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Danny Glover among witnesses who debated the legacy of slavery – and the modern scourges of inequality and poverty that afflict black Americans
For the first time in more than a decade, a debate has taken place between lawmakers in Congress on the original sin of the United States – the enslavement of 4 million Africans and their descendants – and the question of what can be done to atone for it through reparations.
The stain of slavery was not just inked in bloodshed, but in policies that have disadvantaged African Americans for generationsContinue reading...
Only 5% of authors earn the income Virginia Woolf once argued was needed to work – today around £30,000. Two authors explain what it is like to have success, but no money
Four years ago, Kerry Hudson had just won a prestigious French literary prize when one late payment left her unable to make the rent on her sublet flat in Whitechapel. Could she continue as a writer? Or would she have to return to her old job in the charity sector?
Louise Candlish had 11 novels under her belt when, a couple of years ago, she found herself considering quitting. “Some of them had really flopped,” she says. “I had got myself into that catch-22, where your sales figures aren’t as healthy as they once were or as good as retailers would like. So then your book comes out and it’s not stocked in as many places, so it doesn’t sell as well. Then you’re writing your next one and it won’t earn as much money, as they’re looking at what happened to the one before. You’re almost doomed to continue the pattern.”Continue reading...
Oklahoma-born, Muscogee Creek Nation member who helped tell an ‘American story’ has been in the wings for a long time
Poet, musician, author Joy Harjo has been appointed as the new US poet laureate, the first Native American to be named to the post.
The Oklahoma-born, Muscogee Creek Nation member has been in the wings for this role for a long time.
And Rabbit had no place to play.
Rabbit’s trick had backfired.
Rabbit tried to call the clay man back,
but when the clay man wouldn’t listen
Rabbit realized he’d made a clay man with no ears.
PEN America condemns death of Nurmuhammad Tohti, who had been held in a Xinjiang internment camp, as a grave example of China’s violations of free expression
The death of the prominent Uighur writer Nurmuhammad Tohti after being held in one of Xinjiang’s internment camps has been condemned as a tragic loss by human rights organisations.
Radio Free Asia reported that Tohti, who was 70, had been detained in one of the controversial “re-education” camps from November 2018 to March 2019. His granddaughter, Zorigul, who is based in Canada, said he had been denied treatment for diabetes and heart disease, and was only released once his medical condition meant he had become incapacitated. She wrote on a Facebook page for the Uighur exile community that she had only learned of his death 11 days after it happened because her family in Xinjiang had been frightened that making the information public would make them a target for detention.Continue reading...
Dominican-American Elizabeth Acevedo wins prestigious children’s award for The Poet X, while Jackie Morris takes illustration prize for The Lost Words
Dominican-American slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo has become the first ever writer of colour to win the UK’s most prestigious children’s books award, the Carnegie medal, which has a history stretching back to 1936 and includes Arthur Ransome, CS Lewis and Neil Gaiman among its former winners.
Acevedo, the daughter of Dominican immigrants, took the medal for her debut, The Poet X. A verse novel, it tells of a quiet Dominican girl, Xiomara, who joins her school’s slam poetry club in Harlem and is, according to the judges, “a searing, unflinching exploration of culture, family and faith within a truly innovative verse structure”. Xiomara “comes to life on every page and shows the reader how girls and women can learn to inhabit, and love, their own skin”.Continue reading...
After leaks showed him banning an LGBT club at the Christian school he co-founded, the novelist apologises for any hurt caused
Romance novelist Nicholas Sparks has apologised for “potentially hurt[ing] young people and members of the LGBTQ community”, after leaked emails showed him banning students from forming an LGBT club at a school he co-founded.
The Daily Beast published emails from Sparks last week, in which the novelist criticised the headmaster of Epiphany school in North Carolina for “what some perceive as an agenda that strives to make homosexuality open and accepted”. Sparks told the former headmaster, Saul Benjamin, who launched a lawsuit against him in 2014, that his decision to stop LGBT students from forming a club was “NOT discrimination”, adding: “Remember, we’ve had gay students before, many of them … [The previous headmaster] handled it quietly and wonderfully … I expect you to do the same.”Continue reading...
Australian Common Reader tracks reading habits of mostly working-class Australians between 1861 and 1928
Australian butchers in the 19th century preferred to read thrillers, miners loved novels about horse racing, while the most popular author among doctors – and the Adelaide working class in 1861 – was Charles Dickens.
These are just some of the insights gleaned from the Australian Common Reader, a publicly accessible database of historical library borrowing data launched this week by the Australian National University.Continue reading...
Author of The Notebook and school’s co-founder says emails to former headmaster are ‘not news’ ahead of trial in August
Bestselling romantic novelist Nicholas Sparks has rejected claims that he fostered an anti-LGBT environment at a school that he co-founded, after emails between him and a former headmaster were leaked to the Daily Beast.
The author of The Notebook and A Walk to Remember co-founded the Epiphany School of Global Studies in North Carolina in 2006. In 2014, former headmaster Saul Benjamin launched a lawsuit in which he alleged that Sparks and other members of the school board had “unapologetically marginalised, bullied, and harassed” people at the school, including Benjamin, “whose religious views and/or identities did not conform to their religiously driven, bigoted preconceptions”. The lawsuit also alleged that influential families at the school bullied and “sought to enact a ‘homo-caust’” against LGBT students, and claimed that Sparks “derisively” referred to them as “the gay club”.Continue reading...
Suzanne Collins has written a book set in Panem 64 years before the original dystopian trilogy and Lionsgate has confirmed interest in adapting it for the big screen
Suzanne Collins is writing a prequel to her best-selling Hunger Games trilogy with a potential movie adaptation also on the way.
The currently untitled book will be released in May 2020 and will be set in the world of Panem 64 years before the events of the dystopian franchise. It will focus on the time after the so-called “Dark Days,”, a failed rebellion.Continue reading...