Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Baroness Lola Young, OBE to chair the Man Booker Prize Chair of judges

www.themanbookerprize.com | #FinestFiction


Baroness Lola Young, 2017 Man Booker Prize Chair of judges – credit Janie Airey

Baroness Lola Young, OBE is today, Monday 5 December 2016, named chair of the judges for the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the most prestigious award for fiction written in English. She will lead a panel of five judges in choosing the best novel of the year in 2017.

Lola Young comments, “Very soon, I’ll be attempting to navigate my way around stacks of books, looking for a space to sit and read some of the best, most riveting literature written in English, published this year. It’s a huge honour to be invited to chair the Man Booker Prize; I'm very excited by the prospect but daunted too. Fortunately, I will have a wonderful, committed panel of knowledgeable judges working with me on this prestigious literary event, which captures the public’s imagination year after year.”

After an acting career, Lola Young became professor of Cultural Studies at Middlesex University, a writer, and a cultural critic. She subsequently became Head of Culture at the Greater London Authority. She has sat on the boards of several national cultural organisations, including the National Theatre, The National Archives and the Southbank Centre and participated in judging panels such as the Orange Prize for Literature, which she chaired, the Caine Prize for African Writing, and The Observer newspaper Ethical Awards.

Lola Young was appointed an independent crossbench member of the House of Lords in 2004. She has gone on to found or chair a number of parliamentary groups and committees, with a particular focus on improving outcomes for vulnerable young women and men. She has honorary doctorates from Middlesex University, the University of the Arts London, and Sussex University.

  The 12 or 13 titles longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize – ‘The Man Booker Dozen’ – will be announced in July 2017. The shortlist of six titles will be announced in September 2017. The winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize will be announced at London’s Guildhall at an awards ceremony on 17 October 2017.

The winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, The Sellout by Paul Beatty (Oneworld), made history when it was announced in October, making Paul Beatty the first American author to win the prize. In the week following the 2016 winner announcement, sales of The Sellout increased by 658%. To date, over 250,000 print copies of the book have been sold internationally, and more than a dozen foreign language rights have been sold.

A Mountain of Moonglow

Before Michael Chabon's Salon@615 event at the Nashville Public Library on Sunday, Parnassus Books snuck the author into the back office of the bookstore to sign 450 copies of Moonglow (HarperCollins) for the store's First Editions Club members.
Pictured: Chabon with Parnassus staffers (and Harper rep Kate McCune) behind the mountain of books to be signed.
Via Shelf Awareness 

Latest news from Bookseller

Paula Hawkins
The spectre of Donald Trump and Brexit will have a big influence on book trends in 2017, publishers and agents have predicted, with opportunities in non-fiction to explore the new world politics, and “utopian” fiction acquisitions catering for those who require some escapism, while psychological thrillers show no sign of slowing down, especially with the news that Paula Hawkins is due to bring out a new title.
Entrepreneur and web sceptic Andrew Keen has predicted the book industry is on the verge of a "renaissance" and urged publishers to "build on your luck" as the physical book becomes attractive to younger audiences in a "post-truth world".
Sara Lloyd, digital and communications director at Pan Macmillan, has won FutureBook’s Digital Leader of the award, announced at this year’s FutureBook Conference
Authors Val McDermid [pictured], Joanna Trollope and Francesca Simon have criticised the government's Ambition report for Public Libraries as "too little, too late".
The row over the authenticity of 65 sketches alleged to be the work of Vincent van Gogh has escalated between French publisher Editions du Seuil, which holds the world rights to the book of the drawings, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Bookseller Foyles is selling its first branded stationery range, which comprises four different types of notebook.

Hodder Children’s Books, part of Hachette Children’s Group (HCG), has bought the UK and Commonwealth rights to Charlie the Choo-Choo, the picture book written by Stephen King under the pen name of Beryl Evans.
Eva Appelbaum
Publishers need to move away from thinking about digital as a silo and instead focus on cultivating the mindset and behaviours needed to thrive in the digital age, Eva Appelbaum, digital strategy specialist at Digital Talent @Work has said.
Olaf Falafel
HarperCollins Children’s Books has signed a picture book deal with comedian Olaf Falafel.
ed tech for publishers
"Significant pressure" on school budgets is likely to have a knock-on effect on ed tech, trade association British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) has warned, after its research on the impact of budgetary constraints showed it will lead to a downgrading of ICT investments in 2016-17.
In the year that academic publisher Policy Press celebrates its 20th anniversary, it has secured “major investment” from the University of Bristol to create a new university press.
Laurence Howell
Book industry players need to work closer together to ensure the audiobook market reaches its full potential, Laurence Howell, senior director at Audible UK, told the FutureBook Conference today.


Offering the Shopping Experience In-Store and Online

Shelf Awareness

"When we first opened Brilliant Books [in 2007], it was the start of the real surge of the Internet, and there was a school of thought that said that one could either be online or retail, but to me it really just going to be a case of retail was changing. You no longer needed to go shopping so when you went shopping, you did it deliberately. And therefore you were going for the experience that you were having. That's really the key, and successful retailers nowadays present you with that experience because you aren't simply going to buy stuff because you can buy stuff at home in your underwear.
But if you actually want to go shopping, it's got to be a different experience. And if you can give them the rest of that experience through their online life, then you're talking to them all the time whether they're in the store or they're online."

--Peter Makin, co-owner of Brilliant Books, Traverse City, Mich., which does 30% of its sales online, speaking with Michigan Public Radio's Stateside about the importance of the Internet in independent bookselling.

Poetry Book Launch & Celebration


If Julian Barnes Can Admit He Was Wrong About E.M. Forster, We All Have Hope For Re-evaluating Books (And Writers)

Barnes thought Forster was stuffy and boring, and perhaps a little straitlaced. Then he read an anthology of English food writing. “Where was that fusty, musty, dusty writer I had imagined Forster to be? Nowhere at all.”

Monday, December 05, 2016

Book industry rebounds

A report released today on the economic contribution of New Zealand book publishing shows that the industry has rebounded from difficult trading conditions in 2013 and 2014 to a position of growth in sales of both physical books and eBooks in 2015.

The work of authors and publishers contributed $397 million to the economy with sales from book stores accounting for nearly 60% (with an impact of $234 million) and eBook sales at 7% (with an impact of $29 million.)

In 2012 the contribution from eBook sales was only 2%. The growth seen in the past 3 years is helping trade publishers to diversify their revenue base, as is the growth in online sale of physical books. At 7% of sales, the New Zealand eBook market has not yet reached the level experienced by authors and publishers in other markets like the UK, however in 2015 those markets saw some levelling off of in the demand for eBooks and, like New Zealand, a resurgence of physical book sales.

 The value of educational publishing in dollar terms has remained constant but it is expected that export sales of New Zealand educational resources - such as the Chinese deal announced by Dame Wendy Pye earlier this year – will see growth in future years.

 Paula Browning, Chief Executive at Copyright Licensing NZ that commissions the report each year on behalf of the book publishing industry says, “As a book lover it’s reassuring to see that our publishing industry continues to thrive and grow. Readers now have access to books in either print or digital formats and the investment that our authors and publishers have made in digital distribution is starting to pay off.”

The report acknowledges the challenges of capturing data on an industry that now generates revenue from many different channels and identifies that sales from offshore websites bypass traditional data capture mechanisms is a particular challenge. Paula Browning says that this is an issue for all New Zealand creative industries and the publishing industry is taking steps of its own to address those data gaps.

The full report is available at www.copyright.co.nz  

Five books for the beach - and five to save for a rainy day

Improving reading is best not done on the beaches or beside a swimming pool   


 Photo: GETTY

Standing Room Only for 12/04/2016

Standing Room Only

Standing Room Only is literally radio with pictures... and arts, theatre, film, comedy, books, dance, entertainment and music – all the things, in other words, that make life worth living.Full programme details are available on the Standing Room Only webpage

A Striking Truth

The 1986  pulp and paper mill strike in Kawerau were so bitter and divisive, they cast a shadow even now over the town. That's what author and former psychologist Helen McNeill discovered when she started to research for her debut novel A Striking Truth. Sir James Fletcher opened the Tasman Pulp and Paper Mill in the early 1950s and it became the region's biggest employer. Helen says the mill used to be like one big family, until Hugh Fletcher took over and changed the culture of the factory.
Dec 04, 2016 02:45 pm

We The Ones

The time of the Queen's visit to New Zealand for the 150th Treaty of Waitangi signing celebrations, is the setting for a new novel, We The Ones. Julie Helean has created an activist group where members are fervent, but deeply divided on how to achieve their plans to disrupt the visit.
Dec 04, 2016 02:30 pm

The Laugh Track – Frith Horan

Auckland hit The Best Possible Album Party That Anybody Has Ever Been Two will play at Wellington BATS’ Theatre, bringing the sound of actors Kate McGill and Frith Horan’s formerly sensational pop duo to the capital.
Dec 04, 2016 02:06 pm

Screen Gems - Lost Stars

Among many other things, 2016 has turned out to be the year where we lost an unusually high number of our musical and showbiz heroes - from music legends like Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen, to boxing great Muhammad Ali, it was the year of realising that our heroes are not going to last forever. In Screen Gems, Irene Gardiner remembers some of her favourites from the year's in memoriam roll-call, with some interesting screen moments from their lives.
Dec 04, 2016 01:50 pm

The End of Fashion

The rise of fast fashion, the move towards zero waste garments, and the abandonment of catwalks by designers who instead market their work online, are just some of the seismic shifts happening in the fashion world. So does this add up to the End of Fashion? A conference debating just this is about to happen. Lynn Freeman spoke to Professor Vicki Karaminas from Massey University, and Claire Regnault, Senior Curator of New Zealand History & Culture at Te Papa.
Dec 04, 2016 01:40 pm

Saving The Meteor

A $368,000 government grant has guaranteed the future of Hamilton's Meteor Theatre. The One Victoria Trust through its 'Save The Meteor' fundraising campaign had already raised a million dollars towards the earthquake strengthening it needs, for the Trust to be gifted the building by its owner, the city council. Work on seismic strengthening and other improvements is about to start on the small venue, that's in big demand since the closure of Hamilton's Founders Theatre.
Dec 04, 2016 12:50 pm

Songwriting in seventh form

The next generation of songwriters have got encouraging news. From 2017 songwriting will be accepted as a Level 3 NCEA subject. Play It Strange CEO, Mike Chunn, has been part of the campaign to bring in the new NCEA qualification and he's delighted - but would like to see Level 1 and 2 standards come in before too long.
Dec 04, 2016 12:35 pm
 A vast silence - Warren Maxwell in Antarctic Musician Warren Maxwell's trip to Antarctica has changed him and deepened his appreciation of the power of silence.
Dec 04, 2016 12:15 pm

At The Movies for 1 Thursday 2016

On At the Movies this week: Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as spies fighting Nazis in Allied, Terence Davies adapts a Scottish classic in Sunset Song and Michael Keaton changes the face of food service in The Founder.
Nov 30, 2016 07:30 pm


Older stories

Ann Shelton: Dark Matter
Katherine Mansfield's poetic side
Catwalk to Cover
The Laugh Track – The Classic
New Kaikoura Museum opens post-quake
Not all audio is available due to copyright restrictions

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Close calls with nonsense, or how to read new poetry

12 December 2016 from 5.30 pm - 7.00 pm

City Gallery, 101 Wakefield St, Wellington

A public masterclass with Stephen Burt and Bill Manhire

 Harvard professor Stephen Burt is 'one of the most influential poetry critics of his generation' (NY Times) and a passionate champion of new poetry. This public masterclass, steered by Bill Manhire, will unfold and illuminate the pleasures of recent poems by a trio of American, British and New Zealand writers.

 Presented by the International Institute of Modern Letters and City Gallery.

Vic Books will be present for book sales. The gallery will be open prior to the event for visitors to view the exhibition Cindy Sherman, (exhibition entry charges apply).

Book casts new light on Treaty settlement process

 New Treaty, New Tradition—written by Dr Carwyn Jones, a senior lecturer in Victoria’s Faculty of Law and a leading academic in the area of Māori and indigenous peoples’ legal issues—will be launched at the Faculty of Law on Thursday 8 December.

Combining analysis with Māori storytelling, the book explores how the resolution of historical Treaty of Waitangi claims continues to shape Māori and state legal traditions and suggests ways in which indigenous legal traditions can form an important part of reconciliation processes in other parts of the world.

Dr Jones says legal cultures change in response to social and economic environments and that, inevitably, the settlement of historical claims has affected issues of identity, rights, and resource management.

“Western legal thought has shaped the claims process in a range of ways. The Treaty settlement process requires Māori communities to prescribe membership status and rights, to resolve disputes, to elect leaders and establish governance bodies in ways that Western law has developed and can recognise.

“The very real danger for Māori and Māori legal traditions in interactions with the Treaty settlement process is that the effects may represent an ongoing colonisation of tikanga Māori rather than a healthy expression of tino rangatiratanga as part of a dynamic, living, legal culture.”

Dr Jones says the story that runs through his book is one of a settlement process that undermines the objectives of self-determination and reconciliation because of the pressures it places on Māori legal traditions.

“But it need not be this way. If parties to the Treaty settlement process take these objectives seriously, and pay careful attention to changes to Māori legal traditions that take place in the context of that process, a different story can be told—a story in which Treaty settlements signify not the end of a Treaty relationship, but a new beginning.”

Dr Jones says it is not just Māori who are dealing with these kinds of issues, as indigenous peoples around the globe engage in reconciliation or transitional justice processes and face the challenges of re-asserting self-determination in a postcolonial world.

 “Examining the framework for the settlement of historical Treaty of Waitangi claims allows us to explore the role that indigenous legal traditions can play in these processes.”

New Treaty, New Tradition, is published by Victoria University Press and the University of British Columbia Press, with the support of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.

New Zealand Society of Authors / Auckland Museum Research Grants – Recipients Announced




2 December 2016

New Zealand Society of Authors / Auckland Museum Research Grants – Recipients Announced 

The New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) and Auckland War Memorial Museum are delighted to announce the recipients of the NZSA Auckland Museum National and Auckland Region Grants.

Laurence FearnleyThe National Grant goes to Dunedin writer Laurence Fearnley whose winning proposal focuses on landscape and scent structured in such a way that each section responds to the traditional development and dry-down of perfume. November has been a double banger month for Laurence, who has also been awarded the NZSA Janet Frame Memorial Award 2016.

Laurence is looking forward to her time at Auckland Museum Library. “The research I undertake at the Auckland Museum will contribute towards a volume based on smell and landscape. The Auckland Museum research is crucial to this project and will form the center of the ‘base notes’ section. Specifically it will draw on the journals of naturalist and missionary Rev. Richard Taylor and the observations he made regarding scented plant material used by Māori in the creation of The Grand Māori Perfume.”

The judging panel said “Laurence’s application was clearly outstanding, she is an exceptional writer and her project outline was clear, informative and arresting”.

Laurence will receive a $4,000 grant and one month’s accommodation at the Michael King Writers Centre in Devonport while she undertakes her research next year.

The Auckland Regional grant of $2,500 has been awarded to Auckland writer Jenny Clay. Her winning proposal involves researching three families: the Owens, Edgers, and Daldys, and their influence on women’s suffrage in Auckland. Jenny has a personal connection to this project as Annie Dewar Owen, the third woman to enroll to vote in Auckland in 1893, is one of her great-great grandmothers.

The judging panel commented “The timing for the publication of this book will coincide with the 125th anniversary in 2018 of women obtaining the vote in New Zealand”.

Now in its fifth year, the NZSA / Auckland Museum National and Auckland Region Grants are made possible by the generous bequest of Aucklander Nancy Bamford. They  are a wonderful opportunity for writers to develop a manuscript thanks to a stipend, guided access to the Museum’s documentary heritage collections and (for the National Grant award) four weeks accommodation at the Michael King Writers Centre. Past award winners have included historical novelists, archaeologists, biographers and recently a scriptwriter/playwright researching the earliest interaction of Pakeha and Māori for public performance.

Images: (from top to bottom) Laurence Fearnley, Jenny Clay

Takapuna Library Events

Priscilla Lowry wall hanging 

When: Wednesday 7 December, 6 - 7.30pm
Where: Takapuna Library
Cost: Free.

 We invite you to celebrate the hanging of Priscilla Lowry's artwork Reflections on the Shore.

This silk hanging, which references the North Shore's literary connections, has been gifted to Takapuna Library, by the Friends of the Library.

There will be a short talk by Priscilla on the genesis of this work and the inspiration she drew from the place libraries hold in the hearts and minds of their communities.

Light refreshments from 6pm, talk starts at 6.30pm.

RSVP recommended, contact Helen.woodhouse@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or phone 890-4903.


The end of the golden weather 

When: Sunday 25 December, 10.30 - 11am
Where: Takapuna Beach Reserve
Cost: Free -  Donation to OXFAM

This will be the eleventh year of this performance of a scene from Bruce Mason's beloved play, performed by actor Stephen Lovatt.

The scene, entitled "Christmas at Te Parenga", tells the story of a 12 year-old boy's experience of Christmas rituals in a land where "no snow will ever fall at Christmas", in a family who live at "Te Parenga", reflecting Bruce Mason's own childhood living on Takapuna Beach in the 1930's.

The performance takes about 30 minutes. Bring a rug or a low chair, or just sit on the grass.

Please note the venue has changed from previous years. The performance will take place to the left of the new children's playground, adjacent to the Takapuna Boat Club. However, if it is raining on the day, the event will be held at the nearby Takapuna War Memorial Hall.