Wednesday, June 13, 2007
One of my high school literary favourites, Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, has won the 2007 Man Booker International Prize for fiction. The $120,000 prize is awarded every two years for a body of fiction.
Achebe, 76, is best known for his first novel, "Things Fall Apart" (1958), and "Anthills of the Savannah," published more than 30 years later. He has written more than 20 books, including novels, short stories, essays and collections of poetry.
Launched in 2004 as a spin-off from Britain's prestigious Booker Prize, the international trophy is awarded every two years to a living author who has published fiction in English or whose work has been translated into English.
Albanian writer Ismail Kadare won the inaugural prize in 2005.
The original Booker is open only to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth of former British colonies.
At left: Chinua Achebe
What's a mid-week mix without news of Rihanna, right? The Barbadian singing sensation is on top of every music chart right now, and she also seems to be in great demand as a date.
Rihanna recently told People Magazine that the CEO of her record label, Jay-Z, screens her dates.
"I just found out from a mutual friend that guys will talk to Jay first before they try to approach me," Rihanna said.
Rihanna, whose third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, features her hit duet with Jay-Z, "Umbrella," says she appreciates the rapper looking out for her.
"He's very protective," she says of her mentor, who discovered her and signed her to his Def Jam label. "Jay has my best interests in mind. If it's a good guy I know Jay won't shut him down. But if he's not, Jay will be like, 'No, no, no.' "
And exactly who are the guys trying to court Rihanna? "He actually never tells me. I have no clue who they are and I guess I'll never know," she says.
The singer, who says she received many compliments from her male fans after showing off her newly toned figure at the MTV Movie Awards last week, admits that her busy schedule makes dating difficult, but hopes to "get a date in sometime soon."
The Barbados-born chanteuse says she prefers "tall guys who have a sense of humor, love to laugh, have a good time and good conversation," and describes her idea of a good date as "low key, just hanging out and watching a movie."
Well, I'm glad Jay-Z is looking out for her. There're so many horror stories of young girls being taken advantage of in the music business. She looks like a sensible kid though, even though I still say she's gonna catch her death of cold one of these days...
And on a sad note, several blogs and news sites are reporting that former co-host of BET's 106 & Park, A.J. Calloway, and his Vincentian-born, Barbados-raised wife Dr. Lao Sealey, are divorcing. The couple was married in April 2005. A.J. is no stranger to Barbados; he's been spotted here at several events over the years. Better luck next time, folks.