Month: March 2007

  • Anya in Wonderland

    Found on the Net, this is from the 1923 Russian-language edition of Alice in Wonderland–this version was translated by Vladimir Nabokov, who was paid about 5 dollars for his work. (Leigh Kimmel has a lengthy essay about Nabokov’s translation here: “Nabokov also sought to “translate” the situation of the novel into one familiar to the […]

  • Writing in Korea? Don’t quit the day job

    From The Korea Times: “For writers, things could not be more grim. Ninety-four percent of the 200 respondents said they earn 500,000 won or less per month on average from activities related to their original job _ writing _ with 37 percent earning nothing.” Poor souls. They’re members of a very distinguished club. According to […]

  • No classics, thanks

    Several secondary schools in England have turned down the offer of free classics for their libraries, according to this story: “The harsh reality of our secondary schools is that children just don’t have the skills to tackle such complex ideas in the written format.” Much handwringing ensues, but spare a thought for the librarian who […]

  • Rushdie ka baap

    The Jabberwock has lunch with Amitava Kumar–lovely piece: Does he think of the Rushdie of today as more a P3 celebrity than a serious writer? “I do, yes,” says Amitava, “and that’s the short answer. The long answer is: he’s a very important figure for us (contemporary Indian authors working in English). Baap hai woh. […]

  • Wainaina on Kapuscinski

    Binyavanga Wainaina: I have tried, just once in my life, to be an Angry Black Man. I planned a picket in New York City against a man I love to hate — Ryszard Kapuscinski. He was going to speak at a conference organised by American PEN. Nobody seemed to want to join me. There were […]

  • Why to say no to literary conversations

    Invitations to dinner that promise “an evening of literary conversation” make me faintly uneasy, though I haven’t been able to articulate why. Now, thanks to a random Google search for “unusual literary lists”, I know. In two words: Issei Sagawa. I’d never heard of him before, but Sagawa’s interest in literature emerged fairly early, when […]

  • From Leaf Storm

    Just because it was his 80th birthday last week, this brief excerpt from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Leaf Storm. It’s a passage I think of every time someone speaks of India Shining/ Rising:–Suddenly, as if a whirlwind had set down roots in the center of the town, the banana company arrived, pursued by the leaf storm. […]

  • Mohsin Hamid’s Reluctant Fundamentalist

    Salil Tripathi speaks to Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid, whose second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, is just out: From Tehelka: When Hamid saw the planes crashing into the towers, he knew it would change the way we look at our world. “My mother, who loves America, was deeply upset. But I was struck when I saw […]

  • America, Apocalypse Now

    Courtesy Prufrock’s Page, this is Siddhartha Deb on recent “post-apocalyptic” America novels by Jim Crace and Cormac McCarthy: Reversing America’s manifest destiny of endless expansion, people are abandoning the country, making their way past ruined machines and highways, past roving bands of slavers, to take a ship to a better future. America has become the […]

  • Apna Amitava

    Amitava Kumar’s Home Products, a first novel from this critic, teacher and author of several non-fiction books, is out. From his essay in The Hindu on writing a first novel: When I began to get more time to write, maybe an hour or two each day, I’d start by reading a few pages of A […]