SRB Picks of the Week 25 AprilBooker prize-winner Keri Hulme hasn’t exactly flooded the world with words since snapping up the Booker with The Bone People, but she took the time last week to announce on a local website she wouldn’t be renewing her Listener subscription.
Hulme was commenting on a post, on Poneke, discussing the Listener’s decision to get rid of its excellent Ecologic columnist, Dave Hansford.
A subscriber of 20 years standing, Hulme wrote she wouldn’t be renewing her sub because the mag had become, “tiresomely irrelevant”. But it was comments by former ACT Party MP Stephen Franks praising the mag’s shift from being an “Alliance Tablet” that Hulme credited with nudging her over the edge to non-subscription.
Talking of the Listener, former staffer Gordon Campbell this week launched Scoop’s coverage of Election 08. Looks like providing some of the most thoughtful reportage and analysis of local politics available.
And across the ditch, the man formerly known as Fred Dagg, John Clarke, has become the patron of the Australian Poetry Centre. The ABC’s Book Show reports Clarke is a dab hand at writing parodies of the Greats.
Christopher Hitichens has travelled a Listener-like trajectory from left to right in recent years but it hasn’t done his ability to stitch beautifully crafted sentences any harm. His review of Peter Ackroyd’s new biography of Newton is a fine example of his slightly rambling style.
And Prospect Magazine has profile the man himself.
Another fine wordsmith, Isabel Allende, is the subject of many a profile on the web this week due to the recent release of her memoirs, My Invented Country. The Guardian interview and ABC’s Bookshow are our picks of the bunch.
Marcus Garvey was to Afro-America what Theodore Herzl was to Jewish Europe. But the back to Africa movement – despite some initial successes – failed to take on the life of Zionism. The New York Times reviews a recent book on Garvey.
If Garvey was a Herzl-like figure, the people of Haiti were the Afro-American Bundhists: (East European Jewish internationalist socialists determined to stay put and create a world worth living-in) The stories of the Bundhists and the people of Haiti are as inspiring as they are tragic. Raj Patel, the author of Stuffed and Starved who visited NZ last year, comments on the latest chapter of the Haitian tragedy: the food riots.
George Monbiot has a fascinating account of the Murdoch and Chinese empires – and why you’re unlikely to read a review of Bruce Dover’s book, Rupert’s Adventures in China. (The SRB hopes to bring you a review of the book within the next couple of months.)
Author Nikolas Kozloff has a good backgrounder on the newly elected president of Paraguay.
The SRB’s not the only local book site to concentrate on photography this week, Beaties Book Blog has news of a couple of new photographic books.
Finally, the Aussies have announced a large new literary prize, and Kiwis are eligible.
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