Terry Pratchett (Sir Pterry): A Dedication
The Lit Review this week features a dedication to Terry Pratchett from writer and fan, Sinéad O’Hart:
How have so many people fallen so in love with a series of books about a flat planet balanced on the shoulders of four giant elephants, each of which stands on the shell of an immense turtle who swims eternally through space? Well, because the books were written by Sir Terry Pratchett, OBE, whose tragically premature death last week at the age of 66 has robbed the world of one of its finest minds. A satirist and fantasist, but more importantly a humourist and humanist, Sir Pterry (as his fans, among which I count myself, knew him) was the author of some of the most compelling and believable characters ever committed to paper. His incisive intelligence and unparalleled wit makes reading his work an exhilarating experience; sheer love of life and wide-eyed amazement at the intricacies of the universe burst forth from every page, weaving their way into his clever and memorable plots. His fictional Discworld mirrored, critiqued and paid homage in equal measure to our own small world, and the gentle fun he poked at the sacred cows of the fantasy genre adds to the enjoyment of reading his tales – but his work was so much more than just satire or parody. It was warm, wise and wonderful, and it is a huge shame that there will be no more.
Stephen King’s New Book of Useful Tips for Writers
Stephen King will release his book The Bazaar of Bad Dreams in November. This will be a book of twenty short stories with an introduction to each one giving insight into his own writing process. This is the first time King has released such a collection since his essential On Writing in 2000 and he is quoted on this new venture saying: ‘Little by little, writers develop their own styles, each as unique as a finger print.’ I’ll take that, Stephen.
American journalist Lyndee Prickett was living in New Delhi in 2012 when the brutal rape of Jyoti Singh occurred. Her outrage over this event drove Prickett to create her interactive story We Are Angry. This fictional, visual experience is a wonderfully daring idea and helps to depict this horrendous event with great visceral effect.
Too Loud a Silence
The Abortion Rights Campaign is soon to host their event, Too Loud a Silence, featuring author and columnist Katha Pollitt. Pollitt, joined by guest speakers, will discuss her book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, and its relevance to Ireland. This event will take place in the Teacher’s Club on Parnell Square in Dublin at 7.30pm on Friday, 20th of March.
The Final Two
A new editor-in-chief of The Guardian will be chosen tomorrow. The new editor will step into an ever-evolving paper which has pushed itself to the forefront of the international media landscape. They will replace Alan Rusbridger, who has driven the paper’s high standards, with the assistance of over eight hundred staff, for the past twenty years. Sounds like a breeze. The pair in the running for the role are Katharine Viner, the Guardian’s US editor-in-chief, and Ian Katz, editor of the BBC’s Newsnight television programme.
New futuristic Novel by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood has announced the release of her latest novel The Heart Goes Last. The writer, who has most recently published a number of online stories set in a dystopian near future, will now publish her latest work, based in a similar realm. This will be her first stand-alone novel since her Man Booker Prize-winning The Blind Assassin fifteen years ago.
Words and Books
Words are beautiful; they are magical tools with which to shape stories. This infographic shows how writers have used their words in wonderfully inventive ways. Did you know that J.R.R. Tolkien coined the word ‘Tween’ when he wrote the Hobbit in 1937?
March, they say, is the month for the mad, so take a look at this list of fifty superb books about madness. The selection spans the absurd and the surreal, all the way to madness in its most obsessive and obscure forms. How many of them have you read?
Lit Festival Calendar
Bert Wright of the Irish Times does his bit to promote language in all its beauty as he celebrates the week of the Mountains to Sea Literary Festival. A great selection of events are in full swing this week and to get all you literature lovers into full festival mode, the Irish Times has put together a comprehensive calendar of other literary events coming up this summer.
Was 1925 the Best for Books?
BBC Culture has chosen 1925 as the greatest year for literary fiction. Granted, it was a good year, with books like Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and In Our Time, a collection of short stories by Ernest Hemingway. However, the idea of limiting ourselves to the idea that 1925 was the best year for literary fiction, and that the literary heights of that year are unlikely to ever be matched, is something I refuse to believe. What do you think?