Around ten years ago, a young Nigerian immigrant, 10-year-old Damilola Taylor, was beaten by boys barely older than him in Peckham, a district in South London. Damilola later bled to death. The incident sparked outrage in the United Kingdom and was subsequently pointed to as proof that the countryâ€™s youth had gone terribly astray.
The same incident seems to have also inspired a debut novel, Pigeon English, with 11-year-old Harri Opoku filling in for the voice of Damilola Taylor.
September 14, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Immigration-Diaspora, Life Choices, London, Real Event Fiction Â· Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Debut Novel, Facing History, United Kingdom, World Lit
Karin Fossum’s BAD INTENTIONS is about three friends, now in their twenties, who have known each other since they were six. On the surface, Axel Frimann is by far the most successful. He is well-spoken, good-looking, nicely dressed, and drives a Mercedes; his job at an advertising agency pays well. Philip Reilly, on the other hand, is disheveled, has long, stringy hair (“he looked like a troll from a fairy tale”), and spends a portion of his small salary as a hospital porter getting high. The third member of the trio is Jon Moreno.
August 10, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Foreign Detective, Good & Evil, Guilt, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Scandinavian Â· Posted in: Norway, Psychological Suspense, Sleuths Series, Translated, y Award Winning Author
One of Zeke Pappasâ€™s biggest heroes is Joseph Cornell, an artist who created â€śassemblagesâ€ťâ€”most of Cornellâ€™s work were glass-fronted boxes filled with a stunning variety of found objects. Zeke loves Cornell because he â€śdevoted his life to the collecting the unhappy scraps left behind by others and trying to distill them and make sense of them. Cornellâ€™s work to me is about our abandonment of joy, about our reckless inability to hold on to something meaningful. This is an attempt to find meaningâ€”no, to find magicâ€”in our collective dross, in the castoff and the forgotten,â€ť Zeke says during one of his annual visits to the Cornell boxes collection at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Margaret Drabble is a well-known English novelist. I have read several of her books and have always enjoyed them. I had no idea that she was also a writer of short stories. A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman is the first compilation of her stories that has ever been published. They are presented in chronological order beginning in 1964 and ending in 2000. Like her novels, these stories often deal with the plight of women in their times, the socio-cultural aspects of marriage, and the difficulties that women find themselves in while trying to both raise a family and be successful in the business world. The stories are distinctively English; the countryside of England as well as the urban landscapes are vivid throughout. There is a span of thirty-six years between the first short story and the last, giving the themes a relatively large period of time in which to develop.
Ward Just is a writerâ€™s writer, as straightforward and gritty and no-nonsense as Chicagoâ€”the city from which he hails. His solid 17th novel carries a seemingly enigmatic title â€“ Rodinâ€™s Debutante â€“ a curiosity, considering the book has nothing to do with Rodin or debutantes.
But wait â€“ as in much of Ward Justâ€™s work, there is complexity and hidden meaning behind the seeming simplicity.
Nobel laureate GĂĽnter Grass has made a career out of fictionalizing the past in order to be better believed… In his latest work, THE BOX: TALES FROM THE DARKROOM, he combines autobiography with magic realism in an oblique view of his entire life as a writer, though without strong political or moral overtones or, frankly, much interest.
November 9, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· Comments Closed
Tags: Fictional Biography, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Photos Â· Posted in: Nobel Prize for Literature, Short Stories, Unique Narrative, World Lit, y Award Winning Author