Prufrock's Page

Friday, June 29, 2007

Sir Salman's Critics

Andrew Anthony goes in search of The Satanic Verses at bookshops in London and then goes on to assert that the whole sorry affair "has shown that there are plenty of other people, including writers themselves, whose support for literature cannot be relied upon." Prime suspects: "John le Carre, Roald Dahl and John Berger, to name just three".

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

So Many Books, So Little Space

"I remember sitting in our much smaller flat, which could not accommodate even one of our largest bookcases, surrounded by boxes of books and wondering what we had been thinking." Alina Tugend faces an all-too-familiar problem -- so many books, so little space -- and then tries to find the best way to dispose of the ones she doesn't want: used bookstores, libraries and the Internet.

Iraqi Lines

There's a spate of non-fiction books on the current state of Iraq, from Imperial Life in the Emerald City to The Assassin's Gate. Which one should you pick up? Here's an assessment. Meanwhile, Kaelin Wilson-Goldie suggests that there's a resurgence in Iraqi fiction, with many fascinating releases in translation coming soon.

Naipaul Does A Naipaul

"I know of no literature in the history of the world which has been created for foreign readership, foreign publishers, foreign critics. That is Indian literature now, and the only thing that the Indian press is interested in is the advance which writers are said to get."

- V.S. Naipaul, in a recent interview. He also talks of how writing is harder, but finding inspiration isn't.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sounds Wonderful

"Writing a novel is full of stops and starts and paths not taken, or taken and then untaken, or paths best not taken but taken anyway. How the book ends up looking and how I might describe it now could be two very different beasties. I will say that my intention is to write a bicultural novel, where Japanese perspectives are given an equal weight to Dutch/European perspectives. It's the most demanding thing I've ever tried to do."

- David Mitchell on his new novel (courtesy The Literary Saloon).

Books In Nooks

Kiran Desai, Chimamanda Adichie, Pico Iyer, Julian Barnes, Dave Eggers and many more speak of the books they read while travelling. Had we but world enough and time...