Latest edition of the Ssh! Newsletter now online

October 31, 2008

Just to let you know that you can now read the latest edition of the Ssh! Newsletter, which provides information for students in the Social Sciences and Humanities Faculty, on the Loughborough University Library website.


‘The White Tiger’ wins Man Booker Prize 2008

October 24, 2008

White Tiger bookcover

The White Tiger- available from: http://www.amazon.co.uk

Aravind Adiga has won the 2008 Man Booker Prize for his first novel, The White Tiger.  Adiga was born in 1974 in Chennai (formerly Madras), although his family later emigrated to Australia.  He studied in both the United States and at Oxford and he now lives back in India in Mumbai.   Adiga was a business journalist and wrote his novel during his time as a freelancer.

The White Tiger is set in India and was not actually initially that popular in the country as it portrays “a completely bald, angry, unadorned portrait of the county as seen from the bottom of the heap”, according to Andrew Holgate of The Sunday Times.  However, it is also a “page-turner”.

The jacket describes the book as:

“Balram Halwai is the White Tiger – the smartest boy in his village. His family is too poor for him to afford for him to finish school and he has to work in a teashop, breaking coals and wiping tables. But Balram gets his break when a rich man hires him as a chauffeur, and takes him to live in Delhi. The city is a revelation. As he drives his master to shopping malls and call centres, Balram becomes increasingly aware of immense wealth and opportunity all around him, while knowing that he will never be able to gain access to that world. As Balram broods over his situation, he realizes that there is only one way he can become part of this glamorous new India – by murdering his master.”The White Tiger” presents a raw and unromanticised India, both thrilling and shocking – from the desperate, almost lawless villages along the Ganges, to the booming Wild South of Bangalore and its technology and outsourcing centres. The first-person confession of a murderer, “The White Tiger” is as compelling for its subject matter as for the voice of its narrator – amoral, cynical, unrepentant, yet deeply endearing.”

You can read an interview with the author on the BookBrowse website. In it he describes the influences on the book and plans for his next novel, which is underway.

If you want to find out more, then you will soon be able to borrow it from the Library, as it is currently on order.  To be the first to read it, why don’t you ‘request’ it, via the Library Catalogue?


Ted Hughes archive acquired by BL

October 16, 2008

The British Library has announced that it has acquired the final collection of Ted Hughes’ papers, with help from Friends of the National Libraries, and the Friends of the British Library, and a £200,000 grant from the Shaw Fund.  The BL’s press release states: “The collection comprises over 220 files and boxes of manuscripts, letters, journals, personal diaries and ephemera, and offers an invaluable resource for researchers in all areas of Hughes’s prolific and wide-ranging career over more than forty years.”  Of particular interest are the manuscripts of Birthday Letters, which explored his relationship with his first wife, Sylvia Plath.  It also includes his diaries, letters, working drafts and notebooks.

Hughes was Poet Laureate from 1984 until 1998 and was described by Seamus Heaney as “a guardian spirit of the land and language”.  He was born in Mytholmroyd in 1930.  He went on to Cambridge, graduating in 1954.  Hughes’ personal life arouses much interest largely because of his first marriage to Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide a year after their divorce.  A detailed biography and bibliography for Ted Hughes is available to Loughborough University staff and students  on Literature Online

The British Library also has details of its holdings in relation to Hughes on its website.

The BL has announced that:  “A notebook containing early autograph manuscript drafts of Birthday Letters, revealing that Hughes had originally planned for the volume to be entitled ‘The Sorrows of the Deer’, will be displayed in The Sir John Ritblat Gallery: Treasures of the British Library from 15 October 2008.”

The archive will be catalogued and is expected to be available to researchers in 2009.

In the meantime and more easily available, copies of Hughes’ many works are available in the University Library, with copies of Birthday Letters at: 821.91 HUG