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The Connection between Cities and Their Artists

A new series from BBC News called "Sense of the City" will explore this topic by inviting novelists who know the cities where they live well to write commentaries about fiction written and set there. Bapsi Sidhwa has published what I think is the first installment, a commentary on her home, Lahore, India. Once again, it appears that I am hardwired to the Zeitgeist, since I have been engaged in my reading project on Paris, where I lived, for over a year now. I don't know what the odds are, but I am guessing that Paris will appear in the BBC News series? Somehow, I don't think Washington, D.C., will. Hmm.

The first installment of "Sense of the City" was Barcelona by Matthew Tree (July 28). (By the way, if you want to see a fun movie set in Barcelona, I recommend L'auberge espagnole by Cédric Klapisch, which should still be in cinemas now, or Whit Stillman's Barcelona from 1994.) Since the article on Lahore cited above, there have also been Manila by F. Sionil Jose (July 30) and Lagos by Helon Habila (July 31). The online pages are transcripts of radio articles on the program "The World Today," which you can hear on BBC World Service. It will continue until August 8.

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