May I have the
By Stephanie E. Ponder
On January 24, Ali Smith won the 36th
annual Whitbread Book of the Year Award for
her novel The Accidental. The award honors
works published in the UK by British authors.
The book was selected from Whitbread winners in five categories, which were announced
on January 4.
people talk about To Kill a Mockingbird and
The Great Gatsby with the same enthusiasm as
they bring to Lost or Desperate Housewives.”
More information is available at
www.arts.gov and www.artsmidwest.org.
Ramona the big-screen star
Tash Aw won the Whitbread First Novel
Award for The Harmony Silk Factory.
Kate Thompson beat three-time Whitbread
winner Geraldine McCaughrean to win the
Whitbread Children’s Book Award for The
cant change as it has transformed into the
UK’s leading hospitality company, focused on
budget hotels, restaurants and leisure
clubs.… With the company having entered a
new era, the Board has decided to review its
sponsorship strategy. It has concluded that
now is an opportune time to find a new sponsor for this prestigious and highly successful
award. In seeking to do so, Whitbread’s number one priority is to find a like-minded
organisation that shares our vision for this
award and is committed to developing and
Hilary Spurling won the Whitbread
Biography Award for Matisse the Master.
NEA announces The Big Read
Christopher Logue won the Whitbread
Poetry Award for the penultimate installment of his account of the Iliad, Cold Calls.
Ali Smith won the Whitbread Novel Award
for The Accidental.
This prestigious book award, which began
in 1971, offers £5,000 (approximately $2,830)
to each category winner and £25,000 (
approximately $14,100) to the overall winner. History
shows that Whitbread winners also win an
increase in book sales. For more information
about the awards, visit www.whitbread-book
The National Endowment for the Arts
(NEA), in partnership with Arts Midwest, has
introduced the pilot phase of The Big Read, a
national initiative to encourage literary reading by asking communities to come together
to read and discuss one book. Ten organizations were selected from a pool of 45 applicants to receive grants ranging from $15,000
to $40,000 to promote and carry out four- to
six-week, community-based programs to
encourage reading by teens and adults.
After years of constant courting with
movie proposals, children’s author Beverly
Cleary has given the green light to a film
adaptation of her Ramona books. First introduced to readers more than 50 years ago,
Ramona Quimby is a spunky little girl—and
ever the pest to her older sister, Beezus. The
rights were optioned by Fox 2000 and Denise
DiNovi Productions, which also handled The
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Television
writers Alexander Rushfield and Jennifer
Konner will write the screenplay.
McClelland & Stewart celebrates
100 years of publishing
A few weeks before the winners were
announced, the Whitbread retail group
revealed that it’s looking for a new sponsor
for the book award. The hotel and restaurant
firm, which started the awards more than 30
years ago, said it’s relinquishing sponsorship
as it no longer sells products with the
Whitbread name. A press release issued by the
firm reads, “Over the past few years
Whitbread has undergone a period of signifi-
The NEA’s Big Read is modeled on successful “city reads” programs. Pilot communities, ranging in population from 7,000 to more
than 4 million people, will read one of four
classic novels: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray
Bradbury; The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott
Fitzgerald; Their Eyes Were Watching God, by
Zora Neale Hurston; or To Kill a Mockingbird,
by Harper Lee.
The 10 participating communities are
Little Rock, Arkansas; Enterprise, Oregon;
Miami, Florida; Fresno, California; Huntsville,
Alabama; Buffalo, New York; Minneapolis,
Minnesota; Boise, Idaho; Brookings/Sioux
Falls, South Dakota; and Topeka, Kansas.
2006 marks the 100th anniversary of
Canada’s McClelland & Stewart (M&S) publishing company. To celebrate, the publisher
has compiled a list of their 100 essential back-list titles that should be on every Canadian’s
bookshelves and is partnering with booksellers to raise money for PEN Canada, World
Literacy of Canada and local libraries. Canada
Post will be issuing a commemorative stamp
to mark M&S’s 100th anniversary in a ceremony in Toronto in April. International celebrations honoring the publisher will be held
in Toronto, New York and London. For more
information, visit www.100years.ca.
New Hyperion imprint
Kris Radish signs Annie Freeman’s
Fabulous Traveling Funeral on February
14, at 11 a.m., at the Aurora Village,
Washington, Costco, at 1175 N. 205th St.
(Click here for maps and
directions to Costco locations.)
“The NEA’s landmark 2004 study,
Reading at Risk, showed that literary reading
in the U.S. is in steep decline,” says NEA chairman Dana Gioia. “No single program can
entirely reverse this trend. But if cities nationally unite to adopt The Big Read, our commu-nity-wide reading program, together we can
restore reading to its essential place in
American culture. Call me naive, but I can
actually envision an America in which average
Pamela Dorman has left Viking’s Penguin
imprint to spearhead a new imprint at
Hyperion. Noted for spotting authors hugely
popular with female readers, such as Sue
Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees,
and Helen Fielding, of Bridget Jones fame,
Dorman will put her talents to use with books
targeted to female readers over the age of 35.
The imprint aims to publish 12 titles a year;
the first books will come out in 2007.
Source: Publisher’s Weekly
The Costco Connection FEBRUARY 2006