Literature

End of Arts Council funding for London Review of Books

By Jennifer Lipman, March 30, 2011

A literary magazine described by historian Benny Morris as sometimes being "no more than pro-Arab propaganda" will no longer receive any government funding.

The London Review of Books (LRB), published once a fortnight, had received £767,000 of public money to pay contributors since it was founded 31 years ago. However it did not apply for Arts Council support this year.

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Philip Roth up for International Man Booker prize

By Jennifer Lipman, March 30, 2011

American author Philip Roth is in the running for the 2011 Man Booker International prize.

Mr Roth, whose 31st book Nemesis was published last year, is one of 13 finalists for the prize, which has been given out biennially since 2005 and is worth £60,000.

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James Franco is Allen Ginsberg in Howl

By Jennifer Lipman, February 23, 2011
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Oscar nominated actor James Franco stars as Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in Howl, released this week.

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Ian McEwan: Engage with Israel even if you disagree

By Jennifer Lipman, February 18, 2011

The British writer Ian McEwan has expressed his belief in the importance of engaging with Israeli politics rather than boycotting the country.

Speaking in Israel ahead of a ceremony at which he will receive this year’s Jerusalem Prize, Israel’s highest honour for foreign writers, Mr McEwan said: “You cannot isolate [literature] but I take it as a bad sign when politics permeates every corner of life”.

According to the Guardian, he added: “I don't feel I endorse every corner of Israel's domestic or foreign policy…but I feel it's right to engage with it."

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On this day: Emile Zola on trial

By Jennifer Lipman, February 7, 2011

When Zola’s J’Accuse letter was published on the front page of a French newspaper in January 1898 it was a remarkable act of bravery on its author’s part.

Written in protest at the French government’s treatment of Jewish artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for treason, Zola was one of a group of intellectuals and artists who sought to secure his freedom.

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Israel boycotters continue to target Ian McEwan

By Jennifer Lipman, January 31, 2011

Pro-Palestinian campaigners have stepped up calls for author Ian McEwan to boycott an awards ceremony in Jerusalem at which he is to be honoured next month.

Despite the fact that Mr McEwan has already responded to a letter from British Writers in Support of Palestine, published in the Guardian, members of the group have sent a second letter demanding he reject the Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society.

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On this day: Norman Mailer is born

By Jennifer Lipman, January 31, 2011

In the canon of influential Jewish writers of the last century, Normal Mailer is up there with the likes of Phillip Roth.

The author of The Armies of the Night, The Executioner's Song and The Castle in the Forest, a man who managed to infuriate feminists in almost everything he did, feuded with Gore Vidal and once ran for the job of mayor of New York, Mailer will certainly go down as one of the greats of literary history.

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Ian McEwan responds to pro-Palestinian campaigners

By Jennifer Lipman, January 25, 2011

Ian McEwan has told a group of pro-Palestinian writers who criticised him for accepting an Israeli prize celebrating those who promote the "freedom of the individual in society" to respect his decision.

The novelist, who was awarded the 2011 Jerusalem Prize last week, said he disagreed with those who had called on him to boycott the prize.

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Dustin Hoffman in Mordecai Richler's Barney's Version

By Jennifer Lipman, January 20, 2011
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Ten years after the author died, Barney's Version has finally made it to the big screen.

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Ian McEwan wins 2011 Jerusalem Prize

By Jennifer Lipman, January 18, 2011

British writer Ian McEwan has been described as “one of the most important writers of our time” by the judging panel of this year’s Jerusalem Prize.

The author of the bestselling novels Atonement and On Chesil Beach was named as the recipient of the prize, Israel’s most significant literary honour for foreign writers.

Mr McEwan was chosen for the £6,200 prize because of “his love of people and concern for their right to self-realisation, and in recognition of his artistic achievements.”

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