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Archive by tag: Lucy KnightReturn
May 19, 2022

The columnist and podcaster’s How to Live When You Could Be Dead is out in August heads the bestsellers list

Pre-orders of Deborah James’s second book have soared within days of it becoming available. The podcast host’s memoir-cum-self-help volume is topping the Amazon UK bestsellers list, ahead of Richard Osman’s popular crime novel The Man Who Died Twice.

The publication of How to Live When You Could Be Dead was brought forward this week, after the news that the author hasn’t long to live. It will now come out in August, rather than January next year, as first planned.

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May 10, 2022

Surrender, which will ‘draw in detail’ what he had previously only sketched in songs, will contain 40 chapters, each named after a U2 song, and include 40 original drawings by the singer

The first memoir by Bono will be released this year, publisher Penguin Random House has announced.

While the U2 frontman’s career has been written about extensively, this will mark the first time Bono has written about it himself. Titled Surrender, the autobiography will span the singer’s early days growing up in Dublin, including the sudden loss of his mother when he was 14, the success of U2 and his activist work fighting against Aids and poverty.

Surrender is due to be published on 1 November.

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May 06, 2022

The writer calls the planned destruction of copies of five titles – by Bernardine Evaristo, Alison Bechdel, Imbolo Mbue and Stephen Chbosky as well as his own – ‘an unconscionable horror’

Dave Eggers, author of dystopian satire The Circle, has said he will provide free copies of his novel to schools in South Dakota, as well as copies of four other books that have been banned in the district’s schools.

School administrators in Rapid City thought The Circle, along with How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and Booker prize-winning Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, inappropriate for pupils. The district’s schools’ copies have been marked as surplus and are due to be destroyed.

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May 05, 2022

The author of the acclaimed The Secret Life of Church Ladies on the Black American Christian community, sexual shame and coming to terms with her queerness

When asked to choose their favourite story in The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Deesha Philyaw’s acclaimed debut collection, most people, the author tells me, say Peach Cobbler. This simultaneously funny and punch-in-the-guts-devastating tale focuses on Olivia, a young girl in the American south who believes the local pastor to be God, because when he visits she overhears her mother screaming “Oh, God!” from the bedroom.

Central to the story is the “best cobbler in the world” – a fruit pie that Olivia’s mother bakes for her lover each week, but which Olivia is forbidden from tasting. Philyaw set out, she tells me from her home in Pennsylvania, to write about “the Blackest dessert”, and peach cobbler came to mind. “In fact, the Blackest dessert is not peach cobbler, it’s pound cake,” she remarks in retrospect. “But I think my brain knew that there was more to peach cobbler than just the Blackness – there’s the textures, the sweetness, the sensuality of it.”

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May 02, 2022

CEO-director of Compton Verney Art Gallery replaces Peter Florence after ‘an extensive nationwide recruitment process’

Julie Finch has been appointed CEO of the Hay festival and will succeed founder and former director Peter Florence, who resigned from his role after a bullying claim was upheld last year.

The prestigious literary festival, now in its 35th year, selected the former CEO of the Cheltenham Trust for the role after “an extensive nationwide recruitment process”.

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Apr 27, 2022

Louise Erdrich, Elif Shafak and debut novelist Lisa Allen-Agostini are among the contenders offering an ‘escape’ from global crises

Six countries are represented on this year’s Women’s prize for fiction shortlist, with Meg Mason and Elif Shafak among those in the running for the £30,000 prize. The New Zealander and the Turkish-British author are up against two Americans, one American-Canadian and a Trinidadian debut novelist.

The annual prize aims to honour “outstanding, ambitious, original fiction written in English by women from anywhere in the world”, and this year’s chair of judges, Mary Ann Sieghart, was pleased by how “wonderfully diverse” the shortlist has turned out to be. But there were no tick-box exercises in the judging meetings, she stressed: “They were the books we most loved. It really is as simple as that.”

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Apr 22, 2022

The former health secretary will look back at how he and his fellow ministers handled the coronavirus outbreak

Matt Hancock’s “inside story of the pandemic” will be published later this year, he has announced.

During an interview on GB News on Wednesday night, the former health secretary said he would be releasing a book about his experience of the Covid-19 pandemic, with royalties to be donated to NHS charities.

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Apr 19, 2022

The former US senator will be in conversation with lawyer Helena Kennedy on 2 June as part of the literary festival’s Women & Power series

Hillary Rodham Clinton will appear at this year’s Hay festival, the organisers have said. The former New York senator and secretary of state is a late addition to the literary festival’s lineup, which was announced at the beginning of April.

She will be in conversation with lawyer Helena Kennedy on 2 June as part of the festival’s “Women & Power” series, which also includes events with Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, Labour MP Jess Phillips and former president of the supreme court Lady Hale.

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Apr 07, 2022

Author and illustrator of the children’s books including Elmer, Mr Benn and Not Now, Bernard has died following a short illness

• Elmer author David McKee: ‘I’ve never been a prize winner’

David McKee, the author and illustrator of the iconic children’s books Elmer, Not Now, Bernard and Mr Benn, has died aged 87, his publisher has said.

The author and illustrator died surrounded by family in the south of France following a short illness. After a lifetime of travelling the world, he and his partner Bakhta, a French-Algerian art dealer, had been dividing their time between London and Provence in recent years.

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Apr 07, 2022

The final contenders for the £50,000 prize for translated fiction – five out of six by women – could see Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk win a second time

From Olga Tokarczuk’s epic about a man who claimed to be the messiah to Geetanjali Shree’s tale of a widow finding a new lease of life, female writers take the majority of places on this year’s International Booker prize shortlist.

Of the six books now in contention for the prestigious translated fiction award, five were written by women, with three translated by women too. The International Booker goes to “the finest fiction from around the world” that has been translated into English, awarding a cash prize of £50,000, which is split equally between author and translator.

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Apr 05, 2022

Nobel laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah, Bernardine Evaristo, Elif Shafak and Benedict Cumberbatch are among those taking part in the 11-day gathering in Welsh border town

After two years online, the Hay festival has announced the full programme for its first in-person spring literary festival since 2019.

This year the gathering that Bill Clinton once called “the Woodstock of the mind” will have more than 500 live events, welcoming Nobel laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon and lockdown sensation Joe Wicks to its tents in the Welsh border town Hay-on-Wye.

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Mar 31, 2022

‘Triumphant debut’ with environmental theme, illustrated by Levi Pinfold, is awarded £5,000 prize by the chain’s booksellers

A timely adventure story that tackles environmental themes has been named winner of this year’s Waterstones children’s book prize.

The Last Bear by Hannah Gold, illustrated by Levi Pinfold, follows April, the daughter of an Arctic researcher, as she befriends a lone polar bear.

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Mar 31, 2022

The Climate Book will include contributions from scientist Katharine Hayhoe, economist Thomas Piketty and novelist Margaret Atwood

Greta Thunberg is releasing a new book this autumn, which aims to offer a “global overview of how the planet’s many crises connect”.

“I have decided to use my platform to create a book based on the current best available science – a book that covers the climate, ecological and sustainability crises holistically”, Thunberg said in a statement. “Because the climate crisis is, of course, only a symptom of a much larger sustainability crisis. My hope is that this book might be some kind of go-to source for understanding these different, closely interconnected crises.”

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Mar 29, 2022

Dangarembga, American writer Margo Jefferson and British playwright Winsome Pinnock are among eight recipients of the $165,000 grants, as the award marks its 10th anniversary

Pulitzer prizewinning Margo Jefferson, playwright Winsome Pinnock and acclaimed novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga are among this year’s recipients of the $165,000 (£120,000) Windham-Campbell prizes.

The award, which is one of the world’s richest, is now in its 10th year. For the past decade it has celebrated eight writers each year for their achievements in fiction, non fiction, poetry and drama. The large grants given to winners are intended “to support their writing and allow them to focus on their work independent of financial concerns”.

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Mar 23, 2022

The author airs his views in posthumously published exchanges with family, friends and celebrity fans

A collection of letters by the late novelist John le Carré is to be published later this year. A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré 1945-2020 spans almost eight decades, from the author’s childhood in wartime Britain to just days before his death in 2020. It contains letters to le Carré’s family and friends as well as to high-profile fans such as Hugh Laurie, Ralph Fiennes, Stephen Fry, Alec Guinness and Tom Stoppard.

Topics range from politics and writing to his first marriage and his relationship with his father, Ronnie Cornwell, a fraudster who spent four years in prison and was an associate of the Kray brothers in London’s criminal fraternity. Le Carré’s publisher, Viking, has called the book “the most intimate portrait of the great writer that will ever be published”.

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Mar 22, 2022

Fictionalised biography of writer Thomas Mann beats Booker prize-winner Damon Galgut to £30,000 award

Colm Tóibín interview: ‘Boris Johnson would be a blood clot … Angela Merkel the cancer’

Irish novelist Colm Tóibín has won the £30,000 Rathbones Folio prize for The Magician, a fictionalised biography of the writer Thomas Mann. It follows the life of the German Nobel winner, whose works include Death in Venice and The Magic Mountain, against the backdrop of Europe’s turmoil in the first half of the 20th century.

Like his 2004 novel about Henry James, The Master, this book uses fiction to imagine the mind of a writer from the past. Guardian reviewer Lucy Hughes-Hallett called it “an enormously ambitious book, one in which the intimate and the momentous are exquisitely balanced”.

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Mar 15, 2022

The UK’s most prestigious children’s books prize and its sister award for illustration the Kate Greenaway medal highlight books that can help young readers

The Costa-winning children’s book The Crossing by Manjeet Mann and Cane Warriors by former Guardian children’s fiction prize winner Alex Wheatle are among those in contention for this year’s Yoto Carnegie medal for the best children’s novel.

Mann and Wheatle’s novels are joined on the eight-book shortlist by Tsunami Girl, a story told through both prose and the Japanese graphic novel format manga, by Julian Sedgwick and illustrated by Chie Kutsuwada. This is the first time a manga book has been shortlisted.

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Mar 10, 2022

The 13 books in contention for the £50,000 prize include Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, the first book translated from Hindi to be nominated

Tomb of Sand by Indian writer Geetanjali Shree has become the first book translated from Hindi to be nominated for the International Booker prize. The judges praised the “loud and irresistible” tale of an elderly woman who gains a new lease of life after her husband’s death.

The 64-year-old author’s fifth novel is among 13 titles in competition for the prestigious award for translated fiction, a £50,000 prize split evenly between author and translator. This year, the shortlisted authors and translators will also each receive £2,500, rather than the £1,000 they were given previously. The 2022 longlist includes books from 12 countries and translated from 11 languages.

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Mar 08, 2022

Judges praise the ‘fantastically diverse list’ which includes debut novelists Violet Kupersmith and Dawnie Walton

Five debut novels have been longlisted for the 2022 Women’s prize for fiction, including Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith, called “marvellous and confounding” by the Guardian, and Barack Obama’s book list pick The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton. These novels are up against Booker shortlisted Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead and The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson, who was shortlisted for the 2008 prize.

Mendelson is joined on the longlist by four more authors who have been previously nominated: Elif Shafak, Leone Ross, Catherine Chidgey and Rachel Elliott. Yet the popular authors Sally Rooney and Hanya Yanagihara, who have both been selected in previous years, didn’t make the cut this year.

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Feb 21, 2022

Untold Narratives founder Lucy Hannah’s just-published collection showcases the fiction of marginalised writers in Afghanistan

When Lucy Hannah decided to put together an anthology of short stories by Afghan women in 2019, it already seemed like a hugely ambitious project. Most of the authors involved had never had the opportunity to work with an editor before. One contributor submitted her story by taking photos of handwritten pages and sending them via WhatsApp. Another had previously published her work online, but not in print. “I have never come across a local publisher willing to publish a book without asking for money from the author,” she said. “And it’s impossible to find a foreign publisher who wants to read books about anything except the war.”

Then Covid-19 hit in 2020, followed by the Taliban’s return to power in 2021. “It was hard work,” admits Hannah, a former BBC employee who helped to set up the BBC Writersroom. The anthology, My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird, was published this week by MacLehose Press, but many of the team involved have never met. With the 18 writers based in Afghanistan (10 have since managed to leave), an editor in Sri Lanka and translators in the UK, all communication had to be done remotely. The fact that the book has now been published is the result of a team effort that “relied on everybody trusting each other”, says Hannah.

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Jan 20, 2022

Author whose Orwell prize-winning Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me sparked online controversy last summer will no longer be published by Pan Macmillan

Kate Clanchy and her publisher Pan Macmillan will no longer be working together, and distribution of all of her titles is to cease, following widespread criticism last summer of her book Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me.

Readers took to Goodreads and Twitter to point out racial tropes and ableist descriptions in the Orwell prize-winning book about Clanchy’s experience as a teacher. For example, one child was described as being “so small and square and Afghan with his big nose and premature moustache” while two autistic students were said to be “jarring company”.

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Jan 17, 2022

She’s been marginalised and slapped in the street – but Taylor’s passionate and nostalgic poems about butch lesbian subculture just won the TS Eliot prize. Can they also heal the divisions over gender identity?

Since winning the TS Eliot award for poetry last week, Joelle Taylor has been referred to on more than one occasion as a “slam poet”. Which, she says, is fascinating: “Because there’s no such thing as a slam poet.” A poetry slam is an event, a spoken-word competition, she adds, not a type of poetry.

Taylor, who was named UK performance poetry slam champion in 2000 and founded the national youth slam championships SLAMbassadors, is forgiving, though: “It’s just a way of people trying to understand a different kind of poetry.” But it’s clear that this need to distinguish spoken word from other forms of poetry has a whiff of snobbery about it.

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Jan 07, 2022

New book by firebrand author features a Macron-like outgoing leader as well as real-life figures including far-right Éric Zemmour

With the French presidential campaign under way, one of the country’s most provocative writers, Michel Houellebecq, is back with a novel closely linked to the forthcoming election. The 65-year-old author of Atomised and Platform releases the French edition of his 730-page novel Anéantir (Destroy) on Friday, with a sizeable first print run of 300,000 copies.

Anéantir begins during a fictional presidential election campaign in 2027. Marine Le Pen has stepped down as leader of the National Rally but far-right candidate Éric Zemmour is still sparking controversy. President Emmanuel Macron is another real-life figure who, while not named, seems to feature, as is Bruno Le Maire, the current economy minister. Le Maire, a friend of Houellebecq, is the inspiration for Bruno Juge, one of the story’s protagonists.

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Dec 15, 2021

In acclaimed works Ain’t I a Woman and All About Love the writer shared her ideas about race, feminism and romance with flair and compassion

Gloria Jean Watkins, better known by her pen name bell hooks, has died aged 69.

Her niece Ebony Motley tweeted: “The family of @bellhooks is sad to announce the passing of our sister, aunt, great aunt and great great aunt.”

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