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Updated: 2 hours 52 min ago

A prisoner got a book deal. Now the state wants him to pay for his imprisonment

Sat, 02/17/2018 - 09:49
In the summer of 2016, Curtis Dawkins, a felon who is serving a life sentence in Michigan for murdering a man during a botched robbery, got some unexpected good news. Scribner, one of the top literary publishing houses in the United States, wanted to publish his debut collection of short stories, and offered him $150,000.

When "The Graybar Hotel" came out last summer, he was praised as a gifted stylist whose stories illuminated the often overlooked lives of prisoners. The book was also a boon for his family: Mr. Dawkins directed the money into an education fund for his three children.

But his surprising literary debut also caught the attention of Michigan's attorney general, who now wants Mr. Dawkins, 49, to use his financial windfall to pay for his incarceration...

The Golden Man Booker Prize

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:38
The Booker Prize Foundation has launched the Golden Man Booker Prize to mark the 50th anniversary. This special one-off award will crown the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize, as chosen by five judges and then voted for by the public.

Since it was first awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize has become the leading prize for quality fiction in English, with the winning books setting a benchmark against which other novels are judged. The Golden Man Booker will put all 51 winners – which are all still in print – back under the spotlight, to discover which of them has stood the test of time, remaining relevant to readers today.

Barnes & Noble cutting staff due to poor holiday season and declining sales

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 11:07
Barnes & Noble is trimming its staff, laying off lead cashiers, digital leads and other experienced workers in a company-wide clearing, CNBC has learned from sources familiar with the matter.

The news came abruptly for many workers who showed up Monday morning at various Barnes & Noble locations to be notified that they no longer had a job, the people said. The number of affected workers couldn't immediately be determined. As of April 29 of last year, Barnes & Noble employed about 26,000 people.

Former Causeway Bay Books manager plans to open a book store in Taiwan

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 10:54
Former Hong Kong-based Causeway Bay Books manager Lam Wing-kei said during an interview with a foreign radio station on Tuesday that it is almost certain that he will open a book store in Taiwan and if the operation of the store is smooth, he will consider going back to Hong Kong to open a new book store.

ALA Awards Winners include Hello, Universe (Newbery); The Hate You Give and Vincent & Theo

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 05:00
The American Library Association presented their annual book awards today.

The Newbery medal went to Erin Entrada Kelly for Hello, Universe (Greenwillow Books) and the Caldecott Medal to Matthew Cordell for Wolf in the Snow (Feiwel & Friends).

Nina Lacour won the Michael L. Printz Award for We Are Okay (Dutton Children's), and Angela Johnson won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature." The William C. Morris YA Debut award went to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray), which also won the Odyssey audiobook award. Deborah Heiligman's Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers (Henry Holt) won the Excellence in Nonfiction award, while Larry Dane Brimner won the Sibert Medal for distinguished informational book for the Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 (Calkins Creek).

Jacqueline Woodson received the Wilder Award, honoring an author or illustrator whose books have "made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."

Renee Watson received The Coretta Scott King award for Piecing Me Together (Bloomsbury Children's), and Eloise Greenfield received the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Mansplain and helicopter-parent among 1,100 new words added to Oxford English Dictionary

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 09:54
More than 1,100 new words were included in the latest update to the Oxford English Dictionary's online edition, with more than 100 of them relating to parenting.

"Mansplain" also enters the dictionary for the first time. According to the OED, just 10 years ago the word did not exist, "but the verb (of a man: to explain something needlessly, overbearingly, or condescendingly, especially to a woman, in a manner thought to reveal a patronising or chauvinistic attitude) and the concept it describes now have a firm foothold in the language".

Missing Hong Kong Bookseller/Publisher Wins Prix Voltaire

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:31
Gui Minhai, the Hong Kong bookseller and publisher who has twice been seized by Chinese authorities--most recently on January 20--is being awarded the International Publishers Association's Prix Voltaire for "his bravery in continuing to publish despite the risks involved."

National Book Foundation adds book award for translated literature

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:30
The National Book Foundation today announced it will present the National Book Award for Translated Literature, beginning this year at the 69th National Book Awards in November. This prize, which represents a fifth National Book Award category, will honor a work of fiction or nonfiction that has been translated into English and published in the U.S.

Helen Dunmore wins Costa book of the year for Inside the Wave

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 11:13
The poet and author Helen Dunmore, who died in June 2017, has been awarded the Costa book of the year for her final poetry collection, Inside the Wave.

Dunmore, who died last year aged 64, is only the second posthumous winner of the book of the year category in the prize's history, after her fellow poet Ted Hughes won for Birthday Letters in 1998, and only the eighth poetry collection to take the top award.

Inside the Wave considers her terminal cancer diagnosis and impending death.

Fantasy author Ursula K Le Guin dies at home.

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 19:46
Fantasy author Ursula K Le Guin died at home in Oregan, aged 88. A prodigious author, her career spanned more than half a century. She won numerous awards including the Nebula and Hugo science fiction and fantasy awards, the Newbery Medal, and the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American letters. In 2000 the US Library of Congress designated her a Living Legend for her contribution to America's cultural heritage.

Jenny Joseph: 'I shall wear purple' poet dies aged 85

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 12:29
Jenny Joseph, whose poem "Warning" was twice voted Britain's favorite poem, has died at the age of 85.

It is perhaps best known for its opening lines: "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple / With a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me."

Despite it being about old age, Joseph was in her 20s when she wrote it.

Peter Mayle, author of 'A Year in Provence,' dies aged 78

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 13:17
Peter Mayle, author of A Year in Provence and other books including a series of crime novels, died on Thursday at a hospital near his home in Southern France.

"Fire and Fury" sells 192,000 copies in its first full week on sale.

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 05:00
Henry Holt's efforts to rush more copies of Fire and Fury to stores appears to have partly met demand for the book. According to NPD BookScan, which tracks 80% to 85% of print sales, Michael Wolff's tell-all book about the Trump White House sold 191,838 copies in its first full week on sale - the week ended January 14. This made it the biggest selling title of the week by a wide margin.

Despite this, Holt still has a long way to go to meet demand for the book which received 1.4 million orders last week.

PBS announces new show, The Great American Read, launching in May

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 05:00
Margaret Atwood, Junot Díaz, Lauren Graham John Irving, Bill T. Jones, Devon Kennard, Gayle King, Diane Lane, George R. R. Martin, Lesley Stahl and Many more will lend their voices to PBS' "The Great American Read."

The Great American Read, a new eight-part television competition and nationwide campaign created in partnership with the production company Nutopia, aims to explore the power of books and the joy of reading through the lens of America's 100 best-loved novels, as voted on by the public. PBS will also partner with top literary organizations and its nearly 350 member stations nationwide to extend the reach of The Great American Read to every community.

The Show will launch with a two-hour special event on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at 8 p.m. on PBS stations.

PEN America to honor Stephen King with Literary Service Award

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 05:00
PEN America is honoring Stephen King with its Literary Service Award at its annual literary gala in New York City on May 22. The award is given to "a critically-acclaimed writer whose body of work helps us understand and interpret the human condition, engendering empathy and imagination in even the darkest hours."

PEN America has also named as its annual Publisher Honoree Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster. The organization said that "under her leadership, Simon & Schuster has published many acclaimed and award-winning works of lasting cultural significance, has greatly expanded its publishing activities in international territories, and has been an industry leader in finding new audiences through digital capabilities.

Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash on social media over #MeToo

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 05:00
Canadian author Margaret Atwood is facing a social media backlash after voicing concerns about the #MeToo movement and calling for due process in the case of a former university professor accused of sexual misconduct.

Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash on social media over #MeToo

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 05:00
Canadian author Margaret Atwood is facing a social media backlash after voicing concerns about the #MeToo movement and calling for due process in the case of a former university professor accused of sexual misconduct.

Author of "Hillbilly Elegy" considering running for Senate.

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 11:41
J.D. Vance, who gained national recognition for his 2016 book, "Hillbilly Elegy," is seriously considering running in Ohio's key senate race, an adviser to Vance told CNN on Wednesday. This comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke with Vance about his run, according to sources with knowledge of the call, offering the author advice on what he could expect from a potential bid.

Vending machines that dispense short stories rather than snacks

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 12:03
While many have lamented the lost art of reading in our social media-driven world, few have actually tried to do anything about it. Short Édition is the exception. In 2011, the Grenoble, France-based startup began installing short story-dispensing vending machines in some of the country's most popular public spaces, beginning with Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport. And now they've made their way to America.

Fire & Fury sells out as publisher Holt re-orders as fast as possible. Two more Trump books publishing next week

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 05:00
Intense demand for Fire & Fury has caught its publisher, Henry Holt, off guard as the Macmillan imprint scrambles to get copies into the marketplace.

Gauging a book's traction in the marketplace and setting its print run is, arguably, one of the trickiest aspects of the publishing process. And Holt, in this instance, underestimated demand significantly.

Although Holt is reordering as fast as it can the worry is that it may lose sales because of the current unavailability of the book. Competition is also coming. Two other books are due to publish next week--David Cay Johnston's It's Even Worse Than You Think (Simon & Schuster) and David Frum's Trumpocracy (HarperCollins)--are set to hit stores on January 16.

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