Literary News Roundup - Our Highlights this Week - 12 June 2020

12.06.20 02:52 AM By GAOLF

We see first black British women to top UK fiction and non-fiction charts, literary plans to boost Scottish tourism, drones deliver library books, and we discover Maruice Sendak’s hidden talent.  

  • Ake Arts & Book Festival has changed its theme for upcoming October festival to ‘African Time’.
  • Jaipur LitFest’s #JLFBraveNewWorld concludes 50 digital episodes with a teaser for a session featuring the Dalai Lama – Date and time TBC, watch this space.
  • Auckland Winter Series Ep 7 airs 9am NZ Sun 14 June – expect 50s London art scene, Hamnet and a debut novel that captures dizzying contemporary China. Check out their website for more details. 
  • Lockdown LitFest continues its programming with Anthony Horowitz on 15 June at 3pm GMT, full upcoming line-up available here
  • Bailie Gifford Borders Book Festival unveils digital programme including James Naughtie, Neil Oliver and Sebastian Barry, available via from 12 July until 27 September. 
  • Is chairing a virtual festival session the same as chairing one in the ‘real world’? Check out our latest blog by Festival Chair Julia Wheeler: Virtually the Same – Or Is It?
  • The Hay Festival has jointly won the 2020 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities with Guadalajara International Book Fair. 
  • Bernardine Evaristo and Reni Eddo-Lodge become first black British women to top UK fiction and non-fiction charts respectively, and British publishing labelled ‘hostile environment’ by black authors. More information here. 
  • How do you use literature to boost tourism? Here’s how Scotland is planning to use books in its post-pandemic recovery. 
  • Lack of visitors threatens to close Jane Austen museum.  
  • Literary Conversations Across Borders’ live session ‘Will science be the new religion in the post-pandemic world?’ featuring Omar Ghobash and Lesley Hazleton scheduled for 6pm GMT on Sat 13 June. Registration for events and more session details available here
  • Drones are delivering library books to children in Virginia. Yes, you read that correctly.
  • Merriam-Webster will be updating its definition of the word ‘racism’ following an American graduate’s complaint that it is inadequate. More here from CNN.
  • A first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a first illustrated edition of Frankenstein and more rare books are up for sale. You can read more here.
  • Did you know that before he wrote Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak was an incredible toy maker? Well, we didn’t and we found out more about that here
  • If you’re not sure what to read, you can apparently write into Vox’s ‘Ask a Book Critic’ – this swathe of recommendations will punch the gut, be inventive and hilarious, feature nice people in rural settings, and more. 
  • First novel from South Sudan ever to be published in the UK part of PEN translation award, which awarded nineteen novels in translation ‘'on the basis of outstanding literary quality, the strength of the publishing project, and their contribution to UK bibliodiversity.’ More details via BookBrunch. 
  • Emirates Publishers Association has set up an emergency fund to support the UAE book industry. You can read more here.
  • Spain’s publishing industry rolls out a campaign to encourage bookstore support. Publishing Perspectives reports here
  • What did China’s April book market look like and what was popular? Find out here.
  • Acclaimed US Documentary ‘The Booksellers’ coming soon to iTunes, Amazon and other platforms. A behind-the-scenes look at the New York rare book world and the fascinating people who inhabit it, you can watch the trailer here.
  • JK Rowling writes about reasons for speaking out on sex and gender issues in wake of recent controversy. Blog post here.
  • Shortlist for Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year announced! Includes Belinda Bauer, Mick Herron and more
  • A Ligature for Black Bodies by Denise Miller wins this year’s Sexton Prize for Poetry
  • The psychology of a book ‘hangover’ – no, you aren’t imagining it, according to this Book Riot article
  • Have you ever wondered how publishers determine when to release hardcover books in paperback? If so, you’re in luck with this article.  


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