- John Sutherland will serve as Chair of Judges for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2005. The Guardian recalls Sutherland’s involvement in a prior Booker prize controversy and reports that the new chair has “admitted that the judges are unlikely to read all 130 books in contention, while describing his fellow judges as ‘light on the minorities.'”
- Dan Wickett of the Emerging Writers Network interviews the editors of several literary magazines about the prospects for, you know, emerging writers.
- At BookAngst 101, an editor calls for realistic advances.
- Selections from the current issue of Bookforum are online. Unfortunately, Dan Green‘s review of Stephen Dixon’s Old Friends isn’t among them. Right now I’m making my way through Robert S. Boyton’s reflections on copyright law, and Emily Barton’s review of Judy Budnitz’s latest is waiting in the wings.
- Welsh writers like Niall Griffiths are slowly earning the recognition they deserve. Griffiths’ masterpiece, Sheepshagger, a dark, powerful and often hilarious reflection on the effects of brutality in childhood, is not for the faint of heart. Here’s a list of Griffith’s ten favorite Welsh books.
- Of Ian McEwan and his work, the proprietor of Ready Steady Book says:
I’ve not read Ian McEwan for many years; the imminent release of Saturday (read an extract) will not have me rushing to remedy this. “February 2003. As the largest anti-war demonstration in Britain’s history gathers, Henry Perowne, a neurosurgeon living in central London, sets off to his weekly squash game.” FFS. As Steve says, “Here we have a narrative of complete control where the only doubt is the contemptible liberal umming-and-arring of a character designed to justify the inexcusable open-mindedness to Blair’s criminal war by writers like Ian McEwan and other journalists.” Liberalism: an equivocation over modalities of control and abuse masquerading as tolerance.
Follow-up post here.
- “Working in publishing is not the same as writing.”