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Weekly Dispatches from the Frontlines of World Literature

2016/11/7 — 12:31

【Text by Janani Ganesan,Layla Benitez-James, and Naheed Patel】

The latest in reports on arts and culture from Spain, India, and Bangladesh

The 2016 Man Booker Prize announced this week went to American writer Paul Beatty. His satirical novel The Sellout, about a young African American man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, is a timely pick given the direction of the US Presidential elections and the dire state of race relations in the country as well as the rest of the world. While you check out the other shortlisted books for this prize, we are eager to share stories from around the globe. This week we’re checking in with Podcast Editor Layla Benitez-James in Spain, Editor-at-Large Naheed Patel in Bangladesh, and Assistant Managing Editor Janani Ganesan in India. 

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And don’t forget to check out our Fall 2016 issue here!

First, we drop in on Layla Benitez-James, Podcast Editor, with the scoop on Spain:

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2016 marked the 400th Anniversary of Cervantes’s Death, but much of the Spanish public felt more time was moving in between their two rounds of inconclusive elections, so much so that they decided to avoid a third one, projected over Christmas, and are able now to focus on their budding literary scene. In Madrid, the Prado Museum is making history in the visual arts with a show dedicated to the art of painter Clara Peeters. She will be the first female artist with her own show in the museum’s two-hundred-year history.

In another surprise turn, Spain’s major poetry festival in the city of Córdoba, Cosmopoética, celebrated its lucky thirteenth iteration from September 25 through October 8. The theme this year was Dada and the festival welcomed international and homegrown writers alike, such as Julieta ValeroFani Papageorgiou, and Chantal Maillard.

While Spain harbors many fans of Bob Dylan, a good deal of the Spanish literary community was puzzled by the Nobel Prize news. Some, however, took the announcement with great humor, imagining the messages between the silent winner and an increasingly desperate Swedish Academy.

(Read more)

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