Stories about Literature from May, 2009
Qatar: Online Resources
Marjorie in Qatar links to a number of essay collections about Qatar's history and culture that are available online.
Russia: A Blogger's Review of “The Associate”
About a month ago, Jost A Mon blog posted a “roundup of translated crime fiction consumed in April” - which included several books by writers from Central and Eastern Europe. What follows below is a displeased Russian blogger's blitz review of John Grisham's 21st novel, The Associate.
Caribbean, UK: Padel resigns from Oxford post
After regional bloggers reacted en masse to the withdrawal of St. Lucian Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott from the race to be Oxford Professor of Poetry, Ruth Padel, Walcott's closest competitor who eventually won the coveted post, has resigned under pressure of mounting allegations that she was the puppet master behind the smear campaign. Caribbean bloggers do not seem surprised.
Jamaica: The Calabash Experience
“What was it about this year’s Calabash that still causes its many images and tones and textures to linger in my memory, refusing to leave?”: For Jamaica's Life, Unscripted, on the Rock, it was the entire literary experience.
Palestine: Israeli Armed Police Disrupt Literature Festival
The Palestine Festival of Literature is a traveling cultural roadshow touring across the West Bank, in Palestine, from May 23 to 28. The aim is to take literary activities to Palestinians, who aren't allowed to travel under the occupation. However, the opening was marred when armed Israeli police ordered the theatre where the event was hosted to shut down. Bloggers from around the world reacted to the incident.
Singapore: Annual reading initiative
The National Library Board of Singapore launched READ! Singapore 2009, a nationwide reading initiative that aims to promote a culture of reading among Singaporeans
Jamaica: Calabash & Language
Annie Paul blogs about Jamaica's Calabash Literary Festival, at which some folks were offended by the colourful language in authors’ readings: “Does shielding young ears from words like pussy, bombaclaat, pumpum and other such words ensure a more sensitive, ethical adult? Especially when they can see for themselves the hypocritical,...
Jamaica, Barbados: Calabash Kicks Off
Repeating Islands reports that leading off the readings at Jamaica's Calabash Literary Festival this year will be “Jamaican writers Velma Pollard and Esther Phillips, and Bajan poet Millicent Graham.”
Uruguay: Photos of the Funeral of Mario Benedetti
Mario Blanco took photos of the funeral of Uruguayan writer, Mario Benedetti [es], who recently passed away.
Caribbean: Bloggers React to Walcott's Withdrawal
St. Lucian-born Derek Walcott is truly a West Indian man. He has been embraced by literature lovers of countless other regional territories who identify with his writing and see the nuances of the Caribbean come alive in his work. Which was why his Nobel Prize win for Literature in 1992 seemed like a regional victory - and why his withdrawal from the tight race for the coveted position of Oxford Professor of Poetry has left a bad taste in many bloggers' mouths.
Uruguay: The Passing of Writer Mario Benedetti
Uruguayan writer and poet Mario Benedetti passed away on May 17 at the age of 88. Benedetti is extremely important to Uruguayan society, especially because of his history as an exile and as an outspoken critic during the military dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s. However, his works transcend borders and he was beloved all across the region. Bloggers remember the man and what his writings meant to them personally and to the region.
Bloggers raise funds for Brunei Special Olympics Team
In providing support to the Brunei Special Olympics team, local bloggers are creating awareness on the team’s forthcoming participation in the World Special Olympics in Athens in 2011. Major fundraising activities were held last May 3: a walkathon and bazaar.
Japan: ‘Yoshiharu Habu and Modern Shogi’, an Open Translation Project
A volunteer translation project sprang up and translated all of Mochio Umeda's book "Watching Shogi from Silicon Valley - Habu Yoshiharu and Modern Times" into English in under a week.
St. Lucia: Walcott Reactions
As St. Lucian Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott withdraws from the race for Oxford Professor of Poetry, Repeating Islands posts an update: “The nearly unanimous response…from newspaper reporters, commentators, and bloggers has been one of regret and of condemnation of the tactics that pushed him to that decision.”
St. Lucia: Walcott Withdraws
Repeating Islands reports that St. Lucian Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott “has withdrawn his candidacy for the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry citing a smear campaign designed to sully his reputation.”
Cental & Eastern Europe: Crime Fiction
Jost A Mon posts a “roundup of translated crime fiction consumed in April” – which includes a few books by writers from the CEE region.
Azerbaijan: Bloggers published
Fighting windmills? Take a pill, a new English-language blog from Azerbaijan, is pleased to announce the publication of a book by bloggers in Baku. The blog commends a local bookshop owner and prominent blogger for coming up with the idea.
Iran: Three publishers were banned
Aknoun, Iran based blogger, writes [fa] that Akhtaran,Ageh and Jamedaran are three Iranian publishers that were banned from participating in Tehran Book Fair. The blogger adds this means that each of these three publishers will lose a significant part of their revenue this year.
Bangladesh: Rabindranath Tagore, The Versatile Literary Genius
On the 148th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the greatest poet of Bengal, An Ordinary Citizen explores the versatility of the talented Nobel Laureate. He was a poet, visual artist, playwright, novelist, educationist, social reformer, nationalist, business-manager and composer.
Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago: Poetry Picks
Jamaican litblogger Geoffrey Philp features the poems of Trinidadian author Jennifer Rahim.
Talking to Jamaican writer and blogger Marlon James
An interview with Jamaican novelist Marlon James, who has been blogging about books, music, culture and other matters since May 2006.