Category Archives: Authors

Book Diva News-Svetlana Alexievich

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time“.

The Wall Street Journal wrote about her award, and wrote some less-known and compelling facts about Svetlana Alexievich.

I, personally, can’t wait to get my hands on her book, “War’s Unwomanly Face”, although from what I gather through many sources, it is out of print.

Brava to her!

To read more about her, visit this link.

Here is a compelling commentary on her award and her work.

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Filed under Authors, Blogrolls, Book Diva News, General, Non-Fiction

Jhumpa Lahiri Will be Awarded National Humanities Medal

Jhumpa Lahiri Will be Awarded National Humanities Medal.

The White House citation reads: “Jhumpa Lahiri, for enlarging the human story. In her works of fiction, Dr. Lahiri has illuminated the Indian-American experience in beautifully wrought narratives of estrangement and belonging.”

She received the Pulitzer Prize for “Interpreter of Maladies”. Her novels, “The Namesake” and “The Lowland” are two books I have personally read, and would highly recommend to everyone.

Congratulations, Jhumpa Lahiri! Well-deserved! Brava!

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Filed under Authors, Book Diva News, Inspiration

Aharon Appelfeld’s Books

I am an avid reader of Aharon Appelfeld’s books. I find them to be a fascinating look into the mindsets of those who seem to have a naive sense of things to come, and/or things that are occurring around them.

Some of Aharon Appelfeld’s books that I have read are:

Badenheim 1939

Suddenly, Love: A Novel

The Story of a Life: A Memoir

Blooms of Darkness: A Novel

The Iron Tracks: A Novel

Tzili: The Story of a Life

All Whom I Have Loved: A Novel

Until the Dawn’s Light: A Novel

Laish: A Novel

Aharon Appelfeld brings the reader illuminating gems within his novels. His stories are told with magnificent prose and word-imagery.  The impact is not normally light and airy, but one that is often disturbing, and on the fringes of horrific events to come.  He has a point to make within the pages of his novels, and the concepts and depictions resound and echo through the heart of pain and extreme adversity.  He beckons the reader to ponder humanity and the human condition.

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Filed under Authors, Blogrolls, Book Diva News, Historical Novels, Holocaust History, Jewish History, Literature/Fiction

Books by Edna Ferber

I have read several books by Edna Ferber, recently. I have a couple more books of hers to read.

Her writing speaks to me on many levels, aside from the fact that she began writing in 1911-her first novel, Dawn O’Hara, the Girl Who Laughed.

It amazes me that a woman from that era could write in such a manner that her works are fitting for today’s readers. Her writings emphasize the plight of women in the world, women who initially might appear to be weak, but in actuality are extremely strong. It took a lot of courage for Ferber to deliver the impact of a woman’s place in the social spectrum, and a woman’s determination to succeed in a man’s world.

In the books I have read, I have seen great transformation of a strong woman, a woman of depth and determination to overcome all odds. Her main female characters are ever evolving, ever growing in self-esteem, and ever confident in her goals.

Often those goals override her inner creativity, surpassing the ideals of creative passion for the quest for monetary gain. Yet, that quest is often diminished upon the realization that life is for the living, and for the passions of the heart as far as creativity and enjoyment of one’s work endeavors.

Her women work hard, work for their family in order to survive, and put themselves selflessly on the back burner, so to speak. Events occur in which they eventually fulfill their inner dreams, often in a world where men rule supreme in business, etc. Social stigmas ran rampant. It isn’t much different today, in many respects. Women aren’t often afforded the same privileges as men in the working world.

So far I have read:

So Big (Edna Ferber won a Pulitzer Prize for it)
Fanny Herself
Buttered Side Down
Showboat (yes-the musical was based on this book)
Roast Beef Medium (I have about 30 more pages to go)

Edna Ferber’s books speak of time eras with illuminating depictions through word-imagery. From city life to country life, she leaves nothing untouched, nothing to the imagination. We see towns and cities through her knowing eyes.

I am looking forward to reading the other books I have downloaded.

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Filed under Authors, Blogrolls, Book Diva News, Family Dynamics, Historical Novels, Literature/Fiction

Book Diva News – October 8, 2013

Bridging the World a book at a Time

Bridging the World a book at a Time

The National Book Foundation finalists will be announced on October 16, 2013. The Longlists are listed on their website, where you can view them.

Check out the listings and see if you have read any of the long-listed books.

I finished reading the almost 900-page book, New York: A Novel, by Edward Rutherfurd. I immediately began Paris: The Novel, by him. It is a lengthy one, also at over 800 pages.

The Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin, by Jill Lepore is soon to be on my to-read stack.

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Alentejo Blue, by Monica Ali

alentejo blue From the author of Brick Lane, Monica Ali brings us a story of individuals and their way of interacting with their environment, in Alentejo Blue, and within her prose we see her brilliance shine through.

What is it like to live in a village, with familial lines that reach back generations? We see some of the answers to that question through Ali’s sensitive, thoughtful, and bold writing. And, for those that pass through, did they manage to find the peace of mind they needed, or the escape from their situation? Ali brings us those answers, and so much more, in this study of men and women of all ages and backgrounds…people searching for identity, for redemption, for contentment.

The book opens with an elderly man, and his reflections on his life, his troubled life. He is anxiously awaiting the return of Marco Afonso, a son of the village of Mamarrosa, his roots embedded in the village. “He waited for the courage to look up and see his face. When it came, he whispered in his lacerated old man’s voice, “Querido,” he said.” Villagers and tourists alike are affected by his return. Petty differences and jealousies arise, and are fueled.

Vasco, dealing with the loss/death of his wife, seems to feel that he is better than most, due to the fact that he lived in the U.S. for several years. There is the dysfunctional family, The Potts, family members who are trying to run away from their problems. The reader sees nineteen-year old Teresa, trying to escape her current life. Each person appears to be infused within themselves, self-absorbed and at times indifferent to what is occurring around them.

Each character brings a feeling of yearning to the book, along with longing and desire, and we see how their lives are entwined with each other, and how each must learn to accept the other for who, and for what they are. The humanness and frailties of each one bonds them together.

Although the book might seem to be a set of individual stories, that is not the case. Each person’s story eventually intertwines with another character, within the pages.

Ali’s writing brings us a strong sense of time and place, in a thoughtful, yet daring fashion, with characters we don’t soon forget, in Alentejo Blue.

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Filed under Authors, Blogrolls, Book Diva's Book Reviews, General, Literature/Fiction

Book Diva Review: Will in the World

willintheworld Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, by Stephen Greenblatt, is a page turner of a biography, a biography that is beyond compare, and a biography that I have not read with such eagerness, before, and it is all due to the vibrancy and enthusiasm of the author, Stephen Greenblatt’s ability to blend elegant prose that makes us anxious for more, in order to fill our senses with the world of Shakespeare.

How did Shakespeare, from Stratford-Upon-Avon, a small town in the rural countryside, far removed from London, write with such perfection, beauty, emotion, sensuality and elegance, moving the country, the world with his plays, to become a playwright beyond compare and comprehension? Read Greenblatt’s book, and you will find some of the answers to that question, woven in a tapestry so fine, detailed and rich, that if you have never read any of Shakespeares brilliant plays or poetry…you will be tempted to run as fast as you can to your nearest bookstore in order to do so.

Having traveled to Stratford-Upon-Avon, myself, on three occasions, and having seen Shakespeare’s birthplace, and even the cradle he slept in, and having encompassed myself in the surrounding countryside, I am aware of some of the endless stimulations that possibly evoked thoughts and emotions in Shakespeare’s mind, his imagination, prompting him to write with such magnificence and passion, becoming the playwright of playwrights.

Varied documents, writings, testimonials, and other related data are only a portion of what is included within the pages of this wonderful book. Stephen Greenblatt encompases all knowledge of Shakespeare in Will in the World, and makes a statement that the Bard, himself, wrote all of the magnificent plays, poetry and writings on his own.

If Will in the World is sitting idly on a shelf in your house, please, take it out and read it, peruse each line, each page. You will not be disappointed, and you will be surprised, beyond imagination.

© Copyright – All Rights Reserved – No permission is given or allowed to reuse my photography, book reviews, writings, or my poetry in any form/format without my expresss written consent/permission.

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Filed under Authors, Biography, Book Diva News, Book Diva's Book Reviews, General, Non-Fiction