Literature perhaps does not seem profitable to most. But what recent findings have shown is that reading good literature helps build attitudes that can lead to a better chance at success. Would you or would you not want to take on the challenge of a good book?
Carl Sagan, a legend in our times with his Pulitzer Prize winning Cosmos ( book and TV series), an iconic, successful figure who demystified science for mankind, relived the wonder of books and reading: “What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you…Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.” Read more
“I have always loved books,” the head librarian confessed, “and my love of books led me to the love of scholarship. After reading so many books, studying so hard throughout my youth, it was a dream come true when I was appointed as a librarian here. What better place for me to have ended up than in the greatest library in the world, among so many books, so many treasures of scholarship. So I read and studied, until no one could match my erudition, not even the librarians who were older and had been here longer. So it was inevitable that I ultimately became the head librarian.
“But then, in the midpoint of my life, I was overcome by a terrible loneliness. I had spent so much time among books that I had lost touch with everyone I had known, including my family. I knew that both of my parents had died at some point, but I was too busy with my studies to attend their funerals. I know that they loved me, and I vaguely remembered loving them, but all that seemed like a story I read in book a long time ago.
“One day, while I was perusing a newly acquired work in my study, I heard some voices outside the window. When I looked out, I saw one of the younger librarians speaking with a girl from the town who worked as a cook at the library. They were holding hands, smiling at each other, and saying things that made them blush with happiness. The way the sun was illuminating them, they looked so fresh and beautiful that it caused a terrific pain in my heart. Perhaps it was a vision of what I missed out in my life, or perhaps it was the awakening of a feeling that lay dormant in my heart. Read more
(From Lithub. Link to the complete article given below)
The act of taking on the perspective and feelings of others is one of the most profound, insufficiently heralded contributions of the deep-reading processes. Proust’s description of “that fertile miracle of communication effected in solitude” depicts an intimate emotional dimension within the reading experience: the capacity to communicate and to feel with another without moving an inch out of our private worlds. This capacity imparted by reading—to leave and yet not leave one’s sphere—is what gave the reclusive Emily Dickinson what she called her personal “frigate” to other lives and lands outside her perch above Main Street in Amherst, Massachusetts.
The narrative theologian John S. Dunne described this process of encounter and perspective taking in reading as the act of “passing over,” in which we enter into the feelings, imaginings, and thoughts of others through a particular kind of empathy: “Passing over is never total but is always partial and incomplete. And there is an equal and opposite process of coming back to oneself.” It is a beautifully apt description for how we move from our inherently circumscribed views of the world to enter another’s and return enlarged. In Love’s Mind, his numinous book on contemplation, Dunne expanded Proust’s insight: “That ‘fruitful miracle of a communication effected in solitude’ may be already a kind of learning to love.” Dunne saw the paradox that Proust described within reading—in which communication occurs despite the solitary nature of the reading act—as an unexpected preparation for our efforts to come to know other human beings, understand what they feel, and begin to change our sense of who or what is “other.” For theologians such as John Dunne and writers such as Gish Jen, whose lifework illumines this principle in fiction and nonfiction alike, the act of reading is a special place in which human beings are freed from themselves to pass over to others and, in so doing, learn what it means to be another person with aspirations, doubts, and emotions that they might otherwise never have known.
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(From The Hindu. Link to the complete article given below)
As Kerala’s paddy-rich Kuttanad reels under its worst flood in recent times, the region’s most promising storyteller is fighting a deluge of religious hate. Award-winning writer S. Hareesh, whose stories are imbued with an undertone of caste and politics at play in daily life, withdrew his debut novel, Meesha (Moustache), barely into its third instalment in the Mathrubhumi weekly, after some right-wing groups did not take kindly to a “misrepresented” fragment in it. On Wednesday, the novel was published by DC Books, the premier imprint in Malayalam, with 5,000 copies selling out. That did not pass off uneventfully though, as copies were burnt in Thiruvananthapuram. The case has reached the Supreme Court, too; on Thursday, it asked counsel for the petitioner to produce within five days the English translation of the “objectionable” portions.
Why the controversy?
A conversation between two characters on the intent of upper caste women visiting temples in the narrative set in the feudal Kerala of yore was taken out of context and circulated on social media, imputing it to the author. A vilification campaign ensued, as Hindutva organisations and caste groups trained their ire on Mathrubhumi and the writer for “maligning Hindu women and temple priests.” In the face of threats and online abuse, also targeting their parents and young children, Mr. Hareesh and his wife shut down their social media accounts and switched off phones.
Read more at The Hindu link here
(From Lithub. Link to the complete article given below)
The first fiction I ever read in Chinese was a short story by Eileen Chang, titled simply, “Love.” I was in college at the time, and my Chinese language teacher had handed it to out to the class. After I finished reading it, I quietly began to cry.
I can’t tell this story without telling you what the language meant to me then. My parents are Chinese-American immigrants, and the first language I learned was Chinese. I spoke it almost exclusively until the very first day of pre-school, when I learned the sentence, “Can I have some juice?” From then on, I spoke in full English sentences. Chinese became the language I only spoke when compelled—with my family, who always spoke Chinese in the house, or when I was forced to practice it at Chinese school on the weekends. I struggled against it, partly because I didn’t possess the full range of vocabulary through which to express myself, and partly because it was a language in which I couldn’t address my emotions.
My parents did not like emotional conversations. They did not say I love you. On parents’ visiting day at school, other kids’ parents left them notes that said “We’re proud of you!” My note said, “We hope you will continue to improve this year. Please read books other than the series, The Baby-Sitters Club.” The closest they had come to addressing the issue of emotion were the times they asked me, “Why are you crying?” By which they meant, Stop crying. And so I tried never to cry in front of them. I held my tears through dinner. I cried only alone, in my room, or on the phone with friends. It seemed to me that the heart was a dangerous territory for Chinese and so I kept the two apart. It was in English that said I love you to a boy for the first time, English in which I cursed aloud. In books written in English, the intricacies of feeling and mysteries of human existence were explored. It was in the love of this language that, early on, I found the determination to become a writer.
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In October, Penguin India will release ‘Six Minutes of Terror’, a first detailed investigative account of the 7/11 Mumbai train blasts that occurred in 2006. The book which marks ten years of the horrifying incident has been co-authored by journalists – Nazia Sayed and Sharmeen Hakim.
The attacks orchestrated by the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (the ISI) were aimed to cripple the city by attacking its lifeline—the local train. A series of seven blasts in a span of only six minutes rocked the city at seven railway stations, killing 189 and injuring over 700. ‘Six Minutes of Terror’ gives an account of the events that led to the terrorist attack, it profiles the people involved and how the plot was unearthed by the police.
Presented by leading crime writer Hussain S Zaidi, the book also talks about boggling connection between the three attacks that happened that year – the 2006 Aurangabad Arms Hauls Case May, 7/11 train blast of July and Malegaon Blast case of September.
About the Authors:
Nazia Sayed is a crime reporter for over a decade now, with experience in television and print journalism. Currently working as a special correspondent with Mumbai Mirror, she is easily rated among the top crime journalists in the city.
Sharmeen Hakim is a legal correspondent with Mumbai Mirror, known for her impeccable court reporting and her law background.
“I will publish The Descent of Air India despite the censorship,” Jitendra Bhargava told Tehelka. “It will be out next week in an e-book form.”
If you had evidence of all these claims, why did the publisher back out?
The book went through several rounds of editing and fact-checking, but the publisher, Bloomsbury — new to India — decided to settle out of court with the former civil aviation minister. I didn’t mention some cases because I didn’t have papers for them. For example, when Air India gave away its land to GVK Infrastructure. I didn’t have the papers for those. After the book was published, the former civil aviation minister sued the publisher and me. No minister will agree with a book that goes against him because of their need for public posturing. The day before the first day of hearing of the case, the publisher told me that they had settled out of court and presented the court their settlement deed where they agreed to withdraw the book. When the court asked me, I said I wanted to go ahead with the book and I had retained the copyright. Read more
Her platinum hair, perfect pout and hourglass silhouette made her one of the most recognisable but one-dimensional public figures of the 20th century. Now, as they prepare to bring out a collection of Marilyn Monroe’s private writing, publishers hope to reveal the intellectual and emotional depths of the cinematic icon.
It was the year our era began, with unprecedented abruptness, in obscene rolling news. But, blessedly, literature moves at a much slower pace, and it would be some years before the convulsions of September 2001 began to resound in serious fiction. Saturday, Ian McEwan’s post-9/11 novel, was four years away, and his Booker disappointment this year was for Atonement.
Pauline Melville’s first book, Shape-shifter, won the Guardian fiction prize, the Macmillan Silver Pen award and a Commonwealth Writers’ prize. Her first novel was shortlisted for the Orange prize and won a Whitbread prize. She is also an actor – whose work has encompassed roles in Mona Lisa, Utz and Far from the Madding Crowd, as well as appearances in comedies including Blackadder and the Young Ones.
“As a child I wanted to be a trapeze artist. Under the bed I kept a tiny suitcase which contained a red sweater. I was always ready to leave if things didn’t suit me. In books too I was definitely looking for danger and adventure. Without moralising over the rights and wrongs of what, depending on your point of view, is called either terrorism or freedom-fighting, I wanted to write a book that…