Bookwitch bites #54

So many awards, so many winners. So hard to keep up. But please keep writing and keep winning! It’s what we like.

Keren David has just won the Lancashire Book of the Year for When I Was Joe. Yippee!

Chris Priestley - sort of

Earlier this week the Leeds Book Awards took place. I realised something was up when so many authors appeared to be travelling to Leeds, all on the same day. First I got confused because many of them seemed to be winners, but they do several categories in Leeds. Hence lots of winners. David Gatward won one, Lee Weatherly won another and Jon Mayhew won a third. The runners-up were awarded what looked like huge diamonds, so all did very well. Candy Gourlay was there, and so was Helen Grant, Laura Summers and Teresa Flavin. And Chris Priestley, who is nowhere near as horrible looking as we had been led to believe. Phew.

Another kind of winner, although not of an award this time, is Mal Peet and his marvellous piece about Martin Amis and the brain damage. Thank god for people like Mal. I feel the need for a little quote here: ‘And when, as I do (I can’t help myself) I read the adult books shortlisted for the big prestigious prizes I find myself thinking “Really? This is ‘ground-breaking?” My editor would never let me get away with toss like this.’ That will be why Mal has won one or two things himself.

Football scene, Celtic fans

And because Mal likes football, I’ll leave you with some ‘winning’ football pictures from the world premiere this week of Divided City by Theresa Breslin. Those who were there said it was phenomenal and fantastic and amazing. I’m willing to believe them.

Football scene, Rangers fans

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One response to “Bookwitch bites #54

  1. The Mal Peet piece is worth reading if a tad defensive, since Amis’ comment has been rather too often taken out of context, but I’d like to highlight one aspect of Peet’s argument that I find faulty, or at least not entirely correct:

    ‘But most children need literary nurturing, and the quality of that nurture is crucial if they are to grow into readers of Ovid and Nabokov. And, of course, Amis.’

    Unless I misunderstand what Peet means by the quality of nurture, children often grow into readers for reasons that have little to do with the type of reading matter they encounter, and in fact often begin by reading masses of very poor quality stuff indeed. I probably first became a voracious reader based on the Nancy Drew series, for example – and because I was a lonely and dreamy outsider. Which is not to say that I don’t recognise the importance of writing like Peet’s for children or young adults!

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