Between the Covers 20/05/2012
Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books
Sunday 20 May 2012
We love flavorwire.com's new collection of "extremely silly photos of extremely serious writers", which shows that even Nobel Prize-winners kick back and let their hair down from time to time.
Among them are Susan Sontag dressed as a teddy bear; Zore Neale Hurston performing a "crow dance"; Truman Capote "asleep" at Studio 54, with a lady's bonnet propped over his face; Ernest Hemingway kicking a beer can; and Maya Angelou on Sesame Street. Between the Covers would love to see this become an obligatory part of every publicity campaign, and of the writers publishing new books within the next couple of months, suggests that Hilary Mantel could take on Hemingway in beer can football, Michael Frayn would do a lovely crow dance, Richard Ford would be great on Sesame Street, Jonathan Franzen might like to wear a bonnet, and we'd do almost anything to see Martin Amis in a bear suit.
To mark its tenth anniversary this year, Hesperus Press is launching a competition for readers to "uncover a classic" and see their name in print. Readers are invited to nominate an out-of-print or neglected book and write a 500-word introduction explaining why it deserves to be republished and given a new lease of life. The Hesperus Press editorial team will choose one book to publish in September this year, complete with the reader's introduction. Nominations close on 1 June, and further details are at hesperuspress.com, under "competition".
Congratulations to Richard Dawkins, the first ever Fellow of the Royal Society to have a book shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize. His The Magic of Reality (Bantam Press, £20) joins books by previous prize winners Christiane Dorion and Robert Winston, and newcomers Clive Gifford, Richard Platt and Alex Frith. Between the Covers very much hopes to be invited to the award ceremony on 15 November. Last year, writers and journalists mingled with august fellows, including a real life astrophysicist who had interrupted his studies to wander down and find out what all the fuss and champagne was about.
Superfans of the Eurovision Song Contest, which takes place in Azerbaijan on Saturday, may like to extend the glory by buying a copy of David Mort's weird fiction A Song For Europe (£7.99, FeedARead.com). The plot is a typical one: "... just when it seems that Pete has hit rock bottom, an Internet cock-up changes his life forever. The boozy assistant caretaker from Liverpool is handed another chance of success when the fledgling democracy of Slavonicia hatches a sensational plan to save the nation from economic meltdown. The amiable but naive Pete finds himself recruited to boost the impoverished country's chances of boarding the EC gravy train. His task: to ensure that Slavonicia wins the Eurovision Song Contest. Others, however, have a different agenda ... watching the Eurovision will never be the same again!" Douze points for effort.
We are looking forward to Friday's National Towel Day, a day to celebrate the life and work of Douglas Adams, when The Literary Platform will announce the winner of their Douglas Adams Animation Competition, and Tor UK will reveal plans for new print and digital publications. Now there's a publisher that knows where its towel is.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens trailer: The most extreme fan reactions on Twitter
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
Madonna might be a stand-up comedy virgin - but she wasn't terrible
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'