Literary and not-so-literary link goodness

Oh, yeah. From,  Africans shocked by uncivilized antics of European savages.

Africans say they have little hope that Europe will ever become civilized, after a week in which Spain’s King Carlos went on an elephant-killing spree and the Swedish Culture Minister was entertained by a racially offensive cake. “You can take the European out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the European,” sighed one resident of Kinshasa.

August Mwanasa, of Libreville in Gabon, said the latest atrocities didn’t surprise him as Europeans were still “savages”.

“I don’t want to sound racist, and some of my best friend are white, but let’s be honest: violence is hard-wired into their DNA,” said Mwanasa. “I mean, Europeans killed over 20 million other Europeans in the 1930s and 1940s. That’s barbarism on a scale unprecedented in history.”

Jenkins Odumbe, a Nairobi milliner, bemoaned ingrained attitudes of entitlement in Europe.

“If they’re not going on the dole they’re asking for bail-outs,” he said. “Why can’t they just get up earlier and work harder, that’s what I want to know?”

Liberte Aidoo,  a Ghanaian travel agent, said she had been “shocked and disgusted” by what she found on her first trip to Spain.

“The brochures promise sea and sun, but they’re still incredibly backward in Spain,” she recalled. “Basically they all live in mud huts called haciendas, and they sleep for two hours in the middle of the day. In Europe they call it a ‘siesta’. In Ghana we call it ‘being fucking lazy’.”

Read the whole thing. Really, you’d be crazy not to.


From the blog Night Deposits,  On the Waterfront 2.

H/T Professor Batty.


Author Jim C. Hines posed like women on the covers of fantasy novels, and got his wife to take pictures.  Like this:

He says: “In all seriousness, I spent the rest of last night with pain running through most of my back. […] Trying to launch my chest and buttocks in two different directions a la Vicious Grace? Just ow. […]  posing like these characters drives home exactly what’s being emphasized and what’s not. My sense is that most of these covers are supposed to convey strong, sexy heroines, but these are not poses that suggest strength. You can’t fight from these stances. I could barely even walk. ”

Jim C.Hines, my HERO. His follow-up post about posing like male heroes is also worth reading, if not quite as photolicious.

Adèle Geras on Women Doing Literary Things

I’m honored to feature Adèle Geras on WDLT this week. Geras, who lives in Cambridge,  has authored over 90 books  for readers of all ages. Her latest adult title is A HIDDEN LIFE (Orion), her latest young adult book is DIDO ( Corgi), and she has recently brought out a picture book (illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas)  for younger children called MY BALLET DREAM (Orchard).  Her essay on WDLT is titled “Appealing to everybody”, and talks about the trends in gendered book covers for children.

“…my own preoccupations are with things not traditionally associated with boys. I don’t write adventures. My books are full of clothes, food, emotions, relationships. I’m not given to fantasy (though I do like a nice spooky story as much as the next person and have written lots of those) and  in general  I’m impatient with books and movies which are full of special effects and short on dialogue.

Some of my covers are pink, I admit it. Most have girls on the cover. Thus it is that whenever I’m in a school and the books are spread out on display,  a look of growing anxiety crosses the faces of any boys in the class. Once, a kid put up his hand and asked me: “Please Miss, have you ever written any books about killer crabs?” It was hard to destroy the hope in that child’s eyes, but I had to confess that killer crabs are not part of my artistic universe.”

To read the full essay, please click here.