07

October

2023

Literary News

Fosse Awarded Nobel Prize, and Of Mice, Men and Steinbeck’s dog

Fosse Awarded Nobel Prize, and Of Mice, Men and Steinbeck’s dog

Festival news

Cheltenham Literature Festival has begun today (October 6-15), packed full of leading literary names including Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, Rose Tremain, Sebastian Faulks, Rachel Joyce, Anne Enright, Claire Kilroy, Bernard Cornwell, Jojo Moyes, Douglas Stuart, Heather Morris, Mike Gayle, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Charlie Mackesy, Sarah Winman, Audrey Magee and Max Porter. Kate Mosse and Emma Donoghue explore what happens when women refuse their prescribed role in a man’s world, whilst Kate Atkinson, praised by the late Hilary Mantel as “inexhaustibly ingenious”, speaks to long-term fan and fellow author Richard Osman about her career. Katherine Heiny is joined by Clare Clark to discuss her sparkling career and most recent collection, Games and Rituals. The Sunday Times ‘Must Reads’ features Eleanor Catton, the youngest ever Booker Prize winner at 28, discussing her latest novel Birnam Wood, a gripping, propulsive literary thriller of human ambition and survival. Celebrities featured include Brian Cox, actor Richard E Grant and Strictly Come Dancing Judge Shirley Ballas; high-profile politicians like former prime minister Theresa May, Elton John’s songwriter Bernie Taupin, comedy legend Michael Palin plus a busy  programme for children which includes Jacqueline Wilson, David Walliams and Sophie Dahl

Battleboro Literary Festival will take place from 13-15 October, which this year takes the theme ‘the story of us’—about who we are, how we are surviving, and what issues are we facing as humans with a focus on people who are marginalized. The festival will feature over 60 authors including Tracy Kidder, Will Schwalbe, Angela Saini, Jonathan Rosen, Andre Dubus lll, Alejandro Varela, Kelly Link,  Jean Kwok, Angie Kim, Tom Comitta, Henry Hoke, Jeff Sharlet, Brian Turner, Chen Chen, Oliver de la Paz, Idra Novey, Allegra Goodman, Cate Marvin, Holly Black, Mary Beth Keane, Nyani Nkrumah, Asale Angel-Ajani,  Neil King, Martha McPhee, and many more.

 

Manchester Literature Festival, 7- 22 October, includes a historical fiction masterclass from Kate Mosse and the launch of Arlo Parks’ poetry collection. Taking place across the city this autumn in venues such as the Manchester Art Gallery and Central Library, the line-up this year includes Zadie Smith, Jeanette Winterson, Lauren Groff, Deborah Levy and Max Porter. Other speakers include Karl Ove Knausgaard, Elif Shafak, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Simon Armitage, Lemn Sissay, Annie Macmanus, George Monbiot, Jeremy Deller and Yanis Varoufakis among others.

Ilkley Literature Festival is marking 50 years of bringing big names to Yorkshire, with past years featuring names such as W.H. Auden, Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes. This year’s event is running between 6-22 October, with a line-up which features Jeannette Winterson, Simon Armitage, Jacqueline Wilson, Helen Skelton, Gyles Brandreth, Clare Balding, Anton Du Beke, Monica Ali, Gavin Esler, James Naughtie, Grace Dent, A C Grayling, Steve Richards, Shaparak Khorsandi and Melanie Sykes.

 

Book News

Jon Fosse wins the 2023 Nobel prize in literature. The Norwegian author of novels, short stories and Pinteresque drama was praised by the judges for ‘giving voice to the unsayable’. The critically acclaimed author is the first ever laureate in the prize’s history to write in Nynorsk and his win ‘marks a further step in the Nordic state’s rise as a cultural powerhouse’. Read more

 

Celebrated Syrian author, poet and screenwriter Khaled Khalifa dies aged 59. Khalifa was one of Syria’s most acclaimed contemporary novelists, though his six novels were banned in the country. The Guardian has his obituary

 

Of Mice and Men first-draft fragment, torn up by Steinbeck’s dog, goes to auction. John Steinbeck’s pet ‘made confetti’ of the manuscript in 1936, but a surviving piece will go on sale alongside personal journals, first editions and a wrought-iron sword owned by the author. More here

 

Ian McEwan criticises hiring of ‘sensitivity readers’ looking for offensive material in manuscripts. The Booker-winning novelist describes the process of screening out things that might offend readers as ‘mass hysterias’ and ‘moral panics’ that ‘sweep through populations every now and then.’

 

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You can explore more content via the association’s website here and discuss topics in the forum with other member festivals here.