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Shorts




Hogwarts treehouses

JK Rowling may have moved on to adult books but she doesn't want to let go of Harry Potter. Neither do her children. The author and her husband Dr Neil Murray recently applied to build two treehouses on their property in Edinburgh. Though 'treehouse' may sound rather simple and rustic, Rowling has something far more imposing in mind - something that resembles her famous fictional school of magic, Hogwarts. The two houses for her youngest children David (9) and Mackenzie (7) will be about 40 feet tall and have everything from turrets, a rope bridge and a 'secret tunnel' to a trampoline deck and a trap door. The whole project is billed at over $200, 000. Not a problem for Rowling, whose Gringotts Wizarding Bank account is simply clinking with gold and silver.

More about Gore

The great American writer Gore Vidal, 86, died last week, and as the obituaries came pouring in, The Guardian summed his life up best when it said that Vidal wrote many great novels and essays, but his greatest work was his life. His life "an American epic which sprawled beyond literature to encompass Hollywood, Broadway, Washington and the Bay of Naples, with incidental roles for almost every major American cultural and political figure of the 20th century. Vidal, who once said he had 'met everyone, but knew no one', gave JFK the idea for the Peace Corps, was called in to rescue the script for Ben-Hur, ran unsuccessfully for both Congress and the Senate, and got into a fist-fight with Norman Mailer. " His third novel The City and the Pillar with its gay protagonist unleashed a furore in the US where sodomy was still illegal. Inspired by Vidal's great love, Jimmy Trimble who died at war in 1945, it became an instant bestseller, catapulting the author to national celebrity. The negative publicity almost destroyed him but publicity of any kind was something that Vidal thrived on. As he once acidly quipped: "I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television. "

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