Sitting atop the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list this week is a volume that is neither a political tome nor a historical treatise nor even a self-help book. It’s Tori Spelling’s memoir Stori Telling, which climbed to the top of the list at last after 14 weeks in stores. (H/t to E! Online.) It’s the My Big Fat Greek Wedding of celebrity autobiographies! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised; interest in all things 90210 was bound to make the book suddenly relevant. My colleague Lindsay Soll says it’s a great read, full of backstage dish from Tori’s Donna Martin days (according to Spelling, the entire cast agitated to get Shannen Doherty fired) as well as accounts of her bitter battles with her mother.
Anyway, Tori’s literary success got me thinking. Today saw the announcement that a forthcoming biopic about Allen Ginsberg will star James Franco as the Beat poet. Now, Franco’s a terrific actor, but he’s a lot more glam than Ginsberg, who more closely resembled Franco’s Freaks and Geeks co-star Samm Levene. But now I’m thinking, why should Hollywood glamour disqualify an actor from playing a nicotine-and-ink-stained literary icon? (Imagine how much better at the box office Capote and Infamous would have done if Truman Capote had been played by George Clooney or Brad Pitt instead of Philip Seymour Hoffman or Toby Jones.) So why shouldn’t Tori star in a biopic of, say, Charlotte Brontë or Joyce Carol Oates or Eudora Welty? After all, she’s got literary cred now.