Literature is a reflection of collective mind of any nation, said Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Chairman Abdul Hameed during a briefing on the occasion of publication of 98th issue of quarterly Adbiyat.

PAL has recently brought out quarterly Adbiyat in which besides creative writings of the distinctive writers and poets, young writers, women and writers form Balochistan have been provided an opportunity to get their literary attempts published.

Dina Zaman’s collection of short stories, King Of The Sea, bagged the top prize in the fiction category at Popular-The Star Readers’ Choice Awards, beating award-winning writer Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden Of Evening Mists.

With the culmination of a month-long voting campaign by the public, the announcement was made at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday to coincide with day one of this year’s BookFest@Malaysia, the annual nine-day book festival organised by the Popular Book Company.

Meena KumariFirst published in 1972, Vinod Mehta’s riveting account of Hindi film actress Meena Kumari’s life begins with her death, weeks after the release of her  swan-song Pakeezah. A revised edition of the book is being released 41 years after first publication with a fresh introduction by the author. On Meena Kumari’s 81st birth anniversary, we present as an extract the chapter titled Pakeezah

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First Meena Kumari made this film with her money. Then with her death. — Mr Habib Khan (taxi driver)

On page 45 of Paying For It, Chester Brown’s graphic memoir—in the sense of a graphic novel, not in the sense of being explicit, though it is also sometimes that—about paying for sex, there is a cloud of grey dots where a condommed penis should be. This is surprising, not only because Brown’s book is a sexual memoir, but also because it is otherwise full of uncensored nudity, or, more precisely, of minimalist line-drawings of unclothed people.

A competition has been launched for Chinese readers to translate stories by novelist David Mitchell.

The contest is part of a new collaborative project between Douban Read, which is part of Chinese-language social networking site Douban, and Nesta, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Council and The Literary Platform.

The translation project is designed to help further understanding of the Chinese market for British writing.

shehan_KHow does a reader ‘discover’ an author/book? Today digital technology is rapidly becoming a unifying factor in the coming together of print and electronic forms of publishing. It is also responsible for the “discoverability” of a book. Traditional forms of discovery – curation in a brick-and-mortar bookstore, word-of-mouth recommendations, libraries, second hand bookstores, gifts, book reviews in newspapers and magazines and book clubs continue to be significant. Literary prizes too are important.

Communist Vietnam is to ban bloggers and social media users from sharing news stories online, under a new decree seen as a further crackdown on online freedom.

Blogs or social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter — which have become hugely popular over the last few years in the heavily-censored country — should only be used “to provide and exchange personal information”, according to the decree.