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MT 19 October 2014

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maltatoday, Sunday, 19 OctOber 2014 35 this week Booker Prize winning author Jim Crace to lead creative writing workshops in Malta New book on Mintoff paints a complex picture EarliEr this year the Univer- sity of Malta approved the setting up of the Creative Writing Pro- gramme (CWP) within the Faculty of arts. The CWP is meant to act as a forum to promote excellence in Creative Writing across its dif- ferent expressions. The programme is steered by a board of expert academics and practitioners tasked with building it into a creative hub that brings to- gether writers of ability, potential and promise, from the University or outside of it, to talk about their writing, to derive support and encouragement from each other, and to promote Creative Writing more generally. it aims to build up capacity to provide services to aspiring and established writers, including individual manuscript consultations, public readings and talks, information on the publish- ing process and connections to both local and international writ- ing communities. Part of the Programme's remit is to periodically host, as 'Writer in residence' for several weeks each year, an internationally ac- complished professional writer. The writer, who will be an affili- ate member of the Faculty of arts, will conduct seminars and work- shops, give talks, share insights and generally act as mentor and be available for consultation and manuscript advice. a programme of public activities will be pub- lished in due course. Crace as Writer in Residence The Faculty of arts is delighted to announce that the first Writer in residence will be the highly ac- claimed British writer Jim Crace, author of such literary masterpiec- es as Being Dead and Harvest. Jim Crace will be in residence in the Faculty of arts from 10 November to 20 December of this year. a limited number of places is available for participation in workshops held regularly by Jim Crace during his residence. Persons engaged in creative writing pursuits who feel they can derive benefit from such en- counters, and at the same time want to be part of the Creative Writing Programme in the longer term, are invited to send a sample of written work (published or un- published) of no more than 1,500 words for adjudication on this e- mail address charlene.schiavone@ Since the workshop group must be kept small in order to be effec- tive, places will be offered on a competitive basis according to the quality of the writing sample sub- mitted. The adjudicators' decision will be final. The other applicants will still have the opportunity to benefit from other activities in the pro- gramme, including any encoun- ters with the Writer in residence designed to reach larger audi- ences. Applications with submitted work must reach Charlene Schi- avone – charlene.schiavone@ – by Wednesday, No- vember 5. Late applications can- not be considered. All activities are fee of charge. l-ElF lewn ta' Mintoff (The Thou- sand Hues of Mintoff), is a new publication by Claire Xuereb Grech with exclusive interviews with 54 persons who, in one way or anoth- er, came into contact with Mint- off throughout his long political career. The interviews are frank dialogues, sometimes even blunt. They offer different perspectives of a personality which was at the same time rich and complex. l-Elf lewn ta' Mintoff will be officially launched on October 20 at 18:00 under the patronage of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat at the auberge de Castille. The interviews contained in the book are with some of Mintoff 's close colleagues, Nationalist and labour politicians, tradeunion- ists, journalists, members of Min- toff 's family, diplomats, econo- mists, military people, personal friends of Mintoff, academics, members of the clergy, historians, and entrepreneurs. all of these give their own version of who they think Mintoff was. None of them presents a whole interpretation or a definitive one. None has the 'last word' on who Mintoff was. What they reveal is the many hues of a multi-col- oured picture which still has to be drawn. l-Elf lewn ta' Mintoff is part of a literary genre which today is c o n s i d - ered to be an important part of the historical discipline. This field began in america dur- ing the 1950s and grew and spread throughout the world, especially when the means of voice record- ings became more widespread. To- day national and international or- ganisations of oral histories exist, and the discipline is considered to be as important as that of the study of written documents. With a subject like Mintoff this genre is particularly essential since many aspects of his personality cannot be captured by scripted official and unofficial documents alone. in this sense, l-Elf lewn ta' Mint- off is a valuable publication. The Nationalist politicians in- terviewed for the book include Ed- die Fenech adami, lawrence Gatt, alexander Cachia Zammit, Joseph Spiteri, Vincent Galea, alfred Bonnici, Michael Falzon and Josie Muscat. The labour ones include Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, lino Spi- teri, Maria Camilleri, Vincent Mo- ran, Joe Debono Grech, Karmenu Vella, lino Spiteri, Joe Micallef Stafrace, Marie louise Coleiro Preca, John Dalli, alex Sceber- ras Trigona, richard Matrenza, reno Calleja, Joe Grima and Car- men Sant. Mintoff colleagues include Joe Camilleri, Emmanuel Scicluna, Martin Zammit, Henry Coppini and Patrick Barbara. The tradeunionists include anġlu Fenech; the journalists, lawrence Grech, Joe Zahra, Victor Camill- eri, Charles Vella, lino Cassar, anton Cassar and Charles Mizzi; Mintoff 's fam- ily relations, Ya- na Bland Mintoff, anne McKenna, Fr Dionisius Mintoff and raymond Min- toff; the diplo- mats, Salvino Busuttil; the economists Carm Farrugia and Manwel Ellul; the military personnel, Maurice Calleja; Mintoff 's person- al friends, Mary Spiteri, Frank abe- la and Joe Paris; the academics, Prof. Oliver Friggieri; the members of the clergy, Mgr. arthur Said Pullicino and Mgr. anton Gauci; the histori- ans, Professors Henry Frendo, Do- minic Fenech and Joseph Pirotta; the entrepreneurs, albert Mizzi. as one might expect, l-Elf lewn ta' Mintoff is full with Mintoff 's anecdotes, his typical impromptu comments, unsuspecting charac- ter shades, personality interpreta- tions, and many details of national historical moments which occurred behind the scenes. Each chapter is illustrated with photographs of Mintoff taken from the personal collections of the most of the per- sonalities interviewed, which will be appearing for the first time in this publication. The book, apart from providing much varied information about Mintoff and parts of Malta's recent history, is fun to read, as it affords an encounter with Mintoff which is off the beaten track. in other words, the book is not a political, historical or academic exercise which bores a reader. it is a book of experiences, stories, narratives, witty lines, and feeling. Jim Crace

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