Emirates Literature Foundation Blog (ELF)

LitNews: A Penguin Random House Buy Out, Alan Rickman's Diaries, 

By: Emirates Literature Foundation

Your weekly guide to the latest happenings in the world of books!

With American Thanksgiving taking place this week, it's the perfect time to look back on this year and give thanks! From a collection of our favourite words, and the lessons we've learned from J.R.R. Tolkien himself, to the myths and tales that capture our hearts and haunt our dreams, there's a lot to be grateful for. Here are some of the other things we're thinking of this week: 

The Emirates Literature Foundation will be partnering with Jameel Arts Centre and Al Serkal Avenue for the next Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. The Festival is now taking place across three weekends and three distinct venues:

        • Jameel Arts Centre (29th-30th January)
        • Intercontinental Events Centre, Festival City (4th-6th February)
        • Al Serkal Avenue (12th-13th February) 

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi’s was announced as the next President of the International Publisher’s Association. More info here.

Penguin Random House, the parent company of the largest publishing house in the world, is set to purchase fellow Big Five publisher Simon & Schuster for US $2.175 Billion.

The diaries of the late actor Alan Rickman (Die HardHarry Potter) which comprise 27 volumes that he began writing in the 90s will be published as a book in 2022 by Canongate. 

Trying to think of the right word? You're not the only one! "It's both unprecedented and a little ironic - in a year that left us speechless, 2020 has been filled with new words unlike any other," says the president of Oxford Dictionaries which has just announced that their classic Word of the Year will be adapted to various ‘Words of an Unprecedented Year’ for 2020. 

Former US President Barack Obama shared some of the writers and books that have influenced him in an interview with Washington Post Live for, A Promised Land, his record-breaking memoir: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas K. Gandhi and Shakespeare’s tragedies. 

The Costa Book Awards announces 2020 shortlist which includes Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell author Susanna Clarke with first novel in sixteen years Piranesi. And if you think that title sounds like the name of an Italian artist, you’d be correct. Giovanni Piranesi was an 18th-century artist who created a collection of etchings called “The Imaginary Prisons.”

The five books shortlist for the 2020 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation have also been revealed:Trees for the Absentees by Ahlam Bsharat, A Shimmering Red Fish Swims with Me by Youssef Fadel, Velvet by Huzama Hubayab, The Old Woman and the River by Ismail Fahd Ismail, and The Egyptian Assassin by Ezzedine C. Fishere.

Be still our beeping hearts! What happens when you ask AI to write a Modern Love column? This piece in the New York Times will show you.

New Zealand singer Lorde may never be royal but she’s definitely a climate activist. Following a recently published essay on her trip to Antarctica she’ll be releasing a book on the experience titled Going South with proceeds going towards funding a PhD student to travel there for climate research. 

For more news on what the Emirates Literature Foundation is up to, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. And to keep up with the rest of our book-filled discussion, you can listen to the latest episode of our Boundless Book Club podcast, featured down below!