• U.S.

People, Aug. 14, 1995

2 minute read
Belinda Luscombe

IT’S THE OLD FAKE-HASID TRICK

Sometimes NYPD Blue stars go naked, sometimes they get all dressed up. DENNIS FRANZ went Hasidic for a day last week, but wasn’t converted. “It was the hottest day of the week, and we chased a guy down the street 15 or 20 times,” says Franz. “I hope I lost a few pounds.”

NEXT: BRAD PITT’S SYMPHONY

Apart from the fact that they both have weird things on their chins, actors ETHAN HAWKE and Kirk Douglas have little in common. But the similarities doubled when Little, Brown announced that it had bought the first literary work by the thinking teenager’s sex symbol (Douglas is the proud author of three novels). Hawke’s book, The Hottest State, is described by its editor, Jordan Pavlin, as being “about first love and heartbreak, about being turned inside out by the intensity of your own emotion.” Little, Brown paid about $300,000 for the novel, roughly 60 times the advance for most first novels about first love and heartbreak. Hawke’s will hit bookstores in fall 1996, but nobody is saying whether the price reflects the quality of the material or the number of girls who will buy it regardless.

SEEN & HEARD

The world’s richest man, Bill Gates, and the world’s luckiest hooker, Divine Brown, are both doing commercials for Brazilian TV. Brown, who was “discovered” while working in a white BMW, is promoting Valisere lingerie. “If you don’t want your man looking for someone else,” she says in the ad, “If I were you, I would use Valisere.” Gates is shilling for Unibanco’s online personal-banking services. “Wish my bank had thought of that,” he says. Only one of them is doing it for the money.

WHICH PERSUASION?

Was JANE AUSTEN gay? This question, posed by the normally staid London Review of Books, was the headline for an essay by Stanford professor Terry Castle that subtly explored the “unconscious homoerotic dimension” of Austen’s letters to her sister Cassandra. The implication has caused quite a kerfuffle among Austenites. “I think it’s about as likely that Jane Austen was gay as that she was found out to be a man,” was one of the more temperate responses. Says Castle, miffed: “For the readers of the LRB, I didn’t really expect this to be such a stunning revelation.”

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