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Man Booker Prize 2016: Longlist

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016 at 10:42am

The longlist for the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction was released on July 27. This prize, awarded for excellence in literary writing, was first introduced in 1969 and is open to authors on an international scale whose work is written originally in English and published in the United Kingdom.

This year's list of 13 outstanding books was chosen from 155 submissions published in the UK between October 1, 2015, and September 30, 2016.

The longlist, or 'Man Booker Dozen', includes the following 13 works:

A shortlist of 6 books will be chosen from this selection and announced on September 13, 2016. The winner will then be declared on October 25th at a formal gala in London.

Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Literature

Harper Lee Returns

Friday, Jul 17, 2015 at 11:50am

After a lifetime of maintaining that she would never publish another novel, the media-shy Harper Lee finds herself in a place she traditionally has avoided for most of her career: the news. That’s because this summer her heretofore only published novel, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), is being joined by its sequel, Go Set a Watchman. In a statement delivered through her publisher, the book’s long-lost manuscript was discovered by her lawyer, “in a secure location where it had been affixed to an original typescript of To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Lee submitted Go Set a Watchman to her publisher before To Kill a Mockingbird. It features many of the characters from the iconic novel some twenty years later as they find themselves adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch — Scout — struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society and the small Alabama town that shaped her. Exploring the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird in a time of evolving social flux, Go Set a Watchman casts a new light on Lee’s enduring classic, while at the same time standing as a powerful novel in its own right.

Go Set a Watchman is available now in hardcover. Purchase online, or contact your nearest McNally Robinson bookstore to place an in-store hold.

Categories: buzz, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Publishing News, Literature

Something Different: Javier Marias and Leonid Tsypkin

Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 6:56pm

Javier Marias' name is rarely mentioned without the possibility of a future Nobel Prize win being brought up soon after. Roberto Bolaņo called him "by far Spain's best writer today." So why is his name so obscure in North America? Anyone I know who has read him becomes a devoted follower and waits impatiently for the next book. Marias' work is unusual in that the novels aren't so much about what happens, although plenty may happen, but what is caused by those events. Two of his favourite themes are espionage and translation, and so not surprisingly miscommunications, misunderstandings, and questions of identity are often explored in his novels. Both spies and translators, along with a dose of the Spanish Civil War, are at play in what is probably his masterpiece, the three part trilogy Your Face Tomorrow, made up of the novels Fever and Spear, Dance and Dream, and Poison, Shadow, and Farewell. However, his latest novel, Infatuations, does not involve spies or translators. Nevertheless it explores similar possibilities for multiple perspectives and meanings that inhabit the space in between people. Not wanting to give too much away, let's just say that people meet, a man is killed, and then Marias teases out, sentence by sentence, how they respond. He is a master at dropping a metaphorical stone in the water and then playing out the subtle emotional and psychological ripples that result. I recommend him very highly.
   —written by co-owner Chris Hall

Tsypkin worked as a pathologist in Soviet Russia. He was not considered a writer, merely indulging in the art after dark. There were no attempts at publishing the work in his own country. The narrative was too absurd and his accusations against the government too overt. Abandoning all hopes of publication, Tsypkin granted himself the ultimate freedom: to write and reach the centre. And the untimely centre is where he died. Luckily, his work survived with his son and was finally published twenty years after his death.

Mary Ruefle declares, "in the worst windstorms only the most delicate things survive." And how profoundly fragile these things are. Tsypkin's novel Summer in Baden-Baden is unlike anything I have ever read. He shatters all that I have learned about writing, personal and collective history. The novel opens with the narrator travelling to Leningrad by train to visit his aunt. In tandem, Fyodor and Anna Dostoevsky are departing for Germany. The narrator, a man twice denied permission to leave the Soviet Union, and Fyodor, the exiled writer, seem to share the same platform, a matching psychological interior. The narrator is dancing on the tightrope to infinity; he is Leonid and Fyodor and me and everybody that has ever dared to stick their head out of a window. The English translation of The Bridge over the Neroch and Other Works was released in early 2013. This collection appears to hold the last of his writing. With this last I too hope to reach the centre.
   —written by bookseller Noor Bhangu

This article was adapted from the September/October edition of our newsletter, The Bookseller. You can access the full newsletter online by clicking here. Be sure to also check out our holiday catalogue, Books of the Season, available now online or in-store for free.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Literature

Celebrating Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 3:45pm

On October 10th, Canadian author Alice Munro was announced as the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

This is a historic event because Ms. Munro is the first Canadian ever to have won a Nobel Prize in literature. On a more personal level, the win is notable for Ms. Munro because this year, at the age of 82, she announced her retirement from writing. Dear Life, according to the author, will be her last book.

As with any Canadian award-winning author, we are exceptionally proud of Ms. Munro and her recent honour. Ms. Munro is a wise and magnificent writer, and her award was well deserved.

If you're curious to read any of Munro's books, McNally Robinson proudly carries them all. Please contact your nearest McNally Robinson bookstore to check availability or to request a copy.

Also be sure to check out some videos of Ms. Munro, including this rare candid interview:

There is also this video of Munro being interviewed about her book, Too Much Happiness, at the International Festival of Authors in 2009.

Categories: Awards, Interview, Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author Videos, Literature

Alice Munro wins the Nobel Prize!

Thursday, Oct 10, 2013 at 9:32am

This morning we wake to the amazing news that Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. She is the first Canadian to ever win and only the 13th woman to win the award. The Swedish Academy announced the decision Thursday, calling the 82-year-old author from Wingham, Ont., a "master of the contemporary short story." A hearty congratulations, Ms. Munro, from McNally Robinson Booksellers.

To read more from Canada and around the world, here's the story at The Globe and Mail, at, the New York Times, and The Guardian.

Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Literature
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