Archive for the ‘Literary Events’ Category

3 Irish Authors short listed for the
2011 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award.

The short list will be confirmed by
the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Gerry Breen at 11.00am on 12th April 2011 in the Mansion House, Dublin

10 novels have been shortlisted for the International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award, from a total of 162 novels nominated by 166 public library systems in 126 cities worldwide. For the first time, the shortlist includes novels by three Irish authors; Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, Brooklyn by Colm Toibín and Love and Summer by William Trevor. The International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award is worth €100,000 and is the world’s most prestigious literary prize nominated by public libraries world-wide. 
The Lord Mayor of Dublin Gerry Breen, Patron of the Award, officially confirmed the titles on this year’s shortlist, nominated by public libraries in Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Greece, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland, and the USA.

The short listed titles are:

  1. Galore by Michael Crummey (Canadian). Doubleday Canada
  2. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (American). Faber & Faber, HarperCollins, USA
  3. The Vagrants by Yiyn Li  (Chinese / American) Random House, USA
  4. Ransom by David Malouf  (Australian) Random House Australia
  5. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (Irish) Bloomsbury, UK, Random House, USA
  6. Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates  (American) Ecco Press, USA
  7. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey  (Australian) Allen & Unwin
  8. Brooklyn by Colm Toibín (Irish) Viking UK, Scribner, USA
  9. Love and Summer by William Trevor (Irish) Viking, UK
  10. After the Fire, a Still, Small Voice by Evie Wyld (Australian) Pantheon Books, USA

More about the shortlist

From this list, all I’ve read is Evie Wyld’s After the Fire, a Still, Small Voice. I’d be ecstatic if it won, but then again I have no others to compare it with, which makes that a trifle biased. Not that that’s ever stopped me.

I have a copy of Galore for review, haven’t heard of  The Vagrants, Jasper Jones or Love and Summer, though of course I know of William Trevor. The others I know of but have never read.

So, once again, I’m faced with having no idea  on earth who will win, only that I’ll hope it’s Evie Wyld since her book was positively brilliant.

What’s that you say? Did I hear, “Lisa, why don’t you read the shortlist, then make an informed guess?!”

Are  you trying to kill me, people?!  Yes, it’s a prize generated via the opinions of public librarians, and yes, I’m a public librarian. And, if you offer to fly me to Ireland for the awards ceremony I wouldn’t hesitate to read these novels while standing on my head. (Okay, maybe not standing on my head.)

The award date isn’t until June 15, but I’m already reviewing for two sites, plus for NetGalley at my own pace, and I have half a mind to apply to Kirkus, too. Oh, and the Orange Prize Longlist. I’ve been too eager to wait for the short, plus for whatever completely insane reason thought I should also guess the short…

Oh, hell. Maybe. But keep in mind a ticket to Ireland would positively seal the deal. Ireland in June? Yes, please!


Don’t think I’ll try to read these, especially since the prize is for each writer’s whole body of work. Even I don’t feel I can tackle that. Still working on the Orange Prize Longlist as well as the NBCC winners (selected).

But here’s the info:

Thirteen selected for finalists’ list

30 March 2011

Thirteen writers have made it on to the judges’ list of finalists under serious consideration for the fourth Man Booker International Prize, the £60,000 award which recognises one writer for his or her achievement in fiction.

The authors come from eight countries, five are published in translation and there are four women on the list. One writer has previously won the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction and two have been shortlisted. Famously, another, John le Carré, asked that his books should not be submitted for the annual prize to give less established authors the opportunity to win.

The Finalists’ List is announced by the chair of judges, Rick Gekoski, at a press conference held at the University of Sydney, today Wednesday 30 March 2011 at 10.00 (EST).

The thirteen authors on the list are:

  • Wang Anyi (China)
  • Juan Goytisolo (Spain)
  • James Kelman (UK)
  • John le Carré (UK)
  • Amin Maalouf (Lebanon)
  • David Malouf (Australia)
  • Dacia Maraini (Italy)
  • Rohinton Mistry (India/Canada)
  • Philip Pullman (UK)
  • Marilynne Robinson (USA)
  • Philip Roth (USA)
  • Su Tong (China)
  • Anne Tyler (USA)

The judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2011 consists of writer, academic and rare-book dealer Dr. Rick Gekoski (Chair), publisher, writer and critic Carmen Callil, and award-winning novelist Justin Cartwright.

More info at the Man Booker website.

Release: March 11, 2011 (in select theatres)

Mia Wasikowska (“Alice in Wonderland”) and Michael Fassbender (“Inglourious Basterds”) star in the romantic drama based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, from acclaimed director Cary Fukunaga (“Sin Nombre”). In the story, Jane Eyre flees Thornfield House, where she works as a governess for wealthy Edward Rochester. As she reflects upon the people and emotions that have defined her, it is clear that the isolated and imposing residence – and Mr. Rochester’s coldness – have sorely tested the young woman’s resilience, forged years earlier when she was orphaned. She must now act decisively to secure her own future and come to terms with the past that haunts her – and the terrible secret that Mr. Rochester is hiding and that she has uncovered…

Also starring Dame Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins and Jamie Bell.

Director: Cary Fukunaga (“Sin Nombre”)

Writers: Moira Buffini (“Tamara Drewe”); Based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Holliday Grainger, Sally Hawkins, Tamzin Merchant, Imogen Poots, Judi Dench

MPAA Rating: PG-13

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Stef Penney’s The Tenderness of Wolves was the upset winner of this year’s Costa Award, besting veteran novelist William Boyd to win the 30,000 GBPound prize.

Interestingly, Penney has for a long while suffered from a severe case of agoraphobia. Her condition made it impossible for her to travel to Canada, the setting of her novel. Instead, she did her research in the U.K., at the British Library. After being rejected by many larger publishers, Penney’s book was eventually accepted for publication by the small publisher Quercus, illustrating yet again the foresight of so many of these “little” publishing houses.

The Tenderness of Wolves is a murder mystery set in the backwoods of Canada. This is Stef Penney’s first novel, and it sounds like the sort of really BIG novel you can really lose yourself in, judging from the reviews I’ve been able to find so far. I’ll let you know more on that after my copy of the book arrives. In the meantime, this would be a good one to seek out.

From ShelfAwareness:

Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, co-founder of City Lights Books, San Francisco, announced the finalists of the National Book Awards yesterday at his store; the winners will be named and honored in New York City on November 15. Each winner receives $10,000 and a statue; each finalist receives $1,000 and a medal.


The NBA finalists:


Mark Z. Danielewski for Only Revolutions (Pantheon)
Ken Kalfus for A Disorder Peculiar to the Country (Ecco/HarperCollins)
Richard Powers for The Echo Maker (FSG)
Dana Spiotta for Eat the Document (Scribner/S&S)
Jess Walter for The Zero (Judith Regan Books/HarperCollins)


Taylor Branch for At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68 (S&S)
Rajiv Chandrasekaran for Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone (Knopf)
Timothy Egan for The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (Houghton Mifflin)
Peter Hessler for Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China’s Past and Present (HarperCollins)
Lawrence Wright for The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Knopf)


Louise Glück for Averno (FSG)
H.L. Hix for Chromatic (Etruscan Press)
Ben Lerner for Angle of Yaw (Copper Canyon Press)
Nathaniel Mackey for Splay Anthem (New Directions)
James McMichael for Capacity (FSG)

Young People’s Literature

M.T. Anderson for The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party (Candlewick Press)
Martine Leavitt for Keturah and Lord Death (Front Street Books/Boyds Mills Press)
Patricia McCormick for Sold (Hyperion Books for Children)
Nancy Werlin for The Rules of Survival (Dial/Penguin)
Gene Luen Yang for American Born Chinese (First Second/Roaring Brook Press/Holtzbrinck)


Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival

October 20, 2006

The inaugural Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival “Something Wicked This Way Comes” will be held on October 20, 2006 at 7 p.m. The festival, featuring storytellers well known throughout the Midwest and the nation, will be held in the historic Genesee Theatre in downtown Waukegan. Tickets can be purchased starting September 8 at 10 a.m. at the Genesee Theatre Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge-by-phone at 312-559-1212 or online at Tickets are $17.

Storytellers will be weaving their magic with stories of the Halloween season including some by author, and native son, Ray Bradbury. His works, being brought to life in the heart of Waukegan by some of the most talented storytellers around, is sure to make this an event the whole family will want to attend.

This festival is sponsored by the Waukegan Public Library Foundation with Bradbury’s permission. “It only seemed right to honor Mr. Bradbury by using storytellers to bring his stories to life,” explains Richard Lee, executive director of the Waukegan Public Library. “His only request was that it was scheduled during his favorite time of year in Waukegan, the Halloween season. It is also a fitting tribute to host the event at the Genesee Theatre as one of Bradbury’s most powerful childhood memories was created at the Genesee Theatre when he saw a magic show that changed his life.”

Tickets are also available for a special “Prequel” at 5:30 p.m. in the lounge of the Genesee Theatre. Wine, cheese and hors d’oeuvres along with silent auction items will be included at this gathering, as well as the opportunity to meet the storytellers themselves. Prequel ticket holders will be guaranteed the best seats in theater. Prequel tickets are available online at or at the library. Prequel tickets are $40 and do not include event tickets.

Festival storytellers include Jim May, a storyteller who speaks in the natural, matter-of-fact style of the fathers, horse traders, and small-town raconteurs who populated rural northern Illinois where his family has lived since the 1840’s. For adult audiences, he tells original stories of growing up in the tiny Catholic farming community of Spring Grove. These stories that are at once hilarious and touching range from, “How to Become ‘Most Valuable Altar Boy’ (MVAB)”, to horse trading tales and heart-warming memories of family life.

For children he offers stories from traditional sources. These folk tales, myths, legends and ghost stories from various cultures worldwide have the humor and wisdom of the great tales that have been preserved in every culture and handed down orally from one generation to the next.

Megan Wells “Megan’s storytelling has a radiance, which only comes from that rare combination of raw talent, deep intelligence and blistering honesty. Soul speaks through Megan’s mouth.” – Rebecca Armstrong, Joseph Campbell Foundation.

Megan Wells combines the worlds of theater, writing and storytelling. With a BFA and MFA in theater, Megan began her artistic career in Chicago directing: A Ruffian on the Stair, The Assignment, In the Wake of the Welded, Seventy Scenes from Halloween, and Good for which she was honored with a Joseph Jefferson award for excellence as a director. In 1990, Megan attended the National Storytelling Festival and encountered the art of Storytelling. Megan began “telling” her own words, thriving on the immediacy and intimacy of the teller/audience relationship. Sample venues include the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Symphony, Chicago Historical Society, as well as festivals, libraries, schools and museums.

Megan will be a Featured New Voice at the National Storytelling Festival this year and currently is the Board President for the Illinois Storytelling Festival.

Mark Kater is the resident storyteller at the North Park Village Nature Center in Chicago. He leads storytelling walk-abouts through the 46 acre preserve and coordinates other storytelling activities, including an after-school storytelling program for children, festival and the annual Tellabration event.

Mark tells stories exploring his Cherokee Indian heritage. He has programs for children and adults. His programs cover a wide range of topics and include original stories and retellings of myths, animal, nature and folk tales from around the world.

He studied storytelling at Emerson College Sussex, England. Mark holds a BFA in dance from the University of Illinois. Before beginning his professional storytelling career in 1996, Mark taught and performed dance in the schools with Creative Learning, Math On The Move, and GAIA Environmental Theater.

Daniel LeMonnier has been caught telling stories all his life, but began professionally in 1983 when asked by Encyclopedia Britannica to develop an educational show that would be of interest to children. He created Spinnin’ Yarns as an introduction to the American Oral Tradition and Music.

As a singer, actor, storyteller and writer, Dan performs world wide, delighting audiences of all ages with his renditions of American folklore, literature, tall tales and music. The continued popularity of Dan’s varied talents led him to found Folk Songs & Foolery Entertainment in 1987.

Dan holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Marquette University and an MFA in Acting from the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University. He is also well known in the Chicago area as “Benny the Bull,” mascot for the six time champion NBA Chicago Bulls. He is the co-director of the Chicago Children’s Museum’s Annual Storyfest each June, and has taught workshops at the NAPPS (National Association for the Preservation & Perpetuation of Storytelling) National Conference in Seattle, WA.

Elysabeth Ashe From living in the rainforest of Belize to years on theatre stages, Elysabeth recounts nature and life adventure stories. Personal experiences and adaptations of stories of life lived by “coloring outside the lines” are often enhanced with song, music and audience participation.

City slicker as well as outdoors woman, Elysabeth tells tales from her life as nature educator, team building facilitator, solo traveler, wildlife rehabilitator, dog walker, corporate career woman, poet and theatre performer. Her performances are often called “mesmerizing.”

Folk tales, family fables and ghost stories that tantalize the imagination and stimulate the senses round out a repertoire that takes listeners into the heart of the moment … and back home again!

The library is also working with local school district’s to provide two shows for school children in the morning and afternoon of October 20th through field trips. Schools signing up for a field trip will also be provided with storytelling workshops prior to the event for children and teachers. “We want to make sure that all children in Waukegan get a chance to hear the art of true storytelling and to be exposed to Bradbury’s stories in particular” adds Lee, “it is an art form that is too often neglected, one that is the basis of verbal literacy.”

Funds raised from the festival will be used to provide furniture, fixture and equipment for the library’s new branch located in the Waukegan Park District’s Hinkston Park Fieldhouse. This branch will be the first one since the 1930s. All funds used to open the branch were raised through private donations and special events.

The Waukegan Public Library has served the community of Waukegan for 108 years providing opportunities to learn, gather, be informed and entertained. The main library is located in downtown Waukegan at 128 N. County St. just north of the County Building, the Hinkston Park Branch is located at 800 N. Baldwin in the Waukegan Park District’s Fieldhouse. The library houses one of the largest collection of materials in Lake County. Free parking is provided at the downtown branch in the City of Waukegan’s parking garage located at the corner of County and Clayton. Further information is available by calling 847-623-2041 or online at

Posted on behalf of Elizabeth Stearns, Public Relations/Marketing Manager, Waukegan Public Library