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Posts Tagged ‘Toni Morrison’

Toni Morrison’s New Novel Due Out in April

morrisonAuthor Toni Morrison has a new novel coming out in April 2015 called God Help the Child.

NPR has more about the book: “According to press materials from Morrison’s publisher, the book will feature a beautiful woman who goes by the name Bride, and ‘whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life; but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love until she told a lie that ruined the life of an innocent woman, a lie whose reverberations refuse to diminish.’”

Her last novel Beloved faced censorship issues in a Michigan school district.

Last year, Morrison honored her friend, the late Maya Angelou, at the National Book Awards. Follow this link to read more.

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Authors Making a Name for Brands

Ron Barrett for the New York Times

Ron Barrett for the New York Times

“Cultivating Thought” is a series of captivating short pieces written by ten noted authors, from Nobel prize winner Toni Morrison to Malcolm Gladwell, printed on Chipolte cups and bags and meant to be read in two minutes. They were the brainchild of Everything is Illuminated writer Jonathan Safran Foer.

In the New York Times, Teddy Wayne looks at “the branding of literature,” companies turning to “literary luminaries to form a collective ‘spokescribe’” as the perfect pitchmen. It can work well for the writers, too. According to Wayne, Moneyball author Michael Lewis told Conan O’Brien on “Conan,” “It pays very well to write a Chipolte cup.”

Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of eyewear company Warby Parker–two names picked from Jack Kerouac’s unpublished journals–told the Times, “We wanted to build a brand that stood for fun, creativity and doing good in the world, and we thought writers best represented that.”

It’s not a match made in corporate heaven for all authors. “Not everyone is willing to be the face (or prose) of a brand,” writes Wayne. Elliott Holt saw her first novel You are One of Them pubbed last year. When a company sought her out to endorse an e-cig (vape, anyone?), she declined.

“‘I felt like being the face of some product would somehow cheapen me as a writer,’ she said, also expressing her reservations about the merchandise’s potential health risks. The offer of $30,000 still gnaws at her, though.”

NaNoWriMo Tip #16: Write What You Don’t Know

Do you want to take your NaNoWriMo story in an unfamiliar direction? Back in 2013, Toni Morrison and Junot Díaz headlined a “Live From the NYPL” event.

The video embedded above features the entire conversation. During the discussion, Morrison shared this thought:

“I tell my students; I tell everybody this. When I begin a creative writing class I say, I know you’ve heard all your life, ‘Write what you know.’ Well I am here to tell you, You don’t know nothing. So do not write what you know. Think up something else. Write about a young Mexican woman working in a restaurant and can’t speak English. Or write about a famous mistress in Paris who’s down on her luck.”

This is our sixteenth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. To help GalleyCat readers take on the challenge of writing a draft for a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, we will be offering advice throughout the entire month.

John Green Talks About ‘Why We Need Diverse Books’

The Fault in Our Stars author John Green has become an advocate for the “We Need Diverse Books” organization. In the video embedded above, John Green talks about why he feels that diversity children’s and young adult stories are necessary.

Green credits two books written by African-American authors, Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, for influencing him to appreciate literature. What do you think?

Comics Take Center Stage For This Year’s Banned Books Week Celebration

banned-comicsThe American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression will celebrate Banned Books Week from September 21st to September 27th.

The organization plans to shine a spotlight on graphic novels and comics. Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee, had this statement in a press release: “This year we spotlight graphic novels because, despite their serious literary merit and popularity as a genre, they are often subject to censorship.”

The American Library Association recently revealed the top ten list of most frequently challenged books for this year. Jeff Smith’s comic series, Bone, occupies the #10 spot. Earlier this year, Smith designed the cover for Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Banned Books Week Handbook. Follow this link to access a free digital copy. Check out the entire list after the jump.

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Fast Food Gets Literary: Jonathan Safran Foer Curates Writing For Chipotle Packaging

chipotlebagsYou might think that eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill is a little bit low brow. But they want to change that. The fast food chain is now featuring original essays written by influential writers on its restaurant packaging.

The author series is called “Cultivating Thought.” Jonathan Safran Foer curated the list of contributors. Participating writers will include:  Judd ApatowSheri FinkMalcolm GladwellBill HaderMichael LewisToni MorrisonSteve PinkerGeorge Saunders and Sarah Silverman. The pieces are all meant to be read in two minutes. The idea is to entertain people while they are scarfing down a burrito.

Here is an excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell’s Two-Minute Barn-Raising:

I grew up in Canada, in an area of Ontario where there is a large community of Old-Order Mennonites. “Old Orders,” as they are known, are a religious group who live as if the 20th century never happened. They avoid electricity, drive horses and buggies, leave school at 16, and bail hay by hand. They dress in plain black and white, with straw hats over clean-shaven faces, and when a neighbor’s barn burns down, they gather as a community to put it back up. When I was little, not long after we moved to Ontario, my father heard about a barn-raising down the road. He decided to join in.

Dav Pilkey, Toni Morrison & Sherman Alexie Lead ALA’s Frequently Challenged Books List

captainunderpantsCaptain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie led the  most challenged books of the year list this year.

This is according to the Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books, compiled annually by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). The list explores books that have received the most complaints. Check it out:

The OIF collects reports on book challenges from librarians, teachers, concerned individuals and press reports. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness. In 2013, the OIF received hundreds of reports on attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves.

We’ve got the whole list after the jump. Read more

Toni Morrison Honors Maya Angelou at the National Book Awards

angelouAuthor Toni Morrison honored writer Maya Angelou at the National Book Awards this evening with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

“It’s a personal pleasure to honor a friend and artist and a legend,” said Morrison, who said how wonderful it is that such a talented person doesn’t put others down. “Instead, Maya Angelou inspires delight as well as awe,” said Morrison. “Her reputation sparkles with elegance, generosity, humor…compassion, and dare I say it, wisdom.”

In her speech, Morrison said that when her son died one Christmas, the very first non-family voice that she heard on the phone was Maya. ”With so much toxicity around in this world, the celebratory social life she offers her friends and colleagues is a blessing,” said Morrison. “And trust me, Maya can cook.” Read more

The Most Frequently Challenged Books of the Year

bannedlarge

It is Banned Books Week from September 22 until 28, and readers around the country are celebrating their favorite challenged books. You can also recognize Banned Books Week Heroes, join the Twitter Party or participate in the Virtual Read-Out.

Below, we’ve linked to free samples of all the books on the American Library Association (ALA)’s annual list of the most frequently challenged library books–follow the links below to read these controversial books yourself.

Follow this link for a list of “all the books challenged, restricted, removed, or banned in 2012 and 2013.”

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Toni Morrison to Headline Google+ Hangout & Digital Book Signing

Novelist Toni Morrison will headline a Google+ Hangout and a digital book signing.

Morrison will join the hangout from Google New York offices on Wednesday, February 27th starting at 3:00 p.m. EST.  You can watch this event online via the Google+ page, Morrison’s Google+ page or the Google Play YouTube channel.

Here’s more about the event: “Using a Wacom tablet, Morrison will sign digital versions of her newest national bestseller, Home, published by the Knopf Doubleday Group, and will be signing the Vintage Books paperback edition of Home for Google employees. The live Hangout celebrates the paperback release of Home, as well as the culmination of Black History Month events sponsored by the Black Googler Network.” (Image Via)

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