Books & Reviews

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Paul Fussell and The Great War

2012-05-27 THE US writer Paul Fussell's 1975 book The Great War and Modern Memory was, according to the British military historian John Keegan, revolutionary. Fussell, in what he called "an elegaic commentary', shaped a picture of the horrors of the first...

'Stolen Prey' tops US bestsellers list

2012-05-27 "Stolen Prey" jumped straight to the top of Publishers Weekly bestsellers list on Thursday. The list is compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors in the US.Hardcover Fiction1....

Story by Pulitzer prize-winner Egan serialised on Twitter

2012-05-27 A STORY by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan (pictured) for the New Yorker is being serialised in 10 instalments on Twitter, according to the magazine.The New Yorker said the first instalment of the story, a spy thriller called Black Box,...

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Are markets morally neutral?

2012-05-20 DEAD peasants insurance' is a term that sounds as if it comes straight out of Monty Python. If only that were true. Here's an example of what it means: In 1999, Michael Rice, a 48-year-old employee of the supermarket firm Walmart, collapsed while...

My hero: Carlos Fuentes

2012-05-20 I DISCOVERED Carlos Fuentes during my adolescence, through his Death of Artemio Cruz, which we studied in our Spanish Literature classes in Buenos Aires. Unlike many of the ponderous novels forced on us in school, this vivid depiction of an...

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The US slide from pre-eminence

2012-05-13 ACCORDING to the US industrialist and world-class bigot Henry Ford, "History is bunk". Edward Luce, who cites Ford's assertion, tells the reader that Oliver Wendell Holmes was closer to the mark when he said: "An ounce of history is...

Faas, photojournalism's legend

2012-05-13 AS chief of photo operations for The Associated Press in Saigon for a decade beginning in 1962, Horst Faas (pictured) didn't just cover the fighting — he also recruited and trained new talent from among foreign and Vietnamese freelancers. The...

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Tehran book fair draws huge crowds

2012-05-06 THE idea of an international book festival in Tehran might sound incongruous. Leaders of the Islamic republic are no great book enthusiasts. Numerous writers are banned and as one of the world's most-censoring countries, Iran has a relatively low...

Ways of vetting works

2012-05-06 IRAN'S ministry of culture and Islamic guidance vets all books before publication. Three censors read each book to make sure it conforms to Islamic values. Censorship might apply to only a word, a sentence, a paragraph or sometimes a text as long as...

A forceful, if flawed, study of Orwell's home town

2012-05-06 THERE are only so many good ideas in the world, one supposes. This might explain why revisiting and retracing is such a popular artistic and literary endeavour high, low and middlebrow. It might be Dara O'Briain and Griff Rhys Jones and Rory...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

A Scot's take on Suzhou

2012-04-22 CHINA was never on the radar of Scottish management consultant David Ferguson until he married a Chinese lady and decided to move to China to look for a change. He had reached a bottleneck in business in 2006.Six years later, writer and editor...

The rocket man's ascent

2012-04-22 CHIRATHEP Senivongs Na Ayudhya is well known in financial circles as a high-flying official at the Bank of Thailand. He was a senior director in charge of corporate communications by age 44.In his autobiography Villa @ Wongwian Lek, Chirathep doesn...

Sunday, 15 April 2012

JK Rowling's first adult novel will be 'blackly comic'

2012-04-15 IT MAY lack wizards and witches, but JK Rowling and her publisher are hoping her first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, will have the magic touch. The book's title was announced last Thursday by Little, Brown & Co along with a brief plot...

Bi Feiyu: Just aching to write

2012-04-15 OFTEN described as the country's best male writer on the female psyche, Bi Feiyu, 46, does not see himself worthy of the accolade."I wouldn't say I've been writing about women. Rather, I've been writing about humans," he told a roomful of...

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Book lovers turning to inkless pages

2012-04-08 ONE in five American adults read an electronic book in the last year, as gift-giving sped the shift away from the printed page, a Pew Research Centre survey showed on on Wednesday.!In a sweeping survey of e-books' impact on reading habits, the Pew...

Grass' anti-Israel poem stirs hornets' nest

2012-04-08 GERMAN Nobel literature laureate Guenter Grass labelled Israel a threat to "already fragile world peace" in a poem published on Wednesday that drew sharp rebukes at home and from Israel. In the poem titled What must be said, published...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Newly revealed Hemingway letters show his softer side

2012-04-01 ERNEST Hemingway shows a tenderness that wasn't part of his usual macho persona in a dozen unpublished letters that became publicly available on Wednesday in a collection of the author's papers at the Kennedy presidential library. In a letter...

China in the next 30 years

2012-04-01 CHINA in the Next 30 Years is a new collection of 17 essays published in October 2011 on the future of China, of which eight authors are foreigners. This is one of the few books published simultaneously in Chinese and English. Reading the book in...

Sunday, 18 March 2012

When the kids are the killers

2012-03-18 IT'S quite moving to see soldiers return from war loathing the thing, as is often the case. Most would gladly hear that there'll never be another one, but there always is another, and among the combatants slaughtered in its course will be more...

Korea's Shin strikes chord with tale of loss

2012-03-18 SHE has been writing for 28 years in her native South Korea, but Kyung-sook Shin said she feels like a newcomer again after becoming the first woman to win Asia's top literary prize.The South Korean author beat a strong field to win the 2011 Man...

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