The well known fiction and screenplay writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has died in New York aged 85 years. Born in Cologne to Polish Jewish parents, the family moved to Britain in 1939, where she received her education. In 1951 she married an Indian Parsi architect, and spent the next 64 years living in Delhi. Her first novel, To Whom She Will was published in 1955. Eleven more novels and eight collections of short stories would follow, all much acclaimed and most set in India. Her novel titled Heat and Dust, published in 1975, was the Booker Prize winner for that year. The same year she moved to New York, and began working with film makers Merchant and Ivory, as a screen writer, producing 23 screenplays, winning two Oscars for A Room with a View in 1985 and Howards End in 1992. Her last published fiction was My Nine Lives in 2004, although she completed two screenplays after with the last in 2008.
Hilary Mantel has won the 2012 Man Booker Prize for her novel, Bring Up the Bodies, the second book in her historical trilogy on the life of Thomas Cromwell. Three years ago she won the same prize for Wolf Hall, the first book in the trilogy. Only two other writers have won the Man Booker Prize previously, they were Peter Carey and J M Coetzee. The judges agreed that this extraordinary novel will be read in decades to come, and that Hilary Mantel has excelled in re-defining historical fiction genre.
The 2012 Man Booker shortlist has been announced. Six novels from the long list of twelve were selected by the judging panel to go forward for further judging to find the eventual winner, with the announcement being made on 16th October. Not surprisingly, last year’s winner, Hilary Mantel has made the shortlist with her sequel to Wolf Hall, Bring up the Bodies, along with Will Self for his novel titled Umbrella.
The short list for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, established in 2010, has been announced. The four novels are:
- Collecting Cooper by Paul Cleave
- Luther: The calling by Neil Cross
- By Any Means by Ben Sanders
- Bound by Vanda Symon
The winner selected by the judging panel will receive a handcraft Trophy, a set of Ngaio Marsh novels and $1000, with the announcement and presentation on 1st September. Exciting!
The winners of the 2012 Eisner Awards have been announced. These annual awards are given for 49 categories, from Best Writer to Best Publication Design, and include Best Webcomic, Best Cover Artist and Best New series. The Eisner Awards were established in 1988, and are named after the late writer and artist Will Eisner.
Best Artist/Writer was awarded to Craig Thompson for his graphic novel Habibi.
Best Limited Series was awarded to the graphic novel, Criminal: the Last of the Innocent.
Best Reality-Based Work was awarded to Green River Killer: A True Detective Story.
Mark Waid was awarded the Best Writer, Best Continuing Series and Best Single Issue for Irredeemable, Incorruptible (Boom) and Daredevil respectively.
The American science fiction writer Harry Harrison has died aged 87. A prolific writer, he began his literary career writing for American comics and Science Fiction Magazines. His first novel Deathworld was published in 1960, 58 novels were to follow, also 9 collections of short stories, plus novellas, and non-fiction works. He edited numerous Science Fiction anthologies, many with fellow writer Brian Aldiss. His most well know novels were, The Stainless Steel Rat, Bill, the Galactic Hero and Deathworld, all series. All these novels are satirical and witty. Harry Harrison, was a dedicated advocate for the international language Esperanto, and includes some in his early novels. His last novel titled, The Stainless Steel Rat Returns was published in 2010.
The 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards winners have been announced.
Fiction winners included…
The winner of the Fiction Category Award and $10,000 went to Paula Morris for her novel Rangatira, a brilliantly researched novel based on her own ancestor Paratene Te Manu’s visit to England in 1863. Paula Morris is a much accomplished writer; her work includes three other adult novels, two young adult novels and a collection of short stories.
The People’s Choice Award and $5,000 went to Sue Orr for her collection of short stories titled, From Under the Overcoat This is her second published collection of short stories; the first, Etiquette for a dinner party, was published in 2008.
Non-fiction winners included…
New Zealand’s native trees / John Dawson & Rob Lucas with Jane Connor ; contributions by Patrick Brownsey … [et al.].
“New Zealand’s native trees are truly remarkable. From the massive kauri-the third-largest tree in the world-the showy pohutukawa and rata, and the ubiquitous cabbage tree to rare and endangered species found only on offshore islands, our glorious and diverse trees deserve to be recognised, understood and celebrated. New Zealand’s Native Trees is a landmark book that describes and generously illustrates more than 250 species. Beginning with the magnificent conifers and iconic tree ferns, and giving full treatment to the numerous flowering species, including the distinctive southern beeches, the often-overlooked coprosmas and the curious tree daisies, this book is no once-over-lightly.” (Global Books)
Tupaia : the remarkable story of Captain Cook’s Polynesian navigator / Joan Druett.
“Tupaia, lauded by Europeans as ‘an extraordinary genius’, sailed with Captain Cook from Tahiti, piloted the Endeavour about the South Pacific, and interceded with Maori in NZ. Tupaia, a gifted linguist, a brilliant orator, and a most devious politician, could aptly be called the Machiavelli of Tahiti. Being highly skilled in astronomy, navigation, and meteorology, and an expert in the geography of the Pacific, he was able to name directional stars and predict landfalls and weather throughout the voyage from Tahiti to Java. Though he had no previous knowledge of writing or mapmaking, Tupaia drew a chart of the Pacific that encompassed every major group in Polynesia and extended more than 4,000 kilometres from the Marquesas to Rotuma and Fiji. He was also the ship’s translator, able to communicate with all the Polynesian people they met.” (Global Books)
Gore Vidal, the American writer has died aged 86 years. A prolific writer, social and political commentator, he published his first novel titled Williwaw in 1946. Twenty-four novels followed, these included a series of American historical fiction. He was also an accomplished journalist, screenwriter and playwright, but was best known for his numerous essays. His last published fiction was a collection of short stories titled Clouds and Eclipses; this was a republication of a 1956 collection titled A Thirsty Evil, with one new story added.
The winner of one of the major annual literary prizes, the International I.M.P.A.C. Dublin Literary Award for 2012, was announced recently. It was awarded to British author Jon McGregor for his novel, Even the Dogs.
An experimental novel detailing the havoc of drug addiction, the distress and the disregard of the wider world this causes, it was selected from a shortlist of ten novels. Libraries around the world nominate the contenders for the award, with the winner being nominated by Margarita Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow.
Even the Dogs is Jon McGregor’s third novel, his first, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, published in 2002, was nominated for the Mann Booker Prize, and went on to win The Betty Trask Prize and the Somerset Maugham award.
Dame Fiona Kidman — author of 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards fiction finalist The trouble with fire is set to talk next Saturday June 30th (afterhours!) at the Central Library, from 5.30 – 7.30 pm.
The Trouble With Fire was reviewed last year on National Radio — have a listen below!
The Trouble With Fire has also been shortlisted for the prestigious Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award (in 2012).
Dame Fiona is appearing as part of our Fiction Grab event — and as well as a wonderful talk to look forward to, if you come along to this event you’ll also have the opportunity to snap up a selection of brand new fiction before it makes its way out to our shelves, as well as a chance to take a tour behind the scenes of the library. Light refreshments will be provided.
Registration is essential for this event — places are limited — so head over to our Registration Form and sign up now!