Another international prize is in the offing: The Man Booker International Prize, which is now awarded annually for a single title. The shortlist for the 2017 prize has been announced, with two authors from Israel, and one each from Argentina, Denmark, France and Norway.
The full list, showing Author (nationality), Translator, Title, is:
- Mathias Enard (France), Charlotte Mandell (US), Compass
- David Grossman (Israel), Jessica Cohen (US), A Horse Walks Into a Bar
- Roy Jacobsen (Norway), Don Bartlett (UK), Don Shaw (UK), The Unseen
- Dorthe Nors (Denmark), Misha Hoekstra (US), Mirror, Shoulder, Signal
- Amos Oz (Israel), Nicholas de Lange (UK), Judas
- Samanta Schweblin (Argentina), Megan McDowell (US), Fever Dream
Not all titles are issued in Australia, but we do have copies of Fever Dream (HB, $20), and we’re very to hunt out any others for fans of great fiction in translation. Stand by for the announcement of the winner on 14 June (UK time).
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New Stock Coming Soon & Selling for $40 [rrp$45]
Where the Trees Were is Inga Simpson’s third book and it’s her best yet by a long way in my opinion. Set in farming country, four children from different families grown up together, spending most of their time by or in the river that goes through Jayne’s family property. Jayne is the only girl which has never been an issue, but as they get to the end of primary school, Kieran and Jayne start to look at each other differently.
The book goes back and forth from these childhood years to Jayne (now known as Jay) as an adult working in Canberra as an art conservationist. In a slow build up, you realise that Jay is now trying to right the wrongs of the past committed on an aboriginal burial ground on her family property.
There is quite of bit of interesting art history and detail of the process of identifying art pieces which I enjoyed. I had never heard of ‘arborglyphs’ before for example. (You’ll have to read the book to find out!) The sense of place, in particular the river scenes are especially vivid, but Canberra is well drawn too. The characters are believable, interesting and ones you care about.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyably story. $30
Raymie is a young girl whose life has been turned upside down by her father leaving her and her mother to go off and find happiness with a dental hygienist. Raymie is bereft and becomes obsessed with the idea that she can make her father come back by doing something wonderful, getting her photo into the paper and making him proud.
Her strategy is to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition by dazzling the judges with her baton twirling skills. Problem: she isn’t very good at baton twirling, but lessons with Miss Ida Lee, baton twirling champion will hopefully fix that. Her old friend Beverley and a new friend Louisiana are also learning to baton twirl an Raymie starts to suspect that Louisiana’s need for the prize money might be greater than her own.
Raymie is a sweet and gentle character so it’s hard to watch her disappointment when things don’t go to plan. Beverley and Louisiana have their difficulties as well, but they all find that when things aren’t quite how you want them, friends can help you feel better, not happier maybe, but better.
Another charmer with humour and heart. Kate DiCamillo is a treasure. Suitable for 10 and up.
Raymie Nightingale is a lovely small hardback for $20.
From the writer of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, John Boyne, comes an equally moving tale of a boy with a very different story to tell. In the midst of tragedy young Pierrot is sent to live with his aunt in Austria. Little does he know that he will be quickly swept up into the allure of the Nazi regime. Told through the eyes of Pierrot, the injustices of the second world war are shown in a very unconventional light and eventually he will be forced to decide between his birthplace and his new found home. Beautifully crafted and thought out, The Boy at the Top of the Mountain offers an unprejudiced view into the life of a boy torn between two worlds.
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne due out 1st October 2015 published Doubleday $20.00 paperback