A Hero Born by Jin Yong review – the gripping world of kung fu chivalry

The martial arts epic Legends of the Condor Heroes is the magnum opus of China’s most widely read living writer. The first book has finally been translated into English, and it’s a joy

Jin Yong is an unfamiliar name in the English-speaking world but a superstar in the Chinese-speaking one. Since his first novels were published in serial form in Hong Kong during the 1950s, Jin Yong – the pen name of Louis Cha Leung-yung – has become the most widely read Chinese writer alive. His books have been adapted into TV series, films and video games, and his dense, immersive world inspires the kind of adoration bestowed on those created by writers like western worldbuilders such as JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling and George RR Martin.

One peep into Jin’s fictional universe conjures a sense of deja vu. Now 94, he is the most famous literary exponent of the wuxia genre, the ...

The Arcadia Project Sweepstakes!

The third book in Mishell Baker’s Arcadia Project series, Impostor Syndrome, is available March 13th from Saga Press—and to celebrate, we want to send you a set of all three books in the series!

Three months ago, a rift between agents in London and Los Angeles tore the Arcadia Project apart. With both fey Courts split down the middle—half supporting London, half LA—London is putting the pieces in place to quash the resistance. But due to an alarming backslide in her mental health, new LA agent Mille Roper is in no condition to fight.

When London’s opening shot is to frame Millie’s partner, Tjuan, for attempted homicide, Millie has no choice but to hide him and try to clear his name. Her investigation will take her across the pond to the heart of Arcadia at the mysterious and impenetrable White Rose palace. The key to Tjuan’s freedom—and to the ...

Critical Notes: Spring Titles, Memoirs, and a Poet-in-Residence

***  The NBCC awards finalists will read on Wednesday, March 14, at 6:30 pm at The New School, 66 West 12th Street, New York City, and the awards ceremony will be at the same location on  Thursday, March 15, at 6:30 pm. Both are free and open to the public. Tickets to the benefit after-party are $75, and may be purchased here. (NBCC members may purchase tickets in advance for $50.)  ***

*** In the 30 Books in 30 Days series leading up to the March 15, 2018 announcement of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award winners, NBCC board members review the thirty finalists. This week, NBCC board member Michael Schaub offers an appreciation of biography finalist William Taubman's Gorbachev: His Life and Times," John McWhorter praises Adam Rutherford’s "A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived," Elizabeth Taylor applauds "Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder" by Caroline Fraser and "The Evangelicals: The Struggle ...

Niel Bushnell: ‘you only live one life if you don’t read’

Author and animator Niel Bushnell talks to site members Charlotte and Eva from the Millennium Riot reading group about being a writer, the power of reading, and casting Benedict Cumberbatch as a bad guy

Read more author Q+As on the Guardian children’s books website

How satisfying do you find being a children’s author and what is your favourite thing about it?

I think it is one of the best jobs you can have. You get to let your imagination run wild which is good fun. It’s hard work as well but really good fun. The best bit actually is doing this: meeting people who read the books. It’s nice to get out from behind a computer and go to meet young people and find out what they think about my stories – especially people like you who have read them!

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Guardian children’s books podcast with Owen Jones: ‘there’s a craving for an alternative to how things are run’

Political commentator Owen Jones is grilled by teen site members CaraErica, Patrick and TheBookAddictedGirl on the writers who inspired his democratic socialist politics, the advice he’d give his 16-year-old self, and how young people should get involved in politics – and why…

  • The Establishment is our current Teen book club read – find out what else is happening here
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Philip Hensher on the great British short story – books podcast

Famous authors from Arthur Conan Doyle to Zadie Smith mingle with unfamiliar talents in an anthology which – according to its editor – proves the glory of an unjustly neglected artform with a 300-year pedigree

A new two-volume anthology makes the case for the short story being one of the great neglected British art forms. Editor Philip Hensher joins us to explain how he whittled his selection down to 90 stories, some of which have not been seen since appearing in the pages of literary magazines in the late 19th and 20th centuries. He gives us tasters of tales from forgotten writers such as Malachi Whitaker, once known as the “Bradford Chekhov”, and explains how he tackled the delicate task of deciding which stars of today earned their place in the collection – and which he had to leave out.

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