Thursday, 6 June 2013

Women's Prize for Fiction & Children's Laureate

Well, it certainly has been a week of announcements! On June 4th (Tuesday) it was revealed that the fabulous Malorie Blackman has been chosen to be the next Waterstones Children's Laureate, replacing Julia Donaldson (of Gruffalo fame) in the role until 2015. 

Next week I will be volunteering at the Hull Children's Book Award, helping to lead discussions with young people so that they can ultimately vote and choose the book they deem most worthy of the award, so I will definitely be asking their opinion on the new Laureate! I'm sure many of the young readers will be familiar with Malorie's Noughts & Crosses (2002) series of books; the first novel of the series happened to be one of the books handed out here in the UK as part of the 2013 World Book Night.

AM Homes with her "Bessie"

The other big literary news of the week came yesterday (Wednesday 5th June), when the winner of the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction was announced at London's Royal Festival Hall. The winner was American author A.M. Homes for her novel May We Be Forgiven (2013), described by the Chair of judges (Miranda Richardson) as being "an American dream for our time".

Other books nominated for the prize this year include Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize winning Bring Up the Bodies (2012), Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behaviour (2012), and Zadie Smith's NW (2012), so it was definitely fierce competition! I think it's brilliant to see how many female authors are producing such high calibre literature, and awards such as the Women's Prize for Fiction are fantastic in the way they honour this.

I'm yet to read the winning book, but it was on my radar as it is part of the Waterstones Book Club. I think I'll definitely be giving it a read now!


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