Babel-17

Language, Warfare, and the Brain as Computer: Babel-1 When Samuel R. Delany wrote Babel-17 in 1965, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis was still new(ish) and popular, and the computer-driven Information Age era was dawning. Transhumanism was a popular idea in some circles. All of these aspects of the zei


Elif Shafak: 'Istanbul is a city of dreams... but it also has scars and wounds'

  The main protagonist in Elif Shafak’s new novel dies in the end, and no, this is not a spoiler. Perhaps she dies at the beginning. That all depends on how you view the science – it’s inconclusive, but some studies suggest the brain can function for up to 10 minutes after


Book reviews

  Growing up in a conservative Christian household meant that I was often sneaking around to share the experiences of my peers. But one day of adventuring stands out in particular—the day I first heard the intoxicating opening beat of Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On.&rdquo


'Anything Stephen Fry reads will sell': why it's time we took audiobooks seriously

To underscore the rise of audiobooks in the publishing industry, the Frankfurt International Book Fair this year hosted an in-house conference to discuss the growth of the genre.Speaking on the sidelines of the Audio Summit was Kathryn Taussig, the director of digital publishing house Bookouture.I


'My Past is a Foreign Country': how a feminist meets patriarchy on her terms

  “Patriarchy expects us to play our roles, and these roles are ­scripted,” states Zeba Talkhani in her breakout book titled My Past is a Foreign Country. Talkhani was raised in Jeddah, before living in India, Germany and England, and though she deplores the patriarchal norms


'My Past is a Foreign Country': how a feminist meets patriarchy on her terms

“Patriarchy expects us to play our roles, and these roles are ­scripted,” states Zeba Talkhani in her breakout book titled My Past is a Foreign Country. Talkhani was raised in Jeddah, before living in India, Germany and England, and though she deplores the patriarchal norms that info


The best book you have to read

Three Women by Lisa TaddeoLisa Taddeo crossed the US for eight years talking to women about their sexual desires, and the result of her mission is a best-seller and one of this year’s most talked-about non-fiction books. In it, Taddeo focusses on three women in particular, and through their


Cameron's 'For The Record' unlikely to set many

Washington - by Laura Winter  - It always raises an eyebrow when one arrives at an author reading event and a volunteer is taking written questions in advance, saying "the questions are pre-selected - maybe you'll get lucky". Tuesday night's "sold out" event saw David Cameron - the former Unit


Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke win the Nobel Prize for Literature

Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian author Peter Handke have both won the Nobel Prize for Literature.The prize has been awarded twice this year after it was withheld in 2018, following a sexual assault scandal that engulfed the Swedish Academy and "reduced public confidence" in the prize.T


Curtis Brown Creative courses arrive in Dubai to help budding writers

Budding young novelists will have the chance to learn from the best this weekend as a new creative writing initiative comes to Dubai for the first time.Co-hosted by the Emirates Literature Foundation in collaboration with the UK literary agency Curtis Brown, the two sets of workshops will be held ov


John le Carre's latest spy tale 'Agent Running in the Field' lacks a licence to thrill

For the past five decades, John le Carre – novelist, writer of short stories and screenplays, and a former British intelligence officer – has produced some of the most compelling, memorable and popular spy fiction in the English language. He has written more than 20 novels in his caree


New dates and format announced for 2020 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, now in its 12th edition, has announced new dates and a revised shorter format for its 2020 programme.Traditionally held in March, the festival’s next edition will take place from Tuesday, February 4 to Sunday, February 9, 2020 at the InterContinen


'Palestine+100': A century on from the Nakba, what might Palestine look like?

It’s June 15, 2048, and a high-speed, underground shuttle is about to be launched, carrying goods from Gaza to neighbouring affiliated countries, in exchange for much-needed materials. Paid for by a cryptocurrency, it’s the brainchild of Professor Kamal, who lives in The Secular Scientif


book to read on October

Olive Kitteridge, the cantankerous Maine school teacher at the centre of Strout’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel, is back, lonely but unbowed. Strout opens with Olive’s prickly courtship with a retired Harvard professor who has also lost a spouse. She follows up with chapters that pivot


Storied life of Susan Sontag is laid bare in frank biography

In 2009, the square outside the national theatre in Sarajevo got a new name: Theatre Place – Susan Sontag. That the American writer and filmmaker, who died in 2004, is lauded in the Bosnian capital is testament to how far her influence spread beyond the confines of cultural theory and academia


From sci-fi to self-help: five books that have the power to change perceptions

Nourhan Samra   I can safely say I have very confusing and random taste in books. I read many that focus on completely different topics and exist in varied genres, but the following were the first to come to mind, while retrieving memories of everything I have perused so far. 'House of Stone


How do you follow a Pulitzer Prize? If you're Colson Whitehead, you write another bestseller

The question to put to any author whose novel about a fugitive slave was a bestseller and critical triumph, receiving accolades such as the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, as well as getting a solid stamp of approval from Barack Obama, must surely be: what, ­artistically, do you do n


Emily Dickinson's desire explored in US novel

The voice of Emily Dickinson has been reimagined in a new novel exploring the lustful thoughts of one of America's greatest poets, who still stirs debate more than 120 years after her death. "The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson" hit U.S. bookstores this week and offers a new take on the li


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