November 28, 2010
On this day in 1582 William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway married, or perhaps just paid for the right to do so. As with most aspects of Shakespeare’s life, the facts are scanty, but we do know that the couple obtained a bond from the local church authorities dated November 28, 1582…read more
November 27, 2010
Jonathan Franzen’s family epic, a new collection from Seamus Heaney, Philip Larkin’s love letters, a memoir centred on tinyJapanese sculptures… which books most excited our writers this year?….read more
On this day in 1909 James Agee was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. In his forty-five years he was film critic, social documentarist, poet and screenwriter (The African Queen), but he is best known for his autobiographical novel, A Death in the Family — and for the passionate, full-out living that killed him…read more
November 26, 2010
E. A. Robinson’s First Pulitzer
On this day in 1921 Edwin Arlington Robinson’s Collected Poems was published, bringing the first of his three Pulitzers. Robinson is often regarded as the first major American poet of the 20th century, one respected for having struggled in poverty for decades in order to master his simple rhythms and plain diction…read more
Emma Donoghue’s much-acclaimed novel Room , inspired by the Josef Fritzl case, has won the prestigious Hughes & Hughes Novel of the Year Award.
Following her near miss in the Man Booker Prize, the Dublin-born writer’s dark tale about a boy who lives with his mother in a locked room received the top accolade at the Irish Book Awards last night.
The book was chosen by public vote from a strong shortlist that also included…read more
November 25, 2010
On this day in 1970 Yukio Mishima committed seppuku (ritual suicide, also known as hara-kiri). Mishima was a three-time Nobel nominee, the most famous and translated Japanese writer of his generation — The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, The Sea of Fertility, ten other novels — and, in his last year, so internationally popular that he made Esquire magazine’s “Top 100 People in the World” list. His spectacularly staged death was front-page news around the world, and it is still being analyzed for what it says about him…read more
Author Susan Hill and the Daily Telegraph‘s Gaby Wood are among the judges for next year’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction….read more
The Nobel laureate VS Naipaul has pulled out of a literary event opening in Istanbul tomorrow, after Turkish writers threatened a boycott because of deeply critical comments he has made on Islam.
The jackets of Jonathan Safran Foer’s books (“Everything Is Illuminated,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “Eating Animals”), designed by John Gray, helped set off a revival in hand-lettering. Graphic-design quirks have also figured in each of Foer’s narratives.