Book News: Lydia Davis Wins Man Booker International Prize | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Book News: Lydia Davis Wins Man Booker International Prize

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • American author Lydia Davis was awarded the Man Booker International Prize, worth about $90,000, at a ceremony Wednesday in London. Davis is renowned for her works of (very) short fiction. One story, "Samuel Johnson Is Indignant," reads in its entirety: "that Scotland has so few trees." Another, called "Certain Knowledge from Herodotus" says, "These are the facts about the fish in the Nile:" Sir Christopher Ricks, chairman of the judges, is quoted in the official announcement: "Should we simply concur with the official title and dub them stories? Or perhaps miniatures? Anecdotes? Essays? Jokes? Parables? Fables? Texts? Aphorisms, or even apophthegms? Prayers, or perhaps wisdom literature? Or might we settle for observations?" (In any case, Samuel Johnson was indignant about the lack of trees in Scotland, and Herodotus had some odd conceptions about the breeding habits of Nile fish.) Other finalists included American writer Marilynne Robinson, who was considered the frontrunner (her novel Gilead won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005), and the French novelist Marie NDiaye, whose Three Strong Women made a splash in 2012.
  • Keith Richards, the wraith-like Rolling Stones guitarist, told The Sun tabloid that he owes 50 years' worth of library fines. The Sun said "experts" (economists? librarians? other irresponsible library patrons?) estimate that means about $30,000 in fines.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts will write a book about "fighting for the middle class," according to a press release sent out by her publisher, Henry Holt. Although parts will be autobiographical, it adds, "the main focus of the book ... will be the conflict America now faces between giant institutions and the needs of everyday citizens." The Democratic lawmaker's book, not yet titled, will be published in 2014.
  • It's rumored that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin also is coming out with a book. A report in the National Review cites "a source close to Ryan" who stressed that the book won't be a "tell-all" about the failed Romney-Ryan presidential campaign, but a combination of policy and autobiography.
  • Amazon announced Wednesday that it will let writers of fan fiction sell their work through its site, though authors will share profits with the original copyright holder and with Amazon. Long a staple of Internet subculture, fan fiction has slowly begun to receive more serious academic consideration. (Check out Katherine Arcement's great essay about it for the London Review of Books.) But until now, it was illegal to sell fiction based on copyrighted works — books such as Fifty Shades of Grey, which began as Twilight fan fiction, needed to be substantially altered before they could be sold for profit.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Why Afghanistan's 'Underground Girls' Skirt Tradition To Live As Boys

In a new book, journalist Jenny Nordberg writes about the bacha posh, young girls who dress up like boys to enjoy the freedoms of being an Afghan male for as long as they can.
NPR

Keeping Heirloom Apples Alive Is 'Like A Chain Letter' Over Many Centuries

Scott Farm in Vermont grows 100 apple varieties, some of them dating back to the 1700s. These apples may not look as pretty as the Red Delicious, but what they lack in looks they make up for in taste.
WAMU 88.5

New Anthony Brown Video Accuses Opponent Of 'Hiding' And 'Lying"

Democrat Anthony Brown unveiled a new web video today alleging that Republican Larry Hogan is "hiding" his positions on contentious issues like abortion and gun control.
NPR

Tech Week: Smartphone Privacy, Cyberstalking, Alibaba's Big Debut

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba makes the biggest debut on the NYSE ever. The details, and the other tech stories that piqued our interest, are in this week's roundup.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.