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International Booker prize shortlist led by books ‘pushing the boundaries’ of fiction

Writers including Maria Stepanova and Éric Vuillard are up for the £50,000 prize, with the judges swaying for essays and autofiction over ‘good, straightforward, old-fashioned novels’From Maria Stepanova’s family memoir to a historical essay by Éric Vuillard, this year’s shortlist for the International Booker prize for translated fiction is highlighting...

‘A true work of art’: Evie Wyld wins $50,000 Stella prize for The Bass Rock

The author’s third novel spans three eras to give voice to the ‘collective grief’ of violence against women. In 2021, it couldn’t be more timely“The Bass Rock is a story of three women’s lives over four centuries,” says Australian author Evie Wyld. “The thing that joins them all is their persecution by men.”Wyld, who is based in the UK, won the 2021...

A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib review – a celebration of black performance

From Josephine Baker to Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson to Dave Chapelle … a freewheeling collection of essays explores black culture in the USHanif Abdurraqib got into writing through the poetry slam circuit in Columbus, Ohio, which might explain why reading A Little Devil in America, his book of essays on black culture, feels like hearing him speak....

‘It couldn’t be more relevant’: the unseen Richard Wright novel finally getting its due

The author of Native Son wrote another damning book about race that was rejected by publishers at the time – but now it’s finally seeing the light of dayHe was one of most influential African American writers of the 20th century. But Richard Wright found it hard to talk to his daughter about race.“It’s like soldiers who go to war and then come back,”...

Publisher halts Philip Roth book amid sexual abuse claims against biographer

WW Norton to pause shipping Blake Bailey’s authorised biography as women claim Bailey groomed them as their high-school teacherThe publisher of a new, bestselling Philip Roth biography has temporarily halted the book’s shipping and promotion as its author, Blake Bailey, faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse from women who were once...

Book sales jump a third in first week of bookshops reopening in England and Wales

Booksellers report giddy customers browsing and smelling books, with 3.7m print books shifted in first week after lockdownBooksellers have reported their customers “acting like kids in a sweet shop”, with print sales jumping a third in the first week of bookshops opening their doors after lockdown. Related: Readers on the bookshops they miss most: ‘I...

Mike Pence’s publisher refuses to cancel memoir after staff protest

Simon & Schuster president Jonathan Karp says seven-figure book deal will go ahead, after open letter from employees accuses publisher of being ‘on the wrong side of justice’Simon & Schuster has said it will not pull out of a seven-figure book deal with Mike Pence after some of its employees called for the contract to be scrapped, stating that...

Jane Austen’s tea drinking not under ‘interrogation’, says museum

Jane Austen’s House says decision to update displays with information on slavery links have been ‘misrepresented’, including tea detail that was reported as ‘woke madness’Staff at the museum Jane Austen’s House are reassuring fans of the Pride and Prejudice author that they have never and will never “interrogate Jane Austen, her characters or her readers...

Top 10 books about brothers | Fíona Scarlett

From Kit de Waal’s precocious caregiver, to Liz Nugent’s ugly rivalry, to Colson Whitehead’s juvie ordeal, writers are often drawn to a bond that can (almost) never be brokenI’ve always been drawn to books about families and all of the tension, drama, and betrayal that can come with them. But books focusing on brothers provide a different dynamic, where...

I Belong Here by Anita Sethi review – a healing journey

Racial abuse prompts a hike across the Pennines and a heartfelt examination of identity and place in a memoir of rare powerIn 2019, Anita Sethi was on the TransPennine Express train from Liverpool on her way to Newcastle when a man sitting near her began playing loud music. When Sethi asked if he could turn it down, he stood up and unleashed a torrent...

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