Don’t let *blank expletive blank* affect your inner calm … Babel’s Amy Tan

As Just Buffalo Literary Center‘s Laurie Dean Torrell went through her thank yous before Artistic Director Barbara Cole’s introduction of the night’s speaker, she gave us a statistic that posited how ticket sales for the event only fulfilled about a third of the costs incurred to produce it. While I’m sure it was an accurate breakdown, I couldn’t help look around at the packed lower level of Kleinhans Music Hall and remember how far Babel has grown since the less than one thousand people who packed into Babeville’s Asbury Hall…

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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 but finish the book I have been pretending to read the past five months and begin his Graceland. Right from the get-go of his season-ending appearance for Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Babel, I was sold.…

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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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REVIEW: The English Patient [1996]

“For the heart is an organ of fire” The English Patient is a story of love gained, lost, and never forgotten. The late Anthony Minghella had a couple films under his belt, but I don’t think even he saw the success coming from this adaptation of Michael Ondaatje’s novel. It won nine Oscars, including Best Picture, and even welcomed some mention famously in a “Seinfeld” episode. So, the real question is, why did it take me 12 years to finally watch it? I really don’t have a good answer, except…

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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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