Non fiction – Optimal J http://optimalj.com/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 06:30:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://optimalj.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-2021-06-24T001514.613-150x150.png Non fiction – Optimal J http://optimalj.com/ 32 32 Live updates with all nominees https://optimalj.com/live-updates-with-all-nominees/ Mon, 20 Sep 2021 03:39:00 +0000 https://optimalj.com/live-updates-with-all-nominees/ “The Crown” took home the crown for Best Drama, while Jason Sudeikis’ comedy “Ted Lasso” had a winning first season and took home the award for Best Comedy at the 2021 Emmy Awards on Sunday night. Meanwhile, the multiple-time nominee “The Queen’s Gambit” took home Gold for Outstanding Limited Series, as well as Outstanding Director […]]]>

“The Crown” took home the crown for Best Drama, while Jason Sudeikis’ comedy “Ted Lasso” had a winning first season and took home the award for Best Comedy at the 2021 Emmy Awards on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, the multiple-time nominee “The Queen’s Gambit” took home Gold for Outstanding Limited Series, as well as Outstanding Director for Limited or Anthology Series.

The ceremony, featuring first-time host Cedric the Entertainer, was held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and was broadcast live on CBS and aired on sister network Paramount +.

Two big winners of the night were Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso” star, and “Hacks” frontman Jean Smart, who won their respective awards for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Comedy Series.

An emotional Smart, 70, mentioned the support of her late husband, Richard Gilliland, who died in March at the age of 71. incredible opportunities that I had, ”she said before also thanking her children. (Smart was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Film for her role in “Mare of Easttown,” but lost to co-star Julianne Nicholson.)

Meanwhile, Sudeikis, 46, found a real comparison to his sports-themed sitcom. “One hell of a year. I would say this show is about family, this show is about mentors and teachers, this show is about teammates – and I wouldn’t be here without these three things in my life, ”the smartly dressed actor said.

In a poignant first moment, presenter and Emmy winner Kerry Washington paid tribute to 54-year-old “Lovecraft Country” star Michael K. Williams, who died suddenly on September 6 in Brooklyn and was nominated for the best supporting actor in a drama.

“Michael was a brilliantly talented actor and a generous human being who passed away far too soon,” Washington said. “Michael, we know you’re here; you wouldn’t miss it.

“Your excellence, your artistic talent will last. We love you, ”she added before announcing category winner,“ The Crown ”star Tobias Menzies.

Be sure to check out The Post’s other 2021 Emmys coverage:


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NON-FICTION: CONVERSATIONS ON CULTURE – Journal https://optimalj.com/non-fiction-conversations-on-culture-journal/ Sun, 19 Sep 2021 05:12:58 +0000 https://optimalj.com/non-fiction-conversations-on-culture-journal/ From the unique national program to the 18th Amendment, from Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan to the makeup of its cricket team – every issue that arises plunges Pakistan into an existential crisis, sparking fundamental debates about national identity, teleology and trajectory: who are we? Who do we want to be? In this context, Pakistan Here […]]]>

From the unique national program to the 18th Amendment, from Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan to the makeup of its cricket team – every issue that arises plunges Pakistan into an existential crisis, sparking fundamental debates about national identity, teleology and trajectory: who are we? Who do we want to be?

In this context, Pakistan Here and Now: Insights into Society, Culture, Identity and Diaspora – an essay volume edited by poet and essayist Harris Khalique and development practitioner Irfan Ahmad Khan – is a welcome arrival. With its self-describing subtitle, the volume includes seven essays on topics ranging from film, censorship, programming, music, history and poetry that collectively have a long-term view to understand how historical and political developments – and accidents – have shaped Pakistani culture.

Contributors come from a variety of disciplines – media, academia, development, gender studies – and each essay has a vibrant and distinct voice. Essays move from academic theory to anecdote, from historical storytelling to personal reflection, and readers would be better off abandoning the expectations of a traditional edited volume. Instead, the book should be seen as an opportunity to join a conversation, as writers seem to talk to each other through their contributions, from like-minded friends looking to provoke each other.

Despite this fluidity, the collection has a clear mission statement, with editors describing it as an attempt to “[problematise] the subjects of society, culture, identity and the diaspora from a progressive perspective. Although this is a volume on culture, the political flag is raised early and flies high through all contributions. Indeed, given Pakistan’s disappearance of space for dialogue or critical thinking, and the lack of cultural introspection, the volume looks like more than an intervention – it is a political challenge.

Accessible essay volume collectively takes a long-term view to understand how historical and political developments – and accidents – have shaped Pakistani culture

Read together, the essays begin to address questions of who we are and how we came to be that way. Journalist and filmmaker Hasan Zaidi’s opening essay, “Some Uncertainties: Pakistan’s Cultural Confusions,” lays the groundwork by examining efforts to define Pakistani culture. It recounts the 1968 Faiz Culture report, highlighting the strained relationship between art and state throughout our country’s history – and rightly concludes that the go-to binaries for cultural categorization are inadequate.

The volume’s blend of perspectives helps broaden the definition of culture and serves as a reminder that cultural formation is not a purely organic process. Instead, he is informed by the politics and constraints of creative economies. Author and cultural critic Salman Asif’s essay on The Portrayal of Religious Minorities in Pakistani Cinema is a great read, showing how inclusive and exclusive portrayals echo the challenges facing the industry itself and are guided by historical and political events. For example, Asif effectively demonstrates the impact of the Khalistan movement on celluloid representations of the Sikh community.

Khalique’s own essay on the role of the diaspora in shaping Pakistani politics and culture is an interesting angle to include. His mapping of the Pakistani diaspora and its relationship with Pakistan is a useful diagram, but one would have liked him to explore further how – what he calls – the “influential” diaspora’s experience of social exclusion in Western countries, ultimately leads to nostalgic political activism – for example, support for the current ruling party – which, in turn, fuels other forms of exclusion in Pakistan.

And while educator Dr Naazir Mahmood’s essay “Discrimination and Exclusion in Pakistan’s Education System” initially seems out of place in this volume, it does make it clear that a progressive and inclusive culture is taught and organized – or not, as is unfortunately the case. the case in Pakistan. Mahmood’s essay, in fact, anchors the book by directly calling out how “ideological ostracization” works in Pakistan, and explains why the state places drastic restrictions on academia and debates that require such a book. The essay would undoubtedly have been better placed at the beginning of the volume to contextualize other contributions.

A notable feature of this collection is the frequent recourse by writers to anecdote, memories and reverie, and repeated mentions of love. For example, the lyrical essay by Fatimah Ihsan, assistant professor of gender studies, “The Raag of Inclusion and the Level of Love” is a personal, poetic and metaphorical journey through the tradition of Sufi music. , who succeeds in arguing that pluralism and inclusion – especially gender inclusion – have a deep tradition in Pakistan. The depth of sentiment in such essays highlights how truly political the staff is in Pakistan, and that efforts to preserve a progressive vision – like this volume – are in fact acts of self-preservation.

Several essays called for more rigorous editing, mainly in the form of clearer framing and argumentation. Academic and actor Navid Shahzad’s ‘Language of the Heart’, who juxtaposes Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet with Faiz Ahmed Faiz and examines their use of their native languages ​​in their poetry, begins with a historical sweep – from Adam and Eve! The essay then winds through ruminations on language, exile, dislocation, post-coloniality and religion. One appreciates the biographical details and powerful verses of these poetic giants, but one wonders what Shahzad’s argument is.

Likewise, writer Zahida Hina’s chronology of how religion came to play a central conceptual and operational role in the Pakistani state, starting in the 7th century with the birth of Islam, is a review useful for those who lack historical context, but requires clearer analysis. thesis to guide the reader through the timeline.

That said, the mix of personal experiences and spiritual observations, and the chunks of timeline that confuse the analysis, are essential for readers unfamiliar with these debates and hopefully will make the volume more accessible. and informative. After all, it would defeat the purpose of the collection if it were consumed only by progressive scholars. In fact, a version of this book is also available in Urdu translation under the title Pakistan Ehd-i-Haazir Mein.

As it stands, the book itself becomes an indicator of the vernacular or contemporary cultural zeitgeist of Pakistan. The need to mix politics and artistic and cultural criticism; the diversity of contributors, including practitioners; the support of a think tank based in the United States; the urge to capture this content in an edited volume, pulling ideas from urban living rooms and Twitter feeds and giving them form and substance in book form – all of these are a poignant commentary on the state of the cultural discourse and debate in Pakistan, surviving through thick and thin, and not in isolation or as upheaval, but as part of an evolving tradition.

It’s also an interesting commentary on our current cultural crisis that several essays – for example, Shahzad’s on Faiz and Asif’s on Minorities in Cinema – list the international awards and global recognition that Pakistani cultural artefacts and their producers have received.

An effort to reclaim and articulate our culture always compares cultural production to externalities and implicitly seeks validation, rather than articulating a vernacular within which Pakistan’s cultural production can be assessed. It would be wonderful to see a successor volume of Khalique and Khan take on this challenge.

The examiner is a political risk and integrity analyst. She tweet @humayusuf

Posted in Dawn, Books & Authors, September 19, 2021



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Gabriola Island writer shortlisted for CBC Non-Fiction Award for second time – Nanaimo News Bulletin https://optimalj.com/gabriola-island-writer-shortlisted-for-cbc-non-fiction-award-for-second-time-nanaimo-news-bulletin/ Fri, 17 Sep 2021 18:00:00 +0000 https://optimalj.com/gabriola-island-writer-shortlisted-for-cbc-non-fiction-award-for-second-time-nanaimo-news-bulletin/ A writer from Gabriola Island is back on the long list for the CBC Non-fiction Prize with a rewritten version of a story she last submitted to the competition four years ago. On September 15, CBC unveiled the long list for this year’s Non-Fiction Award and among 28 writers from across Canada is Gabriola’s Libby […]]]>

A writer from Gabriola Island is back on the long list for the CBC Non-fiction Prize with a rewritten version of a story she last submitted to the competition four years ago.

On September 15, CBC unveiled the long list for this year’s Non-Fiction Award and among 28 writers from across Canada is Gabriola’s Libby Gunn for her short story, White fish. The grand prize includes $ 6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a two-week writing residency at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, which Gunn says would be a “fantastic” opportunity.

“Just so you don’t have to prepare food and worry about cleaning the house…

This is the second time Gunn has been shortlisted for the award as an earlier version of the same story, titled Whitefish harvest, was on the long list in 2017.

“I guess this story wants to be told. [It] obviously has some impact, ”Gunn said. “And I was actually pretty excited because sometimes I write things and then I’m not that attached to them, but this one, in a way, is one of the stories I keep coming back to. and I keep reworking and I’m really quite connected to myself. “

In White fish, Gunn documents the traditional Délı̨nę First Nation whitefish harvest on the shores of Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories, and how a fisherman connects the ritual with his family and the land.

“I’ve always been very interested in hunting, trapping and fishing,” Gunn said. “In fact, I am in total awe of the people who lived, survived and prospered in the North, period. So I always really wanted to learn everything I could about it.

Gunn has lived in the Northwest Territories for almost 30 years, including Délı̨nę, a community accessible by air of 400 people. The fisherman in her story is a friend of her and invited her to observe the whitefish harvest.

“I just thought it was such an amazing event on so many levels that I really wanted to share it with people’s permission,” she said.

In 2017, Gunn’s story was all about the whitefish harvest. In the 2021 version, Gunn goes on to tell a side story about his own connection to generational land. Gunn grew up in Winnipeg and spent the summers at his grandparents’ cottage on the Lake of the Woods, just across the Ontario border. After being away for 40 years, she recently bought land there and was able to reconnect with her family.

“I spent a lot of time wondering, ‘OK, why is this story really important to me? Why do I always come back to this particular story and want it to go somewhere and share it with people? ‘ She said. “And I realized that it really was a connection to the land and the family… and this story of mine kind of weaved into the story I had written about whitefish fishing. . “

The list of CBC Non-fiction Prize finalists will be announced on September 22, and the winner will be announced on September 29.


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National Book Awards announces its 2021 nominees https://optimalj.com/national-book-awards-announces-its-2021-nominees/ Fri, 17 Sep 2021 14:15:06 +0000 https://optimalj.com/national-book-awards-announces-its-2021-nominees/ The 10 contenders for the non-fiction include 2019 shortlisted author Hanif Abdurraqib, this time for his book “A Little Devil in America”, as well as two books that examine the legacy of slavery in the United States. Clint Smith visited nine sites related to slavery for his book “How the Word Is Passed”, while Tiya […]]]>

The 10 contenders for the non-fiction include 2019 shortlisted author Hanif Abdurraqib, this time for his book “A Little Devil in America”, as well as two books that examine the legacy of slavery in the United States. Clint Smith visited nine sites related to slavery for his book “How the Word Is Passed”, while Tiya Miles, in his book “All That She Carried”, explores the history of a family through a sackcloth. cotton, embroidered with a list of keepsakes given from mother to daughter when they were about to be sold separately.

In the poetry category, all but one are nominated for the first time, with the exception of Forrest Gander for “Twice Alive”. Several of the shortlisted collections deal with loss, and two explore what it means to feel like an outsider in the United States. They are “The Wild Fox of Yemen”, by Threa Almontaser, which oscillates between the family stories of Yemen and the stories of America after September 11, and “Phantom Letters”, in which Baba Badji probes what is meant by be Senegalese, black and in the United States.

On the long list of children’s literature, two coming-of-age stories address issues of gender and sexuality. Malinda Lo’s “Last Night at the Telegraph Club” centers on a 17-year-old in San Francisco’s Chinatown during Red Scare as she first falls in love. In Kyle Lukoff’s “Too Bright to See,” readers follow a transgender child named Bug during the summer before college, whom a New York Times reviewer described as “the story of what it’s like to realizing the sex you were assigned at birth is not who you really are.

Nominees for translated literature include books originally published in Korean, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, French and German. Two of them focus on political violence, including “Peach Blossom Paradise,” written by Ge Fei and translated from Chinese by Canaan Morse, who follows a young woman through the Hundred Day Reformation, and “The Twilight Zone,” by Nona Fernández and translated from Spanish by Natasha Wimmer, who discusses the Pinochet regime in Chile.

Two others, “When we stop understanding the world” by Benjamín Labatut and translated by Adrian Nathan West, and “In memory of memory” by Maria Stepanova and translated by Sasha Dugdale, were finalists for the International Booker Prize of this year.


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What the rise of memories has meant for non-fiction https://optimalj.com/what-the-rise-of-memories-has-meant-for-non-fiction/ Fri, 17 Sep 2021 11:00:00 +0000 https://optimalj.com/what-the-rise-of-memories-has-meant-for-non-fiction/ Expand your mind and build your reading list with the Books newsletter. register today. From Margery Kempe, recognized as a key ancestor of the form, to Michelle Obama, who wrote the best-selling example to date, the memoir has a long, sometimes charged and often feminine history. It is also very popular. The third installment of […]]]>

Expand your mind and build your reading list with the Books newsletter. register today.

From Margery Kempe, recognized as a key ancestor of the form, to Michelle Obama, who wrote the best-selling example to date, the memoir has a long, sometimes charged and often feminine history. It is also very popular. The third installment of Deborah Levy’s recently completed “Living Autobiography” has had a print run of 70,000. Trevor Noah’s memoir of growing up biracial in apartheid South Africa, Born of a crime, has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years. Actor Matthew McConaughey Green light set camp on the list 46 weeks ago and shows no signs of changing.

This year’s book releases, and especially this fall, are a testament to the genre’s continued dominance in Canada and abroad. From a background perspective, the memoirs with or upcoming titles span the gamut from establishment types (Jean Chrétien, Peter Mansbridge) to comedians (Rick Mercer, David Sedaris, Mark Critch), writers and artists ( Ai Weiwei, George Elliott Clarke, Donald Antrim, Bernardine Evaristo, Donna Morrissey), musicians (Steve Van Zandt, Warren Ellis, Dave Grohl) and athletes (Billie Jean King, Mark Messier, Hayley Wickenheiser). The number of memoirs of Indigenous writers, including Jesse Wente, Fred Sasakamoose, Chief Clarence Louie, Tomson Highway, Jody Wilson-Raybould, the late Richard Wagamese and Clayton Thomas-Müller, is remarkable.

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The five nominees for this year’s Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction – the richest and most important non-fiction award in Canada since RBC Charles Taylor’s demise last year – are memories. Three are Indigenous authors – Jordan Abel’s NISHGA, Tomson Highway Permanent amazement and Darrel J. McLeod Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity – and all, exceptionally, are by men (Ian Williams’s Disorientation and Ken Haigh On foot in Canterbury complete the field). Each member of the Weston Prize jury – Adam Shoalts, Terese Marie Mailhot and Kevin Chong – wrote a memoir, Mailhot having been nominated in 2018 for his, Heart Berries.

Being inherently about oneself, memoir is perhaps a logical form for our identity-centric cultural moment. Some see it as an opportunity to correct past imbalances. When asked about her thoughts on the Weston Prize list, Mailhot, who is Indigenous, replied, “My primary concern as a judge is to decenter the white literary aesthetic. One cannot solve the edition in a literary year with a single price. I will say that there is something beautiful about these books that transcends the ideas I had about representation and what the work of a singular story is.

Where once you had to be someone – a Churchill or a Hillary (Sir Edmund or Clinton, take your pick) – for an editor to be interested in your memoir, just as the key now is a unique angle or identity. . Nicole Winstanley, vice-president of Penguin Random House Canada, which has published three books on the Weston Prize List, sees the rise of memoirs as a kind of democratization of storytelling: “The real thrill of reading in general is luck. to see the world through the eyes of another, and to go to places that would otherwise be inaccessible. What we seem to see is that readers and critics are reacting to this opening up of intellectual and cultural places that many have never been with real exuberance.

Judging by this fall’s international offering, these places can be quite specific, if not obscure. In her In the eye of nature, for example, French anthropologist Nastassja Martin reflects on the transformative experience of surviving a bear attack in Russia, while Richard Antoine White i am possible details the path that led him from the rough streets of Baltimore to becoming principal tubist for the Santa Fe Symphony and the New Mexico Philharmonic.

Being famous-adjacent helps. Royd Tolkien, great-grandson of JRR, has just published a memoir recounting the trips he took around the world with his fatally ill brother as part of the latter’s bucket list. In his own forthcoming memoir, Omar Sharif Jr., the grandson of the one you think of, combines memories of his grandfather with details of his gay coming out in the wake of the Arab Spring. Starting with that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau Confession (not to be confused with those of Saint Augustine, which are not so juicy), salaciousness has always been a mainstay of the form of memory. Hence Faith Jones’ next one Nun sex worship, recounting his escape from his grandfather’s religious sex cult in Macau. It’s all there in the title ready for the tag, really.

The dissertation is about speaking one’s own truth, a business that can backfire when viewed as selfish or grandiose. Witness Zoe Heller’s famous Do Not Take Prisoner review on Salman Rushdie’s memoir Joseph anton, who accused him, using various forms of acid eloquence, to take the opportunity to play the role of victim. An example: “One could hope that by recalling his emotions in freedom and security, he could bring a certain ironic detachment to his own grandiloquence. Hindsight, alas, had no sobering effect on Rushdie’s bench. self-esteem. An unabashed sense of what is due to him as a beleaguered waiting literary immortal permeates his book. (Rushdie’s memoir is 656 pages long, so it’s very ubiquitous.)

But there are also practical and economic reasons behind the memory rush. As much as non-fiction is having a moment, writing it – as a story or a report, say – is time consuming, expensive and potentially cumbersome, legally. Attaching that magic colon followed by a “brief” to your title goes a long way in mitigating risk. It’s quite different from saying “It was so” instead of “I think it was so”.

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In a candid and widely read essay published in 2016 in Canadian Notes and Queries, Charles Foran, who won the Hilary Weston Award in 2011 for his biography of Mordecai Richler, and who became executive director of the Writers’ Trust in 2020, wrote on his decision to forgo a contract with Knopf for a non-fiction book he wanted to write, knowing that the advance would not cover the necessary research, time and travel. “What is observable for anyone sitting on a non-fiction jury in Canada,” Foran wrote, “is that there are too many memoirs, written on the cheap, and too many potentially great books that aren’t. not, literally, sufficiently documented, traveled. enough, thoughtful enough. … Most Canadian authors cannot afford to write non-fiction beyond the budget of our own experiences. The view out the back window is about all we have the funds to explore.

Author Kamal Al-Solaylee agrees that for most Canadian writers writing non-fiction is an unaffordable luxury. Although the early days of Al-Solaylee, Intolerable, was a thesis, he decided to do his last, To recover, a work of report in spite of the very personal impulse which animates it.

While on the board of directors of the Writers’ Trust, Al-Solaylee was part of a committee exploring the idea of ​​a grant for non-fiction authors of books that had been taken over by a house. editing, or were at work. step in process. The idea was greeted with enthusiasm, but the pandemic struck, forcing confidence to shift its focus to supporting writers who had lost their usual sources of income. Recently appointed director of UBC’s School of Journalism, Writing and Media, Al-Solaylee hopes the initiative will be revisited once things return to some semblance of normalcy. “Think of all the history that can be uncovered or the life-changing pieces of investigation that can result from supporting this work.”

Indigenous memories present a special case in the Canadian context. It’s one thing to read about the residential school system in a history book – something no one has done, for decades, because it just hasn’t been written – quite another to read the story of someone who experienced it, either personally or through the trauma of their ancestors. Some titles, like that of Jordan Abel NISHGA, which combines grim black-and-white photographs, fragments of poetry, personal anecdotes, and legal documentation in the form of an art book-like hardcover, offers a radical challenge to the traditional form of memory. That so many Indigenous memories were able to inject humor into their stories – Wente, Highway, and Thomas-Müller spring to mind – is remarkable in itself and shows an almost unthinkable resilience.

Neither Mailhot nor Wente could explain the recent abundance of indigenous memories. Asked about the goals of his own post about to be published Not reconciled, Wente said, “I guess I was just hoping to take the big systemic issues and show how they manifest on a personal level, so people can understand or see the connection between the systemic and the staff.” Mailhot, too, was phlegmatic on the subject. “I don’t know how or why these NDNs are there,” she wrote in an email. “I’m just happy we’re here. I can’t wait to learn more. I love our people and our stories and am especially proud of the art we have cultivated and inspired each other.


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Hanif Abdurraqib, Clint Smith nominated for National Book Award https://optimalj.com/hanif-abdurraqib-clint-smith-nominated-for-national-book-award/ Thu, 16 Sep 2021 19:17:33 +0000 https://optimalj.com/hanif-abdurraqib-clint-smith-nominated-for-national-book-award/ The National Book Foundation has started announcing the long list nominees for the 2021 National Book Awards. Among the nominees for the non-fiction, the poet and essayist from Ohio Hanif Abdurraqib, whose book “A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance” reflects on black artistic performance in the United States and on […]]]>


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Raft of promotions at Yellow Kite and Hodder non-fiction https://optimalj.com/raft-of-promotions-at-yellow-kite-and-hodder-non-fiction/ Thu, 16 Sep 2021 07:48:27 +0000 https://optimalj.com/raft-of-promotions-at-yellow-kite-and-hodder-non-fiction/ Posted on September 16, 2021 by Heloise Bois The non-fiction teams of Yellow Kite and Hodder & Stoughton have made a series of promotions and new appointments. The non-fiction teams of Yellow Kite and Hodder & Stoughton have made a series of promotions and new appointments. Lauren Whelan (photo above), previously Editorial Director, has been […]]]>

The non-fiction teams of Yellow Kite and Hodder & Stoughton have made a series of promotions and new appointments.

Lauren Whelan (photo above), previously Editorial Director, has been appointed Associate Editor at Yellow Kite and will add a few commissions for the non-fiction team Hodder to her tenure.

After being with the publisher for six years, Whelan has had “18 stellar months,” according to Hodder with six Sunday opening hours The top ten bestsellers on the Yellow Kite list. She will continue to acquire primarily for the Yellow Kite and Lifestyle listings under Executive Editor Liz Gough. Whelan will also now acquire a number of market-leading and commercial non-fiction titles from leaders, celebrities and “changemakers” in the world of consumer and digital entertainment, with an emphasis on story sharing. unseen from those with big platforms, for publisher Kirty Topiwala’s non-fiction list.

Holly Whitaker has been promoted from associate editor to editor to lead a new branch of commercial publishing at Yellow Kite, with a focus on women’s empowerment. This new focus will steer the Footprint in a new direction dedicated to professional self-help and development.

Former Editorial Assistant Olivia Nightingall is promoted to Associate Editor. During the lockdown, Nightingall sent the company weekly “Lockdown Larder” emails containing recipes from the division’s many kitchen writers to inspire his colleagues to cook new things, and subsequently, these came together. are transformed into “Hello Yellow” newsletters.

In the non-fiction team Hodder, editor Cameron Myers (on the photo, on the right) is promoted editor-in-chief, publishing books on current affairs, personal development and contemporary history for millennials and Generation Z audiences. He has already acquired several titles including The Central Park Five, a two-book contract with George the poet, Old school cool by Billy Dee Williams and Ghislaine hunting by John Sweeney.

There were also two newcomers, Jemma Mo becoming editorial assistant at Yellow Kite and Ciara Mongey joining non-fiction Hodder as editorial assistant, with Zakirah Alam appointed associate editor.


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How an autism diagnosis changed Clem Bastow’s world for the better https://optimalj.com/how-an-autism-diagnosis-changed-clem-bastows-world-for-the-better/ Thu, 09 Sep 2021 01:00:00 +0000 https://optimalj.com/how-an-autism-diagnosis-changed-clem-bastows-world-for-the-better/ Journalist by profession, she is “a hen in freedom” in terms of work. Writing music reviews was her starting point, then entertainment journalism, including a stint in Los Angeles, then several years as a columnist for Fairfax, writing feminist commentaries. In Late flowering, she sees the irony of offering dating advice when she didn’t enjoy […]]]>

Journalist by profession, she is “a hen in freedom” in terms of work. Writing music reviews was her starting point, then entertainment journalism, including a stint in Los Angeles, then several years as a columnist for Fairfax, writing feminist commentaries. In Late flowering, she sees the irony of offering dating advice when she didn’t enjoy the process herself, was often ambivalent about men, and later became queer.

The book makes a political statement, gaining ground according to the #OwnVoices movement. “People with autism are often the objects; we don’t have the opportunity to tell our own story very often. It was a way of saying “look at all this data that exists about us – and not by or for us”.

Bastow and actor Peter Dinklage on a media tour in 2014.

Treatment for autism has revolved around the extinction – that’s the medical term – of autistic behaviors. An early diagnosis may have meant that Bastow was subjected to this process, as well as other questionable practices. “What do you think about two-year-olds being confronted with terrifying things just to see if they react differently to other kids?” “

It is estimated that one in 70 Australians is on the spectrum, or around 353,880 people, according to Autism Spectrum Australia, although many more remain undiagnosed. It is four times more often diagnosed in boys than in girls. “For me, it is sometimes a surprise for people because in this environment [on Zoom] or when I teach or play because I’m comfortable in it, that’s fine, but when I’m on the phone with Centrelink or in stores or in a lot of other situations… ”

The title was inspired by Bastow’s diagnosis at the age of 36. Dive deep into the subject. “It’s one of the things about me that I think is representative of engaging with the world with autism, finding out something about something and then having to know absolutely everything about it,” she says.

As a child, she was obsessed with dinosaurs, sparkly things, movies, music, and costumes – some of which continue into adulthood; his latest hobby is BMX, a perfect lockdown chase.

Jackfruit tacos from Assembly Ground in Essendon.

Jackfruit tacos from Assembly Ground in Essendon.Credit:Luis Enrique Ascui

Despite difficulties at school, Bastow was considered gifted in the subjects that interested her. Mathematics was not one of them; a teacher memorably contacted her parents to ask them if there had been a death in the family that had made her so bad and disengaged. She dropped out of university several times, finding it too difficult to navigate, so much so that at the end of her master’s degree in screenwriting in 2017, “I felt like I had used the cheat card” .

Now a scriptwriting teacher at the University of Melbourne, she is preparing a doctorate in action cinema and autism at RMIT; she is co-host of Overabundance on Triple R.

Part of the diagnosis that came so late – “the nice version” – is that at home she was loved and accepted for who she was. “At home we were all pretty eccentric and a lot of our friends were too, so in the context of this world, I didn’t seem that different. It was “it’s just Clem’s thing”.

Being diagnosed was a huge time, “really a planetary alignment thing”. “There is hardly any adult support in Australia, no specialist diagnosing and it’s really expensive,” she says. “If you’re not Rain Man – a straight, white 30-year-old male – this process gets harder and harder. “

The 1988 film starring Dustin Hoffman as the Silly Scientist recurs several times in the conversation. A resounding success, it has had a lasting impact on the way society perceives people with autism. “Much of this film is presented as this problem to be solved. And in the end, well, here’s a person who could never exist in the real world and he goes back to his institution and Tom Cruise can go and enjoy his romance.

More recently, locally, there has been Love on the spectrum, of which the second series was more representative than the first. Bastow loved the people on the show but has a problem with the framing, which suggests that “of course these people can’t have dates.” In Josh Thomas’ Everything will be alright, Kayla Cromer, actress with autism, plays an autistic character; Thomas revealed he was autistic earlier this year. Like other diverse voices, there is pressure for #ActuallyAutistic people to determine how they are represented.

Received for lunch with author Clem Bastow.

Received for lunch with author Clem Bastow.

Bastow says she’s penned her way to the diagnosis; while working on a script for a film, she began to see herself reflected in a lot of literature. “I was writing this character and as I was reading I started to see oh, that sounds very familiar to me.”

To people who fear being assessed – or having their children assessed – who fear being labeled, Bastow says that what you end up being labeled, whether in the playground or in the workplace, is much worse. She hit a tipping point: “Things in my life were going to become untenable if they weren’t already.

“You spend so much energy over a lifetime suppressing these behaviors, it can make or break. I had these experiences that I just couldn’t understand, I had no explanation for them. Initially great. positive, she then went through “almost stages of grieving but backwards.” “Then there’s this unpacking process, if only I had understood that earlier, what life would have been like.”

Bastow argues that as a society we need to understand the perspective of the person with autism, accept the differences rather than trying to bend them into a particular mold. As an example, she challenges the classic account of a child with autism never saying I love you. “They say it everyday, they just don’t say it in words. It may be that a child wants to share something special with you or do a dance or is really having fun, so try to research the ways in which children with autism are already communicating with you rather than giving a big deal. importance to particular types. of communication and types of existing in the world.

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There is great beauty in “becoming” she says and asking who my real autistic self is. After the diagnosis, she began to peel off the layers of the facade that had accumulated over decades and admits it was bittersweet. “People who experienced this earlier were able to develop a sense of pride in [it]. I look at some of my autistic friends and … it’s remarkable the level of pride and acceptance in themselves because they’ve grown up knowing they’re not broken or flawed. They just know they’re different.

Late flowering (Hardie Grant) is out now.

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The Today Show meteorologist Willard Scott has died aged 87 https://optimalj.com/the-today-show-meteorologist-willard-scott-has-died-aged-87/ Sat, 04 Sep 2021 23:30:49 +0000 https://optimalj.com/the-today-show-meteorologist-willard-scott-has-died-aged-87/ Beloved meteorologist of Today’s show, Willard Scott, has died at the age of 87. Willard Scott’s successor Al Roker confirmed the news on Instagram this afternoon. We lost a beloved member of our family @todayshow this morning. Willard Scott passed away peacefully at the age of 87 surrounded by his family, including his daughters Sally […]]]>

Beloved meteorologist of Today’s show, Willard Scott, has died at the age of 87. Willard Scott’s successor Al Roker confirmed the news on Instagram this afternoon.

We lost a beloved member of our family @todayshow this morning. Willard Scott passed away peacefully at the age of 87 surrounded by his family, including his daughters Sally and Mary and his lovely wife, Paris. He was truly my second father and I am where I am today thanks to his generous spirit. Willard was a man of his time, the ultimate broadcaster. There will never be someone like him.

It’s a terrible day for the rain

Willard Scott passed away

Willard Scott was born March 7, 1934. He made his broadcast debut as an NBC page for WRC in 1950. WRC was an AM radio station owned and operated by NBC in Washington DC. Scott attended American University and worked at the school’s radio station from 1951 to 1953. From 1955 to 1972, Scott worked with Ed Walker as a co-host on the joy boys radio program for the WRC. During the 1960s, Scott hosted several children’s television shows. Some of his most notable roles were as Commander Retro, Bozo the Clown, and even Ronald McDonald. It was in 1980 that Willard Scott was contacted by NBC to be the meteorologist of Today’s show.

Scott is gone Today’s show was long and full of laughter. He was famous for his segment of wishes to centenarians a happy birthday on the air. He also traveled regularly and made weather reports on the road, interviewing locals along the way. Willard Scott’s Race Today’s show ended in 1996 when he semi-retired and was replaced by Al Roker. He would still appear on the air to wish centenarians a happy birthday before his full retirement on December 15, 2015.

Willard Scott died at his home, surrounded by his loved ones, at the age of 87. The cause of death is listed as natural causes. In addition to a distinguished career in television, Scott was the author of several fiction and non-fiction books. His work on radio and television has won him several awards. It is with great sadness that we mourn his passing and wish his family all the best at this time.



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Newbury independent publisher reaches long list for Booker Prize https://optimalj.com/newbury-independent-publisher-reaches-long-list-for-booker-prize/ Thu, 02 Sep 2021 06:13:00 +0000 https://optimalj.com/newbury-independent-publisher-reaches-long-list-for-booker-prize/ On the long list for this year’s Booker Prize is a book published by an independent publisher based in Newbury – An Island, by South African author Karen Jennings (Holland House Books). Robert Peett is the founder and editor of Holland House Books, specializing in literary and non-fiction fiction, crime and historical fiction. He is […]]]>

On the long list for this year’s Booker Prize is a book published by an independent publisher based in Newbury – An Island, by South African author Karen Jennings (Holland House Books).

Robert Peett is the founder and editor of Holland House Books, specializing in literary and non-fiction fiction, crime and historical fiction. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and regularly lectures and teaches masterclasses at the University of Reading; these led to paid internships in Holland House’s Novella project aimed at increasing the diversity of writers and publishing professionals, supported by the Arts Council.

The Booker Prize is the leading literary prize in the English-speaking world and has brought recognition, recognition and readership to outstanding works of fiction for more than five decades. Each year, the prize is awarded to what is, in the opinion of the judges, the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK and Ireland. It is an award that transforms the career of the winner.

An island (50448656)

The winner receives £ 50,000 plus £ 2,500 awarded to each of the six shortlisted authors. The winner and shortlisted authors are guaranteed a worldwide readership and a dramatic increase in book sales.

Robert admits he was “essentially surprised” when he learned that An Island had been shortlisted. “Publishers are allowed to list their best books for the prize,” he said. “And then five judges read them all – and it’s a very solid panel of judges. You only have to look at some of those who are not selected to see how difficult it is. Getting into an island was part of a problem. belief statement in the book.

He said the publication of Karen’s book was never in doubt. “This is a beautifully constructed and deep novel with written global relevance, as the judges put it” majestic and extraordinary prose. “

Karen Jennings Photo Carol Coelho
Karen Jennings Photo Carol Coelho

As for his chances of being on the shortlist, he thinks that’s impossible to say and that they had no hope. “The others are very powerful so that’s just what the judges feel when they reread them and start arguing. We assume that it won’t be shortlisted, not because of a lack of confidence in the book, but because it is more secure.

Holland House Books was established nine years ago, but it’s a feat for a freelance publisher like Holland House to be listed. As Robert explained: “Independent is a misleading term – it just means not being part of a large group. But Faber is an independent and it’s a very big company with a lot of power. We’re a small press, and very few of them make the long list – we’re the only ones this year. “

Reaching the long list has already brought benefits. “We have become better known and have sold rights all over the world, from the United States to Russia. Now we have to build on it. We might even get our books revised now – not a single major newspaper or magazine has rated An Island. “

The preselection will be unveiled on September 14.

The long list of the Booker Prize 2021 is:

A Passage North, Anuk Arudpragasam (Granta Books, Granta Publications)

Second place, Rachel Cusk, (Faber)

The Promise, Damon Galgut, (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, PRH)

The Softness of Water, Nathan Harris (Tinder Press, Headline, Hachette Book Group)

Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber)

An Island, Karen Jennings (Holland House Books)

A town called Solace, Mary Lawson (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, PRH)

Nobody Talks About It, Patricia Lockwood (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing)

The Fortune Men, Nadifa Mohamed (Viking, Penguin General, PRH)

Perplexity, Richard Powers (Hutchinson Heinemann, PRH)

China Room, Sunjeev Sahota (Harvill Secker, Vintage, PRH)

Great Circle, Maggie Shipstead (Doubleday, Transworld Publishers, PRH)

Perpetual Light, Francis Spufford (Faber)

An island

Samuel lived alone for a long time; one morning, he discovers that the sea has brought someone to offer him company and threaten his loneliness …

A young refugee stranded unconscious on the beach of a small island inhabited by Samuel, a former lighthouse keeper. Destabilized, Samuel is quickly carried away by the memories of his former life on the continent: a life which saw his country suffer under the colonizers, then fight for independence, to fall under the reign of a cruel dictator; and it recalls its own part in its history. In the presence of this new man, he begins to think, as he did in his youth, about what is meant by land and to whom it should belong. How far will a person go to ensure that what is theirs is not taken away?

A novel about guilt and fear, friendship and rejection; on the sense of home.

About the Author

Karen Jennings is a South African author. Her first novel, Finding Soutbek, was shortlisted for the Etisalat Prize for African Fiction. Her memoir, Travels with my Father, was published in 2016, and in 2018, she published her first collection of poetry, Space Inhabited by Echoes. Currently living in Brazil, Karen completed postdoctoral research at the Federal University of Goiás last year on the historical relationship between science and literature, with a focus on eusocial insects. Karen works with the mentorship programs run by Writivism and Short Story Day Africa, both of which promote writing in Africa. His interests lie in colonialism, historically and in the lasting impact it has had on the African continent and beyond.

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https://thebookerprizes.com/books/island-by-karen-jennings




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