Book News Roundup: Margaret Atwood wins 2016 PEN Pinter Prize

The Canadian author Margaret Atwood, known for her seminal novels The Handmaid’s Tale, The Robber Bride and many more, including the forthcoming Shakespeare retelling Hag-seed, was awarded the 2016 PEN Pinter Prize last week. The prize, now in its seventh year, is given to an author whose works are outstanding contributions to literature and cast an ‘unflinching’ gaze upon the world.

In other book news:

The John W. Campbell Memorial Award, a major prize for the best novel of science fiction writing, awarded annually, has revealed its shortlist. Authors Neal Stephenson, Paolo Bacigalupi, Linda Nagata and Nnedi Okorafor are among the finalists. The winner will be announced 18 August at the World Science Fiction Convention.

The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, popular for his books following Robert Langdon as an academic racing against time to solve cryptic riddles, unearth ancient secrets and unravel vast conspiracies, has donated £237,000 (that’s around 300,000 euros) to a library in the Netherlands – the Ritman Library in Amsterdam. The donation is to be put towards maintaining a priceless collection of tomes and antique volumes that Brown has said inspired his own writing. The library is planning on digitizing the texts as a preservation plan for the future.

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