Literary Hoover-Up

May 31, 2008 | 2 Comments

I spent this morning hoovering up the literary news I’ve missed over the last week or so, and I’m now emptying the bag forth-with:

Newly discovered works by Penelope Fitzgerald, who died in, have been published in The Hudson Review, causing a little flurry of Fitzgerald fever to hit the blogs. Another of my favorite writers, Shirley Hazzard, received a laudatory article by Bryan Appleyard in the London Times, suggesting she may be the greatest novelist of the 20th Century. Hmm, now The Transit of Venus is a masterpiece in my opinion, and here’s a link to an insightful essay by critic Michael Gorra), but The Great Fire? Not so much.
Canadian author, Lawrence Hill, won the 2008 Commonwealth Prize for The Book of Negros, (a title he refused to change, setting his US publisher’s teeth on edge) and a short list of the nominees can be found here – a wonderful list of new international voices offering a fresh alternative to the same-old, same-old, at your local B&N – and read more about Hill on his blog.
“And I’d like to thank my agent….” season continues unabated (it never ends) and voting is now open to the public for The Best of the Booker Prize, a best-of-the-best junket, with the current odds-on favorite being Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (yawn…). None of the list tickles my fancy, or any of my other parts, to be honest…
And, of interest is Robert McCrum stepped down after a decade of literary editing for the Observer, with a list of what he believes to be the ten most important literary “events” of the past decade. His picks include a ubiquitous boy-wizard, an on-line mammoth and literary hipster – do you agree?