All new homes come with a clarinet … Babel’s Alexander McCall Smith

The Michael Kelleher-less era of Babel began tonight with one of the biggest crowds the series has ever seen. If Alexander McCall Smith didn’t find himself standing before more audience members than Salman Rushdie two years ago, the numbers must have been close. But while the popular kilt-wearing author is probably used to the spotlight […]

If I were satisfied, I wouldn’t keep doing it … Babel’s Zadie Smith

Not to overshadow the presence of British novelist Zadie Smith ushering in 2012’s year of Babel, the sobering news that Just Buffalo Literary Center‘s Michael Kelleher was stepping down as Artistic Director to head up a position at Yale came with some shock and a well-deserved standing ovation. The man who really spearheaded the series […]

Up, down, in, and out … Babel’s Naomi Shihab Nye

Language has ‘the power to carry us away’. This is what Naomi Shihab Nye said when asked why she was drawn to literature. The daughter of a displaced Palestinian journalist—a theme thus far for the 2011/12 season of Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Babel—she has been enamored by language since a very early age living all […]

Curiosity is a moral virtue … Babel’s Amos Oz

To Amos Oz—the first speaker of the 2011/12 season of Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Babel—he is just a postman scrawling notes onto the letters of the dead. The Israeli novelist has written many books, but it is his personal history in A Tale of Love and Darkness that has won over hearts and minds the […]

The big man with a small voice … Babel’s Chris Abani

Best. Babel. Ever. It’s as simple as that. Of the twelve authors I have seen over the past two years, besides the more superstar names like Michael Ondaatje and Salman Rushdie—easy fodder to gather excitement on my end to read—Chris Abani is the first to invigorate me enough that I literally want to do nothing […]