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Clemson Literary Festival to celebrate 10 years with another Pulitzer-winner

By Ken Scar

For the sixth consecutive year, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author will visit Clemson to participate in the Clemson Literary Festival.

This year, 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winner Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of “The Sympathizer” and “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War,” will headline the 10th annual Literary Festival March 29-April 1.

Nguyen has also won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction from the American Library Association, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, a Gold Medal in First Fiction from the California Book Awards and the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award from the Asian/Pacific American Librarian Association. He is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and professor of American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

Nationally recognized authors of fiction and poetry Camille Rankine, Brando Skyhorse, Paul Guest, Wendy Xu and Shobha Rao also will read their works and serve on panels and in roundtable discussions during the festival. Read more

Source: Newsstand.clemson.edu


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Kalam: Hindi literary event set for London debut

London/ Kolkata, Mar 18 : The popular Indian literary event Kalam will make its international debut on Sunday in London, under the aegis of Kolkata-based Prabha Khaitan Foundation in association with London-based Vidyapath.

With the onset of the Kalam series, poets and litterateurs from the world of Hindi literature will get an opportunity to meet with a select global audience in London, the organisers said.

Kalam is a literary event in which an eminent author engages in a free wheeling tete-a-tete session with a select audience comprising people from different walks of life. Read more

Source: New Kerala


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Belt and Road opens new chapter for authors

By Mei Jia

China’s contemporary wordsmiths are gaining a wider audience through the development of the ‘modern Silk Road’. Mei Jia reports.

Prior to 2011, kung fu, Jackie Chan and pandas were the images readers in the Arab world associated most with China, according to Ahmed Elsaid, an Egyptian publisher who operates from a base in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

Six years later, the list has grown and writers such as Liu Zhenyun, Xu Zechen and economist Justin Yifu Lin have seen their popularity grow with readers in the region.

“Before 2011, even Chinese language majors at universities in the Arabic-speaking world didn’t understand Chinese society, the people or history very well. At the time, there were very few books about China in English, let alone Arabic,” said the publisher and translator, who majored in Chinese at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo and now operates from Yinchuan in Northwest China. Read more

Source: China Daily


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Two Indian authors on Wellcome Book Prize 2017 shortlist

Two Indian-American authors have been shortlisted for the 30,000 pound Wellcome Book Prize, which celebrates fiction and non-fiction works engaged with the topics of health and medicine.

Siddhartha Mukherjee is on the list of the annual prize for his study of genetics and mental health in his book ‘The Gene’.

He is joined by fellow Indian-American author Paul Kalanithi, who could become the first posthumous winner of the prize for his life-affirming reflection on facing mortality ‘When Breath Becomes Air’. Read more

Source: Business Standard


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Records of Genghis Khan’s empire translated into Mongolian

By Xinhua

Historical records compiled more than 600 years ago about Genghis Khan’s empire have been translated into the Mongolian language, experts said on Tuesday. The records consist of 15 books with 210 volumes and chronicle the rise and fall of the Mongol empire. They were compiled in 1370 as ordered by Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), which ended the Mongolian reign in China.

Over the past six centuries, historians have made several attempts to translate the books, written in classical Chinese, into Mongolian. But the efforts were interrupted due to difficulty and war.

In March 2014, 16 experts in Mongolian history teamed up to begin translation. They believe the historical records could help Mongolian people better understand their own history.

The books will be published in the next two years. Read more

Source: China Daily


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Contest offers cash for good China stories

By Xing Yi

A new storytelling competition will offer prizes up to 20,000 yuan ($2,910) for good tales about China.

“The contest looks for talented storytellers and fascinating China stories that are attractive, and at the same time, easy to understand and share by foreign audiences,” said Wang Guangyi, deputy director of China International Publishing Group, during the launch ceremony of the contest on Monday.

Online registration for the First International Contest for Creative Communication of China Story is open through March, and the stories need to be submitted from June 1 to 30.

Works in different forms are encouraged, including video, design, and virtual reality, but they should be submitted with a supplementary text of storyline between 3,000 to 5,000 words in Chinese or English.

The themes of the stories include Chinese Dream, people, culture and enterprise. Read more

Source: China Daily


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Novelist Shahnaz Bashir wins “Talent of the Year” Award

Celebrated writer Shahnaz Bashir has won “Talent of the Year” Award for 2017. The Citizen’s “Talent of the Year” is given to a young person who shows “signs of extraordinary talent” in the creative sphere.

The award was constituted by the independent online daily – The Citizen in 2016 with a young photographer being the first recipient.

Shahnaz Bashir was the unanimous choice for this year’s Award, the jury said.

Shahnaz’s book – Scattered Souls – was shortlist for the award, and it later emerged as the winner of the award.

The award will be given to him in The Citizen’s 3rd anniversary celebrations program at India International Centre, New Delhi on March 18, 2017. Read more

Source: Kashmir Observer


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Dubai Opens its Doors to Fans of Literature

By Rituparna Mahapatra

On 3rd March, 2017, the much loved Emirates Airline Festival of Literature opened in Dubai. The festival is on for nine days from 3-11 March, and is held during the UAE’s Month of Reading. Welcoming more than 180 authors from all over the world, including 70 authors from the Arab world, this event is marked with 250 sessions of master classes, workshops, talks and interactive panel discussions from the very best in the literary world. The festival widely covers all areas of creativity from literature, art, music, cooking to photography.

There are over 50 children’s session, the most popular being ones with Francesca Simon, the creator of the Horrid Henry series, and Julia Johnson. The highlight of the festival is talks and interactive sessions by master storyteller Lord Jeffrey Archer, and talks by John Hemmingway, the grandson of the legendary Ernest Hemmingway, celebrated crime writer Kathy Reichs, veteran Emirati author Abdull Aziz AlMusallam and award-winning journalist Christina Lamb.

From 5th to 7th March, the festival conducts a residential writing course for aspiring writers conducted by award winning international authors. The students will get an opportunity to present and discuss their manuscripts and meet with various publishing houses and agents; the first of its kind in the region.

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India’s largest library devoid of staff

By Soumya Das

National Library’s foreign language section has been without staff for a decade

The foreign language section of the National Library — responsible for the collection of foreign language books and exchange of the same with libraries of other countries — has been without staff for almost a decade.

Library sources say the “complete absence of staff” has not only hit the collection of foreign publications but has also brought down the number of readers in the foreign language section to almost nil.

Arun Kumar Chakraborty, Director-General in charge of the National Library, skirted the issue. Read more

Source: The Hindu


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Emirates Lit Fest 2017: Poets, writers celebrate Iraq’s book street Al Mutanabbi

By Tahira Yaqoob

Mohammad Al Khashali counts off each of his sons, one by one. There was Kadhem, found under the rubble of the printing house, no more than “a piece of meat”. Mohammed, who had taken a hit to the stomach and lost his left foot. His youngest, Bilal, whose head he had to search for among the ruins after finding a decapitated body. And his eldest, Ghanim, his body curled around his own dismembered son’s corpse, right where they had been carrying out repairs on the printing press.

“The good people of Baghdad brought their pick-ups and we found and gathered body parts, limbs,” says Al Khashali quietly in the short film, Forgive But Never Forget that screened in Dubai on Sunday as part of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

“I took the bodies home. Their mother wanted me to remove their shrouds so she could see them. I did not want her to see them like that, pieces of meat, but she insisted. She wailed and fell to the floor.”

That terrible day in March 2007, when 30 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a street full of booksellers, is etched in the memories of Iraqis.

The car bomb attack outside Al Khashali’s Shabandar Cafe in Al Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad was seen not just as an assault on Iraqi civilians but as an offensive against the very heart of culture, learning and civilisation itself.

For almost a century, the cafe had served as a magnet for Iraqi poets, playwrights, philosophers, dissenters and politicians who would sit on wooden benches and discuss the ebb and flow of life, love and politics for hours, over cups of sweetened tea.

That was all shattered with the eruption of sectarian violence following the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Al Mutanabbi Street – a narrow, winding alleyway leading to the Tigris River, and the cultural heartbeat of Baghdad – became a target.

Its many booksellers and street book vendors began to fear for their lives after Qais Anni, a stationer who sold Easter cards, was killed in a bomb blast in 2005, followed two years later by the attack on the Shabandar. Read more

Source: The National