AM remainders: international edition

This post was written by Friday guest blogger Emma Garman.

  • A literary festival in St. Petersburg has paid tribute to unsung Russian absurdist Daniil Kharms, “the central figure in OBERIU, the Leningrad avant-garde movement of the 1920s and 1930s that served as a homegrown equivalent to European surrealism.”
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  • Get Out, You Cursed One – the new novel by Saddam Hussein just banned by the Jordanian government – is set to be a bestseller in bootleg: a kiosk owner in the capital Amman says “Thanks to the ban, it is now selling like hot potatoes.”
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  • Umberto Eco presented his new novel, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, to an audience in Toronto last week. When asked how he would explain the popularity of his difficult books, he replied: “In the book industry there is a category of people who don’t understand much: publishers. They think that everybody wants to read easy books. That’s untrue, or else authors like Thomas Mann would have never enjoyed any popularity.”
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  • Chirosree Basu has mixed feelings about Arundati Roy’s latest essay collection, An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, but admires ‘The road to Harsud’:

    a chilling account of a gigantic fraud being perpetrated in the name of development. Ravaged by greed, it is waiting to drown under the cold waters of the Narmada. In this ghost town, there remain only those who have not been able to give the patwaris the ‘feelgood’ (bribe), and so are denied their rightful compensation. Roy drives into the forests around and then into the tin sheds for the displaced families to find a lone Kallu Driver lambasting politicians in his unique way.


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