Books and their future

11 01 2012


The many futures of books

There are exciting innovations afoot in both digital and conventional publishing

My prediction about books in the early years of the 21st century: readers, writers, and bibliophiles in general will look back on the cross-fertilisation of the digital world with the global recession, and marvel at the strange fruit that flourished in the paradise of texts.

Consider the following evidence. In Notting Hill, the Redstone Press, an independent devoted to exquisite design and quirky conceptual innovation, published Will Hobson’s The Household Box, a book-in-a-box manufactured in China. Just down the road, Unbound launched the first of its new hardbacks, Terry Jones’s Evil Machines, a sequence of 13 stories about the hidden perils of technology. And finally, Penguin announced it was about to launch a series of short books (novellas, stories, non-fiction) as ebooks for £1.99.

Read full article @ The Guardian





To get into Symbolism, or not

11 01 2012

 

Serious questions about the standard of modern literary discussion

Would contemporary authors relish the daunting seriousness of a schoolboy questionnaire, sent to 150 leading authors in 1963? Among others Jack Kerouac, Ayn Rand and Norman Mailer.

Many a contemporary author, weary of the trivialising attentions of the modern media, dreams fondly of an age of higher seriousness and plainer clothes. But this little gem from the Paris Review archives might possibly make them think again.

1. Do you consciously plan and place symbolism in your writing? If both yes and no, please be specific. If yes, please state your method of doing so.

Do you feel you subconsciously place symbolism in your writing?

That is the opening question from 16-year-old Bruce McAllister’s schoolboy survey, sent out to 150 leading authors in 1963.

Read full article @ The Guardian





Painting Away Regrets with Opal Palmer Adisa

11 01 2012

Jamaican born Opal Palmer Adisa’s new novel, Painting Away Regrets was recently published by Peepal Tree Press (2011).

Christine and Donald are two modern, urban professionals, fundamentally unsuited to one another, caught in the currents of life, and bound by the one thing they have in common–powerful sexual desires. They meet in graduate school at Berkeley and become consumed by the amazing sexual chemistry they share. Marriage and four children later, Christine and Donald are at a crossroads. Moving easily between the Caribbean, Africa and the USA, the novel dances between the real-life drama that unfolds between Christine and Donald, and the spiritual world of the Orishas where every human act has a spiritual ramification.

Gail Tsukiyama (author of The Samurai’s Garden and The Street of a Thousand Blossoms) writes: “Rich in the vibrant rhythms and colors of the Caribbean, Painting Away Regrets, is a song that resonates the redeeming power of love and family. Opal Palmer Adisa’s storytelling shines in the lush island folklore; in this story of one woman’s spiritual and sensual journey towards healing and forgiveness.”

[The book cover features LeRoy Clarke’s painting “Arima Mama.”]

Opal Palmer Adisa holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a Jamaica-born, award-winning poet, and professor of creative writing and literature at the California College of the Arts, and her work has appeared in more than 200 journals, anthologies, and other publications. She is also the author of numerous poetry and short story collections. Her first novel was It Begins with Tears.

Source: Repeating Islands, dec 2011