The Lit Review | 10 | Michel Houllebecq

  1. Michel Houllebecq

Michel Houllebecq, author of Soumission (Submission), the novel that appeared on the cover of Charlie Hebdo the day of the massacre at their French offices in Paris, has halted the promotion of his book in the aftermath of this great upheaval. The controversial French writer has been outspoken regarding the Muslim faith in the past, and has now attracted much publicity for his controversial new book, set in 2022 where a Muslim man becomes President of France. Houllebecq spent time writing in Ireland where he was accused and acquitted of racial hatred. His most recent work has quickly reached the bestsellers list following the Paris attacks and will no doubt continue to spark debate over the coming months.

Another piece of news surrounding the recent tragedy in Paris concerns the American Booksellers Association. They have asked staff to push the sale of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and will donate funds raised to the families of the victims.

 

  1. Colour swatches and Antiques

First edition copies of James Joyce’s Dubliners are now classed as ‘Antiques’. There is some controversy around the ‘true’ first editions of the book given the difficulty the author had in getting the work published. Quick tip: Look out for the dusty green covers, and no, I don’t mean look out for covers that are green with dust on them. I mean, the actual colour dusty green. Bring a colour swatch to the book shop if you must.

 

  1. New book on Creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of the book Eat, Pray, Love, has announced her latest venture in a book entitled Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. This title is bordering dangerously close to a self help book, but I still like the concept, encouraging people to explore the more creative sides of themselves. The writer says she hopes the book will ‘offer a more human and ancient approach to creativity, an approach that embraces mystery, believes in magic, and yes, even allows for the possibility of joy.’ The book is due to be released in September 2015.

 

  1. 20 Inspiring Quotes for Children (and Adults)

Last week, I shared an infographic on banned books in history and the reasons why. Now, take a look at this piece of art that captures these inspiring quotes from children’s fiction . These beautiful graphics depict the hope and innocence of childhood and will inspire children and adults alike.

 

  1. Magical Illustrations

I am aware that Harry Potter features quite regularly in the Lit Review and I had considered giving him a rest this week. But then I realised by doing that, I was not being true to myself. So in yet another Harry Potter update, Scholastic and Bloomsbury have announced the release of a new edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. This new version will include illustrations of our much loved characters and will be the first ever illustrated edition of a novel from the Harry Potter series.

 

  1. Jaipur Literary Festival 2015

The Jaipur literary festival will run from 21st-25th of January in Diggi Palace in Rajasthan. The world’s largest free literature festival, which began in 2006, is now recognised as the cultural catalyst within India and appears to be growing both at home and internationally. This year themes will range from ‘The Poetic Imagination’ to ‘The Literature of Cinema’ and ‘Art’. Over two hundred authors working in various Indian and foreign languages will take part in this year’s festival.

You may ask why I am telling you all about a festival that happening on the other side of the world. I realise most of you won’t be able to make the trek to Rajasthan over the next few days, but to I wish to remind you about the importance of diversity in literature. It is important for us to be aware of the wonderful cultural celebrations that are happening in places we might never have considered.

 

  1. Loving Libraries (again)

I spoke before about love letters to libraries. Now I have some amazing pictures of libraries for you to enjoy. I’m personally thrilled that Admont Abbey in Vienna made the wise decision to copy the library from Beauty and the Beast.

 

  1. Poetry for all

A new RTE poetry show will kick off on the 24th of January and will be presented by Rick O’ Shea. The show is described as being ‘for those who love poetry… and those who do not know it yet.’

 

  1. Writers workshops announcement

Listowel Writers’ Festival has announced its programme of workshops for this coming May. Check back in with the Lit Review for more updates on the festival programme.

 

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