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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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Bailey’s shortlist for women’s fiction

The shortlist for the UK Women’s Prize for Fiction (once called the Orange Prize but now sponsored by Bailey’s) has been revealed. Eimear McBride, Hannah Kent and Audrey Magee are all contenders with their debut novels. Donna Tartt and Jhumpa Lahiri are the big names, while Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie continues to enhance her […]

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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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Art Nouveau posters always in style for collectors

Nothing special about posters, right? Well, consider Les Maîtres de L’Affiche – a French art magazine that reproduced the finest Art Nouveau posters being created at the end of the 19th century. A five-volume set of this magazine, featuring 256 posters from 97 artists, leads our list of expensive sales in March. The artists included […]

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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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Rare copy of first Beano annual sells for £3,000

A very rare copy of the first Beano annual has sold for £3,000 on AbeBooks.co.uk. Published for the 1939 Christmas market, The Beano Book was published by DC Thomson and is somewhat of a landmark in children’s publishing. This particular copy is unrestored with no pages missing or scribbles or colouring.  Very few copies are […]

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Factual science fiction? NASA partners with authors

William Forstchen’s new science fiction novel, Pillar to the Sky, is the first in a new series of “NASA-Inspired Works of Fiction,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The novel comes from a collaboration between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (that’s NASA to you and me) and science fiction publisher Tor. NASA scientists now […]

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Holocaust book repeats the word ‘Jew’ six million times

It’s a book that contains just a single word, repeated six million times across 1,250 pages. Gefen Publishing, a Jerusalem-based published, has produced And Every Single One Was Someone and it’s a book that was worthy of the front page of the New York Times at the weekend. That one word is ‘Jew’ and this […]

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Armistead Maupin’s final installment for Tales of the City

And finally Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series is coming to an end. Just published, The Days of Anna Madrigal is the ninth and final book about life in San Francisco from a series of novels that began in 1978 with Tales of the City. I read the first six books in the 1990s (like […]

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