Archive for 23 dicembre 2010

Migliori libri anglo-asiatici del 2010: The Guardian

23 dicembre 2010

I migliori libri anglo-asiatici del 2010. The Guardian ha pubblicato la top ten di Nikesh Shukla.

LibOn propone l’articolo originale


Nikesh Shukla. Wednesday 22 December 2010

From Hanif Kureishi to Helen Walsh, the novelist celebrates books that find room for naked raves and Bruce Springsteen as well as wrangles over arranged marriages

1. Hanif Kureishi – The Black Album (Faber)

While The Buddha of Suburbia is a masterfully comic tale of rise and fall that loves its characters, there’s something a lot more sinister about The Black Album, making it the oddball in his output. It seems to foreshadow works like Four Lions, City of Tiny Lights and even the forthcoming Ours Are the Streets by decades, and is written with the energy and exuberance of Kureishi’s early work, embodied by the raw funk of Prince’s eponymous album, and the dizzying chemical overload of the ectasy that fills the rave scenes. It charts clean-cut Shahid’s trip into hedonism and flirtations with fundamentalism with eerie prescience, and its take on the classic Anglo-Asian identity crisis tale throws a cleancut, sheltered lad in at the deep end of a naked rave party.

2. Hari Kunzru – My Revolutions (Penguin)

Hari Kunzru takes a break from technology-obsessed India and colonial India to deliver a bittersweet tale of the realities that befall an activist commune, and the secrets and regrets that haunt them well into their dotage. The slow-burn reveal of how all the empassioned polemics and free love fell out is beautifully explored, from the impetuousness of their adolescent smugness into the 20-20 hindsight of guilt and regret. Refreshingly un-brown, which is a rare allowance by a publisher for an “ethnic” author.

3. Sarfraz Manzoor – Greetings from Bury Park (Bloomsbury)

The way this book deals with how a song, a band, a movement can transend race and religion, colour and creed is one close to my heart, and reading about Manzoor‘s tribal bond with first Bruce Springsteen and then rock’n’roll reminds me of how hip-hop helped me to belong to a club where I knew little of the other members. His descriptions of being British and Muslim and being unsure of how to reconcile the two is wonderfully honest, painful, brutal and triumphant, and damn, he’s been one of my must-read journalists for years. It pretty much says everything I want to say about dual heritage and about music but better and makes me … well, feel like I should have given up and he should be writing this list not me.

4. Sathnam Sanghera – The Boy with the Topknot (Penguin)

When successful journalist and materialist Sathnam Sanghera was 24 he discovered his father and sister were both suffering from a severe mental illness he hadn’t been aware of. As he researched their conditions and how they had come to be hidden (through ignorance of schizophrenia and guilty family secrets) he started to piece together his history and that of his parents. Each family member is memorable, from his silent father obsessed with BBC Parliament despite his lack of English; his mother, neurotic and obsessed with finding him a wife of equal caste, holding the family together; his brother with his growing obsessions with fashion icons of the times and his two sisters, funny and nasty by turns. The book closes with a letter to his mother, explaining the choices he has made and the secret life of dating white girls and the amount of panic and depression it causes him. But its also warm and funny – especially where he has his hair cut for the first time, a big Sikh no-no.

5. Helen Walsh – Once Upon a Time In England (Canongate)

A story of one moment that changes everything, and leaves a couple desperately in love spending a lifetime passively battling each other for release. Here, it is a brutal act of racism against working man’s club singer Robbie’s beautiful Tamil wife, Susheela. Set in the north, and featuring plenty of small-town suffocation, dreams fade and hope dims, lives collide and their children grow up in that inbetween world, never quite sure of who they’re meant to be and who their parents wish they were. A bittersweet joy to read.

6. Niven Govinden – Graffiti My Soul (Canongate)

The ultimate coming-of-age novel, tenderly exploring the suffocation of suburbia, in small-town Surrey where Verapen, a half-Tamil, half-Jewish running obsessive reminisces about the girl he has just buried, his love Moon Suzuki. He ascribes rules to what he can handle in his life (not much beyond the running), which is difficult given that his parents, in the midst of their own crises, aren’t following the rules set out for him. Govinden‘s charm, warmth and ability to wring a heart-wrenching tale out of teenage life make this less a retread of culture-clash concerns and more about the perils and pitfalls of being a teenager in the grand tradition of JD Salinger.

7. Anjali Joseph – Saraswati Park (Fourth Estate)

The beauty of the whole diaspora writing thing is seeing how Anglo-Asians write about living here and there, back in the “desh”. Another debut of note from this year was Anjali Joseph who manages to write about a startlingly modern India, with slackers and movers and shakers and lovers familiar from contemporary London. It captures the middle classes of Mumbai with still, quiet clarity and tells a tragicomic and tale about modern family life.

8. Gautam Malkani – Londonstani (Fourth Estate)

Grossly mismarketed as highbrow literary fiction, Londonstani works best as a YA novel aimed at showing teenagers how easily they descend into warring tribes. It’s a Lord of the Flies for our time, set in a west London tense with Muslim/Hindu/Sikh tensions, wicked mobile phones and the purest of friendships poisoned by the lure of money. As the characters try and escape their urban-suburban existences, external forces seek to use them against others. A poignant and gritty book about the difference between friendship and tribalism.

9. Rajeev Balasubramanyam – In Beautiful Disguises (Bloomsbury)

Balasubramanyam‘s only book released in the UK has moments of frivolity and fantasy that exploit Bollywood tropes with such imagination and wonder that you can’t help but be spirited away. The narrator, burdened with a bullying dad, obedient sister and mute mother, is moments away from the obligatory arranged marriage scenario. Her only escape is the pictures, where she learns to ape Holly Golightly and the other starlets. Escaping to the big bad city she learns that … well… I’m sure you can guess. But this is a beautifully energetic book that captures the spirit of escapism and its collision with reality superbly.

10. William Sutcliffe – Are You Experienced? (Penguin)

Ahh levity, my old friend – welcome back, after the heart-wrenching emotiveness of some of the books above, sometimes you just want to read about backpackers trying to find “the real India” – all toilet disasters and sexy gurus and scam artists ahoy as Sutcliffe leads us from Delhi to Goa via recreational sex and drugs, and boy, is it fun. And surprising that the funniest book on this Anglo-Asian list was written by someone more Anglo than Asian.






Casa editrice Atelier

23 dicembre 2010

Dalla rivista Atelier una nuova casa editrice.  LibOn segue il cammino della nuova nata.

Ecco il post apparso questa mattina, giovedì 23 dicembre 2010, su Atelier blog:


Il panorama editoriale italiano si è arricchito di una nuova proposta: una casa editrice che nasce dall’esperienza della rivista e delle pubblicazioni di Atelier.

L’idea è nata dalla constatazione che la natura giuridica dell’Associazione Culturale Atelier, che continuerà autonomamente le sue pubblicazioni, non permette di stampare tutte le opere degne di essere presentate al pubblico. La selezione e la rarità, infatti, hanno contraddistinto libri di poesia, di traduzione e di critica, apprezzati a livello nazionale ed internazionale. Purtroppo, abbiamo dovuto respingere manoscritti di pregio.

La nuova casa editrice, pertanto, continuerà a compiere un lavoro di selezione severo, accurato e motivato. Il titolare, infatti, sarà coadiuvato da un comitato di lettura composto da Davide Brullo, Matteo Fantuzzi, Guido Mattia Gallerani e Roberto Carnero.

Ogni autore che intende pubblicare con noi potrà giovarsi di una consulenza editoriale al fine di migliorare la pubblicazione.

La stessa passione che ha contraddistinto il lavoro della rivista ci spinge ad affrontare la nuova avventura nella consapevolezza delle difficoltà e dei problemi che una simile operazione comporta, corroborati, però, da quindici anni di lavoro sui testi dei poeti e degli scrittori contemporanei, dalle proposte di carattere etico ed estetico, come pure da una militanza in grado di attivare energie giovanili e di coinvolgerle in un progetto di rinnovamento della poesia, della narrativa e della critica italiana.
Per noi non è importante il nome, ma il testo, e proprio basandoci sulla validità del testo ci proponiamo di valorizzare chiunque sappia proporre opere di pregio per realizzare collane di poesia e di narrativa destinate a fondare un canone nella letteratura italiana, come pure una collana di critica destinata a rompere schemi e pregiudizi.

Stiamo pubblicando le seguenti opere:

Collana Zaffiro-poesia:

  • Achille Abramo Saporiti: Sulla quarta corda
  • Maurizio Clementi: Pompei dalla luna / Pompei from the moon (testo bilingue)
  • Paul Verlaine: Tradire Verlaine (traduzione di testi scelti a cura di Giuliano Ladolfi)
  • Francesco Gabellini, A la mnuda
  • Marco Bini, La conoscenza del vento

Collana Rubino-Narrativa:

  • Ferruccio Parazzoli: La leggenda del cieco Samurai
  • Davide Brullo: Il cacciatore di pantere

Collana Smeraldo-Saggistica:

  • Marco Merlin, Fra memoria e visione. Saggio sull’opera di Roberto Mussapi
  • Atti del Convegno La ricerca del fondamento – letteratura e religione nella società secolarizzata (con Langella, Squarotti, Cavalleri, Parazzoli, Beck, Gibellini, Zaccuri, Maffeo ed altri), atti del convegno di Brescia 8-9 novembre 2010

Collana Quarzo, letteratura infantile:

  • Sabina Grando, Mamma, recitami una fiaba
  • Davide Brullo, Papà recitami una fiaba

Collana Perle, pubblicazioni di genere diverso:

  • Laura Pollino, Il Talismano di Mohejo-daro

Per informazioni si prega di contattare il delegato alle pubbliche relazioni (telefono 3458655043; email
I manoscritti vanno inviati alla casella di posta pr@ladolfieditore.itoppure a Giuliano Ladolfi Editore, Corso Roma, 168, 28021 Borgomanero (No)





Cinque libri di Natale: The Washington Post

23 dicembre 2010

Cinque libri di Natale, o meglio, sul Natale: Five books about Christmas.

Questo l’articolo che il Washington Post ha pubblicato ieri, mercoledì 22 dicembre 2010, firmato da Yvonne Zipp.

Eccolo su LibOn


By Yvonne Zipp

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Whether it’s the Grinch staging a midnight raid on Whoville or the Herdman clan terrorizing a nativity play in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, there are so many classic holiday stories that you couldn’t get through them all if you started reading before Arbor Day. That’s fitting, since the annual shindig in Britain and America can be traced back to one author. No, not Richard Paul Evans – Charles Dickens, whose A Christmas Carol helped reignite a craze for the holiday when it was published in 1843. (Mr. Dickens, Visa salutes you.) Every year brings a sleighful of new entries jostling to become the next “Polar Express” – or at least a heartwarming adaptation on the Hallmark Channel.


1Since The Christmas Box became a bestseller in 1995, Evans has been publishing’s Mr. December. In Promise Me (Simon & Schuster), Beth’s husband has died of cancer. Before shuffling off this mortal coil, he was a cheating louse. Beth’s daughter is sick, the doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong, and her job at the dry cleaner’s won’t cover the mortgage. Enter a gorgeous stranger, who instantly diagnoses her daughter’s illness – and then makes off with Beth’s home equity loan. (A bank handing over $63,000 to somebody it’s about to foreclose on – now, there’s a Christmas miracle.) While Evans specializes in heartwarming, there’s no getting around the fact that the central relationship here is less Clement Clarke Moore and more Jerry Springer.

2Miss Arabella Dempsey is also feeling less than merry. Her almost-fiance married her wealthy aunt instead, and the Georgian wallflower is forced to turn teacher. At Miss Climpson’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies, Arabella is attacked after stumbling across a Christmas pudding with a message inside. Fortunately, Reginald “Turnip” Fitzhugh, who is “possessed of every worldly endowment except intellect,” comes to her rescue. (Picture Bertie Wooster as a romantic lead.) Soon the banter and the puddings are flying as the two team up to catch a spy. Lauren Willig’s The Mischief of the Mistletoe (Dutton) combines elements of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel “The Watsons” with a little Baroness Orczy for a sugarplum of a romp that romance fans should gobble up.


3What if Raymond Chandler traded Los Angeles for the Arctic? Cranky elf Gumdrop Coal has been fired from Santa’s Workshop in The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir (Dutton). Then a lifelong member of the Naughty List is gunned down with a Red Ryder carbine-action BB gun: “Someone shot his eye out.” As things at the North Pole turn as nasty as rancid eggnog, Coal is left with an undeniable conclusion: Someone is gunning for the big guy. A holiday noir is a terrific idea, but, with a cast that includes Tiny Tim, the Nutcracker, the Misfit Toys and George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life, author Ken Harmon crams in too many pop culture references. (Even the Munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz” get a shout-out. Also “Citizen Kane.”) The effect is rather like someone stuffing a fruitcake, a peppermint stick and a partridge in a pear tree into a blender and pressing frappe.


4 The Christmas Chronicles (Bantam) was first produced as an eight-hour radio play, and this novella based on it seems designed to be read aloud. It traces the “real history” of one Klaus, a woodworker in the Black Forest in the 1300s who turned toymaker to console children after the Black Death ravaged his village. Once the magical elements kick in, the novel loses a little momentum, but author Tim Slover mixes dollops of wit in his folk tale. (An official North Pole Amendment: “Each child may make his or her list of requests as long as he or she pleases. Santa will be happy to consider the first three items. After that his attention tends to flag.”) While it lacks the wonder of “The Polar Express,” “The Christmas Chronicles” offers a similar message. And a reader can easily imagine Rankin/Bass turning it into a stop-motion holiday special, with nemesis Rolf Eckhof taking the place of Burgermeister Meisterburger.


5Boys and dogs go together like marshmallows and cocoa, but the neglected Irish setter that George’s grandfather brings home is strictly on loan while his owner is in jail. Nonetheless, Tucker’s presence at the Kansas dairy farm – still reeling from the death of George’s father – is so welcome that “it was as if the McCray family had suddenly discovered the benefits of running water.” With Christmas With Tucker (Doubleday), Greg Kincaid has written a solid, earnest holiday tale about hard work, family and the importance of a good dog.

Zipp reviews books regularly for the Christian Science Monitor.