Saturday, November 20, 2010

Literary News

And so it begins. The media circus which always surrounds a royal wedding. On the heels of Prince William's engagement, Simon & Schuster's Gallery books announced William & Kate: The Love Story by Christopher Andersen, the author of The Day Diana Died. Publication iis scheduled for  February 2011.
Louise Burke, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Gallery Books, said "With another royal wedding imminent, this book will shed light on a relationship that has remained a mystery yet is a true love story. And there’s no one better to tell this tale than Christopher Andersen."  
Bali brings to mind gorgeous unspoiled beaches, tropical weather, and romantic isolation, but literature? Not so much. Nevertheless The Japan Times reports, the annual book fest in the lush hills of Ubud involves more than lying on the beach with latest paperback.
"Mix a bit of paradise and lavish creature comforts, add a dash of cultural magic, stir with persistence and presto . . . Ubud has become one of the top literary festivals in the world," rhapsodizes the Times.
This year 137 authors from 128 countries participated and 183 panels were conducted, reports the Japan Times. Book now for next year's Writers & Readers festival, which takes place October 5-9 2011.

The fourth annual  International Prize for Arabic Fiction has announced its long list of 16 titles under consideration for the prize. This year seven women made the cut (a record), and religious extremism, political and social conflict and women's struggles emerge as key themes, the center announced.
The International Prize for Arabic Fiction is awarded for prose fiction in Arabic and each of the six shortlisted finalists receives $10,000, with a further $50,000 going to the winner. It was launched in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in April 2007, and is supported by the Booker Prize Foundation and the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy.
The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Monday 14 March 2011, the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

Closer to home, The Black Writers Museum in Philadelphia opened its doors this summer, with a writing camp for kids and an exhibit on the writers of the Harlem Renaissance.
Supreme Dow, the founder and executive director of the museum, has funded the non-profit organization out of his own pocket and from the donations of others, reports Philadelphia Neighborhoods.  Dow's plans for the museum include preserving and teaching the history of Black literature, and creating a place where it can thrive and continue.
“If we continue to teach about what has come before us it will inspire other writers to come about,” Dow said. “We want to be a hub for literary conversation so the next Zora Neale Hurston will walk through these doors,” he told Neighborhoods.

Google reached an agreement with Hachette Livre, the largest publisher in France, to scan thousands of out-of-print titles for its digital library project, reported The New York Times.
Hachette will determine which titles will be scanned and Google will be allowed to sell the titles as ebooks or other formats and will share the revenue with Hachette. The deal is unique among French publishers, most of whom have sued Google for copyright infringement, and differs from the proposed settlement with American publishers, under which publishers opt in or out of the digitization project with no control over which titles are scanned, reported the Times.

New York writer Victor Lavalle won the 2010 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for his novel Big Machine, about a hustler who joins a group of paranormal investigators. The novel won the 2010 American Book award, best Sci-Fi Novel of 2009 and was named "most valuable novel of 2009 by The Nation magazine.

In Indianapolis, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and Museum has opened,showcasing a replica of the writer's office, his actual typwriter and
other personal belongings, as well as a library devoted to his work and criticism
of it.

Chinua Achebe, the world-renown African author turned 80 this week, reports the Guardian of Nigeria. "Achebe has helped not only to put Nigeria and Africa in general on the global literature map, his entire career has been devoted to a validation of the African aesthetics and experience," said the Guardian.
Achebe is currently teaching at Brown University in Rhode Island.

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