Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Man Booker Prize 2013 shortlist is announced

The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is the world's most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers.

The Man Booker Prize shortlist for 2013 has been unveiled, as judges acknowledged the “most diverse” and “exceptionally international” range of books spanning five continents. The shortlist was announced at a ceremony in London this morning, is comprised of six books, each now in the running for the £50,000 prize.
Judges have already acknowledged the contenders as the “most diverse list ever”, with an “exceptionally international” feel for subjects and authors scattered across the globe.

Monday, September 2, 2013

On this day: Tolkien departs Middle Earth (1973)

J.R.R. Tolkien, Oxford scholar of mediaeval English, died on 2nd September 1973, aged 81. He will be remembered for the story he wrote for his children about the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, a furry-footed hobbit who lived in a burrow in the Shire, a bucolic idyll of Anglo-Saxon Britain. The tale grew into a saga of warriors and wizards, elves, demons, trolls and goblins locked in an awesome struggle of good and evil, with the fate of Middle Earth hanging on a lost ring - the ring of the chillingly evil dark lord Sauron.

Tolkien published his Lord of the Rings in 1955, but it was not until the 1960s that anybody really noticed the book. The otherworldly Tolkien suddenly found himself the revered guru of a whole generation of flower children, their psychedelic idyll threatened by the evil lord Nixon and military industrial complex. Tolkien cared little - he was scarcely aware of the modern world outside of his imagination. Other books include the Hobbit, and the rings saga continues in the Silmarillion, to be publish posthumously.
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