Congratulations to Karen Tei Yamashita, Makes It to National Book Award Shortlist

The only Asian American writer on the National Book Award fiction shortlist this year is Karen Tei Yamashita.  Her book, I-Hotel, published by Coffee House Press, is going to duke it out with:


This year’s judges in fiction are:

  • Joanna Scott (Chair)
  • Andrei Codrescu
  • Samuel R. Delany
  • Sabina Murray
  • Carolyn See

Karen’s publisher, Coffee House, is an indie publisher (who also publishes M. Evelina Galang and will shortly be publishing Zack Linmark’s new novel, Leche).

Self has never heard of McPherson & Co. before so she looks them up:  they’re also an indie publisher.

Great, great news for indie publishers, to get their authors on the shortlist.  Best of luck to Karen, self will be rooting for her.

Winners will be announced in New York City on November 17.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Ryszard Kapuscinski on Old Delhi

from Kapuscinscki’s Travels with Herodotus:

Old Delhi!  Its narrow, dusty, fiendishly hot streets, with their stifling odor of tropical fermentation.  And this crowd of silently moving people, appearing and disappearing, their faces dark, humid, anonymous, closed.  Quiet children, making no sound.  A man stares dully at the remains of his bicycle, which has fallen apart in the middle of the street.  A woman sells something wrapped in green leaves —  what is it?  What do those leaves enfold?  A beggar demonstrates how the skin of his stomach is plastered to his spinal cord —  but is this even possible?  One has to walk carefully, to pay attention, because many vendors spread their wares directly on the ground, on the sidewalks, right on the edge of the road.  Here is a man who has laid out two rows of human teeth and some old pliers on a piece of newspaper, thereby advertising his dental services.

I love this writing, simply love it, dear blog readers.  This intensely personal examination of a place.  A place as experienced, not simply described.

Stay tuned.

Clive Owen! Favorite Scenes

They’re showing “Inside Man” on AMC this evening.  How self loves that movie.  It’s one of her favorite Spike Lee movies of recent years.  It certainly didn’t hurt that the leader of the bank robbers was played by Clive Owen! (Incidentally, Jodie Foster’s legs were simply superb in pointy, high-heeled pumps!  Self envied how proud-seeming they made her)

Which brings self to the purpose of this post:  to list all her favorite Clive Owen movie scenes.

Let’s see, in no particular order:

  • the first Bourne movie:  Clive dies in a field, but not before delivering a terse line filled with disgust at his sad demise
  • “Inside Man” :  all the scenes where he speaks to Denzel on the phone, especially one where he breaks out in a rich, fruity laugh (BTW, another scene in this movie has Denzel laughing:  a laugh that is equally rich and, what’s even more amazing, seems to go on forever)
  • “Gosford Park” :  self’s first glimpse of Clive Owen without a shirt.  He played a butler or some such.
  • “Shoot ‘Em Up” :  Clive Owen in over-the-top action mode, sort of like Machete only 20x handsomer than Danny Trejo
  • “Children of Men” :  Self cried, cried, cried.  No need to go into specifics.
  • “The International” :  Why the heck did they not make Naomi Watts and Clive engage in a spectacular affair?  Who puts two beautiful people in a movie together only to have them engage on a purely professional level?  Nuts, simply nuts!

Self’s most disappointing Clive Owen movie:  “The Boys Are Back”  —  Who wants to watch Clive Owen play a long-suffering and guilt-ridden Dad?   What a drag!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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