Thursday, 21 May 2015

The winner of the 2015 Ondaatje Prize is...

Justin Marozzi has won the 2015 Ondaatje Prize for a book evoking the spirit of place with Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood (Allen Lane).

For the announcement from the Prize's administrator, The UK-based Royal Society of Literature, click here.

Some reviews, all from UK-based publications:
The Independent
The Telegraph
The Spectator
The Guardian

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Sunday Post

A rojak* of items that caught my eye this week…

Flood of Fire
Flood of Fire, by Amitav Ghosh, book 3 in his Ibis trilogy, which explores the opium wars mainly from British and Indian perspectives, has already been getting plenty of coverage, although it is not published until May 28. Click here for a review in the Independent, UK, and here for one from The Financial Times, UK. Amitav Ghosh is on the shortlist for the International Man Booker Prize, 2015. The winner will be announced this Tuesday, May 19. Click here for interviews with all the finalists, from the Guardian, UK

Note from Tokyo Writers
This from John Gribble, of Tokyo Writers: "Here is a small reminding nudge. We have two more weekends to submit proposals for the Japan Writers Conference in Kobe in October. What would you like to talk about?" For guidelines click here.

Sydney Writers Festival
The Sydney Writers Festival starts tomorrow, Monday, May 18.  If anybody is going, and would like to write up events for Asian Books Blog, please get in touch (NB, no payment). Follow the links below for Facebook and Twitter, or e-mail: Thanks, and here's hoping!! 

Seen Elsewhere
This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War by Samanth Subramanian, reviewed by Amit Chaudhuri: An account of the civil war in Sri Lanka and its aftermath is all the more devastating for withholding judgement, the Guardian, UK

*A rojak is a Singaporean salad. Like Asian Books Blog on Facebook, or follow it on Twitter: @asianbooksblog

Thursday, 14 May 2015

All About Eastlit / Graham Lawrence

Eastlit is an English-language online journal and website focused on creative writing and art specifically from or connected to East and South East Asia, including Siberia and Mongolia. The editors now also offer an electronic supplement covering South Asia: Southlit. British expat Graham Lawrence, a writer, teacher and publisher, is one of the co-founders of Eastlit.  His own writing includes the eBooks Broken Lines, a collection of tales, including autobiographical ones, that meander from London to South East Asia, and Tales from the Village, a collection of simple stories told to Graham, or else based on incidents witnessed by him, or actually involving him, on his Asian travels.  Graham, a Brit married to a Thai woman, is a long-term resident of Thailand. He gave Asian Books Blog an interview, via e-mail.

Asia House Literature Festival: Following Along From Asia

In Tuesday's post on the  Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival, I said I'd check out how people in Asia could follow along via social media.

Lucy Tomlinson, PR and Marketing Manager at Asia House, had the following suggestions:

"For readers in Asia, it would be great if they could get involved by using Twitter: #AHLIT15. We’ve also recorded all of the events, and filmed many of them, so this could be a good way for those who weren’t able to come along to catch-up on what was discussed. Our Web Editor, Naomi, has also written a number of stories following events, which can be seen on the Asia House website. These condense many of the topics discussed and give a great overview of key points."

You can see Naomi's stories on the Asia House website by clicking here

3rd Blogger Murdered in Bangladesh

On Tuesday, yet another blogger, Anata Bijoy Das,  was hacked to death in Bangladesh, for celebrating secularism and free speech, and for questioning religious dogma and intolerance.

Here are some links to discussion of this murder from around the web:

The Daily Star (Bangladesh - the only report I could find from within Bangladesh)

Al Jazeera (English version / Qatar)

Xinhua (English version / China)

Gulf News (Dubai)

Committee to Protect Journalists (USA)


For a statement from free speech organisation PEN International click here.