Time for the news of the week.
Let’s start with some sad and great news at the same time. Sad because, and this is not new, public libraries in the UK are facing increasing threats to have to close down because of spending cuts from the city councils and other local authorities. Many public libraries have been forced to shut down in the last ten years and it is still going on. In a very interesting article on the subject, The Guardian lists some public libraries which have closed down or been under threat of a close down in the last years. I’m just going to mention some of them, which were listed in the article, but I believe there are many more: in London, the Brent Council closed down the Kensal Rise library in 2011, alongside 5 other libraries, despite a strong mobilization from the general public and famous writers including Zadie Smith.
It’s time to discuss what happened last week in the book world. It’s been a while since I last posted a News of the Week article, but I must admit that the news are not that exciting at the moment. Christmas is coming and most of the book industry actors mostly focus on this event, obviously. But I still managed to find three interesting pieces of news for you, in very different styles.
Let’s start with some incredibly sad, revolting but unfortunately unsurprising news. Last week, Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh was sentenced to death by Saudi Arabian authorities. He had been sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes in May 2014 but following a retrial, he was finally sentenced to death last week.
So many things happened last week that I am really excited to present you this News of the week’s article.
I’d like to start with the winner of the Man Booker Prize. Yes, I know, all the newspapers have been talking about it for the whole week but as I have followed from close this year’s Man Booker Prize process (the longlist and then the shortlist), mainly thanks to this year’s Man Booker Vloggers (the wonderful Jen Campbell, Leena Normington, Jean Menzies, Lauren Whitehead and Ariel Bissett), I really feel like telling you how I feel about its conclusion. As you all know by now, the 2015 Man Booker Prize was awarded to Marlon James for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, published by Oneworld.
As always, it is time to go back on a week rich in events!
First, I’d like to tell you about a literary prize I had never heard about but which looks absolutely fantastic: the Goldsmiths book prize. This Prize was only created 3 years ago with the aim to honour “fiction that breaks the mould or opens up new possibilities for the novel form”. The Jury of this year’s Prize includes Josh Cohen, who chairs it, Eimear McBride, the prize’s first winner, writer Jon McGregor, and a journalist and cultural critic. They have just announced the titles shortlisted for the Prize, whose winner will be announced on the 11th of November. Among the short-listed novels, I have only heard about one, Satin Island by Tom McCarthy, which was also shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize and which looks indeed quite original and interesting because not driven by a strictly narrative plot.
It’s time to get back to the book news of this week.
Let’s start with some sad news as, once again, book banning will be the subject of our first news. New Zealand’s Film and Literature Board of Review has decided to ban a book, for the first time in 20 years. Which book are we talking about? Into the River, a young adult novel written by New Zealand author Ted Dawe. You may not be surprised to hear that the ban concerns a young adult novel — after all, young adult novels have always been subject to a strong censorship in probably every country except the Scandinavian countries (if you are interested in this subject, you may want to read this very interesting article by Norwegian writer Ingelin Røssland).
It’s time to go back over what happened in the publishing industry this week.
Let’s start with some good news if you’re a fan of Millenium — I’m obviously talking about the release of The Girl in the Spider’s Web. The latest novel of the Millenium saga, featuring once again the character of Lisbeth Salander, was released last Tursday at midnight. The particularity of this book? As you must know if you are a fan of the original trilogy, it was not written by the creator of Millenium, who died in 2004 from a heart attack before his books were released and became the best-sellers they have been since, but by David Lagercrantz.