Announcing the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist

The 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist has been announced! The list is comprised of 16 novels that meet the award criteria of “excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women in English from throughout the world.” This year’s longlist has a mixture of both well-established writers (notably Arundhati Roy, Jennifer Egan, and the force to be reckoned with that is Jesmyn Ward) and debut authors like Gail Honeyman.  The list also spans a range of genres and four continents.

Sarah Sands, the 2018 Chair of Judges commented, “What is striking about the list, apart from the wealth of talent, is that women writers refuse to be pigeon-holed. We have searing social realism, adventure, comedy, poetic truths, ingenious plots and unforgettable characters. Women of the world are a literary force to be reckoned with.”

The shortlist will be announced on April 23rd and the winner will be announced on June 6th.

And here’s the list!

H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

Sight by Jessie Greengrass

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wifeby Meena Kandasamy

Elmet by Fiona Mozley

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

This post was originally published on Book Riot.


Jane Austen Quotes about Life, Love, and More

Jane Austen is beloved the world over for her wit, charm, and keen understanding of the human heart. Enjoy these Jane Austen quotes about life, love, society, money, marriage, and more!

“Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.” —Mansfield Park

“It is always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should ever refuse an offer of marriage. A man always imagines a woman to be ready for anybody who asks her.” —Emma

“Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.” —Pride and Prejudice

“I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.” —Sense and Sensibility

“I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.” —Emma


“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” —Northanger Abbey

“Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does.” —Emma

“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” —Mansfield Park

“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.” —Emma

“Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked” —Jane Austen’s Letters

“I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.” —Sense and Sensibility

“Is not general incivility the very essence of love?” —Pride and Prejudice

“A woman, especially if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.” —Northanger Abbey

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.” —Persuasion

“Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.” —Northanger Abbey

“[N]obody minds having what is too good for them.” —Mansfield Park

“A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman! He ought not; he does not.” —Persuasion

“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.” —Mansfield Park

“Nothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like.” —Mansfield Park

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” —Pride and Prejudice

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?” —Pride and Prejudice

“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” —Emma

“We are to have a tiny party here tonight. I hate tiny parties—they force one into constant exertion.” —Jane Austen’s Letters

“Know your own happiness.” —Sense and Sensibility

“I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.” —Jane Austen’s Letters

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.” —Pride and Prejudice

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” —Pride and Prejudice

Do you have favorite Jane Austen quotes that’s aren’t on the list? Share them in the comments!

This post was originally published on Book Riot.

Maine Reading Retreat

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I visited Maine this weekend for a reading retreat with four of my girlfriends who also work in publishing. We rented a beautiful beach house that overlooked the ocean on one side and the Saco River on the other. It was a beautiful house and we sat near the fireplace, read books, cooked together, and had the most amazing time. Compared to living in the city, it was so quiet and peaceful—perfect for getting a lot of reading and writing done! Here are some of my reading highlights from the trip:

  • Manazuru by Hiromi Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by Michael Emmerich: This was my first read of the weekend and it’s this beautiful, profound, haunting story of loss. Twelve years ago Kei’s husband, Rei, disappeared and she was left alone with their daughter. Now we watch Kei struggle to move on and put the past behind her as she’s haunted by ghosts both figuratively and literally.
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert: I loved this book! It’s a dark, clever, startling debut and its got elements of fairy tales and Alice in Wonderland. I was lost in it for hours, absolutely enthralled by the writing and the beautiful design.
  • Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot: Heart Berries is a powerful memoir of Terese Marie Mailhot’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. The memoir is one of struggle, as she details her dysfunctional upbringing and challenges indigenous women face, but ultimately one of strength and will.

Dark Books in Translation For Dark Winter Nights

I find that there’s nothing better for a dark winter night than a dark, strange book. Maybe it’s a thriller or a mystery, or maybe a collection of stories, but I love a good creepy book. I’ve collected here some dark books in translation for cold winter nights. All of these books are short, written by women (who better to really scare you?), and absolutely unsettling.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang, Translated by Deborah Smith

I love Man Booker International Prize–Winner The Vegetarian by Han Kang. It’s a beautiful and provocative story about a woman, Yeong-hye, who begins to have horrible nightmares—of blood and carnage—and in order to clear her mind and rid herself of these dreams she becomes a vegetarian. The story becomes one of control and power as her husband and family try to break her into submission, back into the norms of Korean society. To further emphasize her lack of control, Yeong-hye’s own story is told by others, in three parts, first by her husband, then her brother-in-law, and finally by her sister. It’s a dark, fascinating book that you won’t be able to stop thinking about it.

Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories by Mariana Enriquez, Translated by Megan McDowell 

I was blown away by this collection of dark, macabre short stories set in contemporary Argentina. They are stories of ghosts, disappearances, violence, inequality, and more and I promise that you will be haunted by them. My favorites were stories of obsession like “The Dirty Kid” in which a young professional woman discovers that a local child has been killed and mutilated, and “The Neighbor’s Courtyard,” a story of an ex-social worker who believes her neighbor has a child chained up in the backyard. The collection is reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado.

Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah, Translated by Sora Kim-Russell 

Nowhere to Be Found follows a nameless narrator’s search not for meaning, but for meaninglessness, in contemporary South Korea. Bae Suah’s young narrator describes her empty existence as she travels through life, barely moved by the disintegrated state of her family and her own poverty and loneliness. Translator Sora Kim-Russell describes it as “a road novel turned inside out, a story of a woman’s journey out of and into desire told as only Bae Suah could tell it.” Blurred descriptions of a life full of trivial banalities are thrown against dark, sadomasochistic sex scenes. The abrupt shifts are disorienting and unsettling and Suah breaks boundaries, constantly, between recollection and memory, facts and fiction.

Fever Dream by Samanta  Schweblin, Translated by Megan McDowell

Translated into English for the first time, Fever Dream is an eerie, absorbing novel about the “power and desperation of family.” A young woman is in a rural hospital clinic, delirious and dying. A boy named David, the son of a friend, waits by her bedside as Amanda tries to piece together how she came to be there and where her own daughter is. But there’s something wrong with David, wrong with the place Amanda finds herself, and maybe something wrong with Amanda too. The writing is tight and sparse but absolutely absorbing and you’ll find yourself racing to the end of this small but powerful book.

This post was originally published on Book Riot.

A New National Book Award and Another Strike for The New York Times

The National Book Foundation recently announced that it will now present a fifth National Book Award category, honoring a work of fiction or nonfiction that has been translated into English and published in the U.S. The inaugural award will join the other four categories—Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature—and be presented at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony in the fall.

The decision to create the new award was made unanimously. Executive Director Lisa Lucas states that, “We want American readers to deeply value an inclusive, big-picture point of view, and the National Book Award for Translated Literature is part of a commitment to that principle. The addition of this award lends crucial visibility to works that have the power to touch us as American readers in search of broadened perspective.”

It’s truly wonderful news and I’m thrilled to see more support and resources going toward the promotion of literature in translation.

And the New York Times covered the exciting news and totally fucked it up.

The literature in translation community is a supportive and generous one and all of the increased mainstream recognition of translated works and the category as a whole is because of the passion and hard work of writers, translators, small independent publishers, and devoted booksellers. Which is why completely ignoring the Best Translated Book Awards, an award that has been around since 2007, was started by an extension of a small independent press, Open Letter Books, and gives out $20,000 in prize money (which is double that of the new National Book Award) literally makes no sense to me. Is it shoddy journalism? Was this article just written too quickly? I don’t know. (There are some other small factual hang-ups with this article that I’m choosing to not discuss.)

But maybe the author just wanted to focus on THIS award, you say!

The author discusses other literary awards: “Other literary institutions have also made efforts to highlight works in translation. The PEN America Center has given out a translation prize to highlight international works since the 1960s. In 2015, the Booker Prize Foundation recast its international prize…”

Why does it matter?

It matters because that wonderful community built this award. It was started by a small press and so many others have contributed to its growth and success. By not including it and instead putting off this weird tone where you write things like, “…there’s still a lingering perception that translated literature doesn’t sell well in the United States” and “When other major literary awards have expanded their geographic reach, there’s occasionally been a backlash…” it just makes for a really shitty, weird, poorly researched article. I’m not expecting the Times to be a translation cheerleader, but can we have a slightly better news write-up?

Now, I interned at Open Letter, have reviewed for Three Percent, and have been a supporter of literature in translation in ways both big and small, so I understand that this matters to me in ways that it might not to others, but this is twice now (in my recent memory) that the Timesbook coverage has really missed the mark. Remember when they alienated and enraged the romance community?        

Here’s a happy ending for you though. On Twitter, Lisa Lucas put out a call for a thread to “all the amazing publishers/magazines/awards who put out/champion translated literature!” and the responses are staggering. It’s a true testament to the breadth and depth of the literature in translation community and their support of one another.

This post was originally published on Book Riot.

Spring 2018 New Releases: Food and Cookbooks

Prepare yourself for some particularly droolworthy upcoming food and cookbook releases this spring!

Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern  Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul by Jenné Claiborne (February 6th)

Vegan cookbooks are so hot right now, and out of all of the amazing vegan cookbooks coming out this spring (notably: Hot for Food Vegan Comfort Classics and Vegan 100: Over 100 Incredible Recipes from Avant-Garde Vegan) I’m most interested in Sweet Potato Soul from NYC-based blogger, personal chef, and cooking instructor Jenné Claiborne. Claiborne’s food looks amazing—comforting and substantial with beautiful colors, textures, and flavors.

Fermentation Revolution: 70 Easy, Healthy Recipes for Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Kimchi and More by Sebastien Bureau and‎ David Côté (March 15th) 

Fermentation is a continuing trend in cookbooks from 2017 and I can’t get enough of it! Kimchi is a must-have in my house and I make it in 8-lb batches way more often than I’d like to admit. (I use Maangchi’s recipe for anyone interested.) Fermentation Revolution is more than just fermented vegetables, but a wide range of recipes and techniques for fermenting fruits, sugars and honeys, grains, and more.

The Modern Kitchen: Objects That Shape the Way We Cook, Eat, and Live by Tim Hayward (April 3rd)

Think about all of the objects in your kitchen, from the much-loved wooden spoon to your fancy, pastel-colored Kitchen-Aid mixer; all of these items have a story. Through 100 familiar kitchen objects, The Modern Kitchen examines notions of gender, class, and more and provides a “portrait of our domestic lives.” It might seem a little obsessive for some, but the photographs and extensive information will hit the sweet spot for the kitchen collector or food geek who loves to stroll through the aisles of Crate & Barrel or Williams Sonoma.

The Perfect Cake: Your Ultimate Guide to Classic, Modern, and Whimsical Cakes by the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen (March 27th)

It wouldn’t be a real foodie-worthy list without a book from the editors at America’s Test Kitchen, and this one takes the cake! (Sorry, not sorry) The recipes range from sheet cakes and special occasion cakes to cupcakes, cake pops, and cheesecakes.

The Measure of My Powers: A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris by Jackie Kai Ellis (March 6th)

The jacket copy of The Measure of My Powers likens the book to Eat, Pray, Love, H is for Hawk, and Wild. That got my attention! Jackie Kai Ellis journeys to France, Italy, and the Congo to find herself, her happiness, and a path for a different kind of future. It sounds amazing, particularly her time at pastry school in Paris. Ellis is the founder of Vancouver’s Beaucoup Bakery and the leader of The Paris Tours, a culinary excursion group.

Feast: True Love In and Out of the Kitchen by Hannah Howard (April 1st)

Another powerful memoir coming out this spring is Feast: True Love in and Out of the Kitchen by Hannah Howard. Feast is a “compulsively readable memoir of a woman at war—with herself, with her body, and with food—while working her way through the underbelly of New York City’s glamorous culinary scene.” It looks like an incredibly heartbreaking must-read.

Hawker Fare: Stories & Recipes from a Refugee Chef’s Isan Thai & Lao Roots by James Syhabout with John Birdsall (January 23rd)

Chef James Syhabout has created an amazingly vibrant and personal cookbook dedicated to recipes for cooking home-style Thai and Lao dishes. With recipes ranging from sticky rice and Lao beef noodle soup to Lao minced pork salad, every single recipe looks exciting and delicious.

Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day by JJ Johnson and Alexander Smalls with Veronica Chambers (February 6th)

Wow. Wow. Wow. This powerful and astounding cookbook is not about fusion cooking. It’s about the intersections of the African and Asian diasporas and how they have “criss-crossed cuisines all around the world.” Alexander Smalls and JJ Johnson have built this unique understanding of the Afro-Asian-American flavor profile in their renown and historic Harlem restaurants, Minton’s and The Cecil, and are now sharing over 100 recipes in Between Harlem and Heaven with readers and home cooks.

The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats by Daniel Stone (February 20th)

I love globe-trotting botanists! The Food Explorer tells the true adventures of David Fairchild, a late-nineteenth-century food explorer and botanist who traveled the world and introduced plants and crops such as kale from Croatia, mangoes from India, avocados from Chile, pomegranates from Malta, cotton from Egypt, and the cherry blossom tree from Japan, all to America.

Prosecco Made Me Do: 60 Seriously Sparkling Cocktails by Amy Zavatto (April 3rd)

This fun and beautifully illustrated collection of recipes will have you serving up some seriously sparkling cocktails. Also includes purchasing and serving tips and a guide to cordials, syrups, and liqueurs. It would make a really fun gift for the bellini lover in your life.

This post was originally published on Book Riot.

Literary Boston

With literary landmarks, beautiful and historic libraries, and a wealth of bookstores, Boston is every book lover’s dream. Check out this curated list of some of the best literary Boston has to offer.

Courtesy of Boston Public Library / Front of the Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library’s Central Branch at Copley is one of my favorite places in the city and a can’t miss destination for visitors. Founded in 1848, the Boston Public Library was the first free library in the United States. It’s now home to over 23 million items, including rare books and manuscripts, art, music, and more. With regular exhibitions, musical events, lectures, and book sales it’s got something for everyone and is a true cultural center for the city. Not to mention that the building is breathtaking! Take a stroll through the courtyard and older sections of the McKim building as well as the newly renovated, modern Johnson building. Free art and architecture tours are offered daily.

Courtesy of Boston Public Library / McKim Building Interior

Courtesy of Boston Public Library / Courtyard

Boston Athenaeum

Is one library not enough? The Boston Athenaeum, founded in 1807, is one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States. Its collection today features over half a million volumes, with a particular focus on local Boston history, state, and New England history, as well as its permanent collections of artwork and rotating exhibitions. It’s a beautiful, classical space with columns, busts, and shelves and shelves of books. You have to pay for admission but it’s worth the trip to 10 ½ Beacon Street (I just love that!)

Creative Commons Boston Athenaeum, Boston, Massachusetts by Daderot is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 / Boston Athenaeum

Omni Parker House Hotel

The Omni Parker House Hotel has a long and varied history since its opening in 1855 and that includes some literary greats. The legendary nineteenth-century Saturday Club, an intellectual club that included Emerson, Thoreau, Longfellow, and others, met regularly at the Omni Parker for conversation (and I would assume cocktails). You might also remember the Omni Parker House Hotel from Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence. It’s not just a landmark though, but a working, gorgeously preserved historic hotel, so take a quick break in the hotel bar or restaurant—supposedly they perfected Boston cream pie here—and enjoy!

Creative Commons Omni Parker House by themightyquill is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Front of Omni Parker House Hotel

Famous Author Residences and the Boston Literary District

Speaking of famous authors, Boston has been home to so many I can’t even begin to list them all! Some of the highlights include Sylvia Plath and her residence on Willow Street, Kahlil Gibran, the Lebanese-American painter, poet, and author of The Prophet, and his residence and memorial, and Phillis Wheatley, the African-American poet and the Old South Meeting House where she joined the congregation in 1771. Boston has a designated Literary District (that stretches from the Boston Public Library in Copley Square through the Boston Public Garden and Beacon Hill) and the map provided by the Boston Literary District is an especially useful resource to find author residences, literary landmarks, and more!



Boston has a wealth of bookstores, notably independents that serve almost every neighborhood in the greater Boston area. I’ll feature a few here but they are all different and wonderful.

Creative Commons Brattle Book Shop by bill_comstock is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Brattle Book Shop

Brattle Book Shop and Trident Booksellers and Cafe

Brattle Book Shop and Trident Booksellers are two of the best indies in the downtown area. Brattle Book Shop, located next to the Boston Common, is one of America’s oldest and largest antiquarian book shops. It’s known for its collectible and rare books as well as its photogenic outdoor sale lot (And yes, that is a large pencil!) Trident Booksellers and Cafe is a lovely and inviting space, with a great selection of new books and gifts. And the cafe serves a killer brunch.

Brookline Booksmith

Brookline Booksmith, located in Coolidge Corner, Brookline, just outside of Boston, is an absolutely wonderful and beloved independent bookstore. The selection is diverse and it’s obvious that a lot of love (and work) has gone into the curation of the Booksmith’s collection. Check out the used book cellar, the gift section, and all of the fantastic author events, book clubs, and more!

Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store is a locally owned independent located in the heart of Harvard Square in Cambridge. It’s an extensive collection of new, used, and remaindered books, Harvard University merchandise, and gifts. The author event series is award-winning and you shouldn’t miss their print on demand, espresso book machine “Paige M. Gutenborg.” Twice a year they open their warehouse in Somerville for a can’t-miss sale.

Other notables:

Grolier Poetry Book Shop

Newbury Comics

Papercuts J.P.

Porter Square Books

Raven Used Books

Creative Commons Make Way for the Damn Ducklings by theilr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 / Make Ways for Ducklings Sculpture

For the Kids

Visiting Boston with the family? Here are some easy, fun, literary adventures to have with children. If you’re downtown near the Boston Common, visit the Make Way for Ducklings Sculpture located in the Public Garden, a tribute to Robert McCloskey’s Caldecott medal-winning children’s story. It’s beloved by Bostonians and you’ll often find the ducklings dressed up for the season or a special event. You can pick up the book Make Way for Ducklings at most Boston-area bookstores for fun bedtime reading.

Also in the Public Garden is the Trumpet of the Swan Bridge and Swan Boats, named after E.B. White’s The Trumpet of the Swan. This is the spot where Louis, a trumpeter swan born with no voice embraces who he is and plays his trumpet. The swan boats are available to ride in the warmer months but it’s a lovely area to walk through regardless of the season.

The World’s Only Curious George Store

A whimsical book and toy store in Harvard Square all about—you guessed it—Curious George. In addition to books, toys, and merchandise related to Curious George, the store also has a delightful selection of other children’s books and toys.

This post was originally published on Book Riot.