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Tag: Baileys Prize (1-3 of 3)

On the Books: Do you want to die in the next 'Game of Thrones' novel?

If you know anything about Game of Thrones, you know that author George R.R. Martin kills off a lot of characters. If you’d like to join that esteemed company, here’s your chance. Martin is offering the opportunity to “meet a grisly death” in the next Song of Ice and Fire novel if you donate $20,000 to a fundraiser for the Wild Wolf Spirit sanctuary in New Mexico and The Food Depot of Santa Fe. You’ll be able to choose your position in the world (knight, peasant, whore, lady, etc) as well. But hurry! Offer only good while supplies last. Only one male and one female character are available. Other awards including sharing a breakfast with Martin, tickets to the show’s season 5 premiere, and even Martin’s hat. [Prizeo]

Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins will soon be joining the fray in the Amazon-Hachette war. According to Bloomberg News, their contracts are up for renewal next. This means that Amazon will be up against bigger arms — the publishers’ respective owners are News Corp. and CBS Corp. It also means that Veronica Roth and Stephen King will join J.K. Rowling and James Patterson in the controversy. Independent bookstore owners have also started yelling battle cries – the American Booksellers Association made digital banners reading, “Thanks, Amazon, the indies will take it from here,” “Independent bookstores sell books from all publishers. Always,” and “Pre-order and buy Hachette titles today.” Among all this, Hachette is laying off 3 percent of its staff. [Bloomberg]

Debut novelist Eimar McBride won the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, one of the most highly regarded prizes in English-language literature. You might have heard of it when it was called the Orange Prize, sponsored by the British telecom company Orange, but it switched names and sponsorship this year. The book, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, beat out Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah for the award, as well as four other novels on the shortlist. “I hope it will serve as an incentive to publishers everywhere to take a look at difficult books and think again,” McBride said at the ceremony. “We are all writers but we are all readers first. There is a contract between publishers and readers which must be honoured, readers can not be underestimated.” [The Guardian]

In honor of the upcoming World Cup, the curator of Brazilian literature festival FlipSide, Ángel Gurría-Quintana, gives a rundown of the country’s literature — and there’s plenty of it. “Despite the common complaint that not enough Brazilian literature is published in English,” Gurría-Quintana writes. “This is an auspicious moment for new Brazilian writing in translation.” [The Guardian]

On The Books: Stephen King's 'Carrie,' 'The Stand' and more to be reissued!

Six of Stephen King’s early novels are going to get a fancy, limited edition reissue from Cemetery Dance Publications. The collection will include some of his best works: Carrie, ’Salem’s Lot, The Shining, Night Shift, The Stand and Pet Sematary. The books will be oversize editions on heavy paper, with newly commissioned artwork for the dust jackets, new introductions by Mr. King, and other features. Ahhhh!! But they will only be printing very few and they will not be cheap, so start saving now. The fisrt installment will be Carrie: The Deluxe Special Edition, which is due in August. an essay by Tabitha King about the book’s exploration of adolescent terror and sexuality, six paintings (as well as a dust jacket) by the fantasy illustrator Tomislav Tikulin, and a reproduction of the telegram sent by Doubleday to Mr. King saying that the company would publish the book. You can buy at 3 price points, ranging from the artist-signed copies that are already sold out, to ones with a special dust jacket for $225 to the most affordable version in a slipcase for $80. [New York Times]

Rabble-rouser and British bad boy of the art world, Damien Hirst has finally confirmed that Penguin will be publishing his autobiography. This promises to be a wild ride and he’s sworn to write with “utter candor” about his early exploits. It will cover his childhood and his college years in London, including “his Turner prize win in 1995 for Mother and Child, Divided, one of his many works fixated on death. The piece consists of four glass tanks, containing the two halves of a cow and calf preserved in formaldehyde, and would be followed by his famous shark in formaldehyde known as Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. The shark is one of my favorite pieces of modern art. Terrifying to behold. I hope the title of his book is something equally overstated: “The Physical Impossibility of the Infinite in the Mind of an Artist…and Also Death.” [Guardian]

The Bailey’s Prize for Women in Fiction has revealed it’s shortlist. The predictable choices were: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah, Jhumpa Lahiri - The Lowland, Donna Tartt - The Goldfinch. Less obvious choices: Eimear McBride - A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing, Audrey Magee - The Undertaking, Hannah Kent - Burial Rites. Helen Fraser, the Chair of the judges said, “We feel you could give any one of these books to a friend with the absolute confidence that they would be gripped and absorbed and that maybe their view of the world would be changed once they had read it.” The winner of the prestigious honor and the £30,000 reward will be announced on June 4th.

Did you remember that Paddington Bear was Peruvian? Well he was, and the author Michael Bond is releasing a new Paddington book, Love From Paddington, where the duffel-coat-wearing bear writes letters to his Aunt Lucy in Lima, reminiscing about his first days in England. A Bear Called Paddington has been in print continuously since it’s publication in 1958, and Bond has written a number of sequels since then. There’s even a Paddington movie coming out in November with Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth.  [Guardian]

On The Books: Grasshopper Jungle might be a movie

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Hollywood hasn’t finished with the story trend of teens struggling to find their identity in a post-apocalyptic dystopia yet.  The most recent YA novel to get snatched up by movie executives is Grasshopper Jungle, which was just optioned by Sony. Scott Rosenberg (Con Air, Beautiful Girls, High Fidelity) plans to adapt the script. The novel is about a 16-year-old boy who inadvertently unleashes a plague of insects that turn the populace into mindless super-soldiers looking to eat, have sex and kill things — basically a bizarre take on the Pandora’s Box myth. Apparently author Andrew Smith carries it off with some verve though because we gave it an A- in our review. Movie-wise, I’d say this would come in around Planet of the Apes mixed with 28 Days Later and multiplied by that Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, “Teachers Pet.” Can’t wait.

A new campaign called Let Books Be Books aims to end gender bias in the presentation of children’s books. They’re calling for publishers to remove “for boys” and “for girls” labels from kids books, as well as make the covers more gender neutral. This idea has been swirling for a long time, but it seems to be gaining more momentum recently…or maybe I’m just thinking of that amazing GoldieBox commercial for girl’s toys. [Guardian]

On that note, there’s a great essay by Anna Holmes in The New Yorker called “How to be a Good Bad American Girl.” Holmes looks at the legacy of troublesome little girls in American literature, specifically Harriet the Spy and To Kill A Mockingbird. “Harper Lee and Louise Fitzhugh taught their readers that difference, nonconformity, and even subversion should be celebrated in young girls,” she writes. “These qualities are the prerequisites for, and not the enemies of, creativity, curiosity, and insight.” [New Yorker]

The longlist of 20 nominees for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction was just announced today. Lots of great women made the cut. I don’t envy the judges’ job of narrowing this down to a winner for June, 4th. Check out the nominees below.

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
  • Margaret Atwood, MaddAddam
  • Suzanne Berne, The Dogs of Littlefield
  • Fatima Bhutto, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon
  • Claire Cameron, The Bear
  • Lea Carpenter, Eleven Days
  • M.J. Carter, The Strangler Vine
  • Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
  • Deborah Kay Davies, Reasons She Goes to the Woods
  • Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things
  • Hannah Kent, Burial Rites
  • Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland
  • Audrey Magee, The Undertaking
  • Eimear McBride, A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
  • Charlotte Mendelson, Almost English
  • Anna Quindlen, Still Life with Bread Crumbs
  • Elizabeth Strout, The Burgess Boys
  • Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
  • Evie Wyld, All The Birds, Singing

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