Thursday, March 31, 2011

Author/blogger Tim Jones Latest Author Interview

It is with poet (and science editor) Mary Cresswell, whose latest collection, "Trace Fossils", has just been released.

Interlitq - a New Zealand Literary Showcase

section 4 of  major NZ feature has now been published

Le Carre quits list for Booker honour

Marc Mcevoy, Louise Schwartzkoff - Sydney Morning Herald, March 31, 2011
Not happy ... John Le Carre. Photo: AFP

JUST when everyone felt pleased that the Australian author David Malouf had been nominated for the £60,000 Man Booker International Prize, another finalist - the espionage thriller writer John le Carre - spoilt the show.

As the judges named the 13 finalists at the University of Sydney, the British author of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy issued a statement through his literary agent, Curtis Brown, saying he would not accept the award if he won, becoming the first author ever to withdraw.

The biennial award, which, like the Nobel prize in literature, goes to a fiction writer for his or her body of work, will be announced for the first time in Australia at the Sydney Writers' Festival on May 18.

Oscar-winner Tan scores a rich literary sequel

Jason Steger , March 31, 2011

'Masterly visual storyteller' ... Tan's Tales from Outer Suburbia.

AFTER the hoo-hah of winning an Oscar last month, Shaun Tan thought he was bound for a quieter life. That was until he received a call from Sweden on Tuesday night telling him he had won the world's richest award for children's and young-adult literature, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Prize, worth 5 million krona ($765,000).

''I was washing the dishes when my phone went,'' he says. ''I couldn't recognise the number and I was going to ignore it … The voice at the other end mentioned Astrid Lindgren and I thought they probably wanted more information about me because I knew I had been nominated for it and they always want lots of details. But then in a formal way the voice said they had chosen me as recipient of the prize and asked, 'How do you feel?' and I was still doing the dishes.''

Tan's call came only a couple of hours before the official announcement. But when he heard applause he was alarmed to realise that from his kitchen sink he was on speaker phone to the awards committee.

 Its citation described Tan as ''a masterly visual storyteller, pointing the way ahead to new possibilities for picture books. His pictorial worlds constitute a separate universe where nothing is self-evident and anything is possible … He combines brilliant, magical narrative skill with deep humanism.''

Full piece at Sydney Morning Herald.

Jokes aside, Trollope takes on mother-in-law struggles

Jason Steger in Sydney Morning Herald, 31 March 2011

Joanna Trollope. Photo: Joe Armao

JOANNA Trollope's latest novel tackles the fraught relationship between a mother and the wives of her three sons. So one of the first questions for the British novelist is, does she mind people telling her mother-in-law jokes?

She's perhaps slightly surprised. ''They get halfway though them but I don't think I wear a very helpful expression,'' she says.
''It can be a fantastic relationship. It's not a pantomime joke about women, and [those jokes] are pretty rude about men.

Story today in Sydney Morning Herald.

The plot thickens -

Stieg Larsson's friend reveals details of fourth book in Millennium Series
Stieg Larsson fans - listen up.
Story in Sydney Morning Herald.

Man Booker International Prize 2011 Celebration at University of Sydney

Established in 1850 the University of Sydney last night hosted a cocktail reception and panel discussion in the beautiful gothic Great Hall attended by some 200 guests, one of whom was The Bookman.

I was reminded of the Guildhall in London when I attended the Man Booker Prize event the year Lloyd Jones was shortlisted for Mister Pip. The Great hall is smaller of course but lots of impressive stained glass and rather than the sculptures of notable politicians there were portraits of Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of the University.

We were welcomed by the Vice Chancellor of the University Dr.Michael Spence who started by acknowledging the custodial nature of the land on which the Great Hall stood and then talked briefly and approriately about excellence and the valuing of excellence, and about the university's delight in being involved in the Man Booker Inetrnational Prize.

Then followed an hour long discussion between the three judges of the Man Booker Intetrnational Prize - Rick Gekoski, Carmen Callil,Justin Cartwright - and Fiammetta Rocco, Administrator of the Prize (and longtime literary editor at The Economist).

Following an outline and history of the Man Booker Prizes the panel then had a robust discussion on selection process, (16 months of monthly meetings, endless telephone calls and e-mail exchanges between the three judges), criteria, translation and associated problems,the need for more and better translations, categories and genre, role of literature in the world today and a raft of other relevant subjects.

Having attended many many panel discussions over the years I well know that some panels work and some panels don't, this one though really worked and those present went away satisfied following an interesting and stimulating  evening. I was especially impressed with Justin Cartwright's contribution, he was wonderfully entertaining, always thoughtful, and a he has a keen sense of humour.

I was also taken by remarks from Rick Gekoski on the subject of  "world books". He said that only 3% of fiction published in the UK was "in translation" which means he suggested that there is an awful lot of good writing out there that we never get to read. We need he suggested "more exposure to world fiction". I agree with him.

I noticed authors Lloyd Jones and David Malouf, (pic left - Penny Stephens), among the audience and managed a brief chat with them both after the event. David is thrilled to have been included in the Man Booker International Prize shortlist.

Today I fly home to Auckland after a most stimulating two days in Sydney. Now we await to learn which of the 13 shortlisted finalists is the winner of the Man Booker International Prize for 2011, to be announce at the Sydney Writers Festival on 18 May. I wonder if I could slip back for that?

Nice to see my favourite Sydney bookseller, Gleebooks, with a display of books by the shortlisted authors for sale at the event. Considering they didn't know who the shortlisted authors were until a few hours before the event they managed to mount a most impressive display. David Malouf, of course, and Philip Roth were especially well represented.

Magic memories from childhood books

Sydney Herald Sun March 30, 2011 

Blanche Clark, Cathy Osmond and Susan Bugg revisit some of the books that shaped their reading experiences and those of their children



This is the tale of a clever mouse who outwits a very silly monster. Every book by Donaldson and Scheffler that's entered our house has been a hit. The verse is delightful to read aloud, and there's lots to see in the whimsical illustrations. C.O.

When I was a kid, the hound du jour was The Poky Little Puppy, a Little Golden Book that hasn't aged well. Thank god my kids have the scruffy black dog from Donaldson's Dairy, courtesy of Kiwi writer and illustrator Dodd. The rhyming verse is technically spot-on but playful too, just like Hairy and his mates. C.O.


Lily loves Blue Kangaroo, but when she's given more toys, Blue Kangaroo finds himself relegated to the edge of the bed until one night he falls out. A gentle tale about the love-tussle between old and new. This was my youngest daughter's favourite bedtime story. B.C.


This tale of an odd metal contraption looking for a place to belong sucked me in as an adult, which didn't automatically mean my children would love it too. But love it they did. The detailed drawings are mesmerising. Tan won an Oscar for his animated short film based on this book. B.C.


Out of all the Madeline books we collected, this one sticks in my mind because it has some weighty themes buried in the rhyming couplets. Madeline meets the Spanish ambassador's son Pepito, who displays classic ADHD symptoms, terrorising people and animals alike. B.C.


Mum loves spots and Dad loves stripes and their sensible grey-adorned son seems to be the odd one out -- until his obsession with elephants is revealed. Engaged by the bright colours and quirky characters, this was my youngest daughter's top "again, again, again" book. Her face still lights up when she sees it, even as a teenager. B.C.


First published in 1960, this is an old-fashioned, funny, feel-good story about Harry's thwarted attempts to lose the woollen jumper grandma has made. The retro illustrations are priceless and Zion always has a cheeky twist to his simple plots. B.C.


Everyone has their favourite Dr Seuss book -- this is mine. Loved the drawings, the wacky humour, and the sheer stupidity of it. My youngest daughter remembers Hop on Pop fondly, while the eldest liked Fox in Socks. B.C.


Published in 1902, children still identify with naughty Peter who disobeys his mother and steals food from Mr McGregor's garden, only to lose his jacket and shoes when he escapes. My daughter wanted the story again and again, poring over the cute illustrations and enjoying the thrill of Peter's escape. B.C.

For more, including books for older children go to the Herald Sun website.

Microsoft Co-Founder Slams Bill Gates

The Daily Beast.

Photo - Paul Allen - by Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen paints an unflattering portrait of Bill Gates in a new book,
Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-founder of Microsoft, accusing his former partner of scheming to grab his Microsoft shares while he was recovering from cancer. Allen says in the book that he has not received enough credit for Microsoft’s work, but people at the company are confused by his portrayal of events: They say he puts himself in meetings he did not actually attend. In a statement, Gates said, "While my recollection of many of these events may differ from Paul's, I value his friendship and the important contributions he made to the world of technology and at Microsoft.”

Read it at The Wall Street Journal

MANY AS ONE - Artwork for Christchurch

What do an embroidered fossil 'tessalorax', NZ novels, a rare imprint of USA poet Melissa Green's first poetry collection The Squanicook Ecloglues, original oil sketches, charcoal drawings, handmade books and jewelry - crafted from silver and a silkworn cocoon - have in common?

These are items that have been donated by writers and artists (national and international) to the MANY AS ONE - Artwork for Christchurch appeal. This Dunedin-based initiative has been active for four weeks now and will continue for as long as contributions come in.
The intention behind MANY AS ONE is to form a circle of mindfulness around the Christchurch community and to raise money for the earthquake fund via a process of creative exchange.

A one-off donation (no amount is too small) ensures your name goes into the MANY AS ONE draw each week - the chance of your name being drawn remains in place for as many weeks as this initiative is active. . .

To find out more, please visit the MANY AS ONE page ( on Claire Beynon's blog -

Vintage unveils Orange Inheritance Collection

The Bookseller - 30.03.11 - Charlotte Williams

Vintage Classics has unveiled its Orange Inheritance Collection, with works by Virginia Woolf, Richard Yates and Honore de Balzac among the titles selected by Orange Prize winners to pass on to the next generation. As previously reported, six Orange winners were tasked with choosing a title for the collection to mark the 16th anniversary of the prize.

Helen Dunmore, Orange Prize winner in 1996, chose Woolf's To the Lighthouse, with the following year's winner Anne Michaels selecting Tess of the D'Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy. Winner of the prize in 2000, Linda Grant, chose Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman, So Long, See you Tomorrow by William Maxwell was chosen by Ann Patchett, Orange Prize winner in 2002, and Lionel Shriver, who won in 2005, choosing Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. Rose Tremain, Orange Prize winner in 2008, chose Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac.

The six titles will be available from 7th April, priced between £5.99 and £9.99 each, was well as e-books through, with both formats including introductions from the Orange winners explaining why their choice is relevant to the next generation.

Editorial director Laura Hassan said: "It's wonderful to see what the winners of the Orange Prize for Fiction would pass on to the next generation. Their choices are as varied, surprising and controversial as you would expect from such a stellar group of writers."

Orange Prize co-founder and honorary director Kate Mosse said: "It's particularly fitting to celebrate the 16th anniversary of the Orange Prize with the launch of a collection designed to excite, engage and enthrall the next generation of readers but most of all, with a range of fantastic books that remain as relevant today as they were in the year they were first published."

As part of the launch, Vintage also asked 100 people what their classic would be, with highlights including Will Self choosing Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, Alan Titchmarsh choosing Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Irvine Welsh choosing Naked Lunch by William Burroughs.


 18 longlisted books range from Soviet Russia to modern Britain, from the rule of law to feminism, and from ceramics to the Caucasus

• 15 journalists make extended longlist

• 22 bloggers include Tory MEP, mainstream journalists and a prisoner

The longlists for this year’s Orwell Prize, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing, have been announced overnight at a special event in London.

The longlist announcements (from 7pm) were followed by a discussion on political blogging, featuring Richard Horton (winner of the Blog Prize 2009 as pseudonymous police blogger, Jack Night) and David Allen Green (shortlisted for the Blog Prize 2010 as ‘Jack of Kent’, judge of this year’s Blog Prize), chaired by Jean Seaton (director of the Orwell Prize).

Book Prize

A record 213 books were whittled down to 18 by this year’s judges, Jim Naughtie (presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today and Bookclub programmes, former chair of the Man Booker Prize judges), Ursula Owen (founder director of Virago Press, former editor of Index on Censorship, project director of the Free Word Centre) and Will Skidelsky (books editor of The Observer).

The longlisted books are:

Bingham, Tom The Rule of Law (Allen Lane)
Bullough, Oliver Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus (Penguin)
Butcher, Tim Chasing the Devil: The Search for Africa's Fighting Spirit (Chatto & Windus)
Chang, Ha-Joon 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (Penguin)
De Waal, Edmund The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance (Chatto & Windus)
Dunmore, Helen The Betrayal (Fig Tree)
Hall, John A. Ernest Gellner (Verso)
Hatherley, Owen A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain (Verso)
Hitchens, Christopher Hitch-22 (Atlantic Books)
Malik, Zaiba We Are a Muslim, Please (William Heinemann)
Moqadam, Afsaneh Death to the Dictator! (The Bodley Head)
Morris, Ian Why the West Rules for Now (Profile)
Mullin, Chris Decline and Fall (Profile)
O'Toole, Fintan Enough is Enough (Faber)
Richards, Steve Whatever It Takes: The Real Story of Gordon Brown and New Labour (Fourth Estate)
Spufford, Francis Red Plenty (Faber)
Thorpe, D. R. Supermac: The Life of Harold MacMillan (Chatto & Windus)
Walter, Natasha Living Dolls (Virago)

Tim Butcher was previously longlisted in 2008 for Blood River, while Fintan O’Toole was longlisted in 2010 for Ship of Fools. Steve Richards has previously been recognised in the Journalism Prize, making the shortlist in 2007.

Director of the Prize, Jean Seaton, said: ‘These books show that political writing can be tender or chilling, furious or forensic, magisterial – or very funny. The whole range of political life is distilled into tremendous prose in these books.’

Journalism Prize

This year’s longlist of 15 journalists (rather than the usual 12) has come from a record field of 87 journalists. This year’s judges are Martin Bright (political editor of the Jewish Chronicle, founder and chief executive of New Deal of the Mind, shortlisted for the Journalism Prize 2007) and Michela Wrong (journalist and author, previously shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for all three of her books).

The longlisted journalists are:

Carroll, Rory The Guardian; The Observer
Cohen, David Evening Standard
Collins, Phillip The Times
Gardner, David Financial Times
Gentleman, Amelia The Guardian
Gilligan, Andrew Sunday Telegraph; Channel 4; The Guardian; The Spectator
Lawson, Dominic The Independent
Mayer, Catherine TIME
Murray, Douglas Standpoint; The Spectator; Literary Review; Wall Street Journal Europe
Rachman, Gideon Financial Times
Russell, Jenni Sunday Times; The Guardian
Shabi, Rachel The Guardian
Shenker, Jack Prospect; Guernica; The Observer; The Guardian; New Statesman
Steele, Jonathan The Guardian; London Review of Books
Walsh, Declan The Guardian; Granta

Amelia Gentleman is longlisted for a second consecutive year, having made last year’s shortlist. Jonathan Steele was previously longlisted in 2009, while David Gardner’s book, Last Chance: The Middle East in the Balance was longlisted for last year’s Book Prize.

Director of the Prize, Jean Seaton, said: ‘Some of these journalists show us the hidden corners of Britain and the world; some of the writing is razor sharp indictment; many of the journalists in many different ways are intrepid. They all represent different strands of Orwell's legacy.’

Blog Prize

22 bloggers (rather than the usual 12) have been longlisted from a record 205 entries, by judges David Allen Green (shortlisted for the Blog Prize 2010 as ‘Jack of Kent’) and Gaby Hinsliff (journalist and blogger, former political editor of The Observer).

The longlisted bloggers are:

Adam Wagner UK Human Rights Blog (
Andrew Sparrow Politics Live with Andrew Sparrow (
Anton Vowl Enemies of Reason (
Carl Gardner Head of Legal (; and Comment is Free, The Wardman Wire, Anglotopia
Cath Elliott Too Much To Say For Myself (; and Liberal Conspiracy, Comment is Free
Cathy Newman The FactCheck Blog – Channel 4 News (
Crispian Jago Science, Reason & Critical Thinking (
Dan Hodges Labour Uncut (
Daniel Hannan Daniel Hannan – Telegraph Blogs (
David Osler David Osler ( and Liberal Conspiracy
Dr Petra Dr Petra’s Blog (
Duncan McLaren Visiting Mabel (
Graeme Archer ConservativeHome (
Heresiarch Heresy Corner (
Juliet Jacques A Transgender Journey (
Molly Bennett Mid-Wife Crisis (
Osama Diab The Chronikler ( and Comment is Free, New Statesman, Worldpress
Paul Mason Idle Scrawl – BBC Newsnight (
Paul Waugh Paul Waugh ( and The Waugh Room (
Penny Red Laurie Penny – pop culture and radical politics with a feminist twist (
Prisoner Ben Ben’s Prison Blog (
Sunder Katwala Next Left ( and Left Foot Forward, The Staggers (New Statesman)

Andrew Sparrow and Paul Mason were both shortlisted for the first Orwell Blog Prize in 2009 (Mason was also cited when Newsnight were presented with a Special Prize in 2007), while David Osler (longlisted last year), Heresiarch (longlisted in 2009) and Penny Red (Laurie Penny, shortlisted last year) make the longlist for a second time. Cathy Newman was longlisted for last year’s Journalism Prize.

Director of the Prize, Jean Seaton, said: ‘Blogging is evolving under our eyes, its purposes shifting. Public service watchdog? Clever reporting from new spaces in the political process? Telling it like it is in uncomfortable places? Different blogs are all of those and other things: it’s an increasingly sophisticated world.’

This year’s shortlists will be announced on 26th April, before a debate on the question, ‘Is it time to make monarchy history?’.

The winners of the Orwell Prizes – each worth £3000 – will be announced at an awards ceremony at Church House, Westminster, on 18th May.

Scotiabank Giller Prize Forges Broadcast Partnership with CBC Television - Great News for Canada's Richest Literary Award


CBC will broadcast the annual Scotiabank Giller Prize ceremony this November and for the next five years, under an exclusive media partnership agreement announced today between the CBC and Giller Prize founder Jack Rabinovitch.

"We are thrilled and honoured to be the official broadcast partner for the Scotiabank Giller Prize," said Kirstine Stewart, CBC's Executive Vice President of English Services. "CBC's support for this country's literary excellence and the advancement of Canadian authors runs very deep indeed, so we feel this partnership is a natural fit."

CBC's wide range of literary programs and features include the annual Canada Reads competition (now into its second decade). On CBC Radio One, the list includes: “The Next Chapter” with Shelagh Rogers; the "Stranger Than Fiction" series on "Sunday Edition" with Michael Enright; and the long running Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel. Online, there is the CBC Book Club and all the other literary content at CBC Books (

Under the agreement, CBC will televise the Scotiabank Giller Prize gala each year beginning this fall, with possible use of the program across all of its platforms including CBC Radio, Specialty Channels and

"We are delighted to call the CBC home again. We consider this a perfect partnership, especially with the network's extraordinary commitment to Canadian literary programming," said Jack Rabinovitch, founder, the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, plus seven languages for international audiences.

In 2011, CBC/Radio-Canada is celebrating 75 years of serving Canadians and being at the centre of the democratic, social and cultural life of Canada.

About the Scotiabank Giller Prize

The Giller Prize was founded in 1994 by Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller, who passed away from cancer the year before. The award recognized excellence in Canadian fiction - long format or short stories - and endowed a cash prize annually of $25,000.00, the largest purse for literature in the country.

In 2005, The Giller Prize teamed up with Scotiabank to create The Scotiabank Giller Prize. It is the first ever co-sponsorship for Canada's richest literary award for fiction. Under the new agreement, the purse doubled, growing to $70,000 with $50,000 going to the winner, and $5,000 being given to each of the four finalists.


An email magazine with events, links, and commentary.
Received this morning via e-mail by The Bookman and reproduced here for the interest of readers of this blog.
If you'd like to recive it regularly just e-mail - Zachary Bos
I will not be posting future issues.

WRIGHT ON READING. From today's social media stream, Franz Wright on his Facebook wall opined: "I learn more about the world by reading a few words of Simic or Young or Herakleitos than -- than what? Reading the NY Times?" In the course of the evolving discussion with Facebookers, he continues: "It is not that difficult to get the news from real poetry as opposed to the absolute shit that passes for poetry now -- read Simic's poem about the old woman watching the deadlines of a newspaper going up in flames as she lights her stove. What he is saying is perfectly clear, and any child can grasp it. There is a lot of difficult poetry that is great, but I think it only appears to be difficult, and that we simply, more and more, have lost the power to be still and pay attention. H. G. Wells wrote somewhere that the world will either have a planetary socialist government or be destroyed, and I believe more and more that this is literally correct. But I am not getting into that. I will soon not have to worry about it. Swift's gravestone reads, if I understand correctly, in Latin: " ...where savage indignation can no longer stab him in the heart." This is what gives me a sense of peace these days." Wright won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and lives in Waltham.

PINSKY AT TUFTS. Robert Pinsky will be reading next Thursday, April 7, at 3:30 PM in the Hirsh Reading Room at Tufts University's Tisch Library, 35 Professors Row, Medford, 02155. The event is free of charge. Among other work, he will be reading from his forthcoming book, Selected Poems. Pinsky is interviewed by John O'Rourke, on the question of why poetry should be spoken, at

DAVID FERRY IN SLATE. The esteemed poet and translator asks, "What am I doing inside this old man's body?" Read his new poem "Soul" at

CAMBRIDGE POETRY FESTIVAL. The event begins Sunday, April 3, in Jill Brown-Rhone Park in Central Square (across from Luna Café, 403
Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge) from noon until 2 p.m., with readings
by the four finalists "campaigning" to be the next Cambridge Poet
Populist: Toni "Bee" Brooks, Irene Koronas [a Clarion contributor],
Scott Ruescher, and Jeff Walker. The Festival continues throughout the
day with open-mic poetry and musical performances at different venues
throughout Cambridge and at the main branch of the Cambridge Public
Library. All events are free. To learn more about the Cambridge Poetry
Festival, and about the Cambridge Poet Populist Election, visit, email or call the Cambridge Arts Council at

FARRELL, HOPKINS, BURTON, HILL. At this week's graveside service for  Elizabeth Taylor, the actor Colin Farrell read a poem in her memory:
Gerard Manley Hopkins' "The Leaden Echo and The Golden Echo." Farrell
is is rumored to be portraying Sir Richard Burton in an upcoming
biopic; though I am ignorant of the reason this poem is associated with
Burton, here in any case is a YouTube recording of the great actor
reading it aloud:
[As spotted by Hugh Fitzgerald for]. Following the advice
of users recommending that we listen also to Geoffrey Hill read the
same poem: [via Eric Vondy's].
Hill for many years was on the faculty here at Boston University; he is
currently serving as the Oxford Professor of Poetry in England. At, you can hear him read
Shakespeare's Sonnet LXVI, my favorite: "Tir'd with all these, for
restful death I cry." Nadejda Mandelstam thought that this was the one
moment in his sonnets where WS is fully revealed (see her letter to
Arthur Miller in 7 i 68, as reproduced in /Russian Review/ V.61, No.4).

POEMSHAPE PRIMER. A useful introduction to some technical features, for those who don't know or who want to be reminded:

MAZER IN EYEWEAR. Ben Mazer ? interviewed in last spring's Clarion at -- has a new
hypnotic, brimful poem in Todd Swift's online magazine, Eyewear. "The
Botticelli bursts another spring. / It is of florentine silks that I
shall sing." Read the rest at By
the by: Mazer's recent collection from The Pen & Anvil Press, POEMS, is
now on the shelf for sale at St. Mark's Bookstore in Manhattan's Bowery
neighborhood. Support small press publishing, and pick up a copy or
tell a friend to do the same.

ON TODAY'S POETRY. Andrew Shields takes a long view this week about the situation of poetry: " ?one relatively consistent feature of
contemporary poetry in English is that it does impose itself on its
readers: it makes the reader listen to the voice of the poet, instead
of providing, as pop lyrics do, a space for listeners to fill with
their own voices, as it were." Read his full essay posting, "From
Tennyson to today," at
[Spotted by Robert Archambeau]

MILOSZ REVIEWED. Enda O'Doherty has a long review in the Dublin Review of Books, of "Proud to Be a Mammal" by Czes?aw Milosz. This new
collection sounds like it has a broad compass; here's O'Doherty on one
section: "From the martyred Poland of the war years, the country of
German occupation, casual murder and coolly planned genocide, Mi?osz
wrote a sequence of short naive poems entitled "The World." An excerpt
from one of those, titled "Love": "Love means to learn to look at
yourself / The way one looks at distant things / For you are only one
thing among many." Read the review, titled "All Things Considered," at

BU READING. The Annual Creative Writing Faculty Reading this year will
include readings by: Leslie Epstein (Program Director); David Ferry;
Louise Glück (United States Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner);
Allegra Goodman (National Book Award finalist); Ha Jin (Awardee of
National Book Award, PEN/Hemingway, twice, and a PEN/Faulkner winner);
Ronan Noone; Sigrid Nunez; Robert Pinsky; (United States Poet
Laureate); and Maya Sloan. Tuesday, Apr 12, 2011 at 6 PM, in the SMG
Auditorium, 595 Commonwealth Avenue. Free and open to the general
public. For more information, contact

Send suggestions for news and comment items to at
Literary events in Boston:
The Pen & Anvil Press:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Irish Bookseller Eason Plans To Invest €20m In Expansion

Book2Book - Wednesday 30 Mar 2011
Irish retailer Eason is planning to invest €20 million over the next three years to reposition the company within the book trade, which has been hit hard during the recession.
The Irish Times has learned that this will be combined with a restructuring of the business aimed at reducing its cost base by €8 million a year.

Irish Times

Pop-Up Bookstore To Open in Shuttered Borders

On April 30th, Fleeting Pages will open a pop-up bookstore inside a shuttered Borders bookstore in Pittsburgh.

In essence, Fleeting Pages consists of taking over (taking back??) one of the spaces, left empty by a failed big box bookstore in Pittsburgh, for one month, starting April 30th, and filling it with independent & self-published work of all kinds, book arts, workshops, events, and..?(insert your ideas here)?… All revolving around various forms of written self-expression. The idea is a result of a few things; the toll taken...

Read more at Fleeting Pages including how you can become involved......

A Piece of ‘Gone With the Wind’ Isn’t Gone After All

By Charles Mc Grath in The New York Times,  March 29, 2011
 SOUTHPORT, Conn. — Long thought to have been burned the way the North set fire to the cotton at Tara, the final typescript of the last four chapters of Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” has turned up in the Pequot Library in this Yankee seaport town. If not quite a spoil of war, the manuscript is a relic of some publishing skirmishes, and it will go on exhibit starting on Saturday, before traveling to Atlanta, Mitchell’s hometown, in time for the 75th anniversary of the novel’s publication in June.

Left - A page from the final draft of a late chapter of “Gone With the Wind.”

Photo -Wendy Carlson for The New York Times

The chapters, which contain some of the novel’s most memorable lines — like, “My dear, I don’t give a damn” and “After all, tomorrow is another day” — were given to the Pequot in the early 1950s by George Brett Jr., the president of Macmillan, Mitchell’s publisher, and a longtime benefactor of the library. Some pages from the manuscript were actually displayed at the Pequot twice before — in a 1979 exhibition of Macmillan first editions, also donated by Mr. Brett, and in 1991 for a show honoring “Scarlett,” Alexandra Ripley’s authorized, if not very good, sequel to “Gone With the Wind.”
But Dan Snydacker, executive director of the library, said nobody back then paid the manuscript much attention or recognized its importance.

The pages went back into storage and resurfaced only in response to a query from Ellen F. Brown, who was working with her co-author, John Wiley Jr., on “Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone With the Wind’: A Bestseller’s Odyssey From Atlanta to Hollywood,” published in February by Taylor Trade Publishing. Ms. Brown was interested in the Brett collection at the Pequot and curious to know if any of the library’s many foreign editions of “Gone With the Wind,” yet another bequest, had inscriptions from the author to her publisher.

Full piece at The New York Times.

A Million-Copy Besteller at Age 92: Stéphane Hessel and Indignez vous!

Publishing Perpectives
March 30, 2011 • By Olivia Snaije

Stéphane Hessel is France’s 93-year old publishing phenomenon with his 14-page political essay, Indignez vous! (Time for Outrage!), released in October 2010, in which he exhorts readers to become outraged about the state of society. The book is now on bestseller lists in Germany, Spain and Italy. Quartet has just published the British version and in the US The Nation magazine offered the essay to subscribers in their March 7-14 issue.

Damion Searls translated the text for The Nation and British editions, both of which include an introduction by journalist Charles Glass, whose new imprint at Quartet published the essay. Hessel’s French publisher, Indigènes, also hopes to sell rights to a US publisher with a well-known personality such as Sean Penn providing a preface.

Former Le Monde correspondent Sylvie Crossman and her partner Jean-Pierre Barou run the small publishing company based in the south of France. They publish books on indigenous art as well as a series of $4 essays (which includes Hessel’s) called Ceux qui marchent contre le vent (Those who walk against the wind). The idea for the political pamphlet came to Crossman and Barou after a talk Hessel gave in 2009 during a meeting about resistance among citizens. Crossman interviewed Hessel several times, wrote the text, submitted it to him for corrections, and voilà, 1.4 million copies later, “Indignez vous!” remains at the top of the bestseller list.

“When the essay came out I thought we would do well and sell 200-300,000 copies.” Remarked Barou. “Stéphane Hessel is an exceptional person and the ideal symbol of France. In this era of total rationalism, Hessel leaves room for poetry and beauty.”

The success of Hessel’s essay is doubtless due to French and a more generalized dissatisfaction with politicians, but also to his remarkable past — as a World War II Resistance fighter, a concentration camp survivor, one of the members of the committee that drafted the universal declaration of human rights, a diplomat and human rights activist.

In his essay Hessel urges young people not to remain indifferent to human rights and politics, underlining the disparity between rich and poor, the treatment of illegal immigrants, the suffering of the Palestinians, and the importance of protecting the environment and the French social welfare system.

French intellectuals and the CRIF (Representative Council of Jewish Institutions) attacked Hessel for the two pages in the pamphlet in which he decries the inhuman treatment of Palestinians, in particular the inhabitants of Gaza.
“These attacks were very unfortunate,” said Barou. “I’ve only seen Stéphane Hessel get angry once, and that was when a women told him he did not respect Israel.”

Pierre Assouline, who writes a literary blog for Le Monde, has also criticized Hessel’s essay for being simplistic and badly written.

But most of the criticisms of Indignez vous! were unjust, said 25-year old Gilles Vanderpooten recently, whose new book with Stéphane Hessel called Engagez vous! (Get Involved!), was published March 10th by Editions de l’Aube.

Full piece with links at Publishing Perpectives.

Clouds, Artspace and the Gus Fisher Gallery invite you to the launch of two new books:

Peter Robinson: Ack and Other Abdications (co-published with Artspace)


Sean Kerr: Bruce is in the garden; so someone is in the garden


Auckland Old Folks Association Hall
Corner of Gundry and Abbey Streets, Newton, Auckland
Saturday 2 April, 4-6pm


Featuring live sounds by Sean Kerr

Peter Robinson: Ack and Other Abdications traces the life of a large sculpture.

Sean Kerr: Bruce is in the garden; so someone is in the garden surveys Kerr’s work to date.

For further information visit:

Artspace receives major funding from Creative New Zealand.

Kerr’s book was funded by The University of Auckland’s NICAI Research Development Fund.

Peter Robinson: Ack and Other Abdications
Published by Clouds and Artspace
Texts by Dan Arps, Matthew Crookes, Fiona Gilmore
and John Ward-Knox, Gwynneth Porter and Laura Preston

164 pages
Edition: 1000
Dimensions: 171 x 240 x 15 mm

Sean Kerr: Bruce is in the garden; so someone is in the garden
160 pages
Texts by Jan Bryant, Zita Joyce + Adam Willetts, Tessa Laird, Emma Bugden,
Andrew Clifford, Jon Bywater and an interview by Tobias Berger
Edition: 800
Dimensions: 176 x 246 x 17 mm

Both books are available from selected bookshops and

Clouds publishing
PO Box 68-187
Newton, Auckland 1145
Aotearoa New Zealand

The Man Booker International Prize 2011 - further thoughts

Further to my blog post  this morning about the shortlisted authors here are some further thoughts/observations.

*The prize is awarded every two years and it reconises a writer for his or her achievement in fiction.

*The winner is chosen entirely at the discretion of the judging panel, there are no submissions from publishers.

*The three previous winners were Albanian poet and novelist Ismail Kadare in 2005; the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe in 2007, and Alice Munro from Canada in 2009.

*Writers who have been shortlisted twice or more - Peter Carey, James Kelman, Margaret Atwood, Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan, Philip Roth.

* This year's winner will be announced at the Sydney Writers Festival on 18 May. The Festival is Australia's largest literary festival and runs 16-22 May, 2011.

*I was especially delighted to see David Malouf, (pic left, The Australian), Philip Pullman and Rohinton Mistry in the shortlist, three writers whom I admire enormously. Brief bio info follows on each of these three writers.

David Malouf
David Malouf was born in Queensland, Australia, in March 1934 to a Lebanese-Christian father and English-Jewish mother.
He graduated from the University of Queensland in 1955 and lectured for a short period before moving to London, where he taught at Holland Park Comprehensive School and in Birkenhead. He returned to Australia in 1968 and lectured at the University of Sydney before becoming a full-time writer in 1978.
In 2008, Malouf won the Australian Publishers Association's Lloyd O'Neil Award for outstanding service to the Australian book industry. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2008.

Select Bibliography
Johnno 1975
An Imaginary Life 1978
Fly Away Peter 1982

Remembering Babylon 1993
The Conversations At Curlow Creek 1996
Untold Tales 1999
Ransom 2009

Short story collections
Antipodes 1983
The Complete Stories 2007

Poetry collections
Bicycle and Other Poems 1970
Neighbours in a Thicket: Poems 1974
Wild Lemons: Poems 1980
Typewriter Music 2007
Revolving Days 2008

David Malouf lives in Sydney.

Rohinton Mistry
Rohinton Mistry was born in 1952 in Bombay, India. He earned a BA in Mathematics and Economics at the University of Bombay. He emigrated to Canada with his wife in 1975, settling in Toronto where he studied at the University of Toronto and received a BA in English and Philosophy.

He is the author of three novels, each of which has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. Such a Long Journey (1991) won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Governer General’s Award; A Fine Balance (1996) won the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Giller Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize and was nominated for Oprah's Book Club Best Novel in 2001; Family Matters (2002) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2002, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and won the Canadian Authors' Association Award for Fiction and the Timothy Findley Award (Writers' Trust of Canada).

Select Bibliography
Tales from Firozsha Baag 1987
Such a Long Journey 1991

A Fine Balance 1996
Family Matters 2002
The Scream 2008

Rohinton Mistry lives in Ontario, Canada.

Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England in 1946 and was educated in England, Zimbabwe, and Australia, before returning to the UK to live in North Wales. He read English at Exeter College, Oxford before becoming a teacher.

His best-known work is the trilogy His Dark Materials, beginning with Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the USA), The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. He has also written two related volumes: Lyra’s Oxford and Once Upon a Time in the North and is currently working on The Book of Dust.
The trilogy has won numerous prizes, including the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Book Award. The Amber Spyglass won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, the first time in the history of the prize that it was given to a children's book. The Golden Compass was adapted as an acclaimed stage play at the National Theatre, London and New Line Cinema released the film worldwide in 2007.

Pullman was the recipient of the Eleanor Farjeon Award for children's literature in 2002 and in 2005 was honoured with the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for children’s and youth literature awarded by the Swedish Arts Council. In June 2007, Philip Pullman was awarded the “Carnegie of Carnegies” for The Golden Compass, triumphing in a poll to choose book lovers' favourite winner from the Carnegie medal's 70-year history.

Select Bibliography
The Haunted Storm 1972
Galatea 1976
Count Karlstein 1982
The Ruby in the Smoke 1985
Spring-Heeled Jack 1989
The Wonderful Story of Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp 1993
The Tin Princess 1994
Thunderbolt's Waxwork 1994
Clockwork, or, All Wound Up 1995
Northern Lights 1995
The Subtle Knife 1997
Mossycoat 1998
I was a Rat! or The Scarlet Slippers 1999
The Amber Spyglass 2000
Puss in Boots: The Adventures of That Most Enterprising Feline 2000Lyra's Oxford 2003
The Scarecrow and his Servant 2004
Once Upon a Time in the North 2008
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ 2010

Frankenstein 1990
Sherlock Holmes and the Limehouse Horror 1992

The Adventures of John Blake in The DFC 2008
Philip Pullman lives in Oxford.

Donated Binney painting raises $270,000 for Christchurch fund

By Nicholas Jones writing in the New Zealand Herald,Wednesday Mar 30, 2011
Kotare over the Ratana Church, Te Kao by Don Binney attracted bidders from New Zealand and overseas.

One of New Zealand artist Don Binney's most famous paintings was auctioned for $270,000 last night, with net proceeds going to the Christchurch earthquake relief fund.

Kotare over the Ratana Church, Te Kao has been owned by journalist and historian Dick Scott since 1964, but he decided it was time to part with it when he saw the devastation caused by February's earthquake.

"I've had 50-odd years enjoying it. But I thought, that's enough; I can be generous," Scott told the Herald yesterday.
"There's thousands of people with no houses now and all that kind of thing. I'm not normally terribly generous. But I thought it's about time I splashed out and made up for all my meanness."

Webb's auction house head of fine arts Sophie Coupland said the donation was a "huge philanthropic gesture".

The painting was possibly the most important of Binney's mid-1960s works still in private hands, and was an "icon painting" in the development of modernism in New Zealand art, she said.

Webb's had received much interest in the painting, and many people had taken the chance to view it, even if they were not going to bid.
"Because it's been extensively reproduced in all the Binney books and so extensively exhibited over its life, it's a work that lots of people are familiar with," Ms Coupland said.
"The opportunity to come and see it as it changes hands is something that people have taken."

A spokeswoman for Webb's said the auction was "extremely exciting" with a full room and bids coming from online and overseas bidders.
The painting was bought by an anonymous bidder who was applauded when he won the piece.

"You could tell he really wanted it. All I can say is that he's from New Zealand and so I think it will stay in the country," she said.

Scott bought the work for 50 guineas in the year it was painted, and gave dealer Rodney Kirk Smith copies of his recently published book on wine as part payment.

Binney later said in an interview that the purchase demonstrated the "collegial support" that existed when artists or writers would buy each other's work.
Between exhibitions, the painting has hung in Scott's Mt Eden home.

Scott said he was confident he wouldn't regret his decision to give it away, despite the painting being like a member of his family.
"I'm only a couple of years off 90. And so I've slowed down, I'm not worried.
"One of my sons is in Singapore, and a couple of my daughters are in Sydney. So different members of the family have buggered off. And I thought, well, there's a member that can go off as well."

The Bookman salutes you Dick, what an enormously warm and generous gift.


(THE PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL OF THE KATHERINE MANSFIELD SOCIETY) on the theme of ‘Katherine Mansfield and the Fantastic’
Submissions are sought on the following:

• Critical articles on the theme of this issue: ‘Katherine Mansfield and the Fantastic’
• Creative pieces – poetry and prose with a connection to Katherine Mansfield
• Book reviews with a connection to Katherine Mansfield

This fourth edition of Katherine Mansfield Studies, ‘Katherine Mansfield and the Fantastic’, will investigate an unexpectedly rich vein within her modernist and experimental prose. The editors welcome submissions that explore the fantastic in Mansfield’s work. Suggested topics might include (but are not limited to):

• Literary gothic motifs and tropes including twinning, mirroring, ghosting and metamorphoses in Mansfield’s work
• Mansfield developments of fairytale
• Mansfield’s exploration and expression/representation of the conscious and unconscious mind
• The grotesque in Mansfield
• Mansfield’s work in relation to that of contemporaries such as Charlotte Mew, Jean Rhys, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Virginia Woolf, May Sarton, Edith Wharton, Henry James and James Joyce, which reveal uses of the fantastic, haunting and the gothic
• Connections with later writers who also use the fantastic, mythic and literary gothic such as New Zealanders Keri Hulme, Janet Frame and Patricia Grace
• Mansfield and the Uncanny
• Mansfield and Postmodernism

The Guest Editor for this Volume will be Professor Gina Wisker from the University of Brighton, together with co-editors Dr Gerri Kimber and Dr Sue Reid.

Submissions of between 5000–7000 words (inclusive of endnotes), should be emailed in Word format to the Guest Editor for this volume:

Professor Gina Wisker:

Please also send:

• a 50 word bio-sketch.
• a brief abstract (150 words) summarising your article.
• 5 or 6 keywords.


Pieces of creative writing on the theme of Katherine Mansfield – poetry, short stories (no more than 3000 words), etc, should be sent to the editors, accompanied by a 50 word bio-sketch:


Book reviews of 500-600 words for single books and 900-1200 words for two or more books should be sent to the Reviews Editors, Dr Kathryn Simpson and Dr Melinda Harvey, accompanied by a 50 word bio-sketch:


A detailed style guide is available from the Katherine Mansfield Society website:

Man Booker International Prize 2011 - John le Carre Asks to be Withdrawn from Consideration for the Man Booker International Prize

Statements from John le Carré and Rick Gekoski

Following the announcement of the thirteen finalists of the Man Booker International Prize 2011, announced in Sydney, Australia this morning (10.30 Australia EST; 00.30 BST), literary agents, Curtis Brown, have issued the following statement on behalf of John le Carré:

“I am enormously flattered to be named as a finalist of 2011 Man Booker International Prize. However I do not compete for literary prizes and have therefore asked for my name to be withdrawn.”

Rick Gekoski, Chair of the Man Booker International Prize 2011 judges comments in response:

“John le Carré’s name will, of course, remain on the list. We are disappointed that he wants to withdraw from further consideration because we are great admirers of his work.”

Author photo by David Azia - New York Times

Report in The Telegraph.
And in the Sydney Morning Herald
And in The Guardian
This story has been run by virtually every news agency. All publicity is good publicity I guess so the Man Booker people should be happy!


Finalists’ List Announced just announced in Sydney and The Bookman was there.

• Chinese writers feature in the list for the first time

• A more wide-ranging list, which includes best-selling international thriller writer John le Carré and crossover author Philip Pullman, pic left.

Thirteen writers have made it on to the judges’ list of finalists under serious consideration for the fourth Man Booker International Prize, the £60,000 award which recognises one writer for his or her achievement in fiction.

The authors come from eight countries, five are published in translation and there are four women on the list. One writer has previously won the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction and two have been shortlisted. Famously, another, John le Carré, asked that his books should not be submitted for the annual prize to give less established authors the opportunity to win.

The Finalists’ List is announced by the chair of judges, Rick Gekoski, at a press conference held at the University of Sydney, today Wednesday 30 March 2011 at 10.30 (EST).

The thirteen authors on the list are:

- Wang Anyi (China)
- Juan Goytisolo (Spain)
- James Kelman (UK)
- John le Carré (UK)
- Amin Maalouf (Lebanon)
- David Malouf (Australia)
- Dacia Maraini (Italy)
- Rohinton Mistry (India/Canada)
- Philip Pullman (UK)
- Marilynne Robinson (USA)
- Philip Roth (USA)
- Su Tong (China)
- Anne Tyler (USA)

The judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2011 consists of writer, academic and rare-book dealer Dr. Rick Gekoski (Chair), publisher, writer and critic Carmen Callil, and award-winning novelist Justin Cartwright.

Announcing the list, Rick Gekoski comments:

‘The 2011 List of Finalists honours thirteen great writers from around the world. It is, we think, diverse, fresh and thought-provoking, and serves to remind us anew of the importance of fiction in defining both ourselves and the world in which we live. Each of these writers is a delight, and any of them would make a worthy winner.

The Man Booker International Prize is awarded every two years to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.

The winner is chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel; there are no submissions from publishers. Alice Munro won in 2009, Chinua Achebe in 2007 and Ismail Kadaré the inaugural prize in 2005. In addition, there is a separate award for translation and, if applicable, the winner may choose a translator of his or her work into English to receive a prize of £15,000.

The Man Booker International Prize winner will be announced at the Sydney Writers’ Festival on 18 May and the winner will be celebrated at an awards ceremony in London on 28 June 2011.

The prize is sponsored by Man Group plc, which also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The Man Booker International Prize is significantly different from the annual Man Booker Prize in that it highlights one writer’s continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. Both prizes strive to recognise and reward the finest modern literature.

The Judges

Rick Gekoski (Chair)
Dr Rick Gekoski is one of the world’s leading bookmen: a writer, rare-book dealer, broadcaster and academic. An American who came to England in 1966, and now a dual UK/US citizen, he has established two private presses, The Sixth Chamber Press and The Bridgewater Press, which issue finely printed editions of work by leading writers, novelists and poets. As a broadcaster he has written and delivered three series of ‘Rare Books, Rare People’ for BBC Radio 4, which he followed with two series of ‘Lost, Stolen, or Shredded: The History of Some Missing Works of Art’. Dr Gekoski teaches creative non-fiction for the Arvon Foundation, and sits on its Development Board. He was a judge of the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2005.
Rick Gekoski is well known in NZ which he visits regularly often participating in literary festivals while there.

Carmen Callil
Carmen Callil is a publisher, writer and critic. She was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1938. In 1972 Ms Callil founded the publishing company, Virago, to publish books which celebrated women and women’s lives, literature and history. In 1982 she was appointed managing director of Chatto & Windus and The Hogarth Press where she remained until 1994, continuing, also, as chairman of Virago Press until 1995. In 1994 she was editor-at-large for Random House worldwide. Carmen was on the board of Channel 4 Television from 1985-1991. She served as a member of the management committee of the Booker Prize, 1979-1984; she was a founder director of The Groucho Club, London, 1984-1994; and in 1989 received the Distinguished Service Award from the International Women's Writing Guild.

Justin Cartwright
Justin Cartwright was born in 1945 in South Africa. He worked in advertising as a copywriter and progressed to making documentary films on a number of subjects, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and lions hunting at night in Africa. He has written 12 novels, among them In Every Face I Meet, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1995, and Leading the Cheers, which won the Whitbread Novel Award in 1998. Five of his novels have been shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award. The Promise of Happiness won the Hawthornden Prize in 2005 and The Sunday Times of South Africa’s Literary Prize. The Song Before It Is Sung, published in 2007 won the inaugural Jewish Cultural Award. His latest novel, Other People’s Money was published in March 2011. Justin Cartwright is a critic and a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and other cultural programmes. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

There was an excellent media turnout to the announcement made in the University of Sydney's new law building on the sprawling, attractive city campus. We were warmly welcomed by Professor Duncan Ivison, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Socail Sciences, who announced that every first year student at the university, regardless of what they were studying, was being given a free copy of Kate Grenville's novel, The Secret River.

Tuesday Poem - a day late !!

Tuesday Poem this week has at its hub The Map (you give me) by Stephen Bett, selected by Orchid Tierney.
She says, 'Stephen Bett's works are characteristically sharp and superficially simple. Yet they mask a sincere emotion which, in subsequent readings, grows deeper with intensity. Brevity yields nuances, words become packed with unsaid dialogue, lines are meant to be read 'in between.'

Read the hub poem and then move to the sidebar where thirty poets post Tuesday Poems by themselves and other poets whose work they admire. It's a real atlas of poetry - so many 'maps' to pour over, from Dr Seuss to AE Housman to Mary Cresswell. Go to and begin...

Promoting Jean Auel's 'Land of Painted Caves' as an E-Book

By Julie Bosman, New York Times

Since the 1980s, the publication of a Jean M. Auel book has often called for enormous print runs — about one million copies — and elaborate displays in the front of bookstores to draw in readers.

But to prepare for the release on Tuesday of “The Land of Painted Caves,” Ms. Auel’s sixth book in the best-selling “Earth’s Children” series, her publisher retooled the usual campaign for the digital age.

The print run for the United States was slimmed down to 465,000 copies, in anticipation that many people would instead buy e-books. Instead of building illuminated caves in bookstores, as it once did, the publisher tried to contact readers on Scribd, Facebook, Goodreads and Web sites like, Ms. Auel’s most popular fan site.

“The truth is, when you have a brand like Jean Auel, the real challenge is to make sure it reaches the fans who love her so much, and they are legion,” said Molly Stern, the publisher of Crown and Broadway Books, part of Random House. “What we really had to think about was, what’s the 21st century version of reaching these people?”

There has been a sea change in publishing since Ms. Auel’s last book, “The Shelters of Stone,” released in 2002. In the last year, many anticipated novels have sold as many e-books as print books in the first week of publication. Random House has also reissued her previous five novels in the “Earth’s Children” series in paperback and e-book. (Ms. Auel’s books have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide.)
Full piece at The New York Times.

Storytime Goes Digital

 Assessing the Children’s E-Book and App Market at TOC Bologna
O’Reilly’s Tools of Change conference at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair focused on apps vs. e-books, legacy publishers vs. start-ups, and adapting to this digital world.

Read the article >>

Has Apple’s iPad Cornered the Market for Children’s E-Books?

Tell us what you think in the comments.
Click to discuss >>

And so to bed again with Lady Chatterley

Rereading classics is an unsurpassed joy and sometimes brings surprises
Robert McCrum The Observer, Sunday 27 March 2011
Two women in 1960 with copies of Lady Chatterley's Lover after a jury at the Old Bailey decided that it was not obscene. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

Ever since World Book Day, there has been a lot of loose talk about "the joy of reading". Fair enough, but every reader knows that this "joy" is complex. You can be bored, enraged or frustrated by a book like almost nothing else.

There are compensations. For instance, there's always the guilty pleasure of rereading old favourites. With ageing, this increases. I've been conducting a straw poll of more senior book lovers, asking what they are reading now. "I don't read," said one. "But I reread, all the time. A good book gets better with age."

With this encouragement, since the new year I've pursued a modest programme of rereading: Brighton Rock, Persuasion, The Great Gatsby, The Golden Gate, and Waiting for the Barbarians. It's true. Good books do get better with the passage of time. You find more and different things in them, mixed with bittersweet memories of your first reading. Reading groups are always worrying about which new book to discuss. Why not admit that enough is enough and devote more time to what we already have on the shelves?

There is, however, one problem. Inevitably, there are some writers and books to which it is difficult, if not impossible, to return. D H Lawrence is a notorious case. Like many adolescents, when I was 17, I devoured everything: The Rainbow, Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, the poems and short stories, Kangaroo and, of course, Lady Chatterley's Lover, so recently liberated by a landmark trial. For the teenage reader, Lawrence, the poet and novelist, is the supreme literary artist: vivid, intuitive, sensual and transgressive. But now what? Today, he seems chippy, callow, misogynistic, flashy and irritating, the worst kind of literary windbag. There was no way I could include D H Lawrence, still less Lady Chatterley's Lover, in my rereading programme.

Actually, I did. One should never confuse the improbable with the impossible. On a long drive to Wales, I listened to it as a classic of the spoken word. Naxos, which specialises in exceptional recordings of the English canon, has just issued it as an audiobook, beautifully read by Maxine Peake of Dinnerladies and Shameless.

The audio version of perhaps the most controversial novel of the 20th century is a revelation. I'm not sure that it's a better book on reacquaintance, but it's unquestionably different. The Naxos brochure boldly declares that "Lady Chatterley's Lover is all about sex". But that's wrong. What you discover on a second reading is that it's all about class. And after that, it's all about the wasteland of the years after the Great War. Lawrence, the inveterate finger-wagger, is unequivocal about that. "Ours is essentially a tragic age," he begins. "The catastrophe has happened, we are among the ruins."

And off we go. But here's what I'd forgotten. For nearly 100 pages, Lawrence gives the reader a portrait of a dead marriage between a mismatched couple adrift in "the void" of interwar Britain. It's not until chapter seven that Connie goes up to her bedroom and does "what she had not done for a long time: took off all her clothes, and looked at herself naked in the huge mirror". Several more pages pass before Connie finally submits to the gamekeeper's embrace and we plunge into those hilariously breathless passages our grandparents thought were pornographic.

Meanwhile, everyday life at Wragby Hall and the desiccated literary career of Sir Clifford Chatterley rattle along like subplots torn from the pages of a latterday Mrs Gaskell. Connie is certainly having some sexual epiphanies in the gamekeeper's hut, but she's a metropolitan snob, despite her passion. To Connie, her lover "seemed so unlike a gamekeeper, so unlike a working man anyhow; although he had something in common with the local people". Lawrence emphasises this point by the use of dialect, a theme that emerges more explicitly from Maxine Peake's exemplary reading.

In between the cockeyed social commentary and the phallocentric meeting of Connie and Mellors, there is, as always with Lawrence, some lovely landscape writing. No one does spring better than Lawrence, words that remain timeless and true, especially today: "The bluebells were coming in the wood, and the leaf-buds on the hazels were opening like the splatter of green rain."

Shaun Tan wins biggest kids' literature prize

The Australian, 29 March 2011
Oscar-winning artist, illustrator and director Shaun Tan. Picture: Craig Borrow -  Source: Herald Sun

FOLLOWING his recent Oscar success Australian illustrator and author Shaun Tan has won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in Sweden - the largest children's literature award.

The award, which amounts to 5 million krona ($764,6000), was announced in Stockholm tonight.

Melbourne-based Tan has illustrated more than 20 books, including The Rabbits (1998), The Lost Thing (2000), The Red Tree (2001), The Arrival (2006) and Tales from Outer Suburbia (2008).

His award citation read: "Shaun Tan has reinvented the picture book by creating visually spectacular pictorial narratives with a constant human presence."

In February Tan won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for his 15-minute film The Lost Thing.

And report in The Guardian.