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India: Assam govt to hold seminars on Rabindra Jayanti from next year

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today described Rabindranath Tagore as a great humanist and said Tagore made indelible contribution to glorify Indian literature at the world stage.

He was speaking at a Rabindra Jayanti celebration organised by the Greater Guwahati Rabindra Jayanti Celebration Committee in association with the Directorate of Cultural Affairs.

The Assam government would hold seminars on Rabindra Jayanti across all districts in the state from next year, the chief minister said. Read more

Source: India.com


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Calcutta Club USA to host Third Annual Sanskriti LitFest and Book Fair on June 10th

ACTON, MA–Calcutta Club USA will host its third annual Sanskriti LitFest and Book Fair on Saturday, June 10th, at Parker Damon Building in Acton MA from 12 PM to 5 PM, the organizers said in a statement.

This novel event in North America, which brings together literature, art, cuisine, thought leadership and family fun within a single venue, has risen in prominence in just three years and attracts the top literati and South Asian authors to participate either in person or over videoconference, the statement said.

Books of prominent Indian sub-continent authors are available for purchase in English, Bengali and Hindi. A key innovation of the book fair is the Authors’ Direct program – the popular platform to reach Boston’s reading community leveraged by over 50 rising authors.

The Keynote Speaker will be the globally renowned Shashi Tharoor, India’s bestselling author, former UN UnderSecretary General and member of parliament, who is traveling to Boston to speak at the Calcutta Club USA book fair. Read more

Source: India New England News


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Big library idea comes from small children

By Huang Zhiling

Construction of the world’s first panda-themed library is expected to start early next year at a primary school in Chengdu, Sichuan province, with the facility expected to open about six months later.

“People worldwide will have free access to it online,” said Zhang Mingrong, headmistress of the Chengdu Panda Road Primary School.

The school has a three-story building, the second floor of which currently serves as a convention center. It will be turned into a studio for videos about pandas. The third floor, currently a library, will be designed with five boat-shaped sections symbolizing swimming in the sea of knowledge.

“Each section symbolizes a continent. The five sections will house publications and audiovisual materials about pandas from Asia, Europe, America, Africa and Oceania,” Zhang said. Read more

Source: China Daily


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Burton Watson, 91, Influential Translator of Classical Asian Literature, Dies

By William Grimes

Burton Watson, whose spare, limpid translations, with erudite introductions, opened up the world of classical Japanese and Chinese literature to generations of English-speaking readers, died on April 1 in Kamagaya, Japan. He was 91.

His death was confirmed by his nephew William Dundon.

For nearly six decades, Mr. Watson was a one-man translation factory, producing indispensable English versions of Chinese and Japanese literary, historical and philosophical texts, dozens of them still in print. Generations of students and teachers relied on collections like “Early Chinese Literature” (1962), “Chinese Lyricism: Shih Poetry From the Second to the Twelfth Century” (1971), “From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry” (1981) and “The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: From Early Times to the 13th Century” (1984). Read more

Source: The New York Times


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Indonesian Children’s Stories to Take Center Stage at Singapore Book Festival

Indonesian children’s books, folktales and culture will take center stage at this year’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore, a representative of the Creative Economy Agency, or Bekraf, announced in Jakarta on Tuesday (02/05).

The Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) is an annual event meant to celebrate and promote children’s books and literature from the region, alternating its thematic “country of focus” each year.

The festival connects writers and illustrators with publishers to share, network and celebrate children’s content from Asia and from around the world.

The event will feature discussions with writers and researchers of children’s books and provide interactive educational sessions for those interested in learning about animation and other illustrative techniques used in children’s content.

More than 200 books from Indonesian authors will be showcased at the event, including “Didgit Cobbleheart Loves the Flora and Fauna of Western Indonesia,” by Aang Muljanto, “Indonesian Folktales,” by Fatimah Zahra, “A Gift for Komi,” by Fina Faza and “Mrs. Duck and Mrs. Hen,” by Fitra Hayanti.

Murti Bunanta, an AFCC board adviser and president of the Indonesian-based Society for the Advancement of Children’s Literature (KPBA), said reading often is important for children’s cognitive and emotional development. Read more

Source: Jakarta Globe


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Publisher collects Wang’s works in new volume

By Xing Yi

Chinese author Wang Xiaobo died 20 years ago, but his works are still popular among Chinese readers.

Beijing October Culture and Arts Publishing House released a collection of Wang’s works on April 11, his death anniversary.

About 100 people crowded a Pageone bookstore in Beijing for the book launch, including Li Yinhe, who’s Wang’s wife and a professor of gender studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

“I went to his tomb this morning, and I saw flower bundles, cigarettes and liquor laid in front of the gravestone,” says Li.

“I also found a piece of paper with his words-someone wrote it down and left it there. A butterfly lingered on the paper.”

Yang Xiaoyan, the editor of the collection, says all of Wang’s works are included in the seven-installment collection, including some previously unpublished manuscripts. Read more

Source: China Daily


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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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Ipaf winner Mohammed Hasan Alwan’s A Small Death set to be a life-changer

By Saeed Saeed

Mohammed Hasan Alwan looks slightly worried as he holds a buzzing mobile phone.

“I think it is going to explode,” he says. Such is the concern when you have just been announced as the winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

The Saudi Arabian author triumphed at the landmark 10th edition of the awards, held in the capital on Tuesday evening.

The success – for his dazzling and meditative novel A Small Death – firmly positions the 38-year-old as one of the leading lights of Arabic literature.

It comes after years of being on the cusp of greatness. This was his second time on the Ipaf shortlist; his novel The Beaver made it to the last six in 2015, and was named the best Arabic novel translated into French that year.

Alwan was also selected as one of the 39 best Arabic writers by the Hay Festival and Beirut World Book Capital, with his work published in the long-running Beirut39 anthology series. Read more

Source: The National


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Oxford poet wins prestigious award

By Lucy Enderby

Poet and director of Oxford Business College Dr Padmesh Gupta is to receive the Padmabhushan Moturi Satyanarayan Award for his poems written in Hindi.

Dr Gupta said: “It was a great honour when I found out. My poetry touches base with simpler life and smaller incidents, which I pick up on. Every day inspires me.

I feel that people living outside India, when they write in Indian languages, bring that culture and literature to so many people.”

The award is similar to the Order of the British Empire, and recognises exceptional contribution to Indian literature. It is part of the Hindi Sevi Samman Awards which are given for the promotion of Hindi abroad. Read more

Source: Cherwell.org