Thursday, April 15, 2004

Kevin Wignall takes Control... 

Well, not quite, but I will be looking after things for the next four days whilst Sarah attends a wedding in Texas. As some of you will know, Sarah Weinman is not actually one person but a dedicated team of experts working out of a complex two miles below Nevada. So you can hardly expect my coverage of the literary world to be as up-to-the-minute or as comprehensive as the posts you've been accustomed to (if I start talking about Mr Poe's latest book, you'll know I'm in trouble). But I will try to give you some links, and I'll certainly try to give you some things to think about over the next few days.
First off though, a link! J. M. Coetzee is one of the contenders for the $20,000 Christina Stead Prize for fiction, the premier literary prize in New South Wales - his nomination is for "Elizabeth Costello". One of the other contenders is the niece of the person after whom the prize is named!! Best of all though, Coetzee will also be up against Brian Castro for his autobiographical novel, "Shanghai Dancing", a book which failed to find a publisher until it was taken up by newcomer, the Giramondo Press.
Fair enough, I'm published by Simon & Schuster, but I still know all too well how risk-averse the publishing world is, and I love to see small presses and oft-rejected writers come out on top every now and then. This might only be a regional prize, but the judges, who also left Booker Prize winners Peter Carey and Thomas Keneally off the shortlist, should be applauded.

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