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Posts Tagged ‘Margaret Atwood’

Margaret Atwood and Jay McInerney Deliver Graduation Speeches

Over at the New Yorker, Book Bench has been collecting 2010 commencement speeches delivered by novelists. They link to the complete speeches, but choose the juiciest quotes in specific categories like “Why Writing Is Like Life” and “Requisite Platitude.”

Read the whole post here, but here is a bit of gloomy advice from Jay McInerney: “the last four years might well be, for some time to come, the high-water mark in your early life.”

And here is a moment of “Humility/Coy Self-Promotion” from the great Margaret Atwood : “For who but a warty person–or, to put it in more romantic terms, one who has visited the shadow side–would have written two fun-filled, joke-packed novels about the almost total annihilation of the human race? I didn’t get any literary awards for those.”

(In lieu of an author photo, we’ve included a video of Atwood’s role in Score: A Hockey Musical)

GalleyCat on Kari Moran’s BookRadio Show: “All About E”

bookradioshow.pngLast weekend, this GalleyCat editor joined radio host Kari Moran once again for her BookRadio Show. Tune in every Sunday at 3 pm PST for our “All About E” segment.

While the show airs on Los Angeles CBS-owned stations KFWB NEWS TALK 980, you can listen to the whole show online. Among the many topics discussed during the hour-long broadcast, we focused on Open Road Media’s work with the digital backlist of novelist William Styron and the future of digital rights. Follow this link to listen.

Last week’s episode featured Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation by Mitch Horowitz and The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, and Side By Side by Dr. Charles Sophy.

Margaret Atwood Sings for “Score: A Hockey Musical”

Over the weekend, novelist Margaret Atwood blogged about her vocal participation in Score: A Hockey Musical–a Canadian movie starring Olivia Newton-John and Nelly Furtado.

To warm us up for the festivities, Salon.com linked to that video embedded above of The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake doling out hockey advice on Canadian television.

Here’s an excerpt from Atwood’s blog: “here are some pictures from the set of Score: A Hockey Musical (yes, I sang, shameless me), due to launch October 22. Now that’s a concept … I didn’t see the part where they dance on skates. We were all in an arena freezing our feet off… including Eddie Shack, Walter Gretzkey, Theo Fleury, Alex Tagliani, Dan Hill, and the star, Noah Reid, and the director, Mike McGowan, and Jody Colero, who got me into it, and a jolly supporting cast of thousands!”

(Video via Juliet Ulman, link via Book Bench)

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.”

Best Books of 2009, Airport Edition

hg_hudson_books_image_2.jpgA few writers received an unexpected bookstore boost today as they nabbed spots on Hudson Booksellers’ Best Books of the Year list. The list will earn these writers some coveted placement in the company’s bookstores, reaching the most captive readership in the whole world–the airport reader.

Hudson runs 65 full-service bookstores around North America, but sells books in over 350 Hudson News stands in airports and transportation hubs. This year the company sold $93 million worth of books. Here are the fiction winners, a list with only a single National Book Award nominee on it. The best nonfiction, business, and young adult books follow after the jump…

Best Fiction: “The Year of the Flood” by Margaret Atwood, “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave, “Spooner” by Pete Dexter, “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman, “The Lacuna” by Barbara Kingsolver, “Fool” by Christopher Moore, “The Song is You” by Arthur Phillips, “Lark & Termite” by Jayne Anne Phillips, “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, and “Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

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Washington Post Book World Podcast Needs Subscribers

washington-post-book-world1.jpgIn an email interview with Washington City Paper, Washington Post Book World fiction editor Ron Charles worried about the subscriber rate for the site’s podcast series.

Here’s more from the post: “There’s no concrete deadline for adding more subscribers, Charles says, or even a goal for how many it needs, just ‘a general mandate to make sure we’re concentrating our efforts on projects that are actually attracting an audience.’” Update: On Twitter, Charles says the podcast needs “about 100K additional subscribers.”

Featuring ten minute interviews with writers like Francine Prose, James Ellroy and Margaret Atwood, the show deserves some iTunes love. After Maria Arana retired, Charles assumed podcasting duties at the review.

Margaret Atwood Advises the 2009 Whiting Writers’ Award Recipients

whitingawards.jpg“Congratulations to all ten of you. I’ll put you all in my blog.” author Margaret Atwood told the 2009 Whiting Writers’ Award recipients last night. She delivered some droll advice for the winners: “Write a cookbook or a book about vampires. Or troll through the classics, adding monsters…Or, better yet, write a vampire cookbook.”

Last night, ten authors received a $50,000 check from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, part of the 25th annual Whiting Writers’ Awards. Since 1985, the philanthropic foundation has given emerging creative writers these grants. Previous winners have included: “Denis Johnson, Michael Cunningham, Alice McDermott, and Colson Whitehead. The complete list of winners follows after the jump.

GalleyCat was there, shooting video interviews with the winners and finding out more about Atwood’s recent foray into the world of Twitter. “It’s been quite a lot of fun. I can send out desperate tweets and 15 people will answer my question,” she explained after the ceremony. Twitter hadn’t corrupted her writing style, she concluded: “It’s a descendant of the telegram. Telegrams required succinctness because they charged by the word. It’s a message.”

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Scotiabank Giller Prize Longlist Announced

prizegiller.jpgA jury of three celebrated authors announced the 12-title longlist for Canada’s 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize today, vying for a prize of $50,000 (in Canadian currency).

The selections were made by authors Russell Banks, Victoria Glendinning, and Alistair MacLeod–narrowing down a collection of 96 books from 39 publishers. The award honors the memory of journalist Doris Giller. Here are the first five nominees. The complete longlist follows after the jump:

Margaret Atwood for “The Year Of The Flood.”
Martha Bailie for “The Incident Report”
Kim Echlin for “The Disappeared”
Claire Holden Rothman for “The Heart Specialist”
Paulette Jiles for “The Colour Of Lighting”

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Twitter Outage Rocks Literary Internets

twitterstatus_2.jpg

Twitter has been out of commission for most of the morning, denying the literary blogosphere use of its most popular platform.

According to the Twitter status page, the site is currently “defending against a denial-of-service attack, and will update status again shortly.” In the meantime, here are a few quick and dirty literary links to give you your morning Twitter fix.

The New Yorker goes Book Club Confidential. The Rumpus looks for the Library of Babel. BookNinja studies author Margaret Atwood‘s pop culture consumption. And finally, The Daily Beast looks at British literature.

LongPen To Debut in Bookstores

After limited success with Margaret Atwood‘s device at the Edinburgh Book Festival – enabling Norman Mailer and Alice Munro to make “appearances” – the book-tour substitute device will make its debut into a record store and several bookstores in Canada, the United States and England for a trial run that could bring fans and their idols closer together. The London Free Press reports that kiosks will be set up at the World’s Biggest Bookstore and HMV‘s flagship record store in Toronto, Barnes & Noble in New York and Waterstone’s in London beginning after Labour Day, and could expand elsewhere if successful.

Spokesperson Bruce Walsh says shops with a LongPen kiosk could soon become hubs for celebrity sightings of a new kind. “You could potentially see the talent in their dressing room, somewhere, and they could actually sign into a bookstore,” says Walsh. “It doesn’t really matter, if there’s a kiosk set up, you can sign all kinds of different kinds of talent into wherever the kiosk happens to be.” But tech observer Richard Worzel of Toronto was skeptical the device — with a fee of roughly $2,000 in Canada and the U.S. and $4,000 in England — would be worth it to a publisher promoting a new artist. “Something like this, you’d have to show quite a lot of demand,” said Worzel.

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