Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What one is reading

LaughyKate contemplates patricide.

A cook book called Meals to Die For. It’s not what you think.

Follow the money: the economics of publishing books in New Zealand, by Jillian Ewart for Booksellers NZ.

Shock horror: Vanda Symon’s next crime novel is not set in the South Island. Craig Sisterson investigates.

How to get intoxicated on words. No alarms, no surprises: it’s a Russian thing.

Faryal Bhatti, a student at the Sir Syed Girls High School in Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) colony Havelian, erroneously misspelt a word in an Urdu exam while answering a question on a poem written in praise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The word in question was ‘laanat’ instead of ‘naat’ – an easy error for a child to make, as the written versions of the words are similar.
According to the school administration and religious leaders who took great exception to the hapless student’s mistake, the error is ‘serious’ enough to fall within the realm of blasphemy, Saturday.
On Thursday, Faryal’s Urdu teacher was collecting the answer sheets from her students when she noticed the apparently offensive word on her pupil’s sheet. The teacher, Fareeda Bibi, reportedly summoned the Christian girl, scolded her and beat her. [ . . .]
Asked whether the incident still fell within the realm of blasphemy and whether Faryal deserved expulsion when she had misspelt the word unintentionally, Khateeb said that although he was unclear about the intentions of the girl, the word she had used was sacrilegious.
 Paul Litterick celebrates the live experience of the RWC (am I allowed to use that acronym?) on Auckland’s vibrant waterfront:
You arrive. You pass through corridors of barriers. Your bags are checked by people in flouro to ensure you are not carrying any unauthorised item such as a gun or a Steinlager. A woman hands you a leaflet. It is too dark to read the leaflet. You buy cholesterol products from the pie carts and you stand in front of the big screen. If you are feeling adventurous you sit on the concrete. It is dark, apart from the security lights, which give a gulag archipelago tone to the evening. It is cold.
 Danyl McLauchlan returns to satire. Yay:
The National Party will introduce a new bill this week that will update section 171 of the the Crimes Act. As with the changes to the laws around covert police video surveillance, the Prime Minister insists that the bill be passed under urgency and apply retrospectively.
The bill updates the manslaughter section of the Crimes Act of 1961, in which the current definition of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ will be redefined to exempt senior public servants who accidentally asphyxiate sex-workers at departmental parties. [. . . ]
Police Association President Greg O’Connor supports the new bill, and in addition he has called for police to be armed with savage timber wolves and the power to flog anyone who looks them in the eye.
Coming attractions: Nigel Cox on Maurice Gee from the July 1993 issue of Quote Unquote the magazine. Also something on seduction. Warning: may contain French people.

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