Recent Books

Daphnes book prize launched to right literary wrongs of past

John Updike shouldn’t have won the National Book Award in 1964, according to the organisers of a new retrospective book prize which is setting out to “right the wrongs of 50 years ago” by throwing titles including The Bell Jar and V into the mix. The awards, to be known as the Daphnes, are being set up by literary book site Bookslut. “If you look back at the books that won the Pulitzer or the National Book Award, it is always the wrong book,” writes editor Jessa Crispin. . . . Read More »

Henning Mankell, Wallander author, reveals cancer

The bestselling Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell has revealed that he has cancer, and that he plans to chronicle his battle with the disease in a newspaper column. The 65-year-old writer, known for his popular Kurt Wallander detective novels, delivered the news in a short but moving article in Sweden’s Göteborgs-Posten newspaper. “My anxiety is very profound, although by and large, I can keep it under control,” he wrote. . . . Read More »

Literature gloom mirrors economic misery, study finds

In what might portend some particularly gloomy literature in the 2020s, a new study has found a “dramatic” increase in the use of words expressing misery and unhappiness in books written during the 1980s. Academics at universities in Bristol and London analysed more than five million books digitised by Google, looking at how frequently words denoting different moods were used. . . . Read More »