Bridget Jones back in new diary
Bridget Jones, the fictional single woman who became a cultural icon, has returned in the newspaper column where she started her life a decade ago. Author Helen Fielding has revived her creation in UK’s The Independent newspaper, starting a new weekly diary. Bridget is still struggling with life, love and calories, but also with the added worries of bombs and advancing age. Ms Fielding said it was "definitely a different chapter in her life" but Bridget was "still the same person".

The original diary started in The Independent in 1995 and went on to become two best-selling books and two hit films starring Renee Zellweger.
This is the first time Bridget has aired her views since the second book, The Edge of Reason, was published more than five years ago. The new column sees her still romantically tangled up with Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver and stressing about being childless. She is also getting to grips with the attacks on London, saying she is proud of how well she is "personally handling the crisis".
Asked what would happen to her character, Fielding told BBC One's Breakfast: "I'm not entirely sure because I haven't written it yet.

"But I can say that it's definitely a different chapter in her life, it's definitely a new thing, because I didn't want to write another book or another episode for the sake of it. "She's still the same person, she hasn't really got it together, she hasn't stopped smoking, she hasn't stopped drinking, she's still on a diet, she's still got the same people in her life. But she's about to set off in another direction."

Book buzz comes alive with Madhubhashini and Lal
Madhubhashini Ratnayake and Lal Medawattegedera will be the writers featured in book buzz presented by the British Council in association with C.J. Associates on Monday, August 15 at 6.30 p.m. at the British Council hall.
An exclusive series of events dedicated to Sri Lankan writers, Book Buzz features two Sri Lankan writers whose work is in the British Council sponsored writers’ website Madhubashini Ratnayake is the author of Tales of Shades and Shadow and Lal Medawattegedera the recently released The Window Cleaner's Soul.

In tales of Shades and Shadow the author captures the mundane upredictability of everyday life in Sri Lanka through 11 finely crafted short stories. Through unusual characters who carry plots towards an unpredictable climax, Madhubashini looks at society through its various manifestations.

This easy to read collection of short stories was shortlisted for the 2001 Gratiaen Award. A reputed writer her other publications include: Contemporary Sinhala Fiction - Some Writers and their Writing (2000); Voices from Afar (1999); Driftwood (1991); Animal Tales (1991) and Raththa (1991).
The Window Cleaner's Soul by Lal Medwattegedera is a collection of short stories about people on the periphery of society - prostitutes, window cleaners, delivery boys and labourers.

This collection of short stories captures vividly and humorously the lives of ordinary and sometimes not so ordinary characters, freeze-framing them in tragic, comic and often tragi-comic moments of their lives in contemporary Sri Lanka. The Window Cleaner's Soul is Lal's very first attempt at fiction. He has worked as a journalist, musician, advertising writer, documentary script writer and translator. This event is open to all on a first-come-first-served basis.

Await! Nihal de Silva’s unfolding conspiracy
Well-known author Nihal de Silva will launch his new book 'The Giniralla Conspiracy' at 5.30 pm on August 17 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.
'The Giniralla Conspiracy', published by Vijitha Yapa Publications, is a fast paced story about Sujatha Mallika, a young girl from a remote village in the south who enters a University and survives a sadistic rag conducted by a student union affiliated to a radical political party. Despite the rag, she finds herself deeply impressed with the union's messianic national leader who promises to sweep away corruption and find a place in the sun for the rural poor. When the rag is over she joins the party and works hard to bring them to power.

She later comes to hear about the 'Giniralla Project', a plot she suspects is aimed at seizing power in the country. Dismayed and fearful she leaves the political party when she graduates and joins a newspaper. As a journalist she battles the demons of her own past, even as she strives to expose the 'Ginralla Conspiracy'. What she finally uncovers is a plot so terrifying it is almost beyond belief.

Nihal de Silva was educated at St. Joseph's College and later at the University of Ceylon. Since retiring from business three years ago he has taken up writing. His first book, 'The Road From Elephant Pass', won the Gratiaen Prize as well as the State Literary Award for the best novel published in 2003. It was also long-listed for the Impac Dublin Award, the richest literary prize in the world. His second book, 'The Far Spent Day' was released in 2004.

Turning the pages on the life and work of Kirinde
‘The World of Stanley Kirinde’, a lavishly illustrated book of the artist’s paintings and life produced by the Stanley Kirinde Felicitation Committee chaired by Foreign Minister. Lakshman Kadiragamar will be launched on August 18.

The book is authored by Dr. SinhaRaja Tammita Delgoda, historian and author who has written books and articles on travel, history and art. In 1998 he wrote and published ‘A Classical Vision- The Art and Landscape of Stanley Kirinde’, the first ever study of the painter.

The book consists of 329 pages and features 140 illustrations and 33 photographs by Nihal Fernando & Studio Times. It is published by Stamford – Lake and printed in Singapore.

Born in 1930 Stanley Kirinde grew up amidst what is seen as the golden age of modern painting in Sri Lanka. It was a time when Sri Lanka’s artists were adopting and adapting themselves to the radical new styles and thinking of contemporary European painting.

Absorbing and assimilating the lessons of Expressionism and Cubism they sought to combine this with their own heritage and environment. Whereas most of these artists came from colonial Ceylon’s westernized and urbanized bourgeoisie, Kirinde hailed from the rural, traditional world of the Kandyan highlights. Steeped in the age-old beliefs and customs of Sinhalese Buddhism, history tradition and ritual loomed large in the atmosphere in which he grew up, forming a living part of his artistic inheritance. The world of Stanley Kirinde is like a mirror which reflects all the different aspects of Sri Lanka; its Buddhist inheritance, its stunning landscapes, its ancient history, and its colourful, sometimes stormy contemporary life.

Kirinde’s understanding of the latest intellectual and artistic currents is combined with a great feeling for his country and a special insight into its heritage and way of life. It is this duality of past and present which makes his work so unique, rendering it classical and modern, traditional yet at the same time contemporary. To see Sri Lanka through Kirinde’s eyes is to dip into a repository of fact, feeling and folklore, enriched by brilliant colour and enhanced by exquisite line. Today Stanley Kirinde is the nearest thing that Sri Lanka has to an official painter. His paintings adorn the walls of President’s House (Kandy and Colombo), the Foreign Ministry, the Military Academy and several government and private institutions.

His work has been exhibited in Bangladesh, Japan, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and has been purchased by several foreign museums (the Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan, the Singapore Art Museum and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts). Many of his paintings are in private collections in Sri Lanka and abroad, including that of the Prince of Wales.

In 2000 he was invited by the Government of India to paint a portrait of the President of India, one of the few foreigners ever to be asked to paint a likeness of an Indian head of state.

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