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April 17, 2013

SA’s Van Schaik and Exclusive Books up for sale

van_scaik_copy | By Benedicte Page

South Africa’s Times Media Group has announced its decision to sell its book retail chains, Exclusive Books and Van Schaik.

The media company’s c.e.o. Andrew Bonamour said: “We are in the process of focusing the group around its core media businesses and while both book retail businesses hold a strong position in their respective trade book and academic book markets, they are not aligned with out future strategic direction.”

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March 28, 2013

Tan Twan Eng wins Man Asian Literary Prize

 gardenmists| By Benedicte Page

Malaysian writer Tan Twan Eng has won the $30,000 Man Asian Literary Prize for his novel The Garden of Evening Mists, which was last year shortlisted for the UK’s Man Booker.

Meanwhile the award organisers have said a new sponsor for the prize will be announced in April, following the withdrawal of Man Group.

The Garden of Evening Mists, set during the aftermath of the Japanese occupation of Malaya, is published in the UK by Myrmidon Books. Myrmidon is collaborating with Canongate on the mass market edition of the book, to be published in May. The author will visit the UK to support publication, including events at Hay on Wye, Asia House and Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights.

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March 22, 2013

New award targets Scandinavian crime fiction


Barry Forshaw

Barry Forshaw

| By  Benedicte Page

A new prize for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year, the Petrona Award, has announced its first shortlist.

The award has been set up to celebrate the work of online crime fiction reviewer and blogger Maxine Clarke, who died last December. Clarke named her online persona and blog Petrona.

The shortlist for the 2013 award has been based on Clarke’s own reviews and ratings; future shortlists will be drawn up by a team of judges applying Clarke’s preferred criteria. The award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian or set in Scandinavia.

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March 21, 2013

Pichon wins Blue Peter Book Award

blue-peter-logo| By Benedicte Page

Schoolchildren from across the country have chosen Tom Gates: Genius Ideas, Mostly by Liz Pichon as the winner of the Blue Peter Book Award for Best Story.

Meanwhile Horrible Science: House of Horrors by Nick Arnold and Tony De Saulles was the winner of the Best Book with Facts.

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February 3, 2013

Thayil wins DSC Prize for South Asian Literature

dsc_prize1|By Benedicte Page

Indian writer Jeet Thayil has won the third DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, worth $50,000, for his debut novel Narcopolis (Faber).

Chair of the prize jury K Satchidandan, praised the “extreme verbal artistry and lyrical intensity” of the winning novel, set in Bombay in the 1970s and also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

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January 29, 2013

RSC to stage Mantel novels

Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel

| By Charlotte Williams

Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies are to be adapted for stage as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2013 winter season, with some previously unseen material by the author included.

The books, published by Fourth Estate, have been adapted for the stage in two parts by Mike Poulton and the productions will be directed by Jeremy Herrin, the associate director at The Royal Court. The plays will run at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon from next December to March 2014.

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November 24, 2012

Hall and Sprackland win Portico Prize

Sarah Hall

| By Benedicte Page

Sarah Hall and Jean Sprackland have been named the 2012 winners of the Portico Prize for Literature, each receiving £10,000.

Hall [pictured] won the fiction prize for The Beautiful Indifference (Faber) while Sprackland’s Strands: A Year of Discoveries on the Beach (Jonathan Cape) triumphed in non-fiction. It’s a second time Hall has won the prize, which is given biennially; she also won the 2010 award for How To Paint a Dead Man.

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November 21, 2012

Indies tell customers: ‘We pay our taxes’

 |By Lisa Campbell

Booksellers across the country are displaying “We Pay Our Taxes” posters in their shop windows in a reference to rival company Amazon’s appearance in front of the Public Accounts Committee last week (12th November).

The Booksellers Association has created striking red point-of-sale materials for its IndieBound members to encourage their customers to choose to shop at their local bookshop as opposed to using rival online site Amazon.

The first of the two POS styles reads: “Your Money, Your Bookshop, Your Community”, with a stack of pound coins followed by the message “We Pay Our Taxes”; the second features a Union Jack-patterned purse with the message “Can Pay Do Pay!”, followed by “We Pay Our Taxes.”

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October 29, 2012

Penguin/Random House merger confirmed

Markus Dohle

29.10.12 | Benedicte Page

Pearson and Bertelsmann have confirmed that Penguin and Random House are to combine into a new consumer publishing organisation, Penguin Random House, with the merger expected to complete in the second half of 2013.

Bertelsmann will own 53% of the new venture and Pearson 47%; Bertelsmann gets five directors on the new board and Pearson four. Current Penguin chairman and chief executive John Makinson will be chairman of Penguin Random House with Random House chief executive Markus Dohle in the chief executive role for the new company.

However the joint venture will exclude Bertelsmann’s trade publishing business in Germany and Pearson will retain rights to use the Penguin brand in education markets worldwide.

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October 24, 2012

Australia launches Stella Prize for women’s writing

|By  Benedicte Page

Australia’s first major literary prize for women’s writing, the Stella Prize, said to be “inspired by the hugely successful UK Women’s Prize for Fiction”, will be awarded in 2013.

The $50,000 prize, named after My Brilliant Career author Stella Maria Miles Franklin, will be open to fiction and non-fiction books by an Australian woman published in 2012. The inaugural founding patron is Ellen Koshland and the Koshland Innovation Fund.

Stella Prize chair Aviva Tuffield said the prize hoped to “erode the self-perpetuating cycle of underrepresentation that confronts all women writers.”

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