Man Booker Prize 2011 - SHORTLISTED AUTHORS

Known as ‘the Olympics of literature’, the Man Booker Prize is one of the most prestigious awards. It will be announced on 18 May at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. The shortlist for the Man Booker International Prize has been announced. Among the competitors this year are Anne Tyler, John le Carré, Philip Roth and Philip Pullman. Deciding the deserving winner of this £60,000 prize is challenging task for the judging panel.

Rick Gekoski, chair of the judging panel remarked, "You read all of them in depth, then you talk a lot, then you think, and read some more. Then you decide which one you wish to honour, and why. It is a question of slow comparison and contrast, and a winner eventually emerges."

The following are the thirteen shortlisted authors this year:  
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Juan Goytisolo from Spain
John le Carré from UK
Philip Pullman from UK
David Malouf from Australia
Anne Tyler from USA
Wang Anyi from China

Amin Maalouf from Lebanon
Marilynne Robinson from USA
Dacia Maraini from Italy
Su Tong from China
James Kelman from UK
Rohinton Mistry from India
Philip Roth from USA
 

'The Spring in Autumn' by Parambir Kaur

Hello Readers
I am hereby publishing an article from Hindustan Times(28 March, 2011) that was a very interesting reading and  presented with a meaningful message about life. I do hope reading it will leave you enriched with an exalted philosophy of life. Happy reading!


Find below the text of the article:

THE SPRING IN AUTUMN
Author: Parambir Kaur
Source: Hindustan Times
Dated: 28 March, 2011



The pleasant breeze was refreshing and the mountains looked breathtaking. Tranquility reigned supreme as 10-year-old Harneet, on a vacation, ventured out with his grandmother to a nearby park.
What would one not give for such blissful serenity, a rarity, in today's fast-paced and clamorous life! And if there was any sound that broke the silence, it was either that of a bird chirping or the wind rustling past dried leaves on trees. It was autumn and the expanse of dry leaves in varied hues looked beautiful.
Piles of yellow, brown and reddish green leaves were, as if being, presented on an enormous platter. Some trees had a few dry leaves still hanging on to them with new, tender and green shoots coming up atother ends. The piles of leaves looked inviting, at least for Harneet. He ran through them and jumping all over, enjoying the crackling sound beneath his feet. He called out excitedly, “Come on dadi ma, just try walking on these leaves!“ But his grandmother only smiled as she looked indulgently from the bench she had just occupied. After rambling around for a while, Harneet came and sat beside her. As usual, nature was at its best in autumn.
Pointing to the yellow leaves on a tree, granny turned to him, “And those yellow leaves came to this tree in the form of tender green ones last season!“ “How did they change their colour?“ asked Harneet. “Yes child, there is no greater magician than nature. These tender shoots are emissaries of spring.
Soon there will be bloom and cheer all around.“ Harneet looked up at his grandmother, “But dadi ma, even now there is so much beauty and happiness everywhere.
Look, some of the falling leaves look like they are flitting about like butterflies!“ “You are right child; autumn too has a beauty and music that no human being can create. But the sensitive ones can discern and thrive on it for sure,“ she said.
Just then Harneet jumped and grabbed two golden leaves, flying past his head, “Look, how they shine!“ “Yes it is their last shining act, child and then either the wind will carry them to some unknown place or snow will bury them forever. Soon, it will all be over,“ his grandmother said, letting out a deep sigh.
Harneet became alert, “What happened dadi ma?“ “Beta, I am reminded of the time when for me too, autumn meant nothing but jumping over a stack of dry leaves. What bliss it used to be! Those were the days....“
“But what happened now?“ Harneet asked, touching his grandma's shoulder.
“I feel akin to these dry, yellow leaves, now here, soon nowhere!“ “Oh dadi ma, weren't you admiring the beauty of autumn a few minutes ago?“ The smile returned to grandmother's face.
She hugged him and said, “Thank you my child, for reminding me. Really, we cannot be grateful enough for all the stages of life. Each has a distinct charm.
And you know, it's because of this truth that the two of us are here right now, revelling in the spring of autumn!“

Review of my book 'Pages of Life'

Existential hues
Reviewed by Rajbir Deswal

PAGES OF LIFE
By Amritbir Kaur.
Chetna Parkashan.
Pages 71. Rs 100.



AMRITBIR Kaur is essentially a poetess of the concerns of life. In Pages of Life, she has hope and despair, daring dreams, half-written words, lies and truths, rancour in the heart and reasoning in the mind. She has tried "summing up life in a fake sentence!" The young poetess gives a faithful account of all that is strewn around in terms of pains and pleasure, issues and agitations, longings and apprehensions; and she gives a talisman, "beat the sorrows for joyful tomorrows". She not only puts posers but suggests remedies, too.
She has a unique capability to explore within—"search sans the use of eyes". But when it comes to seeking support for certain causes, she laments, "’coz a few hands don’t rise to pray and to protect". She has used beautiful expressions, like "I was alone when with you and lonely without you"; "but you turn deaf by the noise of the unsaid"; "My hands are full but not a speck carried"; and, "I wish I were rain, always advancing never stagnating".

Amritbir feels for the orphaned thus: "Sky is his roof and earth bed for the whole life till he is dead". She realises the pain of crime against children and recommends, "To check crime against a child and punishment not to be mild." Also, she laments the female foeticide brooding, "Where death comes with life!" In I’ll be, she only rues missing the "human part".
Despite her over-occupation with death and disease, old-age infirmities, loneliness and grieving, she still "chases a thousand dreams" and`A0is eager to search for her identity as the one "carrying a world inside", confessing at the same time and submitting—"I made`A0a mute appeal to vent the tongueless grief".
Her outpourings in the poem Reflections are like waters flowing down the dried streams, and she is beginning to sail along. "I relishingly recollect ... When dreams were stringed to toys/When nothing in the world was bad/When all I had around were joys/The times of innocent wisdom/And not of wise deprivation."
Amritbir has enough that is original in her, yet she tends to harp on borrowed diction and style of the classical poets. There is an abundant lyrical flow in her creations and she cares two hoots for strict and dire straits of rhythmical prescriptions and metres till the time she can make herself clear, and heard, too. She makes a point without caring being pointed out for being an "innocent sinner".
This young poetess doesn’t talk of fashion and fads; love, longing and live-ins; styles and stilettos; but, of things serious and sagacious enough to betray her age. She raises questions and answers them, too. The only obscurity in her is rectified when she contemplates, "I follow the traces in my mind ... Mindful of those I move on".
Pages of Life holds promise to "wake up in a greener world", for its creator believes that "the world is essentially good" despite the fact that here "Joy and pain swap places and destinations do a vanishing act!’ A refreshing read from a resplendent mind.


Published in 'The Tribune' on 27 February, 2011
Link: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110227/spectrum/book4.htm

Spring Festival 2011 organised by Penguin


Following the success of Spring Fever 2010, the first ever literary spring festival and OPEN AIR LIBRARY by Penguin Books India, Spring Fever 2011 is being organized in the month of March. The festival will be held at the Amphitheatre at India Habitat Centre from 4th  to  13th  March, 2011.
The unique open air library, open to all, will feature a complete range of Penguin India titles, from landmark fiction and non-fiction titles, to the latest bestsellers, children's books and cutting-edge books. I’m sure reading this all book lovers will be vying to be in that cozy and silent corner in the company of their beloved books!
To top it all, there will be special literary evenings featuring key authors, new books and previews of forthcoming attractions as well as some musical performances.

The details of the programmes are as under:

IN THE BAZAAR OF LOVE
Presenting a selection of Penguin Classics: In the Bazaar of Love: The Selected Poetry of
Amir Khusrau, Zafarnama and Kama Sutra followed by a performance by Shubha Mudgal

LOSING MY VIRGINITY
Taking a book to bed
Madhuri Banerjee, Ira Trivedi and Ismita Tandon Dhankher in a candid chat
with Kaveree Bamzai followed by a performance by rock band U.8.NOISE

COMING OF AGE
The launch of Penguin Young Adult
Sheba Karim, author of Skunk Girl, in conversation with Samit Basu, followed by
dramatized readings from David Hair’s Pyre of Queens and Swayamvara

A WRITER’S LIFE
Javed Akhtar, William Dalrymple, Namita Gokhale and Sunil Sethi Sethi in conversation

HOWZZAT!
Cricket mania at its best!
Quiz on India’s favourite game with cricket analyst and quizmaster Joy Bhattacharjya, open to all
(On the spot registration for the quiz)

FINDING ANANDA
An open workshop by the Osho Foundation

THE CULTURE OF CONSUMPTION
Four distinguished economic thinkers shed light on the promises and perils of capitalism
Bimal Jalan, Gurcharan Das, Kaushik Basu and Vinay Bharat-Ram

BOX OFFICE
A special film screening in association with The American Center

BLOCKBUSTER FRIDAY
Mega books in the making
Readings by Shobhaa Dé from Sethji, William Dalrymple from The Return of the King: Shah Shuja and the First Anglo-Afghan War, Suhel Seth from Jamil Ahmad’s The Wandering Falcon

HINDI: BADLEGI TO CHALEGI!
A quirky dialogue on the changing forms of Hindi over time
Sudhish Pachauri, Noor Zaheer, Anamika, Ravish Kumar and Ashutosh Kumar
in conversation with Satyanand Nirupam

LIGHTS, CAMERA . . . ACTION!!
Celebrated film-maker Vishal Bhardwaj and Ruskin Bond in a very special conversation

CLOSING PERFORMANCE: Qawwali by the acclaimed Warsi Brothers of Hyderabad


Watch this space for more updates on the festival.

Penguin Spring Fever 2010

Following the success of Spring Fever 2010, the first ever literary spring festival and OPEN AIR LIBRARY by Penguin Books India, Spring Fever 2011 is being organized in the month of March. The festival will be held at the Amphitheatre at India Habitat Centre from 4 to 13 March, 2011.


The unique open air library, open to all, will feature a complete range of Penguin India titles, from landmark fiction and non-fiction titles, to the latest bestsellers, children's books and cutting-edge books. I’m sure reading this all book lovers will be vying to be in that cozy and silent corner in the company of their beloved books.


To top it all, there will be special literary evenings featuring key authors, new books and previews of forthcoming attractions as well as some musical performances.


The details of the programmes are as under:


IN THE BAZAAR OF LOVE
Presenting a selection of Penguin Classics: In the Bazaar of Love: The Selected Poetry of Amir Khusrau, Zafarnama and Kama Sutra followed by a performance by Shubha Mudgal

LOSING MY VIRGINITY
Taking a book to bed
Madhuri Banerjee, Ira Trivedi and Ismita Tandon Dhankher in a candid chat
with Kaveree Bamzai followed by a performance by rock band U.8.NOISE

COMING OF AGE
The launch of Penguin Young Adult
Sheba Karim, author of Skunk Girl, in conversation with Samit Basu, followed by dramatized readings from David Hair’s Pyre of Queens and Swayamvara

A WRITER’S LIFE
Javed Akhtar, William Dalrymple, Namita Gokhale and Sunil Sethi Sethi in conversation

HOWZZAT!
Cricket mania at its best!
Quiz on India’s favourite game with cricket analyst and quizmaster Joy Bhattacharjya, open to all
(On the spot registration for the quiz)

FINDING ANANDA
An open workshop by the Osho Foundation

THE CULTURE OF CONSUMPTION
Four distinguished economic thinkers shed light on the promises and perils of capitalism
Bimal Jalan, Gurcharan Das, Kaushik Basu and Vinay Bharat-Ram

BOX OFFICE
A special film screening in association with The American Center

BLOCKBUSTER FRIDAY
Mega books in the making
Readings by Shobhaa Dé from Sethji, William Dalrymple from The Return of the King: Shah Shuja and the First Anglo-Afghan War, Suhel Seth from Jamil Ahmad’s The Wandering Falcon

HINDI: BADLEGI TO CHALEGI!
A quirky dialogue on the changing forms of Hindi over time

Sudhish Pachauri, Noor Zaheer, Anamika, Ravish Kumar and Ashutosh Kumar
in conversation with Satyanand Nirupam

LIGHTS, CAMERA . . . ACTION!!
Celebrated film-maker Vishal Bhardwaj and Ruskin Bond in a very special conversation

CLOSING PERFORMANCE: Qawwali by the acclaimed Warsi Brothers of Hyderabad

The Last Day

Once again it's December 31. It has been a ritual to have a seemingly long, improbable and a questionable list of resolutions fo...