Visual Friday: Write and Wrong – Better Reader

May 18, 2018 by Neelima | 0 comments

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May 17, 2018
by Neelima
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Books as Medicine and Sanctuary @ Link Wanderlust

A book lover wouldn’t mind if the doctor’s prescription were a book or a poem. The Times ‘Match Book’ and Lit Hub’s ‘Dear Therapist’ specialize in sending out book recommendations that cater to specific emotions. The advice could be off the mark and even floaty. It may not be convincing enough but it could whet the reader’s desire to “burst like a star” as Rilke promises with a poem. Read The Advice Columnists Who Prescribe Literature as Medicine by Katy Waldman.

Books act like medicines and sometimes are a sanctuary. In Seeking Sanctuary in Books, Miranda Bryant talks about how she used books and the environment they created as a crutch to navigate New York and her home in London. She observes how reading US authors, particularly, writers from New York, helped her to gel with the Manhattan way.

“But I was taught one of my biggest lessons about the differences between British and American culture at Housing Works, a Manhattan bookshop, during a creative writing class. When, after the first task, the teacher asked whether anyone wanted to read out their work, I expected a drawn-out silence, awkward shifting around in seats and a second or third call for volunteers. I sat looking down waiting for the anticipated charade to follow. Maybe I’ll volunteer later, I thought. But almost instantly, up shot about ten hands from around the large coffee table, belonging to an array of ages, waiting to seize their long-awaited moment. Quick, there’s no time to waste! The next workshop I attended, this time at WORD, a bookshop in Brooklyn, I took the hint: speak up. I realised that feeling at home is not just about taking up space, it’s also about making noise.”

A large number of books covering the walls of a room with an old double door

May 15, 2018
by Neelima
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Readers can’t Digest-Week 184 (9-May to 15-May)

1. Alcoholics Anonymous original manuscript sells for $2.4 million to NFL team owner

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2. National Book Awards open to non-US citizens

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3. Jojo Moyes steps in to save Quick Reads after literacy project loses funding

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4. Romantic novelist’s trademarking of word ‘cocky’ sparks outcry

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5. Kayo Chingonyi wins Dylan Thomas prize

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Visual Friday: Mothers and Daughters in Books

May 11, 2018 by Neelima | 0 comments

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May 10, 2018
by Neelima
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Recovery and the Writer @ Link Wanderlust

The connection between being a writer and being intoxicated is pretty strong. Leslie Jamison talks about her own love affair with alcohol- the buzz that only got better and better. However, women drinker writers haven’t really ever got their due, the way their male counterparts have. Even habits have a preferred gender.

“While I was studying at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, I spent my nights at the writers’ bars on Market Street, and I spent my days reading the other writers who had gotten drunk in that town before I’d gotten drunk there: John Berryman, Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson. The myths of their drinking ran like subterranean rivers underneath all the drinking I was doing. Their drinking seemed like proof of their proximity to the terror and profundity of psychic darkness. As Patricia Highsmith argued, drinking allowed the artist to “see the truth, the simplicity and the primitive emotions once more.” Jack London wrote about the “imaginative” drunk for whom the “white light of alcohol” granted access to bleak truths about the human conditions — what he called “the pitiless, spectral syllogisms of the white logic.” Booze was illumination and consolation. It helped you see, and then it helped you survive the sight.”

The author of this essays traverses through the lives of recovering writers- writers who have toed the line between addiction and sobriety, and she concludes that even in recovery fiction can be made, great fiction nonetheless. Read Does Recovery Kill Great Writing? by Leslie Jamison.

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May 8, 2018
by Neelima
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Readers can’t Digest-Week 183 (2-May to 8-May)

1. Drama series based on books by Paulo Coelho in works at FremantleMedia North America

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2. North American Licensees Announced for Roald Dahl Story Company

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3. Random House Children’s Books launches publishing program based on Nintendo characters

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4. Diaz withdraws from Australian tour after sexual harassment allegations

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5. Federal prisons abruptly cancel policy that made it harder, costlier for inmates to get books

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May 7, 2018
by Neelima
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Doors, Balconies and Guns @ BYOB Party in March 2018 (Part 6)

Image result for exit west amazonKanchan was impressed by Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. This dystopian novel tackles the refugee crises and tells the tale of how love finds doors even when people are desensitized to strife. Kanchan remembered only Nadia and referred to Saeed as the other person. Kanchan observed how Nadia was no traditionalist but wore the burkha as she used those parts of the culture which kept her safe. Here’s a snippet that shows how Hamid uses beautiful prose to deal with such pressing issues.

 

“Perhaps they had decided they did not have it in them to do what would have needed to be done, to corral and bloody and where necessary slaughter the migrants, and had determined that some other way would have to be found. Perhaps they had grasped that the doors could not be closed, and new doors would continue to open, and they had understood that the denial of coexistence would have required one party to cease to exist, and the extinguishing party too would have been transformed in the process, and too many native parents would not after have been able to look their children in the eye, to speak with head held high of what their generation had done.”

If the book interests you, you may find this interview of the author interesting.

Pratibha talked about an interesting story (a comedy-drama) called The Women’s Balcony set in Tel Aviv. The story begins at a Bar Mitzvah in a synagogue where the woman’s seating spot, which is the balcony, collapses. This leads to utter chaos and attempts to rebuild the space are thwarted. The story touches on sexuality, casual sexism, religion, radicalization, etc.

Image result for Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight amazonDhwani talked about a bestselling memoir called Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller. The author reminisces on her unique childhood set in Africa (in Rhodesia, Malawi and Zambia) with a humorous and compelling voice. Her father was part of the white government while her mother immersed herself in the pulsating life around her. The story is about a family’s love for Africa and yet Fuller traces the reasons for this as partly being the idea of superiority that white people exercised in Africa at the time. Fuller puts her powerful observation skills into overdrive as she describes the way people lived there. Dhwani described how unsafe it was at the time and how children were advised never to wake their parents at night since they were armed (owing to the Rhodesian Bush War) and could shoot them by accident.

The cover interested the readers at the party and conversation veered around to how women are often shown without their heads, the focus zooming elsewhere. More on the Headless Woman Project @ Scroll.

And we that, we come to the end of the BYOB Party in March 2018.

Visual Friday: Write and Wrong – From First to Third Person

May 4, 2018 by Neelima | 0 comments

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May 3, 2018
by Neelima
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Libraries and Librarians @ Link Wanderlust

People live in all kinds of places- mansions, hovels, forests, deserts….but a library? Andrew Carnegie was responsible for creating libraries that included apartments for its custodians. Jon Kalish talks about how Sarah Washington staged a play about her life growing up in a library and she’s not the only one- another library dweller John Berry even rode his bicycle and skateboarded through the stacks. That would be a nice way to grow up, wouldn’t it? Read or listen to Life Above A Library Was Like Living In Neverland.

Speaking of librarians, I came across another essay but this time it takes away some of the sheen from what a librarian really does. A librarian does not get to have peace and quiet a librarian does not have the time to read books.

“The reality of being a librarian is that it’s hardly ever about sitting down and it has absolutely nothing to do with peace and quiet. It’s about assisting others.”

Being a librarian involves providing technical assistance and social back up. It is anything but reading in a quiet corner, though Kristen Arnett does not mind. Read about her experience as a librarian here: What exactly does a librarian do? Everything.

 

May 1, 2018
by Neelima
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Readers can’t Digest-Week 182 (25-April to 1-May)

1. Ibrahim Nasrallah Wins 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction

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2. Last chance for UK authors to win European Book Prize before Brexit

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3. Kobo is releasing an ebook series on the royal wedding

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4. Google Launches Talk to Books

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5. Nobel prize in literature may be cancelled in 2018 amid sexual abuse scandal

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