Posts Tagged ‘Fiction’
…and I’m back from holiday. Hope you didn’t miss me too much.
- Awards! The 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award went to Chris Beckett for Dark Eden. See the nominees (as well as the other four big SF/Fantasy award nominees) here. This year’s Agatha Award (for traditional mysteries) for Best Novel went to Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery (Inspector Gamache #8). Click here for the rest of the category winners. Another award with many delicious categories is the James Beard Foundation Award, featuring all manner of cookbooks (oh, yeah!). Cookbook of the Year went to Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla.
- Interview! James Salter celebrates the publication of his first novel in over 30 years (All That Is) by talking to the Guardian. They also feature one of Castle’s poker buddies, James Patterson, in their Life in Books series. The Huffington Post interviewed Maya Angelou on the occasion of her latest Mom & Me & Mom.
- Did you celebrate Mother’s Day last Sunday? In case it all got a little too sugary for you, here are The 10 Worst Mothers in Books. See it as an antidote.
- The ever-insightful Lionel Shriver writes a strong essay about the West’s obsession with body size. Time to pick up her newest, Big Brother (which continues the essay’s theme), then! Speaking of essays-tying-in-with-new-novels, William Sutcliffe explains how a visit to the West Bank Wall changed his new novel.
- The NY Times highlights a few children’s book apps (including Miffy).
- Lists! As ever, Flavorwire has bunches, including Writers Inspired by Dreams, The Fascinating Stories Behind Classic Book Titles, and Publishers’ Craziest Schemes to Avoid Book Spoilers (thank you, Dan Brown’s Inferno).
- A case of “It’s a book, people, not the end of the world!“
- John Green fans! Here’s some casting news on the The Fault in Our Stars movie. HuffPost also has a slideshow with upcoming/recently-released YA books-to-movies.
- And finally: Coverflip, or how the gender of the author might translate onto the book cover. Long live author Maureen Johnson’s twitter followers, eh?
Thanks to PeterL and Aviva for some of the above links!
These May movies are based on books:
Jurassic Park 3D (the 3D release of the 1993 box office smash hit)
Hannah Arendt is a biographical film about the German Jewish philosopher. It isn’t based on any specific book,
but there are quite a few books about her, the times she lived in and her work, like The Portable Hannah Arendt.
The Great Gatsby is based on the classic written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. If you haven’t read it yet, do! Glorious use of language.
It has been translated to English with the title Froth on the Daydream.
(the same man who also wrote The Rise of the Guardians books).
- Fiction: The Orphan Master’s Son – Adam Johnson
- Drama: Disgraced – Ayad Akhtar
- History: Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam – Fredrik Logevall
- Biography: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo – Tom Reiss
- Poetry: Stag’s Leap - Sharon Olds
- General Nonfiction: Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America – Gilbert King
- Music: Partita for 8 Voices – Caroline Shaw
Reviewed by Şirin Tugbay
I first came across Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie through her TED talk on the “single story”, in which she talks about the cultural misunderstanding that arises if we hear only a single story about another person of country. Her talk was intelligent, but also funny in that clever way that not everyone can muster. I savoured the TED talk but did not explore her any further. Months later, I spotted Americanah on a list of most anticipated books of 2013 and read the short synopsis – yet I failed to make the connection with Adichie. But I liked the idea: here is a book about Nigerian youth going abroad for a better education and a better life, and returning to Nigeria for whatever their reason may be. I didn’t know that much about Nigeria, so the single story communicated to me by the media would be challenged. I liked that. I also liked the fact that as an expat in the Netherlands, I might understand some of the struggles the characters might have as expats. Thus I got my hands on Americanah, and started my journey.
Americanah is the story of Ifemelu and Obinze, two Nigerian high school sweethearts. In Nigeria, with its corrupt politics peeking from around every corner of life, where going abroad to England and America is the biggest dream students have, Ifemelu and Obinze have dreams of their own. Obinze, the son of a university professor, is obsessed with American literature, devours books and dreams of moving to America. Ifemelu, well-read, strong minded and honest to a fault, connects with Obinze from the moment they set eyes on each other. Yet life takes them to different places: Ifemelu to America (with Obinze’s plan to join her later) and Obinze eventually to England. Both discover quickly that these dream destinations for a better life are far from perfect, and experience hardship on a completely different scale than in Nigeria.
It would be too simplistic to call Americanah a book about Obinze and Ifemelu. Through Obinze and Ifemelu, their parents and their friends, Adichie takes us through Nigeria with its chaotic beauty and its own way of life, through race and racism, through immigration and identity. Not only does Americanah challenge the reader’s single story of Nigeria, but it does so to the single stories of America and England. I was pleasantly surprised, nodded furiously at times, and read about experiences that I will probably never fully grasp, and I highly recommend it to all.
You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.