“The Curious Novelist” … A.S. Byatt journeys to Buffalo

The 2009-2010 season of Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Babel has commenced. Attendance didn’t unfortunately sell-out the new venue at Kleinhans, but the crowd was full and above the capacity of Babeville, so the change definitely was necessary. Michael Kelleher announced that this would be the final series under the original commission from the John R. Oshei Foundation, warranting the inclusion of donation envelopes and the dire news that ticket sales wouldn’t be able to sustain the event for its planned fourth season. After all the business, however, and asking for…

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An abundance of joy … and feminism: Babel’s Isabel Allende

The very candid, funny, and intelligent Chilean author Isabel Allende ushered in a new era for the Babel series. Being the inaugural show at the event’s new headquarters of Kleinhans Music Hall, there were even more people in attendance, many additional students, and a lot more parking closer to the venue. It is interesting that out of the first eight speakers in the series’ two year existence, I have only come in twice without any knowledge of the story, whether from reading the book, seeing a theatrical version, or both.…

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It’s a comic, not a graphic novel: Babel’s Marjane Satrapi

I’ve finally come to the realization that the people who go to events such as Babel and another artsy affairs generally lean to the left. When tonight’s speaker, the Iranian author/artist Marjane Satrapi, relayed that this was the point where she would usually spend ten minutes bashing Bush, the crowd burst into uproarious laughter and unanimous applause. Well unanimous minus one, although I did laugh … it was funny. However, I think I was just the person Satrapi was hoping to reach when she wrote down her life’s experiences in…

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The Sri Lankan Patient: Babel’s Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje is the kind of guy that you just want to sit back and have a conversation with. The man has a fantastic sense of humor, is totally self-deprecating, and just brings a smile to your face with each one of his own. After a brief introduction that delved into his past as well as a description of his novel of concern, The English Patient, (which just by it’s paraphrasing showed me how different the film is, being that I didn’t have a chance to read before the talk),…

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Babel returns with Chinua Achebe

Welcome to the start of the sold out second season to Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Babel. Get out there and start roaming the internet and streets for scalpers because it is a series you won’t want to miss. If you thought last year’s inaugural line-up was good, you can’t fathom the heavyweights on this season’s bill. With Chinua Achebe kicking us off—his novel Things Fall Apart being a brilliant piece of literature—the ball got rolling, ushering in much of the same, but some brand new features as well. Chief among…

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Babel brings Buffalo a bit of St. Lucia

If there was one writer on the Babel bill this year I really needed to see, it was Derek Walcott. This is not because I’m a huge fan or anything, I have heard just about as much about him as the other three, namely nothing. However, upon trying to read his book of poetry, I found myself at a true loss of comprehension. Maybe I need a scholastic atmosphere to know I have others around me for interpretations, but no matter how much I enjoy the art, I just have…

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