Literary News Roundup - Sydney Writers' Festival news, Bangalore's packed weekend programme, Russian doping tell-all scoops William Hill prize & More

10.12.20 06:10 PM By GAOLF
  • We welcome two more festivals to the Association: Quais de Polar, an International Crime Festival in Lyon, France, and Indonesian Literacy Movement with an annual festival Gerakan Menulis Buku Indonesia
  • Namita Gokhale, founder of the Jaipur Literature Festival, is to chair the judging panel for the 2021 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize. She will be joined on the panel by Syima Aslam, founder and director of the Bradford Literature Festival. More details here. 
  • Stratford Literary Festival, in partnership with healthcare charity Kissing it Better, has published a book In My Day: Memories of Isolation Shared Between the Generations. Written by young people during the Covid-19 pandemic, it tells the stories of their older relatives' experiences of childhood isolation and loneliness resulting from war or other disasters. 
  • Sydney Writers’ Festival (SWF) and Sydney Festival have announced Something to Talk About, a series of four events to take place over the weekend of 16–17 January 2021.
  • Bangalore LitFest with over 80 Indian and International authors to be livestreamed on 12 and 13 December. More here.
  • New Statesman article ‘Why Bookshop.org is not the saviour the book world needs’ explores the cut that independent bookstores take via the Amazon competitor versus standard in-store cut of book price, and more.
  • Russian doping tell-all The Rodchenkov Affair: How I Brought Down Putin’s Secret Doping Empirewins William Hill Sportsbook of the Year with whistle-blowing author under witness protection.
  • The best books of the year according to booksellers and writers.
  • Obituary of Patience Thomson in The Times highlights a dyslexia pioneer and founder of publishing house Barrington Stoke who taught royals and young offenders. You can read more about her incredible life here.
  • For the best history books of the year, the Smithsonian Magazine has selected ten of its favourites, mostly focused on American history which you can explore here. There’s also a piece on the first commercially printed Christmas card that scandalized Victorian England here.
  • Hervé Le Tellier wins Prix Goncourt for page-turner L’anomalie which is set on a flight between New York and Paris and narrated from the perspective of 11 passengers including a part-time hit man.
  • Ian Rankin to complete unfinished novelThe Dark Remains by godfather of ‘tartan noir’ William McIlvanney.
  • Book cover designers have opinions on the best book covers of the year – you can enjoy all 89 of them via this article.
  • As J.R.R. Tolkien’s house re-enters the market, fans embark on crowdfunding quest to purchase the house, preserve it, and turn it into a museum as currently “there is no center for Tolkien anywhere in the world,” says Julia Golding, British novelist spearheading campaign.
  • For anyone who is yet to apply the Kon Mari method to their writing folder, this LitHub essay ‘How to let go of a book you’ve been writing for 20 years’ might be of interest.
  • Bestselling author Amish Tripathi announces upcoming non-fiction bookDharma: Decoding the Epics for a Meaningful Life, the first to be published since Immortal India in 2017, this time co-authored with his sister Bhavna Roy.
  • If you’ve read every best book of the year list or article recommending the Booker longlist over and over again, here’s an article in Kirkus on the books that deserved more buzz this year.
  • “In 1963 and 1964, as Louise Fitzhugh was inventing Harriet the Spy’s world, nannies and spies were very much in the public eye” begins this feature on the origins and literary underpinnings of this iconic character.
  • 1970 Nobel Prize for Literature winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s memoir written in the 80s was published only this autumn in English. You can read an excerpt of Between Two Millstones, Book 2: Exile in America, 1978–1994 here, wherein he reflects on happy times with his beloved wife Alya.
  • If you prefer your Paris more Émile than Emily, these are Perestroika in Paris author Jane Smiley’s top five Émile Zola novels that depict the French capital.
  • Christmas sweaters, but make them literary – a selection courtesy of Book Riot with links to even more at the bottom of the article – Grinches and Scrooges are especially catered for.
  • Raj Kamal Jha wins Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020 for The City and the Sea. More details here.
  • Founding member of ChipLitFest Clare Mackintosh has a piece in Crime Reads this week on the importance of story over genre - “characters, writing, and tension make or break a book. You can step over the genre fence and still appeal to your readers” says Mackintosh.
  • A fascinating and strange read on the theatrical life and death of infamous Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima, a literary celebrity who in 1970 kidnapped a commander and tried to start a coup.
  • Camilla Townsend wins the $75,000 Cundill History Prize with Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs, praised by jury chair Peter Frankopan for the way it “transforms how we look at the past”
  • Why is it so hard to find the work of Sudanese women in English translation? asks translator Sawad Hussain in this Words Without Borders essay which was also highlighted with interesting additional context in Publishing Perspectives this week. 
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