Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sometimes What's Been Done Should be Done Again

I tried to make that headline sound like some kind of old-world proverb. Any luck?

I've written about African book culture before, and now I want to reference a great post from Alice Waugh over at Moby Lives, with the wonderful headline "African literature in flight." Waugh writes about the surprisingly good in-flight magazine available on Kenya Airways, Msafiri. (Look at the great cover!) She described the magazine as "the most interesting and varied example of this type of literature I have read." There's even literature:

Best of all, there was a short story by Henrietta Rose Innes. “Poison” won the 2008-09 Caine Prize for African Writing. It’s the tale of the aftermath of a chemical explosion in Cape Town. Amid the falling debris, one woman resists the exodus, standing alone in the middle of a highway littered with deserted cars. How the writer manages to make it lyrical, I have no idea, but she does and it’s wonderful.

I'm starting to think Kenya knows how to support their writers, though Ngugi Wa Thiong'o might beg to differ.

And back here in America - snore - I was pleased to hear about Hard Case Crime (via galleycat). They have a good ol' fashioned book club! I may have to look into this, but only after I read the $2 mass market copy of Walter Mosley's Devil in a Blue Dress that I bought in the used section of the Harvard Book Store. Kudos to Hard Case Crime, though, for doing what they do. Looks like a lot of fun! (Starting with Jonny Porkpie's The Corpse Wore Pasties, of course!)
It's nice to see stylish and smart magazines for jetsetting folk and hardboiled trashy crime novels for the rest of us. You know what else is coming back? Fanny packs. You heard it here, folks. The question we here at SoTB will have about the trend, however, will only be what's inside: a book, or a KINDLE?!?!?!!

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