Friday, October 9, 2009

This Week in Reading October 4 - 10

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature was announced this week, going to a Romanian-born novelist who lives in exile in Germany, Herta Muller. She writes, according to the Nobel committee, "with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, [to] depict ... the landscape of the dispossessed." Her novels, few of which have been translated into English yet, are about people constrained by a dictatorial Communist regime. Ms. Muller was forbidden from publication in her home country until she moved to Germany.

Authors born this week -

Nobel Prize in Literature
Story writer Ivo Andric (1961), novelist Claude Simon (1985), playwright Harold Pinter (2005)

Novelists and story writers
Alexis Kivi, Damon Runyon, Mario de Andrade, Caroline Jordan, R.K. Narayan, Jose Donoso, James Clavell, Rona Barrett, Marie-Claire Blais, Frederick Barthelme, Benjamin Cheever, Edward P. Jones, Jonathan Littell

Poets and Playwrights
Poets: Marina Tsvetaeva, Clive James, John Lennon, Diane Ackerman Playwrights: Joshua Logan, Amiri Baraka, Vaclaw Havel

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Richard Rorty Believers: Jonathan Edwards, Phillip Berrigan, Jesse Jackson Scientists: R. D. Laing Historians: Walter Lord, Bill James Biographers: Jill Kerr Conway

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, Media and Others
Roy Blount, Joy Behar Essayists: William Zinsser Editors: Denis Diderot Journalists: Brendan Gill, Shana Alexander, Steve Coll, Dan Savage Officials: Media and Others: Giuseppi Verdi, Thor Heyerdahl, Oliver North

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Suspense: Joseph Finder

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Horror: Anne Rice Science Fiction: Frank Herbert, David Brin

Romance / Historical Fiction Writers
Romance: Jackie Collins, Nora Roberts Historical Fiction: Thomas Keneally

Visual Artists
Graphic Novelists: Harvey Pekar Manga: Kazuki Takashashi Cartoonists: Bill Keane

Young People’s Writers
Children’s: James Whitcomb Riley, Louise Fitzhugh, R. L. Stine Teens: Sherman Alexie

Events to read about this week:
Tyndale prints the first Bible in English; the Gregorian Calendar gets rid of several days just to catch up; Sputnik, the world's first satellite is launched; the Naval Academy, Monty Python, PBS, the first talking movie, and Homeland security are also launched, along with the life of an Armenian film director. On the bad side, Chicago nearly burned down, a baseball team's players are banned from baseball whether they threw the World Series or not, and the US began its invasion of Afghanistan.

This Week’s Questions:

It's autumn now, and "the frost is on the punkin, and the fodder's in the shock." What? Who, born this week, wrote that and what does it mean? What other well known characters and other works came out of that writer's pen?

Answer to Last Week’s Questions:
Novelist, humanitarian Elie Wiesel and President, humanitarian Jimmy Carter, who were born last week, both won the Nobel Peace Prize. (President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace prize this week.)

Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin appointed Kay Ryan as U.S. Poet Laureate, and the Bancroft Library at UC, Berkeley, home of the Mark Twain papers and numerous rare books and manuscripts, is named after California historian George Bancroft.

Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood,banned in many places, made the
American Library Association’s list of Banned American Classics.

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