Carl Shuker has won the New Zealand Prize in Modern Letters. That’s $65,000. But it remains to be seen whether Shuker will collect his award in cash or in Buzz Bars. He looks like an intense fellow. My vote is on the Buzz Bars.
In Japan, twelve writers will be profiled in a liquor warehouse. The program is carefully calculated to get literary enthusiasts inebriated with free drinks, have them sign a contract when not of sound mind, and to put them to work bottling bottles of schnapps in sweltering conditions as indentured servants. Some businesses are calling this new and innovative form of labor an “export reading zone.”
Alice Greenway is a literary bomb ready to explode. Other Orange Prize longlisters, concerned with Greenway’s eleventh-hour transformation into a piece of artillery, are turning themselves into B-52 bombers, Panzer tanks, and, in Zadie Smith’s case, a neutron bomb, in an effort to draw more attention to their work.
Who knew that romance novels are apparently only for dumb women? Thank you, Judith McNaught, for “never underestimat[ing] women’s intelligence” and for likewise assuming that any woman who doesn’t read your books, looking for some innocuous escapism, is apparently the XX chromosome’s answer to Forrest Gump.