Booker meets Dagger

I picked up Ottessa Moshfegh’s Eileen, struck by the fact that it was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and a Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Award.

Strange, disturbing and bleak it’s also moving and, at times, shockingly funny. Among lots of great reviews here’s Patrick Anderson’s take, writing in The Washington Post.

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad has won the fiction prize in the National Book Awards announced yesterday in Manhattan. The book has been a bestseller since being announced as Oprah’s book of the month earlier this year. The National Book Awards have been presented by the National Book Foundation since 1950 and you can see all the category winners on the Foundation’s website.

The Pigeon Tunnel

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from my Life by John le Carré
Viking, 2016.

img_0758There’s nothing to add really – these memoirs have been reviewed expertly by Robert McCrum, in The Guardian, and Walter Isaacson in The New York Times.

Le Carré places his account of his father, the abusive conman Ronnie, at the end of the book rather than the beginning, ‘because, much as he would like to, I didn’t want him elbowing his way to the top of the bill’.

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Perth Writers Festival 2017

Early news for the Perth Writers Festival 2017 is out with many visiting authors already announced. The festival will run from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 February 2017.

The lineup of international authors appearing includes Chinelo Okparanta, Jane Smiley and Alberto Manguel.

Something new and interesting for 2017 will be the Courtyard Sessions  – evening sessions held in the courtyard at the State Theatre Centre.

Sign up to receive a hard copy brochure or subscribe to the Perth Writers Festival enews from the festival website.

The Apgar Score

img_0757One of the pleasures of reading non-fiction is to come across some quirk of history you’ve never heard of before. It’s the sort of thing that leads to me starting conversations with ‘Hey, did you know …

In his 2007 book Better – A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance, Atul Gawande tells lots of these stories – including the story of the number given to almost every newborn baby in hospitals across the world.

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