About This Blog

Mostly lists and information about award books and other interesting lists of books, color coded as follows:

RED–Read since ~2000
PINK–Read before that
BLUE–To Be Read and Added to Goodreads

NOTE: Listings may not be complete and sources aren't always quoted but I'm working on that.

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Book Montage

Catherine 's to-read book montage

The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia
The Vanishing of Katharina Linden
Only You Can Save Mankind
Nice and Mean
Cruisers Book 1
The City of Ember
Crispin: The End of Time
Lost Goat Lane
Amelia Rules! Volume 1: The Whole World's Crazy
How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life
As Simple as It Seems
Wolf Brother
The Ogre of Oglefort
The Pickle King

Catherine 's favorite books »

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year (2005-2010)

Information gathered from Goldman Sachs accessed 8/12/10 and ft.com accessed 10/30/09

August 9, 2010 - The longlist was announced today for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. The Award, which is in its sixth year, aims to identify the book providing the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues.

Shortlist announced mid-September.

2010 Longlist: (Shortlist marked with *)
Ian Bremmer. The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?
John Cassidy. How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities
Patrick Dillon and Carl M. Cannon. Circle of Greed: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Lawyer Who Brought Corporate America to Its Knees
Fred Goodman. Fortune's Fool: Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Warner Music, and an Industry in Crisis
Adam Haslett. Union Atlantic: A Novel
*Sheena Iyengar. The Art of Choosing --Dad read this, looked boring...
Walter Kiechel. The Lords of Strategy: Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World
*David Kirkpatrick. The Facebook Effect: Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World
*Michael Lewis. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
*Sebastian Mallaby. More Money than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite
Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera. All the Devils Are Here: Hidden History of the Financial Crisis
Hamish McRae. What Works: Success in Stressful Times
*Raghuram Rajan. Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy -- Winner!
Matt Ridley. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
*Andrew Ross Sorkin. Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System – and Themselves
Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams. MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World

Previous Awards:
2009 Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Biz Book of the Year
Liaquat Ahamed's Lords of Finance: 1929, The Great Depression, and the Bankers Who Broke the World

Award Winner, 2008
Mohamed El-Erian's book When Markets Collide

Award Winner, 2007
The Last Tycoons by William D Cohan

Award winner, 2006
James Kynge’s China Shakes the World

Award winner, 2005
Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat won the inaugural award in 2005

DSC Prize for South Asian Literature (2011)

The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature celebrates the rich and varied literature from, and connected to, the subcontinent. The prize will award US$ 50,000 to the winner starting from 2011. The award will recognize writers of any ethnicity writing about South Asia and its diasporas. The books competing for the prize must be an original work of fiction published during 1st April 2009 and 31st March 2010, written in English or translated into English.

The Longlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature comprises:

Upamanyu Chatterjee: Way To Go (Penguin),
Amit Chaudhuri: The Immortals --shortlist
Chandrahas Choudhury: Arzee the Dwarf (HarperCollins),
Musharraf Ali Farooqi: The Story of a Widow  --shortlist
Ru Freeman: A Disobedient Girl (Penguin/ Viking),
Anjum Hassan: Neti Neti (IndiaInk/ Roli Books),
Tania James: Atlas of Unknowns  --shortlist
Manju Kapur: The Immigrant  --shortlist
Daniyal Mueenuddin: In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (Bloomsbury),
Neel Mukherjee: A Life Apart  --shortlist
HM Naqvi: Home Boy  --shortlist
Salma: The Hour Past Midnight (Zubaan, translated by Lakshmi Holmstrom),
Sankar: The Middleman (Penguin, translated by Arunava Sinha),
Ali Sethi: The Wish Maker (Penguin),
Jaspreet Singh: Chef (Bloomsbury),
Aatish Taseer: The Temple Goers

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

National Translation Award (1998-2010)

from alta: American Literary Translators Association, accessed 10/27/10

2010 Alex Zucker for his translation from the Czech of Petra Hůlová’s All This Belongs to Me
2009 Norman Shapiro for his translation from the French of French Women Poets of Nine Centuries
2008 Richard Wilbur for his translation of French dramatist Pierre Corneille’s The Theatre of Illusion
2007 Joel Agee for his translation of The Selected Writings of Friedrich Dürrenmatt
2006 Ellen Elias-Bursać for her translation of David Albahari’s Serbian novel Götz and Meyer
2005 Vincent Katz for his translation The Complete Elegies of Sextus Propertius
2004 Aron Aji for his translation of Bilge Karasu’s Turkish novel The Garden of Departed Cats
2003 Jo Anne Engelbert for her translation of Roberto Sosa’s Spanish poetryThe Return of the River
2002 E.H. and A.M. Blackmore for their translation of Selected Poems of Victor Hugo: A Bilingual Edition
2001 Danuta Borchardt for her translation of Witold Gombrowicz’s Polish novel Ferdydurke
2000 Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin for their translation of Chu T’ien-wen’s Chinese novel Notes of a Desolate Man
1999 Peter Constantine for his translation of Anton Chekhov’s The Undiscovered Chekhov: Thirty-Eight New Stories
1998 Carolyn Tipton for her translation of To Painting by Rafael Alberti

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cafe Libri Previous Reads List


122. DECEMBER: Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver and Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright
120. NOVEMBER: The Hunger Games (Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins and The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan
119. OCTOBER: Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
118. SEPTEMBER: The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley
117. AUGUST: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
116. JULY: Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
115. JUNE: Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz
114. MAY: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron (contributor Bret Witter)
113. APRIL: Peony in Love by Lisa See
112. MARCH: A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott
111. FEBRUARY: Diary of a Sex Fiend: Girl with a One Track Mind by Abby Lee
110. JANUARY: Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) by David Cay Johnston


108. DECEMBER: Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin and A War of Gifts: An Ender Story by Orson Scott Card
106. NOVEMBER: The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory and She Taught Me to Laugh Again by Thomas Brown
105. OCTOBER: Farm City by Novella Carpenter
104. SEPTEMBER: On the Road by Jack Kerouac
103. AUGUST: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
102. JULY: Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric
101. JUNE: The Stone Raft by Jose Saramago
100. MAY: The Great Gatsby by by F. Scott Fitzgerald
99. APRIL: Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
98. MARCH: Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson
97. FEBRUARY: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
95. JANUARY: Wicked by Gregory McGuire and Spring Moon by Betty Bao Lord

94. DECEMBER: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
93. NOVEMBER: Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
91. OCTOBER: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen and The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
89. SEPTEMBER: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
88. AUGUST: All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
86. JULY: Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum #2) by Janet Evanovich and The Zookeepers Wife by Diane Ackerman
85. JUNE: Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
83. MAY: Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin
82. APRIL: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
80. MARCH: Atonement by Ian McEwan and The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
79. FEBRUARY: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
77. JANUARY: Visitors from Oz: The Wild Adventures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman by Martin Gardner and The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

76. DECEMBER: The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
75. NOVEMBER: Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich
73. OCTOBER: Along Came a Spider by James Patterson and Vacation by Jeremy Shipp
72. SEPTEMBER: The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue
71. AUGUST: Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner
70. JULY: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
68. JUNE: The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith and Ireland by Frank Delaney
65. MAY: Dawn of Destiny by Lee Stephen and The Kite Runner by K. Hosseini and Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox
63. APRIL: One for the Money (A Stephanie Plum Novel) by Janet Evanovich and Sleeping with the Fishes by MaryJanice Davidson
61. MARCH: Chocolat by Joanne Harris and Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes
59. FEBRUARY: You Slay Me by Katie Macalister and Tar Baby by Toni Morrison
57. JANUARY: Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton and Saturday Morning Omelettes by Kavita Khanna

55.DECEMBER: The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn and The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
53. NOVEMBER: Capable of Murder by Brian Kavanagh and Dandelions in a Jelly Jar by Traci Depree (Sequel to A Can of Peas)
51. OCTOBER: A Can of Peas by Traci Depree and Queen of the South by Arturo Perez-Reverte
49. SEPTEMBER: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See and The Samarai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyami
48. AUGUST (Re-read and new book): Men Bleed Too: A Compelling Story About One Man's Struggle to Help His Wife Fight Breast Cancer by Thomas Brown and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (re-read)
46. JULY: Zorro by Isabelle Allende and 1984 by George Orwell
44. JUNE: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins and Gulity Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
42. MAY: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
40. APRIL: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell and Isolde: Queen of the Western Isle by Rosalind Miles
39. MARCH: Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwasaki
38. FEBRUARY: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
37. JANUARY (Re-read and new book): Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (re-read) and Socrates in Love by Kyoichi Katayama

35. DECEMBER: The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice and The Modern Magi: A Christmas Novel by Carol Lynn Pearson
33. NOVEMBER: A Kiss Of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton and Some Enchanted Evening by Christina Dodd
32. OCTOBER: The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
31. SEPTEMBER: Silas Marner by George Eliot
30. AUGUST: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
JULY (Re-read): The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
29. JUNE: Mabel McKay: Weaving the Dream by Greg Sarris
FEBRUARY through May: No book of the month
28. JANUARY: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

26. DECEMBER: A Christmas Visitor by Anne Perry and A Christmas Journey by Anne Perry
25. OCTOBER and NOVEMBER: The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
24. SEPTEMBER: The Time Traveler's wife by Audrey Niffenegger
AUGUST: No book of the month
23. JULY: The Great Pretender by Millenia Black
22. JUNE: The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
JANUARY through MAY: No book of the month

AUGUST through DECEMBER: No book of the month
21. JULY: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
FEBRUARY through JUNE: No book of the month
20. JANUARY: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

NOVEMBER and DECEMBER: No book of the month
19. OCTOBER: Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
18. SEPTEMBER: The Courtship by Catherine Coulter
17. AUGUST: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
16. JULY: Reunion by Sharon Sala
15. MAY and JUNE: The Fellowhsip of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
14. APRIL: Vanish with the Rose by Barbara Michaels
13. MARCH: Until You by Judith McNaught
12. FEBRUARY: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks.
11. JANUARY: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

10. DECEMBER: The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux
9. NOVEMBER: Envy by Sandra Brown
8. OCTOBER: Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
7. SEPTEMBER: A Knight to Remember by Christina Dodd
6. AUGUST: The Ugly Duckling by Iris Johansen
5. JULY: Dream Man by Linda Howard
4. JUNE: A Certain Smile by Judith Michael
3. APRIL and MAY: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Cruise
2. FEBRUARY and MARCH: Just A Kiss Away by Jill Barnet
1. JANUARY: Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara

Monday, October 25, 2010

ReLit Award (2009-10)

From The ReLit Awards/ Ideas, Not Money accessed 10/25/10

“The country’s [Canada] pre-eminent literary prize recognizing independent presses.”
-The Globe & Mail

ReLit Award for short fiction, poetry and novels, founded by Newfoundland author, Kenneth J. Harvey

2010 ReLit Shortlists
Away From Everywhere, Chad Pelley (Breakwater)
Wrong Bar, Nathaniel G. Moore (Tightrope)
Overqualified, Joey Comeau (ECW)
The Beautiful Children, Michael Kenyon (Thistledown) --Winner!
Holding Still For As Long As Possible, Zoe Whittall (Anansi)
The Plight House, Jason Hrivnak (Pedlar)
After the Red Night, Christiane Frenette (Cormorant)

Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip, Lisa Robertson (Coach House)
A Nice Place to Visit, Sky Gilbert (ECW)
The Others Raisd in Me, Gregory Betts (Pedlar)
Always Die Before Your Mother, Patrick Woodcock (ECW)
Paper Radio, Damian Rogers (ECW)
Red Nest, Gillian Jerome (Nightwood) --Winner!
The Last House, Michael Kenyon (Brick)

Men of Salt, Men of Earth, Matt Lennox (Oberon)
Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, Stuart Ross (Freehand) --Winner!
The Moon of Letting Go, Richard Van Camp (Enfield & Wizenty)
What Boys Like, Amy Jones (Biblioasis)
Fatted Calf Blues, Steven Mayoff (Turnstone)
What We’re Made Of, Ryan Turner (Oberon)
Sentimental Exorcisms, David Derry (Coach House)

2009 Shortlist for NOVEL
Girls Fall Down, Maggie Helwig (Coach House)
Cleavage, Theanna Bischoff (NeWest)
A Slice of Voice at the Edge of Hearing, Brian Dedora (Mercury)
Anna’s Shadow, David Manicom (Esplanade)
Shuck, Daniel Allen Cox (Arsenal Pulp)
Charlie Muskrat, Harold Johnson (Thistledown)
Chase & Haven, Michael Blouin (Coach House)

2009 Longlist for NOVEL

The Order of Good Cheer, Bill Gaston (Anansi)
1892, Paul Butler (Pennywell)
The Darren Effect, Libby Creelman (Goose Lane)
Ordinary Lives, Josef Skvorecky (Key Porter)
More, Austin Clarke (Thomas Allen)
Here After, Sean Costello (Your Scrivener Press)
Seaweed on the Rocks, Stanley Evans (Touchwood)
Angels of Maradona, Glen Carter (Breakwater)
Operation Rimbaud, Jacques Godbout (Cormorant)
Chef, Jaspreet Singh (Esplanade)
Quintet, Douglas Arthur Brown (Key Porter)
A Week of This, Nathan Whitlock (ECW)
The Year of Numbers, Paulina Wyrzykowski (Seraphim)
The Mountain Clinic, Harold Hoefle (Oberon)
Blasted, Kate Story (Killick)
The Frog Lake Massacre, Bill Gallaher (Touchwood)
The Bewilderments of Bernard Willis, Aaron Peck (Pedlar)
Skin Room, Sara Tilley (Pedlar)
Chase & Haven, Michael Blouin (Coach House)
Charlie Muskrat, Harold Johnson (Thistledown)
Shuck, Daniel Allen Cox (Arsenal Pulp)
Sailor Girl, Sheree-Lee Olson (Porcupine’s Quill)
The Reverend’s Apprentice, David N. Odhiambo (Arsenal Pulp)
Cockroach, Rawi Hage (Anansi)
The Seary Line, Nicole Lundrigan (Breakwater)
Stunt, Claudia Dey (Coach House)
Niceman Cometh, David Carpenter (Porcupine’s Quill)
Good to a Fault, Marina Endicott (Freehand)
Anna’s Shadow, David Manicom (Esplanade)
The Red Dress, Paul Nicholas Mason (Turnstone)
The Steve Machine, Mike Hoolboom (Coach House)
A Slice of Voice at the Edge of Hearing, Brian Dedora (Mercury)
Cleavage, Theanna Bischoff (NeWest)
In the Garden of Men, John Kupferschmidt (3-Day Books)
Girls Fall Down, Maggie Helwig (Coach House)
Scrapbook of My Years as a Zealot, Nicole Markotic (Arsenal Pulp)
The Frankenstein Murders, Kathlyn Bradshaw (Cormorant)
The Entropy of Aaron Rosclatt, James Sandham (Clark-Nova)
Taking the Stairs, John Stiles (Nightwood)
Eva’s Threepenny Theatre, Andrew Steinmetz (Gaspereau)
The Show that Smells, Derek McCormack (ECW)
Entitlement, Jonathan Bennett (ECW)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Joshua Henkin's Novels About Writers, Writing, and the Writing Life

Joshua Henkin’s Ten Terrific Novels About Writers, Writing, and the Writing Life

from Conversational Reading, accessed 10/23/10

(Today we have a guest post from novelist Joshua Henkin. Henkin’s novel, Matrimony, about MFA students and writing about writing (among other things), is out in paperback.)

Opening Disclaimer: These are ordered randomly and not to be construed as a Top-Ten list or even as a Ten-Personal-Favorites list, just ten works of fiction I plain like and thought I’d share with you at Conversational Reading.

Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. Often forgotten in the publishing hoopla surrounding Mysteries of Pittsburgh (Chabon was just out of college when MOP was published) and the attention he has gotten for his later novels are some finely wrought stories collected in A Model World, and The Wonder Boys, a high-wire comedic novel that takes place at a writing conference and is said to be based loosely on the life of Chuck Kinder, one of Chabon’s undergraduate writing professors. This is difficult material to mine afresh—making fun of writing conferences is both easy and familiar—and, in general, it’s hard to do farce without becoming, well, farcical. But Chabon does it. Some outrageous things happen, but Chabon’s language and narrative are always under his control.

The Information by Martin Amis. Amis is one of the writers I mention when my writing students complain about unlikable characters. Has Amis ever written a “likable” character? (Actually, I like a lot of Amis’s characters, but that’s another matter, and the whole question of likeability tends to be a red herring.) Although his work is uneven, the best of it is first-rate. I would include The Information in that category, a novel about literary success and failure, and about envy and backstabbing and other such things. On those occasions when I’m interviewed and asked what Matrimony is about (often by someone who hasn’t read the book: if they’d read it, they wouldn’t need to ask), I think of Amis’s protagonist, on book tour, who responds to one interviewer (I’m going on memory here) in the following way: “The book is what it is. All two hundred thousand words of it. If I could have said it in fewer words, I would have.”

Men in Black by Scott Spencer. Speaking of book tours, Spencer’s novel chronicles the personal and professional woes of Sam Holland, a literary novelist whose books don’t sell and who writes a pseudonymous book about UFOs that catapults him to literary stardom. Although the send-up of literary success is often amusing, what distinguishes Spencer’s book is less the material about the writing life than Spencer’s portrait of middle-aged-white-guy anxiety/crisis/desperation, a subject done so often it can be tiresome, but which Spencer does much better than most, certainly much better than a lot of writers who have gotten more attention than he has. (Another novel that does this really well, though not a book about writing, is Preston Falls by David Gates. Gates’s Jernigan is very good too, but I like Preston Falls better). Spencer may be best known for writing an apparently good book (I never read it) that got turned into such a terrible movie it cast a negative retroactive light on the book itself. I’m talking about Endless Love (a movie that, incidentally, marks Tom Cruise’s film debut), the 1981 picture starring sixteen-year-old Brooke Shields, a year after her soft porn performance opposite Christopher Atkins in Blue Lagoon. When I tried to reassure a writer friend of mine, anxious over the way the movie version of his book was turning out, that even a bad movie helps a book, he said, “Just as long as I don’t get Scott Spencered.”

“Family Furnishings” by Alice Munro. Not a novel, but there’s more packed into a forty-page Munro story than into most 400-page novels. Reading a Munro story is like peeling an onion and finding layer after layer beneath it: no story of hers is quite what it seems to be at first. At Brooklyn College’s MFA program, where I teach, the ten-or-so-member faculty was asked to make a list of ten works of fiction that were most influential to them, and Munro was on more lists than any other writer. “Family Furnishings,” like a number of recent Munro stories, chronicles the writing life and feels closer to home than some of Munro’s earlier work. It’s a stunning story. There’s a powerful and shocking moment in which the writer protagonist uses a character from her own life for the purposes of her fiction, to disastrous consequences. The story is also wonderful at depicting the pain that goes hand in hand with outgrowing your small-town roots, and your family along with it. For more on “Family Furnishings,” have a look at Lorrie Moore’s review of Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage in the New York Review of Books.

Atonement by Ian McEwan. Speaking of the New York Review of Books, John Banville, in his evisceration of Saturday, which he called “a dismayingly bad book,” also said that “the first half of Atonement alone [will] ensure [McEwan] a lasting place in English letters.” And the second half of the book isn’t too bad, either. Atonement was a great novel long before it got turned into a blockbuster move and thereby earned a spot on the reading list of every book club in the country, but this is a case where the commercial success is well deserved. My wife, a better (and certainly more-difficult-to-please) critic than I am (when she likes something I’ve written, I know I’m on safe ground), stayed up all night during our honeymoon in an un-air-conditioned hotel room in Ho Chi Minh City reading Atonement from cover to cover. I’d never seen her do that before, and I haven’t since. It’s impossible to know, of course, what books from today will be read a hundred years from now, or if people will be reading books at all, but if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Atonement.

The Hours, by Michael Cunningham. Cunningham, who in his most recent novel Specimen Days has done for Walt Whitman (Specimen Days is divided into a ghost story, a thriller, and a post-apocalyptic tale, all presided over by the figure of Whitman) what he did for Virginia Woolf in The Hours, which won the Pulitzer in 1999. Essentially three novellas linked through the figure, life, and work of Virginia Woolf, The Hours does many things wonderfully, not least of which is the way Cunningham captures Woolf’s own struggles to find the right opening for Mrs. Dalloway. And his description of Woolf’s suicide is utterly haunting. I’ll never forget it.

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. After reading Matrimony, a number of critics and interviewers asked me whether I’d been influenced by Crossing to Safety. I hadn’t been consciously, but books have their way of worming themselves into your subconscious, so I went back and reread it, and, Sure enough. In a mere 350 pages, Stegner chronicles the life of two couples over the course of more than fifty years. It’s a book about the writing life and about academia, but also about friendship, and the ways success and failure can inflict damage on a person’s friendships. From a craft perspective, too, the novel is extremely interesting. Take a look at the way Stegner uses what I’d call a speculative/hypothetical point of view.

Starting Out in the Evening by Brian Morton. Morton has carved out a niche for himself, writing elegant, quiet novels about writers and the writing life. His prose is filled with feeling, and in his recent novel Breakable You he writes extremely powerfully about the despair surrounding a child’s illness. I admire all his books, and Starting Out in the Evening is probably my favorite. It was recently turned into a movie starring Frank Langella and Lili Taylor.

Blue Angel by Francine Prose. When I sat down to write the writing workshop scenes in Matrimony, I went back to the writing workshop scenes in Blue Angel, having remembered how vividly they were done. I got caught up in the book and reread the whole thing. It’s a wonderful, lacerating academic satire that skewers everything about academic and writing life, most especially P.C. culture. For another Francine Prose writing book, this one not a novel, read Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People who Love Books. It’s a high-level, sophisticated exploration of the way a writer reads, and, unbelievably, it found its way onto the New York Times Bestseller list. Or perhaps not so unbelievably: a recent USA Today poll revealed that 82 percent of Americans either have written or would like to write a book.

The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald’s novel, which is set in late-eighteenth-century Germany, is based on the life of a young philosophy student who will eventually become famous as the Romantic poet Novalis. It’s about a brilliant young man who falls in love with a dolt of a twelve-year-old girl, to the horror of his friends and family. To my mind, it’s a near-perfect book, and though it was clearly assiduously researched, Fitzgerald wears her knowledge lightly. The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1997 over finalists Underworld by Don Delillo, Dreams of My Russian Summers by Andre Makine, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, and American Pastoral by Philip Roth. There were a few grumblings at the time (Underworld had been the favorite in some circles), revived more recently when someone (one of the judges? I can’t remember exactly) suggested that The Blue Flower had been a compromise choice and that a smaller, less ambitious novel had won out over a book that swung for the fences. No disrespect meant to Delillo or any of the others, but The Blue Flower, though it comes in at just over 200 pages, is neither small nor unambitious. Would people have said the same thing if the writer had been a man?

Criticos Prize (1997-2009)

2009 Information from Bookseller & Publisher accessed 10/23/10
2008 and previous Information from John D. Criticos Prize website accessed 10/23/10

David Malouf is the first Australian author to win the Criticos Prize for his book Ransom (Random House).

Malouf was awarded the 2009 prize last week in a ceremony in Athens. This is also the first time a novel has won the award. The prize is worth the equivalent of A$16,000.

2009 shortlist for the prize:

Logicomix (Apostolos K Dixades & Christos Papadimitriou, Bloomsbury)
Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism (Cathy Gere, University of Chicago Press)
Cavafy: Collected Poems (trans Mendelsohn, Knopf)
A Short Border Handbook (Gazmend Kapallani, Portobello).

The Criticos Prize was established in 1996 and is funded by the Criticos-Foteinelli Foundation. The prize is awarded to the author of an original work in English inspired by Greece or Hellenic culture.

Malouf's publisher, Meredith Curnow from Random House Australia, told the Weekly Book Newsletter that Random House offers its warmest congratulations to Malouf.

'It was a pleasure and privilege to publish Ransom and we are thrilled with the response it has received from readers,' said Curnow.

Ransom is inspired by Homer's ancient Greek text, the Iliad and explores the tale of the Trojan king, Priam, who sought to recover the body of his dead son Hector from the camp of his enemy, Achilles.

2009 David Malouf. Ransom
2008 Stephen Halliwell, 'Greek Laughter' a study of Cultural Psychology from Homer to Early Christianity
2007 Peter Parsons, City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish - Greek Lives in Roman Egypt,
2006 Averil Cameron, The Byzantines, (Blackwell)
2005 Robert Parker, Polytheism and Society at Athens, (Oxford UP)
2004 Mark Mazower, Salonica, City of Ghosts - Christians, Muslims & Jews 1430-1950
2003 Susan Woodford, Images of Myths in Classical Antiquity, (Cambridge UP)
2002 Graham Speake, Mount Athos: Renewal in Paradise, (Yale UP)
2001 John Gould, Myth, Ritual, Memory and Exchange: Essays in Greek Literature and Culture,
2000 Eleni Bastea, The Creation of Modern Athens: Planning the Myth, (Cambridge UP)
jointly with
Gonda Van Steen, Venom in Verse: Aristophanes in Modern Greece, (Princeton UP)
1999 Edmund Keeley, Inventing Paradise: The Greek Journey 1937-47, (Farrar Strauss & Giroux)
1998 Sir Michael Llwellyn Smith, Ionian Vision: Greece in Asia Minor 1919-1922, (Hurst & Co.)
jointly with
Paul Cartledge, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece, (Cambridge UP)
1997 Christian Habicht, Athens from Alexander to Antony, (Harvard UP)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toronto Book Award (1974-2010)

From the Toronto Book Awards accessed 9/22/10

Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, The Toronto Book Awards honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto.

The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money. Each finalist receives $1,000 and the winning author receives the remaining prize money.

The 2009 winner was Austin Clarke for his novel More published by Thomas Allen Publishers. Previous winners include Margaret Atwood, Kevin Bazzana, David Bezmozgis, Dionne Brand, Sarah Dearing, Robertson Davies, Glen Downie, Timothy Findley, Joe Fiorito, Camilla Gibb, Katherine Govier, A.B. McKillop, Anne Michaels, Michael Ondaatje, Michael Redhill, and Kate Taylor.

2010 Shortlist:
Diary of Interrupted Days by Dragan Todorovic
The Carnivore by Mark Sinnett -- Winner!
Where We Have to Go by Lauren Kirshner
Valentine's Fall by Cary Fagan
The Prince of Neither Here Nor There by Seàn Cullen

Austin Clarke. More - Winner
Anthony De Sa. Barnacle Love
Maggie Helwig. Girls Fall Down
Mark Osbaldeston. Unbuilt Toronto
Charles Wilkins. In the Land of Long Fingernails

2008 Glen Downie. Loyalty Management

2007 Michael Redhill. Consolation

2006 Dionne Brand. What We All Long For

2005 David Bezmozgis. Natasha and Other Stories

Kevin Bazzana. Wondrous Strange: The Life and Art of Glenn Gould
Kate Taylor. Mme. Proust and the Kosher Kitchen

2003 Joe Fiorito. The Song Beneath the Ice

2002 Sarah Dearing. Courage My Love

2001 A.B. McKillop. The Spinster and The Prophet

2000 Camilla Gibb. Mouthing the Words

1999 Richard Outram. Benedict Abroad

1998 Helen Humphreys. Leaving Earth

1997 Anne Michaels. Fugitive Pieces

1996 Rosemary Sullivan. Shadow Maker, The Life of Gwendolyn MacEwen

1995 Ezra Schabas. Sir Ernest MacMillan, The Importance of Being Canadian

1994 Timothy Findley. Headhunter

Carole Corbeil. Voice-Over
David Donnell. China Blues

1992 Katherine Govier. Hearts of Flame

1991 Cary Fagan and Robert MacDonald (editors). Streets of Attitude: Toronto Stories

Hilary Russell. Double Take, The Story of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres
Guy Vanderhaeghe. Homesick

1989 Margaret Atwood. Cat's Eye

1988 Michael Ondaatje. In The Skin Of A Lion

1987 William Dendy and William Kilbourn. Toronto Observed: Its Architecture, Patrons and History

Morley Callaghan. Our Lady of the Snows
Robertson Davies. What's Bred in the Bone

Warabe Aska. Who Goes to the Park
J.M.S. Careless. Toronto To 1918
Joseph Skvorecky. The Engineer of Human Souls

Edith G. Firth. Toronto in Art
Gerald Killan. David Boyle: From Artisan to Archaeologist
Eric Wright. The Night the Gods Smiled

Michael Bliss. The Discovery of Insulin
Lucy Booth Martyn. The Face of Early Toronto: An Archival Record 1803-1936

Claude Bissell. The Young Vincent Massey
University of Toronto Press
Marian Engel. Lunatic Villas

Timothy Colton. Big Daddy: Frederick G. Gardiner and the Building of Metropolitan Toronto
Mary Larratt Smith. Young Mr. Smith in Upper Canada
Helen Weinzweig. Basic Black with Pearls

Raymond Souster. Hanging In
Stephen A. Speisman. The Jews of Toronto: A History to 1937

Michael Bliss. A Canadian Millionaire
William Dendy. Lost Toronto
John Morgan Gray. Fun Tomorrow

Christopher Armstrong and H.V. Nelles. The Revenge of the Methodist Bicycle Company
Timothy Findley. The Wars

Margaret Atwood. Lady Oracle
Margaret Gibson. The Butterfly Ward

Robert Harney and Harold Troper. Immigrants: A Portrait of the Urban Experience 1890-1930
Hugh Hood. The Swing in the Garden

Claude Bissell. Halfway Up Parnassus
The Labour History Collective. Women at Work
Loren Lind. The Learning Machine

1974 William Kurelek. O Toronto
Desmond Morton. Mayor Howland
Richard Wright. In the Middle of a Life

Monday, October 18, 2010

Quebec Writers' Federaton Literary Awards (2010)

The Quebec Writers’ Federation has announced the shortlists for the 2010 QWF Literary Awards. Each of the six awards comes with a $2,000 prize, and the winners will be named at a gala ceremony on Nov. 23. The nominees are:

Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction:
Doug Harris, YOU Comma Idiot (Goose Lane Editions)
Jeffrey Moore, The Extinction Club (Hamish Hamilton Canada)
Miguel Syjuco, Ilustrado (Hamish Hamilton Canada)

Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction:
Avi Friedman, A Place in Mind: The Search for Authenticity (Véhicule Press)
Frank Mackey, Done with Slavery (McGill-Queen’s University Press)
Cleo Paskal, Global Warring (Key Porter Books)
A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry:

Kate Hall, The Certainty Dream (Coach House Books)
Michael Harris, Circus (Véhicule Press)
Erín Moure, O Resplandor (House of Anansi Press)

QWF First Book Prize:
Larissa Andrusyshyn, Mammoth (DC Books)
Doug Harris, YOU Comma Idiot (Goose Lane Editions)
Sean Mills, The Empire Within (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

QWF Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature:
Catherine Austen, Walking Backward (Orca Book Publishers)
Caryl Cude Mullin, Rough Magic (Second Story Press)
Monique Polak, The Middle of Everywhere (Orca Book Publishers)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Guardian Children's Award (1967-2010)

2010 information from The Guardian accessed 6/3/10

Prisoner of the Inquisition, by Theresa Breslin
Now, by Morris Gleitzman(#3 after Once and Then)
Unhooking the Moon, by Gregory Hughes
The Ogre of Oglefort, by Eva Ibbotson
Sparks, by Ally Kennen
Lob, by Linda Newbery, illustrated by Pam Smy
Ghost Hunter, by Michelle Paver (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness#6) -- Winner!
White Crow, by Marcus Sedgwick

2009 information from The Guardian accessed 10/15/09

The 2009 longlist

Genesis by Bernard Beckett
Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd
The Silver Blade by Sally Gardner
Then by Morris Gleitzman (sequel to Once)
Rowan the Strange by Julie Hearn
Exposure by Mal Peet -- Winner!
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

The Guardian Children's Fiction Prize or Guardian Award is a prominent award for works of children's literature by British or Commonwealth authors, published in the UK during the preceding year. The award has been given annually since 1967, and is decided by a panel of authors and the review editor for The Guardian's children's books section. It may be compared with the American Newbery Medal.

The Guardian also promotes a literary prize for adult fiction, see Guardian First Book Award.

List of winners

* 2009 Exposure by Mal Peet
* 2008 Patrick Ness, Knife of Never Letting Go (Walker Books)
* 2007 Jenny Valentine, Finding Violet Park -- USA Title: Me, the Missing, and the Dead
* 2006 Philip Reeve, A Darkling Plain (Scholastic)
* 2005 Kate Thompson, The New Policeman
* 2004 Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now (Puffin)
* 2003 Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (David Fickling)
* 2002 Sonya Hartnett, Thursday's Child (Walker)
* 2001 Kevin Crossley-Holland, The Seeing Stone (Orion)
* 2000 Jacqueline Wilson, The Illustrated Mum (Transworld)
* 1999 Susan Price, The Sterkarm Handshake (Scholastic)
* 1998 Henrietta Branford, Fire, Bed and Bone (Walker)
* 1997 Melvin Burgess, Junk (Penguin)
* 1996 Joint Winners:
o Philip Pullman, Northern Lights (Scholastic; published in North America as The Golden Compass)
o Alison Prince, The Sherwood Hero (Macmillan)
* 1995 Lesley Howarth, MapHead (Walker Books)
* 1994 Sylvia Waugh, The Mennyms (Julia MacRae)
* 1993 William Mayne, Low Tide (Cape)
* 1992 Joint Winners:
o Rachel Anderson, Paper Faces (Oxford University Press)
o Hilary McKay, The Exiles (Gollancz)
* 1991 Robert Westall, The Kingdom by the Sea (Methuen)
* 1990 Anne Fine, Goggle-Eyes (Hamish Hamilton)
* 1989 Geraldine McCaughrean, A Pack of Lies (Oxford University Press)
* 1988 Ruth Thomas, The Runaways (Hutchinson)
* 1987 James Aldridge, The True Story of Spit MacPhee (Viking Kestrel)
* 1986 Ann Pilling, Henry's Leg (Viking Kestrel)
* 1985 Ted Hughes, What is the Truth (Faber)
* 1984 Dick King-Smith, The Sheep-Pig (Gollancz) (this book served as the basis for the movie Babe)
* 1983 Anita Desai, Village by the Sea (Heinemann)
* 1982 Michelle Magorian, Goodnight Mr Tom (Kestrel)
* 1981 Peter Carter, The Sentinels (Oxford University Press)
* 1980 Ann Schlee, The Vandal (Macmillan)
* 1979 Andrew Davies, Conrad's War (Blackie)
* 1978 Diana Wynne Jones, Charmed Life (Macmillan)
* 1977 Peter Dickinson, The Blue Hawk (Gollancz)
* 1976 Nina Bawden, The Peppermint Pig (Gollancz)
* 1975 Winifred Cawley, Gran at Coalgate (Oxford University Press)
* 1974 Barbara Willard, The Iron Lily (Longman Young Books)
* 1973 Richard Adams, Watership Down (Rex Collings)
* 1972 Gillian Avery, A Likely Lad (Collins)
* 1971 John Christopher, The Guardians (Hamilton)
* 1970 K. M. Peyton, Flambards (Oxford University Press)
* 1969 Joan Aiken, The Whispering Mountain (Cape)
* 1968 Alan Garner, The Owl Service (Collins)
* 1967 Leon Garfield, Devil-in-the-Fog (Constable)

Shortlisted books

* 2008
Frank Cottrell Boyce, Cosmic (Macmillan)
Siobhan Dowd, Bog Child
Jenny Downham, Before I Die (Definitions)
Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go (Walker)
* 2007
Mary Hoffman, The Falconer's Knot (Bloomsbury)
Sally Prue, The Truth Sayer (Oxford)
Andy Stanton, Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire (Egmont)
Jenny Valentine, Finding Violet Park (HarperCollins)
* 2006
Frank Cottrell Boyce, Framed (Macmillan)
Patrick Cave, Blown Away (Simon and Schuster)
Frances Hardinge, Fly by Night (Macmillan)
Philip Reeve, A Darkling Plain (Scholastic)
* 2005
Julie Hearn, The Merrybegot
Alex Shearer, The Hunted
Tim Wynne-Jones, The Boy in the Burning House
* 2004
Frank Cottrell Boyce, Millions
Ann Turnbull, No Shame, No Fear
Leslie Wilson, Last Train from Kummersdorf
* 2003
Kevin Brooks, Lucas
Alex Shearer, The Speed of the Dark
David Almond, The Fire Eaters
* 2002
Keith Gray, Warehouse
Elizabeth Laird, Jake's Tower
Linda Newbery, The Shell House
Terry Pratchett, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
Marcus Sedgwick, The Dark Horse
* 2001
Allan Ahlberg, My Brother's Ghost
Celia Rees, Witch Child
Karen Wallace, Raspberries on the Yangtze
* 2000
David Almond, Kit's Wilderness
Bernard Ashley, Little Soldier
Susan Cooper, King of Shadows
Jan Mark, The Eclipse of the Century
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
* 1998
Jamila Gavin, The Track of the Wind (Mammoth)
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Jane Stemp, Secret Songs (Hodder Children's Books)
* 1996
Beverley Naidoo, No Turning Back
* 1994
Jamila Gavin, The Eye of the Horse
* 1992
Jamila Gavin, The Wheel of Surya - Special runner-up
* 1990
Gillian Cross, Wolf
* 1987
Anne Fine, Madame Doubtfire (Puffin)
* 1984
Anne Fine, The Granny Project (Puffin)
* 1983
Gillian Cross, The Dark Behind the Curtain
* 1980
Gillian Cross, The Iron Way
* 1975
Anne Fine, The Summer House Loon (Puffin)

Longlisted books

* 2008
Frank Cottrell Boyce, Cosmic (Macmillan)
Tanya Landman, The Goldsmith's Daughter (Walker)
Rhiannon Lassiter, Bad Blood (Oxford)
Siobhan Dowd, Bog Child (David Fickling Books)
Jenny Downham, Before I Die (Definitions)
Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go (Walker)
Anthony McGowan, The Knife that Killed Me (Definitions)
* 2007
Allan Ahlberg, The Boyhood of Burglar Bill (Puffin)
Charlie Fletcher, Stoneheart (Hodder)
Mary Hoffman, The Falconer's Knot (Bloomsbury)
Tim Lott, Fearless (Walker)
Mal Peet, The Penalty (Walker)
Sally Prue, The Truth Sayer (Oxford)
Andy Stanton, Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire (Egmont)
Jenny Valentine, Finding Violet Park (HarperCollins)
* 2006
David Almond, Clay (Hodder)
Frank Cottrell Boyce, Framed (Macmillan)
Patrick Cave, Blown Away (Simon and Schuster)
Siobhan Dowd, A Swift Pure Cry
Frances Hardinge, Fly by Night (Macmillan)
Jill Murphy, The Worst Witch Saves the Day (Penguin)
Philip Reeve, A Darkling Plain (Scholastic)
Tim Wynne-Jones, The Survival Game (Usborne)
* 2005
Kevin Brooks, Candy (Chicken House)
Michelle Paver, Wolf Brother (Orion)
Philippa Pearce, The Little Gentleman (Puffin)
Christopher Russell, Brind and the Dogs of War (Puffin)
* 2004
Patricia Elliott, Murkmere (Hodder)
Michael Morpurgo, Private Peaceful (Collins)
Kevin Brooks, Kissing the Rain (Chicken House)
Jan Mark, Useful Idiots (David Fickling)
* 2003
Jean Ure, Bad Alice
Marcus Sedgwick, The Book of Dead Days
Keith Gray, Malarkey
Simon French, Where in the World
* 2002
Bernard Ashley, Revenge House (Orchard)
Julie Bertagna, Exodus (Macmillan)
Susan Cooper, Green Boy (Bodley Head)
* 2001
Adèle Geras, Troy (Fickling/Scholastic)
Gaye Hiçyilmaz, Girl in Red (Orion)
Eva Ibbotson, Journey to the River Sea (Macmillan)
Margaret Mahy, 24 hours (Collins)
Jan Mark, Heathrow Nights (Hodder)
Beverley Naidoo, The Other Side of Truth (Puffin)

Booker Award List Winners (1969-2010 & 1970 "lost' longlist)

Booker Award
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (2009)
Adiga, Aravind. White Tiger (2008)
Amis, Kingsley. The Old Devils (1986)
Atwood, Margaret. The Blind Assassin (2000)
Banville, John. The Sea (2005)
Barker, Pat. The Ghost Road (1995)
Berger, John. G (1972)
Brookner, Anita. Hotel Du Lac (1984)
Byatt, A.S. Possession (1990)
Carey, Peter. Oscar and Lucinda (1988)
Carey, Peter. True History of the Kelly Gang (2001)
Coetzee, J.M. Disgrace (1999) book@gpl
Coetzee, J.M. Life and Times of Michael K. (1983)
Desai, Kiran. The Inheritance of Loss (2006)
Doyle, Roddy. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (1994)
Enright, Kiran. The Gathering (2007)
Farrell, J.G. Siege of Krishnapur (1973)
Fitzgerald, Penelope. Offshore (1979)
Golding, William. Rites of Passage (1980)
Gordimer, Nadine. The Conservationist (1975)
Hulme, Keri. Bone People (1985)
Hollinghurst, Alan. The Line of Beauty (2004)
Ishiguro, Kazuo. The Remains of the Day (1989)
Jhabvala, Ruth Prawer. Heat And Dust (1975)
Kelman, James. How Late It Was, How Late (1994)
Keneally, Thomas. Schindler's Ark (1982)
Lively, Penelope. Moon Tiger (1987)
McEwan, Ian. Amsterdam (1998)
Martel, Yann. Life of Pi (2002)
Middleton, Stanley. Holiday (1974)
Murdoch, Iris. The Sea, the Sea (1978)
Naipaul,V.S. In a Free State (1971)
Newby, P.H. Something to Answer For (1969)
Okri, Ben. The Famished Road (1991)
Ondaatje, Michael. The English Patient (1992)
Pierre, DBC. Vernon God Little (2003)
Roy, Arundhati. The God of Small Things (1997)
Rubens, Bernice. The Elected Member (1970)
Rushdie, Salman. Midnight's Children (1981)
Scott, Paul. Staying On (1977)
Storey, David. Saville (1976)
Swift, Graham. Last Orders (1996)
Unsworth, Barry. Sacred Hunger (1993)

2010 Longlist
shortlist - Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
shortlist - Room by Emma Donoghue
The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore
shortlist - In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut
Winner! - The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
shortlist - The Long Song by Andrea Levy
shortlist - C by Tom McCarthy
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
February by Lisa Moore
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
Trespass by Rose Tremain
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
The Stars in the Bright Sky by Alan Warner

2009 longlist:
The Children's Book by AS Byatt -- shortlist
Summertime by JM Coetzee -- shortlist
The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds -- shortlist
How to paint a dead Man by Sarah Hall
The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey
Me Cheeta by James Lever
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel -- Winner!
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer -- shortlist
Not Untrue & Not Unkind by Ed O'Loughlin
Heliopolis by James Scudamore
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
Love and Summer by William Trevor
The Little Stranger Sarah Waters -- shortlist

As expected, this year's big four – Hilary Mantel, AS Byatt, Sarah Waters and Colm Tóibín – all feature, alongside Coetzee, who's a Booker perennial – one of only two authors ever to have won the prize twice. The old hands are balanced by three first-timers, Samantha Harvey, James Lever and Ed O'Loughlin. In fact the list feels fairly balanced altogether, in terms of range of subject, and the fact that there are several strong contenders. Sorry not to see Tobias Hill's The Hidden up there, which I loved; out of the books on the list that I've read, my money's on Wolf Hall – this year could be Mantel's moment, I think (listen to her reading from Wolf Hall, and talking to Claire Armitstead about it).

The shortlist for the 2005 Man Booker Prize, which honors the best novel of the year from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth, consists of the following six titles:

* On Beauty by Zadie Smith
* Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
* The Sea by John Banville -- WINNER!
* A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
* Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
* The Accidental by Ali Smith

1970 Issues accessed 2/2/10 from Shelf Awareness. The Guardian reported that the new award "aims to commemorate the works that 'fell through the net' in 1970 after changes to the Booker rules. In 1971, two years after the prize was first given, it ceased to be awarded retrospectively and became, as it is now, a prize for the best novel in the year of publication. The date on which the award was given was also moved from April to November, creating a gap when a wealth of 1970 fiction could not be eligible." The shortlist will be announced in March and the winner named in May.

The shortlist for the Lost Man Booker Prize, honoring works published in 1970 that were not eligible for consideration for the Booker Prize at the time (Shelf Awareness, February 2, 2010):

The Birds on the Trees by Nina Bawden
Troubles by J.G. Farrell -- Winner!
The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard
Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault
The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
The Vivisector by Patrick White
Although a panel of judges chose the shortlist, the winner will be determined by a public vote on the Man Booker Prize website. The winner will be announced May 19.

The longlist:
The Hand Reared Boy by Brian Aldiss
A Little of What You Fancy? by H.E. Bates
The Birds on the Trees by Bawden
A Place in England by Melvyn Bragg
Down All the Days by Christy Brown
Bomber by Len Deighton
Troubles by J.G. Farrell
The Circle by Elaine Feinstein
The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard
A Clubbable Woman by Reginald Hill
I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill
A Domestic Animal by Francis King
The Fire Dwellers by Margaret Laurence
Out of the Shelter by David Lodge
A Fairly Honourable Defeat by Iris Murdoch
Fireflies by Shiva Naipaul
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
Head to Toe by Joe Orton
Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault
A Guilty Thing Surprised by Ruth Rendell
The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
The Vivisector by Patrick White

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nobel Prize for Literature winners (1901-2010)

2010- Mario Vargas Llosa
2009 - Herta Müller
* 2008 - Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio
* 2007 - Doris Lessing 
* 2006 - Orhan Pamuk
* 2005 - Harold Pinter
* 2004 - Elfriede Jelinek
* 2003 - J. M. Coetzee
* 2002 - Imre Kertész
* 2001 - V. S. Naipaul
* 2000 - Gao Xingjian
* 1999 - Günter Grass 
* 1998 - José Saramago 
* 1997 - Dario Fo
* 1996 - Wislawa Szymborska
* 1995 - Seamus Heaney
* 1994 - Kenzaburo Oe
* 1993 - Toni Morrison
* 1992 - Derek Walcott
* 1991 - Nadine Gordimer
* 1990 - Octavio Paz
* 1989 - Camilo José Cela
* 1988 - Naguib Mahfouz
* 1987 - Joseph Brodsky
* 1986 - Wole Soyinka
* 1985 - Claude Simon
* 1984 - Jaroslav Seifert
* 1983 - William Golding
* 1982 - Gabriel García Márquez
* 1981 - Elias Canetti
* 1980 - Czeslaw Milosz
* 1979 - Odysseus Elytis  
* 1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
* 1977 - Vicente Aleixandre
* 1976 - Saul Bellow
* 1975 - Eugenio Montale
* 1974 - Eyvind Johnson, Harry Martinson
* 1973 - Patrick White
* 1972 - Heinrich Böll
* 1971 - Pablo Neruda
* 1970 - Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
* 1969 - Samuel Beckett
* 1968 - Yasunari Kawabata
* 1967 - Miguel Angel Asturias
* 1966 - Shmuel Agnon, Nelly Sachs
* 1965 - Mikhail Sholokhov
* 1964 - Jean-Paul Sartre
* 1963 - Giorgos Seferis  
* 1962 - John Steinbeck
* 1961 - Ivo Andric
* 1960 - Saint-John Perse
* 1959 - Salvatore Quasimodo
* 1958 - Boris Pasternak
* 1957 - Albert Camus
* 1956 - Juan Ramón Jiménez
* 1955 - Halldór Laxness  
* 1954 - Ernest Hemingway
* 1953 - Winston Churchill
* 1952 - François Mauriac
* 1951 - Pär Lagerkvist
* 1950 - Bertrand Russell  
* 1949 - William Faulkner
* 1948 - T.S. Eliot
* 1947 - André Gide
* 1946 - Hermann Hesse
* 1945 - Gabriela Mistral
* 1944 - Johannes V. Jensen
* 1943 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
* 1942 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
* 1941 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
* 1940 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
* 1939 - Frans Eemil Sillanpää
* 1938 - Pearl Buck
* 1937 - Roger Martin du Gard
* 1936 - Eugene O'Neill
* 1935 - The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
* 1934 - Luigi Pirandello
* 1933 - Ivan Bunin
* 1932 - John Galsworthy
* 1931 - Erik Axel Karlfeldt
* 1930 - Sinclair Lewis
* 1929 - Thomas Mann
* 1928 - Sigrid Undset
* 1927 - Henri Bergson
* 1926 - Grazia Deledda
* 1925 - George Bernard Shaw
* 1924 - Wladyslaw Reymont
* 1923 - William Butler Yeats
* 1922 - Jacinto Benavente
* 1921 - Anatole France
* 1920 - Knut Hamsun
* 1919 - Carl Spitteler
* 1918 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
* 1917 - Karl Gjellerup, Henrik Pontoppidan
* 1916 - Verner von Heidenstam
* 1915 - Romain Rolland
* 1914 - The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
* 1913 - Rabindranath Tagore
* 1912 - Gerhart Hauptmann
* 1911 - Maurice Maeterlinck
* 1910 - Paul Heyse
* 1909 - Selma Lagerlöf
* 1908 - Rudolf Eucken
* 1907 - Rudyard Kipling
* 1906 - Giosuè Carducci
* 1905 - Henryk Sienkiewicz
* 1904 - Frédéric Mistral, José Echegaray
* 1903 - Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson  
* 1902 - Theodor Mommsen
* 1901 - Sully Prudhomme

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NBF's '5 Under 35' (2006-2010)

2010 info from National Book Foundation accessed 10/6/10

The 2010 5 Under 35 Honorees are:

Sarah Braunstein, The Sweet Relief of Missing Children (W.W. Norton & Co., 2011)
Selected by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, National Book Award Fiction Finalist for
Madeleine Is Sleeping, 2004
Grace Krilanovich, The Orange Eats Creeps (Two Dollar Radio, 2010)
Selected by Scott Spencer, Fiction Finalist for A Ship Made of Paper, 2003; Fiction Finalist for Endless Love, 1980 and 1981
Téa Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife (Random House, 2011)
Selected by Colum McCann, Fiction Winner for Let the Great World Spin, 2009
Tiphanie Yanique, How to Escape from a Leper Colony (Graywolf, 2010)
Selected by Jayne Anne Phillips, Fiction Finalist for Lark and Termite, 2009
Paul Yoon, Once the Shore (Sarabande, 2009)
Selected by Kate Walbert, Fiction Finalist for Our Kind, 2004

The National Book Foundation

The 2009 5 Under 35 Honorees Are:
Ceridwen Dovey, Blood Kin (Viking, 2008)
Selected by Rachel Kushner, 2008 Fiction Finalist for Telex from Cuba

C. E. Morgan, All the Living (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009)
Selected by Christine Schutt, 2004 Fiction Finalist for Florida

Lydia Peelle, Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing
(HarperCollins, 2009)
Selected by Salvatore Scibona, 2008 Fiction Finalist for The End

Karen Russell, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
(Vintage, 2006)
Selected by Dan Chaon, 2001 Fiction Finalist for Among the Missing

Josh Weil, The New Valley (Grove Press, 2009)
Selected by Lily Tuck, 2004 Fiction Winner for The News from Paraguay

Now in its fourth year, "5 Under 35” has become the highly-anticipated kick-off event for National Book Awards week. In a nod to Brooklyn’s status as the literary epicenter of New York City, the Foundation has moved the event to the Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO. That evening, each author will be introduced by the writer who selected them. This year’s emcee is musician, novelist, and publisher Richard Hell, founder of the seminal punk band Richard Hell & the Voidoids. The evening’s DJ will be novelist, essayist, and MacArthur fellow Jonathan Lethem.
Food provided by Soler-Bermudez of the Red Hook Food Vendors, a 2008 Vendy Award Finalist, and regular at the Red Hook Ball Fields every summer.

Wines generously donated by Joseph and Diane Steinberg; and beer generously donated by Union Beer.

More about the featured authors:

Ceridwen Dovey grew up in South Africa and Australia. She is an anthropologist and author of the novel Blood Kin, which won South Africa's most prestigious literary award, the Sunday Times Fiction Prize. Her novel was also short-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Australia-Asia Literary Award, and long-listed for the Prix Femina Etranger.

C. E. Morgan was born in Cincinnati and now lives in Berea, Kentucky. She studied English and voice at Berea College and received a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from Harvard Divinity School. Her short story "Over by Christmas" was published on the op-ed page of The New York Times this past Christmas. All the Living is her first novel. She's currently working on a novel about horse racing and race relations.

Lydia Peelle is the author of the story collection Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing. In addition to having two of her stories featured in the Best New American Voices series, she has also won two Pushcart Prizes and an O. Henry Prize. Peelle was born in Boston and currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Karen Russell’s collection of stories, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, was named a Best Book of 2006 by the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times. In 2007, Russell was included in Granta’s series: the Best of Young American Novelists. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Conjunctions, Zoetrope, and The Best American Short Stories (2007 and 2008). Russell, a native of Miami, now lives in New York City and is working on a novel, Swamplandia!, about a family of alligator wrestlers in the Florida swamp.

Josh Weil is the author of the novella collection The New Valley (Grove Press, 2009), a New York Times Editors' Choice selection. His fiction has been published in Granta, New England Review, American Short Fiction, and Narrative. He has written nonfiction for The New York Times, Granta Online, and Poets & Writers. Since earning his MFA from Columbia University, he has received a Fulbright grant, a Writer’s Center Emerging Writer Fellowship, and the Dana Award in Portfolio. He has been a fellow at both the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. As the 2009 Tickner Fellow, he is the writer-in-residence at Gilman School in Baltimore, where he is at work on a novel.

National Book Award Authors

Dan Chaon's most recent novel, Await Your Reply, is out this fall from Ballantine Books. Chaon is also the author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. His fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction and was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.

Rachel Kushner’s first novel, Telex from Cuba, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award, received the gold medal from the Commonwealth Club of California, and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her fiction and essays have been published in the New York Times, The Believer, Fence, Bomb, Grand Street, Cabinet, and elsewhere. She contributes regularly to Artforum and is a co-editor of the art, literature, and philosophy journal, Soft Targets.

Salvatore Scibona’s first novel, The End, was a finalist for the National Book Award, a winner of the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library, and winner of the Norman Mailer Cape Cod Award for Exceptional Writing. Riverhead will publish a paperback edition of The End in fall 2009, and it will be published in German and French in 2010. Scibona administers the writing fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Christine Schutt is the author of two short story collections and Florida, a novel and 2004 National Book Award finalist. Her second novel, All Souls, was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. Among other honors, Schutt has twice won the O. Henry Short Story Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and an NYFA fellowship. Schutt is a senior editor of the literary annual NOON. She lives and teaches in New York.

Lily Tuck is the author of The News from Paraguay, winner of the 2004 National Book Award. Her most recent work is a biography, Woman of Rome: A Life of Elsa Morante.
Photo by Marion Ettlinger.
Host: Richard Hell is the author of the novels Go Now and Godlike. His book of collaborations with the artist Christopher Wool, Psychopts, was published in 2008, and his CD, Destiny Street Repaired, by Richard Hell and the Voidoids, was released in 2009. He is at work on an autobiography.

DJ: Jonathan Lethem is the author of seven novels. A recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, Lethem has also published his stories and essays in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and the New York Times, among others. His most recent novel is Chronic City.

Press inquiries contact Sherrie Young syoung@nationalbook.org

“5 Under 35” Fiction Selections for 2008
The Farther Shore by Matthew Eck - (selected by Joshua Ferris)
All the Sad Young Literary Men by Keith Gessen - (selected by Jonathan Franzen)
One More Year: Stories by Sana Krasikov - (selected by Francine Prose)
The Boat by Nam Le - (selected by Mary Gaitskill)
Last Last Chance by Fiona Maazel - (selected by Jim Shepard)

“5 Under 35” Fiction Selections for 2007
Garner by Kirstin Allio - (selected by Dana Spiotta)
The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu - (selected by Jess Walter)
Get Down: Stories by Asali Solomon - (selected by Jennifer Egan)
Petropolis by Anya Ulinich - (selected by Ken Kalfus)
Third Class Superhero by Charles Yu - (selected by Richard Powers)

“5 Under 35” Fiction Selections for 2006
O My Darling by Amity Gaige - (selected by Christopher Sorrentino)
The Seas by Samatha Hunt - (selected by Rene Steinke)
Corpus Christi: Stories by Bret Anthony Johnston - (selected by Adam Haslett)
Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap - (selected by Joan Silber)
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer - (selected by Edward P. Jones)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thurber Prize for American Humor (1997-2010)

From Thurber House accessed 8/13/10

2010 Thurber Prize for American Humor Finalists

The three finalists for the 2010 Thurber Prize for American Humor –the winner will be announced on Monday, October 4 at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City– are:

Why Is My Mother Getting at Tattoo? By Jancee Dunn 
How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely -- Winner!
Mennonite in a Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

The Thurber Prize for American Humor

Started in 1997, the Thurber Prize for American Humor is the only recognition of the art of humor writing in the United States. A panel of national judges selects the three finalists from a selection of seven or eight semi-finalists. Books submitted for a prize year had to have been published the prior year. Established in 1996, the prize began being awarded annually in 2004.

The winner is announced at a special awards ceremony at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City where James Thurber once lived. The winner of the prize receives $5,000 and then is the guest entertainment for the annual December Thurber Birthday Gala.

1997: Ian Frazier, Coyote v. Acme
1999: The editorial staff of the satirical magazine The Onion for Our Dumb Century
2001: David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day
2004: Christopher Buckley, No Way to Treat a First Lady
2005: Jon Stewart, Ben Karlin and David Javerbaum for America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction
2006: Alan Zweibel, The Other Shulman
2007: Joe Keenan, My Lucky Star
2008: Larry Doyle, I Love You, Beth Cooper

2009 Finalists:
Lamentations of the Father by Ian Frazier -- Winner!
I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
Wrack and Ruin by Don Lee
The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death by Laurie Notaro

2008 Finalists:
Larry Doyle. I Love You, Beth Cooper -- Winner!
Patricia Marx. Him Her Him Again the End of Him
Simon Rich. Ant Farm

2007 Finalists:
Joe Keenan, My Lucky Star -- Winner!
Bob Newhart. I shouldn't even be doing this! and other things that strike me as funny
Merrill Markoe.   Walking in circles before lying down.

2006 Finalists:
Alan Zweibel, The Other Shulman --Winner!
Kinky Friedman. Texas Hold 'Em: How I was born in a manger, died in the saddle, and came back as a horny toad
Bill Scheft.  Time Won't Let Me