2017 has been quite the year for J. K Rowling, in a writing career that in twenty years shows no signs of slowing down. This year has seen the Fantastic Beasts franchise explode, so much so that we’re still waiting for Lethal White, the latest in the Cormoran Strike series from her Robert Galbraith pseudonym. Now Rowling has been honoured at Buckingham Palace for services to literature too in a rare accolade that is surely the cherry on the pie for the much-loved author.
This week, on December 12th at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, J. K Rowling was given a Companion of Honour accolade and medal, a rare title that can only be held by sixty-five people at any given time. The honour recognises “services of national importance” and was awarded to Rowling for her services to literature and philanthropy (fans of the author will be aware she was removed from The Times rich list for giving away most of her money).
The Companion of Honour was established in 1917 at the same time as the Order of the British Empire by King George V and is given out to worthy recipients across the Commonwealth realms. It’s a rare accolade, originally the order was restricted to just fifty members, in 1943 that was enlarged to 65.
There are currently sixty-two companions, including Rowling, plus three honorary companions. Other well known names on the list include Stephen Hawking, Lord Tebbit, Sir David Attenborough, David Hockney, Dame Judi Dench, and Sir Roger Bannister, to name but a few, putting Rowling in pretty good company!
Hopefully now her wonderful and whirlwind year is over, Jo can get back to finishing Lethal White (PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!)
In August four authors were shortlisted, Haruki Murakami of Japan, who soon withdrew himself from the competition, Vietnamese-Canadian writer Kim Thúy; Maryse Condé of Guadeloupe; and British author Neil Gaiman who is based in the USA.
The winners for each category will be announced on November 14th, but for now let’s take a look at those finalists and the books that made the final cut.
Last weekend at a glittering award ceremony the 2018 winner was announced as Hannah Lynn for her book The Afterlife of Walter Augustus. She was handed the award by celebrity judge Lorraine Kelly and will now receive a host of prizes and benefits.
The scandal first came to light last November when the Dagens Nyheter newspaper wrote of allegations by 18 different women all accusing Arnault of rape, sexual harassment, physical abuse and harassment over a period of more than 20 years. Eight of those women filed formal complaints however, all but one have been dropped due to lack of evidence or exceeding the statute of limitations.
The 72 yr old ‘photographer’ denies all charges and his lawyer has stated he will appeal if convicted.
We have that shortlist here so without further ado here are the books in the running for the 2018 Man Booker prize.
The 2018 winner will be announced on Tuesday 16th October, about a month from now in London’s Guildhall. The winning ceremony will be aired on the BBC and we’ll bring you news of that winner as soon as it breaks!