Bookish: Natalie Portman to chair National Library Week
NEW YORK – Natalie Portman's latest role is on behalf of the country's libraries. The Oscar-winning actress will serve as honorary chair of National Library Week, the American Library Association announced Monday. National Library Week runs next April 4-10. Portman will help promote the role libraries have played in their communities during the pandemic. “I’m delighted to join ALA and libraries everywhere in celebrating National Library Week,” Portman said in a statement.
'Shuggie Bain' writer Douglas Stuart wins Booker Prize
LONDON – Scottish writer Douglas Stuart won the Booker Prize for fiction Thursday for “Shuggie Bain,” the story of a boy’s turbulent coming of age in hardscrabble 1980s Glasgow. Stuart, 44, won the prestigious 50,000 pound ($66,000) award for his first published novel, the product of a decade of work. Stuart dedicated the book to own mother, who died when he was 16. Though there have been many British winners of the Booker Prize, most of them English, Stuart is the first Scottish victor since James Kelman took the 1994 prize with “How Late it Was, How Late” — a book Stuart has called an inspiration. Mantel won the Booker for both its predecessors, “Wolf Hall” and “Bring up the Bodies,” and had been widely tipped for the hat trick.
Maggie O'Farrell's Shakespearean 'Hamnet' wins Women's Prize
LONDON Maggie OFarrell won the Womens Prize for Fiction on Wednesday for Hamnet, a novel that explores the lives of William Shakespeares often-maligned wife and lost son. OFarrells novel beat finalists including Hilary Mantels Tudor saga The Mirror and the Light and Bernardine Evaristos Booker Prize winner Girl, Woman, Other to the 30,000-pound ($39,000) award. The Northern Ireland-born O'Farrell said she had long been fascinated by Hamnet Shakespeare, who died aged 11 in 1596 likely from the plague. Shakespeare himself is never mentioned by name in Hamnet, which centers on his children and wife Anne Hathaway, called Agnes in the book. OFarrell said Hathaway has been portrayed as an illiterate strumpet because she was uneducated and eight years older than Shakespeare.
Booker Prize breaks from rules, names two winners for 2019
LONDON - This year's Booker Prize goes against the rules and traditions of the award by naming both Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo as joint winners on Monday. "Over an agonizing five hours, the 2019 Booker Prize judges discussed all of the much-loved books on their shortlist, and found it impossible to single out one winner," said Gaby Wood, literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, in a statement. "The Booker Prize has been jointly awarded twice before, to Nadine Gordimer and Stanley Middleton in 1974 and to Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth in 1992," according to the Booker Prize website. This is Atwood's second Booker Prize and she will be the oldest recipient the award has ever had at 79. Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify that Bernardine Evaristo is the first black woman to win the Booker prize.