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A Brief History of Postcolonial Literature, Part I

By Audrey Golden. Apr 19, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Book History

Since the 1980s, numerous novelists, dramatists, and poets have been marketed as postcolonial writers. But what is postcolonial literature? In the broadest terms, this category includes works that have a relationship to the subjugating forces of imperialism and colonial expansion. In short, postcolonial literature is that which has arisen primarily since the end of World War II from regions of the world undergoing decolonization. Works from such regions in the 20th and 21st centuries, such as the Indian subcontinent, Nigeria, South Africa, and numerous parts of the Caribbean, for example, might be described as postcolonial. 


How Best to Begin Collecting Native American Fiction

By Audrey Golden. Apr 18, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, American Literature

Are you thinking about starting a new collection that focuses on Native American literature, including First Nations fiction? Whether you’re looking for works published by notable presses in the U.S. or small-press collections, collecting titles by indigenous authors can be an exciting process. From Native Canadian writers like George Clutesi to Pulitzer Prize-winning authors such as N. Scott Momaday, we have some great ideas to get you started.


The Legacy of Gabriel García Márquez

By Matt Reimann. Apr 17, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature, Nobel Prize Winners

In November 2014, the University of Texas paid $2.2 million for the archives of Gabriel García Márquez. It is hard to put a price on the private works of a colossal author, but if one is assigned, that price is necessarily significant. So, it seems the scramble for his papers and manuscripts is just one of the ways the world is dealing with García Márquez's illustrious legacy.


Libraries and Special Collections: Carnegie Libraries

By Katie Behrens. Apr 16, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Libraries

Andrew Carnegie left his name on a lot of American landmarks—Carnegie Hall and Carnegie Mellon University, for example—but perhaps no other philanthropic mission did quite so much good for so many as the libraries he funded. Carnegie believed in helping those who helped themselves, so the public library, where people of all walks of life came seeking knowledge, greatly appealed to him. The first Carnegie library built in the United States became a National Historic Landmark in 2012, and there are hundreds still in use.


Win $50 Credit with Books Tell You Why

By Matt Reimann. Apr 15, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book News

At Books Tell You Why, we deeply appreciate all of our readers and customers. As a token of our gratitude, we're giving away $50 store credit to one lucky visitor. 


Political Shift: How Kingsley Amis Wrote James Bond

By Brian Hoey. Apr 14, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: James Bond

Common folk wisdom suggests that most people move further right on the political spectrum as they age. And while many writers buck that trend, novelist Kingsley Amis was not one of them. Over the course of only a few decades, he adopted staunchly conservative viewpoints ranging from virulent anti-communism to disparagement of public funding for the arts. Interestingly, at the very height of this political shift, Amis was given the reins of one of England’s most beloved characters: James Bond.


Nobel Laureate, Günter Grass, Dies at Age 87

By Andrea Koczela. Apr 13, 2015. 10:45 AM.

Topics: Nobel Prize Winners, Book News

The great German novelist, Günter Grass, has died at age 87. He won the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature for his "frolicsome black fables [that] portray the forgotten face of history" and the Nobel Academy named him the "predecessor" of "García Márquez, Rushdie, Gordimer, Lobo Antunes and Kenzaburo Oe." Although his landmark 1959 novel, The Tin Drum, was initially rejected by his countrymen, it became an international success and launched his career. Grass became known as the conscience of Germany--a status that later became questioned when he disclosed his involvement during World War II.


Meetings of the Minds: Henry James on His Contemporaries

By Matt Reimann. Apr 13, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature

In his lifetime, Henry James mastered the art of of meeting his contemporaries. As a voracious reader, critic, and globe-trotter, James sought out and engaged the finest literary figures of his time in both his American homeland and in Europe. James enjoyed the company and works of some authors more than others, but no matter whom he was interacting with, the judgmental and perceptive writer almost always left a detailed record of his impressions.


Southern Publishing During the American Civil War

By Katie Behrens. Apr 12, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book History

Stop for a moment and think about how much society runs on the availability of paper: book publishing, printed money, legally binding documents, etc. When the American southern states seceded from the Union in 1860, they found themselves in need of both an organized government and the paper to make it run. Publishing in the Confederacy was going to require creativity.


Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney: Poetry and Politics

By Brian Hoey. Apr 11, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Poetry, Nobel Prize Winners

No one denies that the Nobel Prize in Literature has a political bent. It is, for instance, widely believed that playwright Harold Pinter’s 2005 victory was meant to commemorate the slow decline of the Thatcher-Major era in Great Britain. While the Nobel committee’s insistence that writers be honored for their ‘idealism’ has yielded snubs for James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, and Henry James, it has leveraged that same commitment into recognition for such overtly political poets as William Butler Yeats and Czeslaw Milosz. It would be easy, in light of all this, to color Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney as a predominantly political poet. He was, after all, a prominent voice for peace (among other things) during the Troubles in Ireland. To pigeonhole Heaney thusly, however, would be to do a huge disservice to one of the last century’s most accomplished poets.


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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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