Wednesday News: RIP Tanith Lee, Sydney Writers Festival, BEA welcomes Chinese delegation, and marriage equality in Ireland
Tanith Lee Was An Indispensible Fantasy Author – As you may already have heard, Tanith Lee died on Sunday; she was only 67, and was still writing, despite the fact that she could not get any of her recent work published (see her own explanation below). There are several posts paying homage to Lee’s incredibly diverse and prolific career as a writer of fantasy, horror, and even children’s literature, among other genres and venues. As the i09 piece notes, “there are so many Tanith Lee novels, and so many memorable stories, that Lee has multiple separate fandoms.” NPR also has a nice post up, with a great description of Lee’s work as inclusive of everything from “tales set in historic Venice to vampire stories and re-imagined folklore. In other stories, she blended modern life with elements of horror and magic.” The cynic in me wouldn’t be surprised if some of the works she could not get published during her lifetime now find their way to a publisher.
[M]ost of the so-called big publishers are unwilling even to look at a proposal. They aren’t interested in seeing anything from me, not even those houses I’ve worked with for many years. Where any slight interest in my turning in a book exists, I find I must work inside certain defined formulae. And to me that’s one of the arch inspiration-stranglers. I have at this time no new book, adult or Y.A, either out or due to come out, let alone any contract to produce a book for any of the main companies. And besides that only a couple of things are scheduled to appear from small, if reputable and elegant houses.
I must add, that doesn’t stop me actually writing. Writing is one of the most important things in my life. I have, so far, a cupboard stocked with 3 completed never published novels – contemporary, horror, 2 short (original) story collections, and proposals for 4 books, 2 of them adult fantasies. I’m just now finishing another novel. –i09 & NPR
Sydney Writers’ Festival 2015 – Beyond Dukes and Damsels (live tweets) – Kat from BookThingo has posted a nice collection of tweets from the Romance panel at the Sydney Writer’s Festival, which took place this past week. Here’s a link to the official Festival site if you’re interested in checking out the program as a whole.
On Saturday, the Sydney Writers’ Festival has, for the first time since I started paying attention (which, admittedly, hasn’t been that long) included romance authors in the program, to talk about romance books. The panel was hosted by the super-smart Jodi McAlister, and featured Kate Cuthbert, Avril Tremayne and Victoria Purman. –BookThingo
BookExpo America Hosts Chinese Delegation In Historic First Cultural And Commercial Exchange – So it’s time for BookExpo America again, and this year the event features a “cultural exchange” between the U.S. and China, including the attendance of a Chinese delegation and a number of related events, from a photo exhibition to a US-China publishing forum, to presentations by several prominent Chinese authors, including Mai Jia, Feng Tang, and Xu Zechen. Given the growth of the publishing industry in China, there could be some interesting collaborative opportunities.
This year’s BookExpo America (BEA) for the first time hosts a Chinese delegation as part of its Global Market Forum (GMF) initiative, bringing the world’s largest market to U.S. shores and kicking off more than a dozen events to take place across New York City. The Chinese delegation at BEA will be the largest international delegation to ever attend the event, with more than 500 professionals representing more than 100 publishing companies, along with 26 of China’s most distinguished authors. The cultural exchange will include a series of panels and activities at BEA as well as offsite events open to the general public. It will also be highlighted by the appearance of several notables including Wu Shangzhi, the Vice Minister of State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television; Cui Tiankai, the Ambassador of China to the United States; Zhang Qiyue, the Consul-General of the Chinese Consulate in New York; Penny Abeywardena, NYC Commissioner of International Affairs; and Robert Holleyman, the Deputy United States Trade Representative. –WSET
WATCH: The Moment Ireland Said ‘Yes’ to Marriage Equality – With all of the news and analysis of Ireland’s historic vote in favor of marriage equality (yes, USians, you CAN have a whole country legally sanction marriage equality!), this seven minute video from Raymond Braun, featuring Irish vlogger Riyadh K and his family, is pretty amazing, especially when Braun records the Dublin celebration of the vote. And as this map from Vox shows, support trended regionally but was still pretty broad.
But by the time the final votes were counted Saturday, Braun’s lens captured the moment when victory for equality was declared. Don’t miss the poignant moment at the four-minute mark, when Riyadh K’s dad barely holds back his tears, lamenting his initial negative reaction to learning his son was gay.
Then watch in the video below as Braun, HRC’s Cobb, and Riyadh K join thousands gathered in Dublin to ring in a new era of genuine equality for same-sex couples on the Emerald Isle. –The Advocate & Vox
Sad to hear about Tanith Lee. I think she was an incredibly gifted and original author. She’ll be missed.
This is completely an aside, but Tanith Lee sounds like the type of author who would have greatly benefited from self publishing.
That was a sweet video! Got me a bit teary-eyed. My husband and I were in Europe a few weeks back on vacation and stumbled into the Brussels Pride parade, which was fantastic…just a lovely joyful celebration of equality and humanity. Gives me a bit of hope for the future.
I’m not if I’ve read Tanith Lee or not. I feel like I must have in my fantasy devouring youth, but looking through her backlist, I’m not sure. Anyone have suggestions for a good place to start with her?
@cleo: I haven’t read her either, but Jan who used to review for us once recommended The Silver Metal Lover to me. I think she said it was very romantic but didn’t have a happy ending.
Besides this, I’ve also gotten a recommendation for Tanith Lee’s fairy tale collection Red as Blood, Tales from the Sisters Grimmer, from another well-read friend who rarely steers me wrong. The digital edition has a horrible cover, which is a shame because the print cover was beautiful.
I remember loving the “Flat Earth” series as a teenager (found at my local library). Strange and beautiful and not always moral: her books were an interesting change from the strongly male POV of Fantasy and Sci-Fi of mid-late 80’s, and the good-girl POV of the YA and Romance novels I loved, but could never identify with.
I’m a little scared to revisit them, as I don’t know if they’d hold up to the lovely strangeness I remember, or if they would read as dated and sad. If someone else rereads, let me know what you think.
@Erin Burns: Agree. Maybe at 67 she felt this was too big a change for her, but I wish a friend or adviser would have steered her in that direction.
My favorite Lee book was The Silver Metal Lover. I guess it’s a romance of sorts, or has romantic elements, but have a hanky handy. It’s lovely, but heart-rending. There’s a sequel, Metallic Love, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it–and certainly don’t read it hoping for a happier ending than the first time around.
Sorry to hear about Tanith Lee. I’ve never read her but knew who she was. I’ve been waiting forever for Silver Metal Lover to be digitized :(