Friday, May 05, 2006

More bits and pieces

I'm hoping to write a longer post later, but I've been overwhelmed with various HNS- and work-related things.

The nice folks in marketing at Henry Holt & Co have sent me the jacket art for Jed Rubenfeld's The Interpretation of Murder, to satisfy the curiosity of those people who have been looking for it online. You can find a plot description at the Holtzbrinck site.

In other news...

I'm not familiar with the novels mentioned (anyone?) but this article implies that some of the novels on the shortlist of the Sunday Times Fiction Prize (South Africa) are historical fiction:

"Two of the short-listed fiction titles — 'Garden of the Plagues' by Russel Brownlee and 'The Good Cemetery Guide' by Consuelo Roland — are debut novels, while advocate Andrew Brown's 'Coldsleep Lullaby' is his second, pointing to the emergence of a new set of eloquent voices.

Significant too, is the renewed interest with which many of these writers are turning to South African history, to deliver new tales and give substance to the rise of a historical fiction genre in local English writing."

Bookslut has a new piece on the Cadfael medieval mystery series by Ellis Peters. It is a nice article that will undoubtedly garner Cadfael some new fans - always a good thing - but I'm confused by the comment that Cadfael is "a sleuth who has captured the British imagination for the last few decades while evading the American audience." I may not be typical of the American audience, but aren't historical mystery fans generally familiar with this series? The books are benchmarks in the genre, as far as I'm concerned.

Finally, an interview with Brenda Rickman Vantrease, who wrote the excellent medieval novel The Illuminator, from Nashville Scene. It's an enjoyable profile, but please, enough with the librarian stereotypes. It is much more typical for school librarians to be friendly, approachable, and to have a sense of humor than the opposite.


  1. RE: Cadfael

    I would think American audiences to be very familiar with the series -- especially after the Mystery! series with Derek Jacobi.

  2. I don't know if you saw or not but all five of the nominations for one of the major Australian literary awards, the Miles Franklin Award, are historical fiction. I blogged on this a week or so ago.

  3. Marg - I did see that on your blog, thanks for the reminder! I have a copy of Secret River but haven't read it yet. I believe only that and Carrie Tiffany's novel are published in the USA. Oh well, it's not like I've never ordered from Australian booksellers before...

    SP - this is also true. It occurred to me that maybe the author is on the youngish side, and has never seen the series or Ellis Peters books in the bookstore.

  4. Cadfael is pretty popular in Germany as well, and not only since the TV series.

    I've always had a soft spot for Hugh Berengar. :)