Harvest by Jim Crace is the 20th winner of the International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award.

We're absolutely thrilled to announce that Jim Crace has won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for 2015.

The Award is organised by Dublin City Council and at €100,000 is the world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English. Uniquely, the IMPAC DUBLIN receives its nominations from public libraries in cities around the globe and recognises both writers and translators. The winner was announced at a ceremony in Dublin’s Mansion House today.

Jim Crace was born in Hertfordshire and grew up in North London. He is the author of ten previous novels, including Quarantine which was shortlisted for the award in 1999.

“The IMPAC DUBLIN award has a tremendous legacy of achievement; 20 years of being a truly international award, drawing its winners from countries and cultures where, as in Dublin, potential is recognised, excellence rewarded, and translation is respected” said the Lord Mayor of Dublin and Patron of the Award, Christy Burke.

He continued: “2015 marks a significant milestone as the 20th year of the IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award. Not only has it changed the lives of the winning writers and translators but also brought widespread visibility to all the works shortlisted and nominated.”

The winning novel was chosen from a total of 142 titles, nominated by libraries in 114 cities in 39 countries.  It was first published in the UK by Picador. The shortlist of ten novels, as chosen by an international panel of judges, included novels from five continents. Jim Crace is the fourth British author to win the prize in its 20 year history.

Set in an unspecified time in the past, in a green corner of England, Harvest is the story of the last days of a village and the death of an age-old way of life.

Commenting on his win, Jim Crace said: “It has been an overwhelming surprise and a delight to discover that my latest book has won the IMPAC DUBLIN award. Harvest proved to be a generous novel in the writing. Readers and critics were more than generous in their responses. And now, thanks to the further generosity of a whole wide-world network of book-loving strangers, Harvest has struck lucky again – it will be included in the distinguished and twenty-year-long list of fiction honoured by this truly international and discriminating award. No writer could hope for more than that.”

Harvest is a story that explores some of our greatest fears, those of change and difference” said Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian. “Jim Crace, our 20th winner, joins a unique creative collective whose stories will continue to cast a spell over readers for many years to come.”

Jim Crace received a cheque for €100,000. The prize money was presented to the winner by Owen Keegan, Chief Executive of the Award’s founders and sponsors, Dublin City Council. Dublin City has a long and rich literary heritage as well as a thriving living literary scene, and was designated a UNESCO City of Literature in 2010.

The judges commented: “At times, Harvest reads like a long prose poem; it plays on the ear like a river of words. But then again, Jim Crace is a consummate wordsmith; his understanding of human nature is uncanny and he never drops a stitch from start to finish. All human life is here: its graces and disgraces and there is life too in every small stone, flower and blade of grass. A powerful and compelling novel,Harvest is a worthy winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.” (Full citation below.)

Harvest was nominated by Universitätsbibliothek Bern, Switzerland; and by LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library, Tallahassee, USA, who commented:

Harvest is deftly written, in language – formal, slightly archaic even – that reflects the setting it describes. Tightly plotted; less than a week passes from the moment smoke is sighted until the books’ fateful outcome, and yet once underway, we have the sense that everything is inevitable.”

The 2015 shortlist included three novels in translation and authors from Australia (Richard Flanagan andHannah Kent); Brazil (Bernardo Kucinski); France (Andreï Makine); Ireland (Colum McCann); Morocco (Mahi Binebine); Nigeria (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)the UK (Jim Crace) and the USA (Alice McDermott and Roxana Robinson).

All the shortlisted books, as well as copies of the 142 novels nominated for the 2015 Award, are available to borrow from Dublin public libraries.

Jonathan Meades memoir shortlisted for 2015 PEN Ackerley Prize

We are delighted to announce that Jonathan Meades has been shortlisted for the 2015 PEN Ackerley Prize for An Encyclopaedia of Myself.

The critically acclaimed literary memoir, which Caroline Jackson of Country Life described as "Pathologically observant, [...] the most brilliant, bracing but hairshirtless social history of mid-20th century provincial England that I have yet and, likely, will ever read" was announced as having reached the shortlist last night (8/6). 

The full shortlist of titles for the 2015 PEN Ackerley Prize for memoir and life writing are:

Patrick McGuinness, Other People's Countries: A Journey into Memory (Jonathan Cape)

Henry Marsh, Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Jonathan Meades, Encyclopaedia of Myself (4th Estate)

Bart Moore-Gilbert, The Setting Sun: A Memoir of Empire and Family Secrets (Verso)

The PEN Ackerley prize was established in memory of Joe Randolph Ackerley (1896-1967), the author and long-time literary editor of The Listener magazine. The prize is awarded annually to a literary autobiography of outstanding merit, written by an author of British nationality and published in the UK in the previous year. The PEN Ackerley prize is judged by biographer and historian Peter Parker (chair), writer and painter Colin Spencer, author Georgina Hammick and historian and biographer Richard Davenport-Hines.  The winner receives a cheque for £2,500.

The winner will be announced on Monday 29 June at the English PEN Summer Party.

Cover for Rhian Ivory's 'THE BOY WHO DREW THE FUTURE' released

Set for publication this September, we're extremely excited to reveal the cover for Rhian Ivory's upcoming title from Firefly Press, The Boy Who Drew the Future!

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Noah and Blaze live in the same village over 100 years apart.  But the two teenage boys are linked by a river and a strange gift: they both compulsively draw images they don’t understand, that later come true.  They can draw the future.

1860s - Blaze is alone after his mother’s death, dependent on the kindness of the villagers, who all distrust his gift as witchcraft but still want him to predict the future for them. When they don’t like what he draws, life gets very dangerous for him.

Now - Noah comes to the village for a new start.  His parents are desperate for him to be ‘normal’ after all the trouble they've had in the past.  He makes a friend, Beth, but as with Blaze the strangeness of his drawings start to turn people against him and things get very threatening. Will he be driven away from this new home - and from Beth?

Will both boys be destroyed by their strange gift, or can a new future be drawn?

Keep up to date with the books' release by following @Rhian_Ivory and @FireflyPress on Twitter.

Will Skidelsky's FEDERER AND ME pulls in great reviews

Published yesterday by Yellow Jersey, William Skidelsky's Federer and Me: A Story of Obsession, has already garnered positive reviews from an array of newspapers. 

In his new book, Will discusses how for much of the past decade, he has not been able to stop thinking about Roger Federer, the greatest and most graceful tennis player of all time. It's a devotion that has been all-consuming.

In Federer and Me, he asks what it is about the Swiss star that transfixes him, and countless others. He dissects the wonders of his forehand, reflects on his rivalry with Nadal, revels in his victories and relives his most crushing defeats.

But this is more than just a book about Federer. In charting his obsession, Skidelsky explores the evolution of modern tennis, the role of beauty in sport and the psychology of fandom, weaving his own past into the story.

Thought-provoking and beautifully written, Federer and Me is a frank, funny and touching account of one fan's life.

Praise for Federer and Me:

“Its excellent chapters on the technical changes in the game, the rivalry with Nadal and the relationship between sport and beauty are well worth the admission money.”

Simon Barnes, Newsweek

 

“With clarity he illuminates the champion’s striking position as both a preserver and innovator of the sport”

Laurence Scott, Financial Times

 

Federer and Me is thought-provoking, instructive and highly readable”

Simon O’Hagan, i Newspaper

 

“Skidelsky is excellent at deconstructing the appeal of Federer … This is the kind of book that sports fans will read over the summer, sitting in their gardens or in the stands of the All England Club, with a bowl of strawberries near at hand. It is gentle and wise, discursive but pointed.”

Matthew Syed, The Times

 

“A splendid deconstruction of Federer’s technique”

Ed Smith, The Sunday Times  

Buy a copy here!

DGA welcomes J C W Mitchell as a client

We're very pleased to share that Juliet C W Mitchell, Professor of Psychoanalysis and Gender Studies at Jesus College, Cambridge, has joined DGA as a client. It's wonderful to have such a talent on board; her recent titles include Siblings: Sex and Violence, Mad Men and Medusas: Reclaiming Hysteria and Sibling Relationship for the Human Condition

We will be taking care of J C W Mitchell's literary career both in the UK and abroad and are looking forward to working with her on future projects.

 

Lord Puttnam to adapt Ben Stewart's DON'T TRUST, DON'T FEAR, DON'T BEG

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It was announced at Cannes, 2015, that Oscar-winning producer, Lord Puttnam will be returning to movie making. He's working on an adaptation of Ben Stewart's thrilling non-fiction title, DON'T TRUST, DON'T FEAR, DON'T BEG, published in April by Guardian/Faber, which has received fantastic reviews in the press. 

This gripping and fast paced book tells the story of the Arctic 30, a team of Greenpeace activists who were detained in a Russian jail following their attempt to storm a Gazprom oil platform. Lord Puttnam is the celebrated producer of ‘Chariots of Fire’ for which he won the Academy Award for best picture.

Emma Thompson has been an advocate of the book, saying "The Arctic is in grave dancer. This terrific book illuminates, with thriller-like pace and crackling humour, the story of thirty people who risked their freedom for its protection. Anyone who admires direct action, wants to know what to do about the peril we are all in, or who cares about the future of their children should read it now."  

Read the book ahead of seeing the film!

Happy Publication Day to Suzanne O'Sullivan

Happy publication day to Suzanne O'Sullivan! Her brilliant new book, It's All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness is out today from Chatto & Windus. The book lifts the lid on psychosomatic illness.

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Most of us accept the way our heart flutters when we set eyes on the one we secretly admire, or the sweat on our brow as we start the presentation we do not want to give. But few of us are fully aware of how dramatic our body’s reactions to emotions can sometimes be. 

Take Pauline, who first became ill when she was fifteen. What seemed at first to be a urinary infection became joint pain, then food intolerances, then life-threatening appendicitis. And then one day, after a routine operation, Pauline lost all the strength in her legs. Shortly after that her convulsions started. But Pauline’s tests are normal; her symptoms seem to have no physical cause whatsoever. 

Pauline may be an extreme case, but she is by no means alone. As many as a third of men and women visiting their GP have symptoms that are medically unexplained. In most, an emotional root is suspected and yet, when it comes to a diagnosis, this is the very last thing we want to hear, and the last thing doctors want to say. 

In It’s All in Your Head consultant neurologist Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan takes us on a journey through the very real world of psychosomatic illness. Meeting her patients, she encourages us to look deep inside the human condition. There we find the secrets we are all capable of keeping from ourselves, and our age-old failure to credit the intimate and extraordinary connection between mind and body.


An extraordinary book... an important one too
- Mail on Sunday

Rising stars of 2015: one to watch
- Guardian

Doctors' tales of their patients' weirder afflictions have been popular since Oliver Sacks... Few of them, however, are as bizarre or unsettling, as those described in this extraordinary and extraordinarily compassionate book
- Sunday Times


Hear more from Suzanne on the nature of psychosomatic illness in The Telegraph

Read a review from The Lancet.

Buy the book here.

Happy Publication Day to Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage's Walking Away, a poetic account of his travels along the South West coastal path is published today! DGA enjoyed a thoroughly entertaining evening at Foyles, Charing Cross Road last night, where Simon read extracts to a packed audience. A thoroughly recommended page-turner.

Walking Away, as heard on BBC Radio 4, is the brilliant sequel to his acclaimed bestseller Walking Home

Not content with walking the Pennine Way as a modern day troubadour, the restless poet has followed up that journey with a walk of the same distance but through the very opposite terrain and in a direction far from home. 

In Walking Away Simon Armitage swaps the moorland uplands of the north for the coastal fringes of Britain's south west, once again giving readings every night, but this time through Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, taking poetry into distant communities and tourist hot-spots, busking his way from start to finish.

From the surreal pleasuredome of Minehead Butlins to a smoke-filled roundhouse on the Penwith Peninsula then out to the Isles of Scilly and beyond, Armitage tackles this personal Odyssey with all the poetic reflection and personal wit we've come to expect of one of Britain's best loved and most popular writers.

Buy a copy here. 

 

Charlotte Salter's CATACOMB HILL sold to Dial Books for Young Readers

Dial Books for Young Readers' Stacey Friedberg has bought world English rights in Charlotte Salter's debut middle-grade novel, Catacomb Hill. Allison Hellegers at Rights People brokered the deal for Salter on behalf of Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA. Hellegers said the novel is "in the vein of Neil Gaiman".

Catacomb Hill is set in a world in thrall to the deep and monster-strewn sea. It follows Sophie Seawright, a compulsive storyteller who has been abandoned by her parents for an earthly paradise, as she attempts to find an object called the Monster Box. She is set on this task by Master Most Violent Cartwright, a visitor to Catacomb Hill where she is trapped, and aided by the secretive dogsbody Mister Scree. Attempting to dispose of her by any means possible are identical twins and atrocious actors Ralf and Gail, who conceal a secret about their identities, and their mother, the guilty and fearful Battleship.

Charlotte is currently in her second year of the University of Warwick’s MA in Writing, having previously graduated with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2012. Like her protagonist, Charlotte knows how to tell stories – and create dark, fantastical worlds – a rare find.

The book is set for a spring 2017 release.

Natasha Peskin's blues book sold to Fourth Estate

We're thrilled to announce that Fourth Estate has acquired on proposal a book about American blues music that is “part travel, part memoir and part oral history” by Natasha Peskin.

Louise Haines at Fourth Estate signed world English language rights to A Soft Place to Lay: Stories of the Blues from Kirsty McLachlan at DGA Ltd.

The book is inspired by Peskin’s solo drive across America in search of the true soul of music, in which she travelled 7,600 miles over 4 months. Not only did she trace the history of modern music through the Deep South to the northern cities, but she also went on a personal journey as she discovered her own ‘soft place to lay’.

Peskin discovered blues music whilst studying Architecture. After taking a subsidiary module in the History of Blues, she wrote her final year architecture thesis on the relationship between blues and the American landscape, which won her the Nottingham Dissertation award, a nomination into the RIBA awards and first class honours. Subsequently, she quit architecture to work for a record label, where she has conceived and delivered music campaigns for brands such as Converse, Diesel, Southern Comfort, Soho House and Ted Baker, as well helping to bring a new product development to life for Random House and hosting a series of digital strategy seminars for Penguin staff. She lives in London.

Fourth Estate will publish A Soft Place to Lay in early 2017.

Robert Winder's HALF-TIME: THE GLORIOUS SUMMER OF 1934

Hot off the press and delivered to DGA this morning are beautiful copies of Robert Winder's HALF-TIME: THE GLORIOUS SUMMER OF 1934. A fantastic account of an outstanding summer of English sport.

"Set against the backdrop of depression-era politics, 1934 was an annus mirabilis for English sport. Within just a few days of each other, Hedley Verity, Henry Cotton and Fred Perry all triumphed in their field. To a sporting audience still groaning through the quagmire left by the Great Depression, greedy for inspiring distractions, these heroic efforts made for a heady spectacle.

England's Ashes Test victory at Lord's (later known as Verity's match) saw Australia seeking revenge after the Bodyline series of 1932–33, but Verity bowled England to a famous innings victory, taking 15 wickets – 14 in one day! That same day, Cotton set out on the first qualifying round of the British Open. He went on to set a new Open record with a game so sparkling the Daily Express called it “the best round of golf ever played”. And within a fortnight, Perry had beaten Australia's Jack Crawford in the Wimbledon final. England had an extraordinary national hat-trick.

Together, these three contests and these three singular life stories weave a vivid portrait of an England that has faded from view. Half-Time celebrates a time of intense and rapid social and cultural change, a time that was both the last hurrah of the ancien regime and the stirring of something new. And moving through it, famous actors on a grand stage, are three very English heroes."

Pre-order the brilliant book, set for publication on 24th May, here via Wisden Sports Writing at Bloomsbury.

Jim Crace shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Jim Crace's Man Booker-shortlisted novel HARVEST has been shortlisted once again for the Dublin Literary Award, an annual prize of €100,000. Titles are nominated by public libraries in cities throughout the world. The fiction titles are selected for their 'high literary merit', and we're thrilled HARVEST has been internationally championed in such a way. 

 

Jim Crace HARVEST

As late summer steals in and the final pearls of barley are gleaned, a village comes under threat. A trio of outsiders – two men and a dangerously magnetic woman – arrive on the woodland borders and puts up a make-shift camp. That same night, the local manor house is set on fire.

Over the course of seven days, Walter Thirsk sees his hamlet unmade: the harvest blackened by smoke and fear, the new arrivals cruelly punished, and his neighbours held captive on suspicion of witchcraft. But something even darker is at the heart of his story, and he will be the only man left to tell it . . .

Told in Jim Crace’s hypnotic prose, Harvest evokes the tragedy of land pillaged and communities scattered, as England’s fields are irrevocably enclosed. Timeless yet singular, mythical yet deeply personal, this beautiful novel of one man and his unnamed village speaks for a way of life lost for ever.

Buy HARVEST here and read more about this year's prize from The Guardian here.

Tracey Thorn's NAKED AT THE ALBERT HALL published next week

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We're counting down the days until the release of Tracey Thorn's brilliant new title, NAKED AT THE ALBERT HALL, published 30th April by Virago.

In her best-selling autobiography BEDSIT DISCO QUEEN, Tracey Thorn recalled the highs and lows of a thirty-year career in pop music. But with the touring, recording and extraordinary anecdotes, there wasn't time for an in-depth look at what she actually did for all those years: sing. She sang with warmth and emotional honesty, sometimes while battling acute stage-fright.

Part memoir, part wide-ranging exploration of the art, mechanics and spellbinding power of singing, NAKED AT THE ALBERT HALL takes in Dusty Springfield, Dennis Potter and George Eliot; Auto-tune, the microphone and stage presence; The Streets and The X Factor. Including interviews with fellow artists such as Alison Moyet, Romy Madley-Croft and Green Gartside of Scritti Polliti, and portraits of singers in fiction as well as Tracey's real-life experiences, it offers a unique, witty and sharply observed insider's perspective on the exhilarating joy and occasional heartache of singing. 

Whet your appetite and have a read of an extract of the book here from The Guardian.

Pre-order the book here.

Helon Habila announced Windham Campbell Prizewinner for Fiction

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We're delighted to announce that Helon Habila has won the Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction 2015! 

The Windham Campbell Prizes were established by Donald Windham and Sandy M. Campbell to call attention to literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work independent of financial concerns. The Prizes debuted in 2013. There is no submission process and winners are determined by a global group of invited nominators, a jury in each category, and a selection committee.

The Windham Campbell Prizes were created by a writer to support other writers, said Michael Kelleher, director of the program. “Donald Windham recognized that the most significant gift he could give to another writer was time to write. In addition to the recognition prestige it confers, the prize gives them just that – with no strings attached.”

Helon Habila is the author of three novels. He was Arts Editor of Nigeria's Vanguard Newspaper when his short story "Love Poems" won the 2001 Caine Prize, gardnering him international attention as one of the most exciting new voices in contemporary fiction. The story was excerpted from his first novel, Waiting for an Angel (2002), itself about a Nigerian journalist's literary ambitions threatened by a repressive military regime. The novel was awarded the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Novel (Africa Region). That year, he was also invited to serve as the first African Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia, and in 2006 he co-edited the British Council's collection NW14: The Anthology of New Writing. His second novel, Measuring Time (2007) won the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction. In 2011, he published his latest novel Oil and Water and edited The Granta Book of the African Short Story. He is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University and returns to Nigeria each summer to teach a writing workshop.

Helon has said "I had heard of the Windham Campbell prize before, but never in my wildest thoughts did I ever imagine I was on their radar. It is an honour to know that one's work is appreciated at such a level, that one's work matters. As Shakespeare wrote: Our praises are our wages. This is the highest praise indeed, for which I am most grateful."

Congratulations Helon!

Excitement mounts over Ben Stewart's DON'T TRUST, DON'T FEAR, DON'T BEG

DON'T TRUST, DON'T FEAR, DON'T BEG: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE ARCTIC THIRTY is all set for publication on 16th April and we're all very excited here at DGA. 

There is a saying in Russian jails. Ne ver ne boysya ne prosi: don't trust, don't fear, don't beg. Don't trust because life here will always disappoint you. Don't fear because whatever you're scared of, you are powerless to prevent it. And don't beg because nobody ever begged their way out of a Russian prison cell.

The plan was to attach a Greenpeace pod to Gazprom's platform and launch a peaceful protest against oil being pumped from the icy waters of the Arctic. However, heavily armed commandos flooded the deck of the Arctic Sunrise and the Arctic Thirty began their ordeal at the hands of Putin's regime. Told in the activists' own words and for the first time, this is a dramatic and inspiring story of incarceration and the ensuing emotional campaign to bring the protestors home.

“A gripping story of tremendous courage that reads like a thriller. By putting their bodies on the line to stop the drilling, the Arctic 30 became global symbols for a resurgent climate movement, one willing to do whatever it takes to close down new fossil fuel frontiers. This is real heroism and Stewart's excellent account will surely inspire many others to join the fight for a humane and liveable planet” - Naomi Klein

"This is the stuff of international thrillers, with all the intrigue, drama and global political ramifications we expect from a well turned Hollywood blockbuster. But this plot is disturbingly real and the stakes for humankind couldn't be higher". – Martin Sixsmith

The Arctic is in grave danger. This terrific book illuminates, with thriller-like pace and crackling humour, the story of thirty people who risked their freedom for its protection. Anyone who admires direct action, wants to know what to do about the peril we are all in, or who cares about the future of their children should read it now. - Emma Thompson

Pre-order this brilliant title here.

Book 2 in Samantha Shannon's THE BONE SEASON series, THE MIME ORDER published today

The day has finally arrived! Fans of Samantha Shannon's can finally get hold of a copy of book two in the seven-book series from Bloomsbury. 

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Buy the book here.

Follow Samantha Shannon on twitter here.




Lucy Inglis' CITY OF HALVES on Branford Boase longlist

We're very pleased to tell you that Lucy Inglis' CITY OF HALVES has made the eighteen-strong longlist for the Branford Boase Award, a prize given to the author and editor of an outstanding debut children's novel each year. The award recognises the important contribution of the editor in "identifying and nurturing new talent" Lucy is joined by her Chicken House editor, Imogen Cooper. 

We'll learn whether they've made the shortlist on 4th May and the winner will be revealed at a ceremony in London in July. 

 

CITY OF HALVES (Aug, 2014)

In an unseen world hidden within modern London, girls are disappearing.

Sixteen-year-old Lily was meant to be next, but she’s saved by a stranger: a half-human boy with gold-flecked eyes. Regan is from an unseen world hidden within our own, where legendary creatures hide in plain sight. But now both worlds are under threat, and Lily and Regan must race to find the girls, and save their divided city.

Read the first Chapter here!

And if that's nowhere near enough, buy it here.