#LibraryOfCongress; #JoyWillams; #2021LoCPrizeforAmericanFiction; #CarlaHayden
Washington/Canadian-Media: Joy Williams, the novelist, short-story and non-fiction author, known for works such as “State of Grace” and “The Quick and the Dead,” wins the 2021 Library of Congress (LoC) Prize for American Fiction, Librarian Carla Hayden announced today.
Joy Williams, wearing her trademark prescription sunglasses, accepts the 2021 Prize for American Fiction from Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. Image credit: Rob Casper.
Presented annually for a lifetime of outstanding work, the award will be presented during this year’s National Book Festival in September.
“This is a wonderful award and one that inspires much humility,” said Williams, who now resides primarily in Arizona, but who also is known for her cross-country road trips. “The American story is wild, uncapturable and discomfiting, and our fiction — our literature — is poised to challenge and deeply change us as it becomes ever more inclusive and ecocentric,” Library of Congress reported.
The Prize for American Fiction is one of the Library’s most prestigious awards and honors an American author whose work is distinguished not only for its mastery of the art but also for its originality of thought and imagination.
Colson Whitehead was last year’s winner. Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, Don DeLillo and Louise Erdrich are some of the previous awardees.
Hayden said that she was both pleased and honored to confer this prize on Joy Williams, in celebration of her almost half-century of extraordinary work and continued,
“Her work reveals the strange and unsettling grace just beneath the surface of our lives. In a story, a moment, a single sentence, it can force us to reimagine how we see ourselves, how we understand each other — and how we relate to the natural world.”
The selection of Williams by Hayden as this year’s winner was based on nominations from more than 60 distinguished literary figures, including former winners of the prize, acclaimed authors and literary critics from around the world.
Williams is the author of four short story collections, two works of nonfiction and five novels, including the upcoming “Harrow.”
“Harrow,” by Joy Williams, will be published in September.
“We are American writers, absorbing the American experience,” she once said at a literary conference, as quoted by the Paris Review in 2014. “We must absorb its heat, the recklessness and ruthlessness...its greedy optimism and dangerous sentimentality. And we must write with a pen—in Mark Twain’s phrase—warmed up in hell. We might have something then, worthy, necessary; a real literature instead of the Botox escapist lit told in the shiny prolix comedic style that has come to define us.”
Best known for her short stories, different offbeat characters often middle-class and on their way down, related in grim and darkly comic narratives populate all of her works. Her essays, particularly about the environment, are fierce and uncompromising.
#LoC; #MusicDivision; #OnlineReserchGuides; #Covid19Pandemic
Washington/Canadian-Media: Since the beginning of the pandemic, Library of Congress (LoC)'s Music Division’s specialists have been compiling and publishing online research guides to various subjects and composers represented in the music collections of LoC, LoC reports said.
Bert Grant, composer. A. Seymour Brown, lyricist. “That Broadway Glide.” 1912. Image credit: Library of Congress Music Division.
Three new guides that were recently published are: Musicals of Stage and Screen: A Research Guide; Johannes Brahms: A Guide to Primary and Secondary Resources at the Library of Congress; and Clara Schumann: A Guide to Resources.
The first guide 'Musicals of Stage and Screen: A Research Guide' orients researchers to the Library’s musical theater holdings as well as connects you with our digitized collections and catalogs for research, video webcasts of lectures and concerts, or discover related collections in other Library reading rooms.
Holdings for two 19th-century musical figures, Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann with special ties to one another are described in the next two research guides. and highlights most significant collections in the world for composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897).
The research guide Johannes Brahms: A Guide to Primary and Secondary Resources at LoC outlines those extraordinary holdings and learn about the 1983 International Brahms Conference hosted by the Music Division.
Clara Schumann: A Guide to Resources connects researchers with digitized holdings, cataloged materials, blog posts, and webcasts related to Clara Schumann (1819-1896), one of the greatest piano virtuosi of the 19th century. Johannes Brahms was deeply connected with the Schumann family, and provided emotional as well as financial support to Clara after Robert’s suicide attempt led him to an asylum. She and Brahms remained close friends and confidants until her death.
As of today, 25 research guides have been published by the Music Division highlighting topics from Jazz Research to Film Music, as well as composers ranging from big names like Beethoven and Stravinsky to lesser-known composers such as Eleanor Everest Freer and Gena Branscombe.
The LoC's Musical Division is the preeminent repository of musical theater-related collections in the world. The Performing Arts Reading Room holds scores of books, periodicals, and special collections related to musical theater. Additionally, the Rare Book & Special Collections Reading Room houses the Rouben Mamoulian Collection of theater, film and concert programs for performances in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, London, England and other locations, many annotated by Armenian American film and theater director Rouben Mamoulian. Collection of Rouben Mamoulian Papers, includes the director's personal papers and is served in the Manuscript Reading Room.
#LibraryOfCongress; #RalphEllison; #Juenteenth; #AfricanAmericanculture
Washington/Canadian-Media: The posthumous work of Ralph Ellison's unfinished a long time coming second novel Juneteenth (1999) not published until after his death in 1994 was compiled from Ellison’s thousands of manuscript drafts and notes that are now preserved for researchers in the Ralph Ellison Papers in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress (LoC) by Ellison’s literary executor, John F. Callahan, with the active support of Ellison’s widow, Fanny McConnell Ellison, LoC reports said.
Draft manuscript page, Ellison’s “Juneteenth.” Image credit: Ralph Ellison Papers, Manuscript Division. Image credit: LoC
Rooted in folklore fieldworker with the U.S. Works Progress Administration Federal Writers Project in the 1930s encouraged towards a literary life from Langston Hughes, the novel is based on his many essays, his love of jazz and blues, his observations of the Black family and the Black church, the civil rights' awareness of the 1950s and 1960s, and his correspondence with close colleagues like Albert Murray.
Following the great success of his first novel, Invisible Man (1952), Ellison worked on his second novel for decades, and lost some of his manuscript in a disastrous 1967 fire and had to reconstitute passages from memory and published excerpts of the work in progress in literary journals, teasing at the longer work still to come.
Ellison’s second novel, American and national in its character, reflects about the rifts in American society, the strife of racial prejudice and discrimination, the ongoing struggle to assert that Black lives matter, in civil status and before God, about the deep pervasiveness and strength of African American culture and experience.
One of the novel’s main characters, Bliss, a boy of indeterminate race who looks white and later in life becomes a member of Congress, is raised and schooled in revivalism by the other major protagonist of the novel, Reverend “Daddy” Alonzo Hickman, Ellison examines not only the pain and the identity crises and failed promise of emancipation, but also freedom’s restorative and transformative powers.
Like Ellison’s novel, the idea of Juneteenth as a national holiday has been a long time coming. It marks the moment that the news of the end of slavery was proclaimed in Texas, on June 19, 1865 and has long been celebrated in Texas, where it has been an official state holiday since 1980, a day for African American rejoicing, family reunion, picnics, and storytelling.
Supported by the White House, Juneteenth was declared an official federal holiday with on June 17, 2021 for the whole nation and is a milestone in the long history of emancipation.
Image: Page from working draft, Ellison’s “Juneteenth.” Manuscript Division. Image credit: LoC
#UNHCR; #UNRefugeeAgency; #Twitter; #EmojiDesign
NEW YORK – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and Twitter have teamed up with a refugee to design an emoji honoring the millions of people forced to flee war and persecution.
Hangama Amiri, the designer of the 2021 World Refugee Day Twitter emoji, in her studio in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. © UNHCR/Ashley Le
UNHCR and Twitter commissioned Afghan-Canadian artist Hangama Amiri to create the emoji for World Refugee Day, celebrated each year on 20 June. It is the first time the emoji has been designed by a refugee. The design features a blue heart cupped between two hands to symbolize protection and solidarity. It goes live today and will be activated on any tweet that uses the hashtags #WorldRefugeeDay, #WithRefugees and #RefugeeDay, in any of 12 languages, through 23 June.
“Twitter is pleased to continue our partnership with UNHCR with the creation of this emoji honouring those who are forced to flee war and persecution,” said Twitter’s Director of Public Policy, Government and Philanthropy for Middle East and North Africa, George Salama. “We are especially proud that this year for the first time, the emoji has been designed by a refugee, Afghan-Canadian artist Hangama Amiri. We hope that Hangama’s story will inspire others and the emoji will help to raise awareness and demonstrate solidarity with the refugee community worldwide.”
Hangama Amiri was born in a refugee camp in Pakistan and displaced multiple times as a child due to the conflict raging in her native Afghanistan. As a young refugee, Amiri said drawing helped her feel safe and make sense of things around her.
While living in Tajikistan, she received a scholarship after winning an art competition held by UNHCR. In 2005, she and her family were resettled in Nova Scotia, Canada. She recently completed a graduate degree at the Yale School of Art in the United States. Her colourful textile work explores issues related to feminism, geopolitics and memory and has been exhibited across Europe, Canada and the United States.
“I decided to come up with an idea around hope, togetherness and love,” Amiri said. “As a refugee, the love around me was the only thing I held on to.” She created a tangible version of the digital emoji by sewing together scraps of colourful fabric, a technique she uses frequently in her artwork.
More than 80 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes, seeking refuge within their own country or across borders.
The United Nations designated 20 June as World Refugee Day 20 years ago to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees. Twitter has worked with UNHCR for several years to raise awareness of the rights, needs and hopes of forcibly displaced people.
This World Refugee Day, UNHCR calls for the greater inclusion of refugees in our communities, and especially access to health care, education and sport.
“The shared experience of COVID-19 has taught us that we are stronger when we work together,” said Gisella Lomax, Head of Social Media at UNHCR. “This year’s World Refugee Day emoji is about togetherness and love, and we encourage Twitter users to share it as a sign of solidarity for all people forced from home.”
Throughout the pandemic, social media has been a lifeline to many for vital health information, for news, for interactions with friends and family and more. It has also been important to organisations like UNHCR, where social media - and especially Twitter - is a central part of our communications and external outreach, enabling us to inform, inspire and mobilise action. UNHCR is grateful to Twitter for their long-standing partnership and support for our work and the refugee cause.