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  • Q&A: Wiley Cash on This Dark Road to Mercy
    bad guys in life Wade is fundamentally a good guy who messed up and by the middle of the book we are rooting for him Do you believe in second chances Wiley Absolutely I always root for the underdog especially if that underdog has a checkered past and is trying to make amends like Wade is Americans especially love giving second chances Whether it s a politician or an athlete we re always hoping that folks will be willing and able to redeem themselves Litro Easter s slow but eventual forgiveness of her father s absence and past behaviour is an emotional journey to witness especially when in Chapter 34 she prevents his arrest Do you think it s true what they say children can see the good in a person Wiley I think so I also think children understand the purity and immediacy of emotion in ways adults preclude themselves from understanding them Easter loves her father and eventually it grows to be an uncomplicated love despite his past behavior She does everything she can to protect and nurture that love Adults love with caveats children love with consistency and purity Litro Your novel is set against a backdrop of professional baseball Have you played the sport yourself Can you explain for a British readership what it was that attracted you to it as the setting for your story Wiley Like a lot of boys growing up in America I played a lot of baseball and I still follow the professional game It s hard to say what makes Americans love baseball It s referred to as the boy s game and America s pastime and I think there s a sense of innocence and wander attached to it I think the game looms large in the American imagination Aside from presidents our earliest national heroes were baseball players Litro What other themes were you interested in addressing in the novel Wiley I m really interested in the Renaissance idea of seeming not being which is ironic because the state of North Carolina s motto is to be rather than to seem I m always interested in people who seem one way but end up being another person altogether Wade seems like a total loser but maybe he s not I played with this idea in A Land More Kind Than Home as well Litro What do you hope people will take away from reading your book Wiley I hope they ll remember that you can t choose your family but that doesn t mean you can t love them and seek to understand them Litro Who are your favourite authors and which writers have most inspired your own writing Wiley My favorite writers are the North Carolina writers I grew up reading Thomas Wolfe Kaye Gibbons Clyde Edgerton Wilma Dykeman Fred Chappell and Ron Rash Litro And finally what s next for Wiley Cash Wiley I m currently at work on a novel about the role of women

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/12/qa-wiley-cash-on-this-dark-road-to-mercy-2/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Dreams, By Rahemeen Ahmed is the winner of the IGGY & Litro Young Writer's Prize 2013
    and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Warwick says IGGY is all about providing opportunities for talent to flourish and we re delighted to work with Litro for the fourth year to encourage new writing talent This year we ve received entries from young people across the world displaying passion talent and individuality in their writing Congratulations to the winner and everyone who took part The five runners up will also be awarded 200 each Browse our IGGY Litro Young Writers Prize Microsite where you can read the winning story in English and translated into six foreign languages You can also read the five other shortlisted stories in English meet our shortlisted writers and the judging panel take a look at some Writing Tips and read entries to the Writing Prize Blog Enjoy Read the winning story Dreams by Rahemeen Ahmed Take a look at the shortlisted stories Take a look at the longlisted young writers About Eric Akoto Eric Akoto is Publisher and Editor in Chief of Litro Magazine His passions lie in progressive politics freedom of expression quality independence in arts and journalism social enterprise secularism good technology and above all the power of fiction to connect and bring a level of empathy to different peoples With a journalistic background his writing has featured in various magazines and contributed to various books he also curates and comperes at festivals such as The Latitude Festival and the Hay Festival The first thing he does when visiting a city is to don a pair of trainers and go for a jog around the city He highly recommends a morning meditation to start your day Mail Web Twitter More Posts 15 Comments comments Prev 2 000 Prize for Young People s Short Story Competition Is Now Closed Next litrostory a Collective Twitter Fiction Experiment Related Posts Novelist Ali Shaw introduces himself as Litro s new resident blogger 2 000 Prize for Young People s Short Story Competition Is Now Closed Litro Live A World Book Night Celebration Words Music and Friends Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th February 2016 Litro 149 The Love issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto Love we spend our lives craving it in one form or another searching for it and talking about it Its meaning is felt more than it is clearly expressed Some call it the greatest virtue Continue reading 9th December 2015 Litro 148 The Going Home issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto This month in Litro 148 we explore the notion of what Going Home means to us Is it a familiar physical space A refuge A feeling A state of mind Or is home actually to be found in another human being maybe your partner your parents How do you know when

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/12/rahemeen-ahmed-winner-of-the-2013-iggy-litro-young-writers-prize/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Gender, Power, Repression, History and Sexuality
    charged themes of power repression violence history and sexuality Kara Walker arrives to the UK from the back of decades of controversy and shaking up the American art world Walker debuted a public exhibition at the The Drawing Center in New York City in 1994 Her installation Gone An Historical Romance of a Civil War as it Occurred between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart polarized the New York art world In 1997 at the age of 28 Walker was one of the youngest people to receive a MacArthur fellowship There was a lot of criticism because of her fame at such a young age and the fact that her art was most popular within the white community The Detroit Institute of Art removed her A Means to an End A Shadow Drama in Five Acts 1995 from a 1999 exhibition Where the Girls Are Prints by Women from the DIA s Collection when African American artists and collectors protested its presence In response to Hurricane Katrina Walker created After the Deluge since the hurricane had devastated many poor and black areas of New Orleans Walker was bombarded with news images of black corporeality including fatalities from the hurricane reduced to bodies and nothing more She likened these casualties to African slaves piled onto ships for the Middle Passage the Atlantic crossing to America For this solo show Camden Arts Centre s galleries have been filled with the process of her art from the large scale graphite drawings and videos to newly cut paper pieces which will be produced on site Negress runs from the 11 th October 5 th January 2014 Camden Arts Centre Arkwright Road London NW3 6DG About Eric Akoto Eric Akoto is Publisher and Editor in Chief of Litro Magazine His passions lie in progressive politics freedom of expression quality independence in arts and journalism social enterprise secularism good technology and above all the power of fiction to connect and bring a level of empathy to different peoples With a journalistic background his writing has featured in various magazines and contributed to various books he also curates and comperes at festivals such as The Latitude Festival and the Hay Festival The first thing he does when visiting a city is to don a pair of trainers and go for a jog around the city He highly recommends a morning meditation to start your day Mail Web Twitter More Posts 15 Comments comments Prev LFF My Fathers My Mother and Me Next LFF Ida Related Posts The Rest Is Ritual Dara at the National Theatre Nowhere To Run The Flannelettes at the King s Head Theatre Litro 149 Love Essay The Black Path Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th February 2016 Litro 149 The Love issue Letter from

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/10/gender-power-repression-history-and-sexuality/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Moved by Mandela: a Tribute on his 95th Birthday
    President he invited Percy Yutar to lunch Yutar was the man who successfully prosecuted him resulting in his long incarceration and argued for the death penalty When they met Mandela famously treated him like a long lost friend Few people who have heard read seen or met Nelson Mandela have failed to be moved by his extraordinary presence His life so dominated by his long walk to freedom has been remarkable in shaping him in a unique way That a man could have emerged from so long in prison with his resilience charm and charisma makes him one of the great leaders His capacity to unite with a twinkle to defuse with a smile and to galvanise with his logic is truly exceptional I wonder how many people have been inspired by his example and have then influenced others For me Mandela has been a solar power a source of energy and inspiration and I feel sure that he will continue to move me and countless others until the day we expire Patrick Dunne Editor Eric Akoto About Eric Akoto Eric Akoto is Publisher and Editor in Chief of Litro Magazine His passions lie in progressive politics freedom of expression quality independence in arts and journalism social enterprise secularism good technology and above all the power of fiction to connect and bring a level of empathy to different peoples With a journalistic background his writing has featured in various magazines and contributed to various books he also curates and comperes at festivals such as The Latitude Festival and the Hay Festival The first thing he does when visiting a city is to don a pair of trainers and go for a jog around the city He highly recommends a morning meditation to start your day Mail Web Twitter More Posts 15 Comments comments Prev Litro is looking for a new Online Editor Next Call for Reviews Related Posts New Beginnings for Litro Diana Brown Wins Underground Flash Fiction Competition Flash Fiction Competition Win Weekend Tickets to the Stoke Newington Literary Festival Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th February 2016 Litro 149 The Love issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto Love we spend our lives craving it in one form or another searching for it and talking about it Its meaning is felt more than it is clearly expressed Some call it the greatest virtue Continue reading 9th December 2015 Litro 148 The Going Home issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto This month in Litro 148 we explore the notion of what Going Home means to us Is it a familiar physical space A refuge A feeling A state of mind Or is home actually to be found in another human being maybe your partner your parents How do you know when

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/07/moved-by-mandela-a-tribute-on-his-95th-birthday/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Book Review: Wild Ink by Richard Smyth
    plot and trajectory and overall meaning it doesn t quite live up to expectations Wild Ink doesn t quite know what it wants to be a black comedy about people on the periphery of society that is old ailing literary alcoholic etc an alternative thriller about terrorism in modern day London a mystery about the cartoon character Citizen Wilson It would take skill to hold all of these threads together and Smyth almost pulls it off The trouble is that because the characters are set up as misfits and relics of the early twentieth century when the plot comes to a head with a scandal involving all of their misdeeds it is hard to believe that anyone would care Similarly the subplots which see bombs setting off all over London and the enigmatic cartoon character Citizen Wilson whom ingeniously Chaliapin suspects of being the bomber both just fray out towards the end of the book and get left behind In fact the whole premise of Chaliapin being a cartoonist and cartoon editor is left behind which would be okay but that the novel is called Wild Ink and yet there doesn t seem to be any real point to the cartoons Chaliapin could just as well have been a journalist or a violinist or a darts player and the novel wouldn t have been much different All of these inconsistencies add up so that when you turn over the last page there are a lot of unanswered questions unanswered as in not resolved at all rather than left open for future pondering Some rigorous editing would have tightened up the plot and might have removed about a quarter or the novel s bulk so that it was a tighter read Despite the book s 12 price tag and dubious aesthetic quality a poor cover unfeasibly large pages reminiscent of large print books and chapter numbers in something like size 70 font Smyth s novel is definitely worth a read as are most of the works coming out of Dead Ink and it will be interesting to see what he produces next About Jonathan Aldridge Jonathan Aldridge has written for Sabotage The Writer and Bookslut His short stories have appeared in Cent Frogmore Papers and many more and his debut novel Banes of Boys and Girls is out now on Kindle and Nook Mail More Posts 1 Comments comments Prev Book Review The History of Rock n Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus Next The Red Keep the Spider and the Dead Explorer Related Posts Nonfiction Kurt Cobain Journals Book Review The Circle by Dave Eggers 9 11 Fiction and the Genie in the Bottle On Rushdie s Latest Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th February 2016 Litro 149 The Love issue Letter from the

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/10/book-review-wild-ink-by-richard-smyth/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Book Review: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
    teased and bewildered by the parallel universe that runs alongside their existence and is so clearly out of their control so too is the reader But the suspense is difficult to apprehend The metaphysical plot is complicated and hard to follow even despite an in depth explanation of goings on A new set of characters use a technical terms that sometimes feel a bit geeky more Star Trek or Dr Who than literary fiction In many ways that s a good thing Why shouldn t television influence novel writing And why shouldn t modern authors and so few dare to force us to contemplate the world we live in In the final part of the book for instance Holly considers her grief for the regions we deadlanded the ice caps we melted the Gulf Stream we redirected the rivers we drained the coasts we flooded the lakes we choked with crap the seas we killed the species we drove to extinction the pollinators we wiped out the oil we squandered the drugs we rendered impotent the comforting liars we voted into office all so we didn t have to change our cosy lifestyles The Bone Clocks is an ambitious thought provoking novel and David Mitchell is certainly one of the most exciting and groundbreaking novelists working today A stimulating read and worth coming back to About Juno Baker Juno Baker is a freelance writer and editor mostly specialising in the not for profit sector with a distracting passion for books She has worked as a performance poet supporting John Cooper Clarke at Express Excess secretary singing dancing waitress children s party entertainer film extra actor cabaret compere night summary writer and journalist Her non fiction has appeared in The Guardian and her stories in numerous magazines and anthologies including The Frogmore Papers the Momaya Review 2013 and From the Slopes of Olympus to the Banks of the Lea an anthology about the London Olympics in 2012 Mail Web More Posts 4 Comments comments Prev Book Review In the Beginning Was the Sea by Tomas Gonzalez Next Myths Legends The 2014 IGGY Litro Young Writers Award Related Posts World Book Night Are We Still Reading The Good Book Book Review Berlin Imagine a City by Rory MacLean Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th February 2016 Litro 149 The Love issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto Love we spend our lives craving it in one form or another searching for it and talking about it Its meaning is felt more than it is clearly expressed Some call it the greatest virtue Continue reading 9th December 2015 Litro 148 The Going Home issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto This month in Litro 148 we explore the notion of what Going Home means to us

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/09/book-review-the-bone-clocks-by-david-mitchell/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Book Review: Twilight of the Eastern Gods by Ismail Kadare
    of the Soviet Union the lack of mythos the contrast between Balkan and Slavic folklore affects the narrator most keenly he perceives a certain drabness compared with legends and timelessness of his Albanian homeland Perhaps my disinclination derived from the disappointment I had felt on first seeing the Kremlin s rust coloured bastions the somnolent placid walls of the Kremlin gave off a ruddy cheerfulness that sterilised the imagination No dashing horseman with moonlight glinting on his steel visor would bring any message to the gates of this castle And it is language itself that is behind most of the contradictions that support the institute The grand Soviet project of uniting peoples throughout the continent and the world is pitted against the death rattle of national languages overwhelmed by Russian supremacy In the word soup of already dead and gravely sick languages a few Russian expressions floated to the surface I can see my language before me like a ghost one kept screaming as if he had just woken up in fright Despite its weighty themes however the novel lacks the scale of Kadare s other works Compared to The Siege or Palace of Dreams this novel focusses more tightly on the minutiae of Moscow life While longing for the far off myths of Albania Twilight of the Eastern Gods does little in the way of examining the duality between the everyday and the mythic so characteristic of Kadare s later fiction A subplot revolving around the ostracisation of Boris Pasternak adds little to the story save to reinforce the feeling that the author himself would be only too happy to suffer the same fate if it meant leaving Moscow This in contrast to Kadare s Albanaian novels in which protagonists seem to retain a dogged loyalty to the homeland and never seem to seriously question leaving Albania no matter how totalitarian dictatorship becomes Despite its shortcomings the novel provides a refreshing glimpse into Khrushchev era Moscow without the usual political lens that invariably clouds discussion of that period You get the sense that Kadare is not too interested in launching a scathing political attack or crafting social realist propaganda but simply wants to tell a story a task which he is admirably equipped to do and which make this novel a pleasure to read About Lochlan Bloom Lochlan lives in London and does not have a cat or a dog His debut novel The Wave will be published in January 2016 by Dead Ink publishingtheunderground com The BBC Writersroom describe Lochlan Bloom s writing as unsettling and compelling vivid taut and grimly effective work and he has written for BBC Radio Scotland H Magazine Ironbox Films and Calliope the official publication of the Writers Special Interest Group SIG of American Mensa amongst others For more details visit www lochlanbloom com Mail Web More Posts 10 Comments comments Prev Books in Review Froth on the Daydream by Boris Vian Next Anthology The Moth This is a True Story Related Posts

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/08/book-review-twilight-of-the-eastern-gods-by-ismail-kadare/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Books in Review: Froth on the Daydream by Boris Vian
    shouldn t be picking out each note a saxophonist is playing If you stop to notice on your first read that all of the women at one time or another wear the same clothes yellow skirt white top you ll have lost the rhythm But at the same time the writing wants to be noticed with many description beats like on the first page where Colin combs his hair his amber hairbrush divided the silky bulk into long orange lines like the farrows that the happy worker draws with a fork in apricot jam A mix of pushing forward without needing to stop to take it all in just enjoy what you immediately enjoy and slowing down into well written beauty On top of this the universe itself is a world of happy and unhappy coincidence rather than following some masterplan As Colin goes from stoned happy in the first half of the book to desperate and depressed in the second everything changes His luxurious and spacious flat becomes an ever shrinking maze of corridors sunlight can no longer get in and the tiles are covered in black soot Emotions are everything here cook Nicola literally ages 10 years in 6 months just because Colin is unhappy in a way that s both naive and hard In L Écume emotions and tone are all consuming much like the state you re in when listening to music when you re in you re never in halfway And it s this line that L Écume treads so well the same line jazz runs along deep melancholy and who cares frivolity The love story itself is made fun of Colin falls in love with Chloé after deciding he wants to fall in love and after being taught some new dance moves to music in the style of Chloé as arranged by Duke Ellington The characters aren t meant to be real But it s also devastating when the novel central tragedy strikes that all too real feeling of an unjust world that takes away as easily as it gives and of people trying as hard as they can to be happy despite it One of Vian s best inventions in L Écume is the pianocktail a piano that creates cocktails based on the song you play As Colin s friend Chick plays Loveless Love a blues song by W C Handy their exchange neatly captures the spirit of the age I was worried said Colin at one point you played a false note luckily it fitted the harmony It takes the harmony into account said Chick Not at all replied Colin That would be too complicated It s just there are a few constraints Drink and come eat About Tobias Chapple Mail More Posts 1 Comments comments Prev Book Review The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton Next Book Review Twilight of the Eastern Gods by Ismail Kadare Related Posts Best of the Best Literary Characters Who d Be Good at Twitter Anthology The Book

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/08/books-in-review-froth-on-the-daydream-by-boris-vian/ (2016-02-15)
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