Lit Review |93| James Joyce Commemoration


According the Guardian, a “leading literary agent” has warned that big name prizes, such as the Costa Book Awards, are harming literary fiction. Among other factors, large entry fees mean that independent publishers taking risks on novels with limited apparent market appeal are being locked out.

In other news, Frank McCourt is a Catholic.

The Costa Biography Award has been give to Keggie Carew for her detective style memoir of her father, who suffered from Dementia. The book was published by… Penguin! Yes, that small imprint founded by former Bodley Head upstart Allen Lane. I do hope he gets this project off the ground.

The children’s award went to Brian Conaghan’s The Bombs which Brought us Together (Bloomsbury), while the Poetry and First Novel categories went to Alice Oswald’s Falling Awake (W.W Norton & Company) and Francis Spufford’s Golden Hill (Faber & Faber) respectively. The big prize went to Irishman (and permanent gentleman) Sebastian Barry, for the SECOND TIME.


Meanwhile in Las Vegas, Conor McGregor is getting stuck into E.M. Forster’s Aspects of Style.

Father-son, academic, acting, computer science and topography duo Barry and Sam McGovern have put together a new project in order to commemorate the centenary of James Joyce’s first novel. The pair have mapped out certain locations from the novel, and recorded a special version of the novel. Listeners will get the chance to meet Stephen Daedalus and explore his haunts. It is unclear whether selfies with the artist as a young man are on offer.

Barry, who has had roles in Braveheart and Games of Thrones, remarked that, having initially read the book as a schoolboy, he still finds the novel striking. Particularly impressive are the passages on Stephen’s thoughts, which are written in the third person, though they seem as if they are written from a first person perspective.

Gotta love that free indirect discourse, am I right Barry? *

Publishing house Simon & Schuster are standing by their decision to publish a title by Breibart writer Milo Yiannopoulos. Pre orders for the book have take it to the top of the Amazon best sellers list, amidst strong condemnation from inside the publishing world and out. S&S, who have previously published work by Donald Trump, Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, as well as R.L. Stine and Stephen King, have urged readers to wait until they have read the book to pass judgement.

Special LR spoiler: it won’t be about “free speech.”

John Berger, famous author, art critic, and strong prominent denunciator of classism in said art, has passed away. Berger was well known for his TV series ‘Ways of Seeing‘, based on the book of the same name. Upon acquiring John Berger literary archive, the British library were forced to send Jamie Andrews to collect items from his remote farmhouse in the Alps. Andrews was also roped into the hay making.

* I know I’m right.

See you next week!

Featured Image Source – Project Arts Centre