Weekly book agenda: BookExpo America, John Grisham for kids

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BookExpo America, the largest English-language book fair in the world, is in New York City from May 25 through 27, hosting a star-studded roster of authors. Out on May 25 are two new titles by internationally top-selling authors: John Grisham with his first-ever children's book, and Stephen King with a baseball-themed novella.

Book Expo America
May 25
New York City, USA

BookExpo America is the premier book fair in North America and the largest English-language book fair in the world. More than 1,500 exhibitors and 500 authors are expected to attend the 2010 event, as well as up to 30,000 visitors. The fair will be a star-studded event, with Barbara Streisand as keynote speaker and Jon Stewart, Condoleeza Rice, Cory Doctorow, Sarah Ferguson, John Grisham, Sara Gruen, and Christopher Hitchens all scheduled to take part. Highlights include conferences devoted to digital and DIY publishing and the concurrent New York Book Week, with public events scheduled throughout the city.

John Grisham's 'Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer'
May 25/June 10

The first in a series of children's books by John Grisham will focus on Theodore Boone, Grisham's first series character, and will be geared to families and children aged 9-12. According to the publisher: "Theo Boone is the ultimate Grisham unlikely hero, a thirteen-year-old boy who knows more about the law than most lawyers who, in the first novel of the series, finds himself unwillingly caught up in his town's first murder trial." Grisham is best known for his internationally best-selling legal novels, including A Time to Kill and The Client.

Stephen King's 'Blockade Billy'
May 25

Blockade Billy, Stephen King's baseball-themed novella, was released in April as a limited edition hardcover and is now due to get a full-scale print run. The novella tells the story of William 'Blockade Billy' Blakely, "the first - and only - player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. ... Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse... ." The novella will be available in hardcover, audio, and e-book editions.

Hay Festival
May 27 - June 6
Hay-on-Wye, Wales

Famously called "Woodstock of the mind" by former US president Bill Clinton, the Hay Festival was founded in 1988 and has become one of the world's most prominent literary festivals, growing to encompass political themes, science, law, art, music, and film. The 2010 festival will feature a long list of writers, including Hilary Mantel, Melvyn Bragg, Kazuo Ishiguro, Tom Stoppard, Roddy Doyle, Bill Bryson, and well-known voices in Arab literature. Speakers from other fields include neuroscientist David Eagleman, theologian Maggi Dawn, and astronomer Martin Rees. More than 100,000 visitors are expected. Tickets for individual events can be booked at the festival's website.

Stephenie Meyer's 'The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner'

June 5

Stephenie Meyer is set to publish her first new title in nearly two years, about a character originally featured in Eclipse. The novella (at 192 pages) will be released at 12:01am EST on June 5 in hardcover and on the same day at 6:00am EST as an e-book. It will then be available for free at www.breetanner.com from June 7 to July 5. The book tells the story of Bree Tanner and "the darker side of the world she inhabits. The novella chronicles the newborn vampire army's journey as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its conclusion." Stephenie Meyer has become a worldwide best-selling author with her young adult series The Twilight Saga, which has sold 100 million copies worldwide and been adapted into blockbuster films.

'Android Karenina
June 8

Quirk Books, the creators of internationally bestselling mashups Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Tolstoy's death with their next mashup tale. Android Karenina, due out June 8, sets the action in a "steampunk-inspired world" of robotic butlers and ultra-human cyborgs. The Tolstoy title will be co-authored by Sea Monsters author Ben H. Winters. Quirk Books' first title, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith, made US and UK bestseller lists and is now being made into a feature film.

Orange Prize

June 9
London, UK

Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna are among six titles to make the shortlist for the Orange Prize for Fiction, an annual UK literary prize awarded to a female English-language writer of any nationality. Also on the shortlist, which jury chair Daisy Goodwin says "achieves the near impossible of combining literary merit with sheer readability," are The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison, Black Water Rising by Attica Locke, A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore, and The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey. The winning author will receive £30,000 (€34,000).


June 17
Dublin, Ireland

Open to novels published in English or English translation, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is the world's most valuable literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. The 2010 shortlist includes Marilynne Robinson's Home and Joseph O'Neill's post-9/11 novel Netherland, plus works by UK authors Robert Edric, Zoe Heller, and Ross Raisin. Translated titles include The Twin, the debut novel of Dutch author Gerbrand Bakker, German writer Christoph Hein's The Settlement, and French author Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog. The 2009 IMPAC winner was American author Michael Thomas for his debut novel Man Gone Down. The winner will take home more €100,000.