Literary News Roundup - Our Highlights this Week - 4 June 2020

05.06.20 03:39 AM By GAOLF

Major publishers pull out of Frankfurt Book Fair, anti-racist books sell out, authors rewrite their books to reflect the ‘new normal’ and hundreds of thousands tune in for the online edition of the Hay Festival.

  • Frankfurt Book Fair may have decided to go ahead in October but that doesn’t mean that publishers are going to attend – Hachette and Simon & Schuster join Bloomsbury in pulling out - BookBrunch article here.
  • Donations to diverse independent publishers increase in wake of the killing of George Floyd and ensuing protests. More details on the pandemic fundraisers here.
  • Joining the good news for inclusive publishers is the recent surge in sales of anti-racist books. Authors such as Reni Eddo-Lodge, Ibram X Kendi and Robin DiAngelo are selling out on ‘both sides of the Atlantic’ according to this Guardian article.
  • Jaipur LitFest has announced upcoming event featuring Amish and Namita Gokhale discussing ‘Myth and Memory’ on Sunday 7th June at 7:30 pm IST. Check out their Twitter feed for more info and regular updates. 
  • More information about the Emirates Literature Foundation’s next event in the ‘Literary Conversations across Borders’ series is available here. In summary: it kicks off at 7:30pm GST on 6 June, and features Dr Jane Goodall and the UAE Minister for Food Security will be talking about whether or not we’ve pulled back from the brink.
  • Up next on Auckland Writers’ Festival’s online Winter Series on Sunday 7 June is a fascinating combo – a modern take on Henry VIII, the origins of angels in religion and history, and an epic novel that moves between fantasy and reality – more info here.
  • If you tuned into the Hay Festival Digital events, you were one of nearly half a million fellow festival-‘goers’. "The combination of intimate conversations and the global audience able to participate online has reinvented the festival," says Peter Florence. BBC News coverage available here, and more detail in Publishing Perspectives available here.
  • LitHub’s personalised quarantine reading recommendations based on reader submissions of three books they like, are a thing of beauty – they’re on their ninth edition which is available here along with links to recommendation rounds one through eight.  
  • Richard Adam’s estate has won back all rights to his beloved 1972 classic Watership Down after a longstanding court battle against 1978 adaptation director Martin Rosen. More details about the case here.
  • Publishers have rescheduled a lot of books for publication later this year – that could be a problem according to this article.
  • Not only is the pandemic affecting publishing, it’s affecting writers and the content of their books, according to this interesting piece on why some authors have chosen to rethink or shelve existing projects in the current climate.
  • The New York Times asks an interesting question in this piece ‘As Audiobook Market Grows, Narrators of Color Find Their Voice’
  • The 2020 International Booker Prize has revealed its winner announcement date as 26 August. More details here.
  • Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel says ‘Thomas Cromwell would have locked us down for longer’ given the context of losing family members to ‘sweating sickness’ during his time at court.
  • Do you have an annoying roommate? A quarantine partner straining the fabric of your existence? Here are some tailored crime and thriller recommendations for whatever stay-at-home situation you find yourself in.
  • Publishers sue Internet Archive over 1.3 million free e-books.
  • Joe Wicks, AKA ‘the nation’s PE teacher’ in the UK, is leaving Pan Macmillan for a multi-book deal with HarperCollins that will include children’s books. More info here and here.
  • What happens to our brains when we read? A book list for you.
  • A clandestine press in Vietnam has been awarded the 2020 Prix Voltaire which honours ‘courage in the freedom to publish’ by the International Publishers’ Association.
  • In case you missed this wonderful news like we did until now, you can get book-inspired face masks and Book Riot has the info 
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