Fiction awards celebrate young writers in the UAE

newslide The Flash Fiction Reading and Writing Awards, which supports the UAE’s Year of Reading, will be announced on Saturday at twofour54 in Abu Dhabi. The event, sponsored by New York University’s Literature and Creative Writing Program, will see 16 finalists — all university students chosen for their short-fiction submissions — reading from their works […]


The Flash Fiction Reading and Writing Awards, which supports the UAE’s Year of Reading, will be announced on Saturday at twofour54 in Abu Dhabi. The event, sponsored by New York University’s Literature and Creative Writing Program, will see 16 finalists — all university students chosen for their short-fiction submissions — reading from their works based on the theme of separation. The jury, which includes literature academics and The National’s columnist Faisal Al Yafai, will pick six winners — three for Best Story and three for Best Dramatic Reading. Prizes include a creative residency at Abu Dhabi Art Hub in Liwa. — The National


Prince died without leaving a will

Tyka Nelson, Prince’s sister, said the pop icon had no will when he died last week, as she sought an administrator to oversee one of the most legendary estates in the music world. Her court filing showed a desire for an orderly process after the sudden death of Prince, who was estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and kept vaults filled with unreleased songs. In a petition, Nelson said that Prince was survived by no spouse, children or parents. She is his only surviving full sibling, but five half-siblings were listed as heirs. Nelson wrote, “I do not know of the existence of a will and have no reason to believe that the decedent executed testamentary documents in any form.” Prince died last week at the age of 57. Nelson asked the court to appoint wealth-management firm Bremer Trust to administer the estate. She also said a search was underway to determine whether the singer had other heirs. He was married twice, both marriages ending in divorce. A son from one of marriages died days later from a rare genetic disorder known as Pfeiffer syndrome. — AFP


Susan Boyle at home after airport incident

Susan Boyle was at home and well after an incident involving the police at London’s Heathrow Airport, a spokeswoman said yesterday. The singer was escorted away by officers after creating a disturbance at the airport this week. London’s Metropolitan Police said officers were called “to reports of a distressed woman. Officers attended and spoke with the woman”. Spokeswoman Nicola Phillips said Boyle is at her home in Scotland and “she is fine”. The 55-year-old singer was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome a few years ago, and Phillips said this had “a huge part to play in the situation.” – AP


Release date for Bollywood film Akira

Actress Sonakshi Sinha has revealed that her action thriller Akira will hit cinemas in India on September 23. The Dabangg actress posted on Twitter: “My action thriller Akira releasing on 23rd September.” Akira is Sinha’s second film with director A R Murugadoss after Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty. It also features her father, actor-politician, Shatrughan Sinha. — IANS


Rudolfo Anaya’s work to be adapted for opera

Rudolfo Anaya’s famed novel Bless Me, Ultima, one of the most recognisable works of Mexican-American Literature and a book some scholars believe sparked the Chicano literary movement in the late 1960s, is being made into an opera. National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, announced that it is collaborating with Opera Southwest to commission the work based on Anaya’s novel, set in 1940s New Mexico, about a boy and a traditional healer called a curandera. The opera will be written by Californian composer Hector Armienta and is slated to be produced in 2018. — AP

newslide Jessica Alba and Michelle Obama honoured

Actress Jessica Alba and US First Lady Michelle Obama were among the celebrities honoured this week with Webby Awards for “excellence on the internet”. The winners were announced ahead of the 20th Annual Webby Awards ceremony in New York City on May 16. Alba will be the first person honoured as Webby Entrepreneur of the Year, in recognition of her role as a co-founder of The Honest Company, which has developed into an empire selling household products made “without hurting people or the planet”. Obama won two awards in the Online Film and Video category for he role in Funny or Die and CollegeHumor videos. Founders of #BlackLivesMatter will accept a Social Movement of the Year award on behalf of what awards organisers described as”one of the most powerful international civil rights movements in history”. An award for breakout film of the year will go to creators of “chilling and wildly popular” Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer.” Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Nearly 13,000 entries were submitted this year from more than 70 countries. -AFP


Vanessa Paradis and Kirsten Dunst join Cannes jury

Singer Vanessa Paradis and actress Kirsten Dunst have joined the jury of the 69th Cannes Film Festival, led by Mad Max: Fury Road director and Cannes president George Miller, which will decide the winner the Palm d’Or and other prizes at the event in May. A festival spokesperson said: “Cannes has always sought to adopt a universal and international approach, and in tune with this tradition, George Miller will be surrounded by eight luminaries of world cinema.” The panel also includes French director-writer Arnaud Desplechin; Hungarian film director and screenwriter Laszlo Nemes; Italian actress and director Valeria Golino; Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen (star of TV drama Hannibal and the upcoming Star Wars spin-off film Rogue One); producer Katayoon Shahabi; and veteran Canadian actor Donald Sutherland. Twenty-one films will compete for the prestigious accolade at the festival, which will open on May 11 and end May 22. — IANS


Pablo Neruda’s remains buried again

Chile reburied Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda’s remains this week after exhuming them to determine whether he had been assassinated by the late dictator, Augusto Pinochet’s regime, a mystery that still lingers. Three years after they were disinterred to be tested for traces of poison, Neruda’s remains were returned to his grave in the resort town of Isla Negra, facing the Pacific Ocean in line with his last wishes. Neruda, a celebrated poet, politician, diplomat and bohemian, died in 1973 at the age of 69, days after Pinochet, then the head of the Chilean army, overthrew socialist president Salvador Allende in a bloody coup. The writer, who was also a prominent member of the Chilean Communist party, was preparing to flee into exile in Mexico to lead the resistance against Pinochet’s regime. He died in a Santiago clinic where he was being treated for prostate cancer — the official cause of his death. Doubts emerged in 2011, when his former driver and personal assistant claimed Neruda was given a mysterious injection in his chest just before he died. Forensic scientists in Spain said they had identified a massive, unexplained bacterial infection in Neruda’s remains. This has rekindled suspicions that he might have been poisoned with a toxin made by Pinochet’s infamous chemical weapons expert, Eugenio Berrios. An international team of specialists that examined the remains will release their findings next month, after completing DNA analysis of the bacteria. — AFP

Source: art & life

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