Stephen King working on sequel to 'The Shining'
Thirty-four years after publishing the heart-stopping horror novel "The Shining," author Stephen King is brewing up a sequel to the classic book.
The legendary novelist, who was rumored to be penning the sequel in 2009, confirmed on his website Monday that he is, indeed, working on a continuation of the chilling book on spirits, psychic powers, murder and insanity.
"It's now official — Stephen is working on 'Dr. Sleep,' the sequel to 'The Shining,' " the 64-year-old author's official site states. " 'Dr. Sleep's' plot includes a traveling group of [psychic] vampires called The Tribe."
Over the weekend, Mr. King visited George Mason University, where he accepted the Mason Prize for authors and read excerpts from "Dr. Sleep."
According to early reports, the sequel takes readers through the life of 40-year-old Danny Torrance, a hospice employee who uses his innate psychic powers to "visit with patients who are just about to pass on to the other side" and helps them die painless deaths.
"The Shining," which was adapted into a Stanley Kubrick film and '90s television series, follows alcoholic Jack Torrance as he, his wife and son, Danny, move to an isolated Colorado hotel where Jack has accepted a winter caretaker position. The giant hotel is bursting with bad energy and vibes, ghosts and evil, all of which contribute to the erosion of Jack's sanity and scare little Danny. Jack undergoes frightening personality changes, and spirits flock to his son.
Mr. King, who has published more than 40 novels and is responsible for scary stories such as "Carrie," "It," "Misery" and "The Stand," shed light on what readers can expect from "Dr. Sleep" during his GMU appearance. The Maine native said he had been mulling over the prospect of revisiting the character of gifted — but haunted — Danny Torrance for a long time.
"This is an idea that I've had for some time. ... I always wondered what happened to that kid, Danny Torrance, when he grew up. ... I kept wondering, what's Danny Torrance doing? What's going on with him now? Where did he go after this terrible experience? And little by little, this story started to form," Mr. King said.
The book, which is still in the works, "kinda goes back to 'what's the worst thing you can think of?' " Mr. King continued. "I knew that there were bad people in this story that were like vampires, only that what they sucked out was not blood, but psychic energy from special people like Danny Torrance."
The author's next book, "11/22/63," hits bookstores Nov. 8.
French feminists want to guillotine 'Mademoiselle'
The French language could become even more complicated if two of the country's feminist organizations, Les Chiennes de Garde and Osez le Feminisme, get their way. The groups, translated to Watch Bitches/Guard Dogs and Dare to Be Feminist, have started a campaign to ax the word "Mademoiselle" — the English equivalent of "Miss" — in favor of "Madame" — the French version of "Mrs." — so married and unmarried women have the same title.
As Jezebel.com points out, French males go by "Monsieur," which means "Mister," all their lives whether they're single or married, whereas "Mademoiselle" separates single from married women.
Saying there is a "condescending connotation," Julie Muret of Osez le Feminisme told the French publication Le Monde, "But it is very symbolic of inequalities," adding that addressing oneself by "Mademoiselle" or "Madame" without an optional neutral description like "Ms." reveals a woman's marital status upfront. "This forces the woman to expose [her] personal and family situation. ... Did you ever ask whether a young man was a Mister or a Squire?"
"[T]he distinction Madame/Mademoiselle is neither flattering nor mandatory," states the Osez le Feminisme site. "Above all, it is the ordinary sign of sexism that persists in our society."
The campaign encourages French females to call themselves "Madame" regardless of marital status. The organizations say the postal service, tax collectors and local councils all should transition away from using "Mademoiselle" because there is no legal necessity for the distinction, which is an outdated description.
Janice Crouse, senior fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute at Concerned Women for America, told the Daily Caller that the debate over "Madame" and "Mademoiselle" should not be shrugged off as silly, especially considering the sorry state of marriage in today's world.
"The French [feminist] push to use 'Madame' all the time when addressing women instead of reserving the word 'Mademoiselle' to refer to a younger, unmarried woman is reminiscent of the U.S. attempt years ago to address all women as 'Ms.' Times have changed, though, since 'Miss' was an issue in the U.S.," Ms. Crouse told the Caller.
"Now, marital status, as well as a woman's age, is more touchy than ever. Years ago, Daniel Patrick Moynihan commented that those who won the war over language would prevail in the culture. Given the demise of marriage around the world, perhaps the brouhaha over 'Miss' and 'Mademoiselle' is more serious than frivolous," she said.
• Compiled by Laura Donovan © 2011 The Daily Caller