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Friday, January 23, 2004

In brief 

Cecilia Ahern is 22 years old. Pretty, blonde, and oh yeah--the daughter of the Irish Prime Minister (or Tiaoseach) Bertie Ahern. Last year she made headlines with her six-figure deal for a chick-lit novel. Now, said novel is out--and she's ready for the oncoming backlash she'll likely face.

The Independent interviews Audrey Niffenegger, who seems to be everywhere and then some.

Walter Mosley took questions in the Washington Post a few days ago, and they now print his answers. (link from Mark.)

Instead of existing as kind of separate entities, five UK publishers are forming partnerships with libraries to significantly increase communication and foster a better relationship with them, i.e. having more author events in libraries. Sounds good to me.

DJ Taylor writes about his buried treasure: AE Coppard's 'Dusky Ruth and other stories'.

Carolyn See looks at Alice Flaherty's neuroscience-based approach to writer's block and applauds it, calling the book "the real thing."

Already in the swing of things is the Essex Book Festival. Perhaps you wouldn't think of that part of the UK as being particularly book-friendly but the lineup is quite strong: Val McDermid, Sarah Waters, George Monbiot, Jenni Murray, Mark Billingham, Martyn Waites, Adele Geras, Barbara Nadel, and many more are on the events list. Naturally, Martina Cole, Queen of Essex Writers, is among the starring attractions.

Edward P. Jones, the multi-nominated author of THE KNOWN WORLD, is interviewed by Robert Birnbaum.

And finally, Jiro Kimura reports on a slate of mystery nominations that will be awarded at next month's Left Coast Crime in Monterey. The nominees for the Lefty (humorous mystery) Otter (best mystery in a particular region, this year Monterey/Bay Area of California) and the Bruce Alexander Award (historical mystery) have garnered a lot of complaints for the shortlists and more importantly, for the paucity of said lists. In previous years there were 5 or 6 nominees per category--so what happened this year? I know of several people going to LCC who simply won't vote, which seems a shame, except that so too are the shortlists.

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