JK Rowling announces new book, Career of Evil, under pseudonym Robert Galbraith


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The third in the trilogy written by the Harry Potter author under her nom de plume is a mystery-thriller featuring private detective, Coromoran Strike

A new novel from JK Rowling, writing under her pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, has shot up Amazon’s pre-sales charts in the hours since it was announced.

Out on 22 October, Career of Evil will continue the adventures of Rowling’s creations, the private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott, which are also being adapted for BBC1.

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Joyce Carol Oates and that picture of Steven Spielberg with a ‘dead’ dinosaur


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A photograph of the director with an animatronic dinosaur, posted online as a joke, prompted choice comments from Carol Oates. The internet is bamboozled

Joyce Carol Oates: prolific author, National Book award winner, Pulitzer nominee. And … dinosaur conservationist?

Oates has a Twitter feed which has come in for a fair amount of criticism in the past. “Here is the problem with your Twitter feed, Joyce Carol Oates: It is, as we like to say on the internet, the worst,” wrote our own Michelle Dean for Gawker last year, citing her “‘Cat food’ in China actually is” comment. The novelist had previously been criticised for linking rape culture to Islam on her Twitter feed, and for saying she’d be “very surprised” if women were harassed in affluent areas.

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New Fifty Shades of Grey book stolen ahead of publication


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A manuscript of Grey, EL James’s tale of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele told from the male perspective, has gone missing, with publishers fearing piracy and leaks

Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James’s forthcoming Grey, the story of the relationship between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele told from his rather than her perspective – “Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him – past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart” – is sitting pretty at the top of Amazon’s charts this morning, just over a week before its release.

But it turns out that one reader couldn’t wait until 18 June to get their hands on it: the Daily Mail reports that a manuscript was found to be missing yesterday, and “it is feared thieves may be planning to release pirated versions of the novel, ...

Bonnie Greer resigns from floundering Brontë Society after months of infighting


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The author and former society president lambasts ‘malevolent lamebrains’ amid broad calls for the Yorkshire society – one of the literary world’s oldest – to modernise

The author Bonnie Greer has quoted Jane Eyre’s calm assertion that “I will be myself” in the wake of a dispute over the future of the Brontë Society that saw her resign from her position as president this weekend.

The clash, which dates back to last summer, centres on how the organisation is being run, with one faction calling for the society, founded in 1893 and one of the oldest such literary groups in the world, to be modernised. It runs the Brontë Parsonage Museum, in the Yorkshire village of Haworth where the Brontë family once lived, and is also responsible for “promoting the Brontës’ literary legacy within contemporary society” . There are bicentenaries for Charlotte Brontë in 2016, Emily Brontë in 2018 ...

Jeff VanderMeer wins Nebula award for Annihilation


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First book in Southern Reach science fiction trilogy follows a mysterious expedition into ‘Area X’

Jeff VanderMeer’s story of a doomed scientific expedition into the closed-off “Area X”, Annihilation, has won the American novelist the Nebula award for best novel.

The prestigious prize, won in the past by names from Larry Niven to Isaac Asimov, is voted on by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. VanderMeer beat the authors Katherine Addison, Charles E Gannon, Ann Leckie, Cixin Liu and Jack McDevitt to take the best novel trophy for the first instalment of his Southern Reach trilogy.

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Ice and fire and felt tip pens: Game of Thrones colouring book coming soon


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George RR Martin is overseeing illustrations for an official book of 45 ‘iconic images’ from his fantasy series for adults to colour in

If intricate images of flowers and seascapes aren’t the kind of thing you’re looking for in an adult colouring book, then fear not: George RR Martin is currently overseeing publication of a Game of Thrones book to exercise your drawing muscles.

American publisher Bantam announced yesterday that George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones Coloring Book would be published this autumn , and would “feature 45 original black and white illustrations, inspired by characters, scenes, locations and other iconic images” from the fantasy novelist’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the Los Angeles Times reported. The art will be drawn by “world renowned fantasy illustrators” Yvonne Gilbert, John Howe, Tomislav Tomic, Adam Stower and Levi Pinfold, Bantam told Time magazine .

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Fathers not reading enough to their children, says Book Trust


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‘Alarming’ new research says 50% more mothers read to children than fathers, and one in five students leaves primary school with poor reading skills

Fathers are not reading enough to their children, with almost 50% more mothers reading to their babies than fathers, according to research.

The Ipsos Mori poll, conducted on behalf of Book Trust, found that 42% of mothers, compared with 29% of fathers, read with their under-ones every day, while 71% of mothers, compared with 62% of fathers, read with their three-year-olds every day. When a child reaches the age of five, the researchers found, 75% of mothers, compared with 60% of fathers, read to them every day.

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Cover designs for Terry Pratchett’s final Discworld novel The Shepherd’s Crown revealed


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Cover artwork is unveiled on author’s Twitter feed – showing Tiffany Aching, Nac Mac Feegles – and bees

The British and US covers of the final Discworld novel from the late Sir Terry Pratchett have been revealed, showing the teenage witch Tiffany Aching surrounded by fairy clan the Nac Mac Feegles – and a motif of bees.

The Shepherd’s Crown was completed by Pratchett in the summer of 2014, and will be published by Penguin Random House on 27 August. It is published in the US on 1 September.

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Citizen: Claudia Rankine’s anti-racist lyric essays up for Forward poetry award


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US writer’s ‘ bold challenge to definitions of poetic form’ joins Forward prize shortlist, alongside others including Paul Muldoon and Ciaran Carson

Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, an exploration of everyday racism through lyric essays, scraps of film script and photography, might look far more like prose than the traditional definition of poetry, but the innovative work from the acclaimed American writer has made it onto the shortlist for one of the UK’s top poetry prizes, the Forward.

Running to 160 pages, Citizen, subtitled An American Lyric, eschews the likes of iambic pentameter and rhyme to command the reader’s attention with a second-person present narrative laying out a series of incidents in which black Americans – sometimes the Jamaica-born Rankine herself – encounter racism. Rankine also includes photo reels of Zinedine Zidane’s 2006 World Cup head butt, Obama’s oath of office and JMW Turner’s painting The Slave Ship. The Forward prize called ...

Georgette Heyer, queen of Regency romance, honoured with blue plaque


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Star fans and family gather at author’s birthplace in Wimbledon to see her remembered for witty, escapist fiction that sold in millions

Georgette Heyer may have been notoriously self-deprecating about her own work – she once said she “ought to be shot for writing such nonsense” – but the queen of Regency romances has been honoured with an English Heritage blue plaque at her birthplace.

Famous fans including Stephen Fry, as well as Heyer’s nephew and daughter-in-law, turned up for the unveiling of the plaque in south-west London, with Fry revealing that he had been “completely hooked” on her romances since his school days.

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Hobbit first edition with JRR Tolkien’s inscription doubles sales record


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Sold for £137,000, the book with inscription in Old English that talks of ‘marvels and strange beings’ was a gift to one of Tolkien’s students at Leeds

A first edition of The Hobbit given by JRR Tolkien to one of his former students in 1937 has more than doubled the world record for a copy of the author’s first novel, selling at auction for £137,000.

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Ali Smith wins Baileys prize with How to Be Both


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Women’s prize for fiction chair of judges Shami Chakrabarti says ‘this is not a good book, this is a great book’

Weaving together the stories of a teenage girl in modern-day Cambridge and a 15th-century Italian artist, Ali Smith’s How to Be Both has won the Baileys women’s prize for fiction, with chair of judges Shami Chakrabarti describing it as a work that will still be read in 100 years.

Already the winner of prizes including the Costa novel award and the Goldsmiths, and shortlisted for the Man Booker, Smith’s novel beat a strong shortlist to win the £30,000 award on Wednesday evening. Intended to celebrate “excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world”, the Baileys prize, formerly known as the Orange, has been won in the past by Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin, and Zadie Smith for On Beauty.

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Man Booker International judge speaks out against lack of world literature in English


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Marina Warner is to attack Britain’s ‘oddly provincial’ outlook on writing in other languages, and call for more translations

The British can be “oddly provincial in outlook” when it comes to literature, the writer and academic Marina Warner is due to say, as she calls for more translations to be made of literature from India, China and across the Arab world.

Warner, fresh from chairing the panel of judges that selected Hungarian author László Krasznahorkai as winner of the £60,000 Man Booker International prize, is set to give a public lecture at Birkbeck University on Tuesday evening exploring the nature of global fiction, and the dominance of English.

Related: Man Booker International prize 2015: the finalists speak

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Novelist says she was wrong to oppose Charlie Hebdo PEN award


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Jennifer Cody Epstein says it was a mistake to question freedom of speech honour, and that magazine’s articles ‘sprang from satire, not hate’

The American novelist Jennifer Cody Epstein has said that she “fundamentally misunderstood Charlie Hebdo’s mission and content” when she put her name to a letter condemning PEN’s decision to honour the magazine with an award.

Epstein was one of more than 200 writers who signed a letter disassociating themselves from PEN American Center’s choice of the French satirical magazine, where 12 people were killed by gunmen in January, as winner of its “Freedom of Expression Courage award” last month. The writers, who also included Peter Carey and Michael Ondaatje, argued in their letter that the choice of winner was “not simply conveying support for freedom of expression, but also valorising … material that intensifies the anti-Islamic, anti-Maghreb, anti-Arab sentiments already prevalent in the western world”.

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EL James to publish Fifty Shades sequel telling story from hero’s point of view


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Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told By Christian will be published in June, author has announced

Holy crap! Christian Grey, the enigmatic, dominating protagonist of EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, is about to tell the world his own story, from how he became a successful entrepreneur by the age of 27 to why he has a “Red Room of Pain” on hand for his lover.

James, who has sold more than 125m copies of her books that detail the burgeoning BDSM relationship between shy student Anastasia Steele and businessman Grey, made the announcement on Twitter on Monday. The book will be called Grey, and will be published on 18 June – the character’s birthday.

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Dread of literary parties led Philip Larkin to shun Oxford poetry professorship


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In letter to colleague, poet wrote that he dreaded post’s ‘sherry-drill with important people’ and that he would be ‘entirely unfitted’ for the job

A vision of the “hell on earth” that is a literary party and revulsion for “a lot of sherry-drill with important people” drove Philip Larkin to rule himself out of consideration as the Oxford professor of poetry, according to an unpublished letter recently discovered in a college safe.

As Oxford graduates prepare to vote for the next incumbent this June, with a spat breaking out over Wole Soyinka’s suitability for the post, the archivist at St Hugh’s College in Oxford has stumbled across a letter from Larkin declining a nomination.

Related: Wole Soyinka dismisses claims he is too grand and old for Oxford poetry chair

I could spend half my evenings, if I wanted,
Holding a glass of washing sherry, canted
Over to catch the ...