Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Sellout wins Man Booker Prize 2016

·        Paul Beatty becomes first American writer to win prestigious prize

·        Second consecutive win for independent publisher Oneworld


The Sellout by Paul Beatty is tonight, Tuesday 25 October, named winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The Sellout is published by small independent publisher Oneworld, who had their first win in 2015 with Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings.

The 54-year-old New York resident, born in Los Angeles, is the first American author to win the prize in its 48-year history. US authors became eligible in 2014. The 2016 shortlist included two British, two US, one Canadian and one British-Canadian writer.

The Sellout is a searing satire on race relations in contemporary America. The Sellout is described by The New York Times as a ‘metaphorical multicultural pot almost too hot to touch’, whilst the Wall Street Journal called it a ‘Swiftian satire of the highest order. Like someone shouting fire in a crowded theatre, Mr. Beatty has whispered “Racism” in a postracial world.’

The book is narrated by African-American ‘Bonbon’, a resident of the run-down town of Dickens in Los Angeles county, which has been removed from the map to save California from embarrassment. Bonbon is being tried in the Supreme Court for attempting to reinstitute slavery and segregation in the local high school as means of bringing about civic order. What follows is a retrospective of this whirlwind scheme, populated by cartoonish characters who serve to parody racial stereotypes.  The framework of institutional racism and the unjust shooting of Bonbon’s father at the hands of police are particularly topical. 

Amanda Foreman, 2016 Chair of judges, comments: ‘The Sellout is a novel for our times. A tirelessly inventive modern satire, its humour disguises a radical seriousness. Paul Beatty slays sacred cows with abandon and takes aim at racial and political taboos with wit, verve and a snarl.’

Though Beatty cites satirists Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut as formative influences, he remarked to The Paris Review that he was ‘surprised that everybody keeps calling this a comic novel… I’m not sure how I define it.’ 

This is the second consecutive Man Booker Prize success for independent publisher Oneworld, following Marlon James’ win with A Brief History of Seven Killings in 2015.

 Amanda Foreman was joined on the 2016 panel of judges by Jon Day, Abdulrazak Gurnah, David Harsent and Olivia Williams. The judges considered 155 books for this year’s prize, including a total of 11 call-ins.

In addition to his £50,000 prize and trophy, Beatty also receives a designer bound edition of his book and a further £2,500 for being shortlisted.

On winning the Man Booker Prize, an author can expect international recognition, plus a dramatic increase in book sales. Last year’s winning novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, has gone on to sell over 360,000 copies in the UK and Commonwealth, as well as 120,000 in the US. When accepting his prize, James said, ‘I just met Ben Okri and it just reminded me of how much of my literary sensibilities were shaped by the Man Booker Prize… It suddenly increases your library by 13 books.’

Other recent winners have included Hilary Mantel (2012 and 2009), whose Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies have led to award-winning adaptations on stage and screen, and Julian Barnes (2011), whose The Sense of an Ending will soon be adapted for film. Other winning novels that have gone on to have second or third lives on stage and screen include Schindler’s Ark (directed by Steven Spielberg as Schindler’s List), The Remains of the Day and The English Patient.

This is the third year that the prize has been open to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK. Previously, the prize was open only to authors from the UK & Commonwealth, Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe. The 2016 shortlist included two British, two US, one Canadian and one British-Canadian writer.

First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading award for high quality literary fiction written in English. Its list of winners features many of the giants of the last four decades: from Salman Rushdie to Margaret Atwood, Iris Murdoch to JM Coetzee.

Paul Beatty’s win was announced by Amanda Foreman at a black-tie dinner at London’s Guildhall, where he was presented with a trophy from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and a £50,000 cheque from Luke Ellis, Chief Executive of Man Group. Guests at the event, which was broadcast live on the BBC News Channel, included the shortlisted authors, well-known figures from the literary world and VIPs including AS Byatt, Ben Okri, Karen Bradley, John Hurt and Fiona Shaw.

Paul Beatty will take part in will take part in his first public event as winner at a New Statesman-partnered event at Foyles on Friday 28 October 2016.

Royal Mail is issuing a congratulatory postmark featuring the winner’s name, which will be applied to millions of items of stamped mail nationwide from Wednesday 26 to Saturday 29 October 2016. It will say ‘Congratulations to Paul Beatty, winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize’.

Man Group has sponsored the prize since 2002. One of the world’s largest independent alternative investment managers, Man Group is a partner that mirrors the quality, integrity and longevity of the prize.




WHEN A COMIC STRIP IS NOT SO FUNNY: former poet laureate moved to tears by debut novel.

Mākaro Press publisher Mary McCallum and author Sue Wootton with Strip.

STRIP, a debut novel by Dunedin poet Sue Wootton, was launched by leading author and poet Vincent O’Sullivan to a packed University Bookshop in Dunedin last night.

Vincent said the novel was intricate, challenging and provoking and took the reader into a ‘moral web’ that New Zealand fiction doesn’t always enter so starkly. He  said he admired how a terrible error on the part of the protagonist nonetheless drew ‘a deep sympathy’ from the reader, and at one point the former poet laureate was compelled to stop reading ‘as the pages blurred with how movingly the details came in on one’. 

Strip is about Harvey, a doctor who hangs up his stethoscope to draw comic strips, and later becomes at an-home father for their adopted daughter, and life is good. But when his family is threatened, he acts to protect them in ways that are morally questionable and have tragic consequences. 

‘We always say, don’t we,’ said Vincent O’Sullican, ‘that it’s a fine achievement in fiction when we suspend our disbelief as the strength of the telling convinces us. But it is an even more impressive occasion, I think, when an author is able to let us go of our instinctive prejudices and moral certainties in a wider tide of sympathy as characters entangle themselves in wretchedness, so it is not the mistakes that hold us, but what you might call the low-key heroism of doing wrong while trying to do right. New Zealand fiction doesn’t always take us so starkly into this moral web.’ 

Strip is a novel that addresses a public issue of medical morality – euthanasia for those whose lives are deeply compromised by ill-health – and looks at the private issue too of how far people will go for the ones they love. It was inspired by Wootton’s previous career in the medical profession, and her interest in writing about the public and private notions of right and wrong. 

‘In Strip, devastating events are set in motion by a few small initial errors of judgement,’ she says. ‘The story is about motives and mistakes, conscience and culpability, lies, truth and love. At what point does an action cross the line between right and wrong? What about an inaction? And what if in intending to prevent harm to one person you do harm to another?  Harvey is responsible for more harm than anyone else knows. There’s his public—and very topical—crime but there is also his secret, private one. Both have ramifications he never dreamed of and did not intend.”

Sue Wootton is an award-winning poet and fiction writer with a background as a physiotherapist and acupuncturist. Her prizes include winning the Aoraki Literary Awards for both poetry and fiction, and second place in the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. Her combined interests inform her current PhD studies at Otago University and a blog she co-edits called Corpus, both of which explore the nexus between creative work and medicine.

Strip is published by Wellington’s Mākaro Press, which Vincent O’Sullivan said had quickly become ‘an invigorating cultural force’. The press worked with students from the Whitireia Polytechnic publishing course to produce the novel. 
Will be enjoyed by readers with an interest in: New Zealand  fiction • the nexus of medicine and the arts • the issue of childlessness and adoption • the issue of euthanasia.

ISBN 978-0-9941237-5-6
Cover design: Theo MacDonald

Latest news from The Bookseller

Independent booksellers are backing Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project (Contraband) to win the Man Booker Prize, following strong sales.
Penguin Random House UK is launching Flipper, an online book recommendation engine, as part of a Christmas campaign to help customers choose the right Christmas present for loved ones.
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Peter Jackson, the film director behind The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, is adapting a film version of Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines (Scholastic).
Northern Fiction Alliance
Three new independent publishers are to join the Northern Fiction Alliance which intends to position the north of England as a "centre of publishing excellence" .
Mishal Husain
4th Estate has bought the first book by BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Mishal Husain, described as "the ultimate handbook for women".
National Gallery
Two Hachette UK companies, Hachette Children’s Group (HCG) and Octopus, have struck a 10-year partnership with the National Gallery Company to produce activity books for children and adults.

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) has called on Westminster City Council to halt proposed cuts to the library budget of £750,000 a year "until a proper public consultation has been carried out".
Michael O'Mara
Michael O’Mara Books is publishing Road Racer: It’s In My Blood by "wild man of TT" Michael Dunlop.
Adrian Greenwood
Michael Danaher has been found guilty of murdering author and rare books dealer Adrian Greenwood (pictured) over a first edition of The Wind in the Willows.
The Young Magicians by Nick Mohammed
Penguin Random House Children’s has acquired world rights to a children’s fiction title by actor and magician Nick Mohammed.

Mauri Ora - Wisdom from the Maori World

Pearls of wisdom contained in proverbs – whakataukī – have been gifted from generation to generation as an intrinsic part of the Māori, world. As powerful metaphors, they combine analogy and cultural history in the most economical of words. Short and insightful, they surprise, engendering reflection, learning and personal growth.

Mauri Ora links whakataukī to key personal virtues idealised across cultures and generations. The virtues – wisdom, courage, compassion, integrity, self-mastery and belief – stem from the science of positive psychology; the study of how to live a better life. Illustrated throughout with wonderful photographs from an old world, this book draws on traditional wisdom to provide a recipe for personal effectiveness and leadership, and a rewarding connection of Māori knowledge to contemporary thinking about personal happiness and fulfilment.

PETER ALSOP grew up in Rotorua with a curiosity about te ao Māori, the Māori world. His work in Wellington, across the public and private sectors, included meeting his Ngāti Porou wife, Airihi Mahuika, daughter of Poihipi/Bussy (1925–2004). Being married by Bussy’s younger brother Api (1934–2015), in Tikitiki’s St Mary’s Church (itself a tribute to Apirana Ngata) was a very special event. Hearing Api’s beautiful public oratory also built lifechanging memories and a spirited call for a meaningful contribution to the greater good. With four young kids and a senior executive role, Peter somehow finds time as a night-time author to pursue his creative dreams. This is his sixth book celebrating important cultural legacies of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Peter also exhibited a collection of whakataukī/proverb paintings in 2006.

TE RAUMAWHITU KUPENGA, Te Rau, belongs to Ngāti Porou, from the East Coast of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Te Rau received a privileged upbringing by his mother and his mother’s kin, who fostered in him a lifelong passion for tribal cultural knowledge. Having enjoyed a career in the law, as well as holding senior positions in the private and public sectors, Te Rau’s key focus these days is on tribal development. His favourite pastime is spending time with his three children and fostering in them a love of their cultural heritage.

$39.99 - Hardback PLC
Potton and Burton

Brendon McCullum - Declared

Brendon McCullum is known as an explosive wicketkeeper, then batsman, who went on to captain the New Zealand cricket team to glory. The holder of many records, ‘Baz’ is known for speaking his mind. He talks about growing up loving sport more than anything, getting better and better at cricket (although he was a good enough rugby player to keep Dan Carter out of the South Island Schoolboy rugby team) and his uncertain transition to international cricketer.

In this explosive autobiography he opens up on the many controversies he has been involved in, including the Chris Cairns affair and the leadership change from Ross Taylor. He exposes behind-the scenes machinations as well as the private moments of exultation, tumult and despair. One of New Zealand’s and the worlds most admired cricketers, he is credited with changing the face of the game internationally.

A great read, I couldn't put it down.

Written by Greg McGee
Upstart Press -  October 2016
ISBN: 978-1-927262-62-7
NZ RRP: $49.99
Format: Cased and jacketed, 234 x 153mm (portrait), 304pp, including 32pp colour sections

The Student Body - great debut crime fiction title

 Mary Egan Publishing releases The Student Body on October 26, 2016; RRP: $30.

When the body of a schoolgirl is found in the bushes on Auckland’s West Coast, the shock sends a community reeling.
Who would want to hurt this popular high-achiever?
Nick Knight, a week into his role as newly promoted Detective Sergeant at Henderson Police Station is tasked with leading the Suspects Team.
Nick – who turned his back on a lucrative career as a lawyer - is well versed in dealing with the dark side of human nature.
Setting a cracking pace on the trail of the murderer, and grappling his own demons along the way he is determined to find justice and nail the culprit.
This authentic police procedural thrusts the reader into the machinations of Auckland’s working police force, school politics, the city’s legal profession and gang culture, in a tragedy triggered by lust and obsession.
The Student Body is compelling and convincing with Wyatt’s intimate knowledge of NZ crime, his portrayal of comradeship within the force and the dark humour that goes with it.
Brilliantly presented and action-packed throughout, The Student Body, is a terribly good story and I especially enjoyed the local setting..

About the author: Raised in Glendene, West Auckland, Simon Wyatt enjoyed a decade-long career with NZ Police, the last six of which he spent as a detective in the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB). This was interrupted when Simon contracted the rare and potentially life-threatening autoimmune disorder Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
During his recovery he set himself the task of writing an authentic murder mystery, one he would love to read himself. Currently an investigator for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Simon is working on his second novel.

The Library Is Dead. Long Live the Library!

- The Millions -  October 19, 2016

“Close down the lending libraries and buy every citizen an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription,” Forbes contributor Tim Worstall
wrote in July 2014, arguing that his native U.K. might thus save a lot of taxpayers’ money.

Given that the amount of new digital content produced in 2011 amounts to several million times the combined contents of every book ever written, it is easy to see why technology-fascinated experts and non-specialists alike have propagated the idea that libraries will soon fall prey to Google, Amazon, and other technological giants. However, public libraries around the globe are increasingly disproving hardcore pessimists like Worstall and others who find libraries irrelevant in the modern age. Simply put, these pessimists make a fundamental mistake: They look at libraries as reactionary spaces filled with nothing but shelves.   MORE

The Roundup with PW

Yes, Bob Dylan Absolutely Deserves the Nobel
A writer, editor, and Dylan expert on why the poet/singer deserves the prize.
more »

Joan Rivers: "A Hoot and a Horror"
In 'Last Girl Before Freeway,' Leslie Bennetts charts the life of the late comedian Joan Rivers.
more » »


Trump, His Donors, and His Books: Last month, the presidential candidate apparently used donor money to pay for copies of his book, 'The Art of the Deal.'

Bookies on the Man Booker: Although 'His Bloody Project' is popular with readers, bookies think the British prize will go to Madeleine Thien’s 'Do Not Say We Have Nothing.'

Shakespeare and Marlowe, Co-Authors: The New Oxford Shakespeare edition of the playwright’s works lists Christopher Marlowe as co-author on the three “Henry VI” plays.

Nine Dots Prize to Reward Unwritten Book: A new literary award will grant one of the largest cash prizes in publishing—$100,000—for a book not yet written.

University Bookstore Goes Fair-Trade: The University of Louisiana at Lafayette bookstore commits to stocking fair-trade apparel made by workers receiving living wages.


Rare Book School, Dunedin

Applications close at the end of October for the three classes on offer in Dunedin, New Zealand from 27 January–3 February 2017.

Dr. Claire Bolton, Understanding Incunabula

Prof David McKitterick, Origins of 'Rare Books'

Dr. Scott Schofield, Inherited Innovation—Reflecting on the History of the Book in a Digital Age

Full details and application form are available on the web at

Plan to end restrictions on parallel book imports in Australia does not stack up

Anthony Albanese - The Sydney Morning Herald - 25 October 2016
 When governments consider big changes, they owe it to the community to carefully weigh the costs of those changes against the expected benefits.
The proposal to abolish parallel import restrictions in the book publishing industry does not stack up when the impact on jobs and culture are taken into account.
Australian author Peter Carey is speaking out against the proposed changes to book importation rules.
Australian author Peter Carey is speaking out against the proposed changes to book importation rules. Photo: Steven Siewert
Current restrictions mean that if a book has been published in Australia and overseas, it is illegal to import overseas-produced copies of that book for sale in Australia.
The arrangements protect the Australian book publishing industry. They ensure Australian authors can make a decent living and continue to bring Australian stories to the world of literature, both here and globally

Man guilty of murder over copy of The Wind in Willows


  • 24 October 2016
  • BBC News
A man has been found guilty of murdering a book dealer over a £50,000 first edition of The Wind in the Willows.
Michael Danaher, 51, stabbed Adrian Greenwood to death after drawing up a list of wealthy targets that also included Kate Moss and Jeffrey Archer.
The 42-year-old was found dead at his Oxford home in April. He had been stabbed 16 times, the judge said.
Danaher has been jailed for life with a minimum of 34 years.
He told the jury at Oxford Crown Court he had acted in self defence, but it took about two hours to find him unanimously guilty.
Passing sentence, Judge Ian Pringle said Danaher, from Peterborough, had become "obsessed" with famous people and had tortured his victim.
The prosecution said the rare copy of The Wind in the Willows was found at his flat and had been put up for sale on eBay at the "knockdown price" of £2,000.
Adrian Greenwood
Image caption Art dealer Adrian Greenwood was found dead in his Oxford house by a cleaner on 7 April
The Wind in the Willows
Image copyright

New Zealand self-publishing better than overseas

Hidden away in downtown Auckland lies a well-kept secret for New Zealand self-publishers. You may not have heard of Smartwork Creative but you’ve probably heard of some of the authors that have worked with them, such as Joy Cowley, Craig Smith, Melinda Szymanik, Des Hunt and Gavin Bishop.

 Alarmists have been pointing to New Zealanders being ‘ripped off’ by overseas websites, but most Kiwis ask around and find studios in New Zealand that know the ins and outs of self-publishing. Kim Dovey, founder of Smartwork Creative, has been designing and producing New Zealand books for more than 20 years. Dovey points out that we don’t have to take the risk of using overseas resources, when accountability can be had so easily here on home soil. ‘We also collaborate with major publishing houses to design books by some of New Zealand’s most notable authors.’

In 2013 Kevin Chapman, then president of the Publishers Association of New Zealand, remarked, ‘This is an industry that has shown remarkable resilience through change over more than a century.’ It’s precisely because New Zealanders look out for each other. ‘That’s why New Zealanders should look to New Zealand first when considering publishing,’ says Dovey.

For independent authors Smartwork Creative offers a comprehensive suite of tools – from helping people to evaluate the commercial viability of a proposed book to connecting people to printing and distribution services for both print and ebooks.

As part of a new initiative to help self-publishers in New Zealand, Smartwork has just launched a new website that covers topics helpful to independent authors, ranging from editing, cover design, and page design to production, printing, marketing and budgeting. The site also connects people to manuscript assessors, editors, distributors and marketers.

The truth is that any author has spent a lot of time bringing their work to the point where they are ready to publish. Dovey points out that even then it is important to check the commercial viability of the book: ‘Overseas websites are often not interested in whether a book is actually viable. At Smartwork Creative that’s one of the first things we need to check. We don’t want to be tipping any author’s money down the drain.”

Celebrate NZ BOOKSHOP DAY with the Women's Bookshop

Open 7 days: 10am – 6pm weekdays
10am – 5pm Saturday & Sunday

Celebrate NZ BOOKSHOP DAY with us! 
Saturday 29 October
A bold bunch of creative women will be ‘doing their thing’ in our window throughout the day - textile art, perfume-making, yoga and more- - -
320x500-fill-jo-dixev2y.jpgvanessa york.jpgbaroness and lady.jpg
Jo Dixey
Vanessa York
Baroness Ditzy von Karbon &
Lady Lavinia Laudanum-Swoon
(Photo by Veronica McLaughlin)
Steampunk duo Baroness Ditzy von Karbon & Lady Lavinia Laudanum-Swoon will be here from 12 noon to 1pm with their garments & gadgets and corsets for you to try on!!!
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Meet Marilyn Jessen
author of Her Space: She Sheds, Back Rooms & Kitchen Tables, the book in which many of these women appear.
love letter to bookshop.jpgWin $500 Book Tokens by writing a Love Letter to our bookshop!
Pen our praises - pop it on a postcard & pin it to our display board in the shop. Then we’ll send it to Wellington so you go in the draw to win $500 of Book Tokens!!
A pile of postcards & pens will be available in the bookshop.

That Author You’ve Been Meaning to Read...
Eight Brilliant Books for only $15 each:

bel canto.jpggod of small things.jpggolden notebook.jpgthe-lost-landscape.jpg
so-much-for-that.jpgmermaids singing.jpgportable veblen.jpgthepenguinhistory_nz_cvr_fnl.jpg
And Two Terrific Tales for Ten-Year-Olds for only $10 each
look into my eyes.jpgunderthemountain_cvr_fnl.jpgSpecials available in the shop on NZ Bookshop Day only
~ Saturday 29 October ~
xwhile stocks last!
Xtea cup clear cut color web.jpgReminder - Ladies’ Litera-Tea is the next day Sunday 30 October (phew!)
pm-5.30pm, Raye Freedman Arts Centre,
Epsom Girls, cnr Gillies Ave & Silver Rd.
Fully booked out weeks ago – we might have to run TWO next year!