Tade Thompson’s ‘gritty’ alien invasion tale wins Arthur C Clarke award


This post is by Sian Cain from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Judges praise winning novel Rosewater for its ‘winning combination of science fictional invention and sly wit’

British Yoruba author Tade Thompson has won the Arthur C Clarke award, the UK’s most prestigious prize for science fiction novels, for Rosewater, his alien invasion novel set in a future Africa.

Opening in 2066, in the aftermath of an alien invasion that has left much of humanity powerless through airborne microscopic fungal spores, Rosewater is the name of a new town that forms on the outskirts of an alien biodome dropped in rural Nigeria. The dome opens just once a year, heals all nearby sick people, gives new life to the dead and begins to influence people in unusual ways. The alien presence has also awakened telepathic skills among select humans, dubbed “sensitives”, and the novel follows one, Kaaro, who investigates when other sensitives begin to die.

Continue reading...

Tade Thompson’s ‘gritty’ alien invasion tale wins Arthur C Clarke award


This post is by Sian Cain from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Judges praise winning novel Rosewater for its ‘winning combination of science fictional invention and sly wit’

British Yoruba author Tade Thompson has won the Arthur C Clarke award, the UK’s most prestigious prize for science fiction novels, for Rosewater, his alien invasion novel set in a future Africa.

Opening in 2066, in the aftermath of an alien invasion that has left much of humanity powerless through airborne microscopic fungal spores, Rosewater is the name of a new town that forms on the outskirts of an alien biodome dropped in rural Nigeria. The dome opens just once a year, heals all nearby sick people, gives new life to the dead and begins to influence people in unusual ways. The alien presence has also awakened telepathic skills among select humans, dubbed “sensitives”, and the novel follows one, Kaaro, who investigates when other sensitives begin to die.

Continue reading...

Jilly Cooper tops inaugural Comedy women in print awards


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The Rutshire Chronicles author received the lifetime achievement honour, with prizes for rising stars Laura Steven and Kirsty Eyre

Reigning queen of the pun Jilly Cooper has been awarded the inaugural Comedy women in print (CWIP) lifetime achievement award “in recognition of her legacy and inspiration to comic women writers everywhere”.

The bestselling author, who at one point describes her hero Rupert Campbell-Black’s aggressive love-making as “like a power drill … her Campbell-Black-and-Decker”, was named winner on Wednesday night.

Continue reading...

I can’t write about a world without rape – because I don’t live in one


This post is by Kaite Welsh from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Women read and write crime fiction as a way to understand real experience. I was raped – and being told by the Staunch prize that books like mine are preventing justice is outrageous

That rape cases are hard to prosecute is no shocker, but the claim that crime writers are partly to blame shocked me. According to the Staunch prize for books with no violence against women, writers who include sexual violence and rape in their books are contributing to a wider culture in which jurors are “reluctant to convict ‘ordinary’ men” because “they don’t fit the idea of a rapist they’ve internalised through the stories and images they’ve received through popular culture”. In great thriller tradition, the call is coming from inside the house.

As someone who analyses culture for a living and often finds it wanting, I’m in the unaccustomed position of noting that what we’re talking about ...

Crime writers react with fury to claim their books hinder rape trials


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Novelists have condemned the Staunch prize – for thrillers without violence against women – as a ‘gagging order’, after organisers said the genre could bias jurors

Crime novelists have hit out at the claim that fictional depictions of sexual assault influence the outcomes of rape cases, after a prize for books with no violence against women asserted that stereotypical portrayals of attackers could “seriously affect justice”.

The Staunch prize, awarded to a thriller in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered, was launched last year to “offer an alternative narrative to stories based around violence to women”. When it was announced, it was widely criticised by major writers including Val McDermid and Sophie Hannah. McDermid said that “as long as men commit appalling acts of misogyny and violence against women, I will write about it so that it does not go unnoticed”, and Hannah told her ...

Crime writers react with fury to claim their books hinder rape trials


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Novelists have condemned the Staunch prize – for thrillers without violence against women – as a ‘gagging order’, after organisers said the genre could bias jurors

Crime novelists have hit out at the claim that fictional depictions of sexual assault influence the outcomes of rape cases, after a prize for books with no violence against women asserted that stereotypical portrayals of attackers could “seriously affect justice”.

The Staunch prize, awarded to a thriller in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered, was launched last year to “offer an alternative narrative to stories based around violence to women”. When it was announced, it was widely criticised by major writers including Val McDermid and Sophie Hannah. McDermid said that “as long as men commit appalling acts of misogyny and violence against women, I will write about it so that it does not go unnoticed”, and Hannah told her ...

Miles Franklin award 2019: shortlisted Australian authors ‘unafraid to take risks’


This post is by Stephanie Convery from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Judges laud six authors vying for $60,000 prize, including Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Melissa Lucashenko and Rodney Hall

From an unsettling, dystopian vision of the ocean’s future to a tale of Muslim youth in western Sydney, judges for the 2019 Miles Franklin literary award said its shortlist speaks to the diversity of Australian experience and imagination.

The six authors shortlisted for the $60,000 prize were announced on Tuesday. They include Miles Franklin veterans Rodney Hall, Gail Jones and previous longlistee Melissa Lucashenko, alongside Gregory Day, Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Jennifer Mills.

Continue reading...

Miles Franklin award 2019: shortlisted Australian authors ‘unafraid to take risks’


This post is by Stephanie Convery from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Judges laud six authors vying for $60,000 prize, including Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Melissa Lucashenko and Rodney Hall

From an unsettling, dystopian vision of the ocean’s future to a tale of Muslim youth in western Sydney, judges for the 2019 Miles Franklin literary award said its shortlist speaks to the diversity of Australian experience and imagination.

The six authors shortlisted for the $60,000 prize were announced on Tuesday. They include Miles Franklin veterans Rodney Hall, Gail Jones and previous longlistee Melissa Lucashenko, alongside Gregory Day, Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Jennifer Mills.

Continue reading...

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones review – packed with ideas and emotion


This post is by Alex Clark from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The writer’s engrossing fourth novel, the tale of a terrible miscarriage of justice, is a worthy award winner

This is the first of Tayari Jones’s four novels to appear in the UK and her publisher’s confidence has been rewarded; earlier this month, An American Marriage won the Women’s prize for fiction, all but guaranteeing Jones a new readership. And one appreciates why the jury picked it from a strong shortlist that included Booker winners Pat Barker and Anna Burns – it is an immensely readable novel, packed with ideas and emotion.

It centres on an appalling miscarriage of justice. Recently wed Roy and Celestial are staying in a motel on a visit to Roy’s parents in small-town Louisiana when they are suddenly ripped from their beds and thrown to the asphalt outside, lying in “parallel like burial plots”. A woman whom Roy briefly met earlier in the evening while ...

Over 40 and loving it: let’s celebrate fiction with positive older characters


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Too many books feature sterotypical older women who can’t use phones and don’t like sex. Gransnet and imprint HQ are looking for writers to change all that

There is a passage from Jilly Cooper’s Rivals which, despite first reading it in my early teens, has stayed with me, popping into my head with increasing frequency now I’ve stepped over the threshold into the over-40 bracket. Lizzie Vereker, the curvy, middle-aged wife whose rat of a husband is cheating on her, is contemplating her misery and “feeling rather old and dried-up”.

So she rubs “skin-food into her face, only to realise she’d forgotten her neck, which is supposed to betray your age most, so she rubbed the excess skin-food down into it. Then she remembered you were supposed never to rub skin-food downwards as it made your face droop. Would her life have been different, she wondered, if she’d always remembered ...

Two books about Northern Irish Troubles win Orwell prize 2019


This post is by Amy Walker from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Anna Burns’ Milkman and Patrick Radden Keefe’s Say Nothing win political fiction and political writing awards

Two books about the Troubles in Northern Ireland have been announced as the winners of the Orwell prize 2019.

Anna Burns’ experimental novel Milkman won the inaugural prize for political fiction, while the prize for political writing was awarded to Patrick Radden Keefe for his book Say Nothing.

Continue reading...

Carnegie medal goes to first writer of colour in its 83-year history


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Dominican-American Elizabeth Acevedo wins prestigious children’s award for The Poet X, while Jackie Morris takes illustration prize for The Lost Words

Dominican-American slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo has become the first ever writer of colour to win the UK’s most prestigious children’s books award, the Carnegie medal, which has a history stretching back to 1936 and includes Arthur Ransome, CS Lewis and Neil Gaiman among its former winners.

Acevedo, the daughter of Dominican immigrants, took the medal for her debut, The Poet X. A verse novel, it tells of a quiet Dominican girl, Xiomara, who joins her school’s slam poetry club in Harlem and is, according to the judges, “a searing, unflinching exploration of culture, family and faith within a truly innovative verse structure”. Xiomara “comes to life on every page and shows the reader how girls and women can learn to inhabit, and love, their own skin”.

Continue reading...

‘My life completely changed’: debut wins world’s richest prize for a novel


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Nominated by just one library in Belgium, Emily Ruskovich’s Idaho lands the €100,000 International Dublin literary award

Emily Ruskovich was sitting in her back garden in Boise, Idaho, playing in the grass with her one-year-old daughter, when she got the phone call to tell her that she had won the world’s richest prize for a single novel: the €100,000 (£88,000) International Dublin literary award. The 33-year-old debut novelist says she kept thinking she must have misunderstood or hallucinated the news.

“I didn’t speak at first, then I reacted with great joy, but then I also felt really uncertain,” she says. “I couldn’t really believe it had happened. It was just a quiet little moment in the grass with my baby and my life was completely changed.”

Continue reading...

Women’s prize winner Tayari Jones: ‘Before this, I had never won a raffle’


This post is by Alex Clark from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




An American Marriage is a story about the traumatic effect of injustice on a black family in the US. But it might never have been published if it wasn’t for the intervention of a mystery author

‘I’m a person,” says Tayari Jones, the morning after carrying off the Women’s prize for fiction for her fourth novel, An American Marriage, “who before this had never even won a raffle. Truly. I remember, as a child, you could win a whole summer of ice-cream and I saved and I bought several tickets. I did not win and the little girl who won only had one ticket. How about that? I’ve been holding that grudge for 40 years.”

An American Marriage, the story of a black man falsely imprisoned for a violent assault on a woman he glancingly meets in an Atlanta motel, has certainly transformed Jones’s literary fortunes. Crucially, it ...

Stormzy’s prize for new writers reveals inaugural winners


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Poet Monika Radojevic and novelist Hafsa Zayyan both receive the #Merky Books award, named after the rapper’s publishing imprint

Grime rapper Stormzy has chosen two winners for his inaugural #Merky Books new writers’ prize, with the award going to both a novel and a collection of poetry.

The half-Brazilian, half-Montenegrin Monika Radojevic has won for her collection of poetry, 23 and Me, alongside Hafsa Zayyan for her novel We Are All Birds of Uganda. The rapper welcomed the results, telling the winning pair: “A lot of talented people don’t fulfil their potential, they are so talented but they sit on it. I call it the beautiful shame. But you guys have the confidence to write, to do something about it, and that’s amazing.”

Continue reading...

Women’s prize for fiction goes to ‘utterly moving’ Tayari Jones novel


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




An American Marriage, recording the damage done to a young black couple by the husband’s wrongful jailing, beats two Booker winners to £30,000 award

American novelist Tayari Jones’s portrait of a young African American’s wrongful incarceration, and its devastating impact on his marriage has beaten two Booker prize winners to take the Women’s prize for fiction.

Described by chair of judges Kate Williams as a book that “shines a light on today’s America”, Jones’s fourth novel An American Marriage won the £30,000 award on Wednesday night. With fans including Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama, the novel follows ambitious newlyweds Celestial and Roy. “We’re not your garden-variety bourgeois Atlanta Negroes where the husband goes to bed with his laptop under his pillow and the wife dreams about her blue-box jewelry. I was young, hungry and on the come-up. Celestial was an artist, intense and gorgeous,” it begins.

Continue reading...

Poet and playwright Lemn Sissay wins the PEN Pinter prize


This post is by Press Association from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Judges laud ability to forge beautiful words from sorrows as he sees it as sign to continue

Lemn Sissay has won the PEN Pinter prize, set up in memory of playwright Harold Pinter. Sissay, 52, who was an official poet for the London 2012 Olympics, grew up in care and has spoken about how he was imprisoned, bullied and physically abused by staff. He later made documentaries about the search for his family.

Writer Maureen Freely, one of the judges, said: ‘In his every work, Lemn Sissay returns to the underworld he inhabited as an unclaimed child. From his sorrows, he forges beautiful words and a thousand reasons to live and love.”

Continue reading...

‘People don’t expect women to be funny’: Marian Keyes on Comedy women in print shortlist


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Revealing the five books in contention for the inaugural prize, Keyes hit out at the internalised sexism leading readers to assume women can’t write comedy

Bestselling novelist Marian Keyes has railed against the sexist attitude that “people don’t expect women to be funny” as she announced the shortlist for the inaugural Comedy women in print prize.

The £2,000 award was founded by the comedian, writer and actor Helen Lederer last year, after Keyes slammed the “sexist imbalance” of the Wodehouse prize for comic fiction. The Wodehouse is the UK’s only prize for funny writing, and has been won by four women in 19 years. Keyes, part of a judging panel for the CWIP that also features comedians Katy Brand and Shazia Mirza, said that “we are all so steeped in internalised sexism that we’re not even aware that it’s there”.

Continue reading...

Hillsborough survivors’ words shortlisted for Forward poetry prize


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Truth Street by David Cain, which combines eyewitness accounts of the 1989 disaster, is nominated for best debut in year when ‘poetry has come down from its high shelf’

A debut poetry collection made entirely from formal evidence given during the second inquest into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster has been shortlisted for one of the UK’s most prestigious poetry awards.

David Cain, a football fan since childhood who is nominated in the Forward prizes’ best first collection category, began reading the daily reports of the two-year inquest into the disaster, in which 96 people died and hundreds were injured. He found himself “repeatedly struck by the poetry of the language used by the eyewitnesses to try and describe such horrific events”.

Continue reading...

Man Booker International prize: Jokha Alharthi wins for Celestial Bodies


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




First female Omani novelist to be translated into English shares £50,000 prize with translator Marilyn Booth – the first time an Arabic book has won

Jokha Alharthi, the first female Omani novelist to be translated into English, has won the Man Booker International prize for her novel Celestial Bodies.

Alharthi, the £50,000 award’s first winner to write in Arabic, shares the prize equally with her translator, American academic Marilyn Booth. Celestial Bodies is set in the Omani village of al-Awafi and follows the stories of three sisters: Mayya, who marries into a rich family after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries for duty; and Khawla, waiting for a man who has emigrated to Canada.

Continue reading...