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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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Burnside, Miller and Williams up for Forward Best Collection

John Burnside, Kei Miller and Hugo Williams are among the poets shortlisted for the £10,000 Forward Prize for Best Collection.

The three 2014 Forward Poetry Prizes celebrating the best of the year’s poetry, awarding the best collection, best first collection and best single poem.

Shortlisted for the £10,000 Forward Prize for Best Collection are Colette Bryce for The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (Picador Poetry); John Burnside for All One Breath (Cape Poetry); Louise Glück for Faithful and Virtuous Night (Carcanet); Kei Miller for The Cartographer Tries to Map A Way to Zion (Carcanet); and Hugo Williams for I Knew the Bride (Faber & Faber).

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March 10, 2014

Catton, Tartt and Atwood on Baileys Women’s Prize longlist.

 

GoldfinchBy Sarah Shaffi.

Six debut novelists will compete against writers at the “top of their form” on the longlist for this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction [full longlist below].

Former Women’s Prize winners Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun, 2007) and Suzanne Berne (A Crime in the Neighbourhood, 1999) are nominated, while other major names include Donna Tartt, Margaret Atwood and 2013 Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton.

 

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Crace, Aslam, Forna win $150k Windham Campbell prizes.

windam-campbell-prizeBy Sarah Shaffi.

Man Booker shortlisted Jim Crace is one of eight recipients of this year’s $150,000 Windham Campbell Literature Prizes.

The eight winners, from seven countries, receive the generous awards in recognition of their achievements and to support their work.

Also winning are novelists Nadeem Aslam, author of The Blind Man’s Garden and Maps for Lost Lovers (both Faber), and Aminatta Forna, whose latest novel The Hired Man is published by Bloomsbury. Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire (Penguin), was a winner in the non-fiction category, as was Canadian John Vaillant, whose The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival is published by Sceptre.

British playwright Sam Holcroft, published by Nick Hern Books, also won an award, in the drama category, alongside Kia Corthron from the US (Methuen/NoPassport Press) and Australian Noëlle Janaczewska (Currency Press).

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July 31, 2013

Mixed response to Man Booker longlist

 

booker-longlist-2013-smaller-pic  By Joshua Farrington

The newly released Man Booker Prize longlist has been praised by the media for its diversity, but criticised for missing several big names and including multiple titles that have yet to be published.

The Guardian praised the judges, and said: “This is a jury not afraid to be experimental.”

It commended the scope of the longlist and said: “The longlist casts a wide net in terms of both geography and time, ranging from the slimmest of novels—Colm Tóibín’s stark, surprising The Testament of Mary conjures the gospel according to Jesus’s mother in a mere 100-odd pages—to vast doorstops, playful with genre and form.”

The Daily Mail focused on authors it saw as being “snubbed” from the Booker list, describing the nominated authors as “obscure . . . mostly unknown”. It said: “This year’s longlist is notable for the number of big-name authors who have been overlooked, including J M Coetzee, Roddy Doyle and Margaret Atwood. Five of the books have yet to be published.”

The Daily Mail also quoted Alex Donohue of bookmaker Ladbrokes, which has appointed Jim Crace as the current favourite at 9/2.

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June 27, 2013

Baileys new sponsor for Women’s Prize for Fiction

baileysbottle| By Charlotte Williams

Baileys has become the new sponsor for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, with the cream liqueur brand entering into a three-year partnership with the prize.

The £30,000 prize will be known as the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction from 2014.

Kate Mosse, chair of the Women’s Prize for Fiction board, said a full programme of new activity with Baileys and joint plans for the prize will be revealed in the autumn.

She said: “We were delighted by the range of interest-and enjoyed meeting brands in various sectors-but in the end, the Women’s Prize for Fiction board felt Baileys was the ideal choice as our new partners.

“We were impressed not only by the scale of their [Baileys’] ambition, but also their passion for celebrating outstanding fiction by women and willingness to help in bringing the prize to ever wider audiences.”

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O’Donnell wins Commonwealth Book Prize

Lisa O'Donnell

Lisa O’Donnell

|By Charlotte Williams

The Commonwealth Book Prize has been won by UK debut author Lisa O’Donnell, while the Short Story Prize has been awarded to two joint winners.

The prizes-£10,000 for the Book Prize, and £2,500 to each of the Short Story Prize winners-were presented at the Hay Festival this evening [31st May] by author John le Carre.

O’Donnell’s The Death of Bees, published by Random House, was praised by Godfrey Smith, the prize’s chair, for being “effortlessly fresh and original; it is fiction that provokes and shocks; it is innovative in its narrative style and told in a natural convincing voice”.

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Boys to Men

Nouns in Book Titles1 | By Philip Stone

Earlier this week I began a light-hearted look at the most common nouns that appear in the titles of bestselling novels—but my research turned into something a little more unsettling.

While I can reveal that “secret”, “day”, “time”, and “house” are among the nouns that have become your biggest bankers, it saddens me to report that, where novels are concerned at least, men are “men” but women are “girls”.

Fact One: Of the top 1,000 bestselling adult novels of 2013 with titles that contain male gender terms (and by this I mean specifically “man” or “men” and “boy” or “boys”) 93% contain “man” or “men” with just 7% containing “boy(s)”. Whereas, of the bestselling novels with titles that contain female gender terms, we see just 19% containing the adult “woman”/”women” but an overwhelming 81% containing “girl(s)”.

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June 14, 2013

Rise of the bookshops

Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett

| By Ann Patchett

Booksellers do not guard their best secrets: they are a generous tribe and were quick to welcome me into their fold and to give me advice. I was told to hang merchandise from the ceiling whenever possible, because people long to buy whatever requires a ladder to cut it down. The children’s section should always be in a back corner of the store, so that when parents inevitably wandered off and started reading, their offspring could be caught before they busted out of the store. I received advice about bookkeeping, bonuses, staff recommendations and websites.

While I was flying from city to city, Karen [Hayes] was driving around the South in a U-haul, buying up shelving at rock-bottom prices from various Borders stores that were liquidating. I had written one check before I left, for a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and I kept asking if she needed more money. No, she didn’t need more money.

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Bakker’s The Detour wins Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

Gerbrand Bakker

Gerbrand Bakker

| By Charlotte Williams

Dutch writer Gerbrand Bakker has won this year’s £10,000 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize with his novel The Detour, published by Harvill Secker.

It is the author’s second major literary prize win; his previous novel, The Twin, won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2010.

Bakker will share the prize money with the title’s translator, David Colmer [pictured right].

The Detour follows Emilie, a translation professor and Emily Dickinson scholar, who retreats from her life in the Netherlands to an isolated farm house in Wales following an affair with a student.

Boyd Tonkin, literary editor of the Independent and award judge, said: “Swift-moving and apparently straightforward, but with mysterious hidden depths, The Detour is a novel that grips its reader tight and never lets go

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