‘These guys can make something beautiful’: Tracy Chevalier’s new project – quilting with prisoners

The bestselling novelist fell in love with the craft while researching her last book, but now the author has found that it helps jailed men in real life

“Turn that bloody torch off. I only get two hours” is stitched into one patch of The Sleep Quilt, Tracey Chevalier’s latest project. The bestselling author explains: “The prisoner is high risk and on suicide watch, so he is woken every two hours to make sure he’s still alive. It’s been happening for 24 years for this prisoner – it’s horrifying. For him, sleep is something he craves, but it’s a horrible experience.”

After teaming up with 63 inmates in Wandsworth prison, south London, the author of novels such as The Girl With a Pearl Earring has helped them to create a quilt made up of the patches they sewed. Now that quilt is set to become a book.

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How to win a Booker prize: be under 50, enter your seventh book – about a man

Man Booker stats reveal that the average winner is white, English and in his late 40s – which does not make this year’s award easier to predict

If you’re sceptical about what the odds from the bookmakers or sales figures from bookshops can tell us about who’ll win the Man Booker prize in a few hours – and you should be – then perhaps you might prefer this solid number-crunching from Kiera O’Brien, charts editor at the Bookseller.

Looking at the previous 47 winners of the award, O’Brien has found that (rather unsurprisingly) the average Booker prizewinner is an English, white, privately educated man in his late 40s, who has written a book of less than 400 pages that has a male protagonist.

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Man Booker prize 2017: Ali Smith leads sales, George Saunders ahead at bookies

On the eve of the UK’s leading fiction award, Autumn dominates sales of the shortlisted novels, but Lincoln in the Bardo is tipped to take the final prize

Ali Smith is outselling the US writers on the Man Booker prize shortlist with just one day left before the winner is announced – but American author George Saunders remains the favourite at the bookmakers.

According book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan, Smith’s novel Autumn is the commercial winner so far among the six titles shortlisted for the UK’s most prestigious prize for fiction with almost 50,000 copies sold. From the US, Paul Auster’s 4321 comes in second with nearly 15,000 sales. Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo, debut British novelist Fiona Mozley’s Elmet, and British/Pakistani Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West have all sold about 10,000 copies each. History of Wolves, by the American first-timer Emily Fridlund, has sold the least, with a figure of ...

John Green: ‘Having OCD is an ongoing part of my life’

The bestselling YA author talks about the success of The Fault in Our Stars, answering his critics and writing his mental illness into fiction in his new novel, Turtles All the Way Down

There is a scene late in US author John Green’s new novel, Turtles All the Way Down, where his protagonist, Aza Holmes – a bright, troubled teenager, as Green’s heroines generally are – goes through an ordeal so distressing it is difficult to read. Aza has obsessive compulsive disorder, and the “tightening gyre” of her thoughts has taken over. Green catapults his reader right into the middle of Aza’s desperate mental state as she becomes increasingly panicky over the possibility of being infected with the bacterium C. diff – “do you want to die of this do you want to die of this because you will you will you will you will” – eventually scooping ...

Bertie Wooster returns as a spy in Jeeves sequel by Schott’s Miscellany author

Ben Schott says ‘it’s like being lent the Crown Jewels’ after PG Wodehouse estate approves trivia bestseller to write Jeeves and the King of Clubs

Bertie Wooster, PG Wodehouse’s “mentally somewhat negligible” English gentleman with a heart of gold, is set to be reimagined as a British spy by Ben Schott, the author of the bestselling collection of trivia Schott’s Original Miscellany.

Schott, whose forthcoming Jeeves and the King of Clubs is sanctioned by the PG Wodehouse estate, called it “an incomparable honour to follow in the patent-leather footsteps of the greatest English-language humorist”.

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Weinstein Books ‘terminated’ in wake of assault allegations

Film mogul’s associated publishing imprint is to close in the wake of scandal over multiple abuse allegations

The Weinstein Books imprint is being shut down, following a week of sexual assault allegations against the film mogul Harvey Weinstein.

In a statement to staff issued on Thursday, Hachette Book Group said it had “terminated” the imprint. A joint venture between the Weinstein Company and the Hachette-owned publisher Perseus, Weinstein Books released around 10 books a year, with titles ranging from books by media personalities to film tie-ins. It was run by two women: editorial director Amanda Murray and publishing director Georgina Levitt.

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Writers step in to defend author accused of plagiarism in New York Times

Jill Bialosky’s Poetry Will Save Your Life was charged with extensive use of others’ writing, but peers say accidental repetitions ‘were not egregious theft’

More than 70 authors, including Pulitzer prize winners Jennifer Egan and Louise Glück, have come to the defence of the editor and poet Jill Bialosky after she was accused of plagiarism, saying that Bialosky’s “inadvertent repetition of biographical boilerplate was not an egregious theft intentionally performed”.

A scathing review of Bialosky’s memoir, Poetry Will Save Your Life, by the poet William Logan in the Tourniquet Review last week accused her of having “plagiarised numerous passages from Wikipedia and the websites of the Academy of American Poets and the Poetry Foundation” when writing biographical details of poets including Robert Louis Stevenson, Emily Dickinson and Robert Lowell.

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