“It’s clearer than ever that our future as a nation depends on keeping th[e] spirit of curiosity and innovation alive in our time. These honorees are at the forefront of that mission.”
—President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama honoredJan Vilcek, MD, PhD with a prestigious National Medal of Technology and Innovation during a White House awards ceremony on February 1. This year eleven individuals received this medal, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Vilcek for his service on our board—and for the contributions he has made to the arts and science communities throughout his extraordinary career.
As a publisher, it is one thing to believe that our books can change the world, but it’s an extraordinary feeling when those responsible for focusing attention on global affairs discover a book that guides their thinking. With The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lanka and the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers, we have published such a book. As diplomat Charles Petrie, who investigated the United Nation’s role and responsibilities during the Sri Lankan conflict, said:
“When I was commissioned to do this report, the first thing I was handed was a copy of The Cage. Weiss’s scrupulously balanced account should serve as a guidepost for decision-makers and scholars of international affairs. A book can change the world.”
My objective in writing The Cage was to challenge the myth that few civilians had been killed during the crushing of the Tamil Tigers by Sri Lankan government forces in 2009. I wanted to argue that given the nature of the long civil war, it was in some sense predictable that the conclusion of the war would be extremely vicious.
I had also been thinking about, or dealing with, many of the matters I discuss in this book in my daily work with the United Nations: human rights, international law, war, insurgency groups, nationalism, idealism, historical events, global currents, and the media, so The Cage was also an opportunity to distill some of those ideas, and bring them to bear on the topic at hand. Continue reading…
Thanks to the dedicated staff at Sonnet Media, we now have a place to share all the stories behind the books we publish. Over the coming months, we’ll be adding Q&As with our authors, excerpts from their books, reading group guides, videos, and more. We are also excited to unveil our new logo, which impressed author Jonathan D. Moreno as being an accurate reflection of our belief that literature is indeed life’s laboratory. We hope you’ll visit us often to enjoy our latest concoctions.
While we’re thrilled to have found a new home online, it may be many weeks before we can return to our office in Bellevue Hospital Center. In the New England Journal of Medicine, our board member Eric Manheimer offers a personal reflection on Hurricane Sandy, aptly quoting Theodore Rothke in his epigraph: “In a dark time, the eye begins to see.”
“Bellevue’s enormity is more than its imposing physical presence, more than its legacy as the oldest public hospital in the country, more than its outsized reputation in popular culture. Its grandeur resides in its status as a living, breathing medical organism. It possesses a gritty industriousness and a cacophonous vitality. The ferocious loyalty it has engendered for the past 276 years is apparent in its staff as well as its patients. Many of us have spent our entire working lives at Bellevue and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”
We can’t wait to get back.
UPDATE: We are thrilled to announce, that as of March 29, 2013, we have returned to our offices in Bellevue Hospital.
During her US tour, Michèle Forbes discussed Ghost Moth and the writing life with authors Roxana Robinson, Caroline Leavitt, John Searles, Bernice L. McFadden,and Elizabeth Nunez at a special Strand bookstore event, sponsored by the Women’s National Book Association. Watch the video here.
The NYTimes Book Review lauds Paul Yoon’s Snow Hunters and other“remarkable short novels [to] have emerged in the recent past: Tinkers, by Paul Harding; Train Dreams, by Denis Johnson; The Sojourn, by Andrew Krivak; The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka. Far from slight, they all deal with large themes and subjects…the experience more akin to reading poetry or short fiction, where what is left out is at least as important as what remains.”
Melissa Pritchard, author of Palmerino and The Odditorium, has written an extraordinary story about former Sudanese child slave William Mawwin for TheWilson Quarterly. Watch her discuss the way their lives came together in this interview with Dialogue TV’s John Milewski.
“The short story can be a magical thing. It’s a breath, a moment, a captured mood.” To celebrate Short Story Month, Flavorwire asks “contemporary master of the form” and “virtuosic fabulist” Norman Lock to share a story he loves.
“Everything I do is in genuine pursuit of truth and beauty.” Austin Ratner, author of The Jump Artist, talks to the New York Times about giving up a career in medicine to move to Brooklyn and become a fiction writer.