The recently established Folio Prize published their first shortlist last week. The £40,000 prize which aims to ‘to celebrate the best fiction of our time, regardless of form or genre, and to bring it to the attention of as many readers as possible’ is the first book prize to be open to all English language fiction from around the world. The Folio Prize was set up on the back of the dismal 2011 Booker Prize which was deemed too low-brow by the literary community.
Do you prefer to bring ‘light’ reading on your holiday or are you one of those who sees it as a chance to dig into some more heavy going titles? I oscillate between the two, so I’ll suggest a bit of both.
Many of you will remember a highly controversial article on parenting style in The Wall Street Journal a couple of years ago written by Chinese American Amy Chua. You know, the one whose children have never been allowed a playdate, a sleepover or to get any grade less than an A; who practise their instruments three hours a day and are perfect on all quantifiable dimensions.
…David Mitchell’s new book, The Bone Clocks, coming out in September. His last book, The Thousands Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, was one of my all time favourites, recommended ad nauseam to all my friends and family. Better, and certainly more accessible, than his previous multi-layered Cloud Atlas made into a film last year. Will keep you posted!
More than 500 authors have condemned state organised surveillance of citizens in an open letter to Barak Obama. The letter, signed by literary giants such as Margaret Atwood, Orhan Pamuk, Martin Amis, JM Coetzee, Ian McEwan and Gunther Grass, urges the United Nations to create an international digital bill of rights to protect the fundamental human right to ‘remain unobserved and unmolested’.
The Indian author and mathematics professor Manil Suri has had the honour of picking up the 2013 Bad Sex in Fiction Award for his book The City of Devi. The judges were particularly tittilated by a sex scene involving the three main characters.
Surely supernovas explode that instant, somewhere, in some galaxy. The hut vanishes, and with it the sea and the sands – only Karun’s body, locked with mine, remains. We streak like superheroes past suns and solar systems, we dive through shoals of quarks and atomic nuclei. In celebration of our breakthrough fourth star, statisticians the world over rejoice.
Gotta to love it!
The Costa Book Awards 2013 were published last night with the youngest witness in the Lady Chatterley trial receiving a posthumous nomination for her book Unexpected Lessons in Love. The judges described by the book as an ‘unflinching, darkly funny story of love, obsession and illness that is unexpected in every way’. Sounds intriguing!