In her new essay collection This is Running For Your Life, out this month, Michelle Orange takes us from Beirut to Hawaii to her grandmother's retirement home in Canada in her quest to understand how people behave in a world increasingly mediated — for better and for worse — by images and interactivity. Described by Publishers Weekly as a "whip-smart, achingly funny collection," the book was reviewed by Michael Redhill (author of Consolation and the Inger Ash Wolfe novels) in this weekend's National Post:
This is Running For Your Life [is] a brave, new, and sometimes thrillingly difficult collection of essays by Canadian author Michelle Orange... Orange is an acolyte of the eye — as is John Berger and Susan Sontag — and many of the attempts in this collection consider movies and images in the context of our consumption of these things in the Internet age. In the strongest of them, Orange worries the barrier between seeing and being seen; and between witness and participation.
Also out this month is James Lasdun's extradordinary Give Me Everything You Have, which chronicles the author's strange harrowing ordeal at the hands of a former student — a self-styled "verbal terrorist," who began trying, in her words, to "ruin him."
Maureen Corrigan recently discussed the book on NPR's Fresh Air:
Over the past week or so, I've mentioned James Lasdun's new book, Give Me Everything You Have to a bunch of colleagues; they've all heard about it already and they're all dying to read it. What Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was to parenting a couple of years ago, Lasdun's Give Me Everything You Have may well be to teaching: a controversial personal reflection on the professor-student relationship — except Lasdun, unlike Chua, really has no advice to offer; no certitude, nor help for pain. His memoir attests to the fact that in the confusing Age of the Internet, we are all as on a "darkling plain," at the mercy of assault by email and wiki rumor.
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Architecture / February 29, 2012
Almost 2 years later, the award-winning domentary short is now available in its entirety online. Filmed just following his death at 93, Yoshihiro Takishita talks about the house they acquired together in 1967 (while Roderick was working as journalist for the Associated Press in Japan) and muses about the meaning of home:
I was pretty excited over the weekend to hear that Roland Emmerich's new movie Anonymous is out. I love me a good Elizabethan costume drama—the clothes, the language, the political intrigue! If you haven't heard of it, the film dramatizes the Oxfordian theory of authorship—the idea that Shakespeare's plays were written by Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford (who, as various people have pointed out, died several years before the publication of The Tempest).
The film has triggered a positively apoplectic response from the scholarly community; the New Yorker's David Denby calls it a story "so rotten that, as Shakespeare, or, rather, Oxford, might put it, the kites wheel and shriek rather than batten on so foul a carcass."
Personally, I find the authorship question rather silly—I prefer to read the plays for themselves rather than scan them Da Vinci Code-style for hidden clues to their composition. And why fabricate conspiracy theories when so much historically accurate skulduggery exists? If you like your Shakespeare spiced with criminal intrigue yet still backed up by rigorous scholarship, may I suggest:
Stealing the World's Most Famous Book
Click on the cover for more info!
As in TONIGHT-TONIGHT! At 7pm!!
Chester Brown will be reading from his new book Paying for It in the Alice MacKay room on the lower level of the Central Library. He'll also be answering questions, and signing books.
Did I mention it's TONIGHT?