Valeria Luiselli's novel "Lost Children Archive" and Adam Higginbotham's nonfiction "Midnight in Chernobyl" have been awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal, a $5,000 prize presented by the American Library Association.
The awards for fiction and nonfiction were announced Sunday and honor two of last year's most acclaimed books. "Lost Children Archive," a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle prize, blends fiction and documentation as it probes the fates of refugee children. "Midnight in Chernobyl" recounts the 1986 nuclear power disaster and the Soviet Union government's desperate efforts to conceal it.
"We hope that librarians will find the two Carnegie winners to be powerful and fruitful titles to recommend and discuss," prize committee chair Donna Seaman said in a statement. The awards were announced during the library association's annual mid-winter meeting, held this year in Philadelphia.
Previous Carnegie medal winners include Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad" and Bryan Stevenson's "Just Mercy," adapted into a feature film that is now in theaters.
Both Luiselli and Higginbotham are lifelong fans of libraries. In a recent email to The Associated Press, Luiselli called herself a "radical nerd" and praised the Carnegie prize as "the ultimate radical nerd award." A native of Mexico City, she lived everywhere from Wisconsin to Costa Rica growing up and remembers attending an American elementary school in South Korea, where she would sneak into the high school library to read horror stories.
Now a resident of New York City, the 36-year-old Luiselli says she has "spent more time in libraries — between the stacks, in silent reading rooms, in the rare books & manuscript sections, and hovering behind the lenses of microfilm readers — than is probably healthy.
"But I have a good pair of reading glasses and antihistamines in my bag," she adds.
Higginbotham, 51, also knows well the interiors of the New York Public Library system. While working on "Midnight in Chernobyl: : The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster," he was a visiting scholar at the system's main branch in midtown Manhattan, blessed with "a quiet and beautiful place to work, and access to the amazing research collections of libraries in the New York City system and beyond."
Libraries helped inspire the British author's choice of careers and extend his literary knowledge into unexpected worlds. As a teenager, he found a copy of Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five" in the library of the Wells Cathedral School, "at the time perhaps the only example of modern American literature in the entire building."
"It was so astonishingly unlike any of the other works on offer that I was certain it had been placed on the shelves only as a result of some administrative error," he told the AP In a recent email. "I read it repeatedly — before someone realized their mistake and removed it — and it helped convince me to put my plans to become an astronaut on hold, and become a writer instead."
The medals are made possible, in part, by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.
A couple who had been together for nearly 65 years have died on the same day at a St. Louis-area nursing home.
Jack and Harriet Morrison's beds were placed next to each other in their final hours, allowing them to hold hands, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Eighty-six-year-old Jack died first. Harriett, who was 83, died later on Jan. 11.
"I'm sad. But I know they're at peace and they're back together," said Sue Wagener, a niece raised by the Morrisons. "It truly was a love story for the books."
The couple went on their first date on Halloween of 1955. "They went to a little diner and never separated from that day on," Wagener said. They married about six months later.
They met as Harriett accompanied her father on a trip with the drum and bugle corp he played in. Jack was behind the wheel of a charter bus that drove the group to some of its concerts.
Together, the couple ran and grew V-K Bus Lines while raising Wagener and their two sons.
They were active Moolah Shriners, a fraternal order devoted to philanthropy, and traveled the world next to each other, often on Shrine-related trips, including to Europe and Australia.
"You didn't see Jack unless you saw Harriet," said Wayne Price, a fellow Shriner.
About a year ago, Harriet tripped while walking their dog, breaking her pelvis and hip, Wagener said. She had dementia, and moved into The Woodlands of Arnold nursing home and rehabilitation center.
Meanwhile, Jack was having trouble living at home. Wagener said she talked him into moving into a villa at the Woodlands in May. In September, he also fell, breaking his neck. He then moved into the nursing home, four doors down the hall from his wife.
Even then, they would nap together, one in a wheelchair, the other in bed — their hands intertwined.
"Some days she knew him; other days she didn't," said Wagener.
Wagener said she told Jack on Christmas Eve that Harriet had stopped eating and drinking. He barely ate or drank after that.
About 11 p.m. on Jan. 10, she got a call from a nurse saying Harriet appeared close to death. The nurse asked if staff could move furniture out of Jack's room so the couple could be together.
Wagener said there was nothing she'd love more.
To take a stand against existing status quo of people judging others based on clothes and looks, internationally renowned hair care brand TRESemmé will host a three-day fashion event titled ‘TRESemmé Bangladesh Fashion Week 2020’ in the capital beginning on January 23.
Fashion designers from home and abroad will showcase their works at the event at the International Convention City Bashundhara.
Fashion Design Council of Bangladesh (FDCB) is the event partner while Le Méridien Dhaka the hospitality partner.
Nafees Anwar, Beauty and Personal Care Director of Unilever Bangladesh, made the announcement at a press conference at hotel Le Méridien Dhaka on Thursday.
The fashion event, which will end on January 25, will be called Runway of Life to promote against the judgmental mindset of people. In line with that, a digital campaign has been activated by Unilever with the hashtag -- #doitforyou.
Nafees Anwar said Unilever has changed the model on how to get involved in the fashion industry last year through the ‘TRESemmé Bangladesh Fashion Week 2019’.
“We had an event which came out pretty good at the end and we’re trying to continue it this year...every single brand under Unilever has a purpose. Every single product that Unilever produces has the same quality and I’d expect that like the way you’re supporting the local fashion industry, you’ll support the products that are produced locally,” he said.
Maheen Khan, President of FDCB, said their organisation is engaged in promotion of sustainable designs.
“We support clusters of artisans and produce ethical products. For the past six years, we held many international events to brand and promote our homegrown design industry,” she said.
She also spoke about FDCB’s approach for the benefit of Bangladeshi fashion industry.
“We’ve essentially built awareness, started campaigns for safe and conscious work ethics that promotes local creative work. Our aim and goal is always to preserve the DNA of Bangladeshi design heritage,” said Maheen Khan.
She mentioned that fashion designers from cities like Colombo, Kathmandu, Thimphu, Udaypur, Ahmedabad and Kolkata alongside talented Bangladeshi counterparts will be displaying their works in the ‘TRESemmé Bangladesh Fashion Week 2020’.
“Twenty-one Bangladeshi designers will play a key role with their participation weighing to brand our unique design industry that is evolving, growing into something way more purposeful and significant,” said FDCB President.
Apart from 21 local designers, nine foreign ones will be showcasing their collection at the three-day event. Some of the notable names are Anuj Sharma, Riddhi Jain, Alka Sharma, Soumitra Mandal and Asif Shaikh of India, Ajay Gurung of Nepal, Sonali Dharmawardena of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Tamang of Bhutan, Maheen Khan, Chandan Dewan, Kuhu, Lipi Khandaker, Emdad Hoque, Shaibal Saha and Farah Anjum Bari of Bangladesh.
The winners of the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC), a social initiative by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) to encourage and promote the promising entrepreneurs, have been announced at a ceremony in the city.
The YEC, an initiative under BYLC’s entrepreneurship development wing in association with DFID and Manusher Jonno Foundation, is part of the organization’s efforts to nurture the passion of aspiring entrepreneurs with unique revenue-generating business ideas by connecting them to the right tools and networks.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun was the chief guest at the award-giving ceremony held at a city hotel on Tuesday.
Acting High Commissioner of the UK to Bangladesh Kanbar Hossein-Bor and Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) Shaheen Anam joined the ceremony as special guests.
Speaking as the chief guest at the event, Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said, “BYLC Ventures is a timely initiative, and this YEC endeavor to select, invest in, and cultivate the next generation of Bangladesh’s entrepreneurs has the potential to add great value to the economy and make the ground that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamed of.”
The five winning teams each received seed funding of Tk 8 lakh with an option of further Tk 15 lakh in additional investment, based on their performances. Moreover, the five teams will have access to a co-working space, mentoring, and a rigorous accelerator curriculum for six months from BYLC.
The five winning teams are Eco Wraps, a production and packaging company of cellulose-based biodegradable biopolymer bags; Tinkers, a producer of educational and interactive learning materials and toys; Agri Mushroom and Multi-farming, an agri-tech company; Selvice, an online marketing platform for event logistics; and Digigrow, a cloud-based multi-channel platform for farmers, independent investors, and partnered retailers.
In his opening remarks, Ejaj Ahmad, founder and president of BYLC, said, “BYLC has been investing in promising young leaders for the past ten years. This YEC venture is our latest initiative to invest in Bangladesh’s most promising young founders and help them grow their business.”
Kanbar Hossein-Bor, acting High Commissioner of the UK to Bangladesh, commended BYLC for contributing to creating a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bangladesh. “Funding is not the only thing that young entrepreneurs need in today’s world to thrive in the current business climate. Under this campaign, the winning teams will learn tangible business and leadership skills that will help them build their ventures,” he said.
Speaking as a special guest at the event, Shaheen Anam, Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said, “Bangladeshi youth cannot depend only on jobs. In this age of rapid technological advancement and automation, it is critical for youth to pursue self-employment opportunities through entrepreneurial initiatives.”
Over 500 business ideas were submitted in the initial phase of the challenge. The selection process included a residential bootcamp with 200 top founders, further vetting of top 30 teams, and presentation of 16 finalists in front of an investment committee comprising of BYLC management, industry experts, entrepreneurs, and investors.
Five climbers are attempting to scale Mount Everest, battling extreme cold, high winds and piled-up snow and ice as they try to become the first to reach the top of the world's highest mountain in the winter in 27 years, an official said Wednesday.
The climbers — three from Spain and two from Germany — are already acclimatizing around Everest's base camp area as they wait for weather conditions to improve, said Meera Acharya of Nepal's Department of Mountaineering.
They're expected to be accompanied on their ascent by Nepalese Sherpa guides, but it was not yet decided how many would go up the slope with them.
While there are no rules prohibiting climbers from attempting to scale Everest during the winter, only a handful have reached the mountain's 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) -high peak during that season. The feat was first accomplished in 1980, and has not been done since 1993.
Everest is mainly scaled during the spring climbing season in April and May, when weather conditions are favorable.