Sunday, February 14, 2016

New York Public Library Team Creates an Interactive Map of Fictional Romances

By Maryann Yin 
nypl logoDo you plan on celebrating Valentine’s Day this weekend?

The New York Public Library team created a map of fictional romances set in New York City. According to the organization’s blog post, a group of book experts shared some of “their favorite romantic scenes that take place in the city.”

This interactive map features several well-known spots such as The Museum of Natural History, The Strand bookstore, and the 7 train. Some of the books that provided these locations include The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. Follow this link to view the map.

The perils of writing about sex: 'Your partner will think it's about them. Or – even worse – someone else'

The Guardian - Thursday 11 February 2016 


Should you use exotic euphemisms or anatomical detail? Should it be comical, tender or shocking? And what if your mum reads it? Three generations of writers reveal the pitfalls – and pleasures – of writing about erotic encounters
Photograph: Ghislain & Marie David De Lossy/Getty Images                                                   There’s a great moment in Slavoj Žižek’s A Pervert’s Guide To Cinema where he describes an “unfortunate experience, probably known to most of us, how it happens that while one is engaged in sexual activity, all of a sudden one feels stupid. One loses contact with it. As if, ‘My God, what am I doing here, doing these stupid, repetitive movements?’”                                                                                   The realisation that sex can be at one moment ecstatic, and the next absurd, is rarely acknowledged in literature. That seems a shame, particularly for descriptions of teenage sex where heightened expectation and limited experience can make the delusions more real, the failures more profound.    MORE  

Valentine's Day - Most romantic line in the English language revealed

An oft-quoted line from Sense And Sensibility has been voted the most romantic line from literature, film and TV drama

Greg Wise and Kate Winslet as John Willoughby and Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility
Greg Wise and Kate Winslet as John Willoughby and Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility Photo: Rex Features
The words ''My heart is, and always will be, yours'' from Sense And Sensibility have been voted the most romantic line from romantic literature, film and TV drama.

They are uttered by Edward Ferrars to Elinor Dashwood in director Ang Lee's 1995 screen version of Jane Austen's classic novel. 

U.K.’s The Independent Ending Print Edition

By Richard Horgan 

The Independent prefers a rosier headline. But any way you slice it, it’s another hefty nail in the print coffin.

From today’s announcement that the British daily will go digital-only in March:
Rapid digital growth in the past three years has made the UK’s fastest-growing quality newspaper site. Its monthly audience has grown 33.3% in the last 12 months to nearly 70 million global unique users. The site is profitable and is expected to see revenue growth of 50% this year.
 Evgeny Lebedev, owner of The Independent, said: “The newspaper industry is changing, and that change is being driven by readers. They’re showing us that the future is digital. This decision preserves the Independent brand and allows us to continue to invest in the high-quality editorial content that is attracting more and more readers to our online platforms.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Refugee Finds a Home in Picture Books

Off the Shelf
By Leslie Kendall Dye    |   Friday, February 12, 2016
If there’s anyone capable of succinctly—and without fanfare—summarizing the life of a young girl who barely escaped the clutches of the Nazis, lived as a refugee in Paris and then London during World War II, spoke three languages and taught herself how to draw and paint, wrote scripts for television when the medium was new, wrote three books for young adults and dozens of picture books, raised two children and created, with no formal training, a huge career as an illustrator and storyteller, it’s the woman who lived the life herself. READ MORE

Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2016

     Have You Seen Elephant? in the limelight
Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2016 and we couldn't be more excited! Here's a quick recap of all things lovely on our favourite elephant book:

"A bonefide pitch-perfect laugh-out-loud picture book for all ages. Debut author David Barrow has created a brilliant celebration of the limitless nature of a child’s imagination wrapped up in a deliciously sophisticated and accessible package." Booksniffer (UK)
"Stonkingly good." Picture Books Blogger (UK)
"A sweet, funny tale of characters being good at unlikely things ...  A story that will be requested over and over (and over) again." –Bambino Goodies (UK)
"Younger audiences will be screaming 'There it is!' from the get-go." –Kirkus (US), STARRED REVIEW

Gecko Press publisher Julia Marshall first saw David Barrow''s work while he was studying at the Cambridge School of Art. She signed up Have You Seen Elephant? on the strength of his portfolio.
David went on to win the Sebastian Walker award for most promising children’s illustrator.
If you're wondering what he looks like, David's self-portrait is below:

Latest book trade news from The Bookseller

The UK’s possible exit from the European Union, looking likely to be the subject of a summer referendum, would be a disaster for the book trade, according to industry figures such as Waterstones m.d. James Daunt, Bonnier Publishing c.e.o. Richard Johnson and Alma Books m.d. Alessandro Gallenzi.
IPG Awards 2016
Nosy Crow leads the nominations for the 10th annual Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) Independent Publishing Awards 2016 with five nominations, while Bloomsbury Publishing follows closely behind with four.
The book trade is aiming to put books at the heart of Valentine's Day, with publishers unveiling a range of campaigns reflecting that there is a light and a dark side to the day.
The British Book Industry Awards
Authors Peter James and James Heneage, critic and author Amanda Craig and former Hachette deputy c.e.o. David Young will help judge this year’s British Book Industry Awards.
Cassandra Clare
Cassandra Clare’s lawyer has hit out at a lawsuit filed by author Sherrilyn Kenyon for copyright infringement, saying the case is "filled with basic factual inaccuracies".
The Bodley Head is publishing an "exclusive firsthand account" of the scientific hunt for gravitational waves.

Simon & Schuster saw global sales rise by 8% in the fourth quarter of 2015 to $233m (£160m), however e-book sales were down, following a wider trend across the larger publishing houses.
Jack Monroe
Pan Macmillan has bought world rights for food writer and campaigner Jack Monroe’s third book Cooking on a Bootstrap.
Sophie Orme
An "internal restructure" at Mantle has led to the redundacy of a senior editor on maternity leave, Sophie Orme.
Burley Fisher Books
The people behind Camden Lock Books have opened a new independent bookshop in Hackney, east London.
Open Access
The UK has made "substantial progress" towards ensuring Open Access publication of publicly funded research since the Finch Report was published in 2012, according to an independent advisory report to government.
Born To Run
Bruce Springsteen has penned his autobiography, set for international release through Simon & Schuster this September.

10 Ways To Cure Writer's Block - Advice From Authors

Book2Book Thursday 11 Feb 2016

There's laziness, procrastination... and then there's writer's block. Some people see it as an invented affliction. But others such as Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway have been affected by it for varying periods of time. Authors with personal experience are obviously the ideal people to give advice – so here's nine helpful quotations and one 'kick up the backside'.

Richard Dawkins Suffers Stroke, Pulls Out Of Writer s' Week

Book2Book Friday 12 Feb 2016

Richard Dawkins has cancelled his highly anticipated return to the Adelaide Writers' Week and tour across Australia and New Zealand as a result of a minor stroke suffered on Saturday.
Dawkins is expected to make a full or near-full recovery from the incident and is recuperating at home.

Adelaide Review

Artwork From the First-Ever Illustrated Version of Vladimir Nabokov’s ‘Lolita’



Last year, the New Republic celebrated the 60th anniversary of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita with a selection of mini-essays from women writers. The first of these, from debut novelist Alexandra Kleeman, offers a brilliant close reading of the novel’s first lines. After a fiery opening that seems to be addressed to Lolita, Kleeman writes, our narrator veers off, “leaving the reader uncertain whether he refers to the girl or to himself, or to the latter in the guise of the former.”
…Read More

Briefs: Clare's Lawyer Responds to Kenyon Lawsuit; "Birthday Cake" Author Speaks Out

Publishers Lunch

Cassandra Clare's lawyer, John Cahill of Rubenstein Associates, issued a statement Thursday afternoon responding to Sherrilyn Kenyon's trademark and copyright infringment lawsuit filed against Clare late last week. "Cassie was both surprised and disappointed that Ms. Kenyon would file this baseless lawsuit, a decade after the debut of Cassie's books. Kenyon is wrong when she claims that Cassandra Clare or her publisher made any agreements about using 'shadowhunters.' Cassie never gave Kenyon any assurances regarding this and, although she would have preferred to resolve any concerns that Ms. Kenyon has or may have had, Ms. Kenyon never contacted or spoke with her."

Kenyon's suit, Cahill said, "rests on a basic misunderstanding of copyright law and Cassie's totally original work. The law does not protect ideas and myths, it protects only the expression of those ideas." These "basic factual inaccuracies" include the identification of a main character’s "stepfather as her 'best friend,' alleges that the term 'daimons' appears in her books (the word is never used) and claims that one of her main characters is based on a Kenyon character whose similar attributes were first revealed some three years after Cassie had created and told the backstory of the relevant protagonist. Tellingly, the lawsuit failed to identify a single instance of actual copying or plagiarism by Cassie." Clare's lawyer expects the suit to be dismissed as "there is little chance of anyone confusing [Clare's] Young Adult themes and orientation with the sometimes very adult storylines in Ms. Kenyon's books."

In her first interview since Scholastic withdrew the children's book "A Birthday Cake for George Washington" for potentially giving "a false impression of the reality of the lives of slaves," author Ramin Ganeshram told the AP she expressed repeated misgivings about the production process and the lack of communication with illustrator Vanessa Brantley Newton, well in advance of publication. "The public does not know that the authors (of picture stories) are not in full control of their books. The public feels if you write the book, the book is yours and you make the decisions. But in children's publishing at least, that is entirely untrue. Authors and illustrators often do not speak, or interact. I never had a conversation with Vanessa, just a few tweets."

Ganeshram said she had researched the life of the slave Hercules, Washington's head chef, for several years and planned "Birthday Cake" to be the first in a series of works. "For me, Hercules is everything, so every opportunity to present him to the world was something to be seriously considered." But Ganeshram said she objected to what she characterized as the illustrations' "over-joviality" to editor Andrea Pinkney as far back as last spring, and her frustration at not being in contact with the illustrator. "And I said, 'When can I start speaking to Vanessa? I would like to send some research material.' And the editor told me, 'Authors and illustrators don't interact,'"

Minnesota-based children's publisher Amicus is launching a trade-oriented imprint, Amicus Ink, in a bid to move beyond the school library market. The launch list features six original photographic nonfiction board books and 59 nonfiction paperbacks. Amicus Ink titles will be distributed to the trade through Chronicle Books, while The Creative Company will handle sales & marketing.

Word Christchurch News


Welcome to 2016 and the first of many events we’ll be bringing you this year, culminating in the four-day extravaganza of the WORD festival, 25—28 August.

After the success of last year’s How to be a Feminist event, we are once again streaming live from the Sydney Opera House on International Women’s Day. This time there will be two sessions, with afternoon tea served in between. 

3—4.15pm WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE? Featuring Masha Gessen, Crystal Lameman, Mallory Ortberg, Ann Sherry & Anne- Marie Slaughter

If you could change the world overnight, what would you do first?

5—6pm ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK with Piper Kerman

Meet the real life Piper Kerman, otherwise known as inmate #11187-424. You may know the story from the Netflix series based on her bestselling memoir, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison.

Presented in association with Sydney Opera House and UC Arts.

Sunday 6 March
3pm (seated by 2.45pm) — 6pm
LAW108 Lecture Theatre, Business and Law building,
Ilam Campus, University of Canterbury


World poetry slam champ Anis Mojgani is returning to Christchurch on March 17 and 19, following sell-out shows at our 2014 festival. Pulling inspiration from his Black and Iranian heritage, his childhood memories, his worldview, love, and existence, Anis takes seemingly commonplace subject matter and sculpts inspiration from them. Don’t miss this opportunity as there may not be another!

LISTEN to his interview on RNZ National recently. 
WATCH a video of Anis performing ‘Come Closer’ 

In partnership with the 2016 New Zealand Festival Writers Week and Golden Dawn Auckland and Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu.

More information on our website. 

Wunderbar, Lyttelton, Thursday 17 March, 8pm
Christchurch Art Gallery, Saturday 19 March, 7pm
Buy tickets


The Catch Lunch with Nicolas Fargues, renowned French author, 2015 Goncourt Prize nominee and the latest Randell Cottage resident in Wellington.

Nicolas will join author and WORD Christchurch Literary Director Rachael King and Catch guests at Tequila Mockingbird. Tickets include a delicious lunch and sparkling water. Hurry! Tickets are limited.
Wednesday, 2 March, 12—2pm
Tequila Mockingbird, Victoria Street
Tickets $40 

For booking and more information visit the Catch website.


Andonis Foniadakis’s Selon désir, William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Alexander Ekman’s Cacti are Speed of Light: international contemporary classics that will showcase the energy, precision and charisma of New Zealand’s national ballet, under the artistic leadership of Francesco Ventriglia. Touring to Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin and featuring the New Zealand String Quartet performing live onstage, this is an unmissable start to the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 2016 season.
Isaac Theatre Royal
10 – 12 March

More information & tickets