Sep 28, 2022
Fines for late books will also be abolished by some libraries in England and Wales in a bid to ease financial pressures
Libraries in England and Wales are responding to the cost of living crisis by abolishing daily late fees for books and getting ready to become “warm banks” to help the vulnerable this winter.
A survey by Libraries Connected, a charity which represents public libraries, found that nearly 60% are actively considering taking part in a “warm bank” scheme, offering heat and shelter to vulnerable people, as another way to help during the cost of living crisis. However, just 4% of library leaders expect to receive any extra funding for this activity. Continue reading...
Sep 28, 2022
The German author’s contribution will remain unseen, alongside contributions from authors including Margaret Atwood and David Mitchell, until 2114
German writer Judith Schalansky has become the ninth author to be selected for the Future Library, which asks authors to create a work that will not be revealed to readers until 2114.
The Future Library is an organic artwork dreamed up by the Scottish artist Katie Paterson. It began in 2014 with the planting of 1,000 Norwegian spruces in a patch of forest outside Oslo, and one writer a year is asked to contribute a manuscript to the project. Continue reading...
Sep 27, 2022
The Making of Another Motion Picture Masterpiece spans 80 years and is said to be ‘thoughtful, poignant and hugely entertaining’
Oscar winner Tom Hanks’s debut novel has been announced, and is due out next year. The book, Hanks’s second foray into fiction – he published a short story collection in 2017 – has been described by its publisher as a “wildly ambitious” story about the making of a film.
The Making of Another Motion Picture Masterpiece spans 80 years, and culminates in the opening of the titular movie, which is a “colossal, star-studded, multimillion-dollar superhero action film” inspired by a comic book. Continue reading...
Sep 22, 2022
The writer, president of the SoA for nine years before he stood down in March, claims the organisation needs ‘investigation from outside’
Philip Pullman has called for an external review of the Society of Authors (SoA), the UK’s largest trade union for writers, illustrators and translators. Earlier this year he stepped down as president of the organisation because he felt he “would not be free to express [his] personal opinion”.
The letter from the His Dark Materials writer, which was leaked to Private Eye magazine, is the latest in a line of controversies to hit the SoA, which began after comments Pullman made about Kate Clanchy’s controversial memoir, Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me. Continue reading...
Sep 22, 2022
Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire by Caroline Elkins among potential winners of £50,000 nonfiction prize
Books about the history of the British empire and the abolition of the monarchy have been longlisted for the Baillie Gifford prize for nonfiction.
The announcement of the longlist for the £50,000 prize was originally due to take place on 13 September, but was delayed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Continue reading...
Sep 15, 2022
Agatha Christie’s detective faces a dozen fresh cases in newly commissioned work by authors including Val McDermid, Dreda Say Mitchell, Kate Mosse and Natalie Haynes
Authors of a new collection of stories featuring one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved creations, Miss Marple, have described the character as a “feminist icon” and “one of the great unsung heroines of literature”.
The collection, titled Marple, marks the first time anyone other than Christie has written “official” (as recognised by the Christie estate) Miss Marple stories. The 12 women who contributed to the collection include award-winning crime writers Val McDermid and Dreda Say Mitchell, historical novelist Kate Mosse, classicist and writer Natalie Haynes and New York Times bestselling author Lucy Foley. Continue reading...
Sep 13, 2022
Section of the Shah Tahmasp Shahnameh is expected to fetch between £4m and £6m at auction next month
A folio from the Shah Tahmasp Shahnameh, one of the “finest illustrated manuscripts in existence” according to Sotheby’s, is expected to fetch between £4m and £6m at auction next month.
The Shahnameh, also known as the Book of Kings, is an epic poem containing 50,000 rhyming couplets, telling the history of Persia’s rulers. It was written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between 977 and 1010. Continue reading...
Sep 13, 2022
Lviv BookForum is partnering with Hay festival for a programme of in-person and online events, which will be streamed free from 6-9 October
Writers including Nobel prize-winning Abdulrazak Gurnah and Booker prize winner Margaret Atwood will appear alongside Ukrainian authors at Lviv BookForum, which is partnering with Hay festival to broadcast its events around the world.
Lviv BookForum is Ukraine’s largest book festival, and will take place in person and online from 6-9 October. As digital partner, Hay will broadcast all the festival’s 15 events free online, and has also curated a number of events with an international digital audience in mind. Continue reading...
Sep 08, 2022
The peer, known for 2015’s Call Me Dave, promises an ‘open-minded’ study of the new PM’s first year in power, while Out of the Blue by Harry Cole and James Heale is slated for December
Two major books about new prime minister Liz Truss are currently under way, with the first due to be released at the end of this year.
Harry Cole, political editor at the Sun, and James Heale, the Spectator’s diary editor, are behind the first book, which is titled Out of the Blue, while the second is being written by businessman, pollster and writer Lord Ashcroft. Continue reading...
Sep 08, 2022
Breathe, due out next year, will see the London mayor draw on his own experience with adult-onset asthma to address the crisis
London mayor Sadiq Khan to is to publish his first book, described by his publisher as a “warm and practical guide” to tackling the climate emergency.
Khan became mayor of London in 2016, and since then has brought in a range of environmental measures, including introducing the world’s first ultra-low emission zone, overseeing hundreds of kilometres of new cycle lanes and announcing plans to rewild Hyde Park. Continue reading...
Sep 07, 2022
Wildlife cameraman James Aldred’s diary of time spent observing a family of goshawks in the New Forest takes top honour
Wildlife cameraman James Aldred, who has collaborated with David Attenborough, has been named the winner of the James Cropper Wainwright nature writing prize, while the award’s inaugural children’s writing prize has gone to two brothers writing about climate change.
Aldred’s book Goshawk Summer is a diary of his time spent observing a family of goshawks in the New Forest in southern England. Originally commissioned at the start of 2020 to film the lives of the goshawks, Aldred was granted permission to continue when lockdown struck. Continue reading...
Sep 07, 2022
Authors and publishers’ organisations have also called on the new government to support author visits to schools and to introduce an online sales tax
New prime minister Liz Truss should abolish “the last remaining tax on reading”, ensure schools have funding for author visits and invest in libraries, according to authors and publishing organisations.
Truss officially became the UK’s new prime minister yesterday after meeting the Queen at Balmoral. Continue reading...
Sep 06, 2022
Only British writer on list will collect prize on 88th birthday if successful, and is among a list of books judges say ‘speak powerfully about important things’
Alan Garner has become the oldest author to be shortlisted for the Booker prize, and is the only British writer on this year’s list.
He is joined on the shortlist, described by chair of judges Neil MacGregor as six books that “speak powerfully about important things”, by one Irish writer, two Americans, a Zimbabwean and a writer from Sri Lanka. Continue reading...
Sep 05, 2022
Ways With Words, the organisers of Words by the Water in Keswick, say low ticket sales mean it is not viable to run next year’s event
Ways With Words, which runs literary festivals in the Lake District, Suffolk and Devon, has cancelled its forthcoming festival, saying it is not “currently viable” because of the UK’s cost of living crisis.
The organisation had been due to put on Words by the Water, a 10-day event in Keswick, in March 2023. But after experiencing low ticket sales for its festival in Dartington, Devon, in July this year, the decision was made to cancel the Lake District gathering and cease planning events for the foreseeable future. Continue reading...
Sep 01, 2022
Hay festival’s CEO describes partnership with Lviv BookForum as ‘an act of solidarity’ as Ukrainian writers look to ‘tell our true story and why we are fighting’
Ukraine’s largest book festival is to partner with Hay festival for the first time, with Hay’s CEO describing it as an “act of solidarity across art, culture and audiences”.
Lviv BookForum, organised by Ukraine’s Publishers’ Forum, is in its 29th year and will take place from 6-9 October, both in person and online. Continue reading...
Aug 25, 2022
The 64-page ‘prose narrative’ Marigold and Rose: A Fiction – about twins in the first year of life – will be published in October
The first work of fiction by American poet and Nobel laureate Louise Glück is to be published in the UK later this year.
Marigold and Rose: A Fiction is a “prose narrative” about the twins of the title, and follows them in the first year of their life as they “begin to piece together the world as they move between Mother’s stories of ‘Long, long ago’ and Father’s ‘Once upon a time’”. Continue reading...
Aug 19, 2022
Curious Cures is a two-year project to conserve more than 180 manuscripts, revealing the ‘precarity of medieval life’ and strangeness of pre-scientific medicine
Thousands of unedited medical recipes – from a gout cure that involves stuffing a puppy with snails and sage to a cataract treatment that uses the gall bladder of a hare – are to be published by Cambridge university library.
Curious Cures in Cambridge Libraries is a two-year project to digitise, catalogue and conserve over 180 medieval manuscripts from the university’s library, the Fitzwilliam museum and a dozen Cambridge colleges. Continue reading...
Aug 17, 2022
The writers’ union has clarified its position on free speech following accusations that the Chocolat author made a ‘sideswipe’ at JK Rowling
The UK’s largest trade union for writers, illustrators and translators has defended its position on free speech, in light of calls for Joanne Harris to step down as the chair of its management committee.
This comes after the Chocolat author was criticised for launching a Twitter poll in the wake of the attack on Salman Rushdie and following a death threat to JK Rowling, who had expressed solidarity with Rushdie. Continue reading...
Aug 17, 2022
The ‘Stand with Salman’ event in New York mirrors a public reading of The Satanic Verses that took place after the fatwa was issued in 1989
Hundreds of writers are to gather in New York this week to read from Salman Rushdie’s works, in a recreation of an event first held after the fatwa on the author was issued in 1989.
Authors including Paul Auster, Tina Brown, Kiran Desai, Amanda Foreman, AM Homes, Siri Hustvedt, Hari Kunzru and Gay Talese will be among those taking part in the “Stand with Salman” event. Continue reading...
Aug 16, 2022
After the pandemic, books festivals have to reassess their viability, say new organisers hoping to engage more diverse audiences
Literary festivals could “risk waning interest” and some may no longer remain viable if they remain inwardly focused and don’t attract audiences from marginalised communities, especially in the wake of the cost of living crisis, organisers have said.
This is the first year since the pandemic began that many festivals have been able to put on full in-person programmes, with some returning for the first time after reduced or postponed events in 2020 and 2021. Continue reading...
Aug 15, 2022
New retailer partnerships, live events and book clubs are all planned to capitalise on the platform’s vibrant community of literature lovers
Social media app TikTok is making increased efforts to tap into the power of its books content, with new retailer partnerships, live events and clubs.
“BookTok”, as users have dubbed TikTok content about books, consists of everything from videos of creators’ to-read piles to livestreamed crying at emotional novels. BookTok can be credited with a number of hits, sometimes reigniting interest in older titles such as the 2016 novel It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover (dubbed “CoHo” by TikTokers) which was launched back into bestseller charts after BookToker Aliisha Keens posted about it in March. Other books that have proved popular include Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and Beach Read by Emily Henry. Continue reading...
Aug 15, 2022
Rushdie’s words, written before last week’s attack in New York, are aired in a new anthology alongside other leading authors
• Scroll down to read extracts from PEN’s India at 75 from Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri and Geetanjali Shree
Salman Rushdie signed a letter expressing “grave concerns about the rapidly worsening situation for human rights in India” and contributed a short piece to a collection about India at 75 before he was stabbed on stage at an event in New York.
The writer was one of 102 signatories to the PEN America letter to Droupadi Murmu, who has served as India’s president since July. The letter, dated 14 August, was sent to coincide with the 75th anniversary on 15 August of India’s independence from British rule. Continue reading...
Aug 03, 2022
Preti Taneja, David Whitehouse, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Margo Jefferson and Lea Ypi are shortlisted for the prize rewarding ‘bold and innovative’ books
Books by David Whitehouse, Preti Taneja and Graeme Macrae Burnet are on the shortlist for this year’s Gordon Burn prize.
The award is for the year’s “boldest and most innovative” books, and is open to fiction and nonfiction. Continue reading...
Aug 01, 2022
Finding Freedom author, recently revealed to have been informed by a briefing from a senior aide, promises follow-up boasting ‘deep access’
Journalist Omid Scobie will publish a follow-up to his bestselling book Finding Freedom, an unofficial biography of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Scobie, who co-authored Finding Freedom with journalist Carolyn Durand, has yet to reveal the title of the second book, which is due out next year. Continue reading...
Jul 26, 2022
Winners for fiction, nonfiction and poetry will each receive £2,000 and then compete for the overall £30,000 award
Novelists Ali Smith, Jackie Kay and Guy Gunaratne are to judge a new, expanded Rathbones Folio prize for 2023. The prize is set to expand to three categories, filling a gap left by the demise of the Costa book awards.
Launched in 2014, the Folio prize has been awarded annually to a work of literature. In 2017, it was opened to nonfiction and poetry as well, although it still named only one winner a year. Continue reading...