Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Eimear McBride: 'Writing Is Painful – But It's The Closest You Can Get To Joy'

Posted at 10:54AM Monday 29 Aug 2016

The Irish author whom Anne Enright called 'a genius' talks about life as an exile, trying to write good sex – and, of course, James Joyce


Premio Manuel Rojas Prize

Posted at 8:51AM Wednesday 31 Aug 2016
They've only been handing out the US$60,000 Premio Iberoamericano de Narrativa Manuel Rojas (scroll down) since 2012, but with a winners' list that consists of Rubem Fonseca, Ricardo Piglia, Horacio Castellanos Moya, and Margo Glanz they seem to have started off pretty well — and with How I became a Nun (etc.)-author César Aira as this year's laureate they continue on track.

Meet Matt Vickers author of Lecretia’s Choice: A story of love, death and the law

Meet Matt Vickers author of Lecretia’s Choice: A story of love, death and the law

Thursday 1 September 6pm in The Women's Bookshop

105 Ponsonby Road | 09 376 4399 |

The Women's Bookshop is honoured to host Matt Vickers, husband of Lecretia Seales, during his brief visit to Auckland. This brave & moving book is the story of his wife, a lawyer diagnosed with a brain tumour who chose to campaign for the rights & dignity of the terminally ill.

Don't miss Matt Vickers, husband of Lecretia Seales  in the bookshop this THURSDAY 1 Sept 6pm 

The Roundup with PW

Rona Jaffe Winners Announced for 2016
The Rona Jaffe Foundation has announced the winners of its eponymous writer's awards for 2016. The awards are given annually to six women writers who "demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers."
more » »

Egyptian Author's Jail Term Upheld: Ahmed Naji must continue a two-year sentence handed down for writing a scene that "violated public modesty."

Some of Us Read Hard: In defense of the ratty paperback, the torn dust jacket, and everyone who beats up their books with love.

Seth Grahame-Smith Sued: Hatchette Book Group has sued the 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' novelist for $500,000.

It's the Brooklyn Book Festival: The Brooklyn Book Festival has announced its 2016 schedule and author lineup.

How I Helped Elmore Leonard: Gregg Sutter on helping the famed crime novelist write his "Hollywood novel," 'Get Shorty.'

Author and critic Lev Grossman on why there are no good books

Susan Wyndham - Sydney Morning Herald
There are no good books, says American writer Lev Grossman - an unnerving opinion from a successful author of five novels who also spends much of his working life assessing other writers' books as critic for Time magazine.
Grossman's provocative argument, which he will make at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas on Saturday, signals a changing literary scene that has pulled authors and critics off their pedestals.
Lev Grossman is in Sydney to speak at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas.
Lev Grossman is in Sydney to speak at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Photo: Daniel Munoz
"The fundamental principle that has organised our literary universe for centuries, that some books are good and some are bad, some have value and some don't, is crumbling," he says.   MORE

What I Learned on My Debut Book Tour From the Books I Read Along the Way

By posted  on August 26, 2016 - The Millions


In her collection of essays and talks The Wave in the Mind, Ursula K. Le Guin wonders why we have book tours at all. “It wasn’t until the seventies, I think, that publishers realised they could sell more books by sending their author to two hundred cities in eight days to sign them,” she told a Women in Language conference in 1998. “So now here in Berkeley you have Black Oak and Cody’s, and we in Portland have Powell’s and the Looking Glass, and Seattle has Elliot Bay Books running two readings a day every day of the week and people come.”

Latest News from The Bookseller

Pearson retained its position as the biggest publisher in the world for the eighth consecutive year in the Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry 2016 which, despite the number one publisher’s slump, also showed ongoing growth of the top end of the list.
Footfall at shops across the UK fell over the Bank Holiday weekend, but several independent bookshops have reported an increase in sales, with more visitors than usual.
The German Publishers and Booksellers Association has joined with freedom of speech organistations to launch an online petition calling on the German government and EU Commission to make an “uncompromising commitment” to freedom of expression in Turkey.
Oxford Dictionaries
Oxford Dictionaries has closed its survey for the least popular English word a day after it was launched due to “severe misuse” of the feature.
Shakespeare & Company bookshop
Renowned English language bookshop Shakespeare and Company, situated on Paris's Left Bank, is marking its 65th anniversary by publishing an illustrated history of the shop.
National Poetry Day
National Poetry Day this year will see community groups come together for a "mass outbreak of verse" on Thursday 6th October, when railway stations, coffee shops, police forces, schoolchildren and scientists all rise to the challenge to “say it with a poem”.

Joanna Cannon
Linda Duncan McLaughlin has won the 2016 Goat Bursary created by author Joanna Cannon (pictured) and agent Sue Armstrong.
First-time children’s novelist Elizabeth Ezra has won this year’s Kelpies Prize for new Scottish writing for children.

Manhattan Bookstores with the 'Best Book Selections'

Shelf Awareness

"We believe in supporting small businesses. Especially small businesses providing city dwellers and visitors with an opportunity to educate themselves and be inspired--bookstores!"
Design & Trend noted in sharing its picks for "top 10 bookstores with the best book selections in New York City."

MTA Launches 'Subway Reads' to Tout Wi-Fi at Underground Stations

The MTA wants to help you find a summer read.

10 Must-Read Books for Podcast Junkies

Off the Shelf
By Allison Tyler    |   Tuesday, August 30, 2016
I used to lament that I wasn’t alive to enjoy the golden age of radio, but now I feel lucky to be living in the golden age of podcasts. These perfect commuting companions cover every subject imaginable (Cooking! Arts! Crime! Comedy! Spirituality!), so you can choose to learn, laugh, cry, get your ire up, be inspired, or chill out. Just as with great books, great podcasts take you on a journey and leave you wanting more. As an avid reader and list maker, I couldn’t help but compile a collection of ten books that perfectly pair with your favorite podcasts. Happy reading, and listening! READ MORE

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Kelpies Prize 2016 Winner Announced

Posted at 10:46AM Monday 29 Aug 2016
The winner of the Kelpies Prize 2016: A hearty congratulations to Elizabeth and her sassy witch story, Ruby McCracken: Tragic Without Magic!
Well done to fellow shortlisted authors Christine Laurenson and Alan McClure.

The World's 52 Largest Book Publishers, 2016

Posted at 8:07AM Tuesday 30 Aug 2016
The five largest publishers in 2014 retained their positions in 2015 on the Livres Hebdo/Publishers Weekly ranking, but that stability masked some notable shifts that took place among the global giants.

Poets compete for New Zealand’s Biggest Poetry Slam Prize

 Hot on the heels of Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day (26 August), the heats are on find the poets who will take the honours in Going West Books and Writers Festival’s 21st year Poetry Slam.

 Poets can register now to take part in their local selection event. The top three placings from each heat go directly through to the grand final.  It’s a poetry slam worth going all-out for: First prize is $1,000, second prize is $500 and the third prize winner gets $300 – the biggest prize pool for poetry slam in the country.

Doug Poole, poet and Going West Poetry Slam director for the past three years, encourages all new and established poets to take part.

This is where the spoken word hits the road in a fast-paced evening of competitive performance poetry with generous cash prizes. With courage to the fore, poets from all backgrounds and beliefs speak from the heart with passion, intelligence and a desire to tell their stories. It is powerful and, above all, immensely entertaining,” says Poole.

HEAT 1 for West Aucklanders is on Wednesday 31 August, 6.30pm registration for a 7pm start | Te Pou Theatre, 44A Portage Road, New Lynn.

HEAT 2 for South Aucklanders is on Monday 5 September, 6.30pm registration for a 7pm start | MIT Faculty of Creative Arts, 50 Lovegrove Crescent, Otara.

HEAT 3 for North Shore and Central Aucklanders is on Tuesday 6 September, 7.30pm till late | ‘Poetry Live’, Thirsty Dog, 469 Karangahape Road, Ponsonby.

HEAT 4 will take place on the night of the Grand Slam Final, Saturday 10 September at the Titirangi War Memorial Hall. Register for this heat from 7.30pm for an 8pm start. There are a limited number of registrations available for this heat.

To register, please contact, 021 144 6619. Find out more here:

Going West Books and Writers Festival Poetry Grand Slam Final is on Saturday 10 September at 8pm, at the Titirangi War Memorial Hall. Directed by Doug Poole and assisted by MC Zane Scarborough & guest judges Raewyn Alexander and Rewa Worley.

Tickets to the final are available from


Read the full Going West Books and Writers Festival programme online at


The Festival is grateful for support from the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, Creative New Zealand, The Trusts Community Foundation, Foundation North and the Douglas family Trust.

Libraries of the future are going to change in some unexpected ways


Jay Walker
Your idea of a library might be a musty, carpeted room with outdated technology, but don’t ditch your library card just yet.

According to David Pescovitz, co-editor at Boing Boing and research director at the Institute for the Future, a Palo Alto-based collective that makes forecasts about our world, it’s likely in the coming decades that society’s traditional understanding of a library will get completely upended.

In 50 years’ time, Pescovitz tells Business Insider, libraries are poised to become all-in-one spaces for learning, consuming, sharing, creating, and experiencing — to the extent that enormous banks of data will allow people to “check out” brand-new realities, whether that’s scaling Mt. Everest or living out an afternoon as a dog.


Miles Franklin Award 2016 won by debut novel


Established in 1954, the Miles Franklin Literary Award is Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, named for author Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin.

At an announcement made on the opening night of the Melbourne Writers Festival, A.S. Patrić took home the $60,000 prize money, for his début novel Black Rock White City. All shortlisted applicants, which this year featured three first time nominees (including Patrić), received $5,000.
The award celebrates uniquely Australian works, with the 2016 prize focusing on identity struggles. According to Franklin’s own criteria, works must be “of the highest literary merit,” and “show Australian life in any of its phases.”

Patrić’s novel is described as a fresh and powerful exploration of the immigrant experience and Australian life that explores the damages of war, the constraints of choice, the possibility of redemptive love and social isolation amid suburbia.


The Roundup with PW

Beijing Book Fair: Market Opportunities for Everyone
At the just-concluded Beijing Book Fair, which ran from August 24 to 28, overseas exhibitors were happy to see that the huge Chinese book market remains positive and open with business opportunities for everybody from different segments of the industry.
more »

Pearson Retained Its place as the World's Largest Publisher
Despite a drop in revenue in 2015, to $6.6 billion, the U.K.-based publisher was the world's largest book publisher in 2015. Last year was not an easy one for the biggest global publishers as digital disruptions and weak economies presented challenges. more »

Ursula Goes to the Library: Ursula K. Le Guin will get the Library of America treatment—a rare honor for any living author, let alone one pigeonholed as a "genre writer."

Langston's New Harlem Renaissance: Will poet Langston Hughes's brownstone on 127th Street in Harlem have a second life as an arts center?

Claudia Rankine's Ambivalence: An interview with the author of 'Citizen' on what she sees when she looks at the work she has made.

The Game That Turns Players to Poets: A new video game, 'Elegy for a Dead World,' takes inspiration from Romantic poetry—and asks its players to write their own poems.

What's In a Rare Book?: A humorously sardonic take on the rare book market rounds up some hypothetical titles.


Penguin Random House Provides Free Digital Reads to NYC Subway Riders

Publishers Lunch

For the next eight weeks, New York City subway riders can download free short stories and 175 book excerpts offered by Penguin Random House. It's part of PRH's "Subway Reads" promotion, in partnership with the MTA, "cel

PRH ceo Markus Dohle added: "For millions of New Yorkers, having a few minutes to get lost in a great book is one of the true pleasures of riding the subway. This fun promotion provides commuters with a new twist on that classic – and classically New York – pastime, with great short fiction, and the chance to access extensive samples of some of the very best, and most entertaining books in the world ebrating the installation of free wireless connectivity in more than 175 underground subway stations." The NYT notes that, "Transit officials approached Penguin Random House...because it had run a similar e-book promotion in the London Underground last year, celebrating Penguin’s 80th anniversary. Transit officials said they were open to other platforms from publishers, and platforms for more than books — anything to draw passengers to the Wi-Fi service" that is being rolled out to all 278 underground subway stations by the end of 2016.

The five available short stories include Lee Child's Jack Reacher novella High Heat, F. Scott Fitzgerald's A Diamond as Big as the Ritz, and Edgar Allan Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Book excerpts available include Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and Hamilton by Ron Chernow, as PRH selected "as many titles by New Yorkers – or about New York – as possible." To optimize the commuter reading experience, Penguin Random House has also created a feature for excerpts called 'read time' that enables customers to sort the short stories and samples by the amount of time it would take the average reader to complete them.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said in the announcement: "New York's transportation network must continue adapting to the changing needs of its ridership and a key part of that is delivering the amenities that have become essential components of everyday life. Bringing Wi-Fi into underground stations helps riders stay connected throughout their commute, allowing them to check in with friends or family and access news or entertainment. We've made tremendous progress in modernizing the system and Subway Reads is a fun way to introduce riders to the new Wi-Fi experience."

How A Writer Of Gay (And Wildly Silly) Erotica Became The Standard Bearer For What’s Good In Science Fiction


“If you could pick a single writer to make an effective, compassionate statement about identity politics to a divided literary community, who would you pick? Would it be a schizophrenic, autistic person who’d authored an e-book called Space Raptor Butt Invasion?”

A Modern Classic About Friendship Formed Over Vodka and Tang

Off the Shelf
By Julianna Haubner    |   Monday, August 29, 2016
On my Goodreads shelf, you can pretty distinctly divide the books I’ve read into three categories. The first is the classics (Austen & Co.). The second, contemporary hits (yay, publishing!) that I’ve got to stay on top of to know what’s what. The third is a bit harder to define: they’re the ones published in the last fifty years or so by masters like Junot Díaz, Jay McInerney, Joan Didion, and Toni Morrison. They’re books that have lasted, but we can’t yet predict where they’ll be in a century (though if they’re not on our bookshelves, we’ve done something terribly wrong). I call them “the modern classics,” and one of my favorites is Meg Wolitzer’s THE INTERESTINGS. READ MORE

WORD Christchurch Festival bigger and brighter than ever

Sarah Thornton reports:

The biennial WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival returned to the centre of Christchurch at the weekend (August 24-28), and increased attendance by at least 25 percent compared to previous years. It also captivated audiences and breathed life back into the CBD.

Connecting the local community with a feast of home-grown and international talent, WORD attracted some 150 local and international writers, who took part in more than 80 events across the central city. Newly minted auditorium The Piano was the focal venue and proved itself to be a valuable addition to Christchurch’s future performing arts precinct.

Featuring fiction, poetry, storytelling, free children’s events, comedy, live music, debates, discussions, performances and fringe events, WORD Christchurch embodied the theme of 'the planet and its people,’ and delivered.

 The jewel in the Isaac Theatre Royal’s crown was the Gala Night event ‘The Stars are on Fire’, which saw seven of WORD’s star performers – Sir Tipene O’Regan, Steve Hely, Tusiata Avia, Caitlin Doughty, Stephen Daisley, Tiny Ruins and Ivan E. Coyote – take to the boards and dazzle the crowd.

The environment, gender issues, politics and sex proved incredibly popular events with audiences, who flocked to sessions where these issues were foremost, including: The State of America; Ask A Mortician: Caitlin Doughty; 2050 (what the planet and its people will like like in that year); and The Great New Zealand Crime Debate & Ngaio Marsh Award, at the conclusion of which, bestselling Christchurch author Paul Cleave won the 2016 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel. Hear My Voice saw what many described as the most electric energy they’d ever experienced in a room of spoken word performance, and Flying Nun musicians appeared alongside label founder Roger Shepherd to a sell-out crowd.

Audiences couldn’t get enough of sell-out Canadian storyteller Ivan E. Coyote who provoked tears, laughter and a standing ovation; LA-based mortician, author and You Tube star Caitlin Doughty; television comedy writer (30 Rock, The Office. American Dad) Steve Hely; Canadian novelist Elizabeth Hay; ITV science correspondent Alok Jha; Afghan-American physician and novelist Nadia Hashimi; author and human rights advocate Tara Moss, and local writer and resilience expert Lucy Hone, all of whom took part in a variety of panel and individual events throughout the four days.

WORD Christchurch literary director, Rachael King, says “WORD 2016 has exceeded our expectations. Putting together a programme which at times pushed boundaries was not without risk, so I’m delighted to see that it paid off. Bringing such a stunning array of talent to the people of Christchurch was always my main objective, and judging by the feedback I’ve had from audiences, mission accomplished.”

WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival warmly thanks its major funders Creative New Zealand, Christchurch City Council, the Rata Foundation and The Press; festival and session sponsors Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, PwC, Boffa Miskell, Duncan Cotterill, Environment Canterbury, The Royal Society of New Zealand, Kate Sylvester, Ballantynes, Antarctica New Zealand, UC Science and Harcourts Gold; our festival patrons and supporters, partners and supporting publishers.