Radio Interview with Anita Desai

•1,June 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The beautiful, melancholy world of Anita Desa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anita Desai is one of India’s most celebrated and successful writers. Over the course of her career, which has spanned almost five decades, she has written 17 novels, novellas and children’s books. Desai has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize three times: in 1980 for Clear Light of Day, in 1984 for In Custody and in 1999 for Fasting, Feasting. She recently received Montreal’s Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival Grand Prix, a lifetime achievement award.

She writes with elegance and sensitivity about the collision of cultures. Her most recent work, a collection of novellas titled The Artist of Disappearance, features characters who have remained in India but are haunted by other lives.

Listen to the Radio Interview

 

Advertisements

My Cousin Rachel Trailer

•1,June 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

My Cousin Rachel, based on the 1951 novel by Daphne du Maurier, stars Sam Claflin as Philip, a young 19th-century Cornishman who becomes convinced that his guardian has been murdered by his alluring yet ambiguous wife Rachel (Rachel Weisz) – while simultaneously falling for her charms.

Alternately beguiling, vulnerable and terrifying, Rachel is a classic femme fatale, played with cool relish by Weisz. Of course, she’s nowhere near the first fictional female to be bad news for the fictional male. The origins of the femme fatale archetype reach right back to the beginnings of culture, with early specimens ranging from the demonic Lilith, to the riddle-setting Sphinx of Thebes and the Bible’s treacherous Delilah.

Source: The Telegraph

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Turns 50 Years Old This Year

•1,June 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

WHY IS ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE ETERNALLY BELOVED?

AT 50 YEARS OLD, GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ’S MASTERPIECE IS AS IMPORTANT AS EVER

Earlier this year I made my first visit to Colombia. During my stay, I became familiar with many of the emblems around which this wonderful nation’s image revolves. There is of course the coffee, some of the best in the world and perhaps primarily known to Americans by the mustachioed Juan Valdez. There are also the ancient indigenous civilizations, whose exquisite artifacts you will see in museums everywhere. Then there is the world-famous painter Fernando Botero, who has adapted his unique style to depict countless national icons, as well as the torture practiced by US soldiers at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison. And most of all, towering over the rest, is Colombia’s most beloved author, Gabriel García Márquez.

There is an oft-told anecdote that cuts to the heart of this writer’s greatness. As he wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude, he would regularly meet with his fellow great Colombian author Álvaro Mutis, updating Mutis on his progress by narrating the latest events from his novel. There was just one problem: none of what García Márquez told Mutis actually occurs in the book. He had effectively made up an entire shadow-novel while in the middle of writing one of the most imaginative and jam-packed books in the history of modern literature. This is a measure of how many competing realities existed in García Márquez’s voracious mind.

I am writing about this author today because his greatest work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, turns 50 years old this year, and I would like to understand why it has had such flabbergasting success. This immense novel is claimed to be an effort to express everything that had influenced García Márquez throughout his childhood. It has been called a latter-day Genesis, the greatest thing in Spanish since Don Quixote (by Pablo Neruda, no less), and unique even by the standards of the colossi of the Boom era. García Márquez wrote it in one rapturous year in Mexico City, supposedly chain-smoking 60 cigarettes a day, secluded and reliant on his wife for the necessities of living. To paraphrase critic Harold Bloom, there is not a single line that does not flood with detail: “It is all story, where everything conceivable and inconceivable is happening at once.”

Read further @ Literary Hub

Hamid’s Understanding of the Most Pressing Questions of our Time

•1,June 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

A NOVEL ABOUT REFUGEES THAT FEELS INSTANTLY CANONICAL

Refugee stories often focus on transit, for obvious reasons. Children travel thousands of miles unaccompanied, hiding in train stations and surviving on wild fruit; men are beaten, jailed, and swindled just for the chance to make it on a boat that, if it doesn’t capsize and kill them, will allow them to try their luck in other dangerous seas. But in his new novel, “Exit West,” Mohsin Hamid, the author of “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia,” tells a story about migration in which the refugee’s journey is compressed into an instant. (An excerpt from the novel ran in this magazine.) In the world of “Exit West,” migration doesn’t involve rubber rafts or bloodied feet but, rather, “doors that could take you elsewhere, often to places far away.”

When the novel opens, rumors of those doors have started circulating in a nameless, besieged country, where Saeed and Nadia, the book’s protagonists, live. They reside, at first, in an ordinary world. “In a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet openly at war, a young man met a young woman in a classroom and did not speak to her,” the book begins. The novel’s sentences tend toward the long and orotund: “It might seem odd that in cities teetering at the edge of the abyss young people still go to class—in this case an evening class on corporate identity and product branding—but that is the way of things, with cities as with life, for one moment we are puttering about our errands as usual and the next we are dying, and our eternally impending ending does not put a stop to our transient beginnings and middles until the instant when it does.” That last phrase is a statement of purpose for both migration and romance. This is a love story, too.

Read further @ The New Yorker

Updike Reviews Delillo

•1,April 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

John Updike on Don DeLillo’s Post-Christian Search for Order

There are dead stars that still shine because their light is trapped in time. Where do I stand in this light, which does not strictly exist?

*

“In a land of chunky, garish, anxiousto-please books, Don DeLillo’s thirteenth novel, Cosmopolis, is physically cool, as sleek and silver-touched and palely pure as a white stretch limo, which is in fact the action’s main venue.

“DeLillo’s post-Christian search for ‘an order at some deep level’ has brought him to global computerization: ‘the zero-oneness of the world, the digital imperative that defined every breath of the planet’s living billions.’

The limo, floored in Carrara marble, in its stop-and-go progress admits a coming and going of other passengers, including two advisers who advise Packer to bail out of the yen before he is ruined. Instead, the financier bails out of the limo for a number of quick trysts.

Read further @ Literary Hub

Whitehead Wins Pulitzer Prize

•1,April 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Colson Whitehead’s ‘The Underground Railroad’ Wins Pulitzer Prize

Colson Whitehead’s National Book Award–winning speculative history novel The Underground Railroad garnered another top honor on Monday, with the announcement that the book had been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for 2017.

The novel reimagines the Underground Railroad as a real, tangible subway system carrying Southern slaves north. Whitehead’s fantastical twist on the nation’s history takes readers on a time-collapsed tour through the horrors visited upon black Americans from slavery onward, including medical exploitation and expulsion from certain territories.

Read further @ The Huffington Post

Futuristic Dreams in Music

•1,April 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Dreams of a Plastic Future

This issue’s special section on climate dystopias set me wondering what kind of responses to an uncertain future dwell in the world music community. One such global movement, now decades in development and spanning a number of media including music, is Afrofuturism—a genre that often embraces aspects of science fiction as a means of imagining a time and place either beyond the racial inequities of the present or never tainted by the corrosive effects of colonialism.

Notoriously difficult to define in any way that is wholly inclusive of its many expressions, Afrofuturism has nonetheless gained more than a foothold in the American mainstream with elements of its expansive vision cropping up in the work of Beyoncé, Janelle Monáe, and Rihanna, among others. Not surprisingly, these themes have taken root in the electronic music scenes all over Africa, which in turn have reverberated in European cities responsive to these new sounds. It is by this route that we arrive at the Berlin-based experimental duo OY’s 2016 release Space Diaspora. A collaboration between Ghanaian-born singer Joy Frempong and Swiss composer Marcel Blatti (performing under the pseudonym Lleluja-Ha), the album is a marvel in both its conceptual vision and musical scope.

Read further @ World Literature Today

 
%d bloggers like this: