Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Beloved by One and All : A Tribute to Toni Morrison

By Dr Meenakshi Malhotra

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Toni Morrison

What can you say about a writer who gave a voice and identity to a whole people — a group and a community whose silences are made to speak and sing in her books? A writer whose voice rang out with passion, courage and conviction  to detail the sub-human conditions in which her people had lived?  A trailblazer whose works depicted the toils and travails of a long suppressed people whose experiences were unrecorded in history books? A writer whose passionate courage helped her to articulate her convictions about the dehumanisation of a whole race?

Morrison was born in 1931 and grew up in a family atmosphere which provided a context for arousing a keen interest in the stories, narratives, folklore, myths and rituals of the African American community. This early interest is evident in the rich oral quality of her writings, its lyrical cadences and it’s measured and “layered polyphony’’. Later, she studied English and Classical Literature from Howard University in Washington D.C. where she acquired her BA degree. This was followed by a Masters from Cornell University in 1955.

Subsequently, she taught at Howard  University for two years. She also got married to a Jamaican architect named Harold Morrison in 1958 and they had two sons, before divorcing in 1964.The next few years Morrison wrote, juggled teaching assignments and also did a twenty year stint with Random House as an Editor. This platform enabled her to identify writing talent and she was able to help many aspiring young African American writers to get published. Read more

North Korean dictators revealed as children’s authors

Researcher finds Kim Jong-il and his father Kim Il-sung both credited with fiercely ideological but ‘quite enjoyable’ tales: The Guardian

From Madonna to Barack Obama, celebrities and politicians have long been tempted to dabble in the world of children’s books – but their output pales in comparison to the “ultra” violent tales for children ostensibly written by North Korea’s former leaders Kim Jong-il and his father Kim Il-sung, according to an Australian academic. Read more

On Obama’s book list, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland

Obama’s eclectic book list mirrors his journey

TheLowlandOne of Obama’s more intriguing choices was Jhumpa Lahiri’s “The Lowland,” about two brothers from India, one who comes to build a new life in America and the other who becomes ensnared in politics back home. Lahiri said Obama may relate to his own conflicting paths as the son of a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas.

“He has a sort of double vision of America as I do, as many people do, many people who have been both brought up and bred within America but also have a different perspective of the country,” Lahiri said. “In a sense, part of him comes from outside America, and he embodies both that contradiction and that richness.”

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