Multilinguals with multiple personalities, bookish perfume, and more

December 5, 2014

News, Reviews, and Interviews

We sadly note the passing of two literary greats this week: first, former U.S. poet laureate Mark Strand, who passed away at the age of 80; second, Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour, who passed away in Cairo at the age of 68.

As part of the BBC’s radio program Foreign Bodies, Zygmunt Moszewski and Joanna Jodelka reflect on how Polish crime fiction has often mirrored the country’s history of occupation before, during, and after World War II.

Do people who speak multiple languages have multiple personalities based on those languages? At the New Republic last week, two personal essays from contributors point to yes.

Following the verdict in the Darren Wilson grand jury case, 2013 Puterbaugh Fellow Maaza Mengiste provides her perspective on the issue of race in America.

Which African literature ends up on Western bookshelves, and who ultimately decides? Writing for the New York Times, author Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani posits that it is white, Western readers who determine which stories get told.

For Your Calendar

For our readers in New York City, authors Teju Cole and Salman Rushdie will be appearing in a tandem reading event, presenting stories of exile, heartbreak, and home at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre next Wednesday.

Mark your calendars! National Read-a-Thon Day will be on January 24, 2015.

Fun Finds and Inspiration

You can never have too much indie literature in your life! To fill your year-end reading lists, here’s Flavorwire’s picks for the top indie fiction and poetry books of 2014.

Looking for a quirky gift for a literature lover in your life? Try this Dead Writers Perfume, guaranteed to make the wearer smell like they’ve been paging through old books all day.

Forget dancing! In Taiwan, night owls are flocking to a 24-hour bookstore that allows readers to read in peace and quiet, no matter the time of day or night.