24 August 2012
Nina Bawden, who died this week aged 87, was one of a select group who was both a Booker judge (in 1985, as part of the panel that picked Keri Hulme's The Bone People) and a nominee (in 1987 for Circles of Deceit). Her novel The Birds on the Trees (1970) was also shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize.
Bawden was unusual too in being equally accomplished as both a writer of children's books and literary fiction. Indeed her publisher, Lennie Goodings, said that she “wrote slim books but they were powerful and extraordinarily acute observations about what makes us human”, qualities that are as evident in her children's writing such as Carrie's War as in her novels for adults. In later life she became well known and much admired for her campaign for justice for the victims of the Potter's Bar rail crash in which she had been injured and her husband, Austen Kark, died.
Elsewhere, this week saw three Man Booker Prize longlistees interviewed. Will Self, author of Umbrella, talked to We Love This Book about his latest novel, how he thinks as himself as ‘Londonish’ and mutant travelogues.
Ned Beaumann, author of The Teleportation Accident, was interviewed by Untitled Books and André Brink told The Metro that he doesn’t think he’s “ever battled so much with a book.”
Finally, details are emerging about the TV adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s 2009 Man Booker Prize-winning novel Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring up the Bodies. The two novels are to be brought to TV in a six-hour drama series to be broadcast on BBC2 by Peter Straughan, the screenplay writer for 2011’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Don’t forget, you can find out all about the longlist for this year’s prize by exploring our timeline and see which books have won the prize in the past.
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