‘Book Bites’ for Friday 8th November 2013

Clare Vaye Watkins shorts out 2013 Dylan Thomas Prize – What a joy it is to see that American Clare Vaye Watkins has won the 2013 Dylan Thomas Prize for her collection, Battleborn (Granta Books). And coming right off the back of Alice Munro being declared this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature winner. This does nothing but reinforce my belief that we truly are living in the midst of short fiction renaissance right now, which is more than a little exciting.

Oh, and if further proof were needed that the short story is on the rise, Canada’s prestigious Giller Prize have declared Lynn Coady to be their 2013 winner, with her collection, Hellgoing (House of Anansi). Good times!

Acquiring Empathy through Essays – Not so long ago The Guardian reported on a new study which concluded that one of the best ways to build empathy was to read literary fiction. Of course literary fiction fans know this already, but did you also know that the personal essay is also ideal ‘gym work’ for building up the old empathetic muscle? This splendid article from William Bradley over at the Utne Reader blog will surely help to convince you of this.

‘Beyond Alice Munro: A Beginners Guide to Canadian Lit’ – With a Canadian taking this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature, and aware that readers may not be as up on Canadian literature as they perhaps should be, The Millions staff writer Michael Bourne offers a rundown on a few less obvious ‘Canlit’ writers and their titles, that should be hunted down and consumed (the books, not the authors :)).

‘Book Bites’bringing you tasty bite-size morsels of bookish news and delight from around the web.
About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. Wonderful to be seeing the short story buzz that seems to be about this year! I hope it continues. Have you read either of these prize-winners yet? Best, cat

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

      Lovely to hear from you, Cat. I hope you are well. I’ve only read portions of Battleborn so will have to get busy and read the rest. Which reminds me, I still have somebody else’s short story collection to work my way through 😉