Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

2017 Booker International Prize

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Israeli author David Grossman has won the Man Booker International Prize, announced at a ceremony in London last night, for his novel, A Horse Walks Into a Bar, (PRH/Knopf; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample; OverDrive Audio Sample). He shares the award with Jessica Cohen who translated the novel from Hebrew.

The award is given to books translated into English by the same British organization that awards the influential Man Booker Prize for Fiction awarded to novels originally written in English. That award will be announced  in October.

A review of the book in the Washington Post calls Grossman, “the distinguished, urbane author of 13 previous morally sensitive works of fiction and nonfiction,” a man quite different from the  “wild and coarse” main character of the novel, a “captivating and horrific [stand-up comic with] a routine that’s disgusting and authentically human.” The review also gives credit to the translator Jessica Cohen, for turning “the performance into fluent, American-style patter, bad-a-bing bad-a-boom.”

Dylan Pays the Ultimate Compliment

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Musicians are well-known for borrowing, but Dylan may have done more than that in his Nobel lecture, delivered last week via video. Questions were raised when author Ben Greenman pointed out on his blog that one of the quotes Dylan attributes to Melville’s Moby Dick does not actually appear in that book. Further investigation by Andrea Pitzer on Slate reveals that quote and several other comments in the lecture are very similar to text in the SparkNotes ABOUT Moby Dick.

The press is having a field day with the story. ABC News quotes a Dylan lyric for their headline, “Was Dylan too freewheelin’ in borrowing for Nobel lecture?” Vanity Fair suggests that there may be more to it,  asking, “Is Bob Dylan Still Messing with the Swedish Academy?”

A Bookish Tony Awards

Monday, June 12th, 2017

The 71st annual Tony Awards were announced last night. It came as no surprise that Dear Evan Hansen won big, talking home Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, Best Orchestrations, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score Written for a Musical.

What might be a surprise is how very bookish the evening was as many of the shows have either been published in book form, were already available as print plays, or are based on other books.

Rising on Amazon’s rankings, jumping from #1,868 to #128 is the book Dear Evan Hansen by Steven Levenson, composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Consortium Book Sales/Theatre Communications Group).

Fans have more to look forward to. In November a book about the making of the play will be published, Dear Evan Hansen by Steven Levenson (Hachette/Grand Central, cover not yet finalized).

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, Dolly!, which netted Bette Midler the Tony for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, is based on Thornton Wilder’s The Merchant of Yonkers (latter retitled The Matchmaker). It came out in a new edition this April, The Matchmaker: A Farce in Four Acts (HC/Harper Perennial; OverDrive Sample).

The Best Play winner, Oslo, has been published in book form: Oslo by J.T. Rogers (Consortium Book Sales/Theatre Communications Group), while the Best Revival of a Play, August Wilson’s Jitney, has a tie-in edition, Jitney: A Play – Broadway Tie-In Edition by August Wilson (The Overlook Press; OverDrive Sample).

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, which won 2 Tony awards, is based on a section of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. That section is out in Ebook format: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy with a forward by the composer Dave Malloy (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample). There is also a “making of” book, The Great Comet: The Journey of a New Musical to Broadway edited by Steven Suskin with notes by Dave Malloy (Sterling).

While not released in book form itself, Doll’s House 2 picks up where Henrik Ibsen’s famous play left off.

Other winners in book form include Indecent, Play That Goes Wrong, The Little Foxes, and Present Laughter.

Horn Book Award Winners

Monday, June 12th, 2017

The winners of the 2017 Horn Book – Boston Globe Awards were announced on May 31 during SLJ‘s Day of Dialog. The awards will be presented aceremony on Friday, October 6, 2017, at Boston’s Simmons College. A winner and two honor books are selected in each of three categories: Fiction and Poetry, Picture Book, and Nonfiction.

The Fiction and Poetry winner has become a key talking point and cultural phenomenon as well as a best seller. This is the first of many awards it is likely to win (titles published in the first half of 2017 are eligible for the Horn Book – Boston Globe Awards). It has already been selected as one of the best books of the year so far by the Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly. It is also set for a film adaptation starring Amandla Stenberg.

FICTION AND POETRY AWARD WINNER

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (HC/Balzer + Bray; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

Horn Book writes:

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter lives a life many African American teenagers can relate to: a life of double consciousness. Caught between her rough, predominantly black neighborhood and the “proper,” predominantly white prep school she attends, Starr has learned how to “speak with two different voices and only say certain things around certain people.” This precarious balance is broken when Starr witnesses the shooting of her (unarmed) childhood friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. What follows is a gut-wrenching chain of events that alters all Starr holds dear … Thomas has penned a powerful, in-your-face novel.”

Honor winners are One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance written by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by various artists (Macmillan/Bloomsbury Publishing; OverDrive Sample) and The Best Man by Richard Peck (PRH/Dial Books for Young Readers; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).

PICTURE BOOK AWARD WINNER

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan (S&S/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum Books for Young Readers; OverDrive Sample).

Horn Book says:

“A historical document dated July 5, 1828, lists the property to be sold from the Fairchilds’ estate. Hogs. Cattle. A handmill. Men. Women. Children. While no information beyond the gender and name — and price — of each of the eleven enslaved people is noted in the appraisal of the estate, Bryan lovingly restores their humanity and dignity, giving them ages, true African names, relationships, talents, hopes, and dreams … Bryan’s art is just as intentional. Facsimiles of the historical document serve as background for each slave’s introduction page, portraits of their faces taking precedence as they gaze out at the reader.”

Earlier, it was named a Newbery Honor Book , a Coretta Scott King (Author) Honor Book and a Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Honor Book.

Honor winners are Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends; OverDrive Sample) and Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Sydney Smith (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press).

NONFICTION AWARD WINNER

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman (Macmillan/Henry Holt; Dreamscape Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The Horn Book review says:

“After vividly setting the stage with brief sections that introduce Vincent and Theo near the end of their lives, Heiligman takes readers back to their beginnings. We learn of other siblings and of supportive parents; we gain a sense of their childhoods in their father’s parsonage. Structured as a walk through an art museum, the book proceeds through the years, each section a gallery … Heiligman mostly employs a present-tense, purposely staccato narration that effectively heightens the brothers’ emotional intensity, their sufferings and pleasures (physical, emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual), and, most of all, Vincent’s wild and original art. The layout, which incorporates sketches, subheads, and a generous use of white space, is a calming counterpoint to the turbulent narrative … The result is a unique and riveting exploration of art, artists, and brotherly love.”

It was a National Book Award finalist.

Honor winners are Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin (Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample) and Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet (HMH Books for Young Readers; OverDrive Sample).

The presentation video is online.

The judging panel included Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library (chair), Pauletta B. Bracy, North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina; and Sheila M. Geraty, Brookwood School, Manchester, Massachusetts.

Feminist Sci Fi Wins Baileys Prize

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Called an “amazing dystopian novel, a brilliant meditation on ‘What if women had all the power?’,” British author Naomi Alderman’s fourth novel The Power has won the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. It will be published in the US in October by Hachette/Little, Brown.

The power of the book’s title is literal. Teen aged girls are given the ability to electrify, shock and even kill, making men terrified of them. In her acceptance speech, Alderman celebrated another sort of power, “the support … of other women [which] has meant more than electricity to me.”

The cover features a blurb from Margaret Atwood, “Electrifying! Shocking! Will knock your socks off! Then you’ll think twice, about everything.” The two authors are mutual admirers. As part of mentoring program set up by Rolex, the pair co-authored a zombie novel on Wattpad titled The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home.

On the eve of the launch of the TV adaptation of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Alderman explored the history of feminist science fiction for the Guardian, dating the first example to Margaret Cavendish’s 1666 book The Blazing World.

Alderman, who was  has written online games for Penguin, the BBC and others told the Evening Standard that she would love to turn The Power into an online game.  She is already working on an adaptation of the book for television.

An adaptation of the author’s first book Disobedience, a best seller in the UK, is currently in post-production starring Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola.

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

When Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature last year, part of the requirement for receiving the award, as well as the $900,000 that comes with it, was to deliver a speech within six months. Cutting it close, Dylan has delivered, just days shy of the June 10 deadline, leading the Guardian to quote one of his songs in their headline, “Bob Dylan delivers ‘extraordinary’ Nobel lecture – in the nick of time.”

Like many others, he wonders why he is the first songwriter to be chosen for this award, saying, “When I first received this Nobel prize for literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature.”  He goes on to talk about the books that have influenced him, particularly Moby-Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front, and The Odyssey. Weaving those reading experiences into the speech, he says their themes are fundamental to his lyrics and that reading them helped shape his character and outlook.

He ends by saying:

“Our songs are alive in the land of the living. But songs are unlike literature. They’re meant to be sung, not read. The words in Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be acted on the stage. Just as lyrics in songs are meant to be sung, not read on a page. And I hope some of you get the chance to listen to these lyrics the way they were intended to be heard: in concert or on record or however people are listening to songs these days. I return once again to Homer, who says, “Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story.”

Sara Danius, the Swedish Academy’s permanent secretary wrote on the Nobel blog, “The speech is extraordinary and, as one might expect, eloquent. Now that the Lecture has been delivered, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close.”

The same post reports that in April of this year, “the members of the Academy met with Bob Dylan in Stockholm to present him with the gold medal and the diploma.”

In December, Dylan provided a thank-you speech delivered at the Nobel Banquet by the former U.S. ambassador to Sweden. See our earlier post for the story and video.

He is the first songwriter to win the award and was honored for “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION Tops Audies

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

The 2017 Audie Awards were announced last night by the Audio Publishers Association.

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, narrated by Mariska Hargitay with the authors (Hachette Audio), took top honors as the Audiobook of the Year.

In giving the prize the judges call it “a must-have insider’s guide to the making of the musical” and write:

“Read by super-fan Mariska Hargitay, the audio takes listeners on a journey from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pool-side reading of Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton to Broadway success and propulsion into the zeitgeist. Fans will especially appreciate Miranda’s reading of his annotations, from the very first revelation that the distinctive three-note intro mimics a squeaky door. Just as the musical has expanded the audience for musical theatre, this audiobook has won new fans to the world of audiobooks, thanks in no small part to Miranda’s devoted social media following.”

The AudioFile review calls the work “fascinating listening for Broadway aficionados and an essential deep dive for HAMILTON fans” and says that “Mariska Hargitay takes on the role of warm documentarian.” Of the footnotes read by Miranda, they write “it’s SO much fun hearing them lift off the page, by turns serious and playful.”

Audiobooks are enjoying a surge in popularity, making the Audies (both winners and nominated titles) a great resource for RA librarians looking for a guide to the best narrators and seeking sure bet suggestions. The lists can also be mined for popular and easy displays. There are plenty of titles to choose from as awards are given out in over two dozen categories.

The full list of winners is online. The ceremony is on YouTube (the video begins at 12:26):

ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY Wins Nebula

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

io9 co-founder Charlie Jane Anders wins the Nebula award for Best Novel for her genre-stretching book All the Birds in the Sky (Macmillan/Tor; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

It received attention in advance of publication in January 2016,  got three prepub stars and was a Feb. Indie Next pick. It went on to being picked as a best book of the year by Amazon, Kirkus, The Washington Post, and Time, where it was #5 on their list of “Top 10 Novels” of 2016. Critics praised the novel’s story, characters, and writing, but were particularly taken with Anders was re-working of the genre. NPR wrote “With All the Birds in the Sky, Anders has given us a fresh set of literary signposts — and a new bundle of emotional metaphors — for the 21st century, replacing the so many of the tired old ones. Oh, and she’s gently overturned genre fiction along the way.”

Seanan McGuire wins Best Novella for Every Heart a Doorway (Macmillan/Tor.com; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The opening of the Wayward Children series was a LibraryReads selection in April 2016 (the second, Down Among The Sticks and Bones, is a LibraryReads pick for this June). In a literary loop, Charlie Jane Anders sets up an excerpt that ran in io9, writing in the headline that it “Is So Mindblowingly Good, It Hurts.” NPR’s reviewer wrote, “Tight and tautly told, Every Heart grabs one of speculative fiction’s most enduring tropes — the portal fantasy, where a person slips from the real world into a magical realm somewhere beyond — and wrings it for all the poignancy, dark humor, and head-spinning twists it can get.”

David D. Levine wins the Andre Norton Award For Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy for Arabella of Mars (Macmillan/Tor.com; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Having won a Hugo for his short stories, this is his debut novel. Locus said “It is a straight-up tale of incredible yet believable adventures fit to have flowed from the quill of Robert Louis Stevenson. It is old-school Planet Stories SF without snark, smarm or apologies. At the same time it is utterly state-of-the-art, 21st-century in its sensibilities and technics. It’s an intriguing counterfactual slightly reminiscent of Novik’s Temeraire series. It’s nuts-and-bolts gadgetry SF that John Campbell would have proudly adopted. It has gravitas and humor, romance and battle, sacrifice and victory in large measures. In short, I can’t see this book—and its intended successors, since it’s labeled Volume 1—as being anything but a huge triumph.” The reviewer was spot on. Book 2, Arabella and the Battle of Venus, comes out July 18th.

Both Anders and McGuire are also finalists for the other two important SF/Fantasy awards still to be given, the Hugo and the Locus. Levine is a finalist for the Locus.

The Locus Awards will be announced the weekend of June 23-25; the Hugo on August 11.

Mystery Writers Name the Year’s Best

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Edgar MWAEdgar Allan Poe would marvel that there is an award for outstanding mystery fiction given in his honor, and even more that the Edgar Awards,  awarded by the Mystery Writers of America, is now in its 71st year.

There was unexpected drama at the Awards banquet on Thursday, reports Publishers Weekly, when Jeffery Deaver halted in the midst of presenting an award. He was taken to the hospital, and happily, tests showed he was OK.

Among this years winners are:

9781455561780_72e84Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample; pbk. coming June 2017) wins the top prize, for Best Novel.

Librarians got to know this author when he spoke at last year’s AAP Librarians lunch held at BEA. His fight novel arrived with enviable buzz. In a NYT Sunday Book Review, author Kristin Hannah called it “a complex, compulsively readable thrill ride of a novel.” It debuted at #2 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list, remaining on the list for 13 weeks and appeared on several year-end best books lists. A film deal was announced well in advance of publication, and appears to still be in development, but Hawley has been occupied with his other gig, as the creator of the popular FX seres Fargo.

9780143108573_b2529The winner for Best First Novel was a LibraryReads pick last June, Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry (PRH/Penguin, pbk original; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample). Below is the LibraryReads annotation from Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX,

“Nora leaves London to visit her sister, Rachel, in the countryside often. But this trip is different – a silent house, a dead dog hanging from the railing and so much blood. Nora stays, trying to help the police solve the case. She thinks it might have something to do with the unsolved attack on Rachel when she was just a teen but it could be someone new. This story is thrilling and quietly gripping. We become as obsessed as Nora in finding her sister’s killer and what if he strikes again?”

9781594205781_2dcf5Kate Summerscale, shortlisted before for The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, wins the Best Fact Crime category this year for The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample; pbk. comes out July 2017). It re-tells the story of Robert and Nattie Coombs who killed their mother in 1895. The Atlantic wrote that Summerscale “expertly probes the deep anxieties of a modernizing era. Even better, she brings rare biographical tenacity and sympathy to bear.” PW said it “reads like a Dickens novel, including the remarkable payoff at the end.”

A full listing of all winners and nominees is online, a great resource for both RA and creating displays.

The Foodie Oscars Announced

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

9780804186742_12bafThe 2017 James Beard Media Awards have been announced.

The Book of the Year, as well as the winner in the American Cooking category, is Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes by Ronni Lundy (PRH/Clarkson Potter; OverDrive Sample).

Several notable books on Southern cooking were published this year, but Lundy’s guide to the foodways of the Mountain South won out over all the others. A book rich in essays and history and as much about sharing a sense of the culture as providing recipes, it already won the IACP Award for best American cookbook, and could be called “the Hillbilly Elegy of the food world.”

9780547614847_b3bf7Dorie Greenspan wins the Baking and Dessert category for Dorie’s Cookies (Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; OverDrive Sample), her first all-cookie cookbook made critics drool.

Dessert fans will want to follow Greenspan in her new column for NYT Magazine. which kicks off this week with Buttermilk-Biscuit Shortcakes.

9781579655488_c0125Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan by Naomi Duguid (Workman/Artisan; OverDrive Sample) won the International category, which continues the recent fascination with that cuisine. Like Victuals, it is a double winner, having also topped the IACP Culinary Travel category.

The full list of winners is online.

 

A “Cheerleader for Literature”

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

The new Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, Lisa Lucas has worked tirelessly, as she told PW last year, to “get the media to pay more attention to books.”

Profiled on today’s CBS This Morning, she spoke about the mission of the National Book Foundation to expand reading and her dream to make the foundation’s National Book Awards as eagerly anticipated as the Oscars or the Emmys.

World’s Richest Literary Award,
the Shortlist

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

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The shortlist for the International Dublin Literary Award has just been announced. Billed as “the world’s most valuable annual literary award for a single work of fiction published in English,” the winner receives €100,000, equivalent to $106,000 US.

Begun in 1995, Dublin City Libraries manage the process and libraries from all over the world submit nominations. Each year over 400 systems in 177 countries are invited to participate. In the US, the Chicago Public Library, Denver PL, Miami-Dade PL, NYPL, and The Seattle Public Library are among those submitting titles.

To accomodate the nominations process, the award has a longer time-frame than others. Eligible titles were first published in English, or English translation, in 2015.

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As a result, many of the finalists have already received major awards, including the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press). Others have another shot after having lost out on other awards, such as National Book Award finalist A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (RH/Doubleday), and The Green Road by Anne Enright (W. W. Norton), which was long listed for both the Man Booker and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Our spreadsheet lists currently available editions of the finalists, 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award, Shortlist.

A five member international judging panel will select the winner, to be announced on June 21.

Whitehead Wins Pulitzer

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Underground RailroadFulfilling predictions, Colson Whitehead has won this year’s Pulitzer prize in fiction for The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio; BOT).

it’s been quite a year for Whitehead, who went from doubting that anyone would read the book to its becoming a surprise Oprah pick, landing on nearly every best books list, as well as on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list where it still remains after 33 weeks.

The other books winning Pulitzers this year, below.

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History — Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, Heather Ann Thompson, (PRH/PantheonRandom).
EarlyWord coverage here.

Biography or Autobiography — The Return, Hisham Matar, (PRH/Random House, just released in trade paperback). Note: Whitehead lost out to Matar earlier this year for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award

EarlyWordNYT Critic’s Top Books of 2016

Poetry — Olio, Tyehimba Jess, (Wave Books, distributed by Consortium).
EarlyWordNYT Critic’s Top Books of 2016

General Nonfiction  Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond (PRH/Crown; recently released in trade paperback). Note: this title also won the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award For Nonfiction

EarlyWordTitles to Know and Recommend, Week of February 29, 2016

Click her for the full list of winners as well as finalists in all categories.

DREAMERS Wins PEN/Faulkner

Monday, April 10th, 2017

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Imbolo Mbue is the 2017 winner of the PEN/Faulkner Fiction Award for her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers (Random House; PRH Audio/BOT; trade pbk to be published in late May OverDrive Sample). The Faulkner honors a work of literary fiction by an American author and claims to be “the largest peer-juried award in the country,” awarding $15,000 to the winner and $5,000 to each finalist. While some of the awards from the separate PEN America Foundation come with more money, as high as $75,000, the juries include non-writers.

The novel, about an immigrant from Cameroon trying to become a U.S. citizen, set during the recession, got some strong press when it was published an appeared on several best of the year lists, but did not receive the level of recognition that Colson Whitehead did for The Underground Railroad, which won  the National Book Award.

It was a People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” described as a “page-turner about race, class and the Wall Street meltdown … Mbue’s writing is warm and captivating, but her message is pointed: American dreams can and do turn into nightmares.”

The Washington Post chief critic, Ron Charles, said that it comes at the right time, as it “illuminates the immigrant experience in America with the tenderhearted wisdom so lacking in our political discourse.”

The NYT covered it in the Sunday Book Review, calling it “a capacious, big-hearted novel.

The award was founded in 1980 by Mary Lee Settle who donated her National Book Award prize money to begin the award in support of a group of authors who felt the NBA had become too commercial. The name of the award honors William Faulkner, who similarly donated the money from his 1949 Nobel Award to create the  Faulkner Foundation to give awards to authors. It was dissolved in 1970.

When this year’s finalists were announced, Ron Charles praised the selections as being a “sign of new diversity in books,” moving away from a time when “all the stars of American literature seemed to be straight white guys named John.”

The other finalists are:

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After Disasters, Viet Dinh (Amazon/Little A)

LaRose, Louise Erdrich (HC/Harper; HarperLuxe; Harper Audio; OverDrive Sample)

What Belongs to You, Garth Greenwell (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample)

Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, Sunil Yapa (Hachette/Lee Boudreaux; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample)

The Shortlist: Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction has announced its shortlist for 2017. The six titles include a past winner and a debut novel:

Stay with Me, Ayobami Adebayo (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT), the debut, publishes on August 22

The Power, Naomi Alderman (Hachette/Little, Brown) publishes on October 10

The Dark Circle by Linda Grant, who has won the prize before, is the only shortlist title without a US edition

The Sport of Kings, C.E. Morgan (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample)

First Love, Gwendoline Riley (PRH/Melville House; OverDrive Sample)

Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Madeleine Thien (Norton; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

9781612196268_043ceJust released in the US, Riley’s First Love has gotten little attention here thus far. In the UK, critics were impressed.

The Spectator calls it “a hilarious send-up of chick lit … the meat of First Love is in its rich character depictions, from which Riley teases out a series of painful but exquisitely comedic episodes.”

The Guardian calls it “an exquisite and combative piece of news from nowhere – which is everywhere, too … Riley’s emphasis is on the quotidian experience of her characters – unbearable yet ordinary.”

The Evening Standard says it is “compelling from the beginning,” and The Scotsman says “This is, in a truly wonderful way, a perfectly horrible little novel. I read it in a kind of perpetual squirm, in a series of flinches and gasps. It is exact and exacting, and has the nasty pleasure of testing an unhealed abrasion.”

9780393609882_090a49780374281083_1d6c9The two novels that received the most attention in the states are Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Norton; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample) and C.E. Morgan’s The Sport of Kings (Macmillan/FSG;Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Thien swept Canada’s literary awards, taking the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the highly prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. The NYT called her novel “a beautiful, sorrowful work.” While C.E. Morgan’s novel initially was not reviewed widely when first released, it went on to win the Kirkus Prize and was selected for the Carnegie Medal longlist for fiction.

The winner will be announced on June 7, 2017.