Pamuk Wins Nobel
Recently on trial for offending the concept of Turkishness, novelist Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel literature prize. Pamuk’s novels include the popular and critically acclaimed Snow and My Name is Red.

Finalist for the National Book Awards Announced
Here are the works and authors nominated for the National Book Awards: Fiction–Mark Danielewski’s Only Revolutions, Ken Kalfus’s A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, Dana Spiotta’s Eat the Document, and Jesse Walter’s The Zero; Nonfiction–Rajiv Chandraswekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone, Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, and Peter Hessler’s Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China’s Past and Present; Poetry—H.L. Hix’s Chromatic, Ben Lerner’s Angel of Yaw, Nathaniel Mackey’s Splay Anthem, and James McMichael’s Capacity.

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Why the Flurry about Frost’s Poem?
Jennifer Howard asks, “Why the hoopla about an unpublished Robert Frost poem?” In the past few weeks, bloggers and the media have made noise about the Virginia Quarterly Review publishing an unpublished Frost poem. The publication has an essay by Robert Stilling, who discovered the poem, and another by poet Glyn Maxwell. Howard notes that several scholars know the whereabouts of several unpublished Frost poems.

Google’s Literacy Project
Reuters reports that Google Inc. has a Web site dedicated to literacy. Google hopes that it will combat global illiteracy and bolster its own educational credentials. Meanwhile Google released the top 10 most viewed tests in English for a week in September. They include Diversity and Evolutionary Biology of Tropical Flowers by Peter K. Endress, Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Synonyms, Measuring and Controlling Interest Rate and Credit Risk by Farnk J. Fabozzi, Steven Mann, and Moorad Choudhry, Ultimate Healing: The Power of Compassion by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, The Holy Qur’an as translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Peterson’s Study Abroad 2006 by Thomson Peterson, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense by Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, and Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot by Brad Graham and Kathy McGowan.

Who Needs Poetry?
“It’s just what people need right now–a high dosage, intensive injection of lyricism, beauty, and passion.” So says
John Burnside, poet, writer, and chair of the Forward prize for poetry. That’s the lead of Greig Watson report for the BBC.

Then Jeff Gordinier writes for the poetryfoundation.org: “This poetry thing—it’s starting to worry me. The way some people talk about it, you’d think reading a poem every morning was like swallowing a capsule of cod liver oil: it sharpens your vision, expands your lungs, wards off the plague. It’s a psychic antitoxin. It reconnects you with the world around you. It’s good for you.”

Fitch Talks
Andrea Hoag interviews Janet Fitch about how she wrote White Oleander and her new novel Paint It Black.

Politics & Poetry
“Young poets today are casting aside the dreamy ‘hello trees, hello flowers’ bardic stereotype and choosing instead to tackle the hot political issues of the day–or so found the judges of the 2006 Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award,” writes
Michelle Pauli.

Robertson Wins Forward
Robin Robertson won the Forward Prize for Poetry, making him the first poet to win both best collection and best first collection prize. He won the best first collection for A Painted Field in 1997. His collection Swithering won the more recent award. Swithering beat out Seamus Heaney’s District and Circle.

Be Immortalized
Irish writer Jason Johnson will auction off chances to become a character in his third novel at http://www.woundlikcer.com. Why is the 37-year-old holding the auction: For the money.

How-to Literature
In recent months, the book publishing industry, especially in England, has come out with a series of how-to literature books: How to Read a Novel by John Sutherland, How Novels Work by John Mullan, and Fifty Ways to Read a Poem by Ruth Padel.

Googling of Literature
During the past ten years, companies such as Yahoo and Google have altered the Internet environment, creating more access to more activities for the average computer user. With its book program along with the Gutenberg Project, the Open Content Alliance, and the Open Document Foundation, these two companies–along with many others–will dramatically alter how and what people read while providing wider access to original material for billions throughout the world.

Too Many Good Books?
“This fall, the largest number of new titles by brand-name authors in recent memory is hitting bookstores, adn the publishing world is asking itself an unusual question: Can there be too many good books?” That’s the start of Josh Getlin Los Angeles Times essay “Booked-up Publishers Could Be in a Bind.” More interestingly and not addressed is the question: Can there be too much good writing out there? Look at the number of new titles being published by literary imprints–small and large. Without an increase in the number of readers, aren’t we as writers and publishers just asking the same number of people to read more? Can the reader base expand?

How Did He Find that Poem?
Virigina Quarterly Review just published “War Thoughts at Home” by Robert Frost, which remained lost for decades. Graduate student Robert Stilling discovered it while doing research at the University of Virgina. Scott McLemee talks to Stilling about the discovery.

Novels about Poets
Colum McCann, author of Zoli which is about a Romani poet, pics the top 10 novels about poets: Stone by John Williams, My Life as a Fake by Peter Carey, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera, Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, The Wing of Things by Sean O’Reilly, Shadow Box by Antonia Logue, Winslow in Love by Kevin Canty, Snow by Orham Pamuk, The Dog Fighter by Marc Bokanowski, and Portrait of the Artist by James Joyce.

Award for Writers without Agents
The Sobol Literary Agency will award $100,000 to a writer of a complete novel and who is not represented by an agent. It’s a contest, and like most contests today, there’s an entry fee: $85. All entrants agree that the winner will sign Sobol as his/her agent. For more information, <www.sobolaward.com>.

Giller Prize Longlist
Fifteen Canadian authors have been listed as finalists in the annual Giller Prize: David Adams Richards for
The Friends of Meager Fortune, Caroline Adderson for Pleased to Meet You, Todd Babiak for The Garneau Block, Randy Boyagoda for Governor of the Northern Province, Douglas Coupland for jPod, Alan Cumyn for The Famished Lover, Rawi Huge for De Niro’s Game, Kenneth J. Harvey for Inside, Wayne Johnston for The Custodian of Paradise, Vincent Lam for Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, Annette Lapointe for Stolen, Pascale Quiviger for The Perfect Circle, Gaetan Soucy for The Immaculate Conception, Russell Wangersky for The Hour of Bad Decisions, and Carol Windley for Home Schooling.

Booker Shortlist
The Booker Shortlist has been announced: Sarah Walters for
The Night Watch, Kiran Desai for The Inheritance of Loss, Kate Grenville for The Secret River, M.J. Hyland for Carry Me Down, Hisham Matar for In the Country of Men, and Edward St. Aubyn for Mother’s Milk.

Interview with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Gary Shteyngart
The Book Critics Circle has a wonderful interview with Chimamanda Adichie, whose first novel—
Purple Hibiscus—earned her critical fame and a literary award. Her second, Half of a Yellow Sun, has been released. “Right now, I’m on page twenty-five of my new novel. This is a time of great terror and glee…” That’s what Gary Shteyngart has to say in his interview.

Mawell Perkins Award Winner
Ther Mercantile Library announced that it will give its Maxwell Perkins Award to Gary Fisketjon of Knopf Publishing. Fisketjon has worked with Bret Easton Ellis, Raymond Carver, Patricia Highsmith, Jay McInerney, and Cormac McCarthy. Last year the library presented the award for the first time to Nan Talese. The award will be presented in early November along with the yet announced Clifton Fadiman Award for Excellence in Fiction and the Annual John Sargent Sr. Award.

Meek Gets Scottish Arts Council Award
James Meek, author of
The People’s Act of Love, won his second prize for the novel from the Scottish Arts Council. The novel also won the Ondaatje Prize and was on the Booker long list.

Writers’ Camp
In a
New York Times essay, entitled “What I Did at Summer Writers’ Camp,” Rachel Donadio explores the reactions of writers attending such famous colonies as MacDowell in Peterborough, NH, and Yaddo in Saratoga, NY.

Following Hollywood’s Lead?
In the
Poets & Writers
essay, “Imperative: The Pressure to Be Exotic,” Azita Osanloo writes: In her report for the National Arts Journalism Program,
Best and Worst of Times: The Changing Business of Trade Books, 1975–2002, Gayle Feldman, a veteran of the publishing industry since 1976 and a recent contributor to Publishers Weekly, wrote that “whether publishers like to admit it or not, an author’s telegenicity, promotability, and age enter increasingly into the acquisition equation, particularly for new authors whose careers need to be ‘made.'” Osanloo also wonders when the inflated bubble regarding the publication of memoir will pop.

Guardian Releases Longlist for its First Book Prize
The
Guardian has released its 10 competitors for its First Book Prize: For fiction: Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living by Carrie Tiffany, Harbor by Lorraine Adams, and In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar; For biography: John Donne: The Reformed Soul by John Stuffs and A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveller by Jason Roberts; For memoir: Running for the Hills by Horatio Clare; For poetry: Waiting for the Night-Rowers by Roger Moulson; For stories: A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li.

Quill Award Nominations

August 23, 2006

Quill Award Nominees Announced
It’s best described as the people’s choice awards for writing, not necessarily the best criteria for judging the value of a work but it is a measure. Starting yesterday and through September 30th, people can vote for their favorites. Nominees are as follows: Debut author of the year: William Alexander for
The $64 Tomato, Debra Dean for The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel, Raymond Khoury for The Last Templar, Julie Powel for Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, Mike Leonard for The Ride of Our Lives: Roadside Lessons of an American Family; General Fiction: David Mitchell for Black Swan Green, Christopher Moore for A Dirty Job, E.L. Doctorow for The March, Irene Nemirovsky for Suite Francaise, Sara Gruen for Water for Elephants; Poetry: Maya Angelou for Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem, Garrison Keillor for Good Poems for Hard Times, Mary Oliver for New and Selected Poems: Volume Two, Pablo Neruda for Still Another Day, and Billy Collins for The Trouble with Poetry.
There are also categories for audio books, children’s books, young adult books, graphic novels, myster, romance, science fiction, religion, biography, business, cooking, health, history, humor, and sports.
Winners will be announced on October 11th.