Issue 40 / January 2012
October Update: Charles Frazier, Andrey Kurkov, Sarah Hall, Alexander Maksik and the Asian Experience.
It's been a lively few weeks in the book world. Amid the battle of the tablets, we witnessed a good old-fashioned author moan. Polly Courtney dumped her publisher for branding her work as chick-lit, leading to continuing speculation on the future of the genre.
Last week the Guardian published its British Books Power 100 and, lo and behold, Amazon's Jeff Bezos tops the list of the most influential people in the UK publishing industry - and arguably the world's.
The list came out in the same week that Bezos launched the Kindle Fire, at first glance giving a passable impression of Apple's Steve Jobs. It's going to be a while before the Kindle tablet hits our shores, along with the fun-sized Kindle Singles. Bezos would make us very happy if Kindle UK were to start offering individual short stories to readers. Until then, enthusiasts can enjoy three new stories in this issue, as well as the rich archive we've accumulated down the years. If you want more, we heartily recommend the Library of America's Story of the Week, selected from its extensive catalogue of classic and contemporary authors.
Bookshops are on the minds of two of our contributors this month. Sarah Hall reminisces about her childhood aversion to bookshops as places that were drab and unappealing, while Alexander Maksik throws up a novel idea for sorting out good books from bad.
We have not one, but three interviews this month, with Charles Frazier, Anna Funder and newcomer Gavin James Bower. Contributions, too, from Andrey Kurkov, Alexander Maksik, John Hart, Kavita Bhanot and H.M. Naqvi.
The Nobel Prize for Literature is announced tomorrow, and since we last checked, two poets are favourites to scoop the big-money prize (and neither of them is Bob Dylan). By the time our next issue comes around, the Man Booker will have been awarded - and doubtlessly strenuously debated. We're secretly hoping chair of judges Dame Stella Rimington will cast a decisive vote in favour of a couple of hapless hired killers.
Farhana Gani, 5 October, 2011
Wednesday, 5 October, 2011
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