Monday, February 10, 2014

They're off...

“The inaugural shortlist of the latest literary award on the block, the Folio Prize, has been unveiled - with a strong showing by American authors.
     The prize, open to English-language writers from all around the world, pre-empts this year's Booker Prize, which is also expanding to a global level.
     The final eight books - out of 80 read by the Folio judges - span poetry, novels and short stories.
     The winner of the £40,000 prize will be announced on 10 March.
     On the shortlist are Red Doc by Anne Carson, Schroder by Amity Gaige, Last Friends by Jane Gardam, Benediction by Kent Haruf and The Flame Throwers by Rachel Kushner.
     The list is completed by A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride, A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava and Tenth of December by George Saunders. Five of the writers - Gaige, Haruf, Kushner, De La Pava and Saunders - are American or US-based. Gardam is the only English writer on the list. Carson is Canadian, and McBride is Irish.”
— Tim Masters, BBC
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top shelf

From: Christine Finlayson
“This month in keeping with our look inside publishing, I’m departing from my usual craft advice to give you my view of the new state of the industry.
     I don’t see the new shape of things as many do: the twilight of the dinosaurs, the old-thinking Big Five print publishers staggering, falling to their knees and heading for extinction as they’re overwhelmed by a nimble army of small, warm-blooded mammals whose claws are the sharp, smart, flexible tools of electronic publishing.
     It’s true that I’m a gatekeeper, a longtime member (to my surprise) of the industry establishment. But I am no worshiper of the old ways. Traditional publishing always was cost-heavy and inefficient. It’s a wonder that it worked. But the new electronic 'paradigm' is not the glorious revolution that true believers would like it to be.
     What’s happened instead is an evolution of the publishing world into a new class system, and like any class system it has winners, losers and opportunities. It’s a system that, if not recognized for what it is, will trap frustrated writers in a pit far more hopeless than the one they yearned to escape. Let’s start with a couple of cold-eyed realities.”
— Donald Maass, Writer Unboxed
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