Weekly book agenda: new Michael Crichton title, Cervantes Prize

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The Independent Culture

Upcoming highlights include the Spanish-speaking world's most prestigious literary prize and largest book fair, plus a posthumous release by international bestseller Michael Crichton.

Sharjah World Book Fair
November 11-21

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

The Department of Culture and Information of Sharjah has organized the Sharjah World Book Fair since 1982. Now in its 28th edition, the fair has an average attendance of 400,000 visitors, plus more than 750 publishers from nearly 42 countries. The event is recognized as one of the most significant book fairs in the Middle East.


Man Asian Literary Prize
November 16

Hong Kong, China

The Man Asian Literary Prize, inaugurated in 2007, is awarded annually to an Asian writer for a novel that has not yet been published in English. Past winners include Chinese author Jiang Rong, for his work Wolf Totem, and Montreal-based Filipino writer Miguel Syjuco, for his novel Ilustrado. The Man Asian Literary Prize was established to bring Asian authors to worldwide literary attention and to facilitate the translation and publishing of their works in English.


Release: Nabokov's The Original of Laura
November 17

On November 10, Playboy magazine in the US published a serialization of Nabokov's final, unfinished work, The Original of Laura. On November 17, Knopf will release the book version of The Original of Laura; the book can currently be pre-ordered at randomhouse.com.


Salon du Livre de Montréal
November 18-23

Montreal, Canada

The Salon du Livre de Montréal is an annual event bringing together writers, publishers, booksellers, and agents from around the world. The 2008 fair attracted nearly 120,000 visitors and more than 1,450 authors. Held at Montreal's Place Bonaventure, the fair features an extensive program of readings, launches, seminars, and social events. It is one of the three largest French-language book fairs in the world.


United States National Book Awards
November 18

New York City, US

The National Book Foundation will announce the winners of the 2009 National Book Awards in a November 18 ceremony in New York City. Awards will be given in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people's literature. The National Book Awards have recognized excellence in American literature since 1950.


Premio Miguel de Cervantes
November 20

Madrid, Spain

Since 1976, the Premio Miguel de Cervantes has recognized the lifetime achievement of Spanish-language writers. The 2008 winner was Spanish novelist, journalist, and screenwriter Juan Marsé. Winners receive a monetary award of €125,000 from the Ministry of Culture of Spain.


Release: Michael Crichton's Pirate Latitudes
November 24

Pirate Latitudes was discovered as a complete manuscript in Michael Crichton's files after his death in 2008. This final work, published by Harper, takes place in 1665 in Jamaica, when the English colony is holding out against the Spanish Empire. Michael Crichton's novels have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide. They have been translated into 36 languages, and 13 have been made into films. 


Guadalajara International Book Fair
November 28-December 6

Guadalajara, Mexico

The Guadalajara International Book Fair, known as the "FIL" (Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara) is the second largest book fair in the world, after that of Frankfurt. It is the principal book fair for Spanish-language publishing worldwide. An estimated 500,000 readers attend the event each year, as well as 1,600 publishers from 40 countries. This year, the fair will celebrate the cultural and literary heritage Los Angeles, its 2009 Guest of Honor.


Release: Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson and Mike Bryan
December 1

The follow-up to 2003's Three Cups of Tea, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan follows Greg Mortenson's continued humanitarian efforts as founder of the Central Asia Institute. Three Cups of Tea was translated into nearly 20 languages and earned literary awards in Italy, Canada, and the USA. Stones into Schools will be published by Viking Press.


Release: Cook This, Not That! by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding
December 29

In late December, Rodale Press will publish the follow-up to Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution, Amazon.com's sixth bestselling title of 2009. Cook This, Not That!: Kitchen Survival Guide includes recipes for healthy versions of chain-restaurant dishes, strategies for cutting calories and saving money at the supermarket, and cooking tips such as 37 Ways to Cook a Chicken Breast and A Dozen 10-Minute Pasta Sauces.