Tuesday, 22 May 2012

News: Liberty And Love, And Other Pressing Matters

JAKIM's latest book promo
A big piece of book-related news last week was Uganda-born Canadian writer Irshad Manji's talk at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last Saturday, which may or may not have anything to do with the Malay translation of her book, Allah, Liberty and Love, published by ZI Publications.

Manji is also known for another book, The Trouble with Islam. She's director of the Moral Courage Project at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, and founder and president of Project Ijthiad, a "charitable organization promoting a 'tradition of critical thinking, debate and dissent' in Islam." Her presence here and her book have, naturally, raised some hackles.

I don't know about the book, but the reporting bums me out. Like, is it such a big deal that she's a "lesbian Muslim writer"? So it seems her books are not only "dangerous" but, oh, horrors, she's reportedly also a le-e-e-esbian. Like that is all you need to know.

Here, read some thoughts about this, because I don't think I can add to the debate.

Before JAKIM raised the alarm, I'd never even heard of Irshad Manji (bad books editor, bad!) Now, everybody does. And if her latest book is banned, say, nine months from today ... what's the point?

Censorship and sensibility
The Quote of the Week goes to Jessica Crispin at Bookslut: "Okay, it's nice and all that someone is fighting back against these stupid decisions to pull books off of library shelves, but does it have to be this book we're rallying around? They still yank To Kill a Mockingbird, you know."


Something else the West didn't invent
So Gutenberg, apparently, wasn't the first to invent the printing press or movable type. Gunpowder, the compass, paper money and now these. I'm getting a bit sick of experts unearthing Things That Came Out of China While Europe was in the Dark Ages but the Chinese Were Too Dumb to Perfect and Capitalise On. Today? They copy everything.

More writer tips
Reading the fine print: editing clauses in publishing contracts. It's a lot more comprehensive than what we have here, which is, "Make my manuscript SHINE!" And the raw material isn't always good. Also, here are 11 mistakes writers make when approaching literary agents.

Future career plan?
This infographic on the birth of a book is one of the more realistic representations of the book publishing process. Just so happens, I like mutton and goat's milk. And, like goats, I like coffee.

You know I will. And this pic needs to be on a t-shirt.
Original picture here.

Think I'll looking for a goat farm to buy when I'm too old to type shit. I might even plant coffee trees on the premises, too.


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