Thursday, March 19, 2009

Book News: Week of March 16th - 21st

The biennial Man Booker International Prize - which honours lifetime achievement of a living fiction writer - has announced this year's finalists. One Canadian has made the list: short story writer Alice Munro. Other finalists are:

Peter Carey (Australia) V S Naipaul (UK)
Evan S Connell (USA) Joyce Carol Oates (USA)
Mahasweta Devi (Bangladesh)
Ludmila Ulitskaya (Russia) Arnost Lustig (Czech Republic)

An interesting story from the British newspaper the Guardian this week reported that sales of Wuthering Heights have jumped in France. The reason? Repeated references to the novel in Eclipse the third volume of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Eclipse (or Hésitation as the French edition is titled) was released in late 2007. Sales of Wuthering Heights grew all through 2008.

The National Book Critics Circle Award winners were announced on March 12th. The annual awards recognize excellence in 6 catagories of books that have been published in english in the US in the previous year. This year’s winners:

Fiction: 2666 by Roberto Bolaño
Poetry (two winners): Sleeping it Off in Rapid City by August Kleinzahler and Half of the World in Light by Juan Felipe Herrera
Criticism: Children's Literature: A Reader's History by Seth Lerer
Biography: The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul by Patrick French
Autobiography: My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq by Ariel Sabar
General Nonfiction: The Forever War by Dexter Filkins

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