Tag: Literary News

2012 Man Booker Long List Announced

Posted July 26, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literary News / 0 Comments

The 2012 Man Booker long list was announced today. Here is what the judges thought were the best books of the past year;

  • The Yips by Nicola Barker (Fourth Estate)
  • The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman (Sceptre)
  • Philida by André Brink (Harvill Secker)
  • The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Myrmidon Books)
  • Skios by Michael Frayn (Faber & Faber)
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Doubleday)
  • Swimming Home by Deborah Levy (And Other Stories)
  • Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate)
  • The Lighthouse by Alison Moore (Salt)
  • Umbrella by Will Self  (Bloomsbury)
  • Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil (Faber & Faber)
  • Communion Town by Sam Thompson (Fourth Estate)

How many of the books have you read so far? I haven’t read any of them.

2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards Announced

Posted July 23, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literary News / 0 Comments

The Winners of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards were announced today in a ceremony in Canberra.  A big congratulation to the following winners;

  • Luke Davies won the award for Poetry
  • Robert Newton’s When We Were Two won the award for YA Fiction
  • Mark McKenna’s An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark won the Non-Fiction award
  • Bill Gammage’s The Biggest Estate on Earth won the Australian History award

And the winner of the award we are all interested in; best work of Fiction for 2012 goes to Gillian Mears for Foal’s Bread. Gillian was up against some great books including; All That I Am by Anna Funder, Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville, Autumn Laing by Alex Miller and Forecast: Turbulence by Janette Turner Hospital.

The most Interesting part of the award ceremony for me was when Luke Davies used his time to criticise Campbell Newman for scrapping the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, by saying “The clear message from Campbell Newman’s wrong-headed decision to eliminate the Queensland Premier’s awards is that reading is simply not important, not valuable to the greater culture and that celebrating excellence even less so”.

Well done to all the winners, each of them was also awarded $80,000 as part of the award.

RIP Nora Ephron

Posted June 27, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literary News / 0 Comments

American playwright, journalist, author, and blogger Nora Ephron has died in New York at 71. Ephron died from pneumonia, a complication resulting from acute myeloid leukemia. She will be remembered for her romantic comedies, in particular When Harry Met Sally… and Sleepless in Seattle. Other books include; I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections and Heartburn. Rest in Peace Nora Ephron 1941 – 2012.

The Hanging Garden and Unfinished Novels

Posted May 28, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Historical Fiction / 0 Comments

The Hanging Garden and Unfinished NovelsTitle: The Hanging Garden (Goodreads)
Author: Patrick White
Published: Knopf Doubleday, Random House, 2012
Pages: 224
Genres: Historical Fiction
My Copy: Personal Copy

During my last book club gathering, we were talking about Patrick White’s unfinished novel; The Hanging Garden and this lead into a discussion of books being published after the author dies which the author never wanted to see the light of day. Patrick White never wanted this novel released; I believe he did tell someone to burn it because it wasn’t finished or anywhere near ready for readers. There are heaps of authors that have had books released that were never meant to be released including; Kurt Vonnegut, Virginia Woolf, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Leo Tolstoy and the most famous of them all was Franz Kafka’s The Trial. This does lead to some interesting topics; do you think books that the author never intended to be released should be published? Are publishers just using them as a money making gimmick? And lastly, if those manuscripts were submitted to a publisher by an unknown author, would they still be published?

Patrick White is a two time Miles Franklin award winner and has also won the Nobel Prize for Literature. His unfinished novel The Hanging Garden was only just recently published; it feels like an old novel in the sense that, while it’s nicely written; nothing ever happens in the book. This is very much a character driven book, focusing on the two characters and a wild garden. I think I’d be alright with reading a book like this if I didn’t have the feeling that the author hated every single one of his characters; he was mean and cruel to them all, not just the key characters. As a general rule I love dark and flawed characters but this just felt mean and even the attempts of being erotic felt awkward. I spent the whole book waiting for something to happen and I was left disappointed. Also, as this is an unfinished novel, I don’t know what the overall goal was with this book and I get the feeling that maybe Patrick White doesn’t either. There are parts of this book that are beautifully written and then there are parts that felt like the author’s ramblings. This is supposed to be an unedited book but while I think there was some editing done there are also parts of the book that clearly feel unedited. Including a few paragraphs that didn’t make sense and had no punctuation and then some notes to himself reminding him to explore or research some parts later. While I’m not a fan of this book, I think a lot of people might get a kick out of it. Either for the memories of the time and the place; the memorable characters, or just to see the thought process of once of Australian top authors of all time.

On this day 100 years ago, Patrick White was born