martes, 27 de septiembre de 2016

serescritor.com » Blog Archive » Escribir novela negra

desde Donostia, San Sebastián, ESPAÑA, un aporte a la consciencia de los escritores (y también de los lectores) ►

serescritor.com » Blog Archive » Escribir novela negra



H.R.F. Keating (1926-2011) es el autor del libro titulado “Escribir novela negra”, en el cual el fecundo escritor británico da una serie de consejos sobre cómo escribir novela en general y novela negra en particular. Su gran secreto es: “Si escribes, piensa a quién le estás hablando, y después cuéntale lo que quiere oír”.
Leer articulo completo
line
Manu de Ordoñana
Donostia-San Sebastián
España


Comprar libro al autor








Un pequeño rincón literario

Este blog atañe a los amantes de la literatura que, en algún momento de su vida, han sentido la pasión de escribir un libro y, al concluirlo, han descubierto que ningún editor se atreve a publicarlo. A ellos, y a todos los que aprecian el valor de la cultura, va dirigido este espacio, con la intención de exponer conflictos y proponer soluciones para resolverlos.


Escribir novela negra

Categoría (El oficio de escribirGeneral) por Manu de Ordoñana, Ana Merino y Ane Mayoz el 27-09-2016

Tags : 

Estas tres palabras contenidas en el título del libro desvelan su interior. Se dan consejos sobre la escritura de la novela en general y sobre la novela negra, en particular. Se analizan varias novelas para mostrar todos los recursos que ayudarán al futuro novelista. El autor del mismo es el fecundo escritor británico H.R.F. Keating (1926-2011). Es quien, tras crear un gran número de clásicas novelas de detectives, publicó varios ensayos relacionados. Además fue presidente de la Crime Writers’ Association entre 1970 y 1971 y presidente del Detection Club entre 1985 y 2000.
Keating insiste en que una novela negra tiene como finalidad el entretenimiento y como tema principal el asesinato en todas sus variantes. Es además una ficción que antepone siempre el lector al escritor; hay un pacto invisible con él, un pacto con el que se trata de no engañarle, de jugar limpio. En ese pacto está el que dentro de los posibles sospechosos se esconda el asesino. Este tipo de novelas resultan atrayentes porque tanto el crimen como el mal existen. El mal es lo que más fascina al ser humano, se manifiesta en nuestra propia naturaleza o surge en las relaciones entre los seres humanos.
Nunca hay que olvidar que la novela negra es ante todo una historia. Por esto convendría encontrar un argumento que surja de algo sobre lo que realmente se quisiera escribir: un tipo determinado de persona, una situación conocida… Resalta que una buena novela detectivesca surgirá cuando el rompecabezas se solucione y a su vez revele lo que la novela debía comunicar.
Desde que la historia detectivesca alcanzó su cénit entre 1920 y 1940, se han ido introduciendo continuos cambios y tendencias. Se intenta clasificar, puntualizar los distintos tipos pero si la distinción teórica es clara, en la práctica la línea divisoria se encuentra muchas veces borrosa. Aún así se mencionan algunas variantes.
Surgió la llamada “historia invertida” que comienza cuando al asesino se le ve cometiendo el crimen y, al final, es descubierto pese a la aparente perfección de su método. Luego el howdunit o cómo-lo-hizo, donde se sabe quién es e interesa demostrar cómo ha podido cometer semejante crimen. El whydunit, por-qué-lo-hizo, donde importa  por qué esa persona es capaz de llevar a cabo el asesinato.
Más adelante y en oposición a la primigenia historia detectivesca apareció la novela detectivesca, que es la que tiene un tema, la que trata de algo. Cuanto más interesante sea el asesinado, mejor puede ser el libro; la víctima debería ejemplificar, de algún modo, el tema principal. “Personalmente, con esta denominación, me refiero a una obra en la que el factor rompecabezas se reduce, los personajes son mucho más vívidos y reales que los que se necesitaban para la historia detectivesca y sus características y comportamientos son tratados con mucho más peso. Después aparecerá la novela criminal, es decir, la novela detectivesca desarrollada que otorga todavía un mayor énfasis a los personajes, y, sobre todo, y especialmente, a su medio, a todo aquello que los rodea. Pese a seguir manteniendo el crimen como uno de sus elementos esenciales y estando también concebidas como entretenimiento, este tipo de novelas no considerarán el elemento rompecabezas como un factor principal.
Es más fácil reconocerla que definirla. Se trata de la novela de suspense. Aunque se asemeja bastante al thriller, éste está pensado para estremecer; frente a aquella donde predomina la noción de suspense a lo largo de toda la novela. Las novelas de Patricia Highsmith contienen un estilo diferente de suspense, puesto que toma casos extremos. Ella misma reconoce que lo que enciende su imaginación es siempre toda esa gente que es capaz de traspasar los límites. Y es que ella ha elogiado a los criminales, a quienes considera “gente activa, de espíritu libre y que no se arrodilla ante nadie.”
Existe también la novela de fondo histórico. Aquí tendrán relación el lugar, la comunidad o el modo de vida particular donde se va a producir un determinado crimen. El autor de este libro tuvo dificultad a la hora de vender sus primeras novelas criminales a las editoriales puesto que las calificaban de “demasiado británicas”. Por eso, alejó la historia de su entorno, la alejó tanto que decidió situarla en la India, a pesar de que él nunca había estado allí. “La India es un lugar en el que las cosas no llegan a ser nunca perfectas. No poder ser perfecto junto con intentar ser lo más perfecto posible era uno de los grandes problemas del ser humano que también encendía mi imaginación.” Así apareció en 1964 The Perfect Murder, su primer libro publicado en América y con el que logró entrar a ese mercado.
Si se echa la vista atrás, hay que mencionar a Edgar Allan Poe, quien fue el iniciador de todo el género detectivesco. Con sus historias aportó muchas de las características esenciales del género. Creó la figura del ayudante (de Watson por ejemplo de Sherlock Holmes), que en realidad no es algo imprescindible. Pero sí que lo son muchos otros elementos como los que menciona P.D. James al describir la historia detectivesca como un relato en el que siempre hay una misteriosa muerte; también un círculo cerrado de sospechosos, quienes deben tener una razón creíble para cometer el asesinato y un detective que será el personaje central que resolverá el misterio mediante una lógica deductiva.
En cuanto al detective, la figura del detective se ha convertido en el gran detective gracias a personajes como Miss Marple de Agatha Christie, Auguste Dupin de Poe, Sherlock Holmes creado por Conan Doyle… Todos ellos se caracterizan por ser investigadores dotados de poderes que van más allá de los de cualquier otro mortal. Intentan conocer hasta el más mínimo detalle de la vida de los sospechosos, se introducen en la mente de otras personas, unen lo intuitivo con lo racional… No se pueden dejar de lado estos monstruos a la hora de inventar esta figura y sobre todo es bueno tener presente que deberá ser él quien lo averigüe todo. El autor opina que el detective que se vaya a crear puede ser como su inspector Gothe, quien, aparentemente, está muy lejos de ser un héroe, pero cuya actuación sí que resulta creíble, que es lo que debe importar.  Añade que se debe tener mucho cuidado si se elige al tipo que no se parece en nada a uno mismo, porque costará reflejar sus intuiciones y pensamientos con naturalidad. Ágatha Christie en su Autobiografía cuenta cómo cuando estaba creando a Poirot, jugó con la idea de hacer de su detective casi un colegial. Lo veía atractivo, novedoso y pícaro. Pero astutamente se dio cuenta de que sería mucho más difícil ver a través de unas lentes juveniles que a través de unas de origen belga.
Hay que dedicarle tiempo al personaje principal, que sea diferente a los demás, por eso viene bien caracterizarlo con un rasgo marcado y definitorio. Incluso la primera vez que se describa, ese rasgo se puede exagerar para que quede su imagen fija en la mente del lector; así más adelante bastará con mencionarlo. Éste es un pequeño truco que Keating aprendió leyendo un voluminoso estudio sobre el gran Joseph Conrad.
El gran éxito de la compleja historia criminal acabó produciendo en California las potentes historias del investigador privado, el héroe desde cuyos ojos vemos la historia. Este personaje es una persona de acción, investiga personalmente. En realidad, es una vuelta a los caballeros andantes, de ahí que Chandler coja el nombre de Malory por el autor de La muerte de Arturo o Robert Parker llame a su héroe Spenser por el poeta deThe Fairy Queen. Estas historias según, uno de sus mayores exponentes, Raymond Chandler “devolvieron de nuevo el asesinato a esa clase de gente que lo comete por alguna razón y no sólo para tener un cadáver”. El germen de este tipo de relatos está en las revistas baratas americanas de los años veinte o treinta (pulps). Posteriormente hay que decir que el género cruzó con éxito el Atlántico pese a ser americano en su origen.
Las pistas forman parte del juego que mantienen escritor y lector. Dorothy L. Sayers afirmó que cualquier tonto puede mentir, pero que el escritor de novelas detectivescas inteligente sabrá contar la verdad de tal manera que sean los mismos lectores quienes acaben engañándose a sí mismos. Según Keating la mejor manera de engañar a los lectores es poniéndoles delante la pista que les va a llevar a la solución, parecerá que esa pista está para todo excepto para que la vean. Mejor si la pista está frente al lector, expuesta de un modo arriesgado y audaz, desafiándolo a descubrirla. Y en estos casos, sobre todo, es cuando hay que cerciorarse de que un detalle nos puede dar mucho juego: el carácter del personaje. Puede reflejar el tema del libro, puede ser un elemento que adelante la acción de la historia… y sería fantástico si pudiera hacer todo esto a la vez.
En cualquier historia novelesca aparecerán dos elementos imprescindibles: por un lado, la trama, esto es, el asesinato y cómo ocurrió y, por otro, la historia, lo que tiene lugar de una forma concatenada. A la hora de contarla, entra en escena la forma. En este tipo de novelas la forma debe ser concreta y determinada. Se parte del asesinato, se va ampliando con la aparición de varios sospechosos y casi en el último momento se comprime y acaba de nuevo en el tema central, es decir, el asesinato. Este es un esquema principal que puede ampliarse añadiendo otro asesinato hacia el final. Un gran secreto de Keating es: “…si escribes, piensa a quién le estás hablando, y después cuéntale lo que quiere oír”.
En el momento de crear el asesinato, es necesario escribirlo paso a paso. Esto ayudará a la credibilidad de la obra, aunque se sepa que nunca aparecerá en la novela, puesto que el asesinato es lo que queda oculto y nunca se cuenta.
Por lo que respecta a los sospechosos, Keating hace hincapié en que el número de ellos no debiera ser muy alto. Cuatro sería una cifra de sospechosos suficiente. Y es que siempre hay que hacerle caso a Graham Greene: “Una historia no tiene espacio más que para un número limitado de personajes inventados”.
Una novela es acción y más este tipo de novelas. La acción son acontecimientos. Y la clave para escribir escenas de acción es limitar al máximo las descripciones. Sorprendentemente una sencilla descripción puede atrapar al lector, para esto hay que procurar exponer los hechos de forma detallada,  de modo creíble. Graham Greene dijo en uno de sus libros autobiográficos que “la emoción es algo sencillo. Debería ser descrita sin rodeos, sin envoltorios metafóricos, ya que éstos son reflejos de pensamientos que pasan por la mente de quien escribe. Pero la acción es cuando no hay tiempo para reflexionar.”
Los diálogos y la narración serán activos, vivaces, porque el detective privado siempre se está moviendo a la caza de la pista. Los interrogatorios no deben ser grises ni aburridos. De repente el interrogado debería decir algo inesperado, o callarse o mentir para así conservar viva la curiosidad del lector.
No se cansa de repetir el autor de este libro que hay que mantener al lector con nosotros, mantenerlo expectante y esto es una cuestión de ritmo. Y compara el ritmo a la conducción: “Igual que en un coche, existe una velocidad adecuada para cada tramo del camino, y no se puede ir demasiado rápido en sucesos importantes ni tampoco perder demasiado tiempo describiendo algo trivial”.
Ya se sabe que iniciar una novela no es algo baladí, y finalizarla menos. En este tipo de novelas muchos se precipitan y Keating confiesa que su mujer (la actriz Sheila Mitchel) se lo ha echado en cara tras leer varias de las suyas. Para que el lector acabe la historia a gusto, hay que redondear la obra de manera que pueda notar el final no sólo visualmente sino de un modo mucho más sentido y profundo. Insiste: “Deberíamos tratar de conseguir un efecto similar al de las últimas notas de una sinfonía; oyéndolas, aquel que las escucha sabe que ha llegado el final, que el trabajo está acabado”.
A la hora de ponerse a escribir, da el consejo de todos los demás autores, “escribe”. Y otro consejo también conocido por todos: es necesario tener en cuenta a los grandes novelistas del pasado, esos cuyas obras demuestran intensidad aún hoy. Opina que esa intensidad reside en las palabras. “Tenían el don de saber utilizar la palabra exacta, y no otra. Y esa aspiración es la que todos deberíamos tener en mente. Cada vez que usamos una palabra que no es la correcta generalmente no nos molestamos en eliminarla de esa vívida descripción que podemos haber escrito. Y hacerlo de forma repetida puede acabar ofuscando nuestra historia.” Reconoce que no es fácil conseguir esa palabra justa, pero para que nadie desista alude a que el mismo Simenon tenía que cambiarse de camisa tras una hora ante su máquina de escribir debido al sudor que generaba su esfuerzo.
Keating también reconoce que de Graham Greene aprendió a llevarse a la cama lo escrito ese día para leerlo. Así el subconsciente se prepara para el trabajo del día siguiente, aunque no está de más releer las últimas páginas antes de empezar.
Asimismo no olvida lo que el novelista indio R. K. Narayan pronunció en un programa de televisión. Dijo que cada vez dedicaba más tiempo a la corrección y revisión del texto “para poder hacer que valga la pena que se imprima”. Por esto, Keating afirma que al final, una vez escrita la novela, “hay que intentar acallar al creador para dejar salir al crítico”. Porque está convencido de que “es en los pequeños detalles donde radica la diferencia entre un libro que está bien y un libro que el lector no olvidará, o quizá entre un libro que rechace un editor y uno que esté deseando publicar”.

MercatorNet: Books about refugees for children [ONLY FOR THOUGHT - NEW SECTION OF LOST IDEAS] while adding value

MercatorNet: Books about refugees for children

Books about refugees for children



Books about refugees for children

Several books that approach this topic in an age appropriate manner.
Jocelyne Freundorfer | Sep 27 2016 | comment 


From Far Away by Robert Munsch
A little girl named Saoussan Askar, who was born in Beirut, Lebanon, moved to Ontario and began to send letters about her experiences as an immigrant to Robert Munsch. He wrote a story about it, and in the typical Munsch style, the book is entertaining and endearing. The story is written in the form of a letter.

Age appropriate: 5+
(Great read aloud!)


Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
When Parvana's father is arrested, she has no other choice but to disguise herself as a boy and work so that her family can eat. This story carries all the breadth of life of war-torn Afghanistan: laughter, heartache, courage and fear. An unforgettable read, and based on true stories of children Ellis met in refugee camps.

Age appropriate: 11+
(graphic violence)


Aram's Choice by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
Aram is chosen with fifty other boys to go to Canada. He has just survived the Armenian genocide and is determined to find a way to bring money home for his grandmother. Readers will enjoy this book on several levels: historical, pedagogical, religious, social, and artistic.
Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children shortlist, 2007; Golden Oak nominee, 2008

Age Appropriate: 9+


Everybody Cooks Rice
 by Norah Dooley
A number of multicultural families live near each other--the one thing they have in common is that they all cook rice. The book includes recipes to make with your child.

Age Appropriate: Primary levels


Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams
Eight-year old Garang must escape from his country, Sudan, and then join hundreds of boys fleeing to find refuge from war. On the way he makes new friends and discovers the importance of education. A book about courage and perseverance.
Winner of the 2006 Coretta Scott King Award.

Age appropriate 8+


The Arrival by Shaun Tan
It's my opinion that anyone, adults especially, who would like to experience what it feels like to be immersed into a completely different culture, should read this book. There are no words, only images, and like any foreigner new to a place who does not yet know the language, you have to decipher what is happening in the story along with the protagonist. The illustrations are remarkable, a true classic.

Age Appropriateness: All

Fatima by Frederick Lipp
When Billy starts to make fun of Fatima's mother at school, Fatima makes the brave choice to wear her own hijab and talk to fellow students about respect. As her mother explains to her, "It's not what I look like, but what I say and do that matters." This is an engaging, moving, and informative story for all students who do not know about the purpose of the hijab or generally about Islam. Check out other stories by Frederick Lipp.

Age Appropriate: 7+
Sami and the Time of the Troubles by Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gilliland
In war-torn Lebanon, Sami learns about what it means to hope for a brighter future. Enjoy the beautiful, evocative illustrations by Ted Lewin.

Age Appropriate: 10+


The Lion's Mane by Navjot Kaur
This is another great read-aloud for school children. In The Lion's Mane, children will learn about the Sikh religion and why some people wear turbans. The book is easy to read and engaging with lively illustrations to go along with the meaningful text.

Age Appropriate: 5 +


Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed
This beautifully told and brightly illustrated book depicts what life can be like in a refugee camp. Without making the situation too dark and depressing, the author chooses to focus on one difficulty that even the youngest of readers can relate to: not having shoes. Through this one detail, a young reader can pick up the book's themes of compassion and hope.

Age Appropriate: 5+ 
Jocelyne Freundorfer is an elementary librarian for three Catholic schools in Canada. This ariticle was originally published on her blog The Elementary Librarian.
MercatorNet

In last night’s debate presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were asked only one narrow and specific question by moderator Lester Holt: “Our institutions are under cyber attack, and our secrets are being stolen. So my question is, who's behind it? And how do we fight it?”
Neither candidate was prepared for this curve ball, so it became a test of rhetorical improvisation. Clinton’s answer was relatively structured and was expressed in crisp sentences. First, she demonstrated that she did know something by listing two types of cyber-warriors, private and state. Second, of the latter, the main villain is Russia. And, third, Donald Trump is a friend of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and istherefore unfit to be commander-in-chief etc.
Trump’s initial response was braggadocious and irrelevant: that 200 admirals and general had just endorsed him instead of the political hacks who have led this country for ten years, etc. Then, remembering the question, he mentioned hackers from Russia and China and ISIS (Clinton missed those) and then his computer-savvy 10-year-old son and finally another suspect, “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds”. And, therefore, “Look at the mess that we're in.”
So, in a sense, the theme and style of those five short minutes exemplified the whole debate --and perhaps the whole campaign -- I’ve got a plan versus we’ve got a disaster.
All this is by way of introducing today’s lead article by Jeff Pawlick, a computer scientist at New York University. He answers Lester Holt’s question to a T. It’s a must-read




Michael Cook 
Editor 
MERCATORNET



When cyber gets physical: why we need the NSA
By Jeffrey Pawlick
Cybersecurity is so important that Clinton and Trump were asked about it in last night’s debate
Read the full article
Great romantic novels: readers respond
By Carolyn Moynihan
A selection from our readers’ survey on books about love and marriage.
Read the full article
Books about refugees for children
By Jocelyne Freundorfer
Several books that approach this topic in an age appropriate manner.
Read the full article
Policies: the forgotten element in the US election
By Thomas E. Patterson
The stakes in November are high. Why isn't the media covering policy debates?
Read the full article
What a debate is for
By Sheila Liaugminas
Can we be convinced?
Read the full article
New Australian book on marriage hits censorship roadblock
By Michael Cook
Why are gay marriage supporters afraid to debate?
Read the full article
How kids can benefit from boredom
By Teresa Belton
TV, the internet and smartphone can stifle imagination
Read the full article
The real issue behind the single-sex education debate
By Andrew Mullins
There is no consensus that children are disadvantaged by studying in a single-sex school
Read the full article
Why your kids shouldn’t be your friends
By Tamara El-Rahi
Because you love them and want the best for them.
Read the full article
The declining institution of marriage in China
By Marcus Roberts
Further signs that China's longterm population prospects are not rosy.
Read the full article


MERCATORNET | New Media Foundation 
Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George Street, North Strathfied NSW 2137, Australia 

Designed by elleston

New Media Foundation | Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George St | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | AUSTRALIA | +61 2 8005 8605 

MercatorNet: Great romantic novels: readers respond [ONLY FOR THOUGHT - NEW SECTION OF LOST IDEAS] while adding value

MercatorNet: Great romantic novels: readers respond

Great romantic novels: readers respond



Great romantic novels: readers respond

A selection from our readers’ survey on books about love and marriage.
Carolyn Moynihan | Sep 27 2016 | comment 

For a compelling and edifying story about love and marriage it seems that the 19th century English novel is still hard to beat. In our reader survey of great romantic novels, Jane Austen’sPride and Prejudice was top of the pops with a dozen votes, and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyrecame in next with five.
The universal resonance of these two great novels of (female) character after 200 years – at least with mature readers – marks them as classics. Like other novels of the Victorian era (Austen and the Brontes strictly speaking belong to the Regency period), including Middlemarch and Anna Karenina, their popularity has been helped by film versions, as novels increasingly are.
The latter works – by George Eliot and Tolstoy – focus on marital unhappiness, and in the case of Anna, tragedy. At the same time, and especially in Tolstoy, a model of the sound and happy marriage is provided, which justifies including them here. In a similar way Kristin Lavransdatter(three mentions), an early twentieth century work by the Norwegian writer Sigrid Undset, finds the heroine redeeming her mistakes, so that the Christian moral framework remains intact.
In the later twentieth century the moral landscape becomes more varied, and the heroic figure gives way to ordinary characters, often in extraordinary circumstances, who are easier to relate to and heroic in their own way. The sheer quantity of these stories today means the submissions about contemporary novels cover a broad canvas.
About 40 individual titles were nominated by readers. Some were books in which a romance was more of a plot device than a subject in itself, as in some historical novels, so we have excluded those.  A few were about non-fiction works which seem to have particular merit and we have included some of those. Here is our selection. Thanks to those who participated, and to all and sundry, let us know of any other inspirations.
Victorian fiction
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Surprise events, characters who develop as human beings, and values that reflect my own – these things make for a great read. (Edwin Svigals, New York City)
The characters are very well crafted and makes the story believable. They evolve as "life" shapes them and I was captivated as events unfolded. (Alet Fick, Pretoria, South Africa)
Deals with issues of morality, manners, family conflict without vulgarity or political correctness. (Rose Marie Loria, Canada)
True equality of the man and woman in virtue education. (Susan Hanssen, Texas)
Difference is the key to true romance, and P&P is a light-hearted antidote to the modern obsession with sameness, whether via same-sex marriage or online dating agencies that promise their customers a partner most closely resembling them. (Ann Farmer, England)
Socio-economic status is not the most essential factor for the choice of a lifetime partner, but rather the firm commitment to marriage.  The novel also shows the importance of independent thinking for the man and the woman. (Jovi Clemente Dacanay, Philippines)
Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility have strong principled heroines who attract their eventual spouse by their human virtues and not compromising themselves or their values. As a counterpoint we see the unenviable fate of those who do. (Cathy Bosotti, Australia)
It will make you change your perspective about a book traditionally related to women. I attended a conference where the speaker suggested it, especially for men. I read it and really liked it. It shows the power of marriage and love for changing lives. (Alejandro B, Nicaragua)
The Betrothed (Il Promessi Sposi) by Alessandro Manzoni
This famous tale of 17th century Milan begins on what should be the wedding day of two ordinary young village people, and comes to an end after they are finally wedded -- going on for two years later. is a marvellous combination of history, adventure, tragedy, humour and social commentary -- all in aid of a pure love whose course surely does not run smooth, but which survives all obstacles, thanks to help from above. (C. Moynihan, New Zealand)
Anna Karenina, By Leo Tolstoy
I hasten to say I am not recommending this book because of its main story-line, which is about Anna Karenina's unhappy romantic life, but because of its "sub-plot" -- the story of Kitty and Levin, a young couple who come to learn through sorrow, separation and mutual misunderstanding what love, betrothal, marriage and family life are really about. (Francis Phillips, UK)
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre makes moral, Christian choices even in the midst of strong passions. She says she must do right even when her feelings are being swayed in the opposite direction. (Rhonda, Alabama)
Teaches about the respect for marriage and need for sacrifice/self-denial in the name of love. (June Kiari, Kenya)
Jane is such a down-to-earth heroine.  She has no pretensions, but she is an intelligent and passionate woman with a great sense of what is moral and ethical. The romance between Jane and Edmund Rochester is intense, sensual, yet restrained. Jane always maintains decorum. (Gina Nakagawa, USA)
It is about learning to be happy maintaining your integrity (Luisa, Italy)
“Marriage,” says the heroine of this great English novel, “is so unlike everything else.” For Dorothea Brooke it was certainly not like the high vocation she expected when she fell in love with a clergyman-scholar who turned out to be a dry old pedant. A disappointed soul-mate marriage? The two unsuccessful marriages at the heart of the novel have a lot to teach us about false approaches to this vocation, but there is one (between Mary Garth and Fred Vincy) that suggests the path to real happiness in marriage is less idealism, more knowledge and a sober assessment of the other’s character. (C Moynihan, NZ)
North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell
The importance that the man and the woman know each other, through and through, before they get married, even if love at first sight made them romantic partners. The novel also shows the importance of hard work and manliness for the man, and, wisdom, clemency and affection for the woman. (Jovi Clemente Dacanay, Philippines)
Early twentieth century fiction
East Wind: West Wind, by Pearl S. Buck
This book shows in a beautiful way how marriage in the West (based on Christian ideas) results in an optimal respect for women and in equal dignity. It compares the view of the wife in marriage in China 'the East' with that in 'the West'. (Enrique Alonso de Velasco, Amsterdam)
Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset
It's the story of one woman’s entire life flowing from her earliest decisions about love and marriage. Tremendously insightful morally, spiritually and psychologically, combined with one of the best and most vivid description of life in the Middle Ages. (Leslie Tomory, Montreal)
Everyone who imagines themselves "in love" should read it! (Mary Long, Melbourne)
All other love is merely a reflection of the heavens in the puddle of a muddy road. You will become sullied too if you allow yourself to sink into it. But if you always remember that it’s a reflection of the light from that other home, then you will rejoice at its beauty and take good care that you do not destroy it by churning up the mire at the bottom. (Carlos A. Lanz, Venezuela)
Late twentieth century fiction
The Ordinary Princess, by M.M.Kaye.
A book like this a rare find - this wonderful story sends a message to find beauty in the ordinary and that real love is based on friendship. (Ella, Sydney)
Hannah Coulter, Wendell Berry
It is about a lasting, loving marriage that provides lifelong fulfilment for husband and wife despite the difficulties. (George Thomas, Australia)
Papa Martel, by Gerard Robichaud
My wife and I both read this many years ago and it gave us great joy in raising our family. I loved Papa Martel, the character, the focus of a warm, humorous tale of French emigres in Maine, 1919 to 1937, struggling to reconcile their Franco culture with the desire to become American. (John, New Zealand)
The Awakening of Miss Prim, by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera
This novel demonstrates that love is more than just physical attraction - that both the intellect and the will play a role - and that unity of faith strengthens a relationship. (Jennifer Minicus, USA)
Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers.
Everyone wants to be faithfully loved and everyone wants to love faithfully. This book portrays the difficulty of both in a page-turner that draws you in and gives true hope. (Nic, Texas)
High Divide, by Lin Enger
This near-tragedy witnesses to the role of communication in marriage, as well as to the promise of redemption. It is a beautifully written story depicting the essence of family. (Cheryl Roller, USA)
City of Tranquil Light, by Bo Caldwell.
Two young people, setting out on a church mission to China at the beginning of the 20th century, discover in their unexpected love for each other God's love which transforms their lives and gives them the strength and courage to meet the challenges of life in revolutionary China and life in their declining years in the USA. (Rev. Ronald C Chochol, Missouri)
Range of Motion, by Elizabeth Berg.
A young wife's commitment to her comatose husband, injured in a freak accident, shows how she applies her imagination and deep empathy in a seemingly hopeless situation. Conveyed with humour as well as compassion. (Janet Tabinski, London)
A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth
It's subject is ostensibly one mother's search for a good husband for her daughter but it portrays marriages good and bad, faithful and marred by adultery, long-suffering, punctuated by the heartbreak of loss, redeemed by simple human goodness. (Eamonn Gaines, Northern Ireland, UK)
Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner
Iconic, subtle and astounding novel about marriage and friendship. It leaves you longing not just for a marriage that survives through thick and thin, but for the deep and lasting friendships that couples form with one another as they navigate the realities of life. Not a storybook romance, but an authentic portrayal of marriage at its best and worst -- "until death..." (Kathryn Kime, Virginia, USA)
It is not so much a novel that exemplifies marital bliss but one that reveals the pitfalls that can be avoided if there is good communication and clear goals in marriage. Also, it is a nice example of how joy in a marriage can be rekindled despite years of difficulties. (Charlotte, Italy)
What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty
A thirty something woman currently on the verge of divorce has an accident which causes temporary amnesia such that she remembers only what happened 10 years before & the dreams & plans she & her much cherished husband were making for their eagerly awaited firstborn & themselves. How did things go so wrong in the meantime? Very touching & often very amusing tale for our times by an insightful Australian author. (Cathy Bosotti, Australia)
Non-fiction
16 Marriages That Made History, by Gerard Castillo
Although these persons are usually remembered for their extraordinary gifts and accomplishments, this book honours how their marriages transformed them in deep and personal ways. Beautiful insight into God's plan for life and love! (Kathy Poiron, Milwaukee)
The author writes about 16 couples from Prisca and Aquila to Marie Curie, Tolkien, etc. and shows what marriage is all about and how those couples succeeded; the importance of respect and admiration for the spouse in a couple, etc. (Marie Melgarejo, Vancouver)
By Love Refined: Letters to a Young Bride, by Alice van Hildebrand
Although not a novel, this book is a must read for any newly-married woman as she faces the challenge of beginning a life with her husband. (Jennifer Minicus, USA)
Letters by the two hidden but true shapers of the American Constitution concern the domestic life of the family as well as the good of the newly-formed USA. This couple is so admirable in the respect for and trust in one another that comes through in every letter; the love between them was tried by war, hardship, death, betrayal, and disappointment, yet love and honour prevailed. I heartily recommend it. (Ruth Lasseter, Granger Indiana, USA) 
An inspirational story of a recently married couple who get into a serious car accident. The wife is in a coma for weeks, but when she finally wakes up, she doesn't remember anything about her husband. So they have to build up their relationship again from scratch. With many difficulties along the way of course. It's a beautiful story about the value of the commitment they made to each other and about what it means to love another person for better or for worse. (Alex, Finland)


MercatorNet

In last night’s debate presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were asked only one narrow and specific question by moderator Lester Holt: “Our institutions are under cyber attack, and our secrets are being stolen. So my question is, who's behind it? And how do we fight it?”
Neither candidate was prepared for this curve ball, so it became a test of rhetorical improvisation. Clinton’s answer was relatively structured and was expressed in crisp sentences. First, she demonstrated that she did know something by listing two types of cyber-warriors, private and state. Second, of the latter, the main villain is Russia. And, third, Donald Trump is a friend of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and istherefore unfit to be commander-in-chief etc.
Trump’s initial response was braggadocious and irrelevant: that 200 admirals and general had just endorsed him instead of the political hacks who have led this country for ten years, etc. Then, remembering the question, he mentioned hackers from Russia and China and ISIS (Clinton missed those) and then his computer-savvy 10-year-old son and finally another suspect, “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds”. And, therefore, “Look at the mess that we're in.”
So, in a sense, the theme and style of those five short minutes exemplified the whole debate --and perhaps the whole campaign -- I’ve got a plan versus we’ve got a disaster.
All this is by way of introducing today’s lead article by Jeff Pawlick, a computer scientist at New York University. He answers Lester Holt’s question to a T. It’s a must-read




Michael Cook 
Editor 
MERCATORNET



When cyber gets physical: why we need the NSA
By Jeffrey Pawlick
Cybersecurity is so important that Clinton and Trump were asked about it in last night’s debate
Read the full article
Great romantic novels: readers respond
By Carolyn Moynihan
A selection from our readers’ survey on books about love and marriage.
Read the full article
Books about refugees for children
By Jocelyne Freundorfer
Several books that approach this topic in an age appropriate manner.
Read the full article
Policies: the forgotten element in the US election
By Thomas E. Patterson
The stakes in November are high. Why isn't the media covering policy debates?
Read the full article
What a debate is for
By Sheila Liaugminas
Can we be convinced?
Read the full article
New Australian book on marriage hits censorship roadblock
By Michael Cook
Why are gay marriage supporters afraid to debate?
Read the full article
How kids can benefit from boredom
By Teresa Belton
TV, the internet and smartphone can stifle imagination
Read the full article
The real issue behind the single-sex education debate
By Andrew Mullins
There is no consensus that children are disadvantaged by studying in a single-sex school
Read the full article
Why your kids shouldn’t be your friends
By Tamara El-Rahi
Because you love them and want the best for them.
Read the full article
The declining institution of marriage in China
By Marcus Roberts
Further signs that China's longterm population prospects are not rosy.
Read the full article


MERCATORNET | New Media Foundation 
Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George Street, North Strathfied NSW 2137, Australia 

Designed by elleston

New Media Foundation | Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George St | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | AUSTRALIA | +61 2 8005 8605