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Adichie focuses on Nigeria's present for new novel

Modern life in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, has become almost a character itself in novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's new book, "Americanah." Within its pages, one catches self-acknowledged glimpses of the writer herself, who shot to fame with her previous novel, a love story set during Nigeria's civil war entitled "Half of a Yellow Sun."


New Adult fiction is the hot new category in books

New Adult Fiction - USA Today

Mix the high-octane emotions of youth with the freedom of leaving home and you've brewed up a potent new book category called "New Adult." Navigating the exhilarating, sometimes dangerous chasm between adolescence and adulthood, these novels — aimed at readers out of high school — are roaring up the best-seller list. The setting often is a college campus and the vibe is intense as only young love can be. It's sex, bad boys, too much drama and, if you consulted the characters' parents, not nearly enough library time!


Story Prize goes to Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins

Author Claire Vaye Watkins was awarded the Story Prize in New York on Wednesday evening for her debut collection, "Battleborn." As winner she receives $20,000. Two finalists for the prize -- Dan Chaon for "Stay Awake" and Junot Diaz for "This Is How You Lose Her" -- will receive $5,000 each. The Story Prize is the most significant award in the U.S. dedicated to collections of short fiction.


Cassandra Clare has teen fiction down like 'Clockwork'

The Immortal Instruments - USA Today

"There's no magic formula," author says, but many factors in popularity of fantasy novels. With more than 22 millioncopies in print worldwide of her two fantasy series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, author Cassandra Clare might be considered an expert on fiction that appeals to teens.


Watergate novel nominated for fiction prize

Thomas Mallon's "Watergate"

Thomas Mallon's novel about the scandal that brought down Richard Nixon is a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award for fiction. Published by Random House Inc., Mallon's "Watergate" was among five nominees for the $15,000 award. Three other books announced Wednesday were published by smaller presses, as judges bypassed such high-profile works of fiction as Louise Erdrich's "The Round House" and Junot Diaz's "This Is How You Lose Her."


ArtsBeat: Winners of Hefty New Literary Prizes Announced

James Salter - WC

Yale University announced on Monday the inaugural winners of the Windham Campbell Prizes, which are given to writers for outstanding achievement in fiction, nonfiction and drama. Nine prizes of $150,000 each are to be awarded to James Salter, Zoë Wicomb and Tom McCarthy in fiction; Jonny Steinberg, Adina Hoffman and Jeremy Scahill in nonfiction; and Naomi Wallace, Stephen Adly Guirgis and Tarell Alvin McCraney in drama.


'Fifty Shades' dominates publishing in 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

The story of 2012 in publishing was the story of "Fifty Shades of Grey," in more ways than one. E L James' erotic trilogy was easily the year's biggest hit, selling more than 35 million copies in the U.S. alone and topping bestseller lists for months. Rival publishers hurried to sign up similar books and debates started over who should star in the planned film version. Through James' books and how she wrote them, the general public was educated in the worlds of romance/erotica, start-up publishing and "fan fiction."


First-ever Twitter Fiction Festival comes a'Tweeting

Is it possible to say something profound, to create something beautiful or essential, 140 characters at a time? Of course it is! No it isn’t! Oops, that’s already 141 characters. Clearly, the writers in the first-ever Twitter Fiction Festival don't have an easy task. The virtual literary gathering, brought to you by Twitter, begins today. The writers come from 20 countries and were chosen by a committee “composed of experts from around the publishing industry in the U.S.,” according to the official launch page.


Book buzz: Patricia Cornwell is No. 1, Whiting Awards announced

The Bone Bed

Paging Dr. Scarpetta: Fans of Patricia Cornwell's crime series starring medical examiner Kay Scarpetta have much to cheer about. The Bone Bed, 20th in the series, makes its debut at No. 1 on the list. It's the 12th Scarpetta novel to land on the list at No. 1. Cornwell, who once worked for Virginia's chief medical examiner, published her first Scarpetta novel, Postmortem, in 1990. Cornwell's attendance at thousands of autopsies and her expertise in law enforcement are credited with giving her books their authenticity. -Carol Memmott


ArtsBeat: Graphic Books Best Sellers: Collections by Dave Stevens and Adrian Tomine

There are two newcomers to the graphic books hardcover best-seller list this week, and both shine a spotlight on artists — a trend worth supporting. “Dave Stevens’ Stories and Covers,” at No. 6, takes a look at the cover work of Mr. Stevens, who created the Rocketeer and was also well known for his renderings of women in a ’50s-pinup style.


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