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The 2011 Bad Sex Awards shortlist

Right up there for awards you probably don’t want to win as a writer, the Bad Sex Awards are given to the author who produces the most awkward, uncomfortable, and cringe worthy sex scene. The shortlist for this year’s awards have been announced and include Sebastian Barry, David Guterson, Jean Auel, Haruki Murakami, Dori Ostermiller, […]

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New ‘Literature’ prize to rival Booker

A group of people unhappy with the Man Booker Prize are launching a new book award called the Literature Prize. Man Booker administrator Ion Trewin has described the need for something better than the Booker as “tosh” and a few toys are flying out the pram. The BBC has the story as the Booker ceremony […]

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The woman who shocked America: Shirley Jackson

Never has the power of literature been better demonstrated than with Shirley Jackson’s short story, The Lottery. The New Yorker magazine printed the story in June 1948 and were stunned by the response. Readers cancelled their subscriptions and hate mail poured in. Today, this story is taught in schools and Jackson’s work is highly influential. […]

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Going global with Jan Morris

Last night I started reading something off the top of my ‘to read’ list – The World 1950-2000 by Jan Morris – and this morning I see Bookslut has a feature about her work as a travel writer but also a historian. Morris is my favorite travel writer and this collection of her writing is […]

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This author’s writing is “Naughty. But Nice.”

Question – what’s the connection between this fantastic British TV advert for cream cakes and Salman Rushdie? Don’t rush off to Google. I’ll tell you. Mr Rushdie wrote the ‘Naughty. But Nice.’ tagline for this famous advertising campaign back when he was a struggling writer. This particular ad aired in 1984 and stars comedians Les […]

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Heathrow’s new writer-in-residence

The English novelist Tony Parsons is going to be writer-in-residence at Heathrow Airport. He’s been commissioned to write a collection of short stories about the workers and travelers found in this huge airport, reports The Guardian. Parsons is following in the footsteps of Alain de Botton, who wrote a book about his experiences as writer-in-residence […]

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America’s Drunkest Writer?

Charles Bukowski is turning in his grave because the Book Beast website has written an article called America’s Drunkest Writer… and it’s about F Scott Fitzgerald.

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Vorticism and Rebecca West revisited

I’m feeling quite proud of myself. The Guardian has an article about Rebecca West and her contribution to the Vorticist movement, and I actually know what Vorticism is because I read a massive biography of Wyndham Lewis last year. There’s an exhibition about Vorticism coming up at London’s Tate gallery that focuses on the painters […]

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Complete Stories by Kingsley Amis

The Daily Telegraph reprints the new introduction to Complete Stories by Kingsley Amis, published this week by Penguin Modern Classics. In Lucky Jim, Amis reprised the black comedy of Evelyn Waugh and reclothed it in the provincial workaday garb of the ordinary middle classes, and if in doing so he belied something of his artistic […]

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Evelyn Waugh’s legacy of elegant English

Not many authors have matched the elegant prose of Evelyn Waugh. He wrote satirical novels, travel books, revealing diaries, newspaper articles, a remarkable fictional trilogy about World War II and even a book about wine. There’s so much more to Waugh than just Brideshead Revisited (and you’ve got to love a man called Evelyn who […]

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