The winner of the 2018 Man Booker International Prize is Flights by Olga Tokarczuk. Connected by themes of travel and human anatomy, Flights is a novel of linked fragments from the 17th century to the present day. The five panel judges chaired by Lisa Appignanesi OBE chose Tokarczuk's novel from a group of 108 submissions. About the winner, Appignanesi wrote "Tokarczuk is a writer of wonderful wit, imagination and literary panache. In Flights, brilliantly translated by Jennifer Croft, by a series of startling juxtapositions she flies us through a galaxy of departures and arrivals, stories and digressions, all the while exploring matters close to the contemporary and human predicament – where only plastic escapes mortality." Considering both novels and short stories, the prize is awarded annually to a work of English translation and published in the United Kingdom. The £50,000 prize is divided equally between the author and the translator. (Bonus links: an essay on what can be lost in translation).
The 2018 New England Society Book Awards were given out during the group's annual Founders' Day celebration in New York. Designed to "recognize books that honor New England culture," nominated titles must be about or set in New England. The New England Society in the City of New York (NES) presents awards in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Art & Photography, and Specialty. Fiction: A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline Nonfiction: Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England by Douglas L. Winiarski Art: Cartoon County: My Father and his Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe by Cullen Murphy Photography: East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography by Diane Waggoner with Russell Lord and Jennifer Raab Specialty: Moon New England Road Trip by Jen Rose Smith (Bonus Link: an essay about Infinite Boston, a walking tour dedicated to the places found in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest)
The 2017 Shirley Jackson Award nominees have been announced. Given for "outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic," the award categories are as follows: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology. Here are the nominees (or Scary Stories Nominated for Awards [in the Dark]): Novel Ill Will by Dan Chaon (Our most recent interview with Chaon) The Bone Mother by David Demchuk The Changeling by Victor LaValle (Our 2016 interview with LaValle) The Hole by Hye-young Pyun The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge (Part of our 2017 Great Book Preview) Single-Author Collection Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Our review of Machado's "body horrors") She Said Destroy by Nadia Bulkin The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt (Read our 2016 interview with Hunt) The Doll’s Alphabet by Camilla Grudova Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country by Chavisa Woods The rest of the nominees can be found at the award website. [millions_ad]
The award is coming from inside The Millions! Staff writer Mark O'Connell won the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize for his book, To Be A Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death. The annual prize is given to new works of fiction or nonfiction regardless of genre whose "central theme that engages with some aspect with medicine, health, or illness." During an award ceremony tonight at Wellcome Collection, London, judge Edmund de Waal praised To Be a Machine as "a book that brings into focus timely issues about mortality, what it might mean to be a machine and what it truly means to be human." Bonus links: along with his writing on The Millions, you read our interview with O'Connell from last year.
Previously known as the Bailey's Prize for Fiction (2013-2016) and the Orange Prize for Fiction (1996-2012), the Women's Prize for Fiction announced their 2018 shortlist. The award celebrates "excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world." The shortlist, which includes three debut novelists, is as follows (with bonus links when possible): The Idiot by Elif Batuman (our review) The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar Sight by Jessie Greengrass When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (part of our 2017 Great Book Preview) Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (The Millions' interview with Ward)
The 15th annual RSL Ondaatje Prize announced its 2018 shortlist. The award is given to "a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry" for "best evoking the spirit of a place." (Sidenote: is best evocation of a place's spirit the coolest award criteria known to man or what?) Here is this year's shortlist (with bonus links when applicable): The Epic City by Kushanava Choudhury Once Upon a Time in the East by Xiaolu Guo Peculiar Ground by Lucy Hughes-Hallett (Featured in our 2018 Great Book Preview) Border by Kapka Kassabova Elmet by Fiona Mozley (The Millions' review) Mama Amazonica by Pascale Petit The winner will be announced on May 14, 2018.
The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction announced their 2018 shortlist. Founded in 2010 in honor of the "founding father of the historical novel," the award rewards "writing of exceptional quality which is set in the past." The winner will be announced on June 16, 2018. The 2018 shortlist is as follows: Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (The Millions's profile of Egan) Sugar Money by Jane Harris Grace by Paul Lynch The Wardrobe Mistress by Patrick McGrath Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves by Rachel Malik The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers Bonus link: Contributing Editor Sonya Chung's essay on historical fiction. [millions_ad]
The Pulitzer jury named Andrew Sean Greer's Less this year's winner in the fiction category. Here are this year's Pulitzer winners and finalists with bonus links: Fiction: Winner: Less by Andrew Sean Greer In the Distance by Hernan Diaz The Idiot by Elif Batuman (read not one, but two Millions' reviews) General Nonfiction: Winner: Locking Up Our Own by James Foreman Jr. Notes on a Foreign Country by Suzy Hansen The Evolution of Beauty by Richard O. Prum History: Winner: The Gulf:The Making of an American Sea by Jack E. Davis Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics by Kim Phillips-Fein Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America by Steven J. Ross [millions_ad] Biography or Autobiography: Winner: Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser Richard Nixon: The Life by John A. Farrell Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison Poetry: Winner: Half-light by Frank Bidart (Read about the poet IRL) semiautomatic by Evie Shockley Incendiary Art by Patricia Smith (Our interview with Smith) Winners and finalists in other categories are available at the Pulitzer Web site.
The Man Booker International Prize announced their 6-title shortlist — shortened from their 13-title longlist. The prize, which awards translated works of literature, considers both novels and short story collections translated into English and published in the UK. Here the 2018 shortlist (with bonus links where available): Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes The White Book by Han Kang The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai (our review of Krasznahorkai’s collection) Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Muñoz Molina (Molina's book was one of most anticipated books's of 2017) Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi (Saadawi’s 2017 Year in Reading entry) Flights by Olga Tokarczuk The winner of the Man Booker International Prize will be announced on May 22, 2018.
The inaugural Aspen Words Literary Prize, which was announced tonight during a ceremony in New York, was awarded to Mohsin Hamid's Exit West. The award, which was established this year by Aspen Words, is an annual $35,000 prize for "an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture." In a recorded acceptance speech, Hamid said "Exit West is a novel about migration and how the world is changing — and could change — and how we are all migrants, and how we can find an optimistic future together." (Make sure you read our review of Hamid's award-winning novel).