Literary News Roundup - A busy literary October calendar, Maldives seeks Barefoot Bookseller and stolen books found buried in Romania.

25.09.20 03:14 PM By GAOLF

 The October calendar is busy and vibrant for literary festivals worldwide, the Arthur C. Clarke Award goes to a novel that combines historical fiction, magical realism and sci-fi, an unusual 12 hour In-Conversation event takes place this weekend, and the search is on for the next Barefoot Bookseller.   

  • We welcomed the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival and Novel Heroes Istanbul Literary Festival to the Association this week!.
  • Filba Festival’s programme is up and available to browse here. Events running from 16 to 24 October include a haiku translation workshop and conversations with Joyce Carol Oates, Jamaica Kinkaid, and many more. 
  • The Toronto International Festival of Authors is scheduled from 22 Oct to 1 Nov. Their home page has an accessible quick look at the interviews, readings and performances on offer. You can tune into a reading from International Man Booker Prize nominee Shokoofeh Azar, a poetry slam, a conversation on subverting fairy tales and superhero tropes, a conversation with literary heavy-hitter Anne Michaels, a series of readings on the theme of the Dutch phrase ‘Skin Hunger’, and more. The full programme is available to view here
  • Don’t forget to put the Aké Arts and Book Festival dates in your calendar with their ‘African Time’ themed events running from 22-25 October. From film to storytelling sessions and more, we’re looking forward to seeing the full programme soon. In the meantime you can explore their author lineup here
  • The Vancouver Writers Fest will be taking place digitally from 19 to 25 October with Marilynne Robinson discussing the final instalment in her Gilead quartet, a literary cabaret and so much more. You can explore upcoming events and book tickets here
  • An off-shoot of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Kembali 2020 – A Rebuild Bali Festival will take place from 29 October to 8 November. KEMBALI20 is planned as a digital celebration of literature, food, music and more with food demos, workshops and music performances scheduled in addition to conversations (though some programs will be available on the ground for a limited local audience). You can take a closer look at the overall Festival via this write-up here, and you can explore the main program via this link which includes discussions on the future of dining, how indigenous thinking can save the world a conversation with Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan on his latest novel Sex and Vanity, and so much more
  • Tickets are on sale for Guildford Book Festival which will be taking place from 4-11 October with live socially distanced audiences and the odd Zoom event too. The programme features Richard Osman in conversation about his runaway bestseller The Thursday Murder Club, etymologist Susie Dent, a political pit-stop tour from Nixon to Trump courtesy of James Naughtie, and much more. You can explore all the events here and download a PDF programme here
  • Tickets also went on sale this week for The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. You can explore the programme which will run from 2 to 11 October and features Rupert Everett, Caitlin Moran, sessions on Dante, Shakespeare, Raphael, Kid Normal and more, via their events page here
  • The Hong Kong International Literary Festival will take place as a hybrid festival of 70-plus live and online events from 5 -15 November. According to this write-up we can expect urban love poetry, Pulitzer Winners, discussions on US-China relations, and Hong Kong writers like Dorothy Tse and Christine Loh. Keep an eye on their news section for updates on additions to the author lineup. 
  • Liverpool Literary Festival runs from 9-11 October with events featuring Carol Ann Duffy, Jess Kidd and more. Full programme here
  • This year’s winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award for Science Fiction is debut novelist Namwali Serpell with The Old Drift, a tale of three families over three generations that mixes historical fiction, magical realism and sci-fi. The novel moves between 1960s Zambia attempting to send a woman to the moon, the future, and a colonial settlement by Victoria Falls at the turn of the 20th Century. More on this year’s winning novel here
  • A luxury resort in the Maldives is looking for a ‘Barefoot Bookseller’ again to run their pop-up bookshop for six months from November. More details here in Bookbrunch, and via the barefoot bookseller website
  • Booker Prize nominated author Tsitsi Dangarembga faces trial for protesting against Zimbabwe's government. This article in Bookbrunch highlights statement from her publisher Faber & Faber and the authors who have signed demanding her acquittal. 
  • Rave review of Appledore’s Drive-In book festival in The Guardian. 
  • Have you ever wondered how the New York Times bestseller list gets made? Here’s an inside look the process.
  • This weekend a 12-hour exchange of ideas about our past, present and future will take place between novelists, astrophysicists, climate activists, sound preservationists and more. The collaboration between The Longplayer Assembly and the London Review of Books is scheduled as a livestreamed relay conversation format: two people from different fields talk for 30 minutes before one person from the conversation stays on to speak to the next guest. 
  • Rare books worth millions which were stolen in 2017 heist found buried under the floor of a rural Romanian house. After three years of searching police tracked down the 200 books that had been stolen by an organized crime group, including first editions of works by Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton. More on this story here.
  • ‘Books for young girls are too weighty’ says Natalie Portman as she releases Natalie Portman’s Fables, which reimagines classic tales like ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ with fewer male pronouns.  as she releases Natalie Portman’s Fables, which reimagines classic tales like ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ with fewer male pronouns.  
  • Francine Toon wins the 2020 McIlvanney Prize with Scottish highland ghost story Pine. 
  • Financial Times and McKinsey announce a Business Book of the Year shortlist. 
  • Forrest Gump author Winston Groom and fantasy writer Terry Goodkind have both sadly passed away. You can read about Winston’s life and legacy here and reflect on Terry’s here
  • Margaret Atwood reflects on 'The chilling parallels between The Handmaid’s Tale and our post-pandemic world’ in this article
  • 'Who was Notaila Rashed? Find out more about the Egyptian children's author the Google Doodle you likely saw this week, here
  • Spending on children's books is up over last five years and sees further increase during lockdown according to this in-depth look at all the facts and figures in Bookbrunch.  
  • Guest of Honor Canada announces their Frankfurt Digital Events which include a panel with Esi Edugyan of Washington Black fame, Margaret Atwood, a hip hop performance and even a pianist. Here’s a summary via Publishing Perspectives, and to explore the full programme you can go to their events calendar directly here
  • Mo Yan is back on the bestseller charts in China with A Late Bloomer, his first book published since he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012. More on the book and its popularity here.  
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