In what has already been quite the month for new books from authors most thought we’d never hear from again, Random House has revealed that on 28 July it will publish What Pet Should I Get? – a ‘new’ book by Dr. Seuss. The manuscript for the book was rediscovered in 2013 by Seuss’ widow, Audrey Geisel, and his secretary, Claudia Prescott, in a box at his San Diego home, having originally been set aside shortly after his death in 1991. Also present in the box was enough unpublished material to sustain at least two further books.
Less than a month ago, Robert Harris used his position as head of the Costa Book of the Year Award judging panel to rail against the lack of airtime given to literature by the BBC’s televisual output. Whilst probably not a direct response to Harris’ particular grievances, it is, however, hard to feel that the Corporation’s newly announced slate of arts programming isn’t delivered in a spirit of recalibration, bringing as it does a poetry season for BBC Four and the latest iteration of the erstwhile Late Review.
The Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals – the prestigious prizes awarded annually by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) for, respectively, the year’s best children’s book and best children’s book illustration – have unveiled their 2015 longlists.
The Folio Prize – open to English-language fiction of any genre, form or country of origin – has announced the shortlist for its second year. The eight nominees for the sophomore award are: 10:04 by Ben Lerner; All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews; Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill; Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor; Family Life by Akhil Sharma; How to Be Both by Ali Smith; Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín; and Outline by Rachel Cusk. Those eight were whittled down from a longlist of 80.
As you’ve no doubt heard about, got tired of, called 2 Kill 2 Mockingbirds along with the rest of the internet then got tired of calling 2 Kill 2 Mockingbirds, Harper Lee is set to release a second novel this summer, 55 years after the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird. On July 14 (happy Bastille Day!) HarperCollins (and William Heinemann in the UK) will publish Go Set a Watchman – an unpublished work Lee set aside 60 years ago to focus on Mockingbird, which will focus on the earlier book’s semi-autobiographical child protagonist Scout as an adult.
Last summer we reported that HarperCollins was to relaunch its Killer Reads online community as a digital-first crime and thriller list, and that its initial wave of releases would be discovered via a week of open submissions. Now, with its first publication date of February 19th little over a fortnight away, the imprint has revealed the first three titles it has bought from those submissions, along with three additional titles submitted via literary agents.
The 2014 Costa Book of the Year award has gone to Helen Macdonald for her work of non-fiction, H is for Hawk. Macdonald’s book took the prize over Ali Smith’s How to Be Both, Emma Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing, Jonathan Edwards’ My Family and Other Superheroes and Kate Saunders’ Five Children on the Western Front. The author wins £30,000.
Today sees Readership – a new digital publishing platform – open for submissions. Writers seeking publication can upload extracts of their work to the site, where readers can cast a critical eye over the opening line, the first chapter and/or the second chapter, then decide if they’re interested enough to read more.
BBC Culture – the BBC’s international arts section (inaccessible from the UK because it’s not paid for by the license fee) – has revealed the results of its poll of US literary critics on the greatest novels of the 21st century to date.
This year’s Kim Scott Walwyn Prize, celebrating the achievements of women in UK publishing, is now open for nominations and entries. Those looking to nominate a co-worker or other acquaintance should complete a nomination form online by 5pm on Friday 30 January, to allow said nominee time herself to complete an entry form by 5pm on Friday 20 February, alongside anyone immodest enough to skip the nomination stage and go straight to the entry form. The shortlist for this year’s prize will then be revealed in April, before the winner is announced at a ceremony on Wednesday 20 May.