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Carson up for first $72,000 Folio Prize

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Canadian poet Anne Carson is on the short list for a new international prize for innovative literary works in English, from any country, published in Great Britain.

The Folio Prize, worth $72,000, bills itself as the first literary prize to honour English-language fiction in any form or genre from any country -- though later this year the Man Booker Prize will also become more international when it includes American authors for the first time.

The inaugural short list includes Carson's long-form poem Red Doc> as well as five books by American authors, including Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers and George Saunders' The Tenth of December. The prize ceremony is set for March 10.

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The deadly Spanish flu epidemic of 1919 and the social conflicts of post-First World War Canada set the scene for a novel by retired journalist (and Free Press book reviewer) Gordon Arnold.

Skippy's War, available as a Kindle ebook from Amazon, focuses on a 14-year-old baseball-loving farm boy in the fictional community of Teal Marsh, inspired by the southwest Manitoba community where Arnold grew up. After a 47-year career in daily journalism, this is the first book by Arnold, who has also published poetry and short fiction in the journals Pages of Stories and Prairie Journal.

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If you've been watching HBO's Girls, you'll know that Hanna Horvath has been having a heck of a time getting her book of wry, autobiographical essays published.

Not so with Hanna's creator, writer/actor/cautionary-tattoo-tale Lena Dunham. Dunham recently posted a selfie on her Instagram account with the cover of her forthcoming book Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's 'Learned' and the announcement of an Oct. 7, 2014, publishing date.

Random House reportedly paid Dunham $3.5 million for the book, according to the Huffington Post.

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If barbecue season ever returns, you can now enjoy your hamburgers Hemingway style, thanks to a recently released document from the John F. Kennedy Library.

The Presidential Library, which acquired some of Ernest Hemingway's papers after the author's death, recently made a recipe available online that was apparently Papa's favourite, according the BBC.

The author of The Sun Also Rises liked his burgers packed with flavour. The recipe calls for garlic, green onions, sage, capers, red wine, something called India relish (chutney, perhaps?), and two Spice Islands spice mixes (Beau Monde seasoning and Mei Yen powder). It's the perfect meal to refuel after a long day of hunting, fishing, bullfighting or contemplating death.

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Bookselling isn't just going through a crisis in the English-speaking world.

France's Chapitre bookstore chain -- the nation's second largest -- has been going through bankruptcy proceedings and earlier this month re-emerged after closing 23 out of 57 locations across the country, the newsmagazine L'Actualité reports.

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With the centennial of the First World War fast approaching, Oxford historian Eugene Rogan will shift the focus from the usual rain and mud to sun and sand March 10 with a sneak peak at his forthcoming book The Great War in the Middle East.

Rogan, whose 2009 book The Arabs: A History was translated into 10 languages and internationally acclaimed, will speak at McNally Robinson Booksellers on the war's Ottoman Front. His book is due to be published in spring 2015.

This lecture is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 8, 2014 G7


Updated on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 8:50 AM CST: Tweaks formatting.

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