This year both the Nobel and the Booker prizes have been surrounded by controversies. The Booker Prize announced two winners — Margaret Atwood for The Testaments and Bernardine Evaristo for Girl, Woman, Other.
While rulings had been made earlier to rule out the eventuality for such an occurrence , a CNN report says: “This will only be the third time that a dual award has been given. In fact, the award changed its rules in 1993 to clearly state that ‘the prize may not be divided or withheld’ after the second two-author win.”
The £50,000 will be shared by the two writers.
Public opinion expressed in tweets said: “My only booker take is that it is a shame that the first black woman to win has to share the glory” and “The Booker has simultaneously delegitimized its own worth and diminished the achievements of a woman of color with this rousing double win.” Read more
Ted Chiang is an American born Chinese writer , a technical writer in a software company, who has never written a novel, meandered through short stories and novellas and yet won multiple awards for his works. His telling centres around science fiction.
Chiang’s parents migrated from China to Taiwan with their families during the Communist revolution and then to America.
His 1998 novella, Story of my Life, was made into a Hollywood film, Arrival, in 2002 . Both the review and the movie were given a “10 out of 10” in the Kirkus Review. It’s major themes being language and determinism, the story is spun out by a linguist called Dr Loius Banks who has an unborn child in her womb and faces aliens. The novella has won numerous awards and accolades. Read more
Books by Murakami
“Only novels can make people feel through words that they went through actual experiences. Depending on whether or not people experience those stories, their thoughts and ways of seeing the world should change. I want to write stories that will penetrate the heart. I have a lot of hope in the power that novels hold,” said Haruki Murakami, the seventy-year-old Japanese novelist, in an interview with Japan Times.
The interview introduces his latest novel, Killing Commendatore, where the protagonist, a thirty-six year old artist goes into his paintings. He weaves the natural and supernatural to explore reality and admits that his protagonist is based partly on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby.
A popular novelist, Haruki Murakami was the sixth recipient of the Franz Kafka Prize in 2006, given in recognition of “humanistic character and contribution to cultural, national, language and religious tolerance, its existential, timeless character, its generally human validity and its ability to hand over a testimony about our times”. He has received many awards at both international and national levels and has three doctorates, including one from Princeton University. Read more
There are twenty two ‘scheduled’ languages in India and dialects run into many more. The 2001 census put the count of all spoken languages and dialects at 780, second only to Papua and New Guinea which leads with 839 languages.
With such a huge babel of words at it’s disposal, some languages languish from neglect. Some profess Urdu is one such victim. Recently, much is being written about how Urdu is dying in the bylanes of Old Delhi .
Urdu, a language of the court and poetry, graceful and elegant in its usage, came to be recognised fully around the eighteenth century in India. Before that, Persian was used in the Mughal courts. Urdu evolved as a language that was used by both Hindus and Muslims, perhaps a language of harmony. It used the elegant Nastaliq script. Read more
Bias towards male writers – underlined in 2013 study – fuels drive to switch attention to female authors: The Guardian
From a small American literary journal’s vow to dedicate a year’s coverage to women writers and writers of colour to author and artist Joanna Walsh’s burgeoning #readwomen2014 project, readers – and publishers – around the world are starting to take their own small steps to address male writers’ dominance in the literary universe. Read more