Friday, August 15, 2008

A Prize, A Contest, New Art, New Books

La Bloga has learned that Junot Díaz, Daniel Alarcón and Chris Abani (all featured in La Bloga at one time or another) are finalists for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Congratulations. Here's info about the prize and the nominees:

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize, inaugurated in 2006, is the first and only annual U.S. literary award recognizing the power of the written word to promote peace. The Dayton Literary Peace Price invites nominations in adult fiction and nonfiction books published within the past year that have led readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view. Both awards carry a $10,000 cash prize.

  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

    Mixing pop culture and political criticism, this critically acclaimed novel is a warm and humorous account of the American immigrant experience. (Penguin Group)

  • Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcón

    Taking place in a nameless South American country, this powerful story illustrates wars devastating impact on a society transformed by violence. (HarperCollins Publishers)

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  • Song for Night by Chris Abani

    Trained as a human mine detector, a West African boy soldier witnesses and takes part in unspeakable brutality. (Akashic Books)

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    Other nominees in the Fiction category include Robert Olmstead and Yoko Taniguchi.

    Inside/Outside/North & South celebrates the conclusion of a five-month international collaboration between the Museo de las Américas, El Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore, La Paz, Bolivia and the Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico. Through intense web-dialogues between the three countries, the teens from each site have produced art works exploring causes, changes and results surrounding stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination. Led by prominent artists from each site, the completed works will be presented in a cohesive exhibition about this timely issue.

    Denver Artists: Gwylym Cano, Ana Maria Hernando
    Mexican Artists: Marie France Desdier, Metapong
    Bolivian Artists: Soledad Ardaya, Mauricio Montero Cardoso, Ivan Molina, Alvaro Ruilova

    Opening reception - August 21, 7 - 9 PM ($4); show runs through September 14
    Special performance by Sambos Caporales
    861 Santa Fe Drive, Denver 303-571-4401

    Thank you High Crimes Mystery Bookshop for the updates!

    Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza. Blackout (Holt, August, 2008 ). With no witnesses and no weapon, it seems like the case of the one-legged homeless man found lying in a cul-de-sac on São João Hill, shot through the heart, will remain unsolved. But Chief Inspector Espinosa can’t shake thoughts of the hapless victim—who would target a penniless man who posed no physical threat? This is the sixth in this series.

    Antonio Muñoz Molina. A Manuscript of Ashes (Harcourt, August, 2008). Seeking refuge from the police during the last days of Franco’s rule, Minaya moves into his uncle’s country estate. There he stumbles upon dark secrets involving an old poet, his uncle, and the death of the woman they both had loved.

    Arturo Pérez-Reverte. The King’s Gold (Putnam, August, 2008). This story picks up in Seville, 1626. After serving with honor at the bloody siege of Breda, Captain Alatriste and his protege, Inigo Balboa, have returned: battle-weary, short of cash, and with few prospects for honest work. But the Spanish empire is as dangerous as ever, and it’s not long before Alatriste receives an intriguing offer of short-term employment. This is the fourth in this series.

    Luis Miguel Rocha. The Last Pope (Putnam, August, 2008). 1978, Vatican City: On September 29, the world awakens to news of the shocking, sudden death of Pope John Paul I, elected only thirty three days earlier. The Vatican’s official response: His Holiness died of unknown causes, “possibly associated with a heart attack.” The pope’s body is embalmed within twenty-four hours, preventing any possibility of an autopsy. 2006, London: Journalist Sarah Monteiro returns from vacation to find a mysterious envelope stuffed in her mailbox. Inside is a list of unfamiliar names and a coded message. At first, Sarah is merely puzzled by the strange delivery. But when a masked intruder breaks into her home, she knows that the list has put her in danger.

    José Carlos Somoza. Zig Zag (Harper, July, 2008). While studying advanced physics at a prestigious European university, Elisa Robledo was invited to join a select research team on a secret project to manipulate String Theory. It was the opportunity of a lifetime for the eager young scientist. But on a remote island in the Indian Ocean, the team’s experiments went horribly awry…and something terrible was awakened. This is a paperback edition of the 2007 hardback.

    The Rocky Mountain News is looking for an original story to complete its series, A Dozen on Denver: Stories to celebrate the city at 150. The winner will receive a $500 prize and the story will be published in a Rocky Mountain News special section on November 14.

    The story must be an original work, set in Denver in the future (how far in the future is your decision) and must mention Larimer Street. It should be 2,500 words. When writing, remember that language and situations must be appropriate for a family audience to read. Get all the details here.

    I'm pleased to announce that my story, Fence Busters, is part of the series and will appear in the newspaper sometime after Labor Day. I'll give a heads up when I know the date. Fence Busters is set in 1958, a long time ago but somehow just yesterday.


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