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Random Penguins and Other Global Readers.....

It's official, mega-publishers Random House and Penguin have merged. And, I am woefully disappointed that they didn't opt to go with my vote to rename themselves Random Penguins---
instead, they've settled on the boring---and completely uninspiring---Penguin Random House.

Even the equally amusing, Penguin House, would have been an exciting change...

I mean, come on... surely a company that is based in the creative uses of language would jump at the opportunity to inspire a bit of humor. No?

In other global-literary news, the folks at the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators Association, aka AP Writers, have been inspired to create a World Readers' Award, that will take an author's nationality out of the equation. The idea having been inspired by their feeling that the Pulitzer is too American, the Man Booker is too British and the Nobel is too Euro-centric----

How they plan on making the World Readers' Award more "global" when their intent is to represent, the thus far overlooked Asian/Indian population of writers, is beyond me.

Their idea is to present "readers", not literature professionals, with nationality-blind entries and allow them to select a short-list from which a winner will be selected. They're still trying to determine the parameters of the award/selection/judging process---- but, yearly theme-based groups have already been tossed about... i.e. "East meets West" and "The Indian Subcontinent"---and I can't help thinking it's all a bit self-defeating.

The concept of a global award is to be commended--- in fact, I would love to see a true global award come about. But, I don't think there's anything wrong with a culturally exclusive award--- as many writers/readers are defined by their nationality and culture, it's difficult to "compare" and ultimately "discriminate" what might be the best. How do you define a global standard when we are still so far apart culturally/economically?

The Pulitzer, Man Booker and Nobel prizes might be the most well-known on a global scale, but, that doesn't mean that the awards presented by Asian/Indian countries for their own nationals are any less prestigious.

Unfortunately, so long as there gaps in every country's understanding of the rest of the world, I think it's going to be very difficult to bridge the distance among the world's peoples' idea of "great" literature.

But, here's to hoping that gap won't be around for much longer....


  1. Wow... Seriously. How the hell did they miss these perfect pairings!? I'm a little embarrassed for them all.

    For shame..



    1. I knooooooow.....
      Truly, it would have been so much fun---- but, I guess they feel the need to retain some level of decorum (they're probably calling themselves this in boardroom discussions)... >_<

  2. I love your names. Especially Random Penguins. Here's hoping combining their super-powers works out well for writers. I guess we shall see.

    1. Random Penguin Super-Powers Activate!!!
      I could so see it--- but, yeah, let's hope it's to the advantage of the writers out there :-)

  3. Random Penguins would also make a mighty fine band name.

    Love this. Any day now, I expect to hear that Random Penguin House (the name they'll ultimately pick, I'm certain) has called to offer you a job in marketing. Go you. :)

    1. LOL, I try....

      Random Penguins would totally be an awesome band name---- I'd buy their stuff!


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