Literary News Roundup - Our Highlights this Week - 27 August 2020

27.08.20 11:39 PM By GAOLF

Aké Arts and Book Festival announces its ‘African Time’ themed digital lineup, Read My World Amsterdam hosts physical festival with four distinct programme packages to accommodate COVID-19 precautions, the first person to become a cyborg will write a memoir, and a librarian is suspected of audaciously trolling the UK Prime Minister with carefully placed book titles. 

  • Amsterdam’s Read My World Festival has announced its 2020 author lineup for 9 - 10 October which you can explore here. With Europe as this year’s theme (inspired by the phrase ‘European Others’ coined by Fatima El-Tayeb) the programme particularly highlights writers from guest curator cities Rome, Paris, Berlin and Brussels. To accommodate audiences with COVID-19 measures, Read My World has made four different event packages or ‘routes’ available. 
  • Lagos’ Aké Arts and Book Festival has announced the lineup for its 2020 digital festival running from 22 -25 October, which includes award-winning novelists, gay rights activists, journalists, a meeting of faiths in a ‘cross-religion communion’ and more, centred on the theme of ‘African Time’. You can explore the full programme here and in this Publishing Perspectives feature.
  • The Women’s Prize for Fiction to host its first ever online festival from 6-8 September featuring events daily from 7pm GMT including readings of the shortlisted titles by actresses Kim Cattrall, Indira Varma and more. The festival will end with the announcement of this year’s winner. You can explore the programme and book tickets here
  • After banning 5000 titles in seven years, Kuwait ushers in significant and welcome change to book censorship laws. More on the impact of this new parliamentary vote here.  
  • Marieke Lucas Rijneveld became the youngest winner of the International Booker Prize this week for her novel The Discomfort of the Evening translated from Dutch to English by Michele Hutchison. More from the winner and her work in this interview.  
  • Did a librarian deliberately line up The Subtle Knife, Glass Houses, Crisis Point and other titles behind the UK Prime Minister during school library speech? The internet thinks they did.
  • In honour of Women in Translation Month, Electric Lit has a recommended reading list of nine new translated books by women. You can explore them here
  • Are you guilty of this damaging book-handling habit? You can find out by reading this LitHub article
  • Is there a book you wish you’d never read? Following the publication of her latest book Vesper Flights this month, this entertaining quick-fire Q&A with Helen Macdonald reveals the classic she wishes she had never read.  
  • Debut crime novels you should read this August according to Crime Reads, with settings as diverse as an Indian reservation in South Dakota, the drug underworld of the Bronx, and a private island. 
  • Crime festival Bloody Scotland (18-20 September 2020) has announced its online programme which includes a chance for aspiring writers to pitch their novel idea to a panel of experts, a behind-the-scenes chat with the rock band of crime writers that performed at Glastonbury, and much more. 
  • 38 years after her father won the UK’s oldest literary prize, Lucy Ellman brings the James Tait Black award home again with Ducks, Newburyport. More here
  • No Knives in the Kitchen of this City author Khaled Khalifa has been awarded the 2021 Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship. Arab Lit has more here
  • Scholar’s notes on decoding the Rosetta Stone found after two decades hidden among overlooked archive of paperwork. More on this exciting find in The Guardian
  • Something for the Roald Dahl fans: A theatrical reading of The Twits will be streamed live on YouTube from 5 September to 30 November. 
  • A doctor’s memoir of becoming the “the first person to combine his very humanity with artificial intelligence and robotics to become a full Cyborg" is due for publication next April
  • These are the 15 books to watch for in September according to the NY Times. 
  • Beijing International Book Fair’s ‘Smart BIBF’ opened yesterday. More here in Publishing Perspectives.
  • What’s it like to publish your first novel during a pandemic? A debut novelist has organised a ‘Diary of a Debut Novelist’ series of pre-recorded Zoom events with similarly affected writers sharing their stories and experiences, starting from 2 September. More on the inspiration and support for the project here.
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