Friday, November 21, 2003

Friday morning roundup 

I thought about doing my usual installment of mocking the NY Times Bestseller List, but frankly, the end of the year is a really boring time for books. All the big guns are out, and if they aren't, they are this season's version of Christmas books. Also, what the hell can I say about the fact that SKIPPING CHRISTMAS is in the main list for the umpteenth year in a row? So, the feature is on hiatus until the New Year, or whenever I feel like it.

Yesterday I reported on Hari Kunzru's rejection of the Llewellyn Rhys Prize. The Guardian has more information, and unsurprisingly, people were very upset with the dropped bombshell:

The novelist Deborah Moggach, however, could not contain her fury. Hammering an auctioneer's gavel on her table, she stood up and said: "What happened today should not detract from this fantastic prize. It is one [literary] prize that hasn't been hijacked by celebrities, and I don't want it to be hijacked by what happened.".

The Independent interviews Toni Morrison, who reveals that unusually for her, LOVE "completely sprang out of her head," and was not inspired by news stories as were the last four or five novels.

Crime fiction master John Harvey reviews two other lions of the genre: James Lee Burke and Walter Mosley.

Catching up with mystery reviews at the Telegraph: Susanna Yager's roundup, and Toby Clements reviews Henning Mankell's standalone novel.

Gore Vidal's INVENTING A NATION is examined as a "virtual expatriate look" at American life and culture.

Janet Maslin offers suggestions for the coffee-table book lover this holiday season.

Swedish writer Kirstin Ekman, called the "A.S. Byatt of her country" is interviewed by The Times. (registration required.)

And finally, the latest interview with Marion Ettlinger makes me wonder when the other bigshot photographer of authors, Jerry Bauer, will do a book of his own work.

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