Literary News

More Book Award Winners and Bocas LitFest programme announced.

More Book Award Winners and Bocas LitFest programme announced.

Festival News:

The Virginia Festival of the Book comes to an end on March 26th after delivering the 29th edition as an in-person event in Charlottesville Virginia. The festival is known for its longstanding focus on accessibility and diversity in literature, and aiming to engage readers of all levels and interests. The programming of this year included a wide range of topics and genres within panels, salons, workshops and much more events that featured a huge line-up of authors including bestsellers Matthew Quick, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Meghan O’Rourke, Quan Barry, Rebecca Makkai, Jung Yun, Ross Gay, and many others.

The 2023 NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the largest annual literary event in the Anglophone Caribbean, has launched its upcoming programme with the theme “What’s Your Story?” The festival will feature over 70 events and roughly 100 authors, speakers, and performers exploring the power of stories. After three years of running virtual festivals due to COVID-19, the festival returns with a fully in-person program running from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 April. The festival will include appearances by Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo, newly named T.S. Eliot Prize winner Anthony Joseph, and the popular Jamaica-born poet and musician Linton Kwesi Johnson. A focus on life writing, the return of the New Talent Showcase, and two hard-hitting “Big Idea” discussion panels will also take place. Alongside the adult festival, the NGC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest will also run events across T&T throughout April

The Passa Porta Festival, one of Europe’s largest multilingual literary festivals, is taking place in Brussels between 23 and 26 March, featuring around 100 writers, including Mohsin Hamid, Timothy Garton Ash, Guiliano Da Empoli, and Annie Ernaux. The festival will also host the annual ICORN Network Meeting from 22 to 24 March, focusing on the theme of refuge. The festival will include approximately 70 programs exploring the theme of refuge, featuring interviews, debates, literary concerts, and guided tours, and presenting new works inspired by the theme.

The line-up for Bristol CrimeFest has been revealed, with over 150 authors set to participate in the crime fiction convention in May. The list of authors includes Andrew Child, Adele Parkes, Mark Billingham, Lisa Jewell, and Elly Griffiths.


Book News:

London Book Fair 2023 will feature Sadiq Khan, Kate Mosse, and a host of Ukrainian authors, among other industry figures, from April 18 to 20 at Olympia London. Khan will speak about London’s creative economy and climate change. Mosse will talk about her new book, The Ghost Ship. Other events include a headline talk by HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray and a seminar by Street Child, which is the fair’s charity of the year. The London Book Fair is an annual event where publishers, dealmakers, and other industry professionals meet for three days of networking, learning, and doing business.

The Academy of British Cover Design (ABCD) held their 10th awards ceremony, where David Pearson was crowned the “winner of all winners” for his striking redacted design of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four in the Penguin Classics series.

Nadia Mikail’s debut novel, The Cats We Meet Along the Way, has won the Waterstones children’s book prize for both the older readers category and the overall prize. The novel is about a family’s road trip across Malaysia before the world ends and was inspired by Mikail’s pandemic experience of being away from her family in Malaysia while studying law in London. The other winners of the awards were Kim Hillyard’s Gretel the Wonder Mammoth for the illustrated books category, and MT Khan’s Nura and the Immortal Palace for the younger readers award.

According to a new report from the American Library Association, attempted book bans and restrictions at school and public libraries continue to surge, setting a record in 2022. More than 1,200 challenges were compiled by the association in 2022, nearly double the then-record total from 2021 and by far the most since the ALA began keeping data 20 years ago. The requests are often for multiple removals and organized by national groups such as the conservative Moms for Liberty, which has a mission of “unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.”

The 2023 National Book Critics Circle Awards winners were announced, recognizing outstanding literature published in English in 2022. The awards, which aim to celebrate excellent writing and foster a conversation around literature and criticism, are chosen by almost 800 members of the NBCC. This year’s winners include Ling Ma for Fiction with “Bliss Montage,” Isaac Butler for Nonfiction with “The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act,” Beverly Gage for Biography with “G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century,” Hua Hsu for Autobiography with “Stay True,” Cynthia Cruz for Poetry with “Hotel Oblivion,” and Timothy Bewes for Criticism with “Free Indirect: The Novel in a Postfictional Age.” The John Leonard Prize went to Morgan Talty for “Night of the Living Rez,” and Andrey Kurkov’s “Grey Bees,” translated by Boris Dralyuk, won the Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize.

Linda Villarosa and Deborah Cohen are among the winners of the J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project awards. Villarosa won the $10,000 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for “Under the Skin,” and Cohen won the $10,000 Mark Lynton History Prize for “Last Call at the Hotel Imperial.” The project also gave $25,000 awards to two nonfiction books in progress: Jesselyn Cook’s “The Quiet Damage” and Mike Hixenbaugh’s “Uncivil.” Established in 1998, the project is managed by the Columbia Journalism School and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award has announced the shortlisted works for the Translation, Arab Culture in Other Languages, and Publishing & Technology categories for its 17th edition. Among the five entries on the shortlist for the Arab Culture in Other Languages category are “The Rise of the Arabic Book” by Beatrice Gruendler, “The Arabic Freud” by Omnia El Shakry, and “Los moriscos antiguos murcianos” by José Pascual Martínez. Three nominated works made it to the Translation category, including works by Michel Schneider and John R. Searle. The shortlist for the Publishing & Technology category includes Sindbad Publishing, ElAin Publishing, and The Institute of Arabic Manuscripts.

In a post-script to last week’s story about book fraudster Filippo Bernardini, The Guardian reports that he has been spared jail.

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