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Monthly Archives: August 2012

VIDEO: Junot Diaz On His Book, “This Is How You Lose Her”

2008 winner Junot Diaz has his fans on the edge of their seats as they wait for his latest book, This Is How You Lose Her, to hit bookshelves in September. The collection of stories focuses on the many facets of love—maternal love, romantic love, illicit love and so on. It has gotten rave reviews from critics, including one who called it "ribald, streetwise, and stunningly moving." Diaz spoke at the author breakfast at the 2012 Book Expo and gave the audience a taste of what they could expect from the book. Check it out in the video above.  Read More →

Read The First Two Chapters Of Zadie Smith’s Latest Novel, NW, Before It Hits Stores

Penguin Press, Zadie Smith's publisher, is offering readers a sneak peek at her latest novel over on its Facebook page. We're not sure how long it will be available, so if you're interested, go read it today!  The reviews for NW are already trickling in and we really like this write-up from the Washington Post, even if it's not the typical glowing four-star review:  The Washington Post's Ron Charles writes: "You either submit to Smith’s eclectic style or you set this book aside in frustration. At times, reading “NW” is like running past a fence, catching only strips of light from the scene on the other side. Smith makes no accommodation for the distracted reader — or even the reader who demands a clear itinerary. But if you’re willing to let it work on you, to hear all... Read More →

VIDEO: Anisfield-Wolf Award Winners Reflect On The Importance Of Talking About Race

As we are furiously preparing for our awards ceremony in a few weeks, we found this video, taped for our 70th anniversary. In it, James McBride (The Color of Water), Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (Random Family) and jury chair Henry Louis Gates, among others, share their appreciation for an award that highlights the importance of talking about race. Watch the video above and let us know in the comments what you think.  Read More →

VIDEO: Walter Mosley On Sacrifices He’s Made In His Writing Career

"Writing is almost a place of dreams for me, and I don't have to give up anything to do it." ~Walter Mosley  In this video from BigThink, 1998 winner Walter Mosley shares a bit about his writing career and aspirations (did he always know he would be a bestselling author?) and his daily writing routine.  Read More →

VIDEO: What’s Up With Our Nation’s Obsession With President Lincoln?

2003 winner Stephen L. Carter grants an interview with Glenn Reynolds, of InstaVision to talk about his latest book, The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln and whether he thinks America's obsession with Lincoln has anything to do with the current political climate.  Read More →

5 Things You Don’t Know About The Anisfield-Wolf Ceremony

Each year we recognize several authors for their contributions to the ongoing conversation about race and diversity in the world. In September, each of our winners makes the trek to Cleveland for the awards ceremony, for our audience to meet these esteemed authors in person and to hear them read their works. It's a hot ticket in town but does the public know much about the ceremony itself? We talked to Mary Louise Hahn, consultant to Cleveland Foundation for the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards and she gave us (and you!) insight into the process:  1. How long does it take for us to prep for the awards ceremony every year? It takes us about three months to work out all the logistics, with several colleagues, PlayhouseSquare, ideastream and Colortone professionals involved. 2. How many AW... Read More →

VIDEO: Will We See A Big-Screen Adaptation of “The Warmth Of Other Suns”?

Interview with Isabel Wilkerson from Mayborn School of Journalism on Vimeo. To say there has been immense interest in Isabel Wilkerson's "Warmth of Other Suns" would be an understatement. She recently gave the ending keynote at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference last month, where she noted that she has been on the road promoting the book extensively since it was first released in September 2010. During the wrap-up interview, Wilkerson was asked if we might see her book on the big screen, similar to "The Help." Check out the video above for the answer as well as more on Wilkerson's process, her writing career and more.    Read More →

VIDEO: Attending An All-White School

We live in a world that is dominated by the impact of race, class and diversity, but conversations about those ideas don't happen nearly as often as they need to. That's why our mission here at Anisfield-Wolf feels so fulfilling, because the books we select provide those sparks that can ignite meaningful conversations bubbling just below the surface. Take 2009 winner Annette Gordon-Reed for instance. Her books on Thomas Jefferson and his relationship with Sally Hemmings helped Americans analyze the complexities of race and freedoms during our nation's infancy. Gordon-Reed recently sat down for an interview with BigThink.com about the impact of race in her life and in our society. Her answers on going to a predominately white school in the still segregated South might surprise you.  Read More →

VIDEO: Is Our Society Less Violent Than Any Other Time In History?

The events of the past few months have really been hard on the nation's psyche. An uptick in mass murders and violence seems to have everyone on edge and debating what everything really means. But our Anisfield-Wolf jury member Steven Pinker would argue that while current events are troubling and no less disturbing, we should know that life even a few hundred years ago would have been a lot different. In his latest book, The Better Angels Of Our Nature, Pinker discusses the peace that is seemingly invisible all around us. In a recent interview with George Stroumboulopoulos, Pinker explains that perception isn't always reality. "You turn on the news and it seems like there's nothing but bombings and shootings and stabbings," he says. "We're better and better at covering violence...If... Read More →

VIDEO: Who Was The Most Important African American Leader Of The 19th Century?

Some of the world's greatest historians—David W. Blight, Henry Louis Gates, Taylor Branch, etc.—are also Anisfield-Wolf award winners. They know their subjects backward and forward, being able to recall dates, times, places with astonishing accuracy, clarity and insight. They make it possible for us to get to know some of history's most important leaders in a way that is completely accessible.  That is what David W. Blight aims to do with his upcoming book, his third focusing on the life of Frederick Douglass, who he claims is the "most important and famous African American leader in the nineteenth century." Check out the above video to learn more about the man who escaped slavery to become President Abraham Read More →
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