Literary News Roundup - A Booker Prize delay, Enola Holmes, a book made of cheese, and more

02.10.20 03:50 PM By GAOLF

Accra International Book Festival goes virtual, Barack Obama’s memoir release pushes Booker ceremony date, Enola Holmes attracts both praise with PR stunt and lawsuit with Sherlock portrayal, and much more…

  • Decatur Book Festival's (Georgia, USA) events are scheduled throughout the month, which you can explore via their events calendar, including an event on Sunday 4th October featuring poet Natasha Trethewey in conversation about her memoir Memorial Drive which grapples with domestic abuse and racism in the American South as it details her life and the life of her mother who was murdered by Tretheway’s former step-father.
  • Remember the Cheltenham Literature Festival kicks off this weekend!
  • Mark your calendars for Portugal’s Words of Fire edition of its International Interior Literary Festival (FLII) which is scheduled to take place from 8 to 11 October as an intercity event in those areas previously affected by forest fires. Expect workshops, lectures, readings and exhibitions to take root in churches, factories, beaches, fields and more. Founded by the Portuguese writer Ana Filomena Amaral, under the motto “Art and culture as a revival of a region and of a people”, it is sponsored by his Excellency the President of the Republic and has as participants among others: Luís Osório, Gisela Casimiro,  Filipa Martins, Mary Reynolds, Evegenia Emets, Kiran Bhat in several panels, workshops, performances dedicated to Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo and Fernando Namora.
  • Bloomsbury Festival gets ready for its 16 – 25 October programme. You can explore the literary events here, which include a conversation with architectural and travel writer Christopher Beanland, an illustrated talk from the art director and author of London Street Signs, and a discussion between a leading expert on behavior change and addiction and the author of a genre-bending novel about a strange parasitic fungus.
  • International Literature Festival Dublin  has unveiled the lineup for ILFD 2020, which will run from 22 - 28 October and include Roxane Gay, Bob Geldof, Anne Enright and more in a combination of pre-recorded, livestreamed and podcasted events.
  • The Manchester Literary Festival has announced its digital programming of 17 events for 23-25 October, which includes thoughtful In Conversation pairings such as civil rights activist Angela Davis with Scottish Makar Jackie Kay, and poet, playwright, recording artist Kae Tempest in conversation with Grief is the Thing With Feathers author Max Porter. You can also expect an event with Tori Amos, storytelling with puppets, a poetry exchange and much more. The festival will be operating a ‘pay what you can’ pricing scheme, and you can find out more here, and from the festival website.
  • The third edition of the Accra International Book Festival will take place from October 29 – 31, 2020. The Afro-Book event will bring together world-class writers, artists, musicians, scientists and politicians from across the world to discuss the major issues of the day. Combining virtual author discussions with in-person meetings, the festival will include the Kwame Nkrumah Writers Workshop, book reading and discussion sessions, virtual book signings and more.  
  • Stratford Literary Festival announce their ‘Winter Weekend’ events to run from 22 to 25 November with tickets on sale next week. With a couple of workshops and one-to-one sessions for aspiring writers scheduled for 10and 11 November, the winter weekend features discussions on humanity’s relationship with war, an event aptly titled ‘Let’s Do It’ in honour of the late comedian and actress Victoria Wood, Roger McGough reading from his latest poetry collection and much more. You can explore their events here.
  • An online version of the Wollongong Writers Festival is scheduled to go ahead from 28-29 November. According to this update on their website, they’ll be announcing the programme at the end of October.
  • The Southbank Centre’s Everyday Heroes exhibition which celebrates the efforts of key workers and frontline staff during the pandemic is displayed entirely outdoors and in honour of the UK’s National Poetry Day they’ve highlighted this beautiful poem on their Instagram account today.
  • Novelist and children’s book editor Barbara Ker Wilson sadly passed away this month – do read this lovely obituary in the Times that begins with her discovery of Michael Bond’s A Bear Called Paddington in the ‘slush pile’.
  • You may like: This BBC Radio 4 programmeon reading outside your comfort zone – hear about how Ann Morgan read a book from every country in the world, why reading books in translation is the way forward, and about how bot-suggested recommendations can compound inbuilt reading biases.
  • A magical mystery tour through strange books in history from books wrapped in skin, to books made of cheese, Edward Brooke-Hitching’s The Madman’s Library has something for everyone. More from this review in the Guardian.
  • The 2020 Booker Prize Giving Ceremony and Winner announcement is being pushed back by two days to 19 November to avoid a clash with the publication date of Barack Obama’s latest memoir A Promised Land on the 17th. This is the first time in history the prize-giving has been moved to accommodate a book release. The prize is ordinarily awarded at a formal dinner in London, and this year ‘an unprecedented ceremony without walls’ is being planned in collaboration with the BBC to be available across multiple platforms. More here.
  • The 2020 Netflix film Enola Holmes starring Millie Bobby Brown as sister to the famous Sherlock and Mycroft, is in the news for multiple reasons. Based on the hit YA novels by Nancy Springer, the story of Enola’s search for her missing mother weaves real-life feminist history into the main narrative which you can read about here. To promote the film Netflix also put up statues around the UK of five remarkable women in history who were  overshadowed by their famous brothers. It will, however, take more than positive PR stunts to fight the lawsuit which the Conan Doyle estate has filed against the film for Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Sherlock.   
  • Influential Syrian publisher and author Riyad Al Rayyis has sadly passed away. You can read more about his writing, influence and legacy  here.
  • Research has found that students in the UK could potentially leave school without reading a novel or play by a non-white author. More details here via The Guardian.
  • ‘Is reading always good for you?’ Asks a roundup  of evil books in horror films from grimoires to fandoms gone wrong in Stephen King’s Misery.
  • The nine new books you should be reading in October according to Time Magazine include Japanese folktales with a feminist twist, an epic biography of Malcolm X, and a chilling tale of a cursed school which present day filmmakers attempt to turn into a film - what could possibly go wrong in that story? Check out the full list  here.
  • What do teens think of Arabic YA? An expert in children’s and young adult literature,Susanne Abou Ghaida caught up with Arab Lit Quarterly on what she’s learned from her fieldwork with Lebanese teen readers. You can read the interview  here.
  • Some of the most frequently banned books feature LGBTQ stories, says the American Library Association during Banned Book Week. Read the full details here via CNN.
  • It’s pumpkin spice season in some parts of the world, but you can cosy up with Harlan Coben’s fall reading list all year round.
  • If you’d like to watch Meryl Streep read a poem from John Lithgow’s Trumpty Dumpty Wanted A Crown: Verses For A Despotic Age you can do so here
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