When you’re a reading addict, it’s always an exciting year in literature but 2018 is set to be even more exciting as one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world celebrates its half-centenary. The Man Booker Prize marks 50 years in 2018 and they are planning a year long celebration to mark it, and as usual it’s us readers who will benefit.
The Man Booker was launched in 1968 as a Commonwealth Award, and that makes 2018 a pretty exciting year as the Man Booker marks 50 years. The Foundation is running a range of global activities this year to “celebrate its heritage and inspire readers and writers for the next 50 years” and here are just some of the things that will be happening.
The Man Booker Flagship event to mark the 50 years will be in partnership with the Southbank Centre, and will run from 3rd to 6th July 2018. The so called Fiction at its Finest Festival will be hosted at a variety of spaces, including the Royal Festival Hall and will host interviews and conversations with Man Booker winning and shortlisted authors, workshops, masterclasses and debates. Tickets for this event will go on sale in February and the event programme goes live at the same time.
The Man Booker is also teaming up with several literary festivals including the Hay Festival in the summer with Man Booker winning authors, including Margaret Atwood.
An anniversary diary has also been created to mark the 50th year, in association with Third Millennium Publishing featuring all the jackets of the winners, details of the shortlists and behind the scenes commentary.
The BBC, the prize’s broadcast partner will also air a host of programmes around the anniversary and the Fiction at its Finest Festival, and the Man Booker is hoping to get involved in more activities and partnerships to be announced in the New Year.
All things considered it’s gearing up to be an exciting year for readers, and it looks like the Man Booker Foundation will be leading the way.
This year’s winners have been announced by Poets & Writers, and the well-deserving recipients of the 2019 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award are:
Reginald Dwayne Betts – “for mentoring individuals involved in the criminal and juvenile justice systems and for his efforts to reform these systems.”
Reginald Dwayne Betts writes memoirs and poetry. His most recent collection of poetry, Bastards of the Reagan Era, won the 2016 PEN New England Award in Poetry. While his memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival and Coming of Age in Prison, is just the beginning of his campaigning to reform the criminal justice system in the UK. He has also made numerous visits to prisons and juvenile detention centres, where he shares his poetry and talks about the power of reading, literacy and mentoring those in incarceration.
This week the 2018 winners were announced and it’s a pretty exciting list! The overall winner is Adam Kay for his book listed below, all the category winners can also be found on the list below.
Costa First Novel Award Winner
The Seven Death of Evelyn Hardcastle is the début novel of Stuart Turton. The book’s plot surrounds poor Evelyn who is murdered again and again, and Aiden Bishop is always too late to save her. Each day, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest, from the party where Evelyn is first killed, but someone is determined to stop him escaping this daily routine. The only way to break this never-ending cycle is to solve the mystery of her killer.
The author himself is an English and Philosophy graduate who worked in a Darwin Bookshop, taught English in Shanghai, has written technology articles for a magazine and travel articles in Dubai. Now Turton lives in London and works as a freelance journalist.
With such a strong background in writing, it is no surprise that his first novel should receive such high praise, winning Netgalley’s Book of the Year 2018, the Books Are My Bag Readers Award for Best Novel and now, the Costa First Novel Award.
What the judges said: “This ingenious, intriguing and highly original mindbender of a murder mystery gripped us all. We were all stunned that this exciting and accomplished novel, planned and plotted perfectly, is a debut. Fresh, enticing and completely unputdownable.” Read More
This year’s entries were shortlisted to the following:
The all-male group nominated for their strange or gross depictions of sex included Gerard Woodward, William Wall, James Frey, and a particularly rapey scene written by Haruki Murakami (dude, gross, don’t do that).
The winner was announced at a lavish ceremony hosted by retro pop star Kim Wilde at the In & Out (Naval & Military) Club in London.
James Frey and his book Katerina won with his awkward and cringe-worthy passage describing… Well, you know.
Last year’s winner was Christopher Bollen, an American novelist whose passage describing the protagonist’s love interest is both weird and utterly unsexy:
“She covers her breasts with her swimsuit. The rest of her remains so delectably exposed. The skin along her arms and shoulders are different shades of tan like water stains in a bathtub. Her face and vagina are competing for my attention, so I glance down at the billiard rack of my penis and testicles.”