October is the month of literary awards and festivals. The Man Booker Prize always brings excitement and manages to cause controversy. Last year there were complaints about too many debut novelists being included. Other years it has been accused of being too ‘high brow’, not having enough women authors nominated etc.
My favourite novel of the year did not even make it to the Booker long list, probably because it is a debut novel, written by a women and accused by some of being too popularist. Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles ‘is a triumph of glitzy story-telling over literary depth’ (Philip Womack, Telegraph 30 may 2012).
Miller’s imaginative retelling of the tale of Achilles and his friend Patroclus is full of poetic imagery, heightened emotions and vivid, sensuous descriptions of the Greek landscape. I read it while lying under an olive tree and by the sea in Corfu, which added greatly to the books atmosphere and my enjoyment. It had nothing to do with the jug of local wine which I had by my hand of course.
At North Kensington Library we are celebrating the Man Booker Prize 2012 with a people’s wall inviting you to tell us about your favourite new novel of 2012. It doesn’t matter what it is so long as it was published this year.
The Mann Booker Shortlist
Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books)
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home (And Other Stories/Faber & Faber)
Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies (Fourth Estate)
Alison Moore, The Lighthouse (Salt)
Will Self, Umbrella (Bloomsbury)
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis (Faber & Faber)
Also this month a strange, large object landed at North Kensington Library. It may look like an alien invader but it is in fact a scale model representation of KALC (sounds like an alien to me). KALC is short for the Kensington Aldridge Academy and Leisure Centre. Visit www.rbkc.gov.uk/kalc for up to date information and links to important strategy and planning documents. The new academy is planned to open to year 7 students in September 2014.
by Gaynor Lynch