Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich was written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill, promoted as a personal development and self-improvement book. Hill writes that he was inspired by a suggestion from business magnate and (later) philanthropist Andrew  Carnegie. While the book’s title and much of the text concerns increased income, the author insists that the philosophy taught in the book can help people succeed in any line of work, to do and be anything they can imagine.

The book was first published during the Great  Depression. At the time of Hill’s death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold more than 20 million copies, and by 2015 over 100 million copies had been sold worldwide.  It remains the biggest seller of Napoleon Hill’s books. BusinessWeek magazine’s Best-Seller List ranked it the sixth best-selling paperback business book 70 years after it was published.  Think and Grow Rich is listed in John C. Maxwell’s A Lifetime “Must Read” Books List.

The text of Think and Grow Rich is based on Hill’s earlier work The Law of Success, said to be the result of more than twenty years of study of many individuals who had amassed personal fortunes.

Hill studied their habits and evolved 16 “laws” to be applied to achieve success. Think and Grow Rich condenses them, providing the reader with 13 principles in the form of a “Philosophy of Achievement”. Mark Hansen has said time has shown that two of the laws/principles are most important: 1) The MasterMind principle/process and 2) “Know very clearly where you want to go.”

The book asserts that desire, faith and persistence can propel one to great heights if one can suppress negative thoughts and focus on long-term goals.

The 13 “steps” listed in the book are: 1. Desire 2. Faith 3. Autosuggestion 4. Specialized Knowledge 5. Imagination 6. Organized Planning 7. Decision 8. Persistence 9. Power of the Master Mind 10. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation 11. The Subconscious Mind 12. The Brain 13. The Sixth Sense

There are several courses created from the Think and Grow Rich content and principles.

Earl Nightingale co-created with Napoleon Hill a 30-minute audio summary of the book titled “Think and Grow Rich: Instant Motivator”.

Think and Grow Rich was revised in 1960, and published by Crest Book, Fawcett Publications. The revised edition had a testimonial from W. Clement Stone on the inside front cover page: “More men and women have been motivated to achieve success because of reading Think and Grow Rich than by any other book written by a living author.”  In 1987, Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton hosted a TV infomercial that sold the 1960 version with an audio cassette version of the book (the audio cassettes contained an introduction and conclusion by Tarkenton and supplemental study guides). In the introduction, Tarkenton stated that he believed Think and Grow Rich to be “the greatest most honored formula for success that has ever been developed.”

Source:

  • Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude, by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone. ISBN 1-4165-4159-4
  • Earl Nightingale Reads Think and Grow Rich [The essence of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich], by Earl Nightingale. ISBN 1-4558-1011-8
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The Top Ten Best Books of all Time

The best books of all time have been highly rated by critics and readers. They have managed to display dynamics and events in society in exemplary ways. The books reveal the truth and describe scenes and chapters that readers can relate to. They can also be described as timeless as they accurately portray the society and project into the future. They include:

Hamlet by William Shakespeare- Best Books

Hamlet by William Shakespeare is believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601 (Shakespeare et. al., 1948). Set in Denmark, the play recounts how Hamlet, Prince of Denmark sets out to get revenge on Claudius, his uncle. Claudius took the throne by murdering the King, who is Prince Hamlet’s father. He then married Prince Hamlet’s mother, Queen Getrude. The story is filled with Prince Hamlet’s mission for revenge while the criminal King reigns secure (Feud 1900, 264-66).The play explore themes of revenge, moral corruption, treachery and incest. It outlines the course of real and feigned lunacy. The book has appeared in accredited lists of the best books of all times including Harvard’s Book Store and Bravo Magazine, amongst other famous lists.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald- Best Books

Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby is an intricate tale of America following World War I. As such, it is among the twentieth-century’s great literature classics. The novel is one of the author’s highest achievements, and it chronicles the Jazz Age. The story features Jay Gatsby and his love for Daisy Buchanan, who the story describes as very beautiful, and their extravagant merry-makings on Long Island. The story is set when the world was recovering from the effects of the war and the American society was regaining its economic stability and enjoying prosperity. The New York Times marked this Jazz age ‘as an era where Gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession.’

Anna Karenina by Graf Leo Tolstoy- Best Books

Anna Karenina is the story of a doomed love affair. The rebellious and luxurious Anna refuses to bear the brunt of a loveless passionless marriage by having an affair with officer Count Vronsky, (Mandelker, 1993). The novel; an outcome of the author’s shocking and robust style of writing, is set in the nineteenth century Russia and its chronicles its seven major characters in the dynamics of rural and urban life as well as dissimilarities on love and family happiness. Due to difficulties in publishing the novel at the time, the book was published in sections from 1873 to 1877 in the The Russian Messenger periodical (Wikipedia.com).

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez- Best Books

Gabriel García Márquez is a Colombian born screen writer, novelist and short-story writer and an outstanding author of the 20th Century with the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature awarded in 1972. One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of his best rated Novels of all times written in 1967. It is a story of the Buendía, a multi-generational family, whose headman José Arcadio Buendía discovers the town of Macondo, which means Cavanillesia platanifolia, the native name given to a tree found in the symbolic area of Colombia. The story revolves around the life of this family in their newly discovered town (Márquez & Newman 2001).

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien- Best Books

The book portrays the enormous metaphorical, as well as literal loads, that American soldiers struggled with during the 23rd Infantry division. The “things” represented physical and emotional loads of grief, fear, guilt, longing and love. Tim O’ Brien, the narrator and protagonist of the novel reflects how soldiers deal with guilt and confusion of the inhumanity they witness at war. The Things They Carried was initially published by Houghton Mifflin in 1990 and is a distortion of fact and fiction with a collection of stories of soldiers involved in the Vietnam War. The book covers a landmark in American history by giving a glimpse of the situation as well as America’s involvement in the war at that time.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy- Best Books

This is a story written from the perception of five Russian aristocratic families. It chronicles the unfolding of events that lead to the Napoleonic invasion of Russia as well as the effect of his era the Tsarist society( Tolstoy & Tolstoi, 2015). War and Peace was published in 1869 and presents one of Leo Tolstoy’s most accredited literary work of all times according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The book has also been listed in over 32 famous books lists as the best book of all times’ and was rated 2nd on The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time.

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust- Best Books

In Search of Lost Time was first published in French as À la recherche du temps perdu from 1913 to 1927. It narrates the story of the author’s life as he searches for the truth. In Search of Lost Time is an outstanding French novel of the 20th century published in seven parts. The story represents three major characters and their influence on the main characters quest for truth. Proust manipulated and changed everything to reveal the truth (Proust, 2016).

To the Light House by Virginia Wolf- Best Books

The story is set in the pre-World War I and features Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay and their eight children in Hebrides summer home on the Isle of Skye’ in Scotland between 1910 and 1920 (Wolf 1992).The novel was first published in 1927 and presents and exemplary example of multiple focalization techniques in literature, where the author displays thoughts and actions rather than speeches. The book has been listed as number 15 by 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library in 1998, as well as the one hundred best English-language novels from 1923 by TIME magazine in 2005.

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville- Best Books

Moby Dick is the story of a notorious white whale that bit off Ahab’s leg, a captain of the whaler known as Pequod. The story narrates the captain’s revenge to kill Moby-dick for taking his leg. Melville is the main protagonist in the book; Melville goes by Ishmael in the book. This book that chronicles his life and experiences at sea. The story ends by the sinking of the whaler by Moby Dick (Melville, 1959). The novel was published in 1851 and gained recognition by critics and readers alike after the author’s death in 1851. It was revised many times after that and has since been rated the best book of all times.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes- Best Books

This novel is written by Miguel de Cervantes and was published in 1605 and 1615 as two parts. The story features Don Quixote a middle man from La Mancha, Central Spain who becomes obsessed and then goes crazy over tales he read about chivalry and knights. The name, Don Quixote, he gives to himself because he believes he is one of the knights he read about. He goes about behaving like a knight by riding with his squire in search for adventure. It turns to tragedy when he gets badly hurt by windmills he believes are giants sent to attack and later dies (de Cervantes, 1908).

Sources:

1. de Cervantes Saavedra, M. (1908). Don Quixote. J. Fitzmaurice-Kelly (Ed.). Insel-Verlag.

2. Fitzgerald, F. S. (1991). The Great Gatsby (1925). na.

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Karenina

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica

5. Mandelker, A. (1993). Framing Anna Karenina: Tolstoy, the woman question, and the Victorian novel. Ohio State University Press.

6. Márquez, G. G., & Newman, D. (2001). One hundred years of solitude (p. 36). Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind Tertiary Resource Service..

7. Melville, H. (1959). Moby Dick: Or, The Whale. Dell.

8. O’brien, T. (2009). The things they carried. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

9. Proust, M. (2016). In Search of Lost Time [volumes 1 to 7](Centaur Classics)[The 100 greatest novels of all time-# 13]. Marcel Proust.

10. Shakespeare, W., Olivier, L., & Simmons, J. (1948). Hamlet. University Press.

11. Tolstoy, L., & Bayley, J. (1978). The Portable Tolstoy (Vol. 1978). Viking Pr.

12. Tolstoy, L., & Tolstoi, L. N. (2015). War and peace. Random House.

13. Woolf, V. (1992). To the lighthouse. In Collected Novels of Virginia Woolf (pp. 177-334). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Why Kingpin Probably Won’t Appear In Marvel Movies, According To Vincent D’Onofrio

Vincent D’Onofrio has done some truly amazing work as Wilson Fisk on the Marvel/Netflix series Daredevil, and appreciation of the performance has led to a constantly-repeated question: will we ever get to see him square off against The Avengers on the big screen? Sadly, it seems the answer to this particular question is no… as, according to D’Onofrio, there is simply too much stuff going on in the movie world for the television stuff to be properly incorporated.

The actor is currently promoting his role in the upcoming series Emerald City, and it was while talking with Digital Spy that the conversation turned to his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Vincent D’Onofrio was asked about the possibility of us eventually seeing The Kingpin in a future Marvel movie, but, citing Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, he explained why there’s very little chance of that actually happening. Said D’Onofrio,

I would love to switch over to the movies, but I think it’s pretty much been said it’s not going to happen. Or at least not for a very, very long time. I think Kevin Feige explained that, and that’s what makes the most sense, he said the film universe is too jam-packed. It’s hard enough already, and if they keep bringing big characters in that they have to service in the writing, it’s not gonna work. They’re trying to figure out already how to individualise more and at the same time keep The Avengers going. It makes sense not to mix the TV stuff, there’s just too many characters.

It’s a fair point. While working on 2018’s The Avengers: Infinity War, directors Joe and Anthony Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have talked about the inclusion of more than 70 different characters from all of the movies that have been released thus far (not to mention new ones they will introduce). Now imagine adding the casts of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Daredevil, Jessica Jones,Luke Cage, and Iron Fist to the mix, and you begin to understand why it all may be too much to deal with in singular blockbuster event films. Fans obviously want to see all of these characters interact – as they do in the comics – but there are certain limitations within the medium that are very hard to overcome.

Source:

http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1613130/why-kingpin-probably-wont-appear-in-marvel-movies-according-to-vincent-donofrio

Carrie Fisher’s second life as a writer

The actress did have best sellers, beginning in 1987 with her first novel, Postcards From the Edge, a semi-autobiographical tale that made a big splash and then became a movie starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. (Fisher wrote the screenplay.) Postcards is the story of a young Hollywood actress named Suzanne Vale who’s in drug rehab and her relationship with her overbearing mother (in real life, Debbie Reynolds).

The New York Times called the novel “at once harrowing and hilarious.” During an interview when the book was published, Fisher, then 30, said she had first been approached about writing a humorous memoir. Instead, her “material” from rehab evolved into fiction.

”It was an extreme situation I made funny to myself while going through it,” she told The Times. ”That’s when I need humor: when there’s nothing funny. I was in the worst place I could be and not be dead.”

Fisher wrote more novels (The Best Awful, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma) and eventually decided sardonic memoirs were OK after all. Her druggie past and electroshock therapy all became game in Wishful Drinking (2008) and Shockaholic(2011).

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She acknowledged that shock treatments caused some memory loss. “For all I know, they could have dressed me in a ball gown, surrounded me with dancing dolphins, and married me off to Rush Limbaugh,” she wrote in Shockaholic.

For Fisher, writing openly about her real life, ironically, allowed her more artistic freedom, some critics found.

In a review of Wishful Drinking, Entertainment Weeklysaid: “Fisher’s voice is freer, now that she’s no longer hiding behind the coy scrim of calling her perky howls of pain ‘novels’ (as she did with Postcards From the Edge and The Best Awful).”

Three of Fisher’s books made USA TODAY’s best-seller list, which launched in fall 1993: Delusions of Grandma, which peaked at No. 122; The Best Awful (No. 135); and Wishful Drinking (No. 105).

Source:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2016/12/27/carrie-fisher-writing-career-princess-diarist-postcards-from-the-edge/95809552/

Who Buys Cookbooks and Why?

If you’re a cookbook author or hoping to become one soon, do you know who would want to buy your cookbook and why?

Adam Solomone, associate publisher of Harvard Common Press, answered this question for attendees at the recent IACP conference, where he gave a slide presentation of data collected by Nielsen, in conjunction with several North American publishers. Answers came from a core group of 2500 cookbook purchasers, a subset of 80,000 book buyers, based on the the last book they bought.

Here are the top findings:

1. Sixty-five percent of all cookbook buyers are women. You’re probably not surprised. Most buyers are college-educated. About half read blogs and discuss cookbooks with others.

2. Thirty-three percent said they bought the cookbook on impulse, either by discovering it online or in a store. Another 24 percent said they bought it because they looked through it and liked it, which implies they saw a physical copy. Indeed, when asked how they discovered the book, the highest percentage said it was displayed in a bookstore (23%).

3. Buyers are most interested in general categories of cooking, baking, and food and health. Other categories of interest were

  • Kitchen gardening (31%)
  • Home entertaining (28%)
  • Canning and preserving (22%)
  • Urban farming (15 %) and
  • Table setting (14%).

Regarding which cuisines they like to cook, respondents want to make

  • American food (86%)
  • Italian food (70%)
  • Desserts (56%)
  • Seafood (48%)
  • Southwestern/Tex-Mex (42%) and
  • Mexican/Central American (39%) dishes.

Gluten free and vegan brought up the rear with 6 percent interest each.

4. These folks only buy a few cookbooks a year, and most are for themselves. Thirty-nine percent bought between one and three cookbooks in the last year. Only 12 percent bought four or more. While most buy cookbooks for themselves (70%), the remaining 30 percent are gift purchases, nearly twice the percentage of regular books bought as gifts.

5. Half said they cook at least once a week. They were not asked if they cook more often than that. The next largest group, 26 percent, said they cook once per month or less.

6. The top factor that influenced them to buy the cookbook was easy recipes (60%). Other reasons were:

  • Recipes match my and my family’s tastes (48%)
  • Variety of recipes (48%)
  • Step-by-step instructions (47%)
  • Ingredients are easy to find (47%)
  • Recipes are healthy (44%)
  • They wanted the cookbook for their collection (39%), and
  • The cookbook was a great value (37%).

Surprisingly, when asked if “lots of color photographs of food” were a buying factor, only 21 percent said photos influenced their purchase decision. So many authors panic when their book deals do not include photography — now they can relax. If you’re worried about good book reviews, only 5 percent said they mattered. And if you’re concerned about the jacket description or testimonials, only 3 percent said they mattered.

7. Print is not dead. When asked where they got ideas on what to cook, respondents said they still read cooking magazines (64%), other magazines (61%) and newspapers (58%). However, the majority (69%) discover and use recipes from free online sites (69%) and print cookbooks (65%).

8. They recognized top brands, but not necessarily the ones you think. Betty Crocker was the most recognized cookbook brand (44%), AARP magazine was the most recognized magazine (24%), and Allrecipes.com was the most recognized website (25%).

9. Most cookbook buyers use social media and read blogs. Some 49 percent said they read or used recipes from blogs. While 34 percent said they do not use a social media networking site, that means 66 percent do so. They like Facebook (62%). If they’re finding recipes on Facebook, that should make you nervous. See this post about Facebook pages that cut and paste rccipes.

10. Online cookbooks have a way to go. Only 16 percent of cookbooks bought are ebooks, and only 11 percent of respondents said they read cookbooks on mobile phones.

Caveat: This study was conducted in 2012, and the 2500 recipients could only select an answer that was already provided.

What do you think of these findings? Are you surprised by any of them? Intrigued?

Source:

http://diannej.com/2014/who-buys-cookbooks-and-why/

Lion to Namesake: Hollywood Films Based on Books by Indian Authors

Books have always inspired a lot of filmmakers to make films globally, and not just Bollywood movies but many Hollywood movies too have been adapted from both fictional and non-fictional books. It is amazing to know there are many award-winning movies made in Hollywood which are based on books penned by India authors, some which are awaited and some which have gone on to become iconic hits for their content. Below are few of the such movies:

Lion: Lion starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and an ensemble of Indian cast member is based on a true story of Saroo Brierley who lost his parents and found them after years with the help of google maps. This movie is based on a non fiction book called A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley.

Slumdog millionaire: Slumdog millionaire is a story of a boy who is a participant of kaun banega crorepati and answers all questions correctly and is accused of cheating recounts his history, illustrating how he is able to answer each question and this movie is adapted by the novel Q & A (2005) by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup.

Victoria and Abdul: Victoria and Abdul starring Ali Fazal and Dame Judi Dench is based on a novel written by Shrabani Basu and is a true story of Queen Victoria and his servant Abdul and about their relationship between them and Abdu;’s journey to becoming one of the most influential court men in the Victorian Empire.

Namesake: Namesake is based on the novel of the same name by Jhumpa Lahiri, who appeared in the movie. It’s about a couple and their child and their life struggle.

Source:

http://www.news18.com/news/movies/lion-to-namesake-hollywood-films-based-on-books-by-indian-authors-1335696.html

Can Movies Replace Books in Reading Class?

Can students’ time in reading class be spent as profitably with a bowl of popcorn and a movie as with a novel and notebook?

In central New Jersey, a former school board member and parent are raising questions about the Hamilton Township School District’s policy of allowing teachers to use movies for instructional purposes and teaching students reading skills through short excerpts instead of whole books or stories. 

While the awards-season critique of the role of movies in the classroom is certainly intriguing, this dispute is, at its heart, part of a long-running debate about the increased emphasis on “close reading” that’s come along with the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and how teachers should approach it.  

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman reports from the Trentonian that officials in the Hamilton school district, near Trenton, say that these practices are nothing new: “Teachers have been working with close reading and analyzing portions of text for several years now,” Sylvia Zircher, the instruction director at the school district, told the newspaper.

She said that teachers might screen movies or portions of movies in order to stimulate discussion, but that the movies wouldn’t be part of the teacher’s approach to teaching reading skills.

The district’s superintendent, Thomas J. Ficarra, told the paper that “we still read whole novels, but we do this (close reading of excerpts) as a part of the new thrust behind the national standards as well as New Jersey standards to get children to read critically.”

New Jersey adopted a revised version of the Common Core State Standards last year, replacing the original standards, which the state had adopted in 2010. While the phrase “close reading” doesn’t appear in the common core, the introduction to the standards states that “students who meet the Standards readily undertake the close, attentive reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex works of literature.” The first anchor standard for literacy asks students to “read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.” In many cases, teachers have taught “close reading” by having students deeply probe shorter texts for meaning without first turning to outside sources. The idea is that this approach leads to a greater understanding of the text. 

But George Fisher, a former district school board member, argued in an email to the Trentonian that teachers should not use films to supplant, rather than to supplement, novels, and that asking students to read excerpts instead of whole texts is depriving them of important context.  

Fisher said this approach could lead to ignorance among students. From his email to the paper: 

“Text is most certainly not simply a part of a text or a work. It is the book, the work, itself,” he added. “A student assignment may well be to analyze a part of the book and compare it to/contrast it to, fit it into the whole of the book. It is not to analyze that ‘part’ in isolation. How can one do the required analysis of a part without knowing the whole?!”

Fisher writes that, while middle school standards for literacy ask students to be able to analyze live or filmed dramatizations of literary works, they wouldn’t permit teachers to entirely replace reading a novel with watching its movie incarnation. 

The Trentonian piece doesn’t describe individual instances of teachers screening, say, the 1996 film Emma after students had read just a few pages of the original Jane Austen novel. It’s difficult to tell from this piece just how much of students’ time is spent on excerpts instead of whole works or whether teachers really are relying too heavily on movies. 

But the common core’s expectation that students be able to “close read” texts has drawn critics and concerns from early on. In 2012, district leaders were concerned teachers weren’t well-prepared to teach students how to close-read, while others questioned whether the approach took into account students’ varied levels of background knowledge. Of course, the approach also has strong proponents, who argue that close reading builds critical thinking skills.

Source:

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2017/01/can_movies_replace_books_.html

Authors teach underprivileged kids creative writing

London, UK – On an east London high street, children flock to the Ministry of Stories, a place where they can hone their writing skills.

Nick Hornby, a best-selling novelist, is behind the mentoring programme.

“Every measurement of success and poverty indicators show that literacy is at the heart of it. We think we can improve the future lives of disadvantaged children,” Hornby said.

Novelists such as Zadie Smith and Sophie Kinsella serve as patrons for the programme.

The writing centre, hidden behind the quirky Hoxton Street Monster Supplies shop, provides after-school writing activities to children in the neighbourhood.

Many of the students do not speak English at home and come from low-income backgrounds.

“They may have a grandparent in Nigeria or … Colombia. They represent the rich tapestry of London life and they can draw on that,” said Emma Joliffe, the centre’s creative learning manager.

The idea has gained traction and, now, interest is pouring in from around the world, from groups hoping to set up their own ministries of stories.

Source:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/authors-teach-kids-underprivileged-creative-writing-170102084127443.html

THE SCI-FI AUTHOR BRIDGING AMERICA AND CHINA

Ken Liu says he could never miss the beginning of any story. So while growing up in China in the 1980s, he sprinted from school to his grandmother’s house each afternoon. She dialed the Chinese radio to the correct station, and the duo listened to tales of kingdoms and romance in the Pingshu tradition. When the shows finished, Liu raced through a couple of questions with grandma to clarify what went over his head. Then he’d run back to class.

Today, Liu knows what it’s like to be behind the scenes of a hit that titillates, just as those radio shows did. In his case, it’s sci-fi and fantasy novels. Liu is the translator responsible for bringing Chinese sci-fi authors to America — and is the writer of a few impressive books himself. He translated two of three books in Cixin Liu’s (no relation) science-fiction trilogy The Three Body Problem, which has garnered praise from both President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg. His translation was the first Chinese-to-English text to win the highest honor in sci-fi land, the Hugo Award.

That goes on the shelf next to prior Hugos for his own writing: best short story (“The Paper Menagerie” and “Mono No Aware”) in 2012 and 2013. “Ken exploded on the scene,” says Lightspeed magazine editor and top sci-fi anthologist John Joseph Adams. He thinks Liu may be the writer he’s accepted the most to his many publications, which form the constellation of the modern science-fiction canon. NPR’s book critic called Liu’s epic trilogy, The Dandelion Dynasty, “beautiful, nuanced, fierce, original and diverse.” Soon, Liu will be headed to the screen: TheGrace of Kings sold to the Chinese production company DMG in October 2016.

“I don’t particularly care about the kinds of things fantasy and sci-fi readers care about,” Liu says — though he says he finds his materials mainly in scientific papers. “I’m not interested in predicting the future.” He’s more interested in using metaphor to untangle our contemporary reality: In The Dandelion Dynasty, factions vie for power in a make-believe, rebellious, unstable empire. (Game of Thrones, anyone?)

In six years, Liu has published more than 100 short stories. In “Paper Menagerie,” a young Chinese-American boy’s mom makes origami that comes to life. “Single Bit-Error,” a tale of love lost after a car crash, uses programming language as metaphor. “Mono No Aware” tells the story of a Japanese boy who earns a coveted spot on an American evacuation ship from Earth (hit by an asteroid). “Everything passes, Hiroto,” the boy remembers his late father saying. “That feeling in your heart: It’s called mono no aware. It is a sense of the transience of all things in life.”

Liu references his heritage in The Grace of Kings not by writing characters of his ethnicity, but through the aesthetic of his futuristic world landscape — “silkpunk,” mixing Victoriana and East Asian classical antiquity. The world uses East Asian technological sources like bamboo, silk and wind power, while Liu drew from Chinese historical romances and foundational narratives well known in Chinese culture.

At first, most Chinese sci-fi was imported translations of authors like Jules Verne. In 1932, the same year as Aldous Huxley came out with Brave New World, Chinese author Lao She wrote a dystopian satirical novel set on Mars called Cat Country. But the communists pushed most sci-fi aside beginning in the 1950s.

Source:

http://www.ozy.com/rising-stars/the-sci-fi-author-bridging-america-and-china/74506

Ten authors coming to Kansas City area you’ll want to see

Melissa Hartwig

Sports nutritionist and co-creator of the Whole30 program will appear for “The Whole30 Cookbook.” 7 p.m. Jan. 19. Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th. RainyDayBooks.com, 913-384-3126

Sister Souljah

Author, activist, recording artist and film producer will speak as part of Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Series. 6 p.m. Jan. 24. Swinney Recreation Center, UMKC, 5030 Holmes. UMKC.edu/diversity

Brit Bennett

One of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honorees for 2016 will appear for her first novel, “The Mothers.” 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15. Free. Kansas City Public Library-Plaza Branch, 4801 Main. KCLibrary.org or RainyDayBooks.com, 816-701-3400

Deepak Chopra

World-renowned speaker and author will address experiencing higher consciousness, transformation and healing in his discussion of his new book, “You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters.” 7 p.m. Feb. 22. $45. Carlsen Center Yardley Hall, 12345 College, Overland Park. JCCC.edu/performing-arts-series, 913-469-4445

Stephen Kinzer

Journalist who worked more than 20 years as a foreign correspondent with The New York Times will speak on “America’s Misadventures in the Middle East: Is There a Way Out?” as part of Visiting Scholar Lecture Series. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23. Arrupe Hall Auditorium, Rockhurst University, 54th and Troost. Rockhurst.edu/ArtsAndLetters, 816-501-4828

Alex George

Englishman who is a former corporate lawyer in London and Paris but now lives in Columbia will appear for “Setting Free The Kites.” 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23. Free. Mid-Continent Public Library-Woodneath Library Center, 8900 NE Flintlock. MyStoryCenter.org or RainyDayBooks.com, 816-883-4900

Jericho Brown

Winner of the Whiting Award and the American Book Award will appear as part of Midwest Poets Series. 7 p.m. March 2. $3. Arrupe Hall Auditorium, Rockhurst University, 54th and Troost. Rockhurst.edu/ArtsAndLetters, 816-501-4607

Julia Alvarez

Author of 19 books, including “In the Time of the Butterflies” and “Return to Sender,” will speak as part of NEA Big Read/Read Across Lawrence. 7 p.m. March 5. Free. Lied Center, 1600 Stewart, Lawrence. Lied.KU.edu, 785-864-2787

Henry W. Bloch and John Herron

Founder of H&R Block will discuss the new biography about him, “Navigating a Life: Henry Bloch in WWII,” with his co-author. 6:30 p.m. March 29. Kansas City Public Library-Plaza Branch, 4801 Main. KCLibrary.org, 816-235-1168 or 816-701-3400

Andrew McCarthy

Author of the bestselling travel memoir “The Longest Way Home” will appear for “Just Fly Away.” 7 p.m. April 18. Free. Mid-Continent Public Library-Woodneath Library Center, 8900 NE Flintlock. MyStoryCenter.org or RainyDayBooks.com, 816-883-4900

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