Remembering Anne Frank, who would have been 84 today
Eighty-four years ago, the celebrated diarist and tragic victim of the Holocaust Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany. During the peak of the war, when her German-Jewish family was forced into hiding in Amsterdam, she kept track of her thoughts, trials and revelations in her diary.
Eventually, her family was discovered and all save for her father Otto died in Nazi concentration camps. In 1947, Otto worked to have her diary published as a book, and since then her words have been read across the world.
Her lasting legacy may be her persistent optimism in the face of overwhelming despair. As she wrote in her diary:
It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical.
Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery, and death. I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that this cruelty too shall end, and that peace and tranquility will return once again.
Read more over at Jacket Copy.
Photo: Associated Press
Happy Birthday, Maurice Sendak!Thanks for all the stories and showing us that a little imagination can go a long way! To celebrate, you must do three things today:
1. Check out today’s Google Doodle
2. Learn about Sendak’s life
3. Listen to Sendak read ‘Where the Wild Things Are’
Also check out the touring exhibition “Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons,” which is currently hosted by the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco until July 7.
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Preserving ancient teachings in Timbuktu
Boubacar Sadeck, the youngest of Timbuktu’s scribes at 38, is a master of an ancient art - one that ties him closely to the historical writings that he spends his days transcribing and preserving.
“My weakness, my love, is calligraphy,” said the scribe, who fled Timbuktu, famed for its collection of centuries-old manuscripts, when Islamist militias invaded last year. “If I go a day without writing, I feel as if something is missing or strange. When I sit down with my paper and my pen, I feel wonderful. I feel at ease.”
Many of Timbuktu’s ancient scripts are now refugees separated from their former home in Ahmed Baba Institute after Islamist militias invaded. The rest have been either lost or destroyed in the chaos caused by the successful fight to drive the militias out of the city. Now, the future of these artifacts from the past is up in the air.
Read more in reporter Robyn Dixon’s story here
Photos: Evan Schneide / UN, Eric Feferberg / AFP/Getty Images
Come visit the Los Angeles Review of Books at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books! You can find us this weekend at our booth, number 26, located in the Trousdale Parkway on the USC campus. This is your chance to not only meet the staff that makes the Review possible, but to pick up a copy of our beautiful new print edition magazine: a selection of our best interviews and author questionnaires. Bring your friends, and we hope to see you there.
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The intersections between Los Angeles and literature
Yesterday marked the debut of our Literary L.A. feature, which highlights literary hotspots across the city. Want to go where Ray Bradbury wrote “Fahrenheit 451” on a type writer fueled by dimes? We have you covered.
And of course, the tool’s a work-in-progress, so send over your feedback on authors, works or mentions you’d like to see included!
Check out the tool here, or get psyched for this weekend’s Festival of Books, running from April 20-21 at the USC Campus.
Michael Chabon will be joining a Google Hangout with Times staffer Carolyn Kellogg to discuss his new book, “Telegraph Avenue” at 11 a.m. today. Come check it out!
Photo credit: Ulf Andersen
Little Free Library brings neighbors together through books: A nationwide movement, Little Free Library prompts bibliophiles to put up small shelved structures outside their homes where people can take books and leave some too. The result can be conversation, friendship and a sense of community.
In the half a year that Beggs’ Little Free Library has perched on a post in front of his Sherman Oaks home, it has evolved into much more than a book exchange. … When a 9-year-old boy knocked on his door one morning to say how much he liked the little library, Beggs knew he was on to something.
Photo: Fiona Sassoon, 10, gets some neighborly advice from David Dworski, left, on book selections at Dworski’s diminutive outdoor library in Venice. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times
A totally Californian poet laureate: Juan Felipe Herrera, 63, is the son of migrant farmworkers and plugged in to modern culture. He’d like to make the entire state a democratic, virtual poetry workshop.
Photo: Professor Juan Felipe Herrera, recently appointed California’s poet laureate by Gov. Jerry Brown, leads a poetry workshop at UC Riverside. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
I had so much fun yesterday at USC for the LA Times Book Festival. I was an author escort and worked from 12:45 to 1pm and had the rest of the day to myself and my sister. After my assignment we went to a boom signing with Deb Coletti and then attended the panel The Nerds Shall Inherit the Earth which was both hilarious and inspiring. Did any of you attend?
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Typewriter fan Steve Soboroff loves the click-clack of carriages: Steve Soboroff, an L.A. civic leader, has acquired typewriters once owned by the famous and infamous. In an era of iPads and text-spouting phones, the ancient, clunky machines have become unlikely objects of desire.
Photo: This Imperial Good Companion Model T was used by John Lennon to write song lyrics. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Review of Books is dedicated to the written word, and to its wide and free movement. We are asking people to become “Members” the way NPR stations have members — that is, we are asking you to become our partners in making…
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E-readers are a great tool, but the one big disadvantage is that they’re made of breakable glass and sensitive electronics that can get damaged when dropped. Books, by contrast, are pretty durable.
LG Display has brought flexible, light and tough e-readers a little closer to reality. The company announced that it is mass-producing a flexible electronic paper display, or EPD.
Whoa! And that’s us on the screen!
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Great interview with LeVar Burton over on Hero Complex. He talks about “Star Trek,” “Reading Rainbow” and “Roots.”
PKD: Who do you see the most?
LB: Brent [Spiner] and Marina [Sirtis]. Jonathan travels a lot directing. Patrick infrequently. I go over there or he comes over here. Gates [McFadden] is busy with her theater. Michael Dorn is out spending his money.
PKD: Any notable fans?
LB: Jimmy Fallon is a big fan of the show. He does all of these singer impersonations and a couple of months ago he did Jim Morrison singing the “Reading Rainbow” theme song. It’s really good.
PKD: It seems like Geordi always got shot down by women. Constantly. Did you ever bring that up to the showrunners?
LB: Mm-hmm. It was frustrating to me. I mean from a writer’s perspective, I get that it was the idea that the nerd or the geek is inept around the feminine form. But I was never comfortable with it. And I also thought there were some other things going on. Sociological things. Everybody had a sexual identity, even Data the robot. But Geordi didn’t. The Klingon did. But the black man didn’t. You’d have to be a black man to have the perspective, because you see that pattern repeated throughout popular culture, so it becomes a familiar pattern that you notice readily.
Bonus nerd thing: Just realized Times’ staffer Patrick Day’s initials are PKD.
Photo: Astronaut Mae Jemison appears in an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” with LeVar Burton. Credit: Robbie Robinson / Paramount Pictures