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In a Wired opinion piece, Jonathon Keats argues that this year's Nobel Prize for literature should be awarded to Google.
"Given that literary fame is so fickle, it might make more sense to anoint a work that’s mutable—an all-encompassing text that changes at the pace of society itself. Today there is such a work. And that is why, in 2013, the Swedish Academy should award the Nobel Prize in Literature to Google.
Is Google literature? As a search engine, of course, it lacks a conventional narrative. But a traditional bildungsroman would hardly suit our era. Not even James Joyce could capture the fractured nature of 21st-century life, let alone the nearly unlimited interconnectedness among people and events these days."
The social media site goodreads.com is exploding in popularity as a platform for finding and sharing and, yes, marketing books.
Syrian journalist and writer Samar Yazbek, who was forced into exile after criticizing President Bashar al-Assad, has won PEN's Pinter International Writer of Courage Award.
Yazbek, who fled her homeland late last year after repeated run-ins with the state security services, was recognized for her book, "A Woman In The Crossfire", an account of the early stages of the Syrian revolution.
In line with the late playwright Harold Pinter's Nobel speech in which he spoke of casting "an unflinching, unswerving gaze upon the world", the prize is awarded annually to a writer who has been persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs.
"The great thing about this prize is that it highlights figures who might not otherwise get the recognition they deserve," Heather Norman Soderlind, Deputy Director of English PEN, told Reuters.
Yazbek insists, though, that while grateful for the honor, she doesn't see this as a personal accolade. "I felt that beyond me this was a prize for the Syrian Revolution," she said.
Story from Reuters.
The site for all things sci-fi and fantasy, iO9, has the story:
"Last night, robots shut down the live broadcast of one of science fiction's most prestigious award ceremonies. No, you're not reading a science fiction story. In the middle of the annual Hugo Awards event at Worldcon, which thousands of people tuned into via video streaming service Ustream, the feed cut off — just as Neil Gaiman was giving an acceptance speech for his Doctor Who script, "The Doctor's Wife." Where Gaiman's face had been were the words, "Worldcon banned due to copyright infringement." What the hell?"
The Women’s National Book Association has announced that novelist Ann Patchett has been selected to receive the 2012-2013 Women’s National Book Award. According to the Association’s website, the biennial award is given to “a living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books and allied arts, and who has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.”
Ann Patchett, whose most recent novel is State of Wonder (HarperCollins, 2011), is the bestselling author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel Bel Canto, which won both the PEN/Faulkner and Orange Prize in 2002. Patchett’s work has also garnered such accolades as the New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and the BookSense Book of the Year Award; and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Vogue.
In 2011, Patchett and publishing veteran Karen Hayes opened Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, after the last remaining bookstores in the city had closed their doors. Patchett has since become a nationally recognized advocate for independent bookselling, and this year was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Poets & Writers reports.
Maurice Sendak, Children’s Author Who Upended Tradition, Dies at 83
Maurice Sendak, widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, who wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche, died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83 and lived in Ridgefield, Conn.
It turns out there will be only five nominations in the Young People Literature category of the National Book Awards. After receiving a request from the National Book Foundation that she withdraw her book from nomination, Lauren Myracle consented, a move that dropped Shine from the list.
Last week, Chime by Franny Billingsley was added as a sixth nominee to the category, and Harold Augenbraum, NBF executive director, confirmed Monday that NBF staff had originally misheard Shine by Lauren Myracle for Chime when the list of nominees was read by the judges over the phone.
Judges...enunciate! Publishers Weekly has the story.
AUSTIN, TEXAS --- April 15, 2011 --- At the Texas Library Association’s (TLA) Annual Conference held in Austin, Texas, April 12–15, Eduardo Zepeda from Weslaco Public Library was the lucky recipient of the $20,000 prize in the Great Graphic Novel Library Giveaway, sponsored by Brodart Company, Diamond Book Distributors, and GraphicNovelReporter.com.
The Great Graphic Novel Library Giveaway included more than 700 hand-selected graphic novels from Diamond Book Distributors as well as fixtures and furniture provided by Brodart. The collection also featured the entire list of graphic novel titles selected for TLA’s Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List and the American Library Association’s (ALA) Great Graphic Novels for Teens list.
Zepeda, the very enthusiastic winner selected from a group of 20 finalists, said, “This is tremendous, as the books will be a great addition to our graphic novel collection. We look forward to sharing this prize with our patrons and seeing readers sitting on the couch reading and enjoying the books.” Martin Mata, also from the Weslaco Public Library, shared, “The couch will be placed in the new learning commons, where we have a plasma TV and no seating area for people to be able to enjoy it.” -- Read More
From the LA Times/ Jacket Copy Blog: The American Library Assn. presented its top honors for books for children and young adults at a ceremony in San Diego Monday morning. The highest award, the Newbery Medal, is awarded each year to the most distinguished book for children; it went to "Moon Over Manifest" by Clare Vanderpool. The Caldecott Medal, the top award for illustration, went to the book "A Sick Day for Amos McGee," illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Philip C. Stead.
The ALA award medallions, which can be found on the covers of later editions of the winning books, not only signify excellence, they also can mean a longer commercial life for the books, as well as assure they find a place in libraries. Finalists also receive the medallions.
The hour-long ceremony, which began at 7:45 a.m., included the announcement of dozens of awards and finalists before an audience attending the ALA's midwinter conference. The roster of winners was too long to invite the authors, illustrators or publishers to the podium to accept their awards.