How well are these titles circulating in your library?
Library and literary miscellany from your pals at Library Journal.
Delighted to see Shirley Jackson having something of resurgence (again) with the Penguin reissue of her novels, and the Library of America edition of Novels and Stories.
Glad you’re enjoying it! We’re so thrilled to be a part of this.
There must be something in the air! The author of the classic short story “The Lottery” is also the protagonist in a new psychological thriller entitled (what else?) Shirley (Blue Rider Pr., June) by Susan Scarf Merrell.
Launched in 1996, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded annually and celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world. The winner receives a cheque for £30,000.
The judges for 2014 are Helen Fraser, Caitlin Moran, Sophie Raworth, Mary Beard, and Denise Mina.
The Baileys Women’s Prize longlist in full:
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Americanah
- Margaret Atwood - MaddAddam
- Suzanne Berne – The Dogs of Littlefiel
- Fatima Bhutto - The Shadow of the Crescent Moon
- Claire Cameron – The Bear
- Lea Carpenter - Eleven Days
- M.J. Carter - The Strangler Vine
- Eleanor Catton - The Luminaries
- Deborah Kay Davies - Reasons She Goes to the Woods
- Elizabeth Gilbert - The Signature of All Things
- Hannah Kent - Burial Rites
- Rachel Kushner - The Flamethrowers
- Jhumpa Lahiri - The Lowland
- Audrey Magee - The Undertaking
- Eimear McBride - A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
- Charlotte Mendelson - Almost English
- Anna Quindlen - Still Life with Bread Crumbs
- Elizabeth Strout - The Burgess Boys
- Donna Tartt - The Goldfinch
- Evie Wyld - All The Birds, Singing
Previous Winners Include:
- May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes (2013)
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (2012)
- The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht (2011)
- The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (2010)
- Home by Marilynne Robinson (2009)
- The Road Home by Rose Tremain (2008)
- Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2007)
- On Beauty by Zadie Smith (2006)
- We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (2005)
A nice eclectic list—a mix of the usual suspects and some fresh voices.
Fiction is dangerous, Gaiman explained, because “it lets you into others’ heads, it gives you empathy, and it shows you that the world doesn’t have to be like the one you live in.” That imaginative leap into other minds and other worlds is surely the reason many of us read fiction.
The Pulitzers are the last of the major annual book awards to be announced for the publishing year, so the winners tend to be known quantities. Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad (Knopf), Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead) and Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) all won the National Book Critics Circle Award en route to Pulitzers. All but one Pulitzer for fiction since 2000 have been awarded to books published by a Big Six publisher, so most winners have had considerable marketing dollars behind them and a considerable number of copies in print.
I for one am curious to hear the announcement on Monday. Who can say!
Is the 10 Best both fiction and non-fiction?
Yes, the 10 Best list encompasses both. Miraculously, this year, we ended up with five fiction titles and five nonfiction without even meaning to! A serendipitous balance. (We got a similar one with gender: the list is evenly split between men and women authors.)
The reader of literary genre fiction should feel the structure in her body, particularly with short stories. It’s a recognizable rhythm, it’s a shimmering in one’s veins as one moves from opening scene to well-placed background information to the next, more tense scene to that special, oh-so-revealing flashback about the time our protagonist ran over his rubber horse, or the time he knew he was in love with a real horse, or the time he — oh you see what I mean. In the genre of literary fiction, this structure must lead to a moment of revelation, suggested but never explained. The image of our protagonist in a Safeway parking lot, pushing his cart as if he were a cowboy riding a horse, the wind roughing up his hair, the distant neighs of horns in the far off distance. (Can you feel it? I can.) Let’s go ahead and give James Joyce his rightful due for such faintly falling, falling faintly moments of reverie and character change in literary fiction. (Damn that horse! Now I’m sobbing!)
There’s something about this whole piece, and you should read the whole thing, that indicates that she doesn’t like reading books that everyone else isn’t already talking about — she doesn’t want to be left out of the literary conversation. I know I am reading way too much into this. But it seems like that is the problem with the New Yorker and fiction anyway. They are waiting for other people to tell them what’s good. Rather than using their position to establish and lead the conversation themselves.
This makes me think a lot about how I assign books for review, but there are some important differences between a little-known translated novel and a self-published book about vaccines and autism, between fiction and nonfiction.
“Ok aspiring fiction writers, if you’ve ever wondered how to write a successful novel, the secret is here: kill off your characters. Of the handful of books that won the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2011, all 13 novels had the common theme of putting to death main characters.” Read more
My publisher asked me to [write a memoir], but there’s a point at which your life is not interesting, at least to me. I’d rather write fiction.
Sad in a way that there will be no memoir to read, but I trust Morrison. If she’d rather write fiction, I’d rather read it.