Book Bites: News and Views for October 16


A Brief History of Seven Killings has won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Jamaican author Marlon James. In what I think is supposed to be inspiring and/or reassuring news, The Guardian would like to remind us that James’ first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was rejected no less than 78 times before its eventual publication in 2005. Never give up, kids!


In more book award news, the 2015 National Book Awards finalists have been named in four categories. The fiction finalists are:

Refund — Karen E. Bender

The Turner House — Angela Flournoy

Fates and Furies — Lauren Groff

Fortune Smiles — Adam Johnson

A Little Life — Hanya Yanagihara

Look for all of the nominees here.


The hotly-anticipated movie Room, based on the best-selling book of the same name by Emma Donoghue, is out this week in limited release, and will be followed by wide-release distribution on November 6. Already gathering Oscar buzz, the screenplay for the movie was also written by Donoghue, so we expect a pretty close rendition of the book we love. And tears. We expect lots of tears.


Anne Michaels, the award-winning poet and author of Fugitive Pieces has been named Toronto’s Poet Laureate, a post she will hold for three years. According to a report in The Toronto Star, Michaels will spend her time on community outreach and bringing Toronto’s rich multicultural literary heritage into greater focus.


This week in book history: 1854 — Oscar Wilde is born. 1920 — Mario Puzo is born. 1958 — Paddington Bear first appears to children’s audiences. 1924 — Anatole France dies. 1894 — E.E. Cummings is born.

    Karen Green

    Karen Green is a freelance writer and big city ex-pat now living in rural Ontario. She writes for numerous print and online publications, and considers her library card to be one of her most valuable possessions.

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