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Paul Beatty wins 2016 Man Booker Prize

The Sellout is a satire on race, set in contemporary America. The protagonist, Bonbon, is an African-American from Dickens, a town that has been removed from the map to save California from embarrassment. Bonbon is being tried in the Supreme Court for attempting to reinstate slavery and segregation in the local high school as means of bringing civic order. It is also filled with satirical characters that represent current racial stereotypes.


The Sellout is a life-changing piece of literature, aimed at challenging America’s sacred tenets, as well as drawing our attention to urban life, the civil rights movement and most importantly, racial equality. Amanda Foreman, one of 2016 Chair of Judges, has called the book “A tirelessly inventive modern satire, its humor disguises a radical seriousness. Paul Beatty slays sacred cows with abandon and takes aim at racial and political taboos with wit, verve and a snarl.”


Paul Beatty is the first American author to win a Man Booker Prize in its 48-year history. Upon winning a Man Booker Prize, Beatty can expect international recognition and an increase in book sales. In addition to his £50,000 prize and trophy, Beatty also receives a designer bound edition of his book and a further £2,500 for being shortlisted.

Winner of 2016 Nobel Literature Prize

Bob Dylan is the winner of 2016 Nobel Literature Prize!


With a musical career spanning over six decades, Dylan’s mellifluous voice is familiar to every musical aficionado. However, trough this prestigious award, he is not awarded for his musical talents, but rather for the strong poetic lyrics he has written. According to The Swedish Academy Dylan is awarded for “…having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”


Dylan has written many songs about important issues about war, morale, and betrayal. He has also written many lyrics about heartbreak, death and love. Through these lyrics, we were taught the beauty of life’s greatest tragedies.


Though Dylan is considered by many to be a musician, not a writer, his artistic reach of his lyrics and poetry could not be put in a single box.


Dylan is one of the few legends still alive today, and not to mention still active. Just last week, he performed at the Desert Trip festival in California alongside other living legends such as Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones.


It is not know how Dylan reacted to the prize, since he is very private. Moreover, he is the first American to win the prestigious award since Toni Morrison in 1993. Even though Dylan is not a writer/poet in the traditional sense, his lyrics are considered to be literature. As the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius, had said, choosing 2016’s winner “…had not been a difficult decision” and she hoped the academy would not be criticized for its choice. Bob Dylan is truly deserving of this award.

2016 Man Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for The 2016 Man Booker Prize has been announced! This year’s list consists of six titles that have been chosen from the thirteen titles appearing in the longlist. Here is the shortlist:


Paul Beatty –The Selloutman-booker-prize-2016-logo

Deborah Levy –Hot Milk

Graeme Macrae Burnet –His Bloody Project

Ottessa Moshfegh –Eileen

David Szalay –All That Man is

Madeleine Thien –Do Not Say We Have Nothing



Winning The Man Booker Prize is an incredible accolade for any writer –it guarantees inter
national recognition and an increase in sales. Last year’s winner, A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James had a 933% increase in sales, with 12,466 physical copies sold in the week following his win.


The Man Booker Prize was established in 1968, originally known as the Booker-McConnell Prize. In 2002, the administration of the prize was transferred to the Booker Prize Foundation, sponsored by investment company Man Group. The judges for the Man Booker Prize vary each year, they are chosen by The Booker Prize Advisory Committee. The judges usually represent all aspects of the literary and arts world. For instance, this year’s judges include a writer, a literary professor, a historian an actor and a columnist.


This year’s shortlist is an exciting one. All six titles are diverse story-wise, but are all connected by their interest in the world at large.



Hot Milk tells the story of a daughter’s relationship with her hypochondriac mother. Deborah Levy’s novel is heavily shrouded with symbolism and twisted humor, a hypnotic story that is very compelling for the readers.


Paul Beatty’s The Sellout challenges the principles of the United States Constitution through a compelling tale of racial equality and a person’s remarkable life journey in the ghetto outskirts of Los Angeles.


Eileen is a psychological thriller about a woman who feels trapped in life and finds relieve in her perverse fantasies. Riddled with black comedy, Eileen is a sinister yet unexpectedly funny novel.


Graeme Macrae Burnet courtroom drama about murders taking place during 1869 is enticing and masterfully told. Its psychological crime plot is character-driven and very engaging.


Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing is a powerful story about Chinese history and the impact it has on the novel’s protagonist. It is filled with complexity, wisdom and a heartbreaking tale that is difficult to forget.



All That Man Is asks existential questions that every one has pondered at some point in life. It tells the tale of nine men at different stages in life, all asking the same questions: What is my life –here and now, all about?


The winner of the Man Booker Prize 2016 will be announced on the 25th of October!

The Culture Trip recognizes The Bookworm as one of Beijing’s best “hidden bookshops”

The Culture Trip

The website Culture Trip had some nice things to say about us. Click the above picture for the full story.

The Bookworm in Beijing is not just a bookshop, but one of the city’s major cultural hubs. Local and foreign culture lovers that crave to be surrounded by stacks of books while enjoying a cup of  coffee need look no further. The Bookworm includes a café-restaurant with a rare selection of whiskeys, and hosts a number of events such as movie screenings, comedy nights, lectures, literary festivals, and various poetry and writing workshops. It  has been named one of “The Best Bookshops in the World” by Lonely Planet.

Announcing: Winners of the Inaugural China Bookworm Literary Award :: 老书虫文学奖获奖名单揭晓

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Wang Zhezhu, winner of the inaugural China Bookworm Literary Award

BEIJING – The China Bookworm Press is delighted to announce the winners of the inaugural China Bookworm Literary Award, with the first prize going to 34-year-old Guangzhou native Wang Zhezhu for her novel The Train That Came To Its End.

The runner-up is Li Ziyue with I Am in the Red Chamber, You Are on the Journey to the West, with third prize going to Lin Weipan’s When a Cloud Meets a Sheet of Paper. (more…)

Eileen Chang’s ‘Half a Lifelong Romance’ finally released in English

Eileen Chang’s romantic classic Half a Lifelong Romance is finally getting a US release – and it only took half a lifetime! After 47 years without an English translation, Penguin translated the book late last year, with the US edition being published by Vintage Books next month.

The book has in the past been adapted for film – Ann Hui’s Eighteen Springs – when her work resurged in popularity in Hong Kong and Taiwan during the 80s and 90s. There is a rising awareness of Chang’s literature in the West partly thanks to that surge, which resulted in Ang Lee’s award-winning film adaptation of her novel Lust, Caution. Many Western universities now teach her short stories as part of their Chinese Literature programs.

Chang is the first Chinese woman published by Penguin Classics.



Congrats to Alice Munro! Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature


Alice Munro, often called the Chekov of our times, a true master of the short story. Her stories are complex, moving and insightful – a reminder of the dramas embedded in the lives of everyday people. Congrats! Here, a trio of links to celebrate.

Munro revisits her childhood and her mother’s illness.

When my mother was dying, she got out of the hospital somehow, at night, and wandered around town until someone who didn’t know her at all spotted her and took her in. If this were fiction, as I said, it would be too much, but it is true.

A short story by Munro, “Queenie.” Want more? There’s a bookshop I know of.

Her Art of Fiction Q and A.

It’s something I never would have been able to think of losing twenty years ago—the faith, the desire. I suppose it’s like when you don’t fall in love anymore. But you can put up with that because falling in love has not really been as necessary as something like this. I guess that’s why I keep doing it. Yes, I don’t stop for a day. It’s like my walk every day. My body loses tone now in a week if I don’t exercise. The vigilance has to be there all the time. Of course it wouldn’t matter if you did give up writing. It’s not the giving up of the writing that I fear. It’s the giving up of this excitement or whatever it is that you feel that makes you write.




Who made the cut? 2013 Man Booker longlist announced

Congrats to Tash Aw and all the other finalists!
Five Star Billionaire Tash Aw (Fourth Estate)
Unexploded Alison MacLeod ( Hamish Hamilton)
The Spinning Heart Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland)


Lit Links! Royal babies, Pasta and Book Covers

What’s catching our attention on the Internet? Royal babies, book covers and pasta.
1. Born today – not just a royal baby but also an entire children’s book category.
2. Selling Chinese literature abroad tough abroad abroad.
3. On the Noodle Road author Jen Lin-Liu talks pasta, Marco Polo and the Silk Road.
4. McSweeney’s explains how to use storytelling to market your product.
5. An insider’s guide to the book covers.

Literary Links: Cat Fights, Drag Queens and Gatsby

Tom Carter, author of Unsavory Elements, on cat fights over copycat books.

Alex Jung in the LA Times Review of Books on the confluence of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Virgina Woolf: “I have often thought that if I were ever a drag queen, and more specifically that if I were ever a drag queen who was a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I would play Virginia Woolf – or rather, Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf.”

A British illustrator and Hunter S. Thompson walk into the Kentucky Derby. What happens next?

So, what books might have set Jay Gatsby on a better path (or at least entertained him during the long lonely evenings)? Flavorwire picks a reading list for Gatz 2.0.

Why the “perpetual turmoil” of being an immigrant be good for your writing career.

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