Kerry’s Fiction Picks (a quick one)

Syndetics book coverVeronica Mars : the first book in an original mystery series.
The cult classic TV show Veronica Mars, soon-to-be a movie, soon-to-be returning to TV apparently, is also soon-to-be a book!
Due in March I can tell you nothing about it, such top secret stuff, and that’s not even the real cover.  I just thought I’d give the fans a heads up that it’ll be on its way to us as soon as its published (but you probably knew all that already!)

Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the bodies wins again

Syndetics book coverHilary Mantel’s second novel about Thomas Cromwell, titled Bring up the Bodies has won the 2012 Costa Book of the Year. This is the first time an author has won both the Man Booker Prize and the Costa Book award in the same year. Bring up the Bodies was originally the winner of the Novel category and was unanimously voted by the judging panel as overall winner of the prize. The other categories were First Novel, Poetry, Children’s Book and Biography.
Hilary Mantel is now working on the final novel in the Thomas Cromwell trilogy. The first novel, Wolf Hall along with the second, Bring up the Bodies, are being adapted for television and stage.

Shortlist for 2013 International Man Booker prize announced

Syndetics book coverRecently the shortlist for the biennial 2013 International Man Booker Prize was announced. A list of 10 internationally acclaimed authors, that includes Marilynne Robinson and Aharon Appelfeld, from which the winner will be judged and receive the £60,000 prize, and the translator, if the work was not published in English, will receive £15,000. The authors are from Switzerland, India, Canada, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, America, China and France. The winner will be announced in London on 22nd May 2013.

Shortlist for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize

Syndetics book coverThe recently announced five shortlisted novels for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize include two that were previously selected for the shortlist of the 2012 Man Booker Prize. They are Malaysian writer Tan Twan Eng for The Garden of Evening Mists and Indian writer Jeet Thayil for Narcopolis. They will be competing with Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk with his novel titled Silent House. The shortlist is completed with writers from Japan and Pakistan. The winner will be announced on 14th March and will receive the American $30,000 prize, with the winning novel’s translator, if there is one, receiving American $5,000.

Australian author Bryce Courtenay dies

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Prolific author Bryce Courtenay has died aged 79, just 2 weeks after the publication of his twentieth novel titled, Jack of Diamonds. Although born in South Africa he immigrated to Australia in 1959. His fiction is set mainly in Australia, with four novels set in South Africa. His first novel, The Power of One, set in the country of his birth, was published in 1989 and became an immediate best seller, launching his career as a very popular, best selling author. His only non-fictional work, April Fool’s day: a modern tragedy, published in 1993, was based on the death of his son in 1991.

Debut novel wins Dylan Thomas Prize

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The winner of this year’s £30,000 Dylan Thomas Prize is debut novelist, 28 year-old Maggie Shipstead for her novel titled, Seating Arrangements. The prize for young writers originally known as the Dylan Thomas Award was established by the University of Wales in the 1980’s and was awarded bi-annually. It was discontinued due to lack of funds and was revived in 2004 and now seeks excellence in the full spectrum of literary published work, including stage plays, screenplays, poetry, prose and short stories.
Maggie Shipstead is a graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her novel tells of patriarch Winn Van Meter’s preparations for his daughter’s wedding. It is set on a fictional island off New England.

Chinese writer Mo Yan awarded Nobel Prize in Literature 2012

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The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Chinese writer Mo Yan. This is the first time a Chinese writer has achieved such recognition for an outstanding body of work in literature. Born in 1955, he left school in at 12 during the Cultural Revolution. He began writing and published his first novel, in 1981 when he was a soldier. Eventually he became a teacher and in 1991 received his Masters Degree in Literature from Beijing Normal University. He uses magic realism to merge contemporary life and history with folk tales and social commentary. His most well known work, Red Sorghum published in 1987 and translated into English in 1993, was adapted to film. Big Breasts and Wide Hips, a novel with only one male hero, was published in 1996 and translated into English in 2005. His most recent novel to be translated into English is Life and Death are Wearing Me Out, published in Chinese in 2006 and translated in 2008.