Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016

The winner of this years Baileys Women’s prize for fiction will be announced tonight at 7.30pm. The lucky winner will win a limited edition bronze known as a ‘Bessie’, created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven  as well as receiving a cheque for £30,000. Lucky them, that’s more than enough to buy a few bottles of Baileys to celebrate.

Have you read all the shortlisted books?

Baileys RubyRuby by Cynthia Bond

Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby Bell has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York. Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe centre of the city, all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother. When a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, 30-year-old Ruby finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood. With the terrifying realisation that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out again, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town’s dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy.

Baileys The Green RoadThe Green Road by Anne Enright

The children of Rosaleen Madigan leave the west of Ireland for lives they never could have imagined in Dublin, New York and various third-world towns. In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she’s decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for one last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.

Baileys Glorious Heresies

 

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa Mcinerney

One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society. Ryan is a 15-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father, Tony, whose obsession with his unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family. Georgie is a prostitute, whose willingness to feign a religious conversion has dangerous repercussions, while Maureen, the accidental murderer, has returned to Cork after 40 years in exile to discover that Jimmy, the son she was forced to give up years before, has grown into the most fearsome gangster in the city. In seeking atonement for the murder and a multitude of other perceived sins, she threatens to destroy everything her son has worked so hard for, but her actions risk bringing the intertwined lives of the Irish underworld into the spotlight.

Baileys The Portable VeblenThe Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie

Meet Veblen. She’s an experienced cheerleader (mainly of her narcissistic, hypochondriac, controlling mother), an amateur translator, and a passionate defender of the anti-consumerist views of her namesake, the economist Thorstein Veblen. She’s also a firm believer in the distinct possibility that the plucky grey squirrel following her around can understand everything she says.

Baileys The Improbability of Love

 

 

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild

Annie McDee, alone after the disintegration of her long-term relationship and trapped in a dead-end job, is searching for a present for her unsuitable lover in a neglected second-hand shop. Within the jumble of junk and tack, a grimy painting catches her eye. Leaving the store with the picture after spending her meagre savings, she prepares an elaborate dinner for two, only to be stood up, the gift gathering dust on her mantelpiece. But every painting has a story – and if it could speak, what would it tell us? For Annie has stumbled across ‘The Improbability of Love’, a lost masterpiece by Antoine Watteau, one of the most influential French painters of the 18th century.

Baileys A Little LifeA Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realise, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome – but that will define his life forever.

 

Man Booker Longlist Announced Today

h_logo_official_largeThe longlist, or ‘Man Booker Dozen’, for the Man Booker Prize has been announced today, Wednesday 29 July 2015.

This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges chaired by Michael Wood, and also comprising Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, John Burnside, Sam Leith and Frances Osborne. The judges considered 156 books for this year’s prize.

This is the second year that the prize, first awarded in 1969, has been open to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK.  Previously, the prize was open only to authors from the UK & Commonwealth, Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe.

The 2015 longlist of 13 novels, is:

Bill Clegg – Did You Ever Have a Family (Jonathan Cape)            

Anne Enright – The Green Road (Jonathan Cape)

Marlon James – A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld Publications)

Laila Lalami – The Moor’s Account (Periscope, Garnet Publishing)

Tom McCarthy – Satin Island (Jonathan Cape)

Chigozie Obioma – The Fishermen (ONE, Pushkin Press)

Andrew O’Hagan – The Illuminations (Faber & Faber)

Marilynne Robinson – Lila (Virago)            

Anuradha Roy – Sleeping on Jupiter (MacLehose Press, Quercus)

Sunjeev Sahota – The Year of the Runaways (Picador)

Anna Smaill – The Chimes (Sceptre)

Anne Tyler – A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus)

Hanya Yanagihara – A Little Life (Picador)

 

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday 15 September at a press conference at the London offices of Man Group, the prize’s sponsor.

The 2015 winner will then be announced on Tuesday 13 October in London’s Guildhall at a black-tie dinner that brings together the shortlisted authors and well-known figures from the literary world. The ceremony will be broadcast by the BBC and the lucky winner will leave with a cheque for £50,000.

 

 

Female Authors top of the list for the Desmond Elliott Prize

Desmond-Elliott-2015Three female authors will compete for The Desmond Elliott Prize 2015.

All three authors shortlisted for this year’s £10,000 award, which is for debut novels, are published by Penguin Random House.

Emma Healey is shortlisted for Elizabeth is Missing (Viking), Carys Bray for A Song for Issy Bradley (Hutchinson), and Claire Fuller for Our Endless Numbered Days (Fig Tree).

Chair of judges, author Louise Doughty, said: “It’s fascinating to see that each writer arrived here from slightly unorthodox beginnings and it’s a testament to The Desmond Elliott Prize that it identifies and rewards the very best new writing talent, whatever the author’s date of birth. Our shortlist shows that there’s no age limit on being a sparkling new arrival on the literary scene.”

our endless numbered daysFuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days is about a young girl who is taken to live in a cottage in the forest by her survivalist father.

Fuller originally studied sculpture at Winchester School of Art, specialising in wood and stone carving, then ran her own marketing company for 23 years.

She began writing fiction in her 40s, spurred on by National Novel Writing Month.

Elizabeth is missingHealey’s Elizabeth is Missing is about an elderly woman who is searching for her old friend called Elizabeth. Fuller’s first degree was in bookbinding, after which she worked in an art gallery. She eventually enrolled in the UEA Creative Writing Course before Elizabeth is Missing went on to sell at auction.

Bray’s A Song for Issy Bradley is about a Mormon family coping with the death of a child. Bray was restricted from writing until recently, and five years ago she and a song for issy bradleyher husband removed their family from the Mormon faith.

Dallas Manderson, chairman of the prize trustees, said: “We are delighted to present these outstanding titles in our search for this year’s best debut. The judges have done an admirable job selecting a shortlist from a particularly strong and varied longlist this year and we look forward to seeing which book ultimately comes out on top.”

Doughty is joined on the judging panel by bookseller Jonathan Ruppin and journalist and author Viv Groskop. The winner will be revealed at a ceremony at Fortnum & Mason on 1st July, where she will be presented with a cheque for £10,000.

Adapted from an article from The Bookseller Magazine

The Wellcome Book Prize shortlist

Bill Bryson, chair of the 2015 £30,000 Wellcome book prize, has said brain surgery, death, cruelty, anxiety and grief are all explored in the shortlisted books – with laughs and joy amid the suffering. The prize celebrates books on an  aspect of medicine, health or illness.

Shortlist

All My Puny Sorrows – Miriam Toews – a novel which deals with suicide

Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss – a Victorian-era story of maternal cruelty and illness.

My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel, a personal account of his battle with anxiety

The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being by Alice Roberts, BBC presenter & Guardian columnist. She takes a tour around the human body

 Do No Harm by Henry Marsh, in which he gives readers an insight into his working life as a neurosurgeon

The Iceberg by Marion Coutts, an account of the illness and death of her husband, the critic Tom Lubbock.

Bryson said the books were very different but what they had in common was the quality of writing and the depth of content.  He said his entry into science had been through literature, and one of the key aims of the Wellcome prize was to encourage others to follow the same path.

The winner will be announced on the 29th April.

Great Reads @BaileysPrize Fiction longlist is announced

Longlist for Bailey's Women's PrizeThe Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist features some great reads. With five debut novelists and eight previously shortlisted authors, it showcases both rising stars and well-established writers.

Chair of the judging panel Shami Chakrabarti said: “The Prize’s 20th year is a particularly strong one for women’s fiction.  All judges fought hard for their favourites and the result is a 2015 list of 20 to be proud of – with its mix of genres and styles, first-timers and well-known names from around the world. There is a very strong showing of UK writers and we are all incredibly excited about the final stages of the search for the winner.”

The 20 books will be cut down to a shortlist of six and an overall winner will be chosen by 3rd June.

LonglistBAILEYS Women's Prize for Fiction

Click through on the links to find more information about the books.

Rachel Cusk-  Outline

Lissa Evans – Crooked Heart 5 star rated by Leeds readers

Patricia Ferguson – Aren’t We Sisters?

Xiaolu Guo – I Am China

Samantha Harvey –  Dear Thief

Emma Healey – Elizabeth is Missing

Emily St. John Mandel – Station Eleven

Grace McCleen – The Offering

Sandra Newman – The Country of Ice Cream Star

Heather O’Neill – The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

Laline Paull – The Bees

Marie Phillips – The Table of Less Valued Knights

Rachel Seiffert – The Walk Home

Kamila Shamsie – A God in Every Stone

Ali Smith – How to be Both

Sara Taylor – The Shore

Anne Tyler – A Spool of Blue Thread

Sarah Waters – The Paying Guests

Jemma Wayne – After Before

PP Wong – The Life of a Banana

Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year 2015

Front Cover Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year shortlist is out and it cover witches, camels, nether regions and pavements. Are they that funny?? Anyway, you can Vote for your favourite until 2oth March, (hosted on We Love This Book). The winner will be announced on Friday 27th March. No prize, but the person who nominated the book to the Diagram committee will receive the traditional “passable bottle of claret”.

Seven books are on the shortlist are:

  1. Nature’s Nether Regions by Menno Schilthuizen -a history of the evolution of genitals of birds and beesAdvanced Pavement Research
  2. Advanced Pavement Research: Selected, Peer Reviewed Papers from the 3rd International Conference on Concrete Pavements Design, Construction, and Rehabilitation edited by Bo Tian
  3. The Madwoman in the the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones by Sandra Tsing-Loh a memoir of the menopause
  4. Where do Camels Belong? By Ken Thompson – an investigation into native and invasive species.
  5. Divorcing a Real Witch: For Pagans and the People That Used to Love Them by Diana Rajchel, a practical guide for ending pagan relationships, an account of the author’s experience of speaking to strangers
  6. The Ugly Wife is Treasured at Home by Melissa Margaret Schneider -an expose of love & sex under Maoist rule in China.
  7. Strangers Have the Best Candy by Margaret Meps Schulte (the prixe is now open to self-published authors for the first time in its 37-year history)

Established by Diagram Group founders Trevor Bounford & Bruce Robertson in 1978 as a way of avoiding boredom at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the inaugural winner was Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice. Other winners include How to Avoid Huge Ships (1992), Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers (1996), The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories (2003), Cooking with Poo (2012) and last year’s winner, How to Poo at Work (2012). 1987 and 1991 had no award, due to a lack of odd titles.

Tony Harrison wins the David Cohen Prize for literature

Under the clock: new poemsLeeds born poet and playwright Tony Harrison, 77, has been awarded the £40,000 David Cohen Prize for literature. Presented every other year, previous winners include Hilary Mantel in 2013, Julian Barnes in 2011 and Seamus Heaney in 2009.

Harrison’s poetry, plays, and television works are often inspired by classical literature (he studied Classics) but address current concerns. One of his best known works is the poem V, written during the Miner’s Strike, which described a visit to the Harrison family grave above Leeds United’s stadium. It was made into a TV film and resulted in a debate in Parliament over the amount of swearing it contained!

He said: “I wrote my first poems 70 years ago, and I spent most of my lifetime producing poetry for page, stage and screen and this unexpected recognition is an enormous encouragement from the generous David Cohen Prize and helps me to confirm my commitment to what I’ve aways believed to be a united body of work, wherever the words were printed or performed.  In this lifetime of writing, I’ve tried to balance the isolation necessary for serious composition with the communal creation of producing poetry of actors… This generous award is accepted with enormous gratitude as I approach, with renewed energy, my eighth and I hope most creative decade, with the poems, plays and films flowing till the end.”

He has also previously won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Whitbread Prize for Poetry and the European Prize for Literature.The winner of the David Cohen prize is also able to bestow the £12,500 Clarissa Luard Award, funded by Arts Council England, on to a young writer or body to encourage them in their work. Harrison selected The Wordsworth Trust.