Walter Scott historical fiction prize shortlist revealed

The shortlist for the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction has been announced. The award would usually be given out at the Border Book Festival in Melrose in June. However, organisers said they were studying how that would be done as the festival has been postponed. Works by Ch


A 3 classic books that you can read

Sometimes you want to blot out the news by picking up the latest thriller or romance novel. At other times, though, the books that give you the most solace are the ones that have stood the test of time. ‘The Turn of the Screw,’ by Henry JamesMaybe this is weird, but I find that a really


The forgotten history of France’s pioneering friendship with Jeddah

In his book “The Discovery of Arabia by the French: Anthology of Texts on Jeddah 1697-1939,” diplomat Louis Blin, a former consul general of France in Jeddah, traces the history and evolution of his nation’s long relationship with, and views on, the city and the region. He does th


'You've bollixed up my book': letter reveals Hemingway's fury at being censored

The hard-drinking, hot-tempered American writer Ernest Hemingway was furious when he discovered that the language for the English edition of his latest book had been cleaned up, a previously unpublished letter reveals. “I will make my own bloody decisions as to what I write and what I do not w


Elizabeth Gilbert: ‘Don’t we all wish we’d written Wolf Hall?’

The book I am currently readingI’ve just finished Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton. It’s a novel about two resourceful and sensitive young brothers in Queensland in the 1980s, trying to survive drug wars, damaged parents, neglect, violence, supernatural encounters and love. The boo


Finally working on that novel as you self-isolate? You're not alone

If you’re one of those people who always said they would write a novel if only they had the time: this is your moment. As more budding writers self-isolate due to the coronavirus and finally knuckle down on their manuscripts, the publishing industry has already seen a surge in submissions. Li


Internet Archive's 'national emergency library' has over a million books to read right now

The Internet Archive will suspend its waiting lists for digital copies of book as part of its National Emergency Library, the organization said Tuesday. "Users will be able to borrow books from the National Emergency Library without joining a waitlist, ensuring that students will have access to ass


For Black and Mixed-Race Women, Hair and Identity Are Tangled Together

THAT HAIRBy Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida What do we lose in translation? How do we know we’re getting the story right? In the Portuguese writer Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida’s slim third novel, “That Hair,” this question feels particularly salient, given the nontraditional st


Amazon bans sale of most editions of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf

Amazon has banned the sale of most editions of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and other Nazi propaganda books from its store following decades of campaigning by Holocaust charities. Booksellers were informed in recent days that they would no longer be allowed to sell a number of Nazi-authored books on t


Acclaimed authors reveal their favourite hidden gems outside the literary canon to Cameron Laux.

Sometimes we need to nudge our reading off the beaten track – and this list aims to do that. All of the books here mess with, or transcend, the idea of genre in impressive ways – arguably to their cost, because if marketing departments can’t get a firm grip on them, they fall throu


Unique Autobiography Written in Arabic by an Enslaved Scholar Goes Online at the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has acquired and made available online the Omar Ibn Said Collection, which includes the only known extant narrative written in Arabic by an enslaved person in the United States. In 1831, Omar Ibn Said, a wealthy and highly educated man who was captured in Senegal, Africa, and


Amazon flooded with self-published coronavirus books

As the coronavirus spreads around the world, it is not only health professionals and politicians who are being kept busy. Amazon has been flooded with badly put together, often plagiarised “guides” to combatting the virus. The retailing giant has already been removing “tens of tho


Oprah admits to 'not looking for Latinx writers' as American Dirt controversy continues

Oprah Winfrey has admitted that she is “guilty of not looking for Latinx writers” in a forthcoming episode of her influential book club, after her choice of Jeanine Cummins’s controversial novel American Dirt was widely criticised. In the two-part show, which will be broadcast on


Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid review – an essential new talent

US author Kiley Reid offers a refreshing take on an age-old question: can we connect across barriers of race, gender, wealth and privilege? Emira Tucker, who works in Philadelphia as a babysitter for news anchor Peter and lifestyle guru Alix, takes their toddler, Briar, to an upscale supermarket whe


Forgiving widower Farid Ahmed wants to meet mosque shooter

Farid Ahmed's forgiveness began as he hid from flying bullets behind his car outside Christchurch's Al Noor mosque. His messages of hope and love captured hearts worldwide after he publicly forgave the terrorist who killed his wife Husna Ahmed, 44, and 50 other Muslims on March 15. Ahmed's wife of


House of Glass by Hadley Freeman review – a captivating family memoir

Hadley Freeman’s captivating family memoir inscribes itself in the pantheon of family stories that connect the grandchild to the generation of the grandparents. From the Americas (I think of Gabriel García Márquez’s Living to Tell the Tale) to Africa (Aida Edemariam’s


Clive Cussler, bestselling adventure novelist, dies aged 88

Clive Cussler, the bestselling American author of adventure novels including Sahara and maritime thrillers starring his hero Dirk Pitt, has died aged 88. The author and co-author of more than 80 books, Cussler sold more than 100m books around the world and was published in more than 40 languages. H


‘It changed my life’: Edmund de Waal on writing The Hare With Amber Eyes

Before writing his bestselling memoir, the potter and author had not realised that losing the thread of a family was so universal It was difficult. I was making the most complex work of my life: an installation of 450 porcelain vessels for a red aluminium shelf 50m above the entrance to the V&A





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