Man Booker Prize 2018 Longlist

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• 171 submissions • Two Canadian authors • Six authors from the UK • Two writers from Ireland • Three writers representing the USA • Four writers under the age of 30 • Three previous nominees • One previous winner • Four debut novels • Seven women • Six men

The statistics are in. The jury is assembled.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2018 longlist is revealed. Featuring the first-ever nomination for a graphic novel and the electrifying return of a Man Booker grandmaster, the spellbinding search to find the greatest fiction novel of 2018 is on.


Including a work of crime fiction, a noiresque thriller written in verse and a genre-defying graphic novel, the longlist for this year’s award is amongst the most diverse and exhilarating in the prize’s history. Excitingly, it’s also a list that showcases an array of new writing talent. In works that span time and space – from antebellum-era Caribbean to inner-city London and beyond – thirteen authors (the so-called ‘Booker Dozen’) compete for a place on the shortlist, which will be announced on 20 September 2018.

The longlist is:

  • Snap, Belinda Bauer
  • Milkman, Anna Burns
  • Sabrina, Nick Drnaso
  • Washington Black, Esi Edugyan
  • In Our Mad and Furious City, Guy Gunaratne
  • Everything Under, Daisy Johnson
  • The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner
  • The Water Cure, Sophie Mackintosh
  • Warlight, Michael Ondaatje
  • The Overstory, Richard Powers
  • The Long Take, Robin Robertson
  • Normal People, Sally Rooney
  • From a Low and Quiet Sea, Donal Ryan

The final winner will be announced at a ceremony on 16 October 2018.

You can read the blurb and/or buy a copy of the books by following this link: https://www.waterstones.com/book-awards/the-man-booker-prize

Writing Advice: How Fellow Writers Can Help You Get Published

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An interesting article and insight into how writing groups and feedback from other writers can help you get published (or at least help you improve your work!).

Enjoy.


Like the great cats, or giant pandas we labor alone at our craft, at least most of the time. Oh, we may venture out occasionally to find a mate as do the majestic beasts, but we have no colleagues with whom to shmooze, to bounce off ideas, or to complain about the frustrations of publishing.

I sometimes wonder why this is so. At first the answer seems obvious. Writing is the product of our own unique brains. It contains our ideas, or creations and our take on the world. Mixing in someone else’s views may distort our intent or our meaning.

But wait! Aren’t we all the sum of influences all around us? From our earliest days, we are surrounded by people and experiences that leave a mark on our brain, however unconscious.

Later in life we read books, listen to others, see films and watch television (gasp!). These also imprint their mark on our thinking, want to, or not. So if we can come to terms with the idea that nothing that appears on our blank pages is totally pure of influences, why not make a conscious effort to acquire positive influence on our writing?

Many writers, in fact, do participate in various sorts of writing groups, though I’ve heard that some big name authors discourage it. I have also heard nightmare stories about some writers groups: members insulted for the quality of their writing to the point of quitting writing altogether, members shirking their responsibilities to provide serious, high quality critiques to peers and sometimes general time wasting in idle chit chat. As unfortunate as such cases may be, I’d attribute it to human nature, not to the personalities of authors in general.

If we are willing to open ourselves up to the thinking of others and have the inner resources to analyze and not glom on to their words, writers groups can be helpful, especially for those in the early years of their writing careers. I will share some of my experience in the hope at least some of you may benefit.

I participated in an outstanding online course on memoir writing at Gotham Writers Workshops. I enrolled with a great deal of trepidation being a bit wary of Internet relationships. But I had been so satisfied with my in-person instruction at Gotham that I took the risk. To my great surprise I found the online class superior. It took me a while to figure out why, then it hit me. Both the instructor and participants had to write down their critiques and comments. When we write something, especially something a number of others will read, we tend to give it more thought, more attention; after all our professional persona is at stake.

Consequently, I found the comments in the on-line course of much higher quality than those casually tossed out during an in-person class. What a delightful surprise!

At the end of the course I could easily assess whose comments were most incisive, well written and offered with tact and sensitivity. I decided to ask those few participants if they wished to continue after the end of the course in the system we used in class. They all agreed readily.

Each spoke of how helpful it was to hear an outside opinion on how their words were being heard and interpreted by others. So, we set up our goals to critique a certain amount of words per week or month; decided on the rotation and added a new twist. We would each select a reading of something outside our own writing, a piece we thought especially well written, or interesting and we would discuss it on a particular schedule agreed to by all. The intent here was to get a bit outside our comfort zone.

Five of us continued to exchange comments for six or seven years. We became online friends, getting to know each other’s families and life stories. All of this was particularly helpful as we were critiquing memoirs. We were scattered throughout the United States and for many years never met one another, yet we relied on these members for their steadfast support. Eventually we accepted a new member who came highly recommended by one of us.

The adjustment and shifting of schedules took some time, but we stuck together though thick and thin. When any of us suffered a personal problem, a broken leg, or a serious family illness, trays of food and bouquets of flowers made their way to homes we had never seen. But we celebrated happy occasions too: children’s graduations, awards and publication of our works. We exchanged suggestions on where to submit our work and held our friends’ virtual hands when the inevitable rejections arrived.

One of the side benefits, but one that proved enormously helpful, was that we had male members whose perspective was somewhat different and they saw things we may not have noticed with our female eyes. We did the same for them. I do not believe that such mixed-sex writing groups are very common.

Eventually, for me, a point came when the time it took to comment with depth and insight into the writing of others impinged too much on my own writing time. I began to feel resentful that I had to put my work aside right when I felt in the groove and felt reluctant to switch gears into someone else’s story. That was the time to say goodbye to my writing buddies with regret, but with a feeling each of them too, could eventually feel they could take off the set off training wheels.

I am grateful to each of them. My book may not have found a publisher without their wise advice. One of my fondest memories is the warm speech one of our male members made at the launch of my book in New York City. Now I look forward to the day I will raise a glass of champagne at his launch.

***

Article By Annette Libeskind Berkovits

See the original here: http://booksbywomen.org/writing-advice-how-fellow-writers-can-help-you-get-published/

The 10 Most Expensive Books in the World

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The astonishing prices people will pay to own a piece of human history…

One Friday in 2012, Christie’s New York auctioned a copy of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, which already holds the title of most valuable printed book in the world, having sold for about $11.5 million in 2010. In fact, according to The Economist, a true list of the ten most valuable single books ever sold would have to include five copies of The Birds of America. Though that sale didn’t break the record, the book still sold for a considerable sum: $7.9 million.

To help you brush up on your knowledge of the very old and very valuable, here is a list of the ten most expensive books ever sold – no white gloves necessary. Look through the overview, and then head upstairs to check your attics for any forgotten dusty tomes – you could be a millionaire and not even know it.

The First Book of Urizen, William Blake — $2.5 million

Originally printed in 1794, The First Book of Urizen is one of the major pieces (and some say the most important) in Blake’s series of prophetic works. One of only eight known surviving copies was sold at Sotheby’s New York in 1999 for $2.5 million to a private collector.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J.K. Rowling — $3.98 million

Before this book, meant to be the same children’s book that figures heavily in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, became a mass-market paperback, J.K. Rowling created seven original copies, each one handwritten and illustrated by Rowling herself. Six were given to friends and editors, but in 2007, one of the seven was put up for auction. It was snapped up by Amazon.com for a whopping $3.98 million, making it the most expensive modern manuscript ever purchased at auction. The money from the sale of the book was donated to The Children’s Voice charity campaign.

Geographia Cosmographia, Claudius Ptolemy — $4 million

The world’s first printed atlas, and the world’s first book to make use of engraved illustrations, Ptolemy’s 1477 Cosmographia sold at Sotheby’s London in 2006 for £2,136,000, or almost $4 million at the time.

Traité des arbres fruitiers, [Treatise on Fruit Trees] written by Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau, illustrated by Pierre Antoine Poiteau and Pierre Jean François Turpin — $4 million

Definitely the most expensive book ever written about fruit trees (featuring sixteen different varieties!), a copy of this lush, five volume set of illustrations and text sold for about $4.5 million in 2006.

The Gutenberg Bible — $4.9 million

A copy of the Gutenberg Bible sold in 1987 for a then-record $4.9 million at Christie’s New York. Only 48 of the books — the first to be printed with movable type — exist in the world.

First Folio, William Shakespeare — $6 million

Though the First Folio’s original price was a single pound (one or two more if you wanted it bound in leather or otherwise adorned), intact copies are now among the most highly prized finds among book collectors, with only an estimated 228 (out of an original 750) left in existence. In 2001, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen purchased a copy for $6,166,000 at Christie’s New York.

The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer — $7.5 million

A first edition of the 15th century bawd-fest sold for £4.6m (or about $7.5 million at the time) at Christie’s in London in 1998. Of the dozen known copies of the 1477 first edition, this was the last to be held privately, and was originally purchased for £6 by the first Earl Fitzwilliam at the sale of John Radcliffe’s library at Christie’s in 1776. Talk about growing your investment.

Birds of America, James Audubon — $11.5 million

In 2000, Christie’s auctioned off a copy (one of only 119 known complete copies in the world) of Birds in America for $8,802,500. Ten years later, another complete first edition was sold at London at Sotheby’s for £7,321,250 (or about $11.5 million) In 2012, another copy of the enormous four volume went up for auction at Christie’s, and sold for a considerable $7.9 million.

The Gospels of Henry the Lion, Order of Saint Benedict — $11.7 million

Originally commissioned by Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, for the altar of the Virgin Mary at the Brunswick Cathedral, this gospel book was purchased by the German government at Sotheby’s of London in 1983 for £8,140,000, or about $11.7 million (at the time). At 266 pages, including 50 full-page illustrations, the book is considered a masterpiece of the 12th century Romanesque illuminated manuscript.

The Codex Leicester, Leonardo da Vinci — $30.8 million

The most famous of da Vinci’s scientific journals, the 72-page notebook is filled with the great thinker’s handwritten musings and theories on everything from fossils to the movement of water to what makes the moon glow. The manuscript was first purchased in 1717 by Thomas Coke, who later became the Earl of Leicester, and then, in 1980, bought from the Leicester estate by art collector Armand Hammer (whose name the manuscript bore for the fourteen years he owned it). In 1994, Bill Gates nabbed the journal at auction for $30,800,000, making it the most expensive book ever purchased. But hey, at least Gates put his purchase to good use — he had the book scanned and turned into a screensaver distributed with Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95.

***

So next time you are cleaning out the loft and you come across a dusty old book, check how much it’s worth before you condemn it to the scrap heap. It might be worth a fortune!

Via: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/the-10-most-expensive-books-in-the-world/

 

10 Signs You’re A Bibliophile

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The word “bibliophile” literally means a lover (phile) of books (biblio). The term is often thrown around to refer to people who simply like to read, but in its most precise interpretation, “bibliophile” means something more specific: someone who loves books particularly how they look, how they smell, what they feel like. Of course, most bibliophiles are great readers, collecting (OK, hoarding) books in part because they love the narratives in them.

But they also value books as fascinating objects in themselves, objects with their own stories to tell. These are readers who will never really be satisfied with electronic books – how can a cold iPad screen possibly compare to a tattered, musty, well-loved print book? To find out if you are one of those blessed with (or suffering from, depending on you point of view) bibliophilia, read on.

1. You have both a permanent copy and a loaner copy of your favorite books

Certain books, ones I’ve read over and over since I was a teenager, have enormous personal value to me. Of course, I want to share these wonderful, formative reading experiences with other people. But other people are jerks sometimes! What if I lend a friend a book and she dog-ears the pages? What if she breaks the spine? WHAT IF SHE LOSES IT? So I have my copy, and a loaner copy, and everyone is happy. All perfectly normal, right?

2. You judge other people according to the books they have

Oh, come on. We all do it. Actually, I don’t judge people so much by what books they have as by whether they own books or not. I don’t care what people read, but someone who doesn’t have any books is probably an orc and cannot be trusted.

3. You spend way to much time thinking about book organisation

My books are organized according to an intricate system that is so logical that only I can understand it. Some are alphabetized, some are categorized according to genre, some are ordered by colour. You know what I’m talking about, right?

4. Used books stores fill you with glee

Used books are the best: they’re cheap, they hold the same texts as newer editions, and sometimes you find amazing evidence of past readers – marginal notes, bookmarks, inscriptions. All tiny glimpses into other people’s lives. Bibliophiles can’t get enough of all of that. More, please.

5. You view books as actual home decor

Because they are pretty. Spaces always look more interesting, more inviting, and more homey when they are filled with books.

6. You plan to use them as centerpieces at your wedding (or you already did)

For bibliophiles, books form a major part of one’s personal identity. It’s only natural that you’d want to be surrounded by them on your big day.

7. Your ultimate fantasy is to have a library in your house, à la Belle in Beauty and the Beast

Preferably one with a ladder. And yes, you’re going to swing around the room, gesturing grandly, whatever.

8. You would love to travel far and wide to look at books and the homes of the people who write them

I’ve gone far, far out of my way to visit places like Haworth (home of the Brontë family in West Yorkshire) and Prince Edward Island (home Lucy Maud Montgomery and the Anne books). There is something powerful in seeing where my favourite books were written, and in seeing great authors’ own books. Because, naturally, great writers tend to be bibliophiles themselves.

9. You own multiple copies of the same books

I have at least four copies of Pride and Prejudice, including a battered paperback edition, a fancy leather-bound edition, a critical edition, and an illustrated edition. And they are all completely necessary to my life.

10. You spend crazy amounts of money on rare books

One would have to have crazy amounts of money in order to fulfill this criterion, but I think we can assume that whoever spent $11.5 million on a copy of John James Audubon’s Birds of America is a pretty hard-core book lover.

***

Via: https://www.bustle.com/10-signs-youre-a-bibliophile-because-so-what-if-you-like-books-more-than-people

Work Alone: Ernest Hemingway’s 1954 Nobel Acceptance Speech

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“One can never be alone enough to write,” Susan Sontag observed.

Solitude, in fact, seems central to many great writers’ daily routines — so much so, it appears, that part of the writer’s curse might be the ineffable struggle to submit to the spell of solitude and escape the grip of loneliness at the same time.

In October of 1954, Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. But he didn’t exactly live every writer’s dream: First, he told the press that Carl Sandburg, Isak Dinesen and Bernard Berenson were far more worthy of the honour, but he could use the prize money; then, depressed and recovering from two consecutive plane crashes that had nearly killed him, he decided against traveling to Sweden altogether.

Choosing not to attend the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm on December 10, 1954, Hemingway asked John C. Cabot, the United States Ambassador to Sweden at the time, to read his Nobel acceptance speech, found in the 1972 biography Hemingway: The Writer as Artist. At a later date, Hemingway recorded the speech in his own voice. Here is the transcript of that speech:

Having no facility for speech-making and no command of oratory nor any domination of rhetoric, I wish to thank the administrators of the generosity of Alfred Nobel for this Prize.

No writer who knows the great writers who did not receive the Prize can accept it other than with humility. There is no need to list these writers. Everyone here may make his own list according to his knowledge and his conscience.

It would be impossible for me to ask the Ambassador of my country to read a speech in which a writer said all of the things which are in his heart. Things may not be immediately discernible in what a man writes, and in this sometimes he is fortunate; but eventually they are quite clear and by these and the degree of alchemy that he possesses he will endure or be forgotten.

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.

How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him.

I have spoken too long for a writer. A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it. Again I thank you.

***

Via: https://www.brainpickings.org/ernest-hemingway-1954-nobel-speech/