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by Evan Smith Rakoff
Two of the world's largest publishers, Random House and Penguin, are discussing a merger; novelist Rick Moody was the victim of a ring of hackers and identity thieves; Donald Hall provides thoughts on the ubiquitous public poetry reading, and rich details from his career as an acclaimed poet; and other news.
by Kaveh Bassiri
In October MTV’s college network, mtvU, surprised some of its more literary-minded viewers when it named Iranian poet Simin Behbahani as its next poet laureate. She is only the second poet, following John Ashbery, to hold the honorary post.
by Adrian Versteegh
A panel of international writers has chosen Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude as the book that has most influenced world literature over the past twenty-five years. The survey, commissioned by international literary magazine Wasafiri, coincided with the release last Friday of the quarterly’s twenty-fifth anniversary issue.
Author Nedim Gürsel, who was charged with insulting Islam after the publication of his 2008 novel The Daughters of Allah, was acquitted yesterday by a court in Istanbul. According to the Turkish news network BIA, the court said that “the novel as a whole does not have any criminal intent and does not represent a crime.”
by Stephen Morison Jr.
Four days after a liberal blogger and writer was stabbed at a bookstore during a reading in Beijing, the writing community here still has more questions than answers. Xu Lai is recovering, his compatriots are actively theorizing about the motives behind the incident in their blogs, and the proprietors of the bookstore-café that sponsored the event are uneasy and hoping to avoid notoriety.
The Burmese poet Saw Wai was sentenced on Monday to two years in prison for writing a love poem that contains a hidden criticism of the Burmese dictator General Than Shwe.
by Stephen Morison Jr.
In the cyclone-ravaged country of Myanmar, where citizens face censorship and repression, contributor Stephen Morison Jr. speaks with authors who, despite the country's Orwellian police state, refuse to be intimidated and continue to write.
by Renee H. Shea
In June, twenty-nine-year-old Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won the 2007 Orange Prize for Half of a Yellow Sun (Knopf, 2006), a novel set during the Biafra-Nigeria civil war of the 1960s. Adichie weaves the stories she heard from her parents and family friends along with political history in the novel she describes as having "emotional truth." Told from three different perspectives and spanning a decade, Half of a Yellow Sun has garnered glowing reviews for its powerful narrative and compelling characters.
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