- R. I. P. Dutch poet and writer Gerrit Komrij, first Poet Laureate of the Netherlands, died last week aged 68. Obituaries here and here (both in Dutch).
- Awards! The 2012 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award went to Nathan Englander for his collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank. (Which reminds me, he’ll be in Amsterdam in September! And in The Hague, too!) A bunch of CWA Daggers (for crime writing) were handed out as well: the Historical Dagger went to Aly Monroe for Icelight, the International Dagger to Andrea Camilleri (see below) for The Potter’s Field, and the Non-Fiction Dagger to Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan for The Eleventh Day. Click here for more Dagger news and shortlists for the final 3 Daggers of the year.
- Collecting books, well and good. But collecting boring books? If this strikes your fancy, you should definitely consider Boring Postcards and Boring Postcards USA. The most appreciated birthday gifts I ever gave my brother-in-law.
- Interview! The Guardian has a lengthy interview with Andrea Camilleri, author of the Inspector Montalban mysteries.
- Sad news for Gabriel García Márquez fans: Mr. Marquez’s brother announced that he is suffering from senile dementia and can no longer write.
- The “Age Certificate for Children’s Books” debate has flared up again in the UK. I personally like and agree with Charlie Higson’s comment: “There’s a wild difference among kids in reading ages, tastes, interests, blood-thirstiness.” What do you think?
- Margaret Atwood extolls the virtues of the internet for aspiring writers (and pimps a promising-looking website for sharing literary content). I especially think her reminder of what times were like when she was starting out helps her case.
- In the build-up to the US Presidential Elections this fall, the Huffington Post has started a Citizen’s Book Club. “The goal: present to you, between now and Election Day, single-sitting passages from the classic texts of American democracy. Substantial enough to spark ideas and prod debate; short enough to read on a coffee break.” First up is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.
- Lists! We shared our Summer Reading intentions with you, and of course there are oodles of other Summer Reading lists out there, too. For more reading inspiration, see what the NY Times, Publishers Weekly, Oprah, Huffington Post, and NPR recommend, to name a few.
Tags: age certificate debate, awards, boring book collectors, Children's Books, citizen's book club, dutch authors, interview, lists, Mysteries & Thrillers, r.i.p, short stories, summer reading, why the internet is good for writers