2013 Commonwealth Literary Prize shortlists

2013-04-09 10:08:00

The Commonwealth Foundation has announced shortlists for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Part of Commonwealth Writers, the prizes unearth, develop and promote the best new writing from across the Commonwealth, developing literary connections worldwide.

How to Eat Like an Italian, by Davide D'Alessandro

2013-03-25 12:24:45

Photo courtesy Davide D'Alessandro

We all must eat to survive, but visitors to Italy are invited to join in a little activity, done three times daily, that is another pillar of the dolce vita, namely eating to have pleasure. And lots of it.

Another excerpt from Davide D'Alessandro's unpublished book The Dolce Vita Code.

La Gelateria, by Davide D'Alessandro

2013-03-16 12:44:52

gelato, that most simple, small, and affordable item of gastronomic art, is a fundamental part of the dolce vita. Few things, big or little, so easily inject us with happiness and evoke a smile of satisfaction. Have it often, certainly daily, while in Italy. 

More from Davide D'Alessandro's The Dolce Vita Code.

Luca D'Alessandro [Photo courtesy Davide D'Alessandro]

The Science of the Dolce Vita, by Davide D'Alessandro

2013-03-06 04:43:02

Via Veneto, Rome [Photo: Linda Leith]

Why do so many visitors to the mecca of pleasure fail to experience the wonders of the dolce vita? The answer, I submit, lies in psychological research.

The Foreword to Davide D'Alessandro's The Dolce Vita Code.

Walking Through the Trees, part III, by Kenneth Radu

2013-03-02 11:12:18

It’s worth remembering that the word paradise traces its origins to the word pairidaeza, which in the ancient Iranian language Avestan, means a wall constructed to enclose cultivated grounds or a small grove of fruit trees. There is the wall again. As for Eden, that fabulous paradise lost, one need say no more.

Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

Walking Through the Trees, part II, by Kenneth Radu

2013-02-28 17:06:50

Aside from necessary funds, restoring a landscape or great garden requires patience, understanding, knowledge, and a good helping of genius. Gardens, unlike pyramids or palaces, can disappear through neglect, financial collapse, or death of original maker. They are often staked to the fortunes of the families.

Eden Project, Cornwall

A practical guide for new Canadians - Step Six, by Felicia Mihali

2013-02-21 15:01:38

Step Six: Buying a Car and a Home

If you insist on buying a house, then at least be smart enough to wait until at least 7-10 years after your arrival. Do the math. You need to spend the first three years on your education, one year getting out of debt, and three years earning enough to put aside a big down payment.

A practical guide for new Canadians - Step Five, by Felicia Mihali

2013-02-01 17:48:41

Step Five: Ideology

You have to stop making comparisons between this political system and the one you left behind. The one back home may have been funnier to watch, but don’t forget how ineffective it was. So ineffective, in fact, that you decided to leave the country despite the good laugh you had over the political debates. Politics will be less funny in Canada.

Photo: Martine Doyon

Space for a Pen, part III, by Kenneth Radu

2012-12-09 06:15:27

John Ruskin attached a tower to his bedroom on his mountainside estate, Brantwood, on the shores of Coniston Water in Cumbria. Unlike Sackville-West’s, his tower room windowed on all sides, almost a capsule, offered a corner in which to escape from recurring nightmares or to watch the stars.

Space for a Pen, part II, by Kenneth Radu

2012-12-06 21:32:59

I think of Virginia Woolf’s essay and cabin, Vita Sackville-West’s tower, and Carlyle’s study, their necessary, self-imposed isolation, and wonder how Jane Austen managed to produce six scintillating novels, at least two of which are masterpieces, in the midst of the busy domesticity of a small house where servants and family bumped against each other crossing a threshold.

Vita Sackville-West's Tower and White Garden at Sissinghurst 
Space for a Pen, part I, by Kenneth Radu

2012-12-05 20:32:34

Though Carlyle was a literary giant of quasi-mythic proportions and a hero to Victorians, his theories and writing are largely forgotten or ignored outside of university departments of English. That is the fate enjoyed by many a writer, and one need not be dead.

Where Good Books Come From, by Linda Leith. Part III: The importance of writer-publisher relations

2012-11-30 13:45:36

There is a greater need than ever for the good smaller publisher. For those of us interested primarily in quality, in good books that speak to their time and place, the importance of the smaller publisher can hardly be overestimated. It is in the smaller companies that the writer-publisher relationship happens. And this, I would suggest, is where good books come from.

Letter from Guatemala, by Guy Tiphane

2012-11-21 21:31:17

Salvador Dali's images of The Divine Comedy in Antigua, Guatemala


Canto 13: The Wood of the Suicides: 
“Look well, for here one sees things which in words would be incredible.

Speaking of Books, by Ann Charney

2012-10-30 08:40:39

Stories will still need to be told, and writers will continue to tell them. It’s not unreasonable to assume that the written word will persist, even if it’s in ways we can scarcely imagine.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition
A Wake-up Call on the State of Canada's Publishing Industry, by Linda Leith

2012-10-25 09:56:08

The D&M story should be a wake-up call to Canadians. Canadian literature has thrived nationally and internationally thanks to measures put in place to support Canadian writing and publishing. The measures currently in place, though, were designed for a bygone era. It’s time to revisit those measures, and fast.

Photo: Eléonore Delvaux-Beaudoin

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