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A twisty, cosmic tale crowns the youngest-ever Booker winner

A twisty, cosmic tale crowns the youngest-ever Booker winner

Bethanie Blanchard October 16, 2013

— This piece originally appeared as a Crikey news article. This morning, 28-year-old New Zealand author Eleanor Catton made history as the youngest author ever to win the Man Booker Prize, for her intricate tome The Luminaries. It’s been described by the judges as “a dazzling work, luminous, vast”. Catton is only the second Kiwi author to win […]

Young NZ author wins spot on Man Booker shortlist

Young NZ author wins spot on Man Booker shortlist

Bethanie Blanchard September 11, 2013

— This piece originally appeared as a Crikey News article. The shortlist for the 45th annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction wasannounced last night in the UK, and young voices that span the globe have dominated. From a longlist described by the judges as “surely the most diverse in Man Booker history” comes a shortlist with authors from […]

‘The most diverse in Man Booker history’: 2013 Man Booker Prize longlist announced

‘The most diverse in Man Booker history’: 2013 Man Booker Prize longlist announced

Bethanie Blanchard July 24, 2013 1 Comment

Something was announced last night in the UK that wasn't to do with the royal baby. The longlist for the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, which judges describe as the most diverse in the prize's history.

The persistence of gender: a Stella Miles Franklin shortlist

The persistence of gender: a Stella Miles Franklin shortlist

Bethanie Blanchard April 30, 2013 1 Comment

There is no question that the debates around gender in literary awards have been important and resulted in real culture change. Yet I feel an uneasiness that it has reached the point where gender has become almost the primary concern in reportage.

All-female 2013 Miles Franklin shortlist announced

All-female 2013 Miles Franklin shortlist announced

Bethanie Blanchard April 30, 2013 1 Comment

Five novels make the 2013 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist, and they're all by female authors

Notes from the Stella Prize

Notes from the Stella Prize

Bethanie Blanchard April 17, 2013

The overwhelming experience of being at the awards was female writers and authors supporting one another, and the new national award they had created.

Female dominated Miles Franklin longlist

Female dominated Miles Franklin longlist

Bethanie Blanchard March 26, 2013 1 Comment

This year the Miles Franklin longlist was released via a slow literary striptease from the Trust Company – revealing, one twitpic at a time, the covers of the ten novels. And what an interesting longlist it is. Not only decidedly free from the controversy that plagued it in 2009 and 2011 following all-male shortlists that saw […]

All-fiction Stella Prize shortlist announced

All-fiction Stella Prize shortlist announced

Bethanie Blanchard March 20, 2013

It’s an all-fiction shortlist for the inaugural Stella Prize, Australia’s first major new literary award for women’s writing that aims to “celebrate women’s contributions to Australian literature.” Six works make it to the list, down from a longlist of twelve. While all are fiction, there is a variety of genres — with a collection of short […]

An Orange by another name: Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist announced

An Orange by another name: Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist announced

Bethanie Blanchard March 13, 2013

The longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, formerly known as the Orange Prize, was announced today in the UK. The prize is an international award for women’s writing in English, that aims to celebrate “the very best full length fiction written by women throughout the world.” Telecommunications company Orange, who worked in developing and […]

The Stella Prize longlist announced

The Stella Prize longlist announced

Bethanie Blanchard February 21, 2013 6 Comments

Fiction, debut writers and independent publishers are the emphasis in the longlist announced today for the inaugural Stella Prize, the first major new literary award for women’s writing. The Stella Prize is an exciting new fixture on the awards calendar and is the most high-profile example of what has been, in many ways, a culture […]

Bad Sex Awards shortlist announced

Bad Sex Awards shortlist announced

Bethanie Blanchard November 21, 2012 1 Comment

If you were on twitter late last night, your feed may have been tantalisingly (and confusingly) peppered with such bon mots as:  ‘She smells of almonds, like a plump Bakewell pudding; and he is the spoon, the whipped cream, the helpless dollop of custard,’ or ‘His body impinged upon hers, and he was stroking her […]

On a year of literary prizes

On a year of literary prizes

Bethanie Blanchard October 25, 2012

It’s almost the end of the literary awards season, and the last few weeks have been eventful times for literary prizes. I attended the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, the Melbourne lit scene in suits and cocktail dresses casting off its ‘bathrobe era’ attire (and found just how addicted we all are to our phones when I was […]

Mo Yan wins Nobel Prize for Literature 2012

Mo Yan wins Nobel Prize for Literature 2012

Bethanie Blanchard October 12, 2012 1 Comment

Last night Mo Yan – the author of Red Sorghum, Big Breasts & Wide Hips, and Life And Death Are Wearing Me Out – became the first Chinese national author to win the Nobel Prize for literature in its 111 year history. The Swedish Academy awarded Yan the world’s most prestigious literary honour for his […]

A talisman of luck and love: Gillian Mears’ <i>Foal’s Bread</i>

A talisman of luck and love: Gillian Mears’ Foal’s Bread

Bethanie Blanchard September 18, 2012 6 Comments

This review is cross-posted from the Wheeler Centre’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards series.  It is a talisman of luck, and love. Foal’s bread – both the object and the novel – is a strange, rare and mesmerising thing. ‘Just every now and then,’ he explained, ‘a foal is born with something that looks like a little slice of […]

Man Booker 2012 shortlist announced

Man Booker 2012 shortlist announced

Bethanie Blanchard September 12, 2012 2 Comments

The shortlist for the 44th annual Man Booker Prize was announced last night in the UK and it’s a list that supports ‘new guard’ novelists and independent publishers. The announcement of the longlist in July surprised many in its omission of new releases by some of the biggest names in contemporary fiction such as Peter […]