Tag: Salman Rushdie

Atwood and Rushdie Make Highly Anticipated Booker Prize Shortlist

Previous winners of the prestigious Booker Prize, Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, join four other exciting authors on the Booker Prize shortlist this year.

 

Images via Amazon

Atwood won the prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin, and she’s back in contention for her much-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Her latest book, The Testaments, is set to release next week, and it’s already turning quite a few heads. Peter Florence, chair of this year’s judges and one of the few people to have read The Testaments, described the book as “a savage and beautiful novel that speaks to us today with conviction and power.” Speaking about the list more generally, Florence said, like all great literature, these books teem with life, with a profound and celebratory humanity.”

 

 

Another of those books teeming with life is Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte! Rushdie won the Booker Prize with Midnight Children in 1981, which was also deemed “Booker of Bookers” in 1993 and “Best of the Booker” in 2008. Rushdie’s latest work takes inspiration from Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, telling the story of an aging traveling salesman’s journey across America.

Florence has also sung the praises of Quichottesaying it “pushes the boundaries of fiction and satire.”

 

 

Image via BBC

Joining Atwood and Rushdie on the short list is Lucy Ellman’s Ducks, Newburyport. Ellman is the only U.S. author on this year’s list, and her mammoth 998-page novel is a stream-of-consciousness monologue largely consisting of one continuous sentence. If it wins, Ellman’s novel will be the longest novel to ever win the Booker Prize.

 

 

image via BBc

Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other also made this prestigious list. The Anglo-Nigerian author’s eighth novel follows the lives of 12 characters, most of whom are black, British women. Evaristo said her writing aims to “explore the hidden narratives of the African diaspora” and “subvert expectations and assumptions”.

 

 

Image via bbc

Chigozie Obioma, born in Nigeria in 1986, is the youngest author on the shortlist this year. Now based in the U.S., both of Obioma’s novels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. An Orchestra of Minorities tells the story of a young Nigerian chicken farmer whose love for a woman drives him to become an African migrant in Europe. Afua Hirsch, one of the competition’s judges, describe the tale as “a book that wrenches the heart.”

 

 

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Elif Shafak’s 17th book, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, consists of the recollections of a sex worker who has been left for dead in a rubbish bin. Liz Calder, another of the competition’s judges, called the book “a work of fearless imagination.” Shafak writes in both English and Turkish, and she’s the most widely read female author in Turkey.

 

 

What do you think of this stunning line-up? Have you read any of these masterful books? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram!

 

Featured image via The Daily Star

1,020 Page Book Composed of Eight Sentences

The longlist for the 2019 Booker prize was recently announced with literary heavyweights like Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, and Chigozie Obioma appearing on the list. The pool of well-accomplished authors didn’t come as a shock to anyone, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few noticeable surprises on the list. One of the most striking inclusions was Lucy Ellmann’s 1,020 page novel Ducks, Newburyport which is composed of only eight sentences.

Ducks, Newburyport

image via goodreads

Following in the footsteps of modernist writers like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, Ellman expands upon the boundaries of what a novel can be in the 21st century. The story follows the monologue of an Ohio housewife as she worries about her children, her dead parents, the bedroom rituals of “happy couples,” Weapons of Mass Destruction, school shootings, and all of the horrors of modern American life.

 

 

Ellmann takes stream of consciousness to the next level. The eight long sentences that comprise the novel come at the reader like a barrage with no paragraph breaks and little room for pause. The narrative is stitched together with commas and a reoccuring refrain: “the fact that.”

Shocked face

Image Via Meme Center

The novel may seem daunting, Ellmann’s captivating language and wry sense of humor drives the reader through the story. Personally, I can’t wait for the audiobook, which I hope is narrated by Mark Hamill.

Mark Hamill

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The winner of The Booker Prize will be announced in October. In the meantime, check out some of the other books on the longlist.

 

 

Featured Image Via The Times

A Booker Brace – Top 3 Booker Prize Picks

 

The Booker Prize has been a principal barometer of the British literary community since 1969, and since 2014, has considered all original fiction written in English. If you don’t have time to read all 13 books on the long list (a Booker dozen), and you don’t want to wait for the short list in September or the winner in October, here are our top picks.

 

 

 

1. My Sister, The Serial KillerOyinkan Braithwaite

 

Cover - My Sister, The Serial Killer

Image via Amazon

 

This is a gallows humor slasher about the things you do for the ones you love. Morally unencumbered, capturing the complexities of sibling life, this is a page turner you won’t want to put down. It’s already won several awards, including the LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller and the Field Notes Morning News Tournament of Books, as well as being shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and optioned for a movie.

This is Braithewaite’s debut, but already shows a distinct, explosive voice, and has been perhaps one of the most publicized of the long list novels. Anyone with a taste for killers, or good female villains in general, should pick this up, but you don’t have to be a slasher fan to enjoy this novel.

 

 

2. QuichotteSalman Rushdie

 

Cover - Quichotte

Image via Amazon

 

Quichotte won’t be released until September, but the modern retelling of Don Quixote promises Rushdie’s signature blend of reality and magical realism, with both a commitment to the source material and the devastating strangeness of the present age.

Salman Rushdie has long been a towering figure in literature. Both literary and surrealist, Rushdie has won a battery of awards for his 13 previous books, including the Eggerton prize, and promotion to Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Frances greatest literary honor. Rushdie has won the booker three times, including the 25th and 40th anniversary prizes.

It may not be out yet, but it can be prehumously recommended on anticipation.

 

 

3. An Orchestra of MinoritiesChigozie Obioma 

 

Cover - An Orchestra of Minorities

Image via Amazon

 

This pick is both more tragic and more fantastical, narrated by the guardian spirit of a lovelorn chicken farmer. In love with a wealthy woman, and cheated out of everything he’s ever had, this book explores suicide, loss, and abandonment all through the lens of a narrator who is both hundreds of years old and removed from humanity. The prose is rich and ethereal, and explores what victimhood does to a person, and how far it’s possible to fall – all while traveling the world and more astral spaces.

This is Obioma’s second novel, and his first was short listed for the Booker Prize, so it’s a good bet this year.

 

 

Featured image via The Irish Times

 

 

Margaret Atwood Lands Booker Prize Longlist

Margaret Atwood received a nomination for the 2019 Booker Prize for 'Handmaid's Tale' sequel 'The Testaments,' out September 10.

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Do You Know About Boekenweek, the Bookworm’s Dream Festival?

Do you know about Boekenweek?

Boekenweek

Image Via World Editions.org

 

Held annually in March since 1932, Boekenweek (Book Week) is an event in the Netherlands dedicated to literature where writers and publishers gather across the country for book signing sessions, literary festivals, and debates.

Traditionally, a well-known Dutch author writes a special novel called a Boekenweekgeschenk (book week gift) that is given out for free to people who buy books during the festivities or signs up to a library.

 

Salman Rushdie's 'Woede'

Image Via Goodreads

 

Fun fact: In 2001, the Boekenweekgeschenk was Salman Rushdie’s Fury, which was translated into Dutch and given the title Woede.

 

'New Germans, New Dutch: Literary Interventions' Cover

Image Via Walmart

You can read all about this special event in New Germans, New Dutch: Literary Interventions, except for this bit of information that only happened last March!

 

Boekenweek on the train!

Image Via The Independent

Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), the Dutch state railway company, has long been a sponsor of the annual festivities, organizing book readings and signings by top authors on its trains. Last March they went…

...to infinity and...

Image Via Amazon

….when they allowed this year’s Boekenweekgeschenk to be presented instead of a rail ticket on every train in the country on the Sunday of book week.

The state rail company said in a statement: “NS has a warm heart for reading, because reading is one of the favourite ways to spend time on the train.”

 

Jan Siebelink's 'Jas Van Belofte'

Image Via Marque Pages.com

Jan Siebelink, whose Jas Van Belofte was picked this year as Boekenweekgeschenk, was ecstatic. He told The Independent that it was “…good to see all those happily surprised faces of travelers,” and gave this personal anecdote:

“We are talking about everything, including their journey. A traveller just said he was on his way to Velp, my birthplace. Often there are also children and I naturally hope that they start reading. That’s what we do it for.”

 

 

Featured Image Via Volkskrant