paper trail

Sylvia Day snags a huge advance; the ninth Jaipur literature festival begins; hatchet jobs of the year

Hilary Mantel

St. Martin’s Press has agreed to pay an eight-figure advance for romance writer Sylvia Day’s next two books.

The “largest free literary festival on earth” gets underway today in Jaipur, one of more than sixty such events taking place every year across India. According to the Wall Street Journal, the 2014 edition is a masala chai latte (substantive, spicy) compared to 2013, which was mostly a cappuccino (frothy). Here’s the New York Times’s guide to the highlights of the five-day festival, which is now in its ninth year.

Flavorwire’s new list of “25 Women Poised to Lead the Culture in 2014” includes numerous writers, among them Roxane Gay, Masha Gessen, and Lynne Tillman.

Jonathan Wright and William Hutchins are the joint winners of the annual Saif Ghobash Banipal Translation Prize, for their work on Syrian writer Youssef Zeidan’s Azazeel and Yemeni novelist Wajdi al-Ahdal’s A Land Without Jasmine, respectively. The prize, worth £3,000, honors the translation of Arabic literature into English.

According to The Guardian, Hilary Mantel is publishing a collection of short stories in September, titled The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher.

The British books’ blog known as the Omnivore (no relation to Bookforum’s Omnivore) has issued the short list for its annual Hatchet Job of the Year Award, for the angriest/funniest piece of criticism published in the past twelve months. In the running are Peter Kemp’s review of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch ("a turkey," "melodrama and sentimentality abounds") and AA Gill’s takedown of Morrissey’s Autobiography ("were an editor to start, there would be no stopping," "utterly devoid of insight, warmth, wisdom or likeability," a "firelighter of vanity, self-pity and logorrhoeic dullness"), both of which ran in the Sunday Times.