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Gone 2 Paris–for the Shakespeare and Company Literary Festival

posted June 16, 2010

Posted by Erin Brown in Bookselling events literary awards uncategorized world literature


This weekend (June 18-20) in Paris, the much-venerated Shakespeare and Company bookstore is holding its fourth literary festival. Inaugurated in 2003, the festival has since settled into a biannual schedule, running in 2006, 2008, and now 2010. Each festival has centered on a different theme, including “Lost, Beat & New: Three Generations of Writers in Paris”; “Travel in Words: Celebrating Travel Literature”; and “Real Lives: Exploring Memoir and Biography.”

This year’s theme is “Storytelling & Politics”—appropriate, given that Shakespeare and Company founder George Whitman (now in his nineties) has always seen his bookstore as a political vehicle, even describing it as “a socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore.” Check out this video to get a sense of the unique literary atmosphere he created.

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Orange Prize is No Joking Matter

posted March 24, 2010

Posted by Erin Brown in authors books literary awards


orange prize

The long list for the Orange Prize for Fiction was announced last week. One of the top literary awards in the U.K., along with the Man Booker Prize and the Costa Book Award, the £30,000 prize is given to a woman author of any nationality for the best original novel written in English.

Culled from a pile of 129 contenders, this year’s long list is comprised mostly of British authors, but there are also three from the U.S. (including Lorrie Moore and Barbara Kingsolver), as well as lone representatives from New Zealand and Morocco. In addition to the works of established authors, the list features seven debut novels, including Rosie Alison’s The Very Thought of You, which has, until now apparently, not received a single review from a British national newspaper.

See the full list here.

The Orange Prize is making news this year because of some provocative comments made by the chair of the judge’s panel, author and TV producer Daisy Goodwin, who complained that she’d been inundated by “misery literature”—a surfeit of rape, child abuse, and bereavement—that made her feel like a “social worker” on the verge of slitting her wrists.

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