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url 2015-07-07 21:03
The Bookseller: 'Reconfiguration' of Man Booker International Prize

The Man Booker International Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize are to merge to create one annual award for a work of literary fiction translated into English.


Jonathan Taylor, chair of the Man Booker Foundation, said at a press conference this morning (7th July) that the Man Booker International Prize used to lose momentum in the years it was not awarded, as it was given every two years. He also said it was difficult to understand, being awarded for a body of work rather than an individual title.


The new prize - retaining the Man Booker International Prize name - will see the £50,000 award money shared equally between the author and translator. Each of the shortlisted authors and translators will also get £1,000, meaning the winning author and translator will share a prize pot of £52,000. The total prize fund is therefore £62,000.

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Source: www.thebookseller.com/news/man-booker-306625
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text 2015-03-21 23:50
Quite a boring read
July's People - Nadine Gordimer

I found the writing to be laborious. There were few clues as to who was speaking or who was thinking what. I hate this type of arrogant writer. What is the point? Was Nadine Gordimer trying to get us to sympathize with the plight of South Africans? If so, she failed miserably. I did not care for any white or black person in the story. I just wanted the book to end.


If you really want to read about the conditions of South Africa before Apartheid made them worse, then read Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton.

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review 2015-01-15 23:39
The Plague - Stuart Gilbert,Albert Camus

The plague has arrived in Oran, Algeria. As each day passes, the townspeople endure horror after horror. Unable to leave the city, they are separated from loved ones who had left before the quarantine or who have died. Food becomes scarce even though the rich, as always, have enough. Month after month, Oran is separated from the world as some citizens die and the rest wonder when their death will come.


Camus portrays the different stages that people go through in time of crises. First there are complaints that the government isn't doing enough and then complaints that the government has gone to far. In the beginning, there is optimism that the plague will end soon, but after months with no respite, hope fades and lethargy and resignation take over.


I understand that Camus wrote absurdest literature. I'm am not sure what that is. I do know that Camus did not believe in God and this book resonates with the hopelessness of a world without God. Several men are searching for the meaning of life, but can't find the meaning because they left out the Creator. One man says, "what interests me is learning how to become a saint." His friend replies, "But you don't believe in God." The first man says, "Exactly! Can one be a saint without God?---that's the problem, in fact the only problem, I'm up against today."


Albert Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. His writing is crisp and introspective. The book is worth reading just for the psychological processes that a group of people experience during the time of tragedy. It also helps understand a little bit of what West Africa is experiencing with Ebola.

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review 2014-03-22 21:28
A Political Satire
A Case of Exploding Mangoes - Mohammed Hanif

This is a fictionalized version of how General Zia, a dictator of Pakistan, and his generals died in a plane crash in 1988.  This crash also killed the American ambassador to Pakistan.  These are historical facts.  However, that is the only portion of the book that is true.  Or is it?

The main character is Ali Shagri, whose father has committed suicide under suspicious circumstances.  He is determined to seek revenge for what he believes is murder.  Interwoven in his story is the tale of General Zia, his generals, his wife, a blind woman on death row and a crow.  The author has created inventive ways to kill the General, some doomed to failure, but some which are successful.  It is a fun read, but you need to write down the cast of characters in order to remember who does what, when and  why.  Even though it sounds gloomy, the  book is hilarious at times.

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review 2013-08-02 00:00
Music, in a Foreign Language (Original fiction In Paperback)
Music, in a Foreign Language - Andrew Crumey 3.5 stars
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