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[世界文絡] Literary events in 2012

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心雪 超級版主 2012-1-12 08:35:43 灘主


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Literary events in 2012
More Dickens and even more Shakespeare, but also new novels from Toni Morrison, Hilary Mantel, Zadie Smith, plus exciting new voices – 2012's literary highlights


10 Charles Dickens's The Mystery of Edwin Drood, starring Matthew Rhys and Tamzin Merchant, begins – and, unlike the book, ends – on BBC2.

13 Michael Morpurgo's much-loved children's novel War Horse, a long-running favourite at the National and on Broadway, gets the Hollywood treatment. A tearjerking saga about a young soldier and his horse – it was only a matter of time before it was Spielberged.

16 TS Eliot prize. Despite withdrawals from the shortlist over objections to a hedge fund's sponsorship of the prize, the Eliot remains the UK's premier poetry award, and its eve-of-event reading is always a treat. This year's shortlist includes Daljit Nagra, Carol Ann Duffy and John Burnside.

20 Release of film of Coriolanus, an Orson Wellesian effort directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes, with Gerard Butler as Aufidius and Vanessa Redgrave as Volumnia.

24 Costa awards ceremony. The multi-genre shortlist features Matthew Hollis's biography of Edward Thomas, Andrew Miller's novel Pure, former Great Ormond Street nurse Christie Watson's debut novel Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, Carol Ann Duffy's poetry collection The Bees (also on the TS Eliot shortlist), and debut children's writer Moira Young's Blood Red Road.

The 24th is also the 150th anniversary of Edith Wharton's birth, in danger of being overlooked amid Dickens mania.

31 Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer opens at the National Theatre, starring the former Coronation Street actor Katherine Kelly.

New titles

   Jack Holmes and His Friend by Edmund White (Bloomsbury). White's new novel follows his hero's romantic adventures from the 1960s to the 80s, through gay liberation and up to the advent of Aids, his sexual life dominated by what he cannot have: his straight best friend Will.
Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (Fourth Estate). This debut about ambition and friendship among college baseball players has been rapturously received in the US, generating plaudits from across the literary spectrum, from Jonathan Franzen to James Patterson.

All Is Song by Samantha Harvey (Jonathan Cape). The Wilderness marked the debut of a substantial new voice. Her second novel is about a man whose determination to live philosophically puts him out of step with the world.

Pity the Billionaire by Thomas Frank (Harvill Secker). The first important US politics book in election year. Frank, the author of What's the Matter with Kansas?, continues to ask why so many ordinary Americans favour free-market republicanism against their economic interests, even in the wake of the banking crisis.

Willpower by Roy F Baumeister (Allen Lane). A psychologist's study that argues willpower is like a muscle: it can be strengthened with practice.

Cairo: My Country, My Revolution by Ahdaf Soueif (Bloomsbury). One year on from the start of the Arab spring, Soueif interweaves recent events with episodes from her long relationship with the city of her birth.

Philip Larkin: The Complete Poems (Faber). All the published and unpublished verse, with comprehensive notes.

The Mara Crossing by Ruth Padel (Chatto). Poems and prose on the themes of home and migration.


6 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession, potentially providing a challenge for the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy – though she could delay singing for her sherry by writing a poem until June, when Her Maj will be doing her own celebrating.

7 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens's birth. As publishers, newspapers, television and radio all celebrated the birthday months ago, the actual date could well be marked only by a few pedants and Simon Callow.

10 Susan Hill's supernatural thriller The Woman in Black, the stage version of which has been sending shivers down the spines of audiences since 1989, is now set to do the same for cinema-goers. Stars a grown-up Daniel Radcliffe.

17 Release of the film version of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, about a little boy grieving for his father who died in the 9/11 attacks.

27 The centenary of Lawrence Durrell's birth coincides with the 10th anniversary of Spike Milligan's death. Nothing in common? Far from it – both were born (six years apart) in British India.

New titles

   Nathan Englander, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

The new year is bristling with short stories, from Cornish folklore to Korean immigrants to hillbilly noir. Look out for Nathan Englander's much-garlanded collection of stories about modern Jewishness, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank (Weidenfeld), and Jon McGregor's This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You (Bloomsbury), unsettling dispatches from the English fens.

Zona by Geoff Dyer (Canongate). "If I had not seen Stalker in my early 20s my responsiveness to the world would have been radically diminished." Subtitled "A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room", Dyer's latest idiosyncratic meditation is a quest to unlock the mysteries of the great, unfathomable Tarkovsky film.

A Card from Angela Carter by Susannah Clapp (Bloomsbury). A study of the hugely influential novelist and journalist who died in 1992.

The Origins of Sex by Faramerz Dabhoiwala (Allen Lane). A first book by an Oxford historian who argues that between 1600 and 1800 society's view of sex changed completely – it began to be thought, for instance, that sex should be a private matter.


2 20th anniversary of the death of Philip K Dick, the SF writer whose fiction inspired films such as Blade Runner, Total Recall and Minority Report. BBC1 is set to screen a Ridley Scott mini-series adapting (with Dick's own title, unusually) The Man in the High Castle.

It's also the UK release date of Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod's film of Maupassant's Bel Ami, with Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci and Robert Pattinson, a rare instance of a dreamboat being cast as a journalist).

28 Eve Best, the British star of Nurse Jackie, returns to take the lead in The Duchess of Malfi at Kevin Spacey's Old Vic.

29 Sheffield Theatre's Michael Frayn season begins with Copenhagen and continues with Benefactors and Democracy.

New titles

   John Lanchester, Capital

Capital by John Lanchester (Faber). Research for this hugely readable state-of-the-nation novel about how money makes London go round spawned Lanchester's elegant dissection of the financial crisis, Whoops!. Capital intertwines the stories of a disparate group of Londoners at the height of the credit bubble, from an overstretched City trader to a Zimbabwean traffic warden, conceptual artist to cornershop owner, all linked by one south London street where the house prices have rocketed.

The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend (Penguin). It's 30 years since Adrian Mole first appeared on Radio 4 as Nigel; in her new novel, Townsend turns her attention to the tribulations of a middle-aged woman.

No Time Like the Present by Nadine Gordimer (Bloomsbury).A state-of-the-nation novel about the new South Africa from the Nobel laureate.

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan (Virago). Fantastic debut about survival at sea and on land. It's 1914: Grace escapes family ruin to snare herself a rich husband. Then the liner on which they are honeymooning goes down, and she finds herself adrift on an overloaded lifeboat.

Wired for Culture: The Natural History of Human Co-operation by Mark Pagel (Allen Lane). An evolutionary biologist argues that it is our cultures and not our genes that determine how we live.

Aftermath by Rachel Cusk (Faber). A personal study of marriage, separation and life afterwards.

Making the Future (Penguin) by Noam Chomsky. Four essays on the "unipolar moment" in which the US dominates – but for how long?


5 Jonathan Cape publishes Irvine Welsh's prequel to Trainspotting and Andrew Motion's sequel to Treasure Island on the same day. Hopes are high of cross-promotion (eg flashmobs of junkie pirates in city squares).

15 The Titanic centenary arrives at last, and with it an ocean liner of books, not least Richard Davenport-Hines's Titanic Lives (HarperPress); also TV drama from Julian Fellowes.

16 London Book Fair opens, with China honoured as this year's "Market Focus", sending over a squad of writers.

20 100 years since Dracula creator Bram Stoker reportedly died …

23 The Bard's supposed birthday sees the start of the RSC's World Shakespeare Festival. BBC2 Shakespeare plays, which are expected to run April-June, include the history cycle of Richard II, Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2, Henry V, with Rupert Goold, Richard Eyre and Thea Sharrock directing, Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston as the kings and Simon Russell Beale (who may have to put some weight back on) as Falstaff.

The Cultural Olympiad's Shakespearefest gets off to a swaggering start with the Globe performing 37 plays in 37 languages and continues with celebrations and performances up and down the country, from Stratford to Gateshead.

It's aso World Book Night, the great book giveaway, which this year is also taking place in the US.

New titles

The Apartment by Greg Baxter (Penguin Ireland). A Preparation for Death, Baxter's brutally honest memoir about his literary ambitions and self-sabotaging behaviour in boomtime Dublin, revealed a blazing talent. Now comes a powerful first novel about an American who has set himself adrift in Europe.

Stonemouth by Iain Banks (Little, Brown). Banks's publishers are always promising a return to the blackly comic rites-of-passage territory of The Crow Road. This new one, about a man run out of town after he offends the local crime family, and his subsequent return to face his demons, looks as though it may deliver.

Scenes from Early Life by Philip Hensher (Fourth Estate). An autobiographical novel – but the twist is that the autobiography belongs to Hensher's husband, Zaved Mahmood. It's the story of growing up in a Bengali family against the backdrop of civil war and the creation of a new country, Bangladesh.
Peter Carey, The Chemistry of Tears

   The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey (Faber). In modern-day London, a conservator mourning the death of her secret lover tries to unravel the mystery of a 19th-century automaton: a clockwork puzzle made for a sick child. Life and death, love and human invention are explored as the two stories intertwine.

Pure by Timothy Mo (Turnaround). The three-times Booker-shortlisted author of Sour Sweet has had a volatile relationship with publishers and editors, turning to self-publishing in the past. For his first novel in over a decade, set in Thailand, he's teamed up with a small London distribution company. The key attraction of his new publisher? He answers the phone: "None of this 'he's in a meeting', which is like 'your cheque's in the post'."

Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer (Canongate). With a blurb by Malcolm Gladwell, this study by the still-young Lehrer (his third book) contends that creativity is not a gift possessed only by the special few, but a variety of thought processes that can be learnt.

What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael Sandel (Allen Lane). The Harvard star professor asks how we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don't belong.

How Soon Is Now? by Richard King (Faber). A history of Britain's independent record labels.

Love's Bonfire by Tom Paulin (Faber). His first poetry collection since 2004.


7 Post-Dickens Victorian fatigue may dampen celebrations of twin bicentenaries, of Robert Browning's birth and Edward Lear's on 12 May. Together they can claim an influence that has filtered through to all surreal or nonsense literature and anyone writing in character, from Jay-Z and Beyonce to Carol Ann Duffy.

11 The British Library exhibition on "British literature and place" will include such treats as the first hand-written and illustrated Alice's Adventures Underground; William Blake's notebooks; JG Ballard's handwritten manuscripts; the "suppressed" chapter from Wind in the Willows; a childhood newspaper written by Virginia Stephen (Woolf) describing a summer visit to a lighthouse and manuscripts of the Brontes, including Jane Eyre.

28 Centenary of the birth of Patrick White, the prickly Australian novelist who won the Nobel prize in 1973, and vies with Elias Canetti and Alberto Moravia for the coveted title of major author whose works are most often seen in secondhand bookshops.

30 Orange prize ceremony – will Joanna Trollope and her fellow judges anoint the first non-American winner since 2008?

New titles

Home by Toni Morrison (Chatto & Windus). It's now a quarter of a century since the publication of Morrison's masterpiece, Beloved. Her new novel explores the bitter homecoming of a black Korean vet, who must take on the racism of 50s America and his own self-loathing in order to rescue his sister and redeem his Georgia roots.
Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies

   Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate). Mantel's grand reimagining of Thomas Cromwell and his times has grown into a trilogy. This follow-up to the mighty 2009 Booker-winner Wolf Hall takes a detour into the brutal downfall of Anne Boleyn. Mantel promises a "shorter, more concentrated" book this time, though it will be no less gruelling: "By the time Anne was dead I felt I had passed through a moral ordeal."

Skios by Michael Frayn (Faber). Cerebral summer reading set on an idyllic Greek island, where a famous scientist has been invited to give a lecture to the annual convention – but turns out to be not at all what his audience was expecting …

In One Person by John Irving (Doubleday). In typically tragicomic style, Irving sets out to explore sexual identity – difference and desire, togetherness and solitude – through a half-century in the life of his bisexual narrator Billy and a cast of friends and lovers.

The Deadman's Pedal by Alan Warner (Jonathan Cape). There must be a tinge of autobiography to Warner's seventh novel, in which a teenager in the Scottish Highlands in the 70s dreams, drifts, falls in love and works on the railways. His last novel was longlisted for the Booker prize; his eccentric star continues to rise.

Mrs Robinson's Disgrace by Kate Summerscale (Bloomsbury). The follow-up to the prizewinning, bestselling The Suspicions of Mr Whicher centres on a celebrated Victorian divorce case.

London, You're Beautiful: An Artist's Year by David Gentleman (Particular Books). The capital as represented by the Camden-based artist.

Jubilee Lines (Faber). Carol Ann Duffy, the poet laureate, brings together 60 contemporary poets to write about each of the 60 years of the Queen's reign.

Also out this month: The Server by Tim Parks (Harvill Secker), about a Buddhist retreat; a family get-together in The Red House by Mark Haddon (Jonathan Cape); short stories from Jackie Kay (Reality, Reality, Picador); and humanity reaches the stars in 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit).


8 Euro 2012 football tournament begins, offering host nations Poland and Ukraine a slightly spurious opportunity – but who are we to talk in Olympics year? – to draw attention to their vibrant cultural heritages. If all goes well, lectures on Bulgakov, Gogol, Mickiewicz and Miłosz will replace half-time analysis in TV match coverage.

26 Poetry Parnassus gets under way, an Olympics for poets overseen by Simon Armitage with each country able to nominate one writer.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Getty Images

Getty Images
28 300th anniversary of the birth of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Switzerland and France can be expected to fight for ownership of the romantic novelist, philosopher and autobiographer.

New titles

Canada by Richard Ford (Bloomsbury). Ford promises "all kinds of untoward and actually quite violent things" in this novel about fugitives in the 1950s.

The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa (Faber). The Celt of the title is Roger Casement, the Irish poet-patriot who was executed in 1916 for seeking German support for a revolt against British rule. The South American connection is provided by his role as British consul, when he campaigned against the abuse of rubber workers in Peru.

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (Doubleday). "Our Earth is but one of a chain of parallel worlds, each differing from its neighbours by a little (or a lot) in an infinite landscape of infinite possibilities. And you can just step from one world to the next …" Pratchett, who last year published his 50th book, has been mulling over this idea for more than 20 years.

The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane (Hamish Hamilton). This completes the informal trilogy that began with Mountains of the Mind, tracing the relationships between landscape and ways of thinking and feeling. Macfarlane journeys along the old drovers' tracks and sea paths of Britain.

Vagina by Naomi Wolf (Virago). The Beauty Myth author writes a cultural history of female sexuality and how it has been perceived.


19 Staging the World – British Museum exhibition on London and its theatres in the 1590s and 1600s.

27 The Olympics begin, and Ruth Mackenzie brings her Cultural Olympiad to a climax.

Mo Said She Was Quirky by James Kelman (Hamish Hamilton). A master of Scottish dialect, Kelman has inhabited the consciousness of men of all ages. Now he takes us through 24 hours in the life of a young woman.

The Truth by Michael Palin (Weidenfeld). The globetrotting Python's second novel features a hack who is given the chance to write a biography of a legendary environmental activist – and discovers that his hero may have feet of clay.

Lionel Asbo: State of England by Martin Amis (Jonathan Cape). Amis promised that this satire about a violent criminal who wins the lottery will be the "final insult" to the England he's left for the US. The novel will be his revenge on celebrity culture, X Factor vacuity and the decline of England in all its "rage, dissatisfaction, bitterness". Oh, and Katie Price.

The Twelve by Justin Cronin (Orion). The Passage, in which humanity breeds its own destruction when vampiric "virals" are created for the military, was a monstrous success: an absorbing, gruelling 1,000-page epic – that ended on a cliffhanger. In part two, the small group of survivors fight back; but with a third volume in the pipeline, resolution is some way off yet.


7 Joe Wright's Anna Karenina is released, with who else but Keira Knightley, hoping to match Greta Garbo and Vivien Leigh as Anna, Jude Law as Vronsky, and Oxfordshire as the Russian countryside.

11 The world's biggest celebration of books commences for two weeks of events and performances from literary names established and new at the International Edinburgh Book Festival.

Umbrella by Will Self (Bloomsbury). In the psychologically swinging 60s, Self's long-running character, notorious shrink Zack Busner, takes up a post at a north London mental asylum. There he finds coma victims who have been sleeping out the 20th century.

Jeanette Winterson's as yet untitled horror story (Hammer). The film company Hammer is moving into publishing with what Winterson describes as her "very scary novella about the Lancashire witches", the nine women and two men who were tried for murder by witchcraft in 1612.

Toby's Room by Pat Barker (Hamish Hamilton). Set among a group of students at the Slade School of Art in London and France before and during the first world war, Barker's new novel explores the intersection of art and medicine, through the pioneering science of facial reconstruction.


NW by Zadie Smith (Hamish Hamilton). There's been a seven-year wait for Smith's fourth novel, which follows the fortunes of a group of friends on an estate in north-west London through school and into adulthood. Though they stay faithful to this most diverse of postcodes, their adult lives diverge dramatically.

Zoo Time (Bloomsbury), Howard Jacobson's follow-up to the Booker-winning The Finkler Question, continues his themes – love, lust, loss – and turns a fierce eye on the state of publishing.

After an 11-year wait, there's a new novel from Lawrence Norfolk, John Saturnall's Feast (Bloomsbury), set in the 17th century.

Unapologetic by Francis Spufford (Faber). A defence of Christian belief, and attack on the New Atheism, as represented by books such as Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion and Christopher Hitchens's God Is Not Great. Billed as "unhampered by niceness".

On Design by Alice Rawsthorn (Penguin). On the history, meanings and challenges of design.

Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie (Jonathan Cape). His memoir of the fatwa.


16 The Man Booker Prize is announced. The chair of judges this year is Peter Stothard, editor of the TLS; his fellow judges are Dinah Birch, academic and literary critic; Amanda Foreman, historian, writer and broadcaster; Dan Stevens, actor; and Bharat Tandon, academic, writer and reviewer.

New short story collection from Margaret Atwood (Bloomsbury).

Country Girl by Edna O'Brien (Faber). A long-awaited memoir from the Irish novelist born in 1930, energised by encounters with Hollywood stars and literary heavyweights.


Just over 50 years since it was first published, Jack Kerouac's beat classic On the Road finally makes it to the big screen. The film will be directed by Walter Salles, with Francis Ford Coppola (who first bought the rights as far back as 1979) as executive producer.


21 Ang Lee's film adaptation of Yann Martel's Life of Pi, the story of a boy trapped on a boat with a tiger, will surely captivate audiences; the novel is the bestselling Booker-winner of all time.

25 The Great Gatsby gets the Baz Luhrmann treatment for the big screen, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan starring as Jay and Daisy. A timely new take on Fitzgerald's depression-era classic.

News from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/06/literary-events-2012

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