Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar in early May, flooding the streets of Yangon, knocking out electricity and phone service, and killing tens of thousands of people. It was the worst natural history disaster ever recorded in the history of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
A hand-written sign invites passersby to visit the Seven Bookstore in Yangon.
In Yangon, bookstores and magazine stands are ubiquitous. Plastic sheeting protects stacks of books in the open-air stalls along Pansodan Street.
Stacks of books rise to the ceiling of Kyaw Thein Literature, one of the many open-air stalls along the sidewalks of downtown Yangon.
A week after Horace Engdahl, the permanent secretary for the Swedish Academy and top jury member for the Nobel Prize, criticized American writers in an interview with the Associated Press (AP), the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature was announced. Not surprisingly, it isn't an American. French novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio takes literature's highest honor this year for his "poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy," the prize committee said in a statement.
Sally Charette of Acton, California, travels to Andrew's Diner in North Hollywood, sitting at the same table every day to work on her novel, along with essays and articles.