Nobel Prize Winner Svetlana Alexievich
Svetlana Alexievich has won the Nobel Prize for Literature ‘for her polyphonic writings … a monument to sufferings in our time’. Alexievich, a prominent critic of the Russian regime, and author of books including A Prayer for Chernobyl, is the 14th woman to win the prize since 1901.
An experienced reporter and writer of short stories and essays, and greatly influenced by Belarusian writer Ales Adamovich, Alexievich began to establish her voice through her exploration of Adamovich’s story-telling genre known as the ‘collective novel’; a collaboration of many voices.
Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, has referred to Alexievich as an ‘extraordinary writer’. ‘For the past 30 or 40 years she’s been busy mapping the Soviet and post-Soviet individual … what she’s offering us is really an emotional world’. She added: ‘It brings you very close to every individual’.
Books are My Bag
The largest ever celebration of bookshops, the Books are my Bag campaign, launched today. There is something magical about winding your way around shelves stacked from floor to ceiling with books. Real-life bookshops offer so much more than clicking ‘add to basket’ on a website. Big Bookshop Parties will take place in local bookshops all around Ireland and the UK on Saturday 10th October. All you have to do is visit your local bookshop and support them by picking up a new book (or seven). Those participating in Bookshop Parties will be handing out free BAMB branded tote bags on the day. Bestselling children’s author and illustrator, Lauren Child, is taking part this year and has designed a new BAMB bag for children, featuring her quirky fictional characters, Charlie and Lola.
The Great War Signal Corps
The Great War Signal Corps will take place this evening in Collins Barracks. This fascinating musical composition of voice, keyboard and analogue electronics will be communicated by ten performers using telegraph keys, flag semaphore, signal lanterns and music based on text sourced from archival material in the National Library and the National Museum of Ireland. The performance will finish up on Saturday evening, 10th of October in the Riding School at the National Museum of Ireland. Tickets €15/€10.
Woman at Point Zero
Woman at Point Zero, the 1975 tale of female oppression told by Egyptian Doctor Nawal El Saadawi, will be republished this month. This article in the Guardian describes the significance of the book: ‘Woman at Point Zero is a story about one of the key feminist topics of our times – choice … it is one of the 20th century’s most outspokenly radical books about female life, from all backgrounds, in all parts of the world’.
Waterstones Pulls Back on Sales of Ebooks
Waterstones, the largest seller of books in the UK, is pulling back on sales of Amazon Kindle ebooks due to recent ‘pitiful sales’.The company’s Managing Director, James Daunt said there had been no sign of a ‘bounce’ in Kindle sales, so the company was ‘taking the display space back’ to use for physical books instead. The return to printed books seems to be a growing trend with Nielsen Bookscan releasing figures that show sales of print books rose by 4.6% for the first 36 weeks of 2015.
Voyage of Discovery
IMRAM Irish Language Festival will take place this year from 9th-18th October. The word IMRAM, means voyage of discovery, and the programme this year will explore modern Irish literature through poetry, prose and music. Festival Director, Liam Carson, explains that the aim of the festival is to place ‘Irish language at the heart of public life, with a modern, energetic and multi-cultural framework’.
Smock Alley will host a performance of Trickster Bird – The Crow Project as part of the festival. This multi-media performance explores ancient stories and myths that unveil the cunning and skill of these mysterious creatures. Another event which will feature at the festival is Mindshift, a seminar aimed at both emerging and professional writers, as well as those published in the Irish language. The Mindshift event will focus on opportunities, support schemes and the business of translation. It will also provide some insights into the current status of Irish language publishing in Ireland.
School Librarian of the Year
The award for School Librarian of the Year has been presented to Annie Brady of St Paul’s CBS Secondary School in Dublin city. The School Library Association established this prize to acknowledge the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every day in Britain and Ireland, and this is the second time in three years that the prize has been awarded to an Irish woman. Brady was chosen this year for her dedication to the planning and implementation of literacy and numeracy strategies, and for ensuring the library is an integral part of the school and its everyday activities.