Cyclopedia of World Authors. For those who prefer to read a review of our book, click The New York Times' book review.
Monday, December 5, 2016
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Friday, September 30, 2016
"Demolishing the complacency of Victorian social, moral, and artistic assumptions with the weapons of wit, Wilde delighted in turning stuffy platitudes upside down and then turning to the audience for applause. It was a brilliant performance that ensured that during his life, Wilde would be both greatly admired and maliciously mocked."
"Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1854, the second son of Sir William Wilde, a prominent surgeon, and Jane Wilde (née Elgee), a poet and Irish nationalist. He was raised in an affluent, successful, and intellectually stimulating home. From an early age, Oscar and his brother Willie were allowed to sit at the foot of the adults’ dinner table and listen to the conversations of the Wildes and their guests, many of whom were prominent in Irish social and literary circles...He excelled in Latin and Greek and won a scholarship to Trinity College, Dublin, which he entered in October, 1871...and won a scholarship worth ninety-five pounds per year at Magdalen College, Oxford, which he entered in October, 1874."
"It was at Oxford that Wilde encountered two men who were to influence his thought. The first was art critic and writer John Ruskin, who was at the time a professor of fine arts. Ruskin believed that art should have a moral component, and as Wilde worked with him on a road-building project, Wilde found the idea that art might promote the improvement of society to be an attractive one. Wilde was also exposed to a contrary, and more important, influence in the form of Walter Pater, fellow of Brasenose College. According to Pater, what mattered in life and art were not moral or social concerns, but the intense appreciation of sensual beauty, especially that produced by works of art."
"In 1888, Wilde entered the seven-year period of his greatest success, during which he published almost all the work — as novelist, short story writer, dramatist, and social and literary critic — on which his reputation rests..." Among these works are The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere's Fan, An Ideal Husband, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. The Canterville Ghost first appeared in The Court and Society Review in 1887.
Wilde's affair with the son of the Marquis of Queensbury set the stage for the author's notorious court case and downfall. He was found guilty of "gross indecency" and sentenced to several years of very harsh imprisonment. Upon release in 1897, he moved to France, penniless and without family, where he died in 1900.
Quoted text is from "Oscar Wilde"
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
Satirist, actor, and novelist, Herman Koch has set off shockwaves among international readers who view the characters and core dilemma of The Dinner through different cultural lenses. To get his take on this, refer to this Stuff.co.nz interview with the author.
Koch, who has a teenage son of his own, was born in the Netherlands in 1953 and has made a career of satire, comedy and writing. The Dinner is his first international success, having been translated into more than 20 languages. An English film adaptation of The Dinner starring Marissa Tomei and Richard Gere is currently in the works, and Koch has subsequently published another book in a similar vein, Summer House with Swimming Pool.
Friday, June 3, 2016
Unlike a New York City resident's experience, it's commonplace for us to see hawks in flight above our homes and farmlands. We can also visit a wonderful local resource,
The Raptor Trust in Millington, NJ, to see hawks and other raptors up close. The Trust is a wildlife refuge and infirmary for raptors and other injured birds, and it plays a prominent role in our book, Red-Tails in Love, as does its founder, the late Len Soucy. In addition to sheltering several red-tailed hawks, The Raptor Trust houses other raptors mentioned in the book, including three tiny saw-whet owls. There are a number of other owl varieties in residence as well as two bald eagles (seen in the last photo) and two huge common ravens with an impressive repertoire of bird calls. For more information about The Raptor Trust, refer to http://theraptortrust.org.
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Except, of course, when it's personal and painful, as in her memoir ''Can't We Talk About Something More PLEASANT?" Even then, our author found that cartooning provided her the perfect means to express her frustrations and fears about dealing with the decline of her elderly parents. What we learn about her childhood, career, and relationship with her parents in this memoir is given further authentication in this interesting excerpt from "I Only Read It for the Cartoons: The New Yorker's Most Brilliant Twisted Artists" by Richard Gehr. Enjoy it! http://goo.gl/8fLodh
Friday, April 1, 2016
Friday, March 4, 2016
Here is the podcast link to Serial, Season One: https://serialpodcast.org/season-one. Listen to each episode on your computer by clicking on the episode titles or download the entire series. Each episode is at least 35 minutes long, so pace yourself! While you're on this website, look around at the "Related Material."
For those who wish to read rather than listen, Serial does not provide transcripts, but various followers have transcribed the episodes. I'm providing these transcripts below (without any guarantee of their accuracy.)
Born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in 1934, Alan Bennett graduated with honors from Oxford in 1957 and lectured there before embarking on a writing career. His plays include The Madness of George III and The History Boys, both of which were adapted to film. He is the author of numerous commentaries, novellas, and short stories, including The Lady in the Van, currently adapted to film and starring Maggie Smith. According to Guy Woodward writing for the British Council Literature in 2009,
"Alan Bennett’s diffident, often shy public persona has arguably been crucial to his sustained and ever growing success, but any perceived aura of cosiness belies a sharpness of intellect and wit that has proved adept at dissecting the mores of the English and their institutions across a variety of genres."
Here's an enjoyable interview with Bennett regarding Mrs. S. and the new film about her. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/the-lady-in-the-van/alan-bennett-hay-interview/
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Our author, Qanta Ahmed, is a board certified sleep disorders specialist at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York, as well as associate professor of Medicine at the State University of New York (Stony Brook). Further, Dr. Ahmed is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Born into a Muslim Pakistani family in England, Dr. Ahmed completed her medical residency in New York City before practicing medicine in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the location of her memoir. Following her return to the United States, where she is now a citizen, she has written and spoken critically about the growth of the Islamist movement among Muslim populations around the world. She is currently writing her second book, a non-fiction work which will focus on interfaith relations between Muslims and Jews.