Archive for February, 2013

Weird Baseball Facts

Chad Harbach’s novel The Art of Fielding is quintessentially American novel, set in the Midwest, featuring Moby Dick, campus life at a small liberal arts college and…baseball. For those who don’t know much about the sport, here are some weird facts about America’s national pastime. In one of the craziest trades in baseball, Cy Young, […]

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Excerpted: Andrej Blatnik’s You Do Understand

Andrej Blatnik’s collection of sharp, spare and occasionally absurd short stories addresses the fundamental difficulty we have in making the people we love understand what we want and need. Part parables, part fairy tales, part sketches for novels that will never be written, You Do Understand is a a guided tour of the slips, misunderstandings, and blind alleys we each […]

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Friday Reads: Volunteer Edition

Happy Friday! Today, BLF volunteers are reading: Irene Kuang – 1984 by George Orwell Sylvia – A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess Yi Tang – Stories of Ming Dynasty and Life of Pi by Yann Martel Jamie Fleishman – To Change China: Western Advisers in China by Jonathan Spence. (“It’s fascinating to read about the early history […]

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Beijing Stories Contest

Last year’s Beijing In Six Words contest produced some real gems (my favorite: Stuck in traffic. Might be late.). This year, we are back with a new short story contest, which we’re running in collaboration with The Beijinger: Beijing Stories (hashtag #BJS for you Twitter and weibo entrants.) Take a lead from from Hemingway (“For sale: baby shoes, never […]

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Excerpted: Justin Torres’ We the Animals

Justin Torres grew up in upstate New York, where his acclaimed debut novel We the Animals is set. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recent Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, he was the recipient of a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. His […]

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BLF Slang Sampler

BLF 2013 features a diverse bunch of authors. Hailing from more than twenty countries, they come from the South Africa (Sifiso Mzobe) and Sweden (Karin Tidbeck), Ireland (Paul Murray) and Slovenia(Andrej Blatnik), Haiti (Makenzy Orcel), Israel (Eshkol Nevo) and even the exotic American Midwest (Chad Harbach) They’ll bring great writing and provocative ideas, and yes, […]

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Excerpted: Karin TIdbeck’s “Cloudberry Jam”

A reviewer on calls writer Karin Tidbeck’s stories the result of “several fast-moving literary currents, national and international.” They include the dark Scandinavian folklore of her native Sweden, Jorge Luis Borges, Ursula Le Guin and American sci-fi. Her reworked fairy tales are arresting, disturbing, provocative and very good reads.  Get a taste of this exciting […]

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Friday Reads: BLF Staff Edition

Happy Friday! What better way to gear up for the weekend than to curl up with a good book. Today, the BLF staff is reading… Liz, Volunteers Coordinator: You Can’t Eat GNP: Economics as if Ecology Matters by Eric Davidson Economic growth can’t be sustained without a healthy environment. The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth […]

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Excerpted: Young Blood by Sifiso Mzobe

South African writer Sifiso Mzobe was born in Durban’s Umlazi Township, His novel Young Blood tells the story of the township through the eyes of Sipho, a “young blood” – a seventeen-year-old “caught up in a world of money, booze and greed.” It earned him a spot as one of the most promising young voices in contemporary […]

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