Changes made to .ll. -- and changes to come

Have been travelling and writing, so it's only today that I have got back to this site, posting the first Letter from San Francisco by Berkeley writer Guy Tiphane and a new banner photograph by Judith Lermer Crawley.

A Letter from Berlin will be following by Christina Lembrecht, and I'm working on one or two others, including a regular film spot. Am also open to suggestion from writers who might have something to report from their corner of the world.

When I realized how big the international readership is of this site, I wanted to go out of my way to present material that will keep you visiting -- and encourage you to contribute your own thoughts.

Other changes in the works include introducing fiction and poetry in translation into English -- and, in the weeks to come, a new blog entirely in French. Not to mention, it's easier than ever to sign up and comment. The traffic is rising quickly -- we've drawn over 5,000 visitors in September, even though the site has been quiet for half the month -- and seems likely to continue bringing readers from all over together to talk about everything books are about.

And then, of course there will be the books themselves, which I will be starting to publish in the new year. Watch this space.

More and more people are stepping forward, making suggestions, and getting involved. Which is more and more fun, of course, and more and more work, as well, for a growing number of writers, reviewers, translators and photographers, as well as for myself.

So I am reminded of Phyllis Papoulias's great photo of a duck, which you might remember  from the spring, when it was the banner photo for several weeks.

Here it is again, a gentle reminder to be serene on the surface while paddling hard underneath.

Linda Leith

.ll.

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Xue Yiwei's Shenzheners, by Linda Leith

The Shenzhen Economic Daily was preparing a 3-page feature on the publication of Shenzheners, the first of the Chinese-Canadian writer Xue Yiwei's books to appear in English, and I was asked to write about why LLP chose to publish the collection. What follows is the text I wrote, which Yiwei then translated into Chinese.

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I’ve reached the point where I will forgive an opera almost anything if the music is beautiful enough and there are one or two spectacular singers. Which is very much the case here, not only with Soprano Hiromi Omura’s Leonora, who has the entire audience in the palm of her hand, but also with the darker figure of Azucena, sung by the thrilling Italian mezzo Laura Brioli.


Jean-François Lisée is off to a good start in his Ministerial rôle, by Linda Leith

There have been too many shows of impatience and anger, with each side blaming the other. With few exceptions, this has all been a question of words -- sharp words, throw-away words, unthinking words -- but they have succeeded in hardening attitudes and deepening divisions. Fine words are not all it takes to improve matters, but they can help a great deal in such a language-obsessed city as Montreal.

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