ("He Takes a Lot of Pride in His Fling With a Demon Lover," July 23). More writers should do the same. However, when he lets his ego fly and tells us his writing is "superior to anyone else in America right now," I'd like to remind him of a few names, since he sounds like someone who doesn't read much: Jayne Anne Phillips, Toni Morrison, Peter Mathiessen, Cormac McCarthy, Philip Caputo, Lucia Berlin and Dorothy Allison.
BOOKS
January 1, 1995 | RICHARD EDER
Paris Trout, the violently bigoted Southerner who, in Pete Dexter's novel of the same name, stood monstrously for the darkest human and social instincts, has spawned several baleful fingerlings. There is, at the start of Dexter's new novel, "The Paperboy," Sheriff Thurmond Call of Moat County, Florida. He had, "even by the standards of Moat County, killed an inappropriate number of Negroes in the line of duty."
BOOKS
October 6, 1991 | RICHARD EDER
Tautly and often exquisitely written, Pete Dexter's "Brotherly Love" is a novel partly dimmed by its darkness. That may seem a truism--what else would darkness do?--except that in a few great works, as in solar eclipses, darkness reveals the flaring corona around it. Iago illuminates "Othello," and the Snopeses backlight Yoknapatawpha County. Paris Trout, a human monster, did a similar kind of limning in Dexter's masterpiece of the same name.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2012 | By Mark Olsen
Among the biggest surprises in the Screen Actors Guild nominations Wednesday morning was Nicole Kidman's best supporting actress nod for the little-seen movie “The Paperboy.”  In the film, set in late-1960s Florida, Kidman plays Charlotte Bless, a mess of short skirts, tight pants, tall hair and smudgy eyeliner, who becomes involved in a dangerous romantic entanglement with a man jailed for murder (John Cusack). Kidman has long been notable for her bold choices in roles. But her trashy turn in “The Paperboy” seems particularly at odds with her image both as a fashion icon and a dedicated wife and mother living a quiet life outside Nashville.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 6, 1990 | From Sean Mitchell
Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne is out, and novelist Pete Dexter is in, to write the adaptation of Kim Wozencraft's just-published cocaine-and-cops novel "Rush," which producers Richard and Lili Zanuck bought last year for $1 million. Dexter, the Sacramento Bee columnist who won the National Book Award in 1988 for his novel "Paris Trout," was hired because of Towne's lingering repair work on "Days of Thunder," the Tom Cruise movie now shooting in Florida.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 6, 1990 | From Sean Mitchell
Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne is out, and novelist Pete Dexter is in, to write the adaptation of Kim Wozencraft's just-published cocaine-and-cops novel "Rush," which producers Richard and Lili Zanuck bought last year for $1 million. Dexter, the Sacramento Bee columnist who won the National Book Award in 1988 for his novel "Paris Trout," was hired because of Towne's lingering repair work on "Days of Thunder," the Tom Cruise movie now shooting in Florida.
BOOKS
August 27, 1989 | CHARLES SOLOMON
Anger hangs like a pall over this brooding story of interracial murder in a small Southern town during the '50s. The coldly amoral Paris Trout feels no remorse when he inadvertently shoots a black teen-ager and wounds her guardian, but his trial releases tensions hidden within the social fabric of Cotton Point, Ga.
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