Man Booker International Prize Longlist Triggers a Trend Watch | Book Pulse

A few bookish trends get coverage, LJ's PLA Galley Roundup is out, and a number of books head to screens. HBO talks GOT and Big Little Lies.

Trend Watch

The Man Booker International prize longlist is out. Works spanning ten languages make up the honored titles. The Guardian reports that the list includes books from a number of small presses (Note for collection development librarians: not every longlist title has a U.S. publisher.) The award honors both the author and the translator and recognizes the best-translated work from around the world. The finalists will be announced on April 12, the winner will be announced on May 22.

The British award began in 2016 (prior to that it was an award that recognized an author’s entire body of work rather than the best book of the year). Acknowledging the interest in global fiction, the Man Booker International prize was joined by the National Book Foundation’s award for Translated Literature in 2018. That longlist will be announced in September. Today’s NYT Match Book underscores the desire to read more internationally.

Another trend that has made news this year gets nuanced as The Guardian reports that the idea of short stories gaining in popularity is not a new development at all.

And speaking of tends, Entertainment Weekly gives Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh (Berkley: Penguin) a “B” and Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney (Flatiron) a “B+,” writing “the current ubiquity of novels like these seems to demand that the outcomes grow more outrageous with each new wave, as if we’ve become too saturated to accept anything less than a bonanza from our big reveals. And Mackintosh and Feeney—both shrewd, skillful writers—obligingly deliver, even if the end reward feels a lot like diminishing returns.”


The NYT reviews Alan Hollinghurst’s The Sparsholt Affair (Knopf; LJ starred review), writing that he resembles “Henry James’s, as a social novelist…[and] writes long, absorbing, much-peopled novels that display a masterly grasp of psychological processes and a prickling awareness of minute betrayals and inarticulate desires.” Also reviewed are “Two coming of age novels” (grouping Kristin Hannah and Meghan Kenny) and a pair of works by Mario Vargas Llosa.

Looking at painters The Washington Post reviews Miles J. Unger’s Picasso and the Painting That Shocked the World (S. & S.), calling it a “close-up” “engrossing” read for art lovers and Renoir’s Dancer: The Secret Life of Suzanne Valadon by Catherine Hewitt (St. Martin’s), writing that while it is “admittedly entertaining,” it “lacks…a sustained and informative discussion of the aesthetic achievement” of Valadon.

USA Today reviews The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian (Doubleday; LJ starred review), calling it “expertly turned.”

Briefly Noted

LJ‘s PLA Galley Roundup is out, highlighting spring books to know (or grab if you are going to the conference).

Malala Yousafzai’s next book will be We Are Displaced (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; ISBN 978-0316523646). It will publish 9/4/18 and address the issue of refugees.

Sarah Jessica Parker’s newest ALA Book Club pick is Anatomy of a Miracle by Jonathan Miles (Hogarth: Random).

In very early buzz news, the screen rights to Craig Russell’s forthcoming gothic horror novel, Where the Devil Hides, have been sold to Columbia Pictures while Doubleday just bought the book itself and plans an April 2019 publication date. Deadline Hollywood reports it “follows a physician set to experiment on the six deadliest killers in history, who’ve been imprisoned for life within a remote mental asylum that has a dark history and bloody secrets all its own.”

Bitchmedia interviews Abby Norman, Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women’s Pain (Nation: Hachette).

The Guardian interviews Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir (The New Pr.; LJ starred review).

Ann Patchett talks about how reading can stretch your attention span on PBS NewsHour.

Authors on Air

HBO makes news on Game of Thrones and Big Little Lies. Variety reports that Francesca Orsi, SVP of drama for the cabler, says of Game of Thrones, “None of the cast had received the scripts prior, and one by one they started to fall down to their deaths.’” She also reports that “‘at the table read of the final script, everyone stood up and applauded for 15 minutes.” In further news, Orsi talked about the many GOT spinoffs, “It feels like corporate malfeasance to not continue it. That’s why it spawned three, four, five spinoffs…we’re going big.” On Big Little Lies she says, “The scripts are as good if not better than last season.”

Hulu buys the adaptation of Little Fires Everywhere, the buzzy new Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington project based on the novel by Celeste Ng.

Jean Hanff Korelitz’s You Should Have Known (Grand Central: Hachette), is being adapted for HBO, with Nicole Kidman attached to star, reports Deadline Hollywood. David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies) is writing the script.

Deadline also reports that Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren will star in the adaptation of Nicholas Searle’s debut novel The Good Liar (Harper).

Screen rights to the Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flannigan (Knopf) have been bought with plans to make “a high-end drama series” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The biopic Becoming Astrid, about the life of the author of the Pippi Longstocking stories, will air in the U.S.

NPR’s Fresh Air reviews The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst (Knopf; LJ starred review), saying “He’s simply brilliant at capturing the nuance textures of life.”

Rania Abouzeid, No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria (Norton), was on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday.

Early reviews for Ready Player One seem largely positive. IndieWire calls it “a mesmerizing blockbuster steeped in callbacks to the best of them. It runs too long and drags a bunch in its final third, but make no mistake: This is Spielberg’s biggest crowdpleaser in years.” Entertainment Weekly rounds up more first takes.

Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump (Twelve: Hachette), were on CBS This Morning, which sent this newest book and another by Isikoff soaring on Amazon. The authors are scheduled to be on NPR’s Fresh Air today.

Jimmy O. Yang, How To American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents (Da Capo: Hachette), will be on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Patton Oswalt will be on The Late Late Show with James Corden to promote Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer (Harper).

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