– British music legend Morrissey has finally released his much anticipated autobiography, fittingly titled, well, Autobiography (published 16th October). The book hit the number one spot on Amazon UK within a day of its release, even beating out the new hype and buying buzz for Catton’s The Luminaries and Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones novel. Morrissey’s book has inspired praise and bewilderment thus far. On Twitter, comedian @jennycolgan tweeted a photo of the first page – here’s a sneak peek of the first line in case you were wondering: ‘My childhood is streets upon streets upon streets upon streets. Streets to define you and streets to confuse you’. Written in a style deliberately reminiscent of Joycean monologue, it is worth pondering if you’ll enjoy this book just by being a huge Morrissey fan or whether it truly is worth the merit that is being heaped upon it. It could very well be a marmite issue. If you’ve read it, what are your thoughts? Love it, hate it?
– Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall will be receiving the BBC treatment soon. Mark Rylance has signed to star as Thomas Cromwell (ignoring my less than favourable review of his recent directorial effort at the Old Vic, we can give Rylance the benefit of the doubt for this casting choice – the decision could pay off rather handsomely). The adaptation will air in 2015, at a production cost of £7 million.
– Stuck on what outfit to wear for Halloween? Bookish are here to help, with a handy infographic to steer you in the right direction (although, hopefully not toward Oompa Loompas): http://www.bookish.com/articles/the-best-halloween-costumes-from-books
– The announcement for the winner of the Man Booker Prize finally took place on Tuesday 15th October, as Eleanor Catton won the prestigious prize for her masterful work The Luminaries, which tells an epic story of murder, gold mining and mystery in the 19th century. New Zealand born Catton is now the youngest recipient of the award, having begun writing the lengthy novel at the age of 25.
– In the US, the National Book Award now has its five shortlisted fiction prize finalists: Rachel Kushner for her lauded work The Flamethrowers, Booker finalist Jhumpa Lahiri, James McBride, Foster Wallace contemporary/satirical wordsmith George Saunders, and Thomas Pynchon for his novel Bleeding Edge. The winner will be announced November 20th, and shall receive a total of $10,000.
– According to surveys undertaken, 1 in 10 Icelandic residents are budding authors, or will publish a literary work during their lifetime. We know Nordic Noir is a major seller these days, but can this statistic really be true? And how enterprising can the industry be? With only 300,000 inhabitants in Iceland, this fact is peculiar but inspiring, knowing that such a small country can draw from such a vast well of creativity.
– The Telegraph has compiled a (rather morbid) list of the top dramatic deaths in literature. Safe to say this list is just one massive spoiler!: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/10389476/The-10-most-dramatic-deaths-in-fiction.html Can you think of any other dramatic demises? For some reason Grenouille from Patrick Süskind’s Perfume springs to mind (*spoiler alert* death by cannibalistic orgy surely should take the number one spot!)