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Posts Tagged ‘Ian McEwan’

Achebe Wins Booker International Prize

The BBC reports that Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, best known for his 1958 novel THINGS FALL APART, has won the Man Booker International Prize in honor of his literary career. The 76-year-old author beat out an impressive roster of writers including Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie for the 60,000 pound biannual prize, which will be presented to Achebe at a ceremony in Oxford on June 28.

Academic and author Elaine Showalter, who was one of the judges, said: “In THINGS FALL APART and his other fiction set in Nigeria, Chinua Achebe inaugurated the modern African novel. He also illuminated the path for writers around the world seeking new words and forms for new realities and societies. We honour his literary example and achievements.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who recently won the Orange Prize for Fiction, said of Achebe: “He is a remarkable man. The writer and the man. He’s what I think writers should be.”

More BEA Links

Will McEwan’s New Book Be Eligible for the Booker? reports that William Hill, the bookmakers famous for placing odds on those eligible to win the Booker Prize, are turning away those who want to bet early on Ian McEwan‘s ON CHESIL BEACH because no one seems to know whether the book is eligible for the Prize, or even whether it will be submitted for it. “McEwan’s books are always prominent contenders for the prize, and I was all set to make his just published ON CHESIL BEACH the 4/1 favourite to win the 2007 Prize when doubts were raised about its eligibility.’ said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe. “There is some doubt about whether it is a novel or a novella. The latter are apparently banned by the Booker, although there seems to be no definition as to what makes a novella a novel or vice versa. We have asked the publishers whether they will actually submit the book, and they don’t seem to know,” said Sharpe. “This has meant that I have already had to turn away people wanting to bet on the book, on the grounds that we do not know whether it will be a ‘runner’. In a quarter of a century of betting on the Booker I cannot remember a similar problem cropping up.”

But Elizabeth Hand points out that the so-called problem is quite fixable. “A novel is usually considered to be a work over 40,000 words in length,” she explains, “and seems like a word count
would resolve the issue.”

In other McEwan-related news, the author is to send back a handful of pebbles he admitted taking from the titular protected beach in Dorset after his admission in a recent interview subjected him to a possible 2,000 pound fine. “I was not aware of having committed a crime, having not seen any signs on Chesil Beach,” McEwan said in a statement. “Chesil Beach is a uniquely beautiful place and I’m delighted to return the handful of small pieces of shingle to it.”

Authors Get Filmic for Powell’s

The New York Times’ Julie Bosman picks up on a story Shelf Awareness featured earlier this month about Powell’s new series of short films featuring authors, to be shown at their bookstores, movie-premiere style. Ian McEwan is the star of the first “Out of the Book” film, which is planned to run 23 minutes and will feature snippets from an on-camera interview with McEwan, as well as commentary from peers, fans and critics. In essence, this film virtually replaces the standard book tour as he won’t be making in-bookstore appearances for his upcoming novel ON CHESIL BEACH.

Powell’s has enlisted Doug Biro, a former creative director at RCA Records and music video director, to direct the first film. It will have its debut on June 1 in Manhattan during BookExpo America, a widely attended annual gathering of publishers, booksellers and authors.

BEA Announces Speakers List

BookExpo America, taking place between June 1-3 at the Javits Center, has announced that documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, comedian Stephen Colbert, novelist Khaled Hosseini and Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus will be among the many notable personalities who will be speaking at BEA this year. In announcing the lineup of guests for its well-known and popular Author Breakfast and Saturday Luncheon program, convention officials note that this year’s roster of speakers offers a broad spectrum of accomplished writers from many different fields of endeavor. “Unlike last year, when politics provided a theme for much of our programming, this year we are celebrating the writer and the book,” notes Lance Fensterman, Event Director for BEA. “This group of authors is as strong as any in recent memory at BEA and I’m exceptionally proud to present them to our audience of book lovers.”

The other speakers who will be participating in BEA’s special events programming are Alan Alda, Paul Coelho, Paul Krugman, Ian McEwan, Rosie O’Donnell, Alice Sebold, Lisa See, and Russell Simmons. Alan Greenspan was previously announced as BEA’s Conference Keynote speaker.