The main book news of the past week is undoubtedly the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the script written by Jack Thorne for the London stage production at the Palace Theatre, which premiered Saturday 30 July. The book was released in bookshops around the world on Sunday 31 July – Harry Potter’s birthday – and many venues hosted special midnight release parties on Saturday night to celebrate the eighth tale in J K Rowling’s beloved series. According to booksellers, Cursed Child seems on track to become the biggest advance seller since the seventh book of the series, as pre-orders have exceeded expectations.
The shortlisted authors for the annual awards of the Crime Writer’s Association (CWA) have been revealed. The winners will be announced in October, but the writers in the running can be viewed here.
For fans of Elena Ferrante’s spectacularly successful Italian novels, beginning with My Brilliant Friend, BBC Radio 4’s Reading Europe show on Sunday released a special treat. Episode One (of Two) of a radio drama of Ferrante’s first Neapolitan novel is now online.
Abiola Oni, a London-based Nigerian market researcher, can now add award-winning writer to her achievements. She won the £1,000 BAME Short Story Prize sponsored by The Guardian for her story ‘75’.
Bloomsbury have announced that Samantha Shannon’s The Pale Dreamer, a prequel to the best-selling fantasy novel The Bone Season, will be released in December as an e-book. This story will reveal how Paige Mahoney’s clairvoyant abilities emerged. The third book in the main trilogy is due out next March.
Thanks to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, US, last week, Madeleine L’Engle’s children’s fantasy classic A Wrinkle in Time surged into Amazon’s top 100 sellers. A day after Chelsea Clinton took the mic and spoke about reading the novel with her mother as a child, the beloved story jumped up the US charts. Considering this book is also due for a film adaptation, it’s likely that the novel will rise even higher soon enough.
Philip Pullman has been officially named the first ever patron of Literature Wales, an organisation that organises schemes to promote literature for children.