Women's Prize 2013 shortlist
bookoxygen warmly congratulates A.M. Homes, Hilary Mantel, Barbara Kingsolver, Kate Atkinson, Maria Semple and Zadie Smith, the six writers on the shortlist for this year’s Women’s Prize (formerly Orange Prize) for Fiction. Reviews of and Q&As with four of these authors can be found on this site.
bookoxygen to the fore
So it’s plus ca change in the world of book reviewing – still vastly more reviews written by men of men’s books, as the Guardian points out in an article today [Read more...] in News and events.
One of the few good deeds in this dirty world is the website you are reading right now. bookoxygen is committed to tipping the balance back towards women – as writers, reviewers and readers. So if you like what we are doing and want to see it develop, tweet or comment about it. Tell your friends. Because we’re worth it.
Positive developments at bookoxygen
bookoxygen, born in April 2012 and now not so far away from its first birthday, continues to grow and find new readers. Last week was its best week ever. And the changes on the horizon should only serve to strengthen its appeal to readers, writers and publishers. [Read more...] in News and events
Publishing apocalypse now?
Here’s a link to a provocative piece suggesting that the era of conventional trade publishing is over, and that it’s time to take to the hills and begin guerrilla warfare against global commercial monoliths and the unstoppable maw of online publishing. What’s the weapon? [Read more...] in News and events
Blurb whores and Gary Shteyngart
Do you know about puffs, those quotes you see on book covers, written by successful writers urging you to read the book and larding it with their own compliments? In the USA these are known as blurbs, and authors who write a lot of them are called ‘blurb whores’. Amongst their ranks, one name is pre-eminent, that of the writer Gary Shteyngart.
If you would enjoy a self-referential taste of American literary humour, then follow the link below to Ron Charles’s blog-post. [Read more...] in News and events
Hilary Mantel smashes more records
This year’s Costa Book Award has been won by Hilary Mantel who now adds this achievement to her Booker Prize win for the same novel – Bringing Up the Bodies – making her the first author to scoop both prizes in the same year. The Costa shortlist of five was all-female, for the first time. And Mantel is also the first woman to win the Booker twice, having previously scooped it with Wolf Hall.
Bringing Up the Bodies is the second novel in a trilogy which began with Wolf Hall. The question inevitably arises: what new boundaries will the concluding volume burst?
Linton Kwesi Johnson wins Golden PEN Award
The award given annually by PEN to an accomplished writer resident in Britain whose body of work has had a profound impact on readers and who is held in high regard by fellow writers and the literary community has been made in 2012 to Linton Kwesi Johnson. Previous winners of the award, which includes a golden pen and a cheque for £1,000, have included John Berger, Salman Rushdie and Margaret Drabble. Linton Kwesi Johnson is widely regarded as the father of ‘dub poetry’, a term he coined to describe a way a number of reggae DJs blended music and verse.
Congratulations to Kevin Powers for winning the 2012 Guardian First Book Award for his outstanding war novel The Yellow Birds. Read Elizabeth Hilliard Selka’s warm review of it under Reviews, More.
Maggie Shipstead wins the Dylan Thomas Prize
The prize for a novel, play, poetry or travel book written in the English language by an author who is under 30 has gone, this year, to Maggie Shipstead whose debut Seating Arrangements is a notable book on this site. ‘I will be astonished if I read a novel I admire more all year,’ said reviewer Caroline Sanderson. See the full review under Reviews, More.
Hilary Mantel wins the 2012 Man Booker Prize
Hilary Mantel has made Man Booker history by becoming the first woman and the first British writer to win the literary award twice. After scooping the prize three years ago for Wolf Hall, she has won again for the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies – another first, since no sequel has won before.
Samar Yazbek, PEN Pinter International Writer of Courage 2012
Syrian journalist and author Samar Yazbek has been chosen as the PEN Pinter International Writer of Courage. She shares the prize with this year’s British winner Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
Samar Yazbek was chosen in recognition of her book A Woman in the Crossfire, …published by Haus, an account of the revolution from inside Syria and her vocal opposition to the Assad regime.