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Posts Tagged ‘Colum McCann’

’5 Under 35′ Celebration Kicks Off National Book Awards Week

GalleyCat prowled the ’5 Under 35′ celebration held at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn this week. This event kick-started the celebration of the annual National Book Awards announcement. Stay tuned for all the results tonight.

A taco truck served dinner and DJ Rob Sheffield spun everything from Jay-Z to Duran Duran. Attendees included 2006′s ’5 Under 35′ host Amanda Stern and a 2006 ’5 Under 35′ honoree Samantha Hunt. Country singer and author Rosanne Cash (pictured) introduced the readers: Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Scott Spencer, Colum McCann, Jayne Anne Phillips, and Kate Walbert. Afterward, each one of them stepped up to the podium to introduce the writer they chose.

Four of the five honorees read from their published work, but Paul Yoon took a step outside the box. He read something new, a work-in-progress short story entitled The Snow Hunters. (Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan)

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The Best Beach Books

flashlightworthy.pngThe sun has finally returned to New York City, inspiring this GalleyCat editor to dream about beach reading. What books will you take to the beach this summer? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Counting on our readers’ collective knowledge of books, GalleyCat Reviews regularly features curated book lists from Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations. The site is building a new Beach Books category, and your suggestions will help build a better beach book list.

Over the last year, Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations has created more than 370 lists–giving reading advice on everything from book club books to cancer survivor books. Working with this carefully curated publication, we will share our favorite lists with GalleyCat readers. Add your suggestions in the comments section.

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Joseph O’Neil, Lorraine Adams, and Colum McCann Named 2010 Guggenheim Fellows

Today a number of writers were picked from some 3,000 applicants for the annual Guggenheim Fellowship competition. Joseph O’Neil, Lorraine Adams, and Colum McCann were among the fiction fellows.

The complete list of literary winners follows after the jump. In all, 180 fellowships were awarded to artists, scientists, and scholars this year. According to the site, amounts of the individual awards vary based on the needs of each fellow.

Here’s more from the fellowship site: “During the rigorous selection process, applicants will first be pooled with others working in the same field, and examined by experts in that field: the work of artists will be reviewed by artists, that of scientists by scientists, that of historians by historians, and so on. The Foundation has a network of several hundred advisers, who either meet at the Foundation offices to look at applicants’ work, or receive application materials to read offsite. These advisers, all of whom are themselves former Guggenheim Fellows, then submit reports critiquing and ranking the applications in their respective fields. Their recommendations are then forwarded to and weighed by a Committee of Selection, which then determines the number of awards to be made in each area.”

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Colum McCann Sells Two New Novels to Random House

National Book Award winner Colum McCann has sold two new novels to Random House, including a story about a murder inspired by a famous poem.

Random House editor Jennifer Hershey acquired the books, and the deal was negotiated by Sarah Chalfant of from the Wylie Agency. Here’s more from the release: “The first novel, tentatively titled THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING, explores a murder from multiple points of view, and is in part inspired by the Wallace Stevens‘ poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”

Earlier this year, documentary director, we interviewed Charlie McCarthy from Icebox Films–who is working on a documentary about McCann. In addition, we interviewed McCann at the National Book Awards.

The Art of Hypothetical Book Design

6a0128776de906970c01310f44f6ab970c-800wi.jpgToday part-time book designer Charlie Orr launched a unique project–designing a hypothetical book cover for a book that a well-known author will never write. “I ask authors to imagine a book that they could, or might want to write, but never actually will, then write a description of that imaginary book. Then I design a cover for it,” Orr explained.

His inaugural post is based on an imaginary book suggested by National Book Award winner Colum McCann. Follow this link to see the full cover. Future installments of The Hypothetical Library will include imaginary books by David Lehman, Lydia Millet, and Thomas Kelly.

Here’s the jacket copy for McCann’s imaginary book: “In the 17th Century vast numbers of Irish men, women and children were forcibly transported to the American colonies by the British government. In this spectacular reinvention and examination of history, Colum McCann goes to the heart one of the great untold stories of our times as he follows a group of Irish indentured servants on their voyage to the West Indies, their plight on the Atlantic seas, their subsequent serfdom and their eventual liberation on the wave of a bloody revolution. This is a gripping portrayal of another century, another continent, another loss, told in McCann’s unique trademark prose, simultaneously stripped down and lyrical.”

Weekend Reading: Amazon, Macmillan, McCann & Maddow

amazonad.jpgIt’s been one of the craziest weeks in recent memory for publishing. Here are a few highlights for your weekend reading pleasure.

In retaliation for a eBook pricing debate, Amazon removed the buy direct from Amazon button from many Macmillan books. In response, Macmillan took out a full-page NY Times advertisement (pictured) for “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right” with a bold phrase at the bottom: “Available at booksellers everywhere except Amazon.

More than 12,000 copies of a pop-up book written by comedian Ricky Gervais disappeared while in route to an Indiana warehouse–$240,000 worth of books are now missing.

We reported that Colum McCann will star in an upcoming documentary, and managed to shoot a short video about the novelist at a Granta party.

Friends and foes of MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow found out they will have to wait a little longer to read her book, as the anchor’s agent reported the book was delayed.

For GalleyCat Reviews, we began collecting a list of the most popular book reviewing sites on Twitter. Add yours before the directory is unveiled next week.

During the Fifth Annual America Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute Program, booksellers from around the country delivered a standing ovation for Macmillan’s stand against Amazon.

Finally, Tank Books turned a nasty habit into a winning habit–wrapping print editions of classic stories into cigarette packs that fit easily inside your pocket or purse.

Colum McCann to Star in Documentary

1263485913593.jpegAt a standing-room only McNally Jackson Books event last night in New York City, National Book Award winner Colum McCann read an excerpt from his Granta 109 essay about his father’s career as a newspaper editor.

As McCann read to the reverent audience, a documentary crew filmed the entire event–collecting footage for an Irish television documentary about the novelist. After the reading, GalleyCat caught up with the documentary director, Charlie McCarthy from Icebox Films.

The company also produced a documentary about the poet, Seamus Heaney. “We hope to finish by the end of spring, hopefully,” he told GalleyCat. “It’s about New York City and Colum–looking at the city through his eyes. We’ve been following him for ten days.”

We also cut our own mini-documentary about the evening, as McCann explored his relationship with his father and talked about how he conceived the Granta essay.

Andrew W.K. Joins Tournament of Books’ Panel of Judges

Tob_2010.jpgA rock star, a culinary memoirist, and a music and literary blogger will help judge The Morning News’ annual Tournament of Books this year.

Performer Andrew W.K. (here), Julie Powell (“Julie & Julia“) and David Gutowski (Largehearted Boy) will all judge the annual competition. This year’s round-robin bracket will pit literary titles against each other. The list includes: “The Year of the Flood” by Margaret Atwood; Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel; “Lowboy” by John Wray and NBA winner, “Let the Great World Spin” by Colum McCann.

Here’s more from the announcement: “You can follow along as each contender is passed from reader to reader and judgments are handed down, sometimes passionately, sometimes haphazardly (and sometimes, in the case of Dale Peck in 2006, not at all). We have had judges who admitted they didn’t finish their books. We’ve had Rooster winners who came back as judges the next year, on the condition that we commission for them an aggressive T-shirt. And yes, we’ve had judges who flipped coins. So has the National Book Award—but the National Book Award won’t tell you that.”

Colum McCann Tops List of Bestselling Signed Books on AbeBooks in 2009

greatworld23.gifWhat are the most popular signed books of the year? The answer might surprise you. On the list of the 25 Bestselling Signed Books on AbeBooks from last year, a National Book Award winner outsold a man who walked on the moon.

The top book was the National Award winning novel by Colum McCann, “Let the Great World Spin.” The book “Magnificent Desolation” by astronaut Buzz Aldrin came in 17th place.

Here’s an excerpt from the list: “Our list of the bestselling signed books of 2009 provides a cross-section of the year’s major literary events and books that captured the imagination of countless readers. The top 25 features three titles from authors who passed away during the year–two from John Updike and one from Frank McCourt–plus critically-acclaimed novels, such as Hilary Mantel‘s Booker-winner Wolf Hall, Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski and The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.” (Via Ron Charles)

Literary Luminaries Sign Sarah Palin Book for Charity

palinbook23.jpgAt the 2009 National Book Awards, Gawker cornered some of the literary world’s brightest writers, having them sign a copy of Sarah Palin‘s memoir, “Going Rogue.” Now they are auctioning the book on eBay for charity.

Signatures now include NBA Fiction winner Colum McCann, actor and Columbia MFA graduate James Franco, and author and publishing figure Sloane Crosley. On a semi-related auction note, the handwritten Bible we so carefully covered sold for over $15,400.

Here’s more about the auction: “All proceeds from the auction will go to Save The Children. They’ve done great work bringing literacy programs to kids in need across the country, among other great things they’ve done for kids that otherwise don’t get things done for them that should be.”

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