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Tag Archives: New York Times

What’s In A Name? The Politics Behind Selecting Your Baby’s Name

Every afternoon, I wait in my children's grade school library with the other parents for pick-up. The principal reads off students' names over the loudspeaker, the signal that they are dismissed and can meet us in the library. Every day, without fail, the principal stumbles over Ayanna, my six-year-old daughter's name. She tries "Ah-yanna," "I-yanna," "E-yanna"—every pronunciation except the correct one. (It's "A-yahn-na," in case you're wondering.) As a black mother, I felt pressure—mostly from well-meaning relatives—to give my daughter a racially ambiguous name, one that was simple and easy to pronounce. Too many vowels or even one apostrophe meant trouble. I chose "Ayanna" after reading it in an Eric Jerome Dickey novel and loving that it means "beautiful flower" in Hebrew. My... Read More →

Do You Use Social Media To Get Closer To Your Favorite Authors?

A recent New York Times article examines the relationship between readers and authors in the social media landscape. Previously, the divide was rather clear: authors write the books and readers gobble them up. There wasn't much mingling besides the occasional book signing or speaking engagement.  But now with the social atmosphere cultivated by Web 2.0 tools like Facebook and Twitter, readers can interact with their favorite authors like never before, and authors can have a more direct involvement in the marketing of their books. Moreover, authors can get feedback that is more personal than an Amazon.com review or an anonymous post on a message board.  From NYT.com:  When they use social media, authors have as many personae to choose from as they do in their other writings. Some... Read More →
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