Sunday, September 20, 2009

Too Many Aspiring Writers in India

Anita Desai, the well-known novelist, has an interesting article in the Guardian on aspiring writers from India.

By the number of manuscripts that arrive daily and hourly from India on the desks of British and American agents and publishers, I would guess no country has more aspiring writers than ours. While it is curious - and a little sad - that writing only became a "respectable" profession once it began making money, it is very gratifying to know that a young, talented person can make such a choice today and not be consigned to "loser" status. It is actually possible at last to make a living by writing, to be self-supporting and thus self-respecting. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. As long ago as 1929 Virginia Woolf knew this and wrote of it in her seminal A Room of One's Own

Friday, September 18, 2009

Twitter-ized novel gets a book deal

When Matt Stewart started posting his novel - literary fiction - on Twitter, I congratulated him for the sheer novelty of using a social networking tool for a serious pursuit. I'm now enormously happy that he has just landed a book deal with Soft Skull.

Denise Oswald
, the Soft Skull editor, has this to say: The manuscript drew my attention initially. I thought Matt handled the twitter campaign brilliantly. It was the right time for something like that and he had the vision to jump on that opportunity. I think you'll see a lot of writers following suit but I'm doubtful it will be to the same effect, unless they can find a way to make that kind of broadcast their own.

Congratulations once again, Matt!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Unpublished: Old man and the Sea

Do you remember reading the Hemingway novel Old Man and the Sea? I read it in my school days, and still remember the old fisherman going out to the sea to catch his fish everyday, day afer day, but without any success. What determination and grit!And what a great subject for a novel!

Life has now published a series of pictures online about the great novel's setting, and Hemingway's writing habits. ( Link from Donigan Merritt)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Future of Literary Fiction

Future of literary fiction is now being discussed and written about in various journals and forums. A few days ago the Salon had an article Glenn Beck is the future of literary fiction. Now, in the ongoing 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival, one T. Cooper has said, "The future of literary fiction is co-writing vampire and/or zombie novels with famous directors."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Censorship in Frankfurt Book Fair!

Frankfurt Book Fair 2009, scheduled from Oct 14 to 18, will have China as its guest of honour this year, but the organisers faced a unique problem this time. Uninvite those authors, said China as one of its pre-conditions, or we would pull out altogether.

The authors included Dai Qing, the well-known investigative journalist and environment activist, Hang Hui, professor of Humanities at Tsinghua University and a pioneer of government-critical "new left" in China, and Bei Ling, poet and political commentator, who lives in exile in the USA.

Shame the organisers have followed the directives from China, and don't want the authors they invited first to attend the fair. Which virtually means they have become a party to gagging the free speech. Ha!

Now, are you still interested in this year's Frankfurt Book Fair?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Man Booker 2009 Shortlist announnced

It's six books this time, out of a longlist of thirteen. A.S.Byatt, J.M. Coetzee,Adam Foulds,Hilary Mantel, Simon Mawar and Sarah Waters have been shortlisted.

Byatt and Coetzee are veterans, Byatt winning the Booker Prize once(1990) and Coetzee twice(1983, 1999).

Sarah Waters was earlier shortlisted twice.

Adam Foulds is the youngest in the list, being only 34.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bahaa Taher Profile

The National publishes an interesting profile of Bahaa Taher, the iconic Egyptian novelist, now 74, who recently launched his latest novel Sunset Oasis.

“I am still against the same things I was against when I was young: social and political injustice, especially against women or people of different origins or ethnicities. What’s different is that the hope I had at one time no longer exists. Hopefully things will change – but not, I think, very quickly.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Northeastern Indian writing today

Tehelka has published in its current issue a supplement on Northeastern Indian writing today(an odd topic for a newsweekly, but Tehelka famously takes on such issues)

"..Life in the Northeast (as elsewhere) is not all bleak, tragic or violent. There is love and hope in the human spirit. There is the serenity of the region’s mountain streams and the immense silence of its forests. Writers like Esther Syiem, Temsula Ao, Kynpham Nongkynrih and Mamang Dai are moored in their traditions, giving their writings a certain depth. But Ao feels that younger voices from Meghalaya and Nagaland — more urban, cosmopolitan, “westernised” than an earlier generation — have lost touch with their roots. Manipur has a strong tradition of theatre and dramatic writing spanning cities and villages. Many members of an energetic rural Womens’ Writers Group, led by writer Binodini Devi, have published books. In Mizoram, where writers earlier wrote on insurgency, they now write of the Church. There is also a definite desire to go back to a time before Christianity, to discover their roots. First apparent in Mizo music, this is now beginning to be felt in writing as well."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mario Bellatin Interview

PRI's The World interviews "Beauty Salon" author Mario Bellatin.
Q: You have referred to literature as a “game.” Does your subversion of literary tradition owe anything to writers from the 1960s or later? Do you see yourself as a “post-modern” writer?

A: I still don’t understand very well what people call post-modernism in literature. And in spite of not understanding it, I have seen it come into the world and die as a term many times. That’s why I think it’s something dangerous. It has the capacity to accommodate to any kind of situation that in some way escapes a more traditional canon. The only thing I believe in relation to this topic is that literature can’t be something that doesn’t move, something static, as certain literary studies pretend to approach it. Literature must be in constant motion, forward and backwards, discovering again what has already been discovered, and plowing fields it’s supposedly not concerned with. In a way, I believe that each writer must reinvent writing, begin from the presupposition that there was no one preceding him or her, perhaps only the sacred phrase, now so trite, which states that first there was being.

Search This Blog

My Blog List