Thursday morning miscellany

  • Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk has won the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature. You can hear him discuss his most famous novel, Snow, in an old NPR clip. And earlier this year the New York Review of Books reproduced a speech Pamuk delivered, after charges against him for “insulting Turkishness” were dismissed, on “The Freedom to Write.” (Image found here.)
  • A British actor who’s performed in, among other things, Dr. Who, was awarded a New Writing Ventures award for creative nonfiction.
  • Martin Amis castigates Muslims for “not fitting in.” It isn’t often that writers manage to sound like my high school guidance counselor.
  • Some U.S. Islamic scholars have accused Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, of paving the way for the Bush administration’s war plans. (But when I interviewed Iranian-American author Salar Abdoh several years ago, he praised Nafisi’s memoir, saying, “Everything is in that book, but particularly a pure passion for literature.” Abdoh recently wrote an essay about his own perceptions of contemporary Iran.)
  • Pending development of a more permanent policy, a Missouri library has removed Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Craig Thomson’s Blankets from its shelves, resulting in a de facto temporary banning.
  • Recent discussions of the state of military history in the academy remind Scott McLemee of Charles Portis’ hilarious The Dog of the South.
  • Anne Applebaum writes, “at the time of her murder in Moscow Saturday, Anna Politkovskaya was at the pinnacle of her influence. One of the best-known journalists in Russia, and one of the best-known Russian journalists in the world, she was proof — and more is always needed — that there is still nothing quite so powerful as the written word.” (Via.)
  • Tokion magazine named nineteen speakers for this year’s Creativity Now conference. None of them were women. Since then one woman has been added to the lineup.


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