Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This Week in Reading August 17 -23

This week offers a fairly recent Nobel prizewinner, V. S. Naipaul who won in 2001 while the world was feeling the effects of 9/11. Though he lives in England and calls himself a "Trinidadian" he has written mostly about the country of his ethnic roots, India and of the problems faced by Third Worlders both back home and in the First World. His works are well worth the reading because what he writes is both elegaic and universal. The other Nobel laureate is little known today and shares an unfortunate name with a classic character, the Italian poet Salvatore Quasimodo who won the Nobel in 1959.

It is also the week of H. P. Lovecraft, M. M. Kaye, and Ray Bradbury for dark, light, and sociallly speculative fantasy fans. There's Annie Proulx, Alain Robbe-Grillet for sophisticated writing, Nelson DeMille for suspense, Brian Aldiss for science fiction, with Jacqueline Susann for wild romance. We find poets Ted Hughes, Edgar Guest, and Edgar Lee Masters. Humorous light versers abound as well from Dorothy Parker and Ogden Nash from the first half of the twentieth century to Mark Russell and X. J. Kennedy in the second. And, as always, many more names and events to fill many more interests.

This Week's Question: At least two authors born this week wrote stories for the New Yorker. Who were they? Who wrote the very first 7,000 word story for that magazine?
Answer to Last Week's Question: The person known as "The Poet Laureate of Skid Row" was Los Angeles' own Charles Bukowski who has achieved cult-like status among aficionados and was immortalized in the movie, Barfly. He lived what he wrote and said once, "The difference between Art and Life is that Art is more bearable."

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