Literary News &tc.: Japan’s Books & Awards Season

by on March 16, 2011

Japanese librarians and bibliophiles have put together a collection of photographs of libraries damaged by the earthquake. The good news is that no people were injured. The bad news is that hundreds of public and school libraries were damaged.

In related news, Authors for Japan has launched a site to raise funds for earthquake and tsunami relief. Writers and publishing pros have donated prizes like “sex scene mentoring for your novel” and draft critiques. The auction opened on March 15th and closes at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 20th. All you need to do to bid, is leave a comment with the amount of your bid in the relevant comment box.

At her own site, author Maureen Johnson has already raised over $14,000 in donations for Shelterbox. She’s offering prizes to randomly chosen donors, including the one and only author’s copy of The Name of the Star, which releases in September. Johnson’s fundraiser closes at 10 a.m. GMT on March 20th.

From Johnson’s site: “Shelterbox is an organization that goes into areas of the world affected by disaster with large green boxes that contain shelters and the materials needed for people to restart their lives on some level. The boxes always include a top-quality tent, and they usually include stoves, blankets, water purification systems, and tools. This is true, life-saving stuff, hand-delivered by volunteers trained in survival techniques.”

On a less distressing note, ’tis the season for literary awards and prizes. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) announced the 2010 Nebula award nominees a little while back. Portland’s Mary Robinette Kowal has been nominated for the novel category for her NaNoWriMo novel, Shades of Milk and Honey. Shades has already made a handful of Best of 2010 lists, including the San Francisco Chronicle and Kirkus Reviews. The book was also nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award in the Fantasy category. Ms. Kowal is currently SFWA VP and has announced her intention to run again.

The Lambda Literary Awards have announced finalists for the many categories awarded. Ann Herendeen’s Pride/Prejudice: A Novel of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, and Their Forbidden Lovers made the list, as did Just Kids by Patti Smith, and By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham, in various and sundry categories.

The longlist of Orange Prize 2011 nominees has been announced. Jennifer Egan, Emma Donoghue, Tea Obreht, and Nicole Krauss are among the wonderful choices on this year’s list. The shortlist will be released on April 12th, and the prize presented on June 8th.

On March 15th, the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction was give to Deborah Eisenberg for The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg. Eisenberg beat out 320 other authors, including the aforementioned Jennifer Egan. Egan and her other three shortlist finalists each won $5000, while Eisenberg takes home the princely (for a writer) sum of $15,000.

Congratulations to all the writers nominated. It’s a tough job:

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