June Issue of the BookIsh Plaza eZine now online!

3 06 2015

 foto boeken slavernijverleden

The June issue is out now! We have some great features:
–  Review of Daughters of Empire by Lakshmi Persaud Trinidad-born,                      British-based writer.
–  Bookish Plaza at Festivals in June.
–  New arrivals of poetry & non-fiction books.
–  Soon for Sale with poetry from Anguilla.
–  An much more.

Read it @ BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.42 JUNE 2015

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Inspiring Writers & Friends

3 06 2015

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Kazuo Ishiguro and Caryl Phillips: a friendship ‘paved with books’

Kazuo Ishiguro’s nickname is not Kaz, as one may expect. Caz is the nickname of fellow author Caryl Phillips. Ishiguro is known as Ish. “I thought we needed some clarification,” Ishiguro told two audiences on Wednesday night in New York.

And while the opening of each talk was similar – the first with high school writers as part of the Unterberg Poetry Center’s Schools Project Program and the second at a bigger 92Y event – their more intimate conversation with the students about identity, memory and friendship became the evening’s highlight.

Ishiguro and Phillips have been friends for 30 years, since both their novels were “discovered” by editor Robert McCrum, and their relationship, and similarities, were a frequent topic.

“I don’t know if Caz and I have ever discussed each other’s work,” Ishiguro noted, when comparing how authors approach the work of their colleagues and peers. And while they may not have traded critiques, Phillips noted that their friendship has been a journey “paved with books”.

“When Ish writes a book, I read it. More terrifyingly, I teach it,” Phillips quipped.

Both writers were also immigrants to Great Britain: Ishiguro was five years old when he moved with his parents from Japan. Phillips was only four months old when he arrived with his parents from the island of Saint Kitts in the West Indies.

When asked about their impulses to write, both cited the desire to understand their parents, and their lives, better. “I wanted to understand where my parents came from, which is ultimately where I came from,” Phillips said. Ishiguro also expressed a curiosity for what life was like for his parents, but added that it’s selfish since “it’s really about myself”.

Elaborating further on his connection to the past in his writing, Phillips said it was a cliche, but true: “If you don’t know where you come from, you don’t know where you are. If you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going.”

But both Ishiguro and Phillips added later that, as immigrants, there should be no obligation to explore the connection between their two cultures: “I can’t find much artistic energy for this as a novelist.”

Read further @ The Guardian





Subconscious Mind & Creative Writing

3 06 2015

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How the subconscious mind shapes creative writing

Do you remember those plastic slide puzzles you used to get in party bags? They were made up of a three by three grid with eight tiles and a blank square – the missing tile allowing you to move the others around.

This nine-grid puzzle was the central image behind the story of Mark Haddon’sThe Red House – although, bizarrely, he didn’t know it when he wrote the book.

“I was being interviewed by Claire Armitstead at the Edinburgh Books Festival when she said that when she read the book she kept thinking about those tile puzzles,” wrote Haddon on his blog after the interview.

“I felt a lurch, because before writing The Red House I’d given up on a novel called The Missing Square, the central image of which was one of those tile puzzles, and whose organising conceit was that certain absences may make a world imperfect, but they enable that world to change and generate new meanings. I suddenly realised this image had remained a model for the central structure of The Red House, which is a story about the eight remaining members of a family and a ninth member – a stillborn daughter – who is still having a profound effect on the family despite, or because of, her absence.”

This hidden structure enabled Haddon to plot and plan his novel around a central theme without even realising it. Unusual, but perhaps not unheard of, this got me thinking: how many other novelists have plotted their books subconsciously?

Read further @ The Guardian