The State of Literature
Hilary Mantel has won the Man Booker Prize for fiction for Bring up the Bodies. The award was announced today during a dinner ceremony at London’s medieval Guildhall.
“You wait 20 years for a Booker Prize and two come along at once,” Ms. Mantel said, when accepting the award. Ms. Mantel won the prize for Wolf Hall in 2009. Bring up the Bodies is a sequel to Wolf Hall, which is something that the judges are hesitant to do, according to the broadcasters we were listening to on the BBC Livestream.
The chair of this year’s Man Booker Prize, and the editor of the Times Literary Supplement, does not like all these uninformed opinions about literature flitting about the Internet. Indeed, Sir Peter Stothard fears for the very state of serious literature and criticism.
“Eventually that will be to the detriment of literature. It will be bad for readers; as much as one would like to think that many bloggers opinions are as good as others. It just ain’t so,” Sir Peter Stothard told the Independent, we imagine over a proper tea service. “People will be encouraged to buy and read books that are no good, the good will be overwhelmed, and we’ll be worse off.”
A hedge fund manager wants assurances that Norman Mailer’s curious apartment in Brooklyn Heights complies with zoning codes before he buys it. Or maybe he just found out that Mailer stabbed one of his wives with a penknife there. In any case, the buyer appears to have cold feet. Occupy Norman Mailer’s apartment? [NYT]
Book Riot is a book site for 18 to 34-year-olds. As this article points out, it does not seem to have made up its mind whether it’s for adults who like to read, or for adults who hate to read (viz. “Charles Dickens is reigning king of Dead White Guys You Should Have Read in High School, But Probably Just Read the Cliff Notes or Possibly Watched the BBC Mini-series.”)
After being named to the shortlist three times before, Julian Barnes has finally won this year’s prize for his book The Sense of an Ending.
The Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award, has suffered this year from lots of fuss and discussions in the British press about whether the books named to its shortlist were elected for their “readability” or their literary merit. Mr. Barnes was the favorite to win among both gamblers and literary critics (perhaps because he has been nominated so many times in the past). Stella Rimington, who chaired the panel of judges, said that “The Sense of an Ending has the markings of a classic of English Literature. It is exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each reading.”
Following criticism that the Man Booker Prize, the prestigious British literary award that goes each year to a writer from the Commonwealth or Ireland, no longer deserves its reputation as a badge of literary achievement, a new literary prize for the U.K. has been announced that purports to “establish a clear and uncompromising standard of excellence.”
Esi Edugyan’s Man Booker shortlisted novel Half-Blood Blues is narrated by an African-American jazz musician from Baltimore. Through a mix of flashbacks and first-person narration, the story recounts the mysterious disappearance of a black German jazz musician – son of a French-African father and a German mother – against a backdrop of Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied Paris. Ms. Edugyan is Canadian, and her book is a story of Americans in Europe, but her novel failed to interest U.S. publishers as a first draft.
Following the release of the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, Knopf announced it will be moving up the release date for Julian Barnes’s shortlisted novel The Sense of an Ending.
It’s the Man Booker Prize shortlist! The prize is awarded each year to a work of fiction by a writer from the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland and published in the United Kingdom for the first time in the year of the prize.The most surprising dismissal from the Booker longlist was Alan Hollinghurst, whose Read More
Big Monday news in books and television:
The Man Booker Prize longlist of nominees, deciphered.
The common language of literature, charted.
Children’s books illustrated by Andy Warhol.
Terry Gilliam is adapting Paul Auster’s Mr. Vertigo.
A mega-preview of Downton Abbey‘s second season. Read More
Two British writers are up in arms about a new fad that’s become all the rage: the present tense. Three of the six finalists for the prestigious Man Booker Prize employ this stylistic device, a cheap trick that serious novelists would never resort to, writers Philip Pullman and Philip Hensher told The Daily Read More