Between the Covers 26/08/2012
Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books
Sunday 26 August 2012
The Edinburgh Book Festival has been enjoying "an evening celebrating adultery in literary fiction", part of the "Unbound" programme in Charlotte Square Gardens. Between the Covers is reliably informed by Elizabeth Reeder, author of Ramshackle (Freight Books, £8.99), that the 2007 Man Booker Prize winner Anne Enright was sitting in the audience "in quiet hysterics" as a guest speaker reading from D H Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover said "mound of Venus" out loud. When Enright's The Gathering won the Man Booker, some critics dared to say that it was a little bit miserable, so it's good to know that a bit of aptly-timed smut can make her giggle just like anyone else. "We're all still adolescents when it comes to sexual euphemisms," says Reeder.
Reeder's novel Ramshackle is one of the contenders for the The Anobii First Book Award, which celebrates every debut novel, short story or first book translated into English featured at the 2012 Edinburgh International Book Festival. The winner is selected by festival goers and readers, who can vote online. Reeder is in august company, alongside authors including Liza Klaussman, S J Watson, John Gordon Sinclair (see our interview on page 65) and Jens Lapidus, for Easy Money, the first in his Stockholm Noir trilogy. Lapidus's appearance in Edinburgh last week coincided with the Swedish release of the film of the second book in the trilogy, which went straight to No 1 at the box office there, selling nearly 100,000 tickets – more than The Dark Knight Rises. Incidentally, Easy Money in Swedish is Snabba cash, and Never Fuck Up, the title of the second Stockholm Noir novel, translates as Aldrig fucka upp.
Literate parents are angry – well, not angry, just disappointed – about a new book that offers "Home Truths Every Parent Needs to Know". Why Did Nobody Tell Me? is a spin-off from the website Mumsnet, and comes with a glowing endorsement from Davina McCall, who says that the book is "full of non-judgemental golden nuggets to empower us to be better women at the same time as making you smile". Given that the book is specifically aimed at "parents", some mothers think it is a tad judgemental that it doesn't also offer to empower fathers to be better men. Is it just women who are supposed to do the parenting, they wonder, or just women who have to be better?
So, Fifty Shades of Grey has finally been knocked off the top best-seller spot … by a diet book. Women: we hate ourselves.
Orion has confirmed that Maeve Binchy's last novel A Week in Winter, which she was editing before she died last month, will be published on 8 November. The 464-page book is made up of interlinked short stories about a group of people on a winter break in an old hotel in the fictional village of Stoneybridge, on the west coast of Ireland. It is "absolutely terrific, it's vintage Maeve," according to Orion's publishing director Susan Lamb, "showing again what a brilliant observer she was, full of empathy but never sentimental".
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