Nan Shepherd on new Scottish £5 note
‘The choice of Nan Shepherd to feature on the £5 note was taken by the RBS Scotland Board.
On the choice of Nan Shepherd to appear on the £5 note, Robert Macfarlane, writer and Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge commented:
“It is thrilling to see Nan Shepherd celebrated and commemorated in this way. Nan was a blazingly brilliant writer, a true original whose novels, poems and non-fiction broke new ground in Scottish literature, and her influence lives on powerfully today.
“Nan’s book ‘The Living Mountain’ is a slender masterpiece that has brought many thousands of readers to see the Scottish landscape with fresh, astonished eyes. In person as in language, Nan followed her own path – she was a woman of fierce independence and inspiring vision.
“It is just wonderful news that she will now become known to millions more people in Scotland and beyond.”‘
Read more about the new note here.
Estelle Maskame wins the Young Scot Arts Award
‘Estelle Maskame received the Arts Award at the glittering Young Scot Awards Ceremony on 27 April 2016 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The event was hosted by Radio DJ Edith Bowman, and Estelle was one of three finalists up for the Arts Award. The Arts Award was presented by Scottish actor Kevin Guthrie and Chair of Young Scot, Dame Sue Bruce.
Since its launch in 2006, the Young Scot Awards has celebrated the inspirational contributions of thousands of young Scots who have made a real difference to communities across Scotland, recognising the amazing achievements of some of Scotland’s truly remarkable young people.
Eighteen-year-old author Estelle from Peterhead has gained more than 4 million fans around the world with her stories of teenage romance set in America. Her Did I Mention I Love You? trilogy tells the story of stepsiblings Eden and Tyler, a Portland girl and Santa Monica boy, who fall in love.’
Read more about Estelle’s win here.
Author Jenny Diski dies
The author Jenny Diski, who published a memoir about living with inoperable lung cancer only last week, has died aged 68.
‘Diski, a prolific writer of fiction, non-fiction, articles and reviews, had serialised a diary of her experiences in the London Review of Books since August 2014. Her memoir In Gratitude (Bloomsbury), which also tells the story of her relationship with novelist Doris Lessing, who took her in at the age of 15 after a difficult childhood, was published on 21st April.
The news was announced by her partner Ian Patterson, himself a writer, translator and teacher at the University of Cambridge, on Twitter. He wrote: “Sad news. My darling Jenny @diski died early this morning.”
In her serialised diary she wrote of her illness: “Under no circumstances is anyone to say that I lost a battle with cancer. Or that I bore it bravely. I am not fighting, losing, winning or bearing.”
Diski’s first novel, Nothing Natural (Virago) was published in 1986. Across 18 published works she wrote 10 more novels, as well as seven non-fiction works including other memoirs, essays and a nature book. Her travelogueStranger on a Train (Virago) was awarded both the J.R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography and the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in 2003.’
Read more about Diski’s passing here.
Leckie and Stephenson among Hugo Award finalists
‘Novels by Ann Leckie and Neal Stephenson are amongst the finalists for this year’s science-fiction Hugo Awards.
In the best novel category, the titles in contention are: Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit), The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc), The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit), Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow) and Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey).
The awards, which are also for films and TV, are for science fiction and fantasy works and are voted for by anyone who is a member of (i.e. has paid to attend) WorldCon in the US.’
Read more about the awards here.
Mackintosh, King and Galbraith compete for CrimeFest Awards
‘Clare Mackintosh will compete against the likes of Stephen King and Robert Galbraith for the crime fiction convention CrimeFest’s annual awards.
Mackintosh’s debut I Let You Go (Sphere) will go head-to-head with King’s Finders Keepers (Hodder & Stoughton), Ian Rankin’s Even Dogs in the Wild (Orion) and J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym Robert Galbraith for Career of Evil (Sphere) for the Audible Sounds of Crime Award.
Also shortlisted for the £1,000 prize, awarded to the best unabridged crime audiobook, is Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train (Random House), which is to be released as a feature film later this year.’
Read more about the awards here.
O’Sullivan’s debut wins Wellcome Book Prize
‘Consultant neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan has been awarded the £30,000 Wellcome Book Prize 2016 for her debutIt’s All in Your Head (Vintage) which describes her journey through the world of psychosomatic illness.
O’Sullivan beat competition from Cathy Rentzenbrink’s The Last Act of Love (Picador), NeuroTribes by Stephen Silberman (Allen & Unwin), The Outrun by Amy Liptrot (Canongate Books), Signs for Lost Children (Granta) and Alex Pheby’s Playthings (Galley Beggar Press).
All in Your Head focuses on debilitating illnesses that are medically unexplained. The prize organisers said: “We all exhibit physical responses to emotion – from blushing and laughter, to palpitations and stomach- ache – yet sometimes these expressions can be much more debilitating, causing seizures, paralysis, and even blindness, and the stigmatization associated with such a diagnosis is profound… Merging autobiography with absorbing case histories taken from her clinical experience, O’Sullivan’s work spotlights an area of increased attention in medical science – the boundaries between what afflicts the body and the mind and how deeply related the one is to the other.”’
Read more about the award here.
Bookshop Band to release 10 albums in 10 months
‘The Bookshop Band is to release over 100 book-inspired songs, serialised as 10 albums over the next 10 months.
The band has collaborated directly with many of the authors whose work has inspired them, with writers performing on tracks, helping to produce artwork and reading extracts from their work, including Man Booker Prize winners Ben Okri and Yann Martel.
The first album in the series is titled “Curious and Curiouser”, and will be released on 27th May. The album is inspired by ‘books with a sense of the fantastical’, including Alice in Wonderland, Sam Leith’s The Coincidence Engine(Bloomsbury) and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The album also features an extract from David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks (Sceptre) read by actress Fiona O’Shaughnessy, and Stanley Donwood reading from his book Humour (Faber & Faber). The cover art was designed by BAFTA-winning animator Mikey Please.’
Read more about the Bookshop Band here.