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The books that took the Oscars

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Danny Moloshok/Reuters

(Read caption) "That is Bad Blake," author Thomas Cobb says he thought the first time he saw Jeff Bridges portray the character he created.

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They may not have been clutching golden statuettes last night – or anywhere near Hollywood, for that matter – but there is a another set of Oscar winners this morning and they have as much reason to celebrate as do the stars you saw on the stage. They are the authors whose books – "Crazy Heart," "Push," "The Blind Side," and "La pregunta de sus ojos" – inspired four of last night's winning films.

Behind each book-to-film transition lies a different story.

– The novel "Crazy Heart," written by Rhode Island college professor Thomas Cobb, had been out of print for 22 years before the film version of the book was released late last year. The novel, originally published in 1987, was Cobb's doctoral dissertation. (Cobb's adviser on the project: famed postmodernist author Donald Barthelme.) Cobb said in an interview last month that the process by which his book was made into a film was "a kind of remote mystery." But when it came to Jeff Bridges's Oscar-winning portrayal of Cobb's main character, Bad Blake, Cobb knew long before the Oscar judges that the performance was a winner. When showed a YouTube clip of Bridges at work, Cobb says he immediately thought, "[T]hat is Bad Blake."


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