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

Speaking to Mohsin Hamid on His New Novel

•1,April 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Mohsin Hamid’s Novel ‘Exit West’ Raises Immigration Issues

Steve Inskeep talks to Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid, who examines the global refugee crisis in a new novel called Exit West. The book is part ripped from the headlines and part magic realism.

Listen to the interview @ NPR

Review of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko

•1,April 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee review – rich story of the immigrant experience

In the latter stages of Korean-American author Min Jin Lee’s patient, sprawling story of a Korean family in Japan, Nobuo Ban, one of the novel’s principal characters, allows himself a moment of reflection. He is living a “small, invisible life” in Nagano, Japan, in 1969 – a modest but respectable middle-class existence, with a wife and four children and a job as a manager of a gambling joint where customers play the pachinko machines that lend the novel its title. But Nobuo’s unchanging routine and determinedly detached manner hide a terrible secret that plagues him daily: he is not, in fact, Japanese, but Korean – born Noa Baek, the son of poor immigrants despised by the rest of Japanese society. His failure to commit himself emotionally to his wife is at odds with the totality of his dedication to Japanese language, culture and manners, and betrays not just a deep-seated fear of being unmasked but an acceptance of the impossibility of equality or redemption. “Though he valued his wife and children as a kind of second chance, in no way did he see his current life as a rebirth.”

Noa’s predicament is a terrifying embodiment of the anxieties of Koreans in Japan – he stands to lose his family and job if his true identity is revealed – and indeed of immigrants in general. His desire to assimilate is constantly tempered by the fear of rejection, a tension that works its way into virtually every scene in the novel.

Read further @ The Guardian

Infographic of Blockbusters from the Past

•1,April 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Source: Electric Lit


Behold the 2017 Hugo Award Finalists

•1,April 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The 2017 Hugo Award Finalists Are Here

The biggest science fiction and fantasy award announced this year’s finalists. The winners of the 2017 The Hugo Awards will be announced at the 75th World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki, Finland, on August 11. Members of the society vote on the nominees and winners.

The Hugo Awards, which began in 1953, honor excellence in science fiction and fantasy. The awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, the editor who founded the science fiction magazine Amazing Stories in 1926. Check out the nominees:

Read further @ Goodreads

A New Generation of Afrofuturists

•1,April 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment


Whence the “Afro” in “Afrofuturism”? In the 1994 interview with Samuel R. Delaney that inaugurated the term, Mark Dery defines Afrofuturism as “speculative fiction that treats African American themes and addresses African American concerns in the context of 20th-century technoculture—and, more generally, African American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future.” This would suggest that the “Afro” in Afrofuturism is the “Afro” in the old-school census classification, “Afro-American” rather than, say, the “Afro” in the newer-fangled “Afropolitan,” the word that Taiye Selasi coined in 2005 for “the newest generation of African emigrants … [with a] funny blend of London fashion, New York jargon, African ethics, and academic successes … ethnic mixes … cultural mutts … multilingual … Africans of the world.”

Read further @ Literary Hub

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