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Posts Tagged ‘Studs Terkel’

Blank on Blank Creates the ‘Maya Angelou On Con Men’ Video

The Blank on Blank organization has created an animated video starring I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings memoirist Maya Angelou. The video embedded above features an unheard interview that took place in 1970 between the late author and Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction writer Louis “Studs” Terkel. In the past, the producers behind this YouTube channel made pieces about Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak and Infinite Jest novelist David Foster Wallace.

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How To Cope with Layoffs

As the publishing industry evolves in the 21st Century, layoffs have become an all-too-common experience. Sometimes, it can be helpful to see how other writers coped with this devastating situation.

Journalist and author Matthew Newton published Death of a Good Job recently, a short memoir of losing his job as an editor during the Great Recession. We caught up with Newton to get advice for writers and editors:

The best advice I received was also probably the most annoying: Don’t take it personal. For me, that was impossible. Not only because the experience was so fresh in those first weeks, but because I had no job, no money, and a family to take care of. So at first, all I did was take it personal. Because, no matter what friends and family tell you, there’s a definitively personal element to every layoff. That way of thinking, however, was toxic and did nothing but make a bad experience worse. It’s hard to have perspective though when everything feels like it is falling apart.

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Rachel Maddow Wins John Steinbeck Award

Author and The Rachel Maddow Show host Rachel Maddow has won the John Steinbeck Award.

Previous recipients included Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Miller, Studs Terkel and Garrison Keillor. Maddow is the third woman to receive the prestigious award and the first recipient under the age of 40.

Thomas Steinbeck, son of the great John Steinbeck, had this statement in the release: “My father would have adored Rachel Maddow … Listening to Rachel Maddow is like listening to Walter Cronkite. We have that kind of trust in her. When I watch Rachel Maddow, I feel like I’m part of an alliance. I hope she’s in it for the long haul, because we really need her.”

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OR Books To Launch ‘Not Working’ Project

OR Books will publish a new multimedia project called Not Working–author D.W. Gibson‘s book-length oral history with film and audio segments.

The video embedded above introduces the project. Gibson will travel around the United States and interview people who have been laid off during the recession. His subjects will range from hourly-wage earners to entrepreneurial executives.

Here’s more about the project: “[It] is a response to Studs Terkel’s seminal book Working, first published in 1972. Familiarity with Terkel’s book will absolutely enhance one’s interest in this project, but it is by no means a prerequisite. Not Working communicates on its own. By presenting the voices and faces of those affected, it reveals the Great American Recession not just as a set of statistics or a political debating point but as an intensely human tragedy that is sweeping the country.”

Federal Writers Project Doc Opens

That’s the great writer Studs Terkel talking with the Smithsonian Channel about the Great Depression. This weekend the channel will debut a documentary about the Depression-era Federal Writers Project called Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story.

The documentary is based on a book by journalist David A. Taylor , an author who studied how writers survived the Great Depression in his recent book, “Soul of a People: The WPA Writers’ Project Uncovers Depression America.” Yesterday, we interviewed Taylor on the Morning Media Menu, and he looked back at this historic government program that employed hundreds of writers during the 1930s.

Click here to watch the documentary trailer. Here’s more about the documentary: “‘Soul Of A People’ will be the subject of a series of organized exhibits, lectures and panels at over thirty libraries throughout the United States. Each library will work with a local scholar of the era to help present and plan and promote these programs. These exhibits will continue through the Fall of 2009 and are sponsored by the American Library Association and supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

Writers Remember Tiananmen Square

tiansquare.jpgIt’s been 20 years since the Chinese government forcibly quelled student protests in Tiananmen Square. That still picture is taken from a historic clip from the 1989 protest–viewed well over a million times on YouTube.

To remember this dark day, a number of literary blogs have special content. Three Percent released an excerpt from “Testimonial,” a memoir by Liao Yiwu–a Chinese poet jailed for writing a poem about the student movement and the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Words Without Borders has a series of essays by Tiananmen Square dissident Wang Dan.

Finally, PEN America blog has this link-filled entry: “Liao [wrote an] amazing, Studs Terkel-inspired book, The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories of China from the Bottom Up, which has recently come out in paperback. Portions of The Corpse Walker appeared in The Paris Review, which has also posted the speech Liao planned to deliver at a gathering in 2007 of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, accepting their Freedom to Write Award. He was detained en route; another award recipient and one of the event’s organizers were placed under house arrest. The event was canceled.” (Via Maud Newton)