Sequel to Cloud Atlas

•1,October 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment


The Scary New Sequel to ‘Cloud Atlas’

David Mitchell pens a diabolically entertaining follow-up to his epic hit.
Just in time for everybody’s favorite day to get scared, David Mitchell has churned out a novel that is dark, thrilling, and fun.

Mitchell is best known as the author of Cloud Atlas and last year’s The Bone Clocks. While Cloud Atlas remains a must-read for many enthusiasts (despite a horrible film adaptation) because of its ambitious scope, cleverness, and story, last year’s Bone Clocks read more like a facsimile of a Mitchell epic. It also left some wondering whether Mitchell had lost his way.

Fear not, because while Slade House is short (238 pages) and tightly focused, it is not the heaving disappointment that Bone Clocks was.

The novel gets its name from a mansion in downtown London belonging to soul-sucking immortal twins, Norah and Jonah. It can only be accessed by an alleyway entrance that opens every nine years to let in another victim. The attacks, five in total, make up the chapters. The victims are all people with something called “psychovoltage” and are put through a trippy elaborate ruse in the mansion before getting their souls sucked. It seems that in Mitchell’s mind, a soul is only tenderized and ready to be consumed once the person has truly been screwed with.

Read further @ The Daily Beast

Women Writers Who Dominate The Universe Of Sci-Fi

•1,October 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment


14 Women Writers Who Dominate The Universe Of Sci-Fi

Octavia Butler, Madeleine L’Engle, Emily St. John Mandel, Karen Russell and more.

In Karen Russell’s “Reeling for the Empire,” a crew of girls are transformed into thread-spinning silkworms, duped by a dark and mysterious man promising a better future. Each girl spends long hours spooling her own inner, colorful cloth, only to have it collected and, presumably, sold. It’s a powerful metaphor for the treatment of factory workers, and just one testament to the fantastic stories resulting from a woman devoted to writing science fiction.

Russell’s girl-power conclusion is just an added bonus to her excellent plot-weaving skills, and thankfully, she’s not alone in her pursuit. If you’re a Margaret Atwood devotee or Ursula K. Le Guin fan, we’ve rounded up even more women exploring the far reaches of science fiction and fantasy.

Read further @ Huffington Post

Peek into the real work behind Magic Realism

•1,October 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment


Get your Gabo on: Gabriel Garcia Marquez archive opens at University of Texas’ Ransom Center

The Ransom Center at the University of Texas has opened Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s archive to researchers. The archive includes 75 boxes of manuscripts and drafts, research material, screenplays and notebooks. There is also plenty of ephemera, including newspaper clippings, 22 scrapbooks and 43 photo albums. Additional digital materials are to be added later.

Garcia Marquez, who was born in Columbia and lived for many years in Mexico, was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in literature. He was known as the leading author of magical realism for his novels “100 Years of Solitude,” “The General in His Labyrinth,” “Love in the Time of Cholera,” “The Autumn of the Patriarch” and more.

Read further @ Los Angeles Times

Margaret Atwood with a New Novel

•1,October 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment

The Bottom Line: ‘The Heart Goes Last’ By Margaret Atwood

The very last words printed inside Margaret Atwood’s new novel, The Heart Goes Last, appropriately come straight from the heart. “My special thanks to Graeme Gibson,” she writes, referring to her long-time partner, “who, though always an inspiration, did not inspire any of the characters in this book. And that’s a good thing.”

A sardonic wink anyone who just finished her latest book will understand; The Heart Goes Last is peopled by the kind of of fatally flawed, pitiable remnants of humanity we all secretly fear to see in ourselves. There’s no Offred in this novel, not even a Snowman. If you’re looking for a hero, look elsewhere.

Instead, our protagonists, Stan and Charmaine, a young married couple, open the novel bickering their way through a horrific regional depression that’s left them sleeping in their car and subsisting on instant coffee. They have to move frequently at night, woken up by desperate vagrants or drug addicts trying to break into their vehicular home. Charmaine scrapes in a tiny income as a bartender, while Stan hasn’t been able to find a job since they lost their stable, middle-class gigs in the crash.

Read further @ Huffington Post

Writing an Epic of the City

•1,October 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment


On my bucket list for sure. Another favorite author!

Orhan Pamuk: ‘The novel is not dead’

Turkey’s Nobel laureate explains how he set out to write an epic of Istanbul in his latest novel, A Strangeness in My Mind – and why he’s confident the novel will survive in the age of box sets.

The development of the novel is inextricably connected with the growth of modern cities, said the Turkish Nobel laureate at a Guardian Live event to discuss his latest novel A Strangeness in My Mind.

Cities give rise to novels, and novels in turn mythologise and further the growth of cities, he said, explaining why his own work returns again and again to Istanbul, the city of his birth, as both the primary location of, and inspiration for, his fiction.

The importance of street vendors and hustlers

In A Strangeness in My Mind, Pamuk set out to write “an epic of the city” spanning 40 years, told from the perspective of its ordinary, often forgotten, inhabitants: its street vendors, hustlers and slum dwellers.

While the narrative centres on one such figure, Mevlut Karataş – a yoghurt vendor and waiter by day, and a seller of boza (a low-alcohol drink) by night – it sustains a vast network of characters. Some of them make it, some of them don’t, romances blossom and wilt – or, in Mevlut’s case, turn into something else entirely as a result of mistaken identity.

“I wanted to tell the small, petty street history of this town,” said Pamuk, who conducted dozens of interviews with real-life boza sellers and street vendors across Istanbul. He added that some of their accounts found their way almost unedited into the pages of A Strangeness in My Mind, veering as it does between first and third person, fact and fiction.

Throughout the story, Mevlut wanders the streets of Istanbul at night, selling his boza, reflecting on, and occasionally overwhelmed by, what Pamuk describes as “the forest of signs and symbols” that defines the city.

Read further @ The Guardian

Women Authors After 40

•1,October 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment


10 Women Authors You Should Read Who Published After Age 40

It’s not uncommon for those with creative aspirations to feel like whatever they’re doing is being done too late.

It’s nearly impossible, when you’re spending lonely nights typing away at your first novel or receiving rejection after rejection from literary mags, not to compare oneself to the other authors and poets the same age — or worse, younger — who are actually getting their names in print. Especially now, when a writer’s online presence is considered nearly as critical as the quality of his or her writing, when casually pretty author photos and Instagrams from last night’s big book launch abound, it is exceedingly easy to fall into a trap of word-count FOMO and decide that since you didn’t publish your great oeuvre at 18 (or 21, 25, 30, 35 … ), you might as well swear off words for life.

Read further @ Huffington Post

Review of Ghoshs’ Flood of Fire

•1,October 31, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Flood-of-FireA masterpiece trilogy by my favorite writer!

Masterclass in storytelling aboard a ‘ship of fools’

Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy comes to a spectacular finish with this finely crafted tale set at the eve of the Opium Wars. These books stand in the front row of Indian literature, writes Payel Majumdar.


The Ibis trilogy is a masterstroke on the canvas of modern Indian literature, and the Flood of Fire a jewel in Amitav Ghosh’s post-colonial world. Ghosh is a master at plotting: details of the book’s plot comes together like a detangled fishing net, and every incident, when joined together with the rest, brings the grand narrative alive, as though it were happening right in front of our eyes. This is the third installment of this trilogy, and it provides a fitting end to the drama that Ghosh had set in his two past books; it delivers its fair share of suspense, and complexities before seeking resolution.

For the uninitiated, the previous books of the trilogy; Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke and Flood of Fire are about the opium trade between the British Raj and China: the British merchants and the East India Company being the suppliers; the entire Southeast Asia, especially China, being the consumers and India being the ground on which opium was produced. The trilogy began with a dream seen in an opium haze of sorts, by a woman farmer in the fields of Ghazipur. While narrating the opium story of the 19th century, the Flood of Fire‘s parallel personal stories see a surreal turns of events, as though it’s the same opium dream continued in this book. It is a retelling of history studied through representative accounts of the ship’s travellers and the people who populate their world, told in the time-frames of three journeys that the ship undertakes between India and China.

Read further @ The Sunday Guardian


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