Monday, May 24, 2010

Hans Fallada's anti-Nazi novel sells 100,000 in three months

A Bestseller after 60 years!

Written in 1947, the novel is a chilling portrayal of extreme fear under dictatorship. It is about an ordinary Berlin couple, Otto and Anna Quangel, who in a small way stage a protest against the Nazis after their only son is killed in action in 1940 by denouncing Hitler in postcards which they leave across the city. It is also an exciting thriller about the Gestapo detective pursuing them.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Amos Oz interview

"It is not exactly the way I write stories, it's the way I think, since each time I am among people who are strangers: at a railway station, an airport or in the waiting room of a clinic. I look at people and observe them, I look at their body language, their clothes, I overhear snatches of conversations between them and I imagine their lives. It's a wonderful pastime, I recommend it to everyone to try to imagine the other, because with the help of imagination we liberate ourselves from the prison of the self into a broader conception of human nature"

Is novel just a pastime?

"The proper subject of each and every novel is the replacement of one state of affairs by another. Every such novel is a challenge to the status quo, an act of sedition that maps a revolution."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

American PEN Literary Service Award Speech

"Publishing a book is like stuffing a note into a bottle and hurling it into the sea. Some bottles drown, some come safe to land, where the notes are read and then possibly cherished, or else misinterpreted, or else understood all too well by those who hate the message. You never know who your readers might be."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Yann Martel Interview

"Reality is a 100 million details. Right now where you are, if you think about it, you are surrounded by 100 million details on which you could focus your attention. Everything, from chemical, scientific details to cultural details to personal emotional details... now some of that has to be lost. Time, you know, is an eraser. It all goes. [We need] something we can hold on to. It's called history. But even history has hundreds of thousands of details and sometimes it's overwhelming and it's hard to get to. The forte of the arts, the forte of the imagination is that it can take some of those details and give them immortality. A painting, a story, a song can float across the ocean of time like a lifeboat. So you can get to the essence of an event and convey it in the form of art. It can be like a suitcase, taking the essential and preparing you for a trip to elsewhere...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Two Faces of Amitav Ghosh?

Dan David Prize Controversy
Not long ago - in March 2001, to be exact - Amitav Ghosh withdrew his book from Commonweath writer's prize on moral ground, but this time he's going to Tel Aviv on May 9 to receive the $1 million Dan David Prize in presence of Israeli President Shimon Peres despite calls from anti-Israeli intellectuals to reject the prize.

"It's surprising to have to raise Israeli colonialism with a writer whose entire oeuvre seems to us an attempt to imagine how human beings survived the depredations of colonialism. Gosh, even the Dan David judges like the way you evoke "the violent dislocations of people and regimes during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."...What can you be thinking of? Please, think again."

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