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India: Pune to host first Marathi e-authors Sammelan

By Partha Sarathi Biswas

Over the last few years, a large number of bloggers, social media influencers and other authors have emerged who use the Marathi language. Aiming to bridge the gap between the virtual and real world, e-book platform bookhungama.com has organised the first ever literary meet — called Nukkad Sammelan — exclusively for such writers, and it will be held in Pune. Vikram Bhagawat, co-founder of bookhungama.com, said a need was felt for this interaction so as to enable them to chalk out the future course of the genre. “These authors have a cult following and act as agents of change on the various platform they are active on. While these authors do interact among themselves virtually, a real meeting was felt necessary,” he said.

The emergence of social media, Bhagawat said, had given rise to newer forms of writing, which has made its effect felt. Facebook in particular has helped democratise literature while the e-book format has helped many budding authors to publish their own work. “The journey of bookhungama.com had in fact started from a Facebook page. We had started a page about the letters which we never got about writing and asked people to contribute to it. Now, that page has more than 76,000 ‘likes’,” he said. Similarly the Nukkad blog, another initiative of the team, is a platform for people to write short and very short stories. Read more

Source: The Indian Express

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Indian university mulls adding Facebook post writing in English literature course

The Delhi University (DU) in the Indian capital is contemplating to include “Facebook post writing” as part of its English literature course, officials said Wednesday.

A core committee in the English department has recommended the addition as a skill enhancement course.

“Now social media is part of our lives. Therefore, it was deemed necessary to train students in the new genre to help them convey their thoughts clearly,” said an official at DU’s English department. “The writings on social media need to be properly written as it is becoming part of literature.”

The university’s English department has already sent a proposal containing recommendations to all its affiliated colleges teaching the undergraduate courses in literature studies and sought their feedback. Read more

Source: Xinhua


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Are India’s young adults ready for LGBT literature?

Preeti Singh in Mid-Day

MuskaanInspired by Apple CEO Tim Cook, a boy in my children’s school posted a status update on Facebook on his preferred sexual orientation. The 14-year-old had over 600 likes and hundreds of supportive messages. Given that there are so many men and women who are closet gays and lesbians because of social censure, I marvelled at the boy’s courage to come out. I was unsure if the young kids showing solidarity were conforming to a peer’s ‘coolness’ quotient or were aware of what it means to be gay.  Continue reading


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This is what Facebook did to your ’10 Books that have stayed with me’ data

by Lada Adamic and Pinkesh Patel (Facebbok)

Favorite books are something friends like to share and discuss. A Facebook meme facilitates this very interaction. You may have seen one of your friends post something like “List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes, and don’t think too hard. They do not have to be the ‘right’ books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.” If not great works of literature, what are the books that have stayed with us? Continue reading


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Singapore: NLB to put two withdrawn books into adult section

Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information has also instructed the National Library Board to review their processes for dealing with such titles: CNA

Two books pulled off the shelves of the library’s children’s section will not be pulped, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim told the Straits Times. Instead, they will be moved to the adult section. Continue reading


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Indian author arrested for objectionable tweets against Narendra Modi, RSS

The Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday arrested author Amaresh Mishra, who claims to be well connected to the UP state Congress, for his objectionable posts on social networking and microblogging sites against BJP’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Mishra was arrested from his Gurgaon residence in Haryana for allegedly inciting violence against Modi through his hate speech posted on Twitter and Facebook page.


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A coolie woman’s work is never done

Gaiutra Bahadur unearths buried stories of indenture—those of women who battled rigid patriarchy on either side of the black water: The Margins

cooliewomantheodysseyofindentureSome months ago, I found myself stewing over a Facebook argument that flared up after I posted on my timeline the link to Gaiutra Bahadur’s magnificent new book Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture. “‘Indian woman’—not ‘Coolie woman’” a well-meaning African-Jamaican friend responded, a bald declaration that irked me for various reasons. Do you think the two are synonymous, I asked?   Continue reading


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Malaysia: English or Malay … just read lah

The idea is to put more books into more people’s hands. Could Malay translations of English bestsellers help to do that?: The Star Online

AmirMuhammad230314Two local publishing companies are shaking things up with interesting forays into translation. Shakespeare and Stephen King in Malay, anyone?

Hafiz Hamzah, founder and editor of Pustaka Obscura, put out Obscura late last year featuring translated snippets of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, T.S Eliot’s The Wasteland, and Homer’s Iliad, among others. Continue reading


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Book trailers: A must have?

Once upon a time, marketing a book meant book readings at a dozen or so bookshops and the occasional interview in national newspapers and magazines. No more. Marketing efforts are an increasingly elaborate affair, with multi-city book tours, use of Facebook and Twitter to interact with readers, and more recently, book trailers.

Audio-visual trailers for books, similar to those for movies, are gaining popularity as a marketing tool for novels. A Guardian article pegs the first book trailer to have been released in 2003, and in the decade since then, hundreds of book trailers have been released. Some are homemade productions, created by the authors themselves, others are cinematic productions shot with a professional crew. A handful even go viral — Gary Shteyngart’s hilarious, satirical trailer for Super Sad True Love Story garnered over 200,000 views on Youtube and was featured on Huffington Post and The Daily Beast.

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