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Weekly News Update

By David Varno

Our March installment of the Conversations on Great Contemporary Literature series will feature the work of Israeli author Etgar Keret. We'll be hosting an online book club and are looking for readers to tell us their favorite Etgar Keret story (send submissions to [email protected]). The event will feature internationally acclaimed Hebrew translator Miriam Shlesinger in conversation with Phillip Lopate, one of America's most influential literary voices.

The event is on Thursday, March 5th 7pm at Idlewild Books. Full details here.


Binyavanga Wainaina reports from PEN that Philo Ikonya, President of PEN Kenya, may have been rearrested. íThere will be a lot more of this sort of thing over the next few years,ë Wainaina wrote in an email to our editors, íand writers and intellectuals are organising themselves.ë

Ikonya and two other peaceful demonstrators were reportedly arrested and beaten this past Wednesday while protesting a maize scandal that has left many people starving. Story available at Kenya Imagine.


Reza Aslan, editor of WWB's forthcoming anthology of writing from the muslim world, due out next year, has a new book out to follow up on 2005's No God But God. He was profiled yesterday by Publishers Weekly.


Congolese author Alain Mabanckou's latest novel Broken Glass is fueled by bicycle chicken (scrawny poultry) and a bar called Credit Gone Away. Reviewed in Saturday's Guardian.

We published an excerpt from his earlier novel African Psycho, translated from the French by Christine Schwartz Hartley, in 2007.


In case you missed it, here's Geoff Wisner's obit for Tayeb Salih, Sudanese novelist and short story writer, who died at 80 last Wednesday in London.

The Times ran a lengthy piece on Salih as well.


Reminder for tonight, from our friends at PEN America:

Global Correspondences: A Benefit Reading for PEN America, PEN's award-winning magazine, featuring Andre Aciman, Anthony Appiah, Lydia Davis, Deborah Eisenberg, Francine Prose, and many others. Tuesday, February 24th at 7pm, The Great Hall at Cooper Union 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY

Full details here.

Published Feb 24, 2009   Copyright 2009 David Varno

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