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September 25, 2014

Hacking scandal book on Financial Times awards shortlist

Journalist Nick Davies’ book on the hacking scandal and Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press) are among the titles shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award.

The £30,000 award is given to the most influential business book of the year, with the five shortlisted titles getting £10,000.

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April 9, 2014

Oddest book prize goes to How to Poo on a Date

Toilet humour ... cover art for Diagram prize winner How To Poo On a Date

Toilet humour … cover art for Diagram prize winner How To Poo On a Date

The Diagram prize, honouring the year’s strangest title, awarded to self-help guide to toilet etiquette.

By Alison Flood.

Powered by the British public’s unstoppable enthusiasm for toilet humour, the enticingly-titled How to Poo on a Date has carried off this year’s Diagram prize for the oddest book title of the year.

With previous winners of the award including How to Shit in the Woods, American Bottom Archaeology and Cooking with Poo – which innocently drew its name from author Saiyuud Diwong’s nickname, “Poo”, Thai for crab – the prize is beginning to show a dangerous trend. “Diagram devotees have spoken, and spoken in no uncertain terms: poo wins prizes,” said prize administrator Tom Tivnan, also highlighting the shortlisted title The Origin of Feces, which came in a narrow second to How to Poo on a Date in this year’s public vote.

Almost 1,500 votes were cast for the 2014 award, with the pseudonymous Mats & Enzo’s guide to dating toilet etiquette taking 30% of votes cast. Joint second place went to Are Trout South African and The Origin of Feces, with Working Class Cats coming in fourth.

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October 11, 2013

South African author André Brink awarded top French accolade

101013BL+André+Brink  By Jonathan Greig

ACCLAIMED South African author André Brink received the Grand Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris on Tuesday. It is the highest honour given in the French capital and was awarded by mayor Bertrand Delanoë himself.

Mr Brink, a playwright, novelist, essayist and professor of English at the University of Cape Town, has written more than 30 books in both English and Afrikaans. He was extremely influential in bringing classical works of English and French literature into the Afrikaans literary milieu and has more than 60 translations to his name among his many plays and academic papers.

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June 17, 2013

Author Tan Twan Eng wins Scott prize for historical fiction

"The Garden of Evening MistsBy Chris Michaud

Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng has won the Walter Scott Prize, which honors historical fiction writers, for his post-World War Two novel, “The Garden of Evening Mists.”

Tan, who was born in Penang, Malaysia, and lives in South Africa, accepted the prize on Friday at the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland. It was presented by the Duke of Buccleuch, who established the award four years ago.

The duke is a distant descendant of the prize’s namesake, whose works include the 19th century historical novels “Waverly,” “Ivanhoe” and “Rob Roy.”


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May 24, 2013

Rushdie, Fagan, Gunn on James Tait Black shortlists

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

| By Charlotte Williams

Salman Rushdie and Jenni Fagan are among the authors shortlisted for the £10,000 James Tait Black biography and fiction awards. The shortlist for the newly created drama category is to be announced later this month.

Contenders for the fiction prize are Scottish author Fagan’s The Panopticon (Windmill Books), about a 15-year-old who finds herself headed for a home for chronic young offenders but can¹t remember why; The Big Music by Kirsty Gunn (Faber), about a dying man creating a musical composition that will define his life; Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner (Granta), about a young American poet on a fellowship in Madrid, struggling to establish his sense of self; and The Deadman’s Pedal by Alan Warner (Vintage), about a 16-year-old who leaves school to become a train driver and is introduced to a world of glamour.

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May 22, 2013

Baha Mousa book wins George Orwell Prize

very_british | By Joshua Farrington

The £3,000 Orwell Book Prize for political writing has been awarded to A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa by AT Williams, published by Jonathan Cape.

A special Orwell Prize was given to the late Marie Colvin’s On the Front Line (HarperPress).

A Very British Killing follows events in Basra in 2003.

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May 21, 2013

Howard Jacobson wins comic fiction prize

Cheering news: Howard Jacobson wins prize for comic fiction

Cheering news: Howard Jacobson wins prize for comic fiction

Howard Jacobson wins this year’s Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for his novel Zoo Time.

By Jon Stock

Howard Jacobson has been named the winner of this year’s Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for his novel, Zoo Time. It is the second occasion he has triumphed, having won the prize in 2000, the first year of the award.

Jacobson fought off stiff competition from Michael Frayn, Deborah Moggach and Helen DeWitt. Previous winners include Ian McEwan, Marina Lewycka, DBC Pierre and, most recently, Terry Pratchett.

Zoo Time tells the tale of Guy Ableman, a writer struggling with his affections for his wife and mother-in-law, and the terminal state of literature. Reviewing the book for the Telegraph, Alexei Sayle described it as “seriously funny”.

Jacobson will be presented with a suitably Wodehousian prize, a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig, which will be named ‘Zoo Time’. It will join other pigs named after books that have won the prize, including ‘A Short History of Tractors in the Ukranian’ (Marina Lewycka) and ‘Fun and Games until Somebody Loses an Eye’ (Christopher Brookmyre).

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May 17, 2013

Inaugural children’s book award from Radical Booksellers alliance

breadandroses | Lisa Campbell

A graphic novel about refugees forced to flee their homeland has won the inaugural Little Rebels Children’s Book Award, given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers.

Azzi In Between by Sarah Garland (Frances Lincoln) was praised by judges for its power and simplicity, as well as tackling a topical and important subject in the contemporary climate.

Fen Coles, director of Letterbox Library, who administered the award, said: “At a time when there are so many damaging myths circulating about refugees and asylum seekers, it is heartening to see a book which tells the truth—and in a way which children can relate to.”

The Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing has also been awarded to a ‘shocking’ account of the working lives of Chinese rural migrants, Scattered Sand: The Story of China’s Rural Migrants by Hsiao-Hung Pai (Verso).

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May 15, 2013

‘Wonderful’ shortlists for Food Writers awards

pomegranates| By Lisa Campbell

The Guild of Food Writers Awards shortlists include a “wonderful diversity of subject matter” for 2013, the organisers have said.

The annual ceremony awards feature categories such as Cookery Book of the Year, Campaigning and Investigative Food Writing, Cookery Journalist of the Year, Food Blog of the Year and Food Broadcast of the Year. This year’s list includes names like Yotam Ottolenghi, who is up for the cookery journalist of the year award for work published in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine. Also on the list is work such as Consider the Fork: A History of Invention in the Kitchen by Bee Wilson (Particular Books), who is nominated for the Food Book of the Year award.

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May 14, 2013

James among nominations for H R F Keating Award

Filed under: Awards — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 6:25 am

P D James

P D James

| By Joshua Farrington

P D James is one of the writers nominated for the H R F Keating Award, which rewards biographical or critical books related to crime fiction.

James’ Talking About Detective Fiction (The Bodleian Library) has been chosen alongside Declan Burke and John Connolly’s Books to Die For (Hodder & Stoughton), John Curran’s Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks (HarperCollins), Barry Forshaw as editor of British Crime Writing: An Encyclopaedia (Greenwood World Publishing), Christopher Fowler¹s Invisible Ink (Strange Attractor) and Maxim Jakubowski as editor of Following the Detectives (New Holland).

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