Literary News Roundup - Our Highlights this Week - 13 August 2020

13.08.20 05:37 PM By GAOLF

We welcomed Festival Québec en toutes lettresBorris House Festival of Writing and Ideas (Ireland), Brisbane Writers Festival, and Newcastle Writers Festival (Australia) to the Association most recently which makes us 73 members strong! Hay Festival Querétaro celebrates the best of Mexican literature, Bocas LitFest launches readings series, the Women’s Prize for Fiction celebrates 25 years with an inspiring collection, Bay Area Book Festival announces mini-Festival with Berkeley’s leading thinkers and speakers, a feud between a second hand bookstore owner and librarian kicks off, and so much more – it’s been a busy week in the book world! 

  • Malala Yousafzai, Mario Vargas Llosa, Kazuo Ishiguro, and more announced as part of lineup for Hay Festival Querétaro, which Hay Festival international director Cristina Fuentes says will “celebrate the best of Mexican literature”. Scheduled for 2-7 September, you can explore the six-day programme of 70 free events here.
  • The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books which usually brings thousands to LA’s USC University Park Campus is moving online this year for four weeks from 18 October with the programme due to be announced mid-September. Keep an eye on their social media for updates. 
  • Audiobook fans rejoice: 15 writers recommend their favourite audiobooks in this Guardian article and Penguin Random House adds 12 more classic titles by women writers to its audio library next month including Wuthering Heights and The Mill on the Floss. 
  • You may not be able to explore these rare books and manuscripts from East Anglia, UK in person, but thanks to the Unlocking the Archive project, you can do so online via this new interactive digital resource. Find out more here.
  • While the Bocas LitFest virtual programme is scheduled for 18-20 September, a second season of their ‘Bios & Bookmarks’ online reading series featuring Caribbean authors such as Trinidadian poet and winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, Roger Robinson, kicked off this week and will run every Sunday until 13 September. 
  • Bay Area Book Festival schedules all-day free virtual mini-festival with 16 of Berkley, California’s most influential thinkers, speakers and writers including an eight-time NBA champion and a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer. You can find out more about the 4 October Berkley #UNBOUND festival here
  • The Buenos Aires based Filba Festival and its children’s festival counterpart Filbita go online this year with nine days of events for all ages scheduled from 16 to 24 October. Authors confirmed so far include journalist and activist Vivian Gornick, children’s author, artist and illustrator Oliver Jeffers, and prolific novelist Alejandro Zambra. 
  • ‘Toothless tedium’ according to this Guardian review, and something new for Twilight fans to ‘sink their teeth into – sort of’ says The Washington Post, of Stephenie Meyer’s long-awaited and hot-off-the-press Midnight Sun.   
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul author Jack Canfield follows his own ‘rule of five’ with these five tips on self-publishing. 
  • What makes a beach read? Book Riot has some thoughts that might help with your own seaside selections. 
  • Writer Emily Temple has ranked 40 Hamlets from a Veggie Tales appearance to the infamous Laurence Olivier, and beyond. Do you rank Ethan Hawke’s voice-over delivery in a Blockbuster video store above or below The Simpsons’ version? Find out where you stand here
  • The 2020 Crime Writing Associaiton Daggger Award shortlists have been announced. You can explore the shortlists which include Jeffrey Deaver, Abir Mukherjee and more, via the CWA website here
  • “I decided to invite Thomas Harris to my house around Day 24 of the pandemic.” – read what one writer learned from re-reading The Silence of the Lambs in Lockdown. 
  • Feel adrift trying to gift books to friends and family? David Nicholls feels your pain – describes it akin to ‘changing the music at someone else’s party’ in this short but sweet Q&A.
  • You can catch up with the latest Lockdown LitFest conversations and interviews here. Spy thriller writer Charles Cumming, and Ann MacMillan & Peter Snow were featured most recently with the latter talking about the Ancient Greeks and their take on #cancelculture. 
  • If you like experimental novels that push the boundaries of storytelling, check out the recommendations in this New York Times article
  • As Senator Kamala Harris has been announced as the Vice Presidential running mate to Joe Biden, four of the books that she thinks everyone should read have resurfaced on Business Insider
  • In addition to the recent launch of their programme of over 140 online events, Edinburgh International Book Festival (15-31 August) has announced two upcoming online industry events - ‘A Literary Scout Masterclass’ on 26 August, and a free online panel titled The Chance to Change – The Future of Publishing on 28 August. 
  • An interesting look at the societal concerns and ‘what ifs’ at the heart of the recently published zombie novel The Living Dead that legendary director George A Romero worked on for a decade before entrusting to novelist Daniel Kraus to complete after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis. 
  • The UK reading charity BookTrust has worked with 168 local authorities and councils to distribute book-filled care packages aimed at children up to the age of 10, for families hit hardest by lockdown. More here in BookBrunch.
  • After a 47-day stint in intensive care recovering from Covid-19, Michael Rosen was glad to return to the ‘friendly blanket’ of writing and wrote new book Rigatoni the Pasta Cat in just two days. Due for publication in spring 2022, you can find out more about this upcoming book here.
  • University of East Anglia has announced its 2020 online event lineup which kicks off with Lee Child on 7 October and ends with Bernardine Evaristo on 18 November. More information available via the UEA Live website.
  • If you could curate an imaginary festival of comedy, literature, and spoken word with no restrictions, and even control the weather, what would it look like? BBC Radio 4’s Friday Night Comedy is asking UK comics to do just that, and you can hear Jo Brand’s Summer Festival episode here.
  • George Eliot, George Sand, and 23 other women who wrote under male pseudonyms are part of a ‘Reclaim her Name’ collection of 25 novels which are being re-released for the first time with their true names on the front cover, and as free eBooks, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the women’s prize for fiction. 
  • Festival Director of the Working Class Writers’ Festival Natasha Carthew, invites editors, agents, publicists, booksellers to put forward their author suggestions for the October 2021 Festival, and to get in touch if interested in participating themselves in industry-focused discussions and events aimed at promoting and engaging with working class writers. 
  • The impact of Oxfam bookshops on the second-hand bookselling trade are discussed at length in this article in The Critic. 
  • ‘Please stop taking my books for your bookstore. That is not the intent of my little library’ read the sign on a little street library pointedly addressed to a second hand bookstore owner in Virginia. You can read more about how this neighbourhood book feud escalated here
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