Welcome once again to Sunshine Week! It’s that time of year when journalists, citizen watchdogs, community activists, data wizards, political gadflies, public-records litigators, and open-gov fanatics come together to champion the cause of transparency and commiserate over the obstacles we face everyday while chasing sunlight.
Here are the NBCC Award winners for (publishing year) 2014:
Roz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Bloomsbury)
John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh (W.W. Norton & Co.)
Ellen Willis, The Essential Ellen Willis, edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz (University of Minnesota Press)
Marilynne Robinson, Lila (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation (Alfred A. Knopf)
Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press)
Judges Alexander Chee, Marc Fitten, and Deirdre McNamer have announced their list of finalists for the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The winner will be announced on April 7th, and the 35th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
- Jeffery Renard Allen, author of Song of the Shank (Graywolf Press)
- Jennifer Clement, author of Prayers for the Stolen (Hogarth)
- Atticus Lish, author of Preparation for the Next Life (Tyrant Books)
- Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven (Alfred A. Knopf)
- Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation (Alfred A. Knopf)
Shami Chakrabarti is chair of the judges for this year’s Baileys women’s prize for fiction. Photograph: Roger Askew/Rex
The women’s prize for fiction, established to redress the tendency by literary awards to overlook writing by women, is now in its 20th year, but chair of this year’s judges Shami Chakrabarti believes we are “still nowhere near where we should be” when it comes to literary recognition for women.
Announcing a longlist of 20 titles for the Baileys women’s prize for fiction, which runs the gamut from literary works by the likes of Ali Smith, Anne Tyler, Kamila Shamsie, Sarah Waters and Rachel Cusk to dystopian science fiction and thrillers, the Liberty director was adamant that there is still a place for a literary award focusing on women’s fiction.
The women’s prize for fiction was launched in the wake of the judges’ failure to shortlist a single female author for the Booker prize of 1991. Literary figures led by the author Kate Mosse discovered that “by 1992, only 10% of novelists shortlisted for the Booker prize had been women”; by 1996, their plan to launch an award solely for women had come to fruition.
The award is open to novels written in English by women from anywhere in the world, provided they are published in the UK, and is intended to reward “excellence, originality and accessibility in writing”. Chakrabarti said there had been a “very strong showing of UK writers”, on this year’s longlist.
The winner will be announced on 3 June, following the unveiling of the shortlist on 13 April. The award has previously honoured writers including Eimear McBride, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith and Andrea Levy…
Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist 2015:
- Outline by Rachel Cusk (Faber and Faber) – British – 8th novel
- Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans (Doubleday) – British – 4th novel
- Aren’t We Sisters? by Patricia Ferguson (Penguin) – British – 8th novel
- I Am China by Xiaolu Guo (Chatto & Windus) – Chinese/ British – 6th novel
- Dear Thief by Samantha Harvey (Jonathan Cape) – British – 3rd novel
- Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (Viking) – British – 1st novel
- Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel (Picado) – Canadian – 4th novel
- The Offering by Grace McCleen (Sceptre) – British – 3rd novel
- The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman (Chatto & Windus) – British/American – 3rd novel
- The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill (Quercus) – Canadian – 2nd novel
- The Bees by Laline Paull (Fourth Estate) – British – 1st novel
- The Table of Less Valued Knights by Marie Phillips (Jonathan Cape) – British – 2nd Novel
- The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert (Virago) – British – 3rd novel
- A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury) – Pakistani/British – 6th novel
- How to be Both by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton) – British – 6th novel
- The Shore by Sara Taylor (William Heinemann) – American – 1st novel
- A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (Chatto & Windus) – American – 20th novel
- The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (Virago) – British – 6th novel
- After Before by Jemma Wayne (Legend Press) – British – 1st novel
- The Life of a Banana by PP Wong (Legend Press) – British – 1st novel
In November, [James] Somers, a developer for Genius, released an app calledDraftback.1 It’s a fascinating experiment that treats writing like data. After years of trying to build a program, Somers realized that Google Docs was already saving every keystroke we enter. So he hacked Google Docs to play documents back to their authors, materializing on the screen with every stutter-step inherent to the writing process. In its latest form, Draftback is a Google Chrome extension that can reach deep into the archives of any Google Doc you have editing rights to, make sense of all that writing and rewriting you innocuously poured into it, and beam it right back to you, backspaces and all. It doesn’t matter if your document was created before or after you installed Draftback — the keystrokes have been buried the whole time. Draftback can unearth any fossil.