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Tag Archives: 2011

Would You Like To See Your Relatives As The Subject Of A Book?

Isabel Wilkerson's 2010 masterpiece The Warmth of Other Suns focuses on the Great Migration, scores of Southern African Americans who packed up and left everything they knew behind for a brighter future in the North. With painstaking detail, Wilkerson recounts the lives of four African Americans and their dreams awaiting them in a new place. It was a difficult journey for most, with countless hardships along the way. One of the subjects profiled, Robert Foster, made his way to medical school, becoming a surgeon and later opening his own private practice.  His daughter, Bunny Foster, sat down with Isabel Wilkerson in the research stage of the book to share her memories of her father. In a recent interview, she talked about how the man she remembered is different (in a good way) from the... Read More →

VIDEO: Middle School Students Perform “Warmth Of Other Suns” Play

There's nothing like seeing young people get excited about history, something that is typically pretty hard to do. "Warmth of Other Suns" author Isabel Wilkerson found this gem and shared it with all her fans, writing:  Delighted that WARMTH is inspiring young people! A middle school in Milwaukee performed a play based on The Warmth of Other Suns, with lots of heart and just enough production values for someone in the audience to get it on YouTube. Just beautiful! Check out Act 2 of the play above and let us know what you think!  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 →

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 →

VIDEO: “The Warmth Of Other Suns” Turned Into A…Song?

We find the most fascinating things by following our favorite authors on Facebook and Twitter. 2011 winner Isabel Wilkerson shared this gem with us and we're happy to share it with you. Wilkerson wrote:  So cool. A composer and a violinist are creating a classical work of music based on "The Warmth of Other Suns." Gratified that the story of the Migration is crossing boundaries and inspiring unexpected art forms. Kudos to Leaha Villarreal and Andie Springer for embracing this book in their work! Read More →

Friday Lit Review: Things You Might Have Missed When You Were Busy Living Life

Each Friday we'll be bringing you news about your favorite authors, literature and books in general. Check out the first installment and tell us what you think in the comments:  Isabel Wilkerson (2011 winner) was on PBS Newshour to discuss the groundbreaking of the Smithsonian's African-American History Museum. See her part at the 4:00 minute mark.    Our friends over at Book Riot have declared May 8 "Toni Morrison Day" based off the release date of Ms. Morrison's (1998 winner) newest book, Home. One of their writers will be re-reading her entire catalog and will be blogging about the experience.   Paule Marshall (2009 winner) will be doing a reading during the 2012 Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival, scheduled for May 7-13.    New York has tons of payphones but... Read More →

What Will We Do If Public Libraries No Longer Exist?

Kamila Shamsie 2011 Anisfield-Wolf winner Kamila Shamsie reflects on the availability of literature through the world's public libraries—and what that means for future generations:  "A couple of years ago, after a reading in Karachi, I told off a young man who was asking me to sign a pirated copy of one of my books. Piracy is destroying publishing in Pakistan, I told him. He said he understood but added that because pirated books are cheaper he could buy more of them. It’s not as if Karachi is filled with public libraries, he said."  Shamsie goes on to discuss the rising crisis in London, where 10 percent of all libraries have closed since April 2011. Read the full article here. A commenter on the article added:  "Libraries are important not just for the poor. They work for all of us and... Read More →
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