Do I see any of these nuances reflected in today’s writing? Well yes and no. It is still a struggle to find travel literature by British authors of colour – Monisha Rajesh’s Around the World in 80 Trains (and before it, Around India in 80 Trains), Noo Saro Wiwa’s Looking for Transwonderland about her travels in Nigeria, Johny Pitts’s Afropean, and Gary Younge’s No Place Like Home:A Black Briton’s Journey Through the American South, spring to mind. But when your interests veer towards the eco-spiritual, that thins out the field even further. Reflecting on some of the narratives that first drew me in, I think, for example, of Charlotte Du Cann’s 52 Flowers That Shook My World, Jay Griffiths’ Wild, Eleanor O’Hanlon’s Eyes of the Wild, Eliot Cowan’s Plant, Spirit, Medicine, and Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a botanist and citizen of the Potawatomi Nation. I also loved Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and … [Read more...] about ‘Why did white men get all the fun?’: the long road to diverse travel writing
Is this a reality check for writers of imaginative literary forms such as fiction? Recent trends have sometimes forced fiction and journalism to be indistinguishable. So much has happened in India alone since the beginning of 2020: the worst communal riots since Gujarat 2002 that happened in the nation’s capital are now being followed by the strategic arrests of members of the minority community as “instigators.” The political conscience cried out for imaginative responses to contemporary reality, but so did the market. The topical has always been the wind in the sails of journalism, but now it fans the flames of fiction too. … [Read more...] about Essay: On the future of reading and writing under the shadow of the pandemic by Saikat Majumdar
New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Dav Pilkey (Dog Man, Captain Underpants) and New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games) are also set to make an appearance to participate in a special 100th Anniversary tribute to the title sponsor, Scholastic Inc. The event will also include additional surprise guests, poetry readings from this year’s National Student Poets, and a chance to see selections and hear excerpts from award-winning pieces of art and writing. … [Read more...] about Jennifer Garner, Chris Colfer and Lena Dunham to Headline 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Virtual Ceremony
Wanting the game in her hands, Klock gravitated to the pitcher’s mound as a child, striking out boys on the playground. Undaunted by the prejudicial, restrictive social mores of the 1960s, she organized pick-up basketball games against girls from a cross-town school, despite being threatened with expulsion by a high-school principal who acted as if sweating was against state law for teenage girls. … [Read more...] about Kiszla: Making every inning count. Cancer-stricken coach Gail Klock writes playbook on squeezing joy from end of life.
(Spoiler alert.) Earlier in the week, we ran an interview with Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón. In it, he mentioned how he struggled with rewriting one pivotal scene until George Clooney overheard that they were having an issue and sent an e-mail saying, “I took a shot with the scene, read it. Throw it out.” Cuarón said that they ended up using it. The result, according to Cuarón, was the scene in which “[Sandra Bullock’s character] has this dream and starts talking to Kowalski about her daughter.” … [Read more...] about George Clooney Says He Didn’t Actually Write Pivotal