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View Poll Results: Which region should we use for nominations this month?
Latin America 6 50.00%
Canada & The U.S.A. 1 8.33%
The South Pacific 0 0%
Southeast Asia 5 41.67%
Japan 2 16.67%
The Korean Peninsula, Mongolia & China 3 25.00%
South Asia 3 25.00%
Central Asia, East Europe & Russia 2 16.67%
Sub Saharan Africa 3 25.00%
North Africa & The Middle East 4 33.33%
Southeast Europe 3 25.00%
Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain & France 4 33.33%
North & Central Europe 1 8.33%
Ireland & The U.K. 2 16.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-06-2012, 01:49 AM   #1
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Region Nominations May 2012 • The MR Literary Club

Help us select what the MR Literary Club will read for May 2012!

The nominations will run through May 11 or until five works have made the list.

Final voting in a new poll will begin by May 11, where the month's selection will be decided.


The category for this month is:

Region
Latin America (The Caribbean, South America, Central America and Mexico), as chosen in the poll


This month is a two-part process:

The first part begins with a ONE-DAY POLL to determine the region we will use. It is MULTIPLE CHOICE and you may choose as many options as you like when voting. This voting is separate from your nominations. There are no nominations during the poll, only voting. I will not vote in the poll, and if there is a tie, I will break it.

As soon as the poll is over and the region is determined, then the second part (nominations) starts and you can begin nominating like normal. Nominations can be set in any region, but they should be written by an author from that region.





Notes:

-Regions are named in the poll and colour-coded on the map. Region names are generalities and not exact.

-If a country or territory is too small to show regional colour on the map, it will be part of the region closest to it physically and culturally. If you are unsure, just ask.

-I had help making the regions list that was much appreciated.



Once the poll is over and nominations begin:

In order for a work to be included in the poll it needs FOUR nominations - the original nomination plus THREE supporting.

Each participant has FOUR nominations to use. You can nominate a new work for consideration or you can support (second, third or fourth) a work that has already been nominated by another person.

To nominate a work just post a message with your nomination. If you are the first to nominate a work, it's always nice to provide an abstract to the work so others may consider their level of interest.


What is literature for the purposes of this club? A superior work of lasting merit that enriches the mind. Often it is important, challenging, critically acclaimed. It may be from ancient times to today; it may be from anywhere in the world; it may be obscure or famous, short or long; it may be a story, a novel, a play, a poem, an essay or another written form. If you are unsure if a work would be considered literature, just ask!


The floor is now open!

*

Nominations through post 26:


Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - sun surfer, toomanybooks, paola, Hamlet53


Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - sun surfer, toomanybooks, orlok, Hamlet53


The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Brazil - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - issybird, Bookworm_Girl, paola, fantasyfan

Considered to be Brazil’s pre-eminent author. Harold Bloom has described him as "the supreme black literary artist to date."

This is the blurb from Goodreads:

One of the greatest novels of Brazilian Literature, Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas is narrated by a dead man who recounts the amorous misadventures of his unheroic life and explains his half-hearted political ambitions. While it is considered the first novel of Brazilian realism, its quirks seem refreshingly modern and make it unforgettably unlike anything written before or after it.


The Labyrinth of Solitude by Octavio Paz, Mexico - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour - paola, fantasyfan, Synamon, Bookworm_Girl

(from Barnes and Noble's blurb):

Octavio Paz has long been acknowledged as Mexico's foremost writer and critic. In this international classic, Paz has written one of the most enduring and powerful works ever created on Mexico and its people, character, and culture. Compared to Ortega y Gasset's The Revolt of the Masses for its trenchant analysis, this collection contains his most famous work, "The Labyrinth of Solitude," a beautifully written and deeply felt discourse on Mexico's quest for identity that gives us an unequaled look at the country hidden behind "the mask."


The Secret History of Costaguana by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Colombia - 1
Spoiler:
In favour - Hamlet53

London, 1903. Joseph Conrad is struggling with his new novel ('I am placing it in South America in a Republic I call Costaguana'). Progress is slow and the great writer needs help from a native of the Caribbean coast of South America. Jose Altamirano, Colombian at birth, who has just arrived in London answers the great writer's advertisement and tells him his life story. Jose has been witness to the most horrible things that a person or a country could suffer, and drags with him not just a guilty conscience but a story that has almost destroyed him. But when Nostromo is published the following year Jose is outraged by what he reads: 'You've eliminated me from my own life. You, Joseph Conrad, have robbed me.' I waved the Weekly in the air again, and then threw it down on his desk. 'Here,' I whispered, my back to the thief, 'I do not exist.' The Secret History of Costaguana, the second novel by Juan Gabriel Vasquez to be published in English, is Jose Altamirano's riposte to Joseph Conrad. It is a big novel, tragic and despairing, comic and insightful by turns, told by a bumptious narrator with a score to settle. It is Latin America's post-modern answer to Europe's modernist vision. It is a superb, joyful, thoughtful and rumbustious novel that will establish Juan Gabriel Vasquez's reputation as one of the leading novelists of his generation. (from Amazon)


The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat, Haiti - 2
Spoiler:
In favour - paola, issybird

From Goodreads:

The Farming of Bones begins in 1937 in a village on the Dominican side of the river that separates the country from Haiti. Amabelle Desir, Haitian-born and a faithful maidservant to the Dominican family that took her in when she was orphaned, and her lover Sebastien, an itinerant sugarcane cutter, decide they will marry and return to Haiti at the end of the cane season. However, hostilities toward Haitian laborers find a vitriolic spokesman in the ultra-nationalist Generalissimo Trujillo who calls for an ethnic cleansing of his Spanish-speaking country. As rumors of Haitian persecution become fact, as anxiety turns to terror, Amabelle and Sebastien's dreams are leveled to the most basic human desire: to endure. Based on a little-known historical event, this extraordinarily moving novel memorializes the forgotten victims of nationalist madness and the deeply felt passion and grief of its survivors.


The Palace of the Peacock by Wilson Harris, Guyana - 2
Spoiler:
In favour - sun surfer, fantasyfan

From Amazon:

A tale of a doomed crew beating their way up-river through the jungles of Guyana.

Wilson Harris was born in 1921 in the former colony of British Guiana. He was a land surveyor before leaving for England in 1959 to become a full-time writer. His exploration of the dense forests, rivers and vast savannahs of the Guyanese hinterland features prominently in the settings of his fiction. Harris's novels are complex, alluding to diverse mythologies from different cultures, and eschew conventional narration in favour of shifting interwoven voices.


I normally wouldn't include customer reviews, but in lieu of any critic's reviews I will. The three customer reviews at Amazon are all 5-star. One says, "Wilson Harris produces, in the most poetic prose, the images, traditions, and myths of the the Carribean." Another says, "Wilson Harris, born in 1921 in what was then British Guiana and is now Guyana, is one of the most unflinchingly poetic British novelists of the twentieth century." And the third says, "Wilson Harris' epic charts the history of the Caribbean through the metaphor of Donne's crew as they travel into a West Indian "heart of darkness.""

One also gives a general plot description: 'The novel consists of four books, each set off by a short quotation from a major poet - Yeats, Donne, and two by Hopkins. The opening book, "Horseman, Pass By" sets the basic plot in motion, a boat is journeying up the river through the Guyanese rain forest. The second book, "The Mission of Mariella" finds the Armeridian village of Mariella deserted, and the crew, finding an old native woman, enlists her forceably as guide. In the novel's longest book, "The Second Death", the men travel further and further upstream looking for the missing villagers. After a series of deaths and further confusion the novel evolves into a vast bewildering dream, "Paling of Ancestors"."


In The Castle of My Skin by George Lamming, Barbados - 2
Spoiler:
In favour - sun surfer, Synamon

A "coming of age" novel that balances innocence against the decadence of colonialism. It is vivid, poetic, insightful, autobiographical and often humorous.

From Amazon:

George Lamming's "In the Castle of My Skin" skilfully depicts the Barbadian psyche. Set against the backdrop of the 1930s riots which helped to pave the way for Independence and the modern Barbados, through the eyes of a young boy, Lamming portrays the social, racial, political and urban struggles with which Barbados continues to grapple even with some thirty-three years of Political Independence from Britain. Required reading for all Caribbean people. The novel also offers non-Barbadians and non-Caribbean people insight into the modern social history of Barbados and the Caribbean. 'A writer of the people one is back again in the pages of Huckleberry Finn_ the fundamental book of civilisation Mr Lamming captures the myth-making and myth-dissolving mind of childhood' NEW STATESMAN 'Its poetic imaginative writing has never been surpassed' TRIBUNE 'A striking piece of work, a rich and memorable feat of imaginative interpretation' THE SPECTATOR 'He produces anecdote after anecdote, rich and riotous.' THE TIMES 'There is not a stock figure in the story fluent, poetical, sophisticated.' THE SUNDAY TIMES

George Lamming was born June 8, 1927 in Carrington's Village, Barbados. He attended Combermere High School. He left Barbados for Trinidad in 1946 to become a teacher, four years later he was to migrate to England to become a writer. In the Castle of My Skin was completed within two years of his arrival in London.


Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, Dominica - 1
Spoiler:
In favour - fantasyfan

Here's the Wikipedia comment on it:

Wide Sargasso Sea is a 1966 postcolonial parallel novel by Dominica-born author Jean Rhys. Since her previous work, Good Morning, Midnight, was published in 1939, Rhys had lived in obscurity. Wide Sargasso Sea put Rhys into the limelight once more, and became her most successful novel.

The novel acts as a prequel to Charlotte Brontë's famous 1847 novel Jane Eyre. It is the story of Antoinette Cosway (known as Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre), a white Creole heiress, from the time of her youth in the Caribbean to her unhappy marriage with Mr Rochester and relocation to England. Caught in an oppressive patriarchal society in which she belongs neither to the white Europeans nor the black Jamaicans, Rhys's novel re-imagines Brontë's devilish madwoman in the attic. As with many postcolonial works, the novel deals largely with the themes of racial inequality and the harshness of displacement and assimilation.


The Alchemist by Paulho Coelho, Brazil - 1
Spoiler:
In favour - orlok

From Amazon:

The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. And though we may sense a bestselling formula, it is certainly not a new one: even the ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalucian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he's off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.
Along the way he meets many spiritual messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman's books, Santiago first learns about the alchemists--men who believed that if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the "Soul of the World." Of course he does eventually meet an alchemist, and the ensuing student-teacher relationship clarifies much of the boy's misguided agenda, while also emboldening him to stay true to his dreams. "My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself," the alchemist replies. "And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity."

Last edited by sun surfer; 05-09-2012 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:01 AM   #2
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Sunsurfer, beautiful map! I chose regions with countries I know nothing or next to nothing about.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:27 AM   #3
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Good map! I have voted for areas I would not normally choose from.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:13 AM   #4
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Lovely map, surfer! I too am looking to broaden my horizons, so to speak.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:15 AM   #5
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I am happy that he did not leave either Antarctica or Greenland out in the cold.

Nice to see people are so interested in broadening things beyond the usual North American/Western Europe axis.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:22 AM   #6
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I am happy that he did not leave either Antarctica or Greenland out in the cold.
No votes for either one as yet!
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:34 AM   #7
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To those of you who mentioned it, thanks about the map.

ETA - Though our category list "year" doesn't end until next month, since we started a month before the category list in June of last year, this month marks the end of our first year as a club. Woohoo!

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Old 05-06-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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To those of you who mentioned it, thanks about the map.

ETA - Though our category list "year" doesn't end until next month, since we started a month before the category list in June of last year, this month marks the end of our first year as a club. Woohoo!
This type of club has been a great experience!





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Old 05-07-2012, 08:28 AM   #9
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Latin America! Nice selection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sun surfer View Post
To those of you who mentioned it, thanks about the map.

ETA - Though our category list "year" doesn't end until next month, since we started a month before the category list in June of last year, this month marks the end of our first year as a club. Woohoo!
Happy Birthday MR Literary Club, and thanks Sun Surfer for starting this and keeping it running.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:34 AM   #10
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Latin America it is! This region includes writers from The Caribbean, South America, Central America and Mexico.

And, it looks like I'll be the first to nominate. I have two:


Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


I will edit in descriptions later but wanted to go ahead and get them out there. I've wanted to read Borges forever and haven't yet, and I read Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude which I thought was great and I've heard great things about Love in the Time of Cholera as well.

Last edited by sun surfer; 05-07-2012 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:56 AM   #11
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I'll second both Ficciones and LITTOC.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:58 AM   #12
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I'll third Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - i would have nominated it myself if you hadn't beaten me to it, as I have wanted to read it for a long tme now.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:02 PM   #13
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I’d like to nominate The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, considered to be Brazil’s pre-eminent author. Harold Bloom has described him as "the supreme black literary artist to date."

This is the blurb from Goodreads:

One of the greatest novels of Brazilian Literature, Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas is narrated by a dead man who recounts the amorous misadventures of his unheroic life and explains his half-hearted political ambitions. While it is considered the first novel of Brazilian realism, its quirks seem refreshingly modern and make it unforgettably unlike anything written before or after it.

The novel is available at all the usual venues for under US$10, and it’s couponable at Kobo. I paid $4 for a copy with a current code.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I’d like to nominate The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, considered to be Brazil’s pre-eminent author. Harold Bloom has described him as "the supreme black literary artist to date."

This is the blurb from Goodreads:

One of the greatest novels of Brazilian Literature, Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas is narrated by a dead man who recounts the amorous misadventures of his unheroic life and explains his half-hearted political ambitions. While it is considered the first novel of Brazilian realism, its quirks seem refreshingly modern and make it unforgettably unlike anything written before or after it.

The novel is available at all the usual venues for under US$10, and it’s couponable at Kobo. I paid $4 for a copy with a current code.
I second this one. I am very interested in learning more about Brazil, and it's the main reason why I picked the Latin America region.
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:07 PM   #15
Hamlet53
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I am glad that Gabriel Garcia Marquez was nominated as well. If he had not been I would have done so, though more likely for One Hundred Years of Solitude.


I would like to nominate The Secret History of Costaguana by Juan Gabriel Vasquez .

Spoiler:
London, 1903. Joseph Conrad is struggling with his new novel ('I am placing it in South America in a Republic I call Costaguana'). Progress is slow and the great writer needs help from a native of the Caribbean coast of South America. Jose Altamirano, Colombian at birth, who has just arrived in London answers the great writer's advertisement and tells him his life story. Jose has been witness to the most horrible things that a person or a country could suffer, and drags with him not just a guilty conscience but a story that has almost destroyed him. But when Nostromo is published the following year Jose is outraged by what he reads: 'You've eliminated me from my own life. You, Joseph Conrad, have robbed me.' I waved the Weekly in the air again, and then threw it down on his desk. 'Here,' I whispered, my back to the thief, 'I do not exist.' The Secret History of Costaguana, the second novel by Juan Gabriel Vasquez to be published in English, is Jose Altamirano's riposte to Joseph Conrad. It is a big novel, tragic and despairing, comic and insightful by turns, told by a bumptious narrator with a score to settle. It is Latin America's post-modern answer to Europe's modernist vision. It is a superb, joyful, thoughtful and rumbustious novel that will establish Juan Gabriel Vasquez's reputation as one of the leading novelists of his generation. (from Amazon)


This is available as an ebook, Inkmesh search, including from the FLP.
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