Book News: A.M. Homes Takes Women's Prize For Fiction | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Book News: A.M. Homes Takes Women's Prize For Fiction

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

  • A.M. Homes won the prestigious Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize, soon to be the Baileys prize) for her novel May We Be Forgiven. It follows Nixon historian Harold Silver as he begins an ultimately fatal affair with his sister-in-law. NPR's Michael Schaub wrote, "It's not just one of the best novels of the past few years, it's also the most deeply, painfully American." Homes beat out front-runner Hilary Mantel, as well as other prominent writers such as Zadie Smith, Barbara Kingsolver and Maria Semple.
  • Adam Johnson, who recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel about North Korea, The Orphanmaster's Son, spoke to NPR's Renee Montagne about meeting the late dictator Kim Jong Il's sushi chef while on assignment for GQ magazine: "Kenji Fujimoto's story is the most rare of tales. There's really two North Koreas. There's a countryside, with extreme privation, where people are really fighting for their lives; and those are the people who tend to defect. So we have a great portrait of what it's like to live in poverty and repression, in North Korea. The elites, in Pyongyang, rarely defect. So their stories are much more elusive."
  • Novel laureate and Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk writes about the recent protests in Istanbul for The New Yorker: "[I]t fills me with hope and confidence to see that the people of Istanbul will not relinquish their right to hold political demonstrations in Taksim Square — or relinquish their memories — without a fight."
  • The English satirist Tom Sharpe has died at his home in Catalonia, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais. He was 85. Sharpe's first two novels, Riotous Assembly and Indecent Exposure, are scathing critiques of apartheid in South Africa. He is perhaps best known for Porterhouse Blue, a satire of Cambridge life.
  • For The New York Review of Books, April Bernard considers Sylvia Plath: "Indispensable, often imitated, endlessly instructive about what poetry can do — Plath slips the noose of biography and stays alive in her poems, where the uncanny is at once personal and political." (While you're at it, read Craig Morgan Teicher's sophisticated take on The Colossus, her first collection of poems.)
  • Slate features beautiful pictures of Emily Dickinson's herbarium (her book of pressed flowers) on its history blog, The Vault.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'One Of Us' Examines The Damaged Inner Terrain Of Norwegian Mass Shooter

Journalist Asne Seierstad chronicles the 2011 shooting massacre in her country in her latest book. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls the work "engrossing, important and undeniably difficult to read."
NPR

Natural GMO? Sweet Potato Genetically Modified 8,000 Years Ago

People have been farming — and eating — a GMO for thousands of years without knowing it. Scientists have found genes from bacteria in sweet potatoes around the world. So who made the GMO?
WAMU 88.5

Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille Faces Two Primary Challengers

Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille is being challenged in a Democratic primary by former Mayor Kerry Donley, who says Euille has taken too long to accomplish construction of the Potomac Yard Metro, and Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg, who has support from voters who disagree with the scale of the controversial waterfront development.
NPR

As Emoji Spread Beyond Texts, Many Remain [Confounded Face] [Interrobang]

There's a growing tendency to bring the tiny hieroglyphs off of phones, but not everyone is fluent. New takes on emoji integration suggest misunderstanding may be remedied with universal translation.

Leave a Comment

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