o Beloved Author Toni Morrison was celebrated in France last week, as she received the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest decoration awarding military, social, scientific or cultural contributions. The award is, on occasion, granted to non-citizens. The following quotes are from Jenny Barchfield’s article on the Huffington Post. Frédéric Mitterand is France’s culture minister.
“Mitterrand called Morrison – a Nobel laureate and winner of the Pulitzer Prize – “the greatest American novelist of her time.”
“I want to tell you that you incarnate what’s most beautiful about America … (that) which gives a black child, born during segregation into a modest family in a medium-sized Ohio city an exceptional destiny,” Mitterrand told Morrison, as she listened on from a gilt-covered armchair nearby. “You were the first woman writer to tell the painful history of Afro-Americans.”
Read the entire article here.
o Nathan Bransford is not longer agenting. Nathan worked as an agent with Curtis Brown Literary Agency from 2002 to 2010. Most of you know Nathan and have benefitted from his advices (his posts helped me craft my first query) thanks to his award-winning blog. Nathan is joining the ranks of CNET, and will from now on focus on media strategy, in addition to his career as an author. Indeed, Nathan’s book–JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW–is published by Dial Books for Young Readers and will be out in May 2011.
Fear not, Nathan Bransford’s blog will live on. Because he’s like that. Thanks Nathan. To read more about Mr. Bransford’s new adventure, click here.
o Madonna (after all, she’s a children’s book author), suggests an “experiment” to end bullying.
o It’s here! The New York Times, not speaking ill of picture books this times (click here for Mother Reader’s take on the topic. Excellent post!), has its list of 2010 best illustrated children’s books out, just in time for Christmas shopping.
I would particularly like to draw your attention to the following moving and stellar review of Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, written by Laban Carrick Hill and illustrated by Bryan Collier. I must say, the little I saw of Collier’s illustrations touched me to the core. It’s powerful.
The article, written by Tony Horwitz, is here.
o I wasn’t aware of this, but you probably were: The Stonewall Award, ” The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table. Since Isabel Miller’s Patience and Sarah received the first award in 1971, many other books have been honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered experience.” I’m just glad it exists. One more voice to add to the “It gets better project.” Hopefully, the GLBTQ children’s literature will be more in the spotlight and help prevent suicides, especially among teens.
o Last but not least: It’s my wish that author Zetta Elliot be one day granted an award for her incessant fight against racism, for her efforts to bring more equality, cultural diversity and awereness in the publishing business. She is a strong voice and an inspiration. Please, check out her post titled “Shady,” focused on “shadeism, the discrimination that exists between the lighter-skinned and darker-skinned members of the same community”. I grew up in an environment that embodied what she is denouncing. Leave a comment to show your support?
o Me? If you’re wondering why I’ve been quiet for so long, and why the absences either during the summer or more recently: I’m dealing with a bout of depression, and have been for a while. I have much going on in my family, and though I’m the type to see the glass half full, it’s been a bit discouraging and worrisome. I committed to reviewing a certain amount of books and to some interviews. I will fulfill my commitments.
I’m writing this segment because I wanted to be honest with you all. Some people emailed to enquire about my well-being. Some left comments on the blog in my absence. I’m touched and I thank you. If this blog is still up, it’s because of you.