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Tag Archives: 2000

Chang-rae Lee’s Literature Remains A “Sensorial Immersion” For Readers

Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow Lisa Nielson had the honor of introducing Chang-Rae Lee to the packed audience at the 2015 Writers Center Stage series, sponsored by the Cuyahoga County Public Library and Case Western Reserve University. Her remarks, reprinted here, remind us why these conversations—about strong books and the authors that birth them—matter.  by Lisa Nielson  Cleveland has a long history of celebrating literature and the arts. As many of you know, we are the home of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, now about to celebrate her 80th year, which is one of the most important and inspiring book awards in the country. They were started by Cleveland philanthropist and poet Edith Anisfield Wolf in 1935 to honor books focused on what was then called “race relations.” Today,... Read More →

REVIEW: “On Such A Full Sea” By Chang-Rae Lee

On Such a Full SeaChang-Rae LeeRiverhead, 352 pp., $27.95 Fourteen years after he won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his haunting second novel, “A Gesture Life,” Chang-Rae Lee delivers another startling, unsettling work. Sentence by gorgeously meditative sentence, “On Such a Full Sea” carries its readers into a future of captivity, danger and diminished identities.  Lee will return to Cleveland Tuesday, March 24, 2015, as part of the Cuyahoga County Public Library's distinguished Writers Center Stage series. The title comes from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” The playwright gives the line to Brutus and it is worth quoting as fully as Lee does on a page before his novel starts:              We, at the height, are ready to decline.             There... Read More →

The 5 Best Quotes Ever Uttered By Ernest J. Gaines

We realize the headline is a bit of hyperbole but in researching Mr. Gaines for this week's exploration of his life and works, we realize that he has a tremendous way with words. Not just on the page, but in interviews as well. English rolls off his tongue in a way that to the ear often sounds like poetry, and his fingers create rich worlds without burdening the reader with five-dollar words. We gathered some of his best quotes from interview past so you could see for yourself how he does it:  On writing for the reader:  I write as well as I can and I learned from reading people like Hemingway, and others, that writing less is better. If I can say something in five words instead of seven words, I’ll use five. Sometimes it’s a little difficult for some people to understand it if... Read More →

Get to Know…Ernest J. Gaines

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, our focus is on Ernest J. Gaines, our 2000 Lifetime Achievement winner. "...to me, without books, life would be a mistake." In this video with the National Endowment for the Arts, Ernest J. Gaines sat down to talk about one of his most popular books, A Lesson Before Dying. He talks about getting paid to write letters for the less-literate members of the community (getting a nickel or a tea cake for his efforts), about learning from white writers, about his humble beginnings. It's worth watching if you value good conversations about literature.  Read More →

6 Quotes From Your Favorite Authors

Ernest J. Gaines‎Because it is more appealing to hear from the authors themselves, we've rounded up some of the best quotes we've heard this year (even if they're a bit older) from some of our distinguished Anisfield-Wolf Award winners. Enjoy!  "I want you to show them the difference between what they think you are and what you can be." — Ernest J. Gaines, A Lesson Before Dying ‎"At some point in life the world's beauty becomes enough. You don't need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough." — Toni Morrison ‎"Art, after all, is - at its best - a lie that tells us the truth." — Nam Le ‎"Poetry is what you find / in the dirt in the corner, / overhear on the bus, God / in the details, the only way / to get from here to there."  — Elizabeth Alexander, Ars... Read More →
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