The week's biggest book buzz is likely to center around the April 3 launch of the iPad, as US users test out the device and its e-reader capabilities in advance of its late-April international release. Another ongoing launch: One Book, One Twitter, an online campaign to create a massive, worldwide book club among Twitter users.
Apple iPad roll-out
Beginning April 3
Since the first rumors about Apple's iPad began, analysts have said the tablet computer - with its full-color display, iBooks app, and user-friendly size - was likely to revolutionize the e-reader market. Apple is due to release the iPad in the US on April 3, then in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK by late April. IBooks will be offered in the US as a free download on April 3, according to Apple, and will be available in additional countries within the year. Amazon and Barnes & Noble are also due to release tablet applications around the time of the iPad launch.
One Book, One Twitter voting begins
Through midnight EST on March 30, Twitter users were invited to submit book nominations for One Book, One Twitter, a potentially "massive, international book club," according to founder Jeff Howe, a contributing editor for Wired magazine and author of Crowdsourcing. Howe's goal: "to get a zillion people all reading and talking about a single book." Votes are being tallied ( American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and George Orwell's 1984 were all among contenders) to create a six-title shortlist. The "One Book, One Twitter advisory board" will add four more titles, and on April 12 and for two weeks after, voting will be open to select a winner. The Twitter hashtag for One Book, One Twitter is #1b1t.
Jeff Howe on Twitter: http://twitter.com/crowdsourcing
Crowdsourcing blog: http://crowdsourcing.typepad.com/cs/
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
New York City, NY
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the US, has been awarded since 1918 (then called the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel). The prize honors distinguished fiction by an American author. To be eligible, a work must be entered with a $50 entry fee. Recent winners include The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2007), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (2008), and Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (2009).
Yann Martel's 'Beatrice and Virgil'
Yann Martel's first novel since the Booker Prize-winning Life of Pi, Beatrice and Virgil is a Holocaust tale told through taxidermied animals Beatrice (a donkey) and Virgil (a howler monkey). The Spanish-born Canadian author's Life of Pi has been published in more than 40 countries and 30 languages and has sold seven million copies worldwide. Beatrice and Virgil is due to be published in the UK on June 3.
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2010
The largest prize worldwide for a single work of fiction published in English, the IMPAC award is open to all novels published in English or English translation two years prior to the prize year. The annual award is €100,000. One hundred fifty-six titles nominated by 163 libraries in 123 cities worldwide made the 2010 longlist, including Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger, José Saramago's Death with Interruption, Wolf Totem by Joang Rong, and Beijing Coma by Ma Jian, Phillip Roth's Indignation, A Mercy by Toni Morrison, and Marilynne Robinson's Home. The winner will be revealed in June.
International Antiquarian Book Fair (Salon International du Livre Ancien)
The Paris International Antiquarian Book Fair, begun in 1984, is one of the largest events of its kind worldwide. The 2010 fair will host nearly 200 rare book and print dealers from around the world, showcasing rare manuscripts including a letter written by King François I of France (1494-1547), drafts of works by Marcel Proust, and a 13th century psalm book. The 2010 guest of honor is the Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Médicine, whose medical collection is said to be among the richest in the world alongside the National Library of Medicine and the Wellcome Institute in London. The fair will be open to visitors each day from 11:00am to 8:00pm with an 8€ entry fee.
Stephen King's 'Blockade Billy'
Independent horror publisher Cemetery Dance is set to publish an original baseball-themed novella by Stephen King. 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... ." A limited number of first-edition copies can now be pre-ordered through the publisher's website.
World Book and Copyright Day
UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day has been celebrated internationally each April 23 since 1995. (In the UK and Ireland, readers enjoy a head start: The event is celebrated on March 4.) The event is celebrated in Spain, where the idea originated, and around the world with all nature of book-related events. Among 2010 highlights: The Night of the Books in Madrid, with workshops and performances by more 400 artists and a midnight closing time for more than 200 area bookstores.
London International Book Fair
April 19- 21
The 2010 London Book Fair is set to take place at London's Earls Court from April 19 to 21. The leading spring book event in Europe, the fair spotlights the UK publishing industry - the second-largest in the world for English-language books - and also attracts up to 23,000 industry professionals from more than 100 countries around the world. South Africa is the 2010 guest of honor. While the fair is not open to the public, it directly affects what new titles readers will find on shelves in the months and years to come.
PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature
April 26-May 2
New York City, NY, USA
The Sixth Annual PEN World Voices Festival will feature 150 writers from 40 countries in more than 50 events all around New York City. Organized by PEN, which campaigns around the world on behalf of persecuted writers, the festival is chaired this year by Salman Rushdie. Other participating authors include Sherman Alexie, Philippe Djian, Toni Morrison, Patti Smith, and Jean-Philippe Toussaint. Events include readings, a cabaret, and a panel on film adaptations.
'The Carrie Diaries'
Sex and the City prequel, written for young adults, is a coming-of-age story set during Carrie Bradshaw's high school years. It tells of Carrie's small town beginnings and early friendships, and how she finds both her first love and her voice as a writer. In addition to
Sex and the City, which was adapted into both a widely successful TV series and two films, Candace Bushnell is the author of
One Fifth Avenue,
4 Blondes, and
The Carrie Diaries is the first of two young adult books Bushnell is set to write.
James Patterson's 'Witch & Wizard: Battle for Shadowland'
The international best-selling author of the Alex Cross detective series is set to release Witch & Wizard: Battle for Shadowland, a comic book based on his young adult novel Witch & Wizard. The book takes siblings Whit and Wisty Allgood on a new adventure against the New Order, the theme of the original story. Dara Naraghi wrote the book with direction from Patterson, Victor Santos provides illustrations and cover art, and J.K. Woodward contributed a painted cover for the debut issue of the five-part series. In June, Patterson's non-fiction book The Murder of King Tut will be released in a graphic adapation, the first in a series of four.
Both titles are available for pre-order at http://www.idwpublishing.com.