Anthea Bell OBE was an English translator of numerous literary works, especially children's literature, from French, German and Danish. These include Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald, the Inkworld trilogy by Cornelia Funke and the French Asterix comics along with co-translator Derek Hockridge.
The Dublin Book Festival is one of Ireland’s most successful and vibrant book festivals, running since June 2006. The annual public festival showcases, supports and develops Irish publishing by programming, publicising and selling Irish published books, their authors, editors and contributors – all in an entertaining, festive, friendly and accessible environment that reflects the creativity and personality of the Irish publishing sector and its authors.
Globooks reviews the South Asian novel When I Hit You.
Meena Kandasamy’s scorching second novel tells the story of a newly-wed writer experiencing rapid social isolation and extreme violence at her husband’s hands.
Anna Burns has become the first Northern Irish writer to win the Man Booker Prize with her novel Milkman (Faber & Faber), a book about the sexual harassment of a young woman, commended by the judges for its “distinctive voice” and for being at once “particular and brilliantly universal”.
Burns claimed the £50,000 prize at the award ceremony at London’s Guildhall on Tuesday evening (16th October).
The book, “a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness”, is written from the perspective of a young woman struggling to eschew the unwelcome advances of “the milkman”, a paramilitary predator taking advantage of his power in a divided society recognisable as Belfast during the Troubles.
Praising Burns’ first-person narrative, which ignores standard practices of paragraphing to more closely emulate speech, chair of the judges Kwame Anthony Appiah said he had “never heard a voice like it”, calling it “a completely distinctive voice” written in “language worth savouring”.
Abir Mukherjee has won the 2018 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize (£15,000) with his second novel, A Necessary Evil (Vintage). The historical crime tale, set in India in 1920, sees Captain Wyndham and Sergeant Banerjee of the Calcutta Police Force investigate the assassination of a Maharajah's son.
Niso Smith, founder of The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation, which makes the awards, described the book as "an exciting example of how adventure writing can transport you to a different time and place, teach you something new, and truly allow you to lose yourself in a story."
Mukherjee said of his win: “I’m thrilled to have been awarded the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. It’s an honour for me to have had my work selected from a shortlist of such wonderful and talented authors. The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation do so much to support young writers and further the promotion of literacy around the world, and I hope to work closely with the Foundation to help further these goals and advance adventure writing as a genre.”
The inaugural Irish Book Week has unveiled its nationwide programme, featuring authors including Donal Ryan and John Boyne (pictured).
Running from 27th October to 3rd November, the week-long celebration of Irish books and bookshops is a collaboration between Bookselling Ireland and Publishing Ireland. The events focus on Irish books and the role bookshops play in Irish society and culture, aiming to encourage people into their local bookshop..
Events include a Halloween themed storytime at WH Smith in Arnotts, Dublin, as well as a conversation with Ryan in Clifden Bookshop (both on 27th October). At Hodges Figgis in Dublin there will be a conversation between Boyne (who recently won the Glass Bell Award) and fellow writer Howard on 1st November, while a reading with YA author Cethan Leahy takes place two days later at Waterstones, Cork.
Elena Ferrante is to write a weekly newspaper column for the Guardian’s new look Weekend magazine starting on Saturday (20th January).
The regular column will cover the pseudonymous Italian novelist’s thoughts “on life, love, childhood, ageing, the female experience and everything in between”. Her inaugural column will focus on her first love.
According to a Guardian report, the author of the bestselling Neapolitan series said she was “attracted to the possibility of testing myself” with a regular column describing the experience “a bold, anxious exercise in writing”. The pieces will be translated by Ferrante’s regular collaborator Ann Goldstein.
The reclusive Italian author’s four-part series, published by Europa Editions, follows Elena Greco and her friend Raffaella Cerullo, who she has always called Lila, in the first year of primary school in 1950. Set against a dangerous and vibrant Naples, the story spans 60 years of their lives as Elena tries to unravel the mystery of her friend.
The announcement follows the launch of the Guardian in tabloid format on Monday (15th January). In addition to the refreshed Weekend magazine, the paper will also include the Review section revamped as a “beautiful and stylish books magazine”. Other sections include food magazine, Feast, as well as Travel and the listings supplement Guide.
Melissa Denes, editor of Weekend, revealed she was "thrilled to be working with Elena Ferrante on her first newspaper column” and described it as “a new adventure for her and for Guardian Weekend magazine.”
“Every week, she will be writing a personal piece, covering subjects from sex to ageing to the things that make her laugh. I can't wait to see where she will take us," Denes said.
Weekend has been redesigned as part of the Guardian’s move to tabloid format with the first new look issue appearing on Saturday (20th January).
In Chinelo Okparanta’s new novel Under the Udala Trees, a chance meeting between Ijeoma, a Christian Igbo, and Amina, a Muslim Hausa, begins a friendship that turns quickly to passion. “This was the beginning,” Okparanta writes. “Our bodies being touched by the fire that was each other’s flesh … Tingly and good and like everything perfect in the world.”
Ijeoma’s secure, stable childhood has already unravelled by then. The novel is set in 1968, one year into the Biafran conflict, and Ijeoma’s world is beset by “the ruckus of armored cars and shelling machines, bomber planes and their loud engines sending shock waves through our ears”. Things grow worse. Her father, “a man who liked to wallow in his thoughts”, becomes so consumed by sorrow for his massacred people that he refuses to seek refuge during an air raid over their town of Ojoto. When Ijeoma and her mother Adaora emerge from a nearby bunker, they discover his blood-soaked body.