Monday, July 17, 2017

Dear Life : Stories

Alice Munro
online access from EBSCOhost (audiobook)
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WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013
A New York Times Notable Book 
A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction 
A Best Book of the Year: The Atlantic, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Vogue, AV Club 

In story after story in this brilliant new collection, Alice Munro pinpoints the moment a person is forever altered by a chance encounter, an action not taken, or a simple twist of fate. Her characters are flawed and fully human: a soldier returning from war and avoiding his fiancée, a wealthy woman deciding whether to confront a blackmailer, an adulterous mother and her neglected children, a guilt-ridden father, a young teacher jilted by her employer. Illumined by Munro’s unflinching insight, these lives draw us in with their quiet depth and surprise us with unexpected turns. And while most are set in her signature territory around Lake Huron, some strike even closer to home: an astonishing suite of four autobiographical tales offers an unprecedented glimpse into Munro’s own childhood. Exalted by her clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, Dear Life shows how strange, perilous, and extraordinary ordinary life can be.

(Excerpt from amazon.com)

生活在廢墟 : 你所不知道的考古學家與他們的一百種生活 (Lives in Ruins)

瑪莉蓮・強森 (Marilyn Johnson)
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本書作者是愛好考古學的業餘者,她前往祕魯、日本、澳大利亞、英國、德國、荷蘭、以色列和辛巴威,去見形形色色的考古學家。書中記述她與十四位考古學家上山下海,忍受炙熱的沙漠氣候、毒蛇肆虐的林地,與危機四伏的沼澤地,從加勒比海到印加帝國遺跡進行考古發掘,聽他們講述在中國發現五千年前的女神廟,美國獨立戰爭沉入海底的戰艦,印地安人的木乃伊,曼哈頓黑人墳場,以及一萬八千年前的印尼矮人族。考古學家在一堆廢墟中觀察到什麼?一件陶罐碎片或一顆古老牙齒如何拼湊過去?他們可以如何幫助我們保存歷史?

透過本書通俗又不失專業的記述,我們可以了解考古學的樂趣與使命,考古學家如何在廢墟中解開人類早年的生活與智慧。下一次看到考古隊在田野發掘時,不要以為他們是在挖寶,其實是在解讀深埋地洞的史書!

(摘錄自三民網路書店)

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Risk of Reading: How Literature Helps Us to Understand Ourselves and the World

Robert Waxler
online access from Bloomsbury
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The Risk of Reading is a defense of the idea that deep and close readings of literature can help us to understand ourselves and the world around us. It explores some of the meaning and implications of modern life through the deep reading of significant books. Waxler argues that we need "fiction" to give our so-called "real life" meaning and that reading narrative fiction remains crucial to the making of a humane and democratic society.

Beginning by exploring the implications of thinking about the importance of story in terms of "real life", The Risk of Reading focuses on the importance of human language, especially language shaped into narrative, and how that language is central to the human quest for identity. Waxler argues that we are "linguistic beings," and that reading literary narrative is a significant way to enrich and preserve the traditional sense of human identity and knowledge. This is especially true in the midst of a culture which too often celebrates visual images, spectacle, electronic devices, and celebrity. Reading narrative, in other words, should be considered a counter-cultural activity crucial on the quest to "know thyself." Reading literature is one of the best opportunities we have today to maintain a coherent human identity and remain self-reflective individuals in a world that seems particularly chaotic and confusing.

Each chapter takes up a well-known work of nineteenth- or twentieth-century literature in order to discuss more fully these issues, exploring, in particular, the notion of life as a journey or quest and the crucial relationship between language and our contingent everyday existence. Of particular interest along the way is the question of what literary narrative can teach us about our mortality and how stories offer opportunities to reflect on the ambivalent and profound meaning of mortal knowledge.

(Excerpt from amazon.com)

香港的抒情史 (Hong Kong in Its History of Lyricism)

陳國球 著
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《第十屆香港書獎》獲獎圖書

香港就是文學:從海上孤島到世界都會,從帝國殖民地到社會主義特區,香港經驗比傳奇更傳奇。從駐節香港的殖民地大員,到心繫勞工大眾的左翼文學家;從求全責備的香港文學大系,到活潑精要的各式選本;從先鋒的現代詩、人間小說與話題電影,到蒼涼南音和悲情粵劇;從彌敦道上的詠嘆,到維多利亞港邊的回想……無數的香港故事,如何說? 作者為我們述說文學香港的前世今生,揭示香港對整個華人文化圈的意義,思考香港的未來。地區、中國、政治、殖民、現代性等等這些看起來如「三尺青鋒」般冷硬的議題,經作者娓娓道來,化為寫給香港的一部抒情史。

 (摘錄自cp1897.com.hk)

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New

Annie Dillard ; foreword by Geoff Dyer
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A landmark collection of prose from pulitzer prize winner Annie Dillard, including her most beloved pieces and some rarely seen work

The Abundance includes the best of Annie Dillard’s essays, delivered in her fierce and muscular prose. Intense, vivid, and fearless, her work endows the true and seemingly ordinary aspects of life with beauty and irony. These essays invite readers into sweeping landscapes, to join her in exploring the complexities of time and death, often with wry humor. On one page, an eagle falls from the sky with a weasel attached to its throat; on another, a man walks into a bar.

Marking the vigor of this powerful writer, The Abundance highlights Annie Dillard’s elegance of mind.

(Excerpt from amazon.com)

古龍散文集

陳舜儀 編
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武俠小說家古龍身兼多種身份,一生宛如流星劃過天際,卻屢屢突破自我,以其西方文學素養,為武俠文學開創出新境界,最知名的作品是《楚留香》、《絕代雙驕》、《多情劍客無情劍》、《蕭十一郎》、《陸小鳳》和《流星.蝴蝶.劍》等等。

如同編者序中所言,昔日《女性》雜誌如此盛讚:「海外有很多讀者,看過古龍的雜文,就曾經說過,古龍的雜文第一,武俠小說第二。」就讓這部《古龍散文集》帶我們走進古龍眼中的江湖、創造的世界、舉過的酒杯、說過的與吃過的小吃!

 (摘錄自《亞洲週刊》)