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The shortlist for the Baileys Women’s Prize of Fiction 2014 was announced earlier this evening:
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah (Fourth Estate)
- Hannah Kent – Burial Rites (Picador)
- Jhumpa Lahiri – The Lowland (Bloomsbury)
- Audrey Magee – The Undertaking (Atlantic Books)
- Eimear McBride – A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing (Galley Beggar/Faber and Faber)
- Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch (Little, Brown).
Fans of Laurie King have another year to wait until the next instalment of Mary Russell’s journals, so it is with considerable satisfaction that It’s a Crime! can report that those lovely people over at Allison and Busby are releasing the ‘missing four’ Russell titles, previously unavailable for a dozen or more years.
The first of these missing titles, A Monstrous Regiment of Women and A Letter of Mary, are available now, with The Moor and Justice Hall coming shortly. What’s more, with four more stunning cover designs, the entire series of (currently twelve) novels is available for the first time with a uniform series ‘look’, and full credit to the publisher’s designer for such beautiful covers.
Where The Beekeeper’s Apprentice laid the groundwork, A Monstrous Regiment of Women and A Letter of Mary were the early showcases of Miss Russell (with Mr Holmes, naturally), taking her forward to the 1920s and into investigations both baffling and intriguing. Theology and detective work go hand in hand and we also see the growing partnership between Russell and Holmes which forms the cornerstone of this unique series.
A Monstrous Regiment of Women sees an Oxford friend of Russell introducing her to the ‘New Temple of God’, which, if appearances are to be believed, is a sect involved in the suffrage movement of post-War years; however, appearances can be deceptive and when one murder follows another, Russell investigates …
The Moor then takes us to Dartmoor, paying homage to a certain Conan Doyle tale, but Justice Hall, for me, marked a turning point in the series. While following on directly from the events of The Moor, Justice Hall reintroduces characters first met in Palestine in events described in O Jerusalem, and involves Russell in a mystery that dates back to the Great War. Rich descriptions bring to life the Justice Hall of the title which, for me, is one of the most evocative books in this very compelling series and the closing pages remain with me some 12 years since I first read them – a telling sign.
As I have said before, one of King’s many strengths is her ability to create images in her novels that draw you into the era, cleverly combining real events with the fictitious, and in which her characters play their own unique roles. Never do readers feel they are subject to a history lesson; indeed they come away feeling enriched, entertained and truly satisfied.
With the reappearance of these four books comes an opportunity to revisit old friends or to discover them for the first time; the only shame is that a year must pass before Russell returns in Dreaming Spies!
‘Launched in 2007, The Desmond Elliott Prize has quickly become established as the premier prize for new fiction.
Every year, a panel of three judges are asked to look for a novel which has a compelling narrative, arresting characters and which is both vividly written and confidently realised. Books from all fiction genres are considered.
Worth £10,000 to the winner, the Prize is intended to support new writers and to celebrate their fiction. It was created in memory of the charismatic publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, who died in August 2003. He stipulated that his estate should be invested in a charitable trust that would fund a literary award “to enrich the careers of new writers”.’
This year’s longlist comprises:
- The Letter Bearer by Robert Allison (Granta)
- Idiopathy by Sam Byers (Fourth Estate)
- Meeting the English by Kate Clanchy (Picador)
- The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer (HarperCollins)
- Sedition by Katharine Grant (Virago)
- The Dynamite Room by Jason Hewitt (Simon & Schuster)
- A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Galley Beggar Press)
- The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland)
- Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera (William Heinemann)
- Ballistics by D. W. Wilson (Bloomsbury).
If you are in or near Newcastle on Saturday, 3rd of May get thee hence! All these authors are fantastic public performers. Call the Lit and Phil on 0191 232 0192 to book/reserve your tickets. From the Lit & Phil’s website:
Saturday 3rd May | 2pm | Crime Saturday | £5/3 per session or £12/8 for all three
An estimated 45% of the fiction borrowed from the Lit & Phil falls into the category of crime. Our fascination with the subject seems to be not only ongoing but continually branching out into new areas. Join us for Crime Saturday and meet some of the authors responsible for this interest. We are hosting literary panels of experts discussing their particular area of crime fiction.
Historical Crime 2.00 – 3.30pm
Aly Monroe is the author of the Peter Cotton series. Her third novel Icelight, was awarded the 2012 CWA Historical Dagger. Samantha Norman is finishing Winter Siege, a book started by her mother, the historical thriller writer Ariana Franklin who died in 2011. John Lawton has written seven novels, the last of which A Lily of the Field was named Daily Telegraph Thriller of the Year in 2011.
Women in Crime 4.30 – 6.00pm
Mari Hannah won the Polari First Book Prize for her debut novel, The Murder Wall and a Northern Writers’ Award for her second, Settled Blood. Zoë Sharp has written a standalone crime novel, various short stories and ten books featuring bodyguard Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox. M J McGrath is the author of the Edie Kiglatuk series of Arctic mysteries. The first in the series, White Heat, was nominated for a CWA Gold Dagger.
Icelandic Crime 7.00 – 8.30pm
Ragnar Jonasson is an Icelandic writer of the Dark Iceland crime series set in Northern Iceland, currently being developed as a TV series. Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is the bestselling and award-winning Icelandic crime author of the Thóra Guðmundsdóttir series. Quentin Bates is writing a series of crime novels set in present day Iceland. Cold Steal will be published in April 2014.
In association with Northumbria University.
“Dark & Stormy is a brand new UK crime festival, serving up a wicked selection of book, film, music & theatre events. We launch in May 2014, in partnership with Brighton Festival, Brighton Fringe, and Dukes at Komedia, to celebrate and promote this massively popular genre, bringing its fans, creators and stars together for one criminally good and unforgettable weekend.” The site is up and tickets are now on sale. The press release follows.
The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction has announced its longlist and the judges will now work on reducing this list to six for the shortlist, before choosing an overall winner to be announced on 4 June 2014.
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah
- Margaret Atwood – MaddAddam
- Suzanne Berne – The Dogs of Littlefield
- Fatima Bhutto – The Shadow of the Crescent Moon
- Claire Cameron – The Bear
- Lea Carpenter – Eleven Days
- M.J. Carter – The Strangler Vine
- Eleanor Catton – The Luminaries
- Deborah Kay Davies – Reasons She Goes to the Woods
- Elizabeth Gilbert – The Signature of All Things
- Hannah Kent – Burial Rites
- Rachel Kushner – The Flamethrowers
- Jhumpa Lahiri – The Lowland
- Audrey Magee – The Undertaking
- Eimear McBride – A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing
- Charlotte Mendelson – Almost English
- Anna Quindlen – Still Life with Bread Crumbs
- Elizabeth Strout – The Burgess Boys
- Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch
- Evie Wyld – All The Birds, Singing.
HARVILL SECKER AND TELEGRAPH UNVEIL A NEW CRIME WRITING STAR
HARVILL SECKER TO PUBLISH WINNING CRIME NOVELSET DURING BRITSH RAJ
Abir Mukherjee is the winner of the Telegraph Harvill Secker Crime Writing Prize, launched last July to find an unpublished crime writing star to join one of the country’s leading literary imprints, home to bestselling crime authors including Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell, Fred Vargas, Stuart Neville and Eva Dolan. An extract from Abir Mukherjee’s winning entry – ‘A Rising Man’ – can be read at the Telegraph.
Set in India in 1919, ‘A Rising Man’ opens with the brutal murder of a British burra sahib in the backstreets of Calcutta. Was the killing politically motivated by the Quit India movement? Captain Sam Wyndham of the Imperial Police Force, a former Scotland Yard detective and a man scarred by the Great War, is asked to investigate. Described as “a good man upholding a corrupt system”, Wyndham is assisted by the equally conflicted Sergeant Bannerjee, who is torn between his belief in British justice and the Empire’s repression of his own people.
Every week from 20 January 2014 the two books with the least votes in each poll will be eliminated, until we have the winners.
After round four we have seen Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Camilla Lackberg’s The Hidden Child eliminated.
The remaining four Murder and Mayhem novels are from John Le Carré, William McIlvanney, Lesley Thomson and Anne Zouroudi.
Get voting by clicking right HERE.
Now only two weeks left to keep voting until the final winner is determined.
That’s a very fine shortlist to read. And good luck to those still in the running.
The shortlist of eight books for the inaugural Folio Prize has been announced today.
The prize is open to English language writers from all over the world and includes poetry, novels and short stories. The winner of the £40,000 prize will be announced on 10 March.
- Red Doc by Anne Carson (Canada)
- Schroder by Amity Gaige (USA)
- Last Friends by Jane Gardam (England)
- Benediction by Kent Haruf (USA)
- The Flame Throwers by Rachel Kushner (USA)
- A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Ireland)
- A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava (USA)
- Tenth of December by George Saunders (USA).