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“Sausage machine” to disliking birds’ feet – 10 facts about Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie, the prolific writer of murder mysteries, was far from dull. Aside from her infamous disappearance in 1926 that fascinated a complete nation, there were many interesting aspects to her life. 1) Agatha dictated all her novels to an assistant. She suffered from dysgraphia, a learning disability, which stopped her from writing in a […]

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The best since Cervantes? Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

Gabriel García Márquez has died at the age of 87 in Mexico City. The Nobel Prize-winning author was one of the most influential Latin American authors of recent times. The writer had recently been hospitalised for a lung and urinary problems, but was released last week. Many literary critics have argued that Garcia Marquez was […]

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Donna Tartt’s golden year continues

Donna Tartt’s novel, The Goldfinch, reached new heights today after being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction – one of the top gongs in American literature. Last week, Tartt was shortlisted for the Bailey’s Prize for women’s fiction and prompted named as the bookie’s favourite. Signed copies of The Goldfinch are now seriously in demand. […]

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Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68

Sad news yesterday. The death of author Sue Townsend was announced. Townsend, of course, created Adrian Mole. She was 68 and had been left blind after suffering from diabetes. She suffered a stroke in December 2012. The Guardian describes her success and where the idea for Adrian Mole came from – her own experiences. Mole […]

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Race Rock to In Paradise – a list of Peter Matthiessen’s books

Peter Matthiessen, one of America’s top writers in the past 60 years, died on Saturday at the age of 86. The Guardian carries an obituary. He had been suffering from Leukemia. Born in 1927, Matthiessen is remembered for co-founding The Paris Review literary magazine in the 1950s but he also enjoyed a long writing career […]

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The French medieval saga that inspired Game of Thrones

The BBC writes at length about the cult French novel that inspired George RR Martin to write his Game of Thrones series. Les Rois Maudits (which translated as The Accursed Kings) is a seven-volume series written by Maurice Druon between the 1950s and the 1970s. His novels are set in medieval France and describe the battles […]

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George Orwell’s lasting legacy

George Orwell, real name Eric Blair, occupies a special place in 20th century literature thanks to fiction that forces the reader to think. The author (1903-1950) is best remembered for his six novels but also wrote narrative essays, literary reviews and journalistic articles. Orwell’s writing was so pervasive that phrases he coined are still used, […]

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Forty years of Stephen King books

More than 70 titles to his name. A worldwide following. Adored by Hollywood. Admired by fellow authors. It can only be Stephen King and the master of horror is still going strong after all these years. And it began on April 5, 1974 with the publication of Carrie and Stephen has been literary royalty ever […]

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Book of Margery Kempe, the first autobiography in English

The British Library has digitised the sole surviving original copy of the first autobiography written in English – The Book of Margery Kempe, reports The Guardian. It owns the only known copy of the book, describing  Kempe’s life and travels in England and abroad, including her pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Santiago de Compostela […]

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Chandler to Turow – 30 must-read crime fiction writers

There is an endless fascination with fictional crime, criminals, and the dedicated professionals who bring them to justice. Serial killers and FBI profilers, kidnappers and cops, and grifters and gumshoes are welcome visitors to our bookshelves. Society’s dark underbelly and the twisted mind of the criminal are exciting places to visit. Crime fiction has been […]

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