From Aesop’s Fables to Ted Hughes’s Crow, the stories we tell about animals are often stories about us. A new exhibition, Animal Tales, begins at the British Library today which goes on the trail of animals on the page, asking why they have come to play such an important role in literature for adults and children alike.
From the earliest marks made by humans in caves to the modern-day internet full of cute cats, animals have been enduring media stars. Symbols of the sacred or the profane, the domesticated or the ferocious, animals have always fed our imagination helping us to make sense of the world and ourselves. Inspiring writers, poets, scientists and artists through the ages, a library can become the largest zoo in the world when you begin to track down the creatures lurking among the pages on the shelves.
Animal Tales explores what wild – and tamed – creatures say about us when they take on literary or artistic form and displays richly illustrated editions of traditional tales, from Anansi to Little Red Riding Hood. And be closer to nature with a soundscape based on the Library’s collection of sound recordings, with illustrations and poems by Mark Doty and Darren Waterston.
The exhibition is free to attend, and runs until 1st November. Further details can be found on the British Library site here.
Roald Dahl’s Charlie & the Chocolate Factory has been voted top of a list of books teachers consider that all children should read before they leave primary school in a new poll conducted by the Times Educational Supplement and the National Association of Teaching English.
500 teachers compiled a list of what they considered to be the best children’s stories, resulting in the following top ten:
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
- Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
- The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
- Dogger by Shirley Hughes
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Those nostalgic to reclaim a little of their lost youth may be delighted to hear that we have copies of all but one of those stories among our stock – sadly, The Gruffalo was just a bit too big and rowdy to keep on our shelves!
Roald Dahl portrait by Sally, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
The award-winning American historical novelist E.L. Doctorow has died, aged 84.
Born in 1931, Edgar Lawrence Doctorow began his literary career as a script-reader for Columbia Pictures, and his first novel, Welcome to Hard Times, published in 1960, was inspired by the many western stories he had to read in this time.
He gained widespread critical acclaim for his fourth novel Ragtime, which won him the first of three US National Book Critics Circle Awards in 1975. Billy Bathgate (1989) and The March (2005) also received the award. In total Doctorow wrote ten novels, four of which were filmed. Ragtime was also successfully adapted as a stage musical in 1998.
We have copies of several of Doctorow’s novels in our literature section on Level 2, including Ragtime, of which we also hold a copy of the 1981 Oscar-nominated cinema adaption among our DVD collection in the High Demand section.
You can also find out a lot more about his life and works by visiting Literature Online, our popular English & American literature database which covers over 300,000 works of poetry, prose and drama from the 8th to the 21st century.
E.L. Doctorow at the PEN American Centre Literary Awards 2014, courtesy of Beowulf Sheehan, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
Why not take the edge off your exam preparations by joining in with the next meeting the Student Book Club on Monday 18th May, when the novel up for discussion is Emma Healey’s award-winning thriller Elizabeth is Missing.
We’ll be meeting in the Library Staffroom as usual at 7pm – just ask at the Customer Services Desk for directions. All copies of the book have now been borrowed for the meeting, but you can still buy it for your Kindle or from local booksellers
For more information about the Club, please contact Sharon Reid at the Library: S.D.Reid@lboro.ac.uk, ext. 222403, or why not join the discussion on our Facebook page?
The University will be hosting its annual Literary Salon next Tuesday, on the theme of ‘The Return of Books and Paper’, which explores the shift from paper to digital based reading and the effect this has had on how people value the book.
Offering an evening of conversation and lively debate, the Literary Salon provides the opportunity for participants to speak to leaders within the field and look at the work being showcased. Aimed at writers, authors, publishers, creative industry professionals, University staff, students and members of the public, the idea is to network, share and learn in an informal atmosphere.
The evening will feature talks delivered by experts from the School of Arts, English and Drama, alongside industry specialists and writers. Confirmed guest speakers include:
- Wim Van Mierlo: Works in Publishing at Loughborough University
- Anne-Marie Beller: Author and Lecturer of English at Loughborough University
- Matthew James Kay: Contemporary freelance artist with a focus on mixed media creations
- Sarah Kelly: Poet, paper artist and poet in residence for the academic year
- Karen Jinks: Freelance artist who uses her own illustrations to cover handmade notebooks
It will take place in the Martin Hall Theatre next Tuesday, 12th May, and starts at 7pm. The event is free to students, staff and alumni, and £5 to members of the public. Booking is required regardless, and do that, visit this link:
LU Arts Radar, supported by the LU Communication, Culture and Citizenship Research Challenge, are presenting a thought-provoking discussion about the world of underground publishing next Wednesday (6th May).
The discussion is headlined by Richard Cubesville, a journalist, and is the force behind One Way Ticket to Cubesville zine, a vehemently DIY slice of anarcho-absurdism in existence since 1987, and Stevphen Shukaitis, an academic at the University of Essex and is the coordinator of the Minor Compositions publishing project, which bills itself as a series of interventions and provocations drawing from autonomous politics, avant-garde aesthetics, and the revolutions of everyday life.
Both these presenters are actively engaged in forms of publishing that differ markedly from the industry norm – but they differ from one another too. This presentation and discussion of their approaches will illuminate the political significance of alternative publishing, against the backdrop of a rapidly changing publishing world.
There will also be a mini-exhibit of zines before and after the session. The event is free and open to all, and starts at 5pm in the LU Arts Project Space in the Edward Barnsley Building.
If you’re in the Library this Thursday lunchtime, why not stop by our stand in the Library foyer and help us celebrate World Book Night by grabbing yourself a FREE book and a delicious piece of home-made cake.
We’ll be giving away copies of three novels (you can find out which on the day) along with a selection of cakes and snacks. In previous years (including last year, pictured above) the books and cakes have disappeared in super quick-time, so it really is a case of first come, first served – pop along early to avoid missing out on a treat.
World Book Night is an annual celebration of reading and books that takes place on 23rd April (we delayed our celebration for a week until you were all back from your Easter holidays!). It sees passionate volunteers give out hundreds of thousands of books in their communities to share their love of reading with people who don’t read regularly or own books. World Book Night is run by The Reading Agency, a national charity that inspires people to become confident and enthusiastic readers to help give them an equal chance in life.
The winning pamphlet of last year’s Overton Poetry Prize will be launched with a special event in the Leonard Dixon Studio in Martin Hall next Wednesday (29th April) at 7pm.
Winning author Carol Rowntree-Jones will be present, reading from her work This is Not Normal Behaviour, and the launch will also feature Loughborough University’s poet in residence, Sarah Kelly, plus three of the best of the University’s best student writers, Alice Richardson, Naomi Riley-Dudley and Joely Campbell.
There will be a selection of refreshments available on the evening. The is event is free, but there will be the opportunity to donate to the fund for next year’s competition and poet in residence. To reserve a place, email Becky Lauder-Fletcher (R.Lauder-Fletcher@lboro.ac.uk).
For further details, visit the event Facebook page here:
Today marks World Book Night, the annual celebration of books and reading. And if you’re wondering why the Library isn’t marking the occasion… well, we are, but we’ve simply decided to postpone the event until next week, once term has started and everyone is back to help us celebrate it!
So you are hereby formally invited to join us in the Library foyer on Thursday 30th April between 12.30 and 2.30pm. Drop by and pick up a free novel, take a look at our Leisure Reading display and, most important of all, sample our delicious refreshments! It will be first come, first served, so get here early!
World Book Night is run by the Reading Agency, a national charity that inspires people to become confident and enthusiastic readers to help give them an equal chance in life. Every 23rd April volunteers give out hundreds of thousands of books in their communities to share their love of reading with people who don’t read regularly or own books. The Library is always proud to participate in the event, as previous blog entries show!
The Library is trialling a well-established resource this month that may be of great interest to social sciences students and historians in particular.
Accessible Archives was founded in 1990 with the goal of utilizing computer technology to make available vast quantities of archived historical information, previously furnished only in micro-format, hard copy form or as images only. In pursuit of this vision, primary source material has been selected to reflect a broad view of the times, and has been assembled into databases with a strict attention to detail allowing access to specific information with pinpoint accuracy. Their online full-text search capability and digital imaging permits the user to search and manipulate this information in ways never before possible.
To begin searching please go to: http://www.accessible-archives.com/ . Access is via IP address and the trial runs to 13th May 2015.
We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial. Please contact Steve Corn firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.