Nobel Prize Laureate: Toni Morrison

 Toni Morrison’s first novel,The Bluest Eye was her effort to depict racial self-loathing and to question the standards of beauty in America.

In an afterword of the 1999 edition of The Bluest Eye Morrison states that “…even the casual racial contempt can cause devastation.”

 Award winning editor and writer Dorothy Allison wrote of  Morrison’s talent in handling the narrator, Claudia, of The Bluest Eye:

“It was the storyteller, Claudia, who looked at the world with unflinching honesty, the beauty, and the ugliness alike. I understood her the way she raked her own soul, holding herself responsible for sins she should  never have thought hers.”

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Nobel Prize Laureate: Gabriela Mistral

Mistral’s works, both in verse and prose, deal with the basic passion of love as seen in the various relationships of mother and offspring, man and woman, individual and humankind, soul and God.

A dedicated educator and an engaged and committed intellectual, Mistral defended the rights of children, women, and the poor; the freedoms of democracy; and the need for peace in times of social, political, and ideological conflicts, not only in Latin America but in the whole world. She always took the side of those who were mistreated by society: children, women, Native Americans, Jews, war victims, workers, and the poor, and she tried to speak for them through her poetry, her many newspaper articles, her letters, and her talks and actions as Chilean representative in international organizations.

Source: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/gabriela-mistral

But it is her poems on food that I most love as shown in these delicious samples:

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Grazia Deledda

 The Nobel Prize in Literature 1926

Grazia Deledda wrote over thirty novels, four hundred short stories, a play, an opera-libretto, some poems and translated Balzac’s Eugénie Grandet into Italian in 1930.

[Deledda] belongs to more than just her own day. She does more than reproduce the temporary psychological condition of her period. She has a background, and she deals with something more fundamental than sophisticated feeling . . . what she does do is create the passionate complex of a primitive populace. –D.H. Lawrence

Although Grazia Deledda spent most of her adult life in Rome, much of her writing is set in Sardinia, where she was born.

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Alice Munro

Peter J. Thompson/National Post file photo http://www.knjiznica-delnice.com/knjige_alice.html

Every publisher I had ever met had assured me that I would have to grow up and write novels before I could be taken seriously as a writer. The result of this was that I wasted much time and effort trying to turn myself into a novelist, and had become so depressed that I was unable to write at all.

 The first book I read by Alice Munro was Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You. 

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 After that I was hooked and read everything of hers. She  was my biggest literary fan.

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Wislawa Szymborska

 Simply because April is National Poetry Month

 Possibilities

I prefer movies.

I prefer cats.

I prefer the oaks along the Warta.

I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.

I prefer myself liking people

to myself loving mankind.

File:Wislawa Szymborska Cracow Poland October23 2009 Fot Mariusz Kubik 08.jpg

Photographer: Mariusz Kubik

I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.

I prefer the color green.

I prefer not to maintain that reason is to blame for everything.

I prefer exceptions.

I prefer to leave early.

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Doris Lessing

When I was at university I fell in love with my English professor.

He was teaching The Twentieth Century novel, in particular the novels of D.H. Lawrence.

My classes were in the morning and in the afternoon I would lie on my bed in the dorm and read Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow and Women in Love.

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My room-mates, who were studying the sciences would pass by and ask me what I was doing.

“Studying,” I would say.

In reality I was dreaming of love. Continue reading

HERTA MÜLLER

 Some of you may have read Karen’s My Train of Thought’s On…awhile back on her Did You Know? Nobel Prizes Literature post.

If so, you might have noticed that out of 106 Nobel Prizes for Literature 13 have been awarded to women.

What?

Okay. I won’t get into any equality debate. Or the men are better writers than women argument. (Yawn..Oh, sorry). All, I’ll say is have you read Herta Muller?

Her novels are a reflection of her own struggles of living under the repressed dictatorship of Ceausescu’s’ Romanian regime. They are filled with betrayals, rebellion, corruption and forced labor camps. To read any of them is heartbreaking and haunting.

Photo source: wikipedia.org

Recipients of Nobel prizes for literature often, in my opinion, win because of their humanitarian and political stance.

But that is not enough. Their writing must be stellar. Continue reading