SURVIVORS wins Blue Peter 'Best Book with Facts' Award

Congratulations go to Kerry Hyndman as Survivors, illustrated by Kerry herself and written by David Long wins the Blue Peter Book Award for 'Best Book with Facts'!

This year's judging panel, who selected the shortlist, was made up of children's author/illustrator and BookTrust's Writer in Residence Sarah McIntyre, radio presenter Nihal Arthanayake and Waterstone's Children's Book Buyer Florentyna Martin.

The winning titles were chosen by over 400 children from 12 schools across the UK who read the shortlisted books and voted for their favourite in each category.

Authors will receive their awards on the Blue Peter Book Awards World Book Day special on 2 March on CBBC.

Do you have what it takes to be a survivor?

The truth, they say, is stranger than fiction and these incredible real-life stories of extreme survival defy belief.

Amongst the incredible tales of daring, courage, cunning and resilience are: The Man Who Sucked Blood from a Shark - a sailor who survived for 133 days on a raft in the Atlantic when his ship was torpedoed, using shark's blood in place of fresh water, The Woman Who Froze to Death, Yet Lived - a woman who was trapped under freezing water for so long her heart stopped only to be revived four hours later by paramedics.

Combining classic tales such as Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic voyage, as well as more modern exploits such as the adventurer who inspired the movie 127 Hours, these astonishing stories will be retold by young readers to all of their friends.

Beautifully presented in a large, hardback format, and fully illustrated in colour throughout, this wonderful anthology is a nail-biting, death-defying treat for all the family.

Get hold of a copy here.

Simon Armitage wins PEN Award for Poetry in Translation

Our heartiest congratulations go to Simon Armitage who has won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for his book, Pearl

Simon's version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight garnered front-page reviews across two continents and confirmed his reputation as a leading translator. This new work is an entrancing allegorical tale of grief and lost love, as the narrator is led on a Dantean journey through sorrow to redemption by his vanished beloved, Pearl. Retaining all the alliterative music of the original, a Medieval English poem thought to be by the same anonymous author responsible for Gawain, Pearl is here brought to vivid and intricate life in care of one of the finest poets writing today.

Praise for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight:

‘Takes you back closer to something of the thrill and the wonder the poem would have had in the days when it was composed. It might even be the best translation of any poem I’ve ever seen … [Armitage] was put on the planet to translate this poem.’ Guardian

‘[Armitage] captures his dialect and his landscape and takes great pains to render the tale’s alliterative texture and drive … He has given us an energetic, free-flowing, high-spirited version.’ New Yorker


Bad Show On Stage

BAD SHOW by Bob Woffinden and James Plaskett (Bojangles Books) has been turned into a stage play.

The book looks into what really happened on that fateful night when Major Charles Ingram reached the million-pound prize on the television programme Who Wants To be A Millionaire?, the victimisation of Charles and his wife Diana by the British media and their subsequent ordeal within the criminal justice system.

DGA negotiated the sale of stage rights soon after the book's original publication in January 2015.

The stage play will be directed by Daniel Evans and has been written by the award-winning playwright James Graham, whose play This House is currently enjoying a very successful run at the Garrick Theatre in the West End.

Bad Show has been retitled Quiz for the stage. It will be have its premiere later this year at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester. Visit the Chichester Festival Theatre website for tickets and more information.

Happy Publication Day to Charlotte Salter

Dial Books, part of Penguin Random House US, publish Charlotte Salter's THE BONE SNATCHER today! Happy book birthday, Charlotte.

Murder, madness, and sea monsters combine in this thrilling and atmospheric middle grade debut perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snicket, and Tim Burton.

Sophie Seacove is a storyteller. She tells stories of what the world would be like if madness hadn’t taken over. If her parents hadn’t sold her off as a servant to pay for their passage out of London. If she wasn’t now trapped in a decaying mansion filled with creepy people and surrounded by ravenous sea monsters.

The mansion has plenty of stories, too: About fantastical machines, and the tragic inventor who created them. About his highly suspicious death.  And about the Monster Box, a mysterious object hidden in the house that just might hold the key to escaping this horrible place—and to reuniting Sophie with her family.

But not everyone wants Sophie to have the Monster Box, and as she gets closer to finding it, she finds herself unspooling years-old secrets—and dodging dangerous attacks. Sophie needs to use her brains, her brawn, and her unbreakable nature if she wants to make it off this wretched island…and live to tell this story.

Buy the book here

Hannah Kohler on 2017 International Dylan Thomas Prize Longlist

The good news just keeps coming! Hannah Kohler's debut novel is among the 12 literary works to reach the longlist for the 2017 International Dylan Thomas Prize. The prize is awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under. The prize is named after the Swansea-born writer, Dylan Thomas, and celebrates his 39 years of creativity and productivity. One of the most influential, internationally-renowned writers of the mid-twentieth century, the prize invokes his memory to support the writers of today and nurture the talents of tomorrow. 

Jeannie is nineteen when the world changes, Kip only fourteen. The sudden accident that robs them of their mother leaves them adrift, with only their father to guide them. Jeannie seeks escape in work and later marriage to a man whose social connections propel her into an unfamiliar world of wealth and politics. Ill-equipped and unprepared, Jeannie finds comfort where she can. Meanwhile Kip's descent into a life of petty crime is halted only when he volunteers for the Marines.

By 1968, the conflict in Vietnam is at its height, and with the anti-war movement raging at home, Jeannie and Kip are swept along by events larger than themselves, driven by disillusionment to commit unforgiveable acts of betrayal that will leave permanent scars.

The Outside Lands is the story of people caught in the slipstream of history, how we struggle in the face of loss to build our world, and how easily and with sudden violence it can be swept away. With extraordinary skill and accuracy, Hannah Kohler takes us from 1960s California to Vietnam, capturing what it means to live through historic times. This powerful debut novel announces Kohler as a remarkable new literary talent.

This years' long list comprises of: six novels, four short story collections, and two volumes of poetry. Good luck Hannah!

Anuk Arudpragasm - The Story of a Brief Marriage (Granta)

Alys Conran - Pigeon (Parthian)

Jonathan Safran Foer - Here I Am (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Yaa Gyasi - Homegoing (Alfred A Knopf)

Benjamin Hale - The Fat Artist and Other Stories (Picador)

Luke Kennard - Cain (Penned in the Margins)

Hannah Kohler - The Outside Lands (Picador)

Fiona McFarlane - The High Places (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Helen Oyeyemi - What is Not Yours is Not Yours (Picador)

Sarah Perry - The Essex Serpent (Serpent’s Tail)

Safiya Sinclair - Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press)

Callan Wink - Dog Run Moon: Stories (Granta)

Nilanjana Roy & M. G. Leonard reach Waterstones Children's Book Prize Shortlist

We are absolutely delighted to share that not one but two DGA authors have made it on to the Waterstones Children's Book Prize Shortlist 2017. Nilanjana Roy has been nominated in the Older Readers category for her book, The Wildings and M. G. Leonard's Beetle Boy is in the Younger Readers category. 

Waterstones said "For our Children’s Buyer Florentyna Martin, “whilst reading has always encouraged an element of escapism, this year’s shortlists provide a guiding light of optimism in the face of uncertain times... we’re delighted to celebrate these inspiring books.

The bookseller voting now begins, leading to our category winner evening to be held at our Waterstones Piccadilly flagship, Europe’s largest bookshop, on Thursday 30th March 2017. Of the three category winners – who will each receive £2000 - just one will be crowned our overall Waterstones Book Prize winner for the year, a Prize worth £3000 and the weight of our national support."

Beetle Boy - M. G. Leonard

Nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017

Longlisted for the UKLA award 2017.

Dr Bartholomew Cuttle wasn’t the kind of man who mysteriously disappeared. He was the kind of man who read enormous old books at the dinner table and got fried egg stuck in his beard.

Darkus Cuttle’s dad is missing, vanished from a locked room and now everything for Darkus is about to change.

Miserable and lonely, he is forced to move in with his eccentric uncle Max, next door to the most disgusting neighbours ever and their house infested by beetles.

But when a giant beetle called Baxter comes to his rescue, Darkus learns that these are no ordinary creatures. They’re an incredible super-species and they could just be the key to solving the mystery of his dad’s disappearance.

When links begin to emerge connecting the crime with cruel Lucretia Cutter, mad scientist and  fashionista, and her penchant for beetle jewellery, Darkus, Dexter and the other beetles are caught in a race against time to find the answers.

A coffee-mug mountain, home to a million insects, could provide the answer - if Darkus and Baxter are brave enough to find it.

The Wildings - Nilanjana Roy

Beraal was the most fierce of the queens of Nizamuddin, and could take on many of the toms. She was a fine hunter – swift, silent and precise – and her immediate concern was finding the stranger who threatened their peace.

Something is stirring in the heart of Old Delhi...

Prowling, hunting and fighting amidst the crumbling ruins of one of Delhi's oldest neighbourhoods, are the proud Wildings. These feral cats fear no one, go where they want and do as they please. Battle-scarred tomcats, fierce warrior queens, the Wildings have ruled over Nizamuddin for centuries.

Now there is a new addition to the clan - a pampered housecat with strange powers that could turn their world on its head. And something is stirring in the old Shuttered House - something dark and cruel and dangerous.

As a terrifying new enemy emerges from the shadows, the Wildings will need all the allies they can get, as they fight for Nizamuddin, and their lives.

An clear successor to some of Waterstones’ best-loved writers, including Richard Adams and Brian Jacques, India Nilanjana Roy has created an anthropomorphic adventure that is full of rich symbolism and vivid imagination, a new world for readers to lose themselves inside.

Happy Publication Day to Clover Stroud

Wishing a very happy publication day to Clover Stroud, whose memoir, The Wild Other is released into the world today, published by Hodder.

Clover's idyllic childhood in rural England was shattered when a horrific riding accident left her mother permanently brain-damaged.

Just sixteen, she embarked on a journey to find the sense of home that had been so savagely broken. Travelling from gypsy camps in Ireland, to the rodeos of west Texas and then to Russia's war-torn Caucasus, Clover eventually found her way back to England's lyrical Vale of the White Horse.

The Wild Other is a grippingly honest account of love, loss, family and the healing strength of nature. Powerful and deeply emotional, this is the story of an extraordinary life lived at its fullest.

Early reviews

There is so much richly evoked life here... beautifully written. Cathy Rentzenbrink The Times

Clover Stroud is a born writer: honest, tender, moving and true. A beautiful book. Cressida Connolly

Horses, family ties, exotic lovers and beautiful writing all saddle up in this thoroughbred ride through love, loss, danger, motherhood and healing. The Bookseller

A stunning story of courage in the face of fortune's cruellest blows, Clover Stroud's extraordinary memoir charts her journey from child to adult, from daughter to mother, proving that bravery - and love - will triumph even in the darkest situations. Rosie Boycott

Beautifully written and so moving ... a gritty, passionate, searingly honest meditation on grief, love and motherhood. Katie Hickman

Beautifully written...I love this book. India Knight

Heart-wrenching and beautifully written. Polly Samson

An astonishing piece of work that at times made my heart burst. All of human life is contained in this book. Clover Stroud is a remarkable woman, and an incredible writer. Bryony Gordon

Fearless, frank and so beautifully told, The Wild Other is a defiant story of love and motherhood in the face of loss. One of those books that makes you resolve to wring every last exhilarating drop from life while you can. Gaby Hinsliff

So haunting and brave and beautiful. Polly Williams

A dazzling, searingly honest book. Love. Sex. Grief. The Wild West. I couldn't put it down. Esther Freud

An extraordinary memoir... Stroud writes with moving, eloquent honesty. Elizabeth Day, The Pool

Compelling and candid, deftly weaving together past and present... a heart-wrenching story told in haunting, lyrical prose. Tatler

Some events can't be mitigated; they can only be endured with grace and style, something Stroud certainly achieves, to judge from this marvellous book. The Spectator

A startling and raw memoir, which has drawn comparisons to Cheryl Strayed's Wild... Brave, beautiful writing, which can't help but inspire us to find our own "wild others". Red magazine

Arundhati Roy's THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS Sold in 19 Countries

  ©   Mayank Austen Soofi

© Mayank Austen Soofi

We're delighted to share that translation rights in Arundhati Roy's The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, have been sold in nineteen countries by Lisette Verhagen of Susanna Lea Associates.

Brazil, Companhia das Letras - Denmark, Rosinante - Egypt (Arabic), Al Kotob Khan - Finland, Otava - France, Gallimard - Germany, Fischer Verlag - Greece, Psichogios - Holland, Prometheus - Hungary, Helikon - Iceland, Forlagid - Italy, Guanda - Norway,  Pax -Poland, Zysk - Portugal, ASA - Slovakia,  Slovart - Spain, Anagrama - Sweden, Brombergs -Turkey, Can, - Taiwan, Commonwealth.

Simon Prosser, of Penguin imprint Hamish Hamilton who are publishing in the UK, and Meru Gokhale, of Penguin Random House India, said: "The writing is extraordinary, and so too are the characters - brought to life with such generosity and empathy, in language of the utmost freshness, joyfully reminding us that words are alive too, that they can wake us up and lend us new ways of seeing, feeling, hearing, engaging... What an incredible book it is-on multiple levels; one of the finest we have read in recent times."

Julia Shaw's Making Evil sells to three publishers

Deals have now been made to three publishers for Julia Shaw's second book, Making Evil. Canongate will publish in the UK, Doubleday in Canada and Hanser in Germany.

The Memory Illusion was a bestseller in both Germany and Canada, and will be published in over fifteen other countries.

'Come with me on a journey to uncover the science behind your living nightmares. Let me pose the questions that you are too afraid to ask in public, but to which you have always wanted to know the answers.


This book seeks to harness your curiosity, and offers an exploration of what evil is, and the lessons we can learn from science to better understand why humans do bad things. Using a combination of science and philosophy, I pick apart questions that will help you to better understand the world, and yourself - giving you a guided tour through the darkest corners of your Google search history. Questions like ‘would I kill baby Hitler’, ‘do I look evil’, and ‘why do I want to murder my spouse’.


It explores aspects of human nature that help us to understand why we all sometimes think and do things that are ‘evil’. Ultimately, our reaction to deviance may tell us less about others and more about ourselves.'


Making Evil is a fresh and rigorously scientific book that breaks down our fears, and tears into the dark dispositions that lie within each of us.


As a criminal psychologist Dr Julia Shaw and author of the highly acclaimed The Memory Illusion, deals with the topic of evil on a daily basis. In Making Evil, she uses the latest scientific research to show us why people behave so badly and how we can prevent evil acts by understanding more profoundly how such acts come about – and what truly makes us evil.


Foreign rights are represented by Lisette Verhagen at SLA.



Trentmann's EMPIRE OF THINGS among the best of 2016

The Times has declared Frank Trentmann's Empire of Things one of its books of the year - "At last, a genuinely enjoyable book about our addiction to things". It's not the only paper to include the insightful work of non-fiction on its list. Cambridge psychology tutor, Terri Apter wrote in the TLS that the book "challenges the popular notion of a twentieth-century "affluent society" and offers, instead, an illuminating account of how our vexing and complex attachment to things has arisen across the past five centuries from an interplay of market forces, politics, war, identity and emotion".

The Sunday Times book of the year list lauded Empire of Things as "sweeping, insightful and often surprising, this history of consumerism since the Elizabethans is itself a vast treasure chest of consumer pleasures, from coffee and chocolate to stuffed crocodiles. Fear of consumerism, Trentmann shows, is as old as consumerism itself: the Catholic Church inveighed against "luxury", while by 1770 one Scottish writer was complaining that his countrymen had become "slaves to their own wants". Yet Trentmann's bustling, overflowing book is a refreshing antidote to snobbish doom-mongering, showing how credit cards and washing machines have liberated rather than enslaved us." 

If you'd like to gain some perspective ahead of the season of 'things', you can get hold of the book here.

Brawn & Parr's TOTAL COMPETITION, a bestseller.

Ross Brawn and Adam Parr's recently released title, Total Competition, has been met with brilliant reviews. Lauded as the most compelling, comprehensive and revealing insight into what it takes to get to the top in Formula One that has ever been published, the book spans four decades, during which Ross Brawn was one of the most innovative and successful technical directors and then team principals in Formula One. Leading Benetton, Ferrari, Honda, Brawn and Mercedes, he worked with World Champions Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. Now, in this fascinating book written with Adam Parr (who was CEO and then chairman of Williams for five years), he looks back over his career and methods to assess how he did it, and where occasionally he got things wrong. 

Total Competition is a definitive portrait of modern motorsport. In the book, Brawn and Parr explore the unique pressures of Formula One, their battles with Bernie Ecclestone, and the cut-throat world they inhabited, where coming second is never good enough. Just as Sir Alex Ferguson used his experiences as a football manager to write Leading, this book will appeal not only to the millions of Formula One fans who want to understand how Brawn operated, it will also provide many lessons in how to achieve your business goals. 

F1 Fanatic said it was " absorbing and revealing read. A few years from now we may reflect on this as one of the most important books on Formula One to appear for a long time." While The Express said that "even if you have no prior knowledge of or interest in Formula One, Total Competition still offers valuable lessons on how to succeed in pressurised environments and forge working relationships with difficult colleagues. And for those in love with the sport, it is a must-have insight into the awe-inspiring career of a true motor racing great."

It was great to see Ross Brawn interviewed for The Guardian last week. Click below to read the article in full.

2017 Eccles British Library Writer's Award Winners Announced


Along with The Eccles Centre at the British Library we are absolutely thrilled to share that novelist Hannah Kohler and writer, film producer and member of the Mercury-nominated pop group Saint Etienne, Bob Stanley, are the joint winners of the 2017 Eccles British Library Writer’s Award.

Now in its sixth year, The Eccles British Library Writer’s Award was set up as part of the Eccles Centre’s charge to promote awareness of the British Library collections relating to the USA and Canada and to help facilitate the use of these collections. Each winner is awarded £20,000 and will use the British Library’s collections to research their upcoming publications during their residency which starts in January 2017. 

Kohler, whose first novel, THE OUTSIDE LANDS, was published by Picador earlier in 2016 and will be published in paperback in January 2017, will be researching her second novel, CATSPAW, which follows two women from Chicago to the Sierra foothills during the California Gold Rush of 1849. The Gold Rush told people they could be somebody different, and for Pearl Nye and Emeline Snow, it offers the opportunity to escape the constraints of their lives in Victorian-era America. It’s the story of the corrosive and curative powers of desir and the complications of friendship.    

Following on from YEAH YEAH YEAH: The Story of Modern Pop, Stanley will be researching his new book, TOO DARN HOT: THE STORY OF POPULAR MUSIC.  Pop music existed before rock ‘n’ roll.  It had existed for more than fifty years. TOO DARN HOT will make sense of the crucial 50-year period from the very first recorded music to the rock ‘n’ roll era; the major stars, the songwriters, the leaps in technology, the heroes and heroines, and their links to the modern pop era. The book will show how the relationship between Britain and America created the sounds of Broadway and Hollywood, and how immigrant cultures rubbed together and shaped the future with songs purpose-built to sell. Together they provided the soundtrack of the twentieth century.                                                                                                                              

The connection with the Eccles Centre will allow Kohler and Stanley to research their projects in the great surroundings of the British Library, and to use the Centre’s programme and networks to engage with other researchers, students and members of the public.    

Director of the Eccles Centre, Professor Philip Davies, says, ‘the latest winners of this fabulous award bring the total number of Eccles British Library Writer’s Award holders to a dozen, and the total investment in the future of these writers to almost a quarter of a million pounds, at a time when we are marking 25 years of the Eccles Centre. Together the British Library’s collections, the Eccles Centre’s support and the Award winners’ vision combine in the production of great works founded firmly on the greatest research collections.’

The judges for the Award this year were Professor Sarah Churchwell, Professorial Fellow in American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, Richard Carwardine, formerly President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Professor Philip Davies, Director of the Eccles Centre, Catherine Eccles literary scout and granddaughter of David and Mary Eccles, who endowed the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the Library in 1991 and Dr Mercedes Aguirre, Lead Curator for the Americas at the British Library.   Such was the high standard of submissions for this year’s award, that again, two awards were given.

Congratulations Hannah and Bob! 

Happy Publication Day Adam Parr & Ross Brawn

Wishing a very happy publication day to Adam Parr and Ross Brawn, whose non-fiction title is released today from Simon & Schuster. 

Total Competition is the most compelling, comprehensive and revealing insight into what it takes to get to the top in Formula One that has ever been published. Across four decades, Ross Brawn was one of the most innovative and successful technical directors and then team principals in Formula One. Leading Benetton, Ferrari, Honda, Brawn and Mercedes, he worked with drivers such as Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton to make them world champions. Now, in this fascinating book written with Adam Parr (who was CEO and then chairman of Williams for five years), he looks back over his career and methods to assess how he did it, and where occasionally he got things wrong. 
    Total Competition is a definitive portrait of modern motorsport. In the book, Brawn and Parr explore the unique pressures of Formula One, their battles with Bernie Ecclestone, and the cut-throat world they inhabited, where coming second is never good enough. Just as Sir Alex Ferguson used his experiences as a football manager to write Leading, this book will appeal not only to the millions of Formula One fans who want to understand how Brawn operated, it will also provide many lessons in how to achieve your business goals. 

Buy the book here.

Harriet Shawcross' UNSPEAKABLE to be published by Canongate

We're so pleased to share that Canongate has signed Unspeakable: The Things We Cannot Say by Harriet Shawcross, saying it will be the publisher's lead title in autumn 2018.

Publisher Jenny Todd acquired world rights from Kirsty McLachlan here at DGA.

The publisher said: "We have all on occasion been lost for words - but what makes some aspects of life truly unspeakable? And what happens when we find we have nothing to say? From the inexpressible trauma of trench warfare, to the taboo of coming out, Unspeakable, explores how and why words fail us. Part memoir, part journalism, in Unspeakable documentary-film maker Harriet Shawcross travels across the world to meet people living in silence.

"She examines how we have tried to coax the words out - from public hypnotism of hysterical mutes in 19th century Paris, to the growth of talking therapy in the shadow of World War One. And she looks at how we have made space for the secret and taboo - from the establishment of the Samaritans in an East London crypt, to her own experiences of coming out in her 30s, and articulating what she imagined to be unspeakable."

Todd said: "In Unspeakable, Harriet Shawcross gives voice to the silent, and we are so delighted to be helping her to do that. Unique, heartfelt and deeply moving".

Congratulations Harriet!

Praise for Richard Holmes' THIS LONG PURSUIT

The Observer has declared the recently released title This Long Pursuit, "heaven for Holmes's fans" and they're not the only ones won over by his brilliant new work of non-fiction.

This Long Pursuit is a confessional chronicle and pilgrimage that takes biographer Richard Holmes across three centuries, through much of Europe and into both his intellectual passions as well as the lively company of many earlier biographers.

'If our world is to be saved, we must understand it both scientifically and imaginatively’. So writes biographer Richard Holmes in This Long Pursuit, a kaleidoscope of stories and meditations in which he revisits two hundred working notebooks, and celebrates his beloved art of biography, calling it the vital handshake across time, cultures, beliefs, disciplines and genders.

Ranging widely over art, science and poetry, Holmes confesses to a lifetime’s obsession with his Romantic subjects a pursuit or pilgrimage of the heart.

Central to this quest is a powerful and tender evocation of the lives of women, both scientific and literary some well-known and some almost lost: Margaret Cavendish, Mary Somerville, Germaine de Stal, Mary Wollstonecraft and the Dutch intellectual, Zlide.

The book also reviews the controversial reputations of some favourite Romantic figures: the love-stunned Keats, the water-logged poet Shelley, the chocolate-box painter Thomas Lawrence, the opium-soaked genius Coleridge, and the mad-visionary bard, William Blake.

The diversity of Holmes’s material is testimony to his empathy, his erudition and his enquiring spirit; and also sometimes to his mischief. He offers a unique insider’s account of a biographer at work: travelling, teaching, researching, fantasising, forgetting, and even ballooning. From this great chronicler of the Romantics now comes a chronicle of himself and his intellectual passions. This Long Pursuit contains his most personal and seductive writing.

Praise for This Long Pursuit

‘A must read … intriguing and satisfying … All the sketches makes illuminating reading, in many cases deliberately setting out to provoke a rethink of earlier biographies … I thoroughly enjoyed the book; indeed I devoured it’ Athene Donald, Guardian

‘A glorious series of essays on the art of life writing and a worthy successor to his earlier volumes on the craft, Footsteps and Sidetracks … heaven for Holmes fans … the best account imaginable for the richness of his form’ Observer

‘This collection of 15 years of high-profile lectures and anthology contributions offers us a lorryload of arresting subjects … ‘This Long Pursuit’ is distinguished by a geniality of tone … Holmes's) eye for detail is as sharp as ever’ The Times

‘Holmes writes beautifully of the perils of memory and forgetting … perhaps the essay that best sums up Holmes's endeavour is his superb explosion of the accepted account of Coleridge's 1808 lectures to the Royal Institution … a masterly performance by … the greatest literary biographer of his generation’ The Oldie

If these compelling reviews have swayed you, you can buy the book here.

Suzanne O'Sullivan wins General Biology Book Prize

Congratulations to Suzanne O’Sullivan who won the General Biology Book Prize last night for It’s All in Your Head!

Awarded at Charles Darwin House as part of the Biology Week Celebrations and hosted by the Royal Society of Biology, Suzanne saw off competition from five other books to scoop the £500 prize. 

It’s All In Your Head also won the 2016 Wellcome Book Prize in April and is currently shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Readers Award (non-fiction).

Vote here!:

The other shortlisted books were: 

Body by Darwin: How Evolution Transforms our Health and Shapes Medicine by Jeremy Taylor (University of Chicago Press)

Death on Earth: Adventures in Evolution and Mortality by Jules Howard (Bloomsbury Sigma)

Life's Greatest Secret by Matthew Cobb (Profile Books)

Spirals in TIme: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells by Helen Scales (Bloomsbury Sigma)

The Cell: A Visual Tour of the Building Block of Life by Jack Challoner and Philip Dash (Ivy Press)

Happy Publication Day Marcus Sedgwick

Wishing a very happy publication day to Marcus Sedgwick, who's celebrating a double whammy - his beautiful book Snow is released today from publisher, Little Toller and his Young Adult novel, Saint Death is published by Orion Children's Books.

Of all weathers, snow is the one that has always affected Marcus Sedgwick the most. While many people’s idea of the ideal holiday involves sun, sea and sand, he makes trips to cold and snowy parts of the world: Russia, Scandinavia, the Arctic Circle. Five years ago, he and his partner bought a mountain house, an old chalet d’alpage high in the Haute Savoie, and for the first time he started to truly understand what it is to live in an environment where extreme amounts of snow are frequent.

Like the six sides of a snowflake, the book has six chapters which explore the art, literature and science of snow, as well as Marcus Sedgwick’s own experiences and memories, asking whether it really did snow more during his boyhood in Kent and whether changing climate patterns might mean snow becomes a thing of the past for many of us. He also wonders why snow is so powerful to our imagination, so transformative, and as fundamental as our response to darkness and sunlight.

Anapra is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the Mexican city of Juarez - twenty metres outside town lies a fence, and beyond it, America - the dangerous goal of many a migrant. Faustino is one such trying to escape from the gang he's been working for. He's dipped into a pile of dollars he was supposed to be hiding and now he's on the run. He and his friend, Arturo, have only 36 hours to replace the missing money, or they're as good as dead.

Watching over them is Saint Death. Saint Death (or Santissima Muerte) - she of pure bone and charcoal-black eye, she of absolute loyalty and neutral morality, holy patron to rich and poor, to prostitute and narco-lord, criminal and police-chief. A folk saint, a rebel angel, a sinister guardian.


Buy Snow here and Saint Death here keep up to date with all of Marcus' news on Twitter - @marcussedgwick