2011 Moby Awards

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Melville House Publishing has announced the finalists for the 2011 Moby Awards, which honor the best (and worst) book trailers produced in the previous year. The awards are given in eight categories, including Book Trailer as Stand Alone Art Object, in which the trailer for Lisa Dierbeck's The Autobiography of Jenny X (OR Books, 2010) is a finalist. The winners will be named tomorrow night.

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Transforming Tragedy Into Art

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Vaddey Ratner discusses In the Shadow of Banyan, a debut novel depicting her family's experience during the Cambodian genocide of the 1970s. "I didn't want to write a memoir," she says. "What I wanted was to honor the lives lost, those who perished, and I wanted to do so through my endeavor to transorm personal pain with art." In the Shadow of Banyan will be published by Simon & Schuster in July.

Katherine Larson

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"You have speakers engaged with everything from the purple gonads of moon jellyfish to ancient Egyptian burial rights," says poet and molecular biologist Katherine Larson about her collection Radial Symmetry, winner of the 2010 Yale Series of Younger Poets, in this recent profile on the PBS NewsHour.

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David Rakoff

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In a short video from earlier this year, the author of three essay collections, including his most recent, Half Empty (Doubleday, 2010), and a frequent contributor to This American Life, talks about why he writes, the nature of creativity, and why writing only gets harder. Rakoff died on Thursday night after a battle with cancer. He was forty-seven.

Ilustrado

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Miguel Syjuco describes his usage of Velcro, file folders, and ten separate Microsoft Word documents for the construction of his debut novel, Ilustrado (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010). Syjuco speaks about the importance of Asia Literary Review in Literary MagNet in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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