Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Murakami wins O'Connor Prize

Haruki Murakami has won the second Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award for Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, his third collection of short stories to be published in English.

The €35,000 (£23,000) prize, which is awarded to new collections published in English during the last 12 months, is the world's richest short story prize. The prize will be shared between Murakami and his translators, Philip Gabriel and Jay Rubin.

Rubin paid tribute to the famous short story writer as he accepted the prize.

"If you have read Frank O'Connor's Guests of the Nation you'll be familiar with his theme that people need to recognise each other's common humanity," he said. "Haruki's stories are similarly powerful. As a translator, I am overwhelmed and honoured and I am sure Haruki will be too."

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman topped a shortlist which spanned three continents. First collections from Irish writer Philip Ó Ceallaigh and American author Rachel Sherman were nominated alongside entries from English writer Rose Tremain, Nepal-born Samrat Upadhyay and Peter Stamm, a Swiss author who writes in German.

The award, created in memory of the Frank O'Connor, is the highlight of the annual Frank O'Connor Short Story Festival, which ran from Wednesday to Sunday last.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Man Booker Prize Shortlist

The six authors shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2006, are Kiran Desai, Kate Grenville, M.J. Hyland, Hisham Matar, Edward St Aubyn, and Sarah Waters.

The six shortlisted books were chosen from a longlist of 19 and are:
Desai, Kiran The Inheritance of Loss - Hamish Hamilton
Grenville, Kate The Secret River - Canongate
Hyland, M.J. Carry Me Down - Canongate
Matar, Hisham In the Country of Men - Viking
St Aubyn, Edward Mother’s Milk - Picador
Waters, Sarah The Night Watch - Virago

The winner will be announced on Tuesday 10th October

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Harding Books Prize for Perfect Parody!!!!!

Due to overwhelming public demand and in advance of this year’s Public Libraries Conference (November 8th-10th at the Cavan Crystal Hotel, Co. Cavan), George Harding of Harding Books will once again kindly sponsor The Harding Books Prize for Perfect Parody!!!!!

To Enter:
Write the opening paragraph of a crime novel –entitled Murder at the Library in the style of your favourite (or least favourite) crime writer

The rules are as follows:
· The competition is open to library staff only
· All entries must include the following words –
Love Letters

The judges will include Val McDermid (award-winning author of Wire in the Blood and many other critically-lauded crime novels), Simon Brett (writer, actor, producer & broadcaster) and Mike Ripley (twice winner of the CWA Last Laugh Award, journalist & critic).

Now, most importantly, the money!
First Prize - €300 and a specially commissioned wood-carving by Sligo artist, Michael Quirke.
Second Prize - €200 and a specially commissioned wood-carving by Sligo artist, Michael Quirke.

Stop Press:
Details of a second competition for those of a gentler persuasion:
Write a paragraph entitled What I Did on my Summer Holidays in the style of any Irish writer, living or dead. Once again, the competition is open to library staff but as a special dispensation to non-crime lovers, you do not have to use the magic words as mentioned above. This competition will be adjudicated by academic and writer, Ruth Dudley-Edwards.
Prize - €100 and a copy of the Times Atlas of the WorldPlease send you entries to
Brenda Frawley, c/o Dooradoyle Library, Dooradoyle Road, Limerick or by e-mail to before
Friday, 29th September, 2006.

All winners will be announced and winning entries read aloud at this year’s Public Libraries Conference at the Cavan Crystal Hotel, Co. Cavan after the Banquet dinner on
Thursday, November 9th, 2006.

The Harding Books Perfect Parody Prize is kindly sponsored by George Harding of Harding Books, supplier of high quality, low cost paperback collections to libraries throughout the U.K. & Ireland