Nigeria’s scarred past, sci-fi as sci-fact, and more

May 9, 2014
The Great Reading Room
The Great Reading from Book Riot's Literary Tourism: Norman, Oklahoma piece. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This week, several of the links below examine the political pasts of countries around the world to usher in changes for the future. You’ll read about an award-winning author’s struggle to tell the story of one of Nigeria’s bloodiest civil wars, as well as a group of brave and resilient women in Afghanistan hoping to make strides in local women’s rights.

News, Reviews, and Interviews

Literary translator Julian Evans sat down with Word Horse to discuss machine translation, his typical writing day, and The Founding Boy in a recent interview.

The National Poetry Out Loud competition ended last week, and Tennessee highschooler Anita Norman was crowned the winner! A video of her recitation of “Let the Light Enter” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper is now available to watch on YouTube.

Half of a Yellow Sun is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s gripping novel of the Biafran War, which divided Nigeria in half and devastated local populations. Now out in film version, the Nigerian government has delayed its release to the public in an attempt, the author says, to hide from its past.

In a country where women are often restricted from even appearing in public, the new Afghan women’s cycling team is turning heads, breaking taboos, and inspiring hope for local women.

Upon hearing about his second Best Translated Book Award for fiction win, László Krasznahorkai issued this brief acceptance speech, expressing his surprise and thanks for the honor at the New Directions offices.

For the first time in its history, the PEN American Center has released the longlists for each of the PEN Literary Awards.

For Your Calendar

The Paz Prize for Poetry is awarded to a Spanish-language poet every year, and applications for this year’s prize are now officially open until June 15.

Fun Finds and Inspiration

Food and literature go hand-in-hand. Here’s a roundup of some of the more memorable literary meals from classic novels around the world.

Science fiction doesn’t always remain fiction. Here’s a comprehensive list of times when science fiction became scientific fact.

Looking to break up your writing cycle a little? Here are five alternative poetry forms you can try to give your brain a challenge this week.

Looking for a literary city to visit this summer? Why not stop by Norman, Oklahoma, where our offices are located? (We promise to say “Hi” if you drop by!)

The Telegraph recently released its choices for the 15 best poetry books of all time, and we would love to hear what our readers and followers think!