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Monthly Archives: March 2012

VIDEO: Literary Birthday Celebration For Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes would have turned 100 this year and in a fitting tribute to his life and literary contributions, the Library of Congress selected two poets—Dolores Kendrick and Evie Shockley—to read selections of his work and discuss Hughes' influence on their own writing. Take a look.  Read More →

VIDEO: Poetry Readings Of Langston Hughes’ Work

We're continuing our look back at Langston Hughes this week by featuring some audio of his work. Listening to his works (particularly the second and third, which Hughes reads himself) evokes different reactions than reading them - take a listen and let us know which one is your favorite in the comments below.  "The Dream Keeper + Dreams" "A Negro Speaks Of Rivers" (Here Langston Hughes reads his own work) "I, Too" (Here Langston Hughes reads his own work) Read More →

Get To Know…Langston Hughes

Each week, we’ll be helping you to get to know our winners better (what a great bunch they are) and highlighting the best of their work, interviews and essays. This week we're highlighting Langston Hughes, 1954 winner for fiction.  This mini-bio of Langston Hughes talks about his prolific writing career and how he was one of the first African American writers to support himself solely through his work: Read More →

On Writing: Nicole Krauss And The Magic Of Literature

It's always a question of whether the story will come when a writer sits down to begin a work and for Nicole Krauss, it's always a mystery. In an interview with Interview magazine, she talks about her strengths as a writer:  Part of the work of writing a novel is to uncover these symmetries or connections that make it whole, which might not reveal itself at first. I have a very strong sense of architecture in my novels. But, yes, at first it's sometimes like it's like building a doorknob before you have a door, and a door before you have a room. When asked about her writing process for Great House, she admits that this is her favorite part of her job:  On different days I would work on different sections and sometimes I would get really absorbed into one voice and I would... Read More →

VIDEO: What Draws Nicole Krauss To The Keyboard

"I have to care so much about something if I'm going to sit and write about for a couple of years. There's enough books in the world already, there's no reason to make another one. Unless there's a feeling that's incredibly pressing. That's the reason why you write." Nicole Krauss sits down in this brief interview with the Sundance Channel to discuss what commonalities exist between her characters and why she, and other writers, feels the pull to write. Read More →

Get To Know…Nicole Krauss

Each week, we’ll be helping you to get to know our winners better (what a great bunch they are) and highlighting the best of their work, interviews and essays. This week we'll be focusing on Nicole Krauss, 2011 winner for fiction.  Even some of the most celebrated writers of our time struggle with doubt from time to time. How do they know if their work will resonate with readers? Do they aim for writing an award-winning book each time they sit in front of the keyboard or do they just wish for an authentic voice or story to guide them to completion? Nicole Krauss, author of three novels and a National Book Award finalist, wrote an unflinchingly honest essay on her story writing process and whether she ever feels a story will be successful as soon as she starts: I begin my novels... Read More →

VIDEO: Kamila Shamsie Introduces The “Writer’s Bloc” Project

How do we change the face of education worldwide? Is it simply a matter of producing better teachers? Donating money for repairs and renovations of some of the most dilapidated schools? Is it by working more closely with parents? Staff at the Open Society Foundations decided that an conversation on worldwide education had to start with a conversation on culture. They tapped several writers to contribute to the project—Chimamanda Adiche (writing on Nigeria), Aleksander Hemon (on Bosnia), Tahmima Anam (on Bangladesh), Petina Guppah (on Zimbabwe), Nathalie Handal (on Haiti), Rachel Holmes (on Palestine), Nick Laird (on Nepal), Kamila Shamsie (on Pakistan), Hardeep Sing Kholi (on India), and Zukisa Wanner (on South Africa). Zadie Smith (also an Anisfield-Wolf award winner) wrote the... Read More →

Kamila Shamsie Reflects On Her Hometown Of Karachi, Pakistan

Kamila Shamsie Kamila Shamsie spent most of her formative years living in Karachi, Pakistan, a sprawling city on the coast where "you can live your entire life without ever glimpsing the sea." Shamsie gives a wonderfully poetic description of her hometown in the latest issue of Newsweek: If there’s one word used more often than others to characterize the city by those who love it, it’s “resilience”—the ability to endure suffering without breaking—but Karachi is full of broken people who have long since ceased to be astonished at discovering new ways to break. And the unbroken develop carapaces that allow them to endure the suffering of others. This isn’t resilience, it’s survival. Read the entire article here. Read More →

Get To Know…Kamila Shamsie

Each week, we'll be helping you to get to know our winners better (what a great bunch they are) and highlighting the best of their work, interviews and essays. We've dedicated this week to all things concerning Kamila Shamsie, 2010 winner for fiction. Check out this video in which she discusses having a cosmopolitan with one of Shakespeare's characters, the one book she just doesn't "get," and her biggest annoyance about book critics.  Read More →

Friday Lit Review: Things You Might Have Missed While You Were Out

Each Friday we’ll be bringing you news about your favorite authors, literature and books in general. Tell us what you think in the comments:  Sweet Blackberry, founded by actress Karyn Parsons, is an educational foundation and production company whose mission is to use the power of storytelling to educate, empower, and inspire kids from all backgrounds. The organization showcases stories of African Americans, immigrants, women or disabled individuals to highlight their courage and accomplishments. This trailer is a behind-the-scenes look at their mission, their process and their goals. Tri-C student Brian Ivey interviewed Isabel Wilkerson after her February talk on campus. Check out the video and hear about her connection to her work, The Warmth of Other Suns, and why she felt an... Read More →
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