Thursday, April 10, 2008

Various historical fiction tidbits

I'll be back to posting book reviews and longer pieces eventually, but for now I'm wrapped up in my final content-intensive book chapter - which is on alternate history - after spending a full three weeks editing and proofreading HNR (and it's not over yet).

There has been some historical fiction-related news coming through, however, so without further ado...

Booklist's April 15th issue contains their annual Spotlight on Historical Fiction. Much of the content is reserved to subscribers of the print magazine or Booklist Online, but there are several pieces freely available to all. Among them is Brad Hooper's article, Core Collection: Historical Sagas, his review of Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence, his Top 10 Historical Fiction: 2008, Hazel Rochman's Top 10 Historical Fiction for Youth, and Joyce Saricks' article At Leisure: Revisiting Historical Fiction. My review of Philippa Gregory's The Other Queen is also published in this issue; here's a link for those who subscribe.

From the New York Times, via Shelf Awareness: "Kurt Andersen has won the 2007 David J. Langum Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction for his best-selling novel Heyday (Random House). Mr. Andersen, a columnist for New York magazine and host of Studio 360 on public radio, will receive $1,000."

Yes, there is an annual prize for American historical fiction; this is the first year the Langum Prize was open to commercial trade press publications in addition to university presses and small presses. If you'll be publishing a novel with an American setting during 2008, why not consider entering to win next year's prize? Judging by this and the many other accolades that Heyday has received, mine is a minority opinion; I wish I'd enjoyed it more.

Tehelka, a weekly newspaper from India, interviews Richard Zimler, author of Guardian of the Dawn and other novels of Sephardic Jews. I reviewed Guardian a while ago for HNR and consider it an undiscovered treasure. The review was reprinted on the Loaded Shelf forums.

From The Bookseller (UK): Bernard Cornwell's next novel will be about the Battle of Agincourt.

An interview with Sally Gunning (The Widow's War, Bound) from the Cape Cod Times. If you haven't read these books, historical novels set on Cape Cod in the 18th century, you're missing out.

From the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, observations on historical fiction as they relate to Mary Swan's The Boys in the Trees, set in small-town Canada in 1888.

Also some deals:

Lorenzo Borghese's THE PRINCESS OF NOWHERE, Antonio Canova's masterpiece sculpture of Pauline Bonaparte lies in the crux of this historical novel which centers on the romance and relationship of Camillo Borghese and Pauline Bonaparte in early 19th century Rome; the statue, presently at Galleria Borghese, depicts the extremely complicated and passionate woman that Canova, who was hired by Camillo, witnessed, to Lucia Macro at Avon, by Ian Kleinert at Objective Entertainment.

One of the recent stars of ABC's The Bachelor has the same name as the author above. I'm assuming they're different people (though likely related to one another) unless someone tells me otherwise.

Conn Iggulden's fifth and sixth untitled books in his historical novel series on Genghis Kahn, to John Flicker at Bantam Dell, in a significant deal, by Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management, on behalf of Victoria Hobbs at A.M. Heath (US).

For those keeping track, v.2 in the Genghis Khan series was just published. I can't resist keeping the original spelling from the Publishers Marketplace entry, which makes the great Mongol warrior sound like someone's crazy uncle from the Bronx.

Cathy Marie Buchanan's THE DAY THE FALLS STOOD STILL, based on historical events surrounding the life of Niagara's most famous riverman, William Red Hill, a sweeping love story between a privileged daughter of a disgraced family and a working class man whose mysterious ability to predict the whims of the Niagara renders him both a hero and a pawn in the battle for the survival of the falls themselves, to Pamela Dorman at Voice, in a significant deal, in a pre-empt, by Dorian Karchmar of the William Morris Agency. Canadian rights to Iris Tupholme at Harper Canada, by Hyperion. UK rights to Arrow.

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