Tag: Festival

junot diaz

Junot Díaz Withdraws From Sydney Literary Festival Following Harassment Allegations

The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao author, Junot Diaz, has pulled out of Sydney’s Writers’ Festival after sexual harassment claims were made against him. 


The claims, made by author of What We Lose, Zinzi Clemmons, were brought up on Friday when she stood up during a panel and asked Diaz about an incident six years ago when Diaz allegedly harassed her. 



via The Guardian


Following the allegations, Clemmons took to Twitter, saying, “I refuse to be silent anymore,” sparking more and more women to come forward about abuse inflicted on them by Diaz. 





Sydney Writers’ Festival savagely took to Facebook, writing “In his recent New Yorker essay, Mr. Diaz wrote, “Eventually the past finds you.” And for so many positions of power, the moment to reckon with the consequences of past behavior has arrived.” 



Swiftly following the allegations and tweets, Diaz withdrew from the festival. In a statement made through his literary agent, Diaz said, “I take responsibility for my past,” without addressing anything specifically. 


After his apology was released, Clemmons took to Twitter to call the release a “soup of unintelligibility.” 



Díaz has not spoken any further regarding the allegations against him.


Featured image via Drew University

a mutant car at burning man

Peace, Love, Flames: 11 Books Inspired by the Principles of Burning Man

Burning Man 2017 starts in a few short days, and we here at Bookstr cannot wait! Turning to the 10 established principles of the Burning Man movement, we have crafted a list of 11 books we feel best emulate the values of this heady desert experience. Let the fun and radical self-realization begin!


  1. Radical Inclusion: ‘Under the Dome’ by Stephen King


Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.


the dome from under the dome

Image courtesy of ComingSoon.net


Burning Man does not discriminate, and as it turns out, neither does the giant invisible force field that envelops a small Maine town in this 2009 King novel. If you really love your man, than you should have no problem being trapped with them, in the same town, forever. Personal space was always pretty bourgeois, in our opinion.


  1. Gifting: ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.


a fab gatsby party

Image courtesy of Prezi


Like the desert festival attendees, ‘The Great Gatsby’’s Jay Gatsby selflessly gives away loads of free booze, and the use of his megamansion to anyone who happens to wander in. He seeks nothing in return—except Daisy Buchanan’s love. But who doesn’t, really?


  1. Decommodification: ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy


In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.


the road movie father and son

Image courtesy of Plugged In


The folks at Burning Man long to get away from the burdens and superficialities brought about by a profit-oriented society. But if they lived in the post-apocalytpic landscape of ‘The Road’, they wouldn’t even need to spend $400 to not spend money for a week! A win-win if there ever was one.


  1. Radical self-reliance: ‘The Little Engine That Could’ by Watty Piper


Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.


little engine that could

Image courtesy of NPR


What better book to explore the theme of self-reliance than this iconic 1930 children’s book? It’s more helpful if you move past the train metaphor…but you do you, dude.


  1. Radical Self-Expression: ‘Sex’ by Madonna


Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.


Sex Madonna book

Image courtesy of Today in Madonna History


As the singer of a song called “Express Yourself,” multi-platinum recording artist Madonna knows a thing or two about self-expression at all costs. Some argue that she reached the pinnacle of that with this coffee table tome exploring all things beyond the 1992 sexual pale, but we’ll leave that debate to the Madonna fans.


  1. Communal Effort: ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell


Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.


YEAH! If we all just worked together, then….


pigs dressed as men in animal farm

Image courtesy of Open Culture


Oh, never mind.


  1. Civic responsibility: ‘Fight Club’ by Chuck Palahniuk


We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.


project mayhem in fight club

Image courtesy of ibfilmsas


Sometimes “civic responsibility” means holding a town hall or picking trash. Other times, it entails organizing a collection of disaffected nobodies into a highly destructive insurgent collective. Remember: ask not what your fight club can do for, but what you can do for your fight club.


  1. Leaving no trace: ‘Invisible Man’ by Ralph Ellison


Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.


a literally invisible man

Image courtesy of click.ro


Committed burning people may want to carry the themes of this classic work beyond the festival, opting to live underground and forego a miserable existence mired in society’s racism and overarching shoddiness. Hey, count us in.


  1. Participation: ‘The Lottery and Other Stories’ by Shirley Jackson


Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.


graphic illustration of the lottery by shirley jackson

Image courtesy of Hyperallergic


It takes a village to raise a child, build a festival from scratch, and, as Jackson so compellingly proves, stone an innocent woman to death. Ah, the beauty of community.


  1. Immediacy: ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ by James Joyce


Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.


finnegan's wake chart

Image courtesy of Goodreads 


Just as guests at Burning Man don’t wait to experience the best of life, James Joyce doesn’t waste time with coherent plot or dialogue in his quest to put the human experience to paper. Warning: attempting to read this book may evoke reactions not unlike sitting in the hot Nevada sun with no food and water for eight days straight.


  1. Bonus: ‘Ritual’ by David Pinner


the wicker man

Image courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes


This isn’t a Burning Man principle. We just included it because they also burn a giant wicker man at some point.


Featured image courtesy of CNN.com.