Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Controversial Books

Michelle Pauli talks to Elsie Aidinoff for the Guardian.

Elise Aidinoff's The Garden is being published in the U.K. this week. The Garden takes on the Adam and Eve story, but from Eve's point of view. As Pauli explains, in Aidinoff's The Garden, "God is a cantankerous, petulant, ego-maniac, while the serpent is Eve's wise and loving mentor. What's more, God, in his anxiety to see that 'all the parts work' in the first humans he has created, forces Adam to mate with Eve." Aidinoff claims nuclear scientists "inspired her portrayal of God as a punch-drunk genius."

Aidinoff has just completed her second novel ("it describes a woman's journey through an afterworld populated by every god, goddess and mythological creature that humans have ever believed in") and Pauli warns: "America's Christian fundamentalists - hold on to your hats."
Anthony Browne and Marcus Oscarsson discuss The Koran and the Life of the Prophet Muhammad with its author, Kåre Bluitgen, for the Times.

The Koran and the Life of the Prophet Muhammed is an illustrated book for children, but the artists would only work for Bluitgen anonymously. The pictures, nonetheless, have inspired outrage and Bluitgen has received a death threat.

Bluitgen explains he meant no harm. He said, Browne and Oscarsson report, "'They are ordinary children’s illustrations. There are a lot of Muslims who don’t mind Muhammad being depicted'...'It’s bizarre. I write a book to promote understanding between cultures and now I see Danish embassies burning in the Middle East'...'All I can do is sit on the sidelines and watch.'"