Doris Lessing

What’s terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don’t need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you’re capable of better.

– Doris Lessing

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born in Kermanshah, Iran,  October 22, 1919

influences: Idries Shah, Olive Schreiner, Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre, Dostoevsky,…more
Both of her parents were British: her father, who had been crippled in World War I, was a clerk in the Imperial Bank of Persia; her mother had been a nurse. In 1925, lured by the promise of getting rich through maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Like other women writers from southern African who did not graduate from high school (such as Olive Schreiner and Nadine Gordimer), Lessing made herself into a self-educated intellectual.In 1937 she moved to Salisbury, where she worked as a telephone operator for a year. At nineteen, she married Frank Wisdom, and had two children. A few years later, feeling trapped in a persona that she feared would destroy her, she left her family, remaining in Salisbury. Soon she was drawn to the like-minded members of the Left Book Club, a group of Communists “who read everything, and who did not think it remarkable to read.” Gottfried Lessing was a central member of the group; shortly after she joined, they married and had a son.

During the postwar years, Lessing became increasingly disillusioned with the Communist movement, which she left altogether in 1954. By 1949, Lessing had moved to London with her young son. That year, she also published her first novel, The Grass Is Singing, and began her career as a professional writer.

In June 1995 she received an Honorary Degree from Harvard University. Also in 1995, she visited South Africa to see her daughter and grandchildren, and to promote her autobiography. It was her first visit since being forcibly removed in 1956 for her political views. Ironically, she is welcomed now as a writer acclaimed for the very topics for which she was banished 40 years ago.

In 2001 she was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in Literature, one of Spain’s most important distinctions, for her brilliant literary works in defense of freedom and Third World causes. She also received the David Cohen British Literature Prize.

She was on the shortlist for the first Man Booker International Prize in 2005. In 2007 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

(Extracted from the pamphlet: A Reader’s Guide to The Golden Notebook & Under My Skin, HarperPerennial, 1995. Full text available on www.dorislessing.org)

Hurray!

Ela —

There are no words that can thank you enough.
Today the NSW Health Minister announced 6 additional stomach cancer operations will be done this year to help with the immediate backlog, and she will continue to work on a longer term fix.
By taking the time to hear my story and signing this petition you have helped achieve this. I am so overwhelmed, and so humbled.
It’s a huge step forward. I’m actually in shock right now. I’m so proud of the people power, and I want to thank everyone who signed.
To know we’ve got some movement and progress on fixing the waiting times will hopefully take some of the stress and pressure off all 40 families on the waiting list. I know for me it’s been exhausting trying to fight stomach cancer as well as trying to convince the Health Minister to help fix the waiting times before it got too late.
I spoke up about this issue because, after waiting 6 months for urgent surgery, I just didn’t know what else to do.
Then Sam, a guy I had never even met, heard my story through social media and started a petition. I’ve never been involved with an online petition before so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  But the numbers just kept growing — right now it’s at 75,000 signatures — the media reported on it, and then we saw our power today.
As I said, there just aren’t words strong enough to express quite how grateful I am.
I hope if you ever find yourself in a really hard situation like this, I can one day repay the favour.
Nicole
P.S. Here’s some of the news articles about the win:
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nicole-perko-campaign-cancer-surgery-to-be-performed-at-extra-hospital-20131017-2vnr7.html
http://www.2gb.com/article/surgery-backflip#.UmBdSmTbpvY
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/patients-fast-tracked-for-cancer-surgery/story-fni0xqi3-1226741742647

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Tracy Chevalier

I have consistently loved books that I’ve read when I’ve been sick in bed.

– Tracy Chevalier

1973

born in Washington, DC., The United States

gender: female
twitter username: Tracy_Chevalier
Born:
19 October 1962 in Washington, DC. Youngest of 3 children. Father was a photographer for The Washington Post.Childhood:
Nerdy. Spent a lot of time lying on my bed reading. Favorite authors back then: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeleine L’Engle, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander. Book I would have taken to a desert island: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

Education:
BA in English, Oberlin College, Ohio, 1984. No one was surprised that I went there; I was made for such a progressive, liberal place.

MA in creative writing, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, 1994. There’s a lot of debate about whether or not you can be taught to write. Why doesn’t anyone ask that of professional singers, painters, dancers? That year forced me to write all the time and take it seriously.

Geography:
Moved to London after graduating from Oberlin in 1984. I had studied for a semester in London and thought it was a great place, so came over for fun, expecting to go back to the US after 6 months to get serious. I’m still in London, and still not entirely serious. Even have dual citizenship – though I keep the American accent intact.

Family:
1 English husband + 1 English son + 1 tortoiseshell cat.

Career:
Before writing, was a reference book editor, working on encyclopedias about writers. (Yup, still nerdy.) Learned how to research and how to make sentences better. Eventually I wanted to fix my own sentences rather than others’, so I quit and did the MA.

Writing:
Talked a lot about becoming a writer as a kid, but actual pen to paper contact was minimal. Started writing short stories in my 20s, then began first novel, The Virgin Blue, during the MA year. With Girl With a Pearl Earring (written in 1998), I became a full-time writer, and have since juggled it with motherhood

Rick Moody

I think literature is best when it’s voicing what we would prefer not to talk about.

– Rick Moody

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born in The United States,  October 18, 1961

gender: male

 

Rick Moody (born Hiram Frederick Moody, III on October 18, 1961, New York City), is an American novelist and short story writer best known for The Ice Storm (1994), a chronicle of the dissolution of two suburban Connecticut families over Thanksgiving weekend in 1973, which brought widespread acclaim, and became a bestseller; it was later made into a feature film.

Vitamins

We usually think of the word vitamin in conjunction with good
health. They’re nutrients you body needs to function properly. But
some vitamins are more beneficial than others and work harder in
promoting good health.

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Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body. You
want it to stay strong – especially considering that heart disease
is the number one killer in the United States. There are vitamins
that can specifically promote heart health.

Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 is a vitamin that your body needs in order
to produce hemoglobin, which is what carries the oxygen throughout
the blood to reach your body’s organs efficiently. Vitamin B6 can
help maintain a normal range of blood sugar levels, too.

Foods that are rich in Vitamin B6 are chicken breasts, oatmeal,
pork loin, ready to eat cereals and roast beef. Some vegetable
choices are Avocados, soybeans, lima beans and Garbanzo beans.
Bananas are another choice for vitamin B6 consumption.

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Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 is necessary for the synthesis of the red
blood cells and the maintenance of the nervous system. Low vitamin
B12 levels can result in anemia and neuropathy. Neuropathy is the
degeneration of the nerve fibers, which can cause various forms of
nerve damage.

Vitamin B12 is necessary for proper blood flow and making sure each
organ (including the heart) receives what it needs. The heart can’t
pump blood efficiently without red blood cell production. Foods
rich in vitamin B12 are meat, dairy products and eggs. Lesser-known
items are soy products, seaweed and algae products.

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Vitamin E – Vitamin E is a vitamin that protects your body’s cells
from free radicals, which is what contributes to certain types of
cancer. It’s also good for helping lower cholesterol so that blood
can flow freely to and from your heart.

Foods that are rich in vitamin E are almonds, sunflower nuts,
sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and peanut butter. Vegetables that are
high in vitamin E are spinach and broccoli. Fruit choices would be
kiwi and mango.

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Recommended intake of vitamin E for both men and women is 15 mg. a
day. This is what’s needed for the development of a healthy heart.
Children should consume about 7mg. daily for 4 year olds and up and
6mg. for the toddlers that are 1-3 years old.

Eating a healthy diet and exercising can promote a healthier heart.
Sometimes, they aren’t quite enough to get your heart going.
Vitamins can help kick start it so that it can function longer and
you can live a longer healthier life.

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Best wishes,

Joy

14a Norland Square, London, London W11 4PX, UNITED KINGDOM

To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit:
http://www.aweber.com/z/r/?jIwczIzMnLSszCxMTCxsnLRmtGxsjJzsnMw=

Katherine Mansfield

The pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books.

– Katherine Mansfield

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born in Wellington, New Zealand,  October 14, 1888

died: January 09, 1923

gender: female

website: http://www.katherinemansfield.com/

genre: Literature & FictionShort Stories

influences: Anton Chekhov
Kathleen Mansfield Murry was a prominent New Zealand modernist writer of short fiction who wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield.

Katherine Mansfield is widely considered one of the best short story writers of her period. A number of her works, including “Miss Brill”, “Prelude”, “The Garden Party”, “The Doll’s House”, and later works such as “The Fly”, are frequently collected in short story anthologies. Mansfield also proved ahead of her time in her adoration of Russian playwright and short story writer Anton Chekhov, and incorporated some of his themes and techniques into her writing.

Katherine Mansfield was part of a “new dawn” in English literature with T S Elliot, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. She was associated with the brilliant group of writers who made the London of the period the centre of the literary world.

Nevertheless, Mansfield was a New Zealand writer – she could not have written as she did had she not gone to live in England and France, but she could not have done her best work if she had not had firm roots in her native land. She used her memories in her writing from the beginning, people, the places, even the colloquial speech of the country form the fabric of much of her best work.

Mnsfield’s stories were the first of significance in English to be written without a conventional plot. Supplanting the strictly structured plots of her predecessors in the genre (Edgar Allan Poe, Rudyard Kipling, H. G. Wells), Mansfield concentrated on one moment, a crisis or a turning point, rather than on a sequence of events. The plot is secondary to mood and characters. The stories are innovative in many other ways. They feature simple things – a doll’s house or a charwoman. Her imagery, frequently from nature, flowers, wind and colours, set the scene with which readers can identify easily.

Themes too are universal: human isolation, the questioning of traditional roles of men and women in society, the conflict between love and disillusionment, idealism and reality, beauty and ugliness, joy and suffering and the inevitabilty of these paradoxes. Oblique narration (influenced by Chekhov but certainly developed by Mansfield) includes the use of symbolism – the doll’s house lamp, the fly, the pear tree – hinting at the hidden layers of meaning. Suggestion and implication replace direct detail.

Paul Simon

It’s actually very difficult to make something both simple and good.

– Paul Simon

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born in Newark Heights, New Jersey, The United States,  October 13, 1941

gender: male
Paul Frederic Simon is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and musician. Simon is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, both as half of the folk-singing duo Simon and Garfunkel and as a solo artist. In 2006, Time magazine called him one of the 100 “people who shape our world.” As of 2007, he resides in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Teachings on Love

“Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth… This is the real message of love.”
― Thích Nhất HạnhTeachings on Love

9074

born in Thừa Thiên Huế , Viet Nam October 11, 1926
gender: male
website: http://www.plumvillage.org/
genre: Religion & Spirituality, Buddhism, Zen
influences: Zen Buddhism, Maman S. Mahayana

Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist who now lives in southwest France where he was in exile for many years.

Born Nguyễn Xuân Bảo, Thích Nhất Hạnh joined a Zen (Vietnamese: Thiền) monastery at the age of 16, and studied Buddhism as a novitiate. Upon his ordination as a monk in 1949, he assumed the Dharma name Thích Nhất Hạnh. Thích is an honorary family name used by all Vietnamese monks and nuns, meaning that they are part of the Shakya (Shakyamuni Buddha) clan.

He is often considered the most influential living figure in the lineage of Lâm Tế (Vietnamese Rinzai) Thiền, and perhaps also in Zen Buddhism as a whole.

His best-selling books include Happiness and Being Peace.

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9074.Th_ch_Nh_t_H_nh

Harold Pinter

I hate brandy…it stinks of modern literature.

– Harold Pinter

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born in Hackney, London, The United Kingdom,  October 10, 1930

 

died: December 24, 2008

 

gender: male

 

 

 

influences; Samuel Beckett, Luis Buñuel, Franz Kafka, Wilfred Owen, Marcel Proust,…more

 

Harold Pinter, CH, CBE, was an English playwright, screenwriter, actor, director, political activist and poet. He was one of the most influential playwrights of modern times. In 2005 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

After publishing poetry and acting in school plays as a teenager in London, Pinter began his professional theatrical career in 1951, touring throughout Ireland. From 1952, he acted in repertory companies throughout England for about a dozen years, using the stage name David Baron in the late 1950s. Beginning with his first play, The Room (1957), Pinter’s writing career spanned over 50 years and produced 29 original stage plays, 27 screenplays, many dramatic sketches, radio and TV plays, poetry, one novel, short fict…more

Save Nicole

Ela –

This is just incredible. Thank you.

So far 25,000 of you have signed the petition asking Barry O’Farrell to fix the problem that has left me waiting six months for urgent stomach cancer surgery — and has left many others in the same position.

The Sydney Morning Herald have just published a story about what’s happening — including the huge amount of support coming in for the campaign. You can read the article online by clicking here — can you then share it with friends and family to help keep spreading the word?

Thanks again for all you’re doing.

It means so much to me and all our family.

Nicole.

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http://www.change.org/savenicole