Some famous names are among this year’s crop of nominees for the 2013 Costa Book Awards announced earlier yesterday.
Kate Atkinson (pictured) and Maggie O’Farrell, previous winners in 1995 and 2010 respectively, are up for the Best Novel Award again along with Evie Wyld and Bernadine Bishop, who receives a posthumous nomination for Unexpected Lessons in Love.
Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s controversial biography of the philandering Italian poet and politician Gabriele D’Annunzio, which earlier won the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize, heads the list for the Best Biography Award, while veteren Australian writer and broadcaster Clive James is up against 2004 winner Michael Symmons Roberts in the Poetry Award category for his translation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy.
Last year’s £30,000 top prize went to Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, which remarkably won the Man Booker Prize in the same year. Since the introduction of the award in 1985 (then known as the Whitbread Prize), it has been won 11 times by a novel, seven times by a poetry collection, five times by a biography, four times by a first novel, and once by a children’s book. For the complete list of this year’s nominees, and to find out exactly who previous winners were, visit the Costa Book Awards site here.
We have quite a range of Award-winning novels among out Leisure Reading collection on Level 4, including last year’s winner. Why not pop up and have a browse?
Kate Atkinson at the Mosman Library, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
A statuette of one of cinema’s most iconic – and infamous – props, the Maltese Falcon, was yesterday sold at auction in New York for a staggering $4+ million.
The lead-cast statuette was one of two made for and featured in John Huston’s legendary 1941 film noir The Maltese Falcon, starring Humphrey Bogart as Dashiell Hammett’s sardonic private eye Sam Spade.
Ironically during the course of the film, the Falcon changes hands for as little as $10,000 – but many of the people who come in contact with it ended up murdered into the bargain!
If you want to see this ‘rare bird’ in its original form, you don’t have to pay anything but a trip to our High Demand section, where we keep a copy of The Maltese Falcon on DVD. We also have a copy of Dashiell Hammett’s original story among our American fiction section on Level 2, as well as a wide range of books examining the film noir genre and its influence on modern cinema.
Maltese Falcon statuette by Sarah Stierch, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
Nobel Prize winning British author Doris Lessing died yesterday aged 94.
Born in Persia (now Iran) and educated in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Lessing moved to England in 1949 to further her budding writing career. Her first novel, The Grass is Singing, was published in 1950, though her 1962 work The Golden Notebook is generally considered to be her breakthrough publication. Her final novel, Alfred and Emily, was published as recently as 2008. Her output not only spanned the fiction genres, taking in thrillers and science fiction as well as social commentary, but also included poetry, short stories and drama.
In 2007 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for The Golden Notebook, described by the Nobel committee as “a pioneering work… that informed the 20th Century view of the male-female relationship.”
We have a wide variety of books by and about Doris Lessing among our literature collection on Level 2, including The Golden Notebook and The Grass is Singing, and you can find out more about the author’s life and work via our many literature databases available through Library Catalogue Plus, most notably LION (Literature Online).
Doris Lessing image by Maria Catello Solbes, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
Hercule Poirot topped – albeit not literally! – Sherlock Holmes, Philip Marlowe and Hannibal Lector to win his creator Agatha Christie the prize of best crime novel in a poll held by the Crime Writers’ Association.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, written by Christie in 1926, marked the third appearence of the famous Belgian detective, and the novel has been widely praised for its innovative twist ending which set something of a benchmark for detective fiction thereafter – something undoubtedly reflected in the award of this honour.
The poll comprised of ten classic crime novels selected by the 600 members of the CWA to mark its 60th anniversary, including Conan Doyle’s legendary The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902), Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep (1939) and The Long Goodbye (1953), and Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs (1988).
We have several of Agatha Christie’s books in stock, along with various works by Raymond Chandler, Arthur Conan Doyle and Thomas Harris, along with a cavalcade of other crime and detective fiction among our Leisure Reading Collection on Level 4. So why not warm up your ‘little grey cells’ and do a spot of investigating yourself…?
Agatha Christie graphic by Brain POP, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
November is National Novel Writing Month, and every year the gauntlet is thrown down to budding novelists nationwide to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
Sounds like a tough challenge? Well, according to their statistics, over 340,000 people participated last year – and they’re expecting that figure to hit the magic half-million mark this year!
Since the challenge was started in 1999, a lucky 250-odd authors who entered achieved their ultimate writing dream by getting their entry published, so you never know – you may be writer of the next Game of Thrones series, or a potential Booker Prize winner. Every author has to start somewhere, after all…
If you need a little more help & guidance on the nuts & bolts of writing, we have plenty of books available on the craft of creative writing and authorship – skills and information that would probably stand in you in good stead for your academic essays and reports, too!
No forgetting, of course, that we’ve got a growing range of contemporary novels of every possible genre among our Leisure Reading collection up on the new Level 4, so look no further should inspiration prove elusive.
To find out how to participate, visit the NaNoWriMo site below:
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.
Award winning writer and theatre maker Michael Pinchbeck has created three devised performances inspired by the work of William Shakespeare, and he’s bringing them to campus next Friday 1st November.
The performance comprises of The Beginning, an interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Middle, a deconstruction of Hamlet, and The End, triggered by a stage direction from The Winter’s Tale. All three acts are to be shown together for the first time as The Trilogy.
Fusing an experimental approach to Shakespeare’s text with the company’s personal stories about their first or last times onstage The Trilogy asks the audience to enter a world where a performance can be a rehearsal, text can be both script and set and they are always aware of where the fire exits are.
The show begins at 7.30PM in the Leonard Dixon Studio at the Martin Hall Theatre. Tickets for students cost £5. For further details, visit the Loughborough University Arts page here.
Asterix the Gaul, the phenomenonally popular French comic book character, returns to bookshelves for the first time in eight years today in a new adventure set in ancient Scotland.
Asterix and the Picts is the 35th instalment in a series that has sold more than 350 million books worldwide and been translated into 111 languages since the first book, Asterix the Gaul, appeared in 1961. It will be translated into numerous languages, including, appropriately, Scottish Gaelic.
Writer René Goscinny created the series in 1959 with his artist friend Albert Uderzo supplying the iconic artwork. Uderzo continued the series alone after Goscinny died in 1977, and the mantle has now been passed to a new writer-illustrator team, Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad.
We have three of the plucky little Gaul’s adventures among our Leisure Reading collection on the new Level 4, along with a wide range of other popular graphic novels and comic book collections, including works from the popular Tintin, Bone and Alex Rider ranges. Why not pop up and relive your childhood?
Asterix the Gaul cover by Maia C, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.
Award-winning poet, novelist and journalist Blake Morrison will be talking about his life and work during a two-hour event entitled Life Writing and the Life of a Writer in the Martin Hall Theatre this coming Thursday evening (24th October, 7.30-9.30PM).
His latest books are a collection of poems, A Discoverie of Witches, and a novel, The Last Weekend, which was recently serialised on ITV. But his previous work includes play adaptations, libretti, essays, narrative non-fiction and the acclaimed memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father?, which in 2007 was successfully adapted into a movie starring Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent and Carey Mulligan.
During the evening Blake will be reading from his works and afterwards will be signing copies of his books.
Coincidentally, Radar, the University’s Book Club, is presently reading And When Did You Last See Your Father?, and members of the Library’s own Club 790 Book Club will also be attending. The Library has copies of several of Blake’s work among our stock, including that particular work. So if you’re not familiar with his writing but are tempted to attend, now’s the perfect opportunity to catch up!
To book your tickets for the evening, visit the Loughborough Arts page here:
At the tender age of 28, New Zealand author Eleanor Catton last night became the youngest ever winner of the prestigious £50,000 Man Booker Prize for her epic 832-page Victorian gold-mining mystery novel, The Luminaries.
The judging panel was said to have spent over two hours deliberation before declaring Catton the winner over a strong field including previous Booker nominees Jim Crace and Colm Tóibín.
We haven’t yet got a copy of The Luminaries in stock but it is on order. In the mean time, we do have many previous winners from down the years tagged on Library Catalogue Plus under Booker Prize Winners, including last year’s winner, Hilary Mantel’s Bringing Up the Bodies, among our relocated Leisure Reading collection on the new Level 4. Why not take a look?
A new exhibition opened at the British Library this month exploring the history of the illustration of ten much-loved classics of British children’s literature.
Picture This: Children’s Illustrated Classics
examines how classic children’s books are remembered not only through the printed text, but also through the artistic interpretation of the illustrator and their relationship with the story. Featuring at least four illustrated editions or pieces of artwork for each title, including rarely seen first editions, the exhibition focuses on 10 classics – Just So Stories, The Iron Man, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Wind in the Willows, Paddington Bear, Peter Pan and Wendy, The Hobbit, The Borrowers, The Secret Garden
and The Railway Children.
The exhibition should prove of great appeal to artists and students of children’s literature alike. It’s free to visit and is being hosted in the British Library’s Folio Society Gallery, open daily until 26th January.
Paddington Bear by Michael Bond, illustrated by Peggy Fortnum, image by Scatterkeir reproduced under CC License from Flickr.