Literature & Stories

Teach a gunman to read and maybe he’ll reform

If I could go here, I’d learn to read…

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Mentioned last week was a library built in Santo Domingo, one of most notorious communities in Medellin, Colombia.

The city has managed to cut crime significantly, down from 18 homicides per day in 1991 to two per day in 2007. Colombian cities seem to be aggressively improving their built environment, as we also linked to.

Perched on a hillside the dramatic España Library might be the kind of development that could prove a Godsend for any Kingston ghetto. If. As one local mover-and-shaker once said: “They actually read down there?!”

Read more HERE

Source: Arch Daily

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Literature & Stories

A Kashmiri in America: The lucky shade of brown

Journalist Muzamil Jaleel had reported from countries all around the world but then he still hadn’t been to America…

During that first brief stay in America, I never joined a “controversial” discussion. I always weighed my words and never mentioned al Qaeda. I never asked strangers how they viewed the war, the world or their lives. Talk about war and America’s place in the world was taboo. The threat of terror seemed so real that any counterargument was seen only as a liberal view, an exception to patriotic American discourse.

Read more HERE

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Source: Dispatches

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Literature & Stories

The death of books as we know them, by E. Book

Yes this is a website but we’d like to acknowledge that we do in fact like reading books. Paper things, bound, sometimes heavy and dog-eared. But for how much longer?

Apparently e-books are reaching a tipping point in popularity which could see readers waving goodbye to the old-fashioned way.

E-book software is becoming more reader-friendly but honestly, apart from actually downloading them, can your eyes actually manage staring at a computer screen for a few hundred pages?

Read more HERE

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Source: New York Times

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Literature & Stories

The Intoxication of Transformation

girl1.jpgOne of the more notable North American releases in the past few months (in my world) is Stefan Zweig’s The Post-Office Girl. I chanced upon his Chess Story (same translator) a few years ago when I indulged in one of my favourite activities: bibliomancy with the New York Review of Books Classics catalogue.

That was about two to three years ago and when I read it then…I didn’t quite get it. Why, I dunno, you read the synopsis on the site it sounds simple enough. Scenes from the book linger and crop up in my conscience from time to time: a Slavic yokel playing chess in a dingy tavern; a Nazi interrogator questioning someone in a (possibly red) hotel room; some odd, hostile confrontations on a ship. I didn’t dismiss because I concluded that neither the book nor I were quite ready for each other but could perhaps reunite in a few years; then I could decide if there was something to this Zweig. Continue reading

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Literature & Stories

A reminder: How sports pushed the Civil Rights agenda

Two new children’s books tell the story of how Negro League baseball, led by the great Jackie Robinson, broke down racial boundaries in America and predated the end of the Jim Crow races laws.

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Something worth teaching your own family about, regardless of whether we care anything for baseball in Jamaica, which we don’t. It might be something else to motivate themselves away from the TV, out playing sport and all because they read about it in a book.

Continue reading

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