Penguin Books

Featured Author Event: Yrsa Daley-Ward

Celebrated poet Yrsa Daley-Ward will appear at The Strand to discuss, read and sign copies of BONE (Penguin Books), her poignant collection of poems about the heart, life, and the inner self.  The event will be held  in The Strand’s Rare Book Room on Tuesday, October 10, 7:00 – 8:00 pm. 

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From navigating the oft competing worlds of religion and desire, to balancing society’s expectations with the raw experience of being a woman in the world; from detailing the experiences of growing up as a first generation black British woman, to working through situations of dependence and abuse; from finding solace in the echoing caverns of depression and loss, to exploring the vulnerability and redemption in falling in love, each of the raw and immediate poems in Daley-Ward’s BONE resonates to the core of what it means to be human. Among the high praise the author and her book have received: [Yrsa Daley-Ward] is at the realm of a new wave of contemporary poets who inspire an unprecedented level of empathy and accessibility through their honest and raw approach. . . . [A] powerful collection of a woman facing tumultuous inner and external battles head on, delivered with a hard-hitting directness, yet with inflections of optimism throughout that are bound to touch readers to their core.” i-D Magazine “Yrsa’s work is like holding the truth in your hands. It sweats and breathes before you. A glorious living thing.” —Florence Welch, of Florence + the Machine   Yrsa Daley-Ward is a writer and poet of mixed West Indian and West African heritage. Born to a Jamaican mother and a Nigerian father, Yrsa was raised by her devout Seventh Day Adventist grandparents in the small town of Chorley in the North of England. She splits her time between London and Los Angeles.

Penguin Salon Events Mix Books, Art and Activism

penguin salonPenguin Books and Penguin Classics are presenting a series of salon events in partnership with the Kate Werble Gallery in New York to bring people together for dialogue about books, art and activism, while raising funds for organizations relevant to the evenings’ themes. The first event, #RememberResistRediscover: A Gathering, took place on March 20, benefiting the New York Immigration Coalition.

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6-8-17-GalleryMemoir was the theme of the second event, held on June 8 at the Werble Gallery, and supported the work of Immigration Equality, an LGBTQ-focused immigrant rights organization. The featured speakers were Sheila Kohler, author of ONCE WE WERE SISTERS (Penguin Books, January 2017), Ben Taylor, author of THE HUE AND CRY AT OUR HOUSE (Penguin Books, May 2017), and Penguin Classics Executive Editor John Siciliano, editor of THE BOOK OF EMMA REYES (Penguin Books, August 2017). Collectively, they demonstrated and offered insights into diversity in areas of culture and gender. [caption id="attachment_6600" align="alignleft" width="300"]Left to right: Immigration Equality’s Im Senephimmachack; Penguin’s John Siciliano and Elda Rotor; Clément Gaujal Left to right: Immigration Equality’s Im Senephimmachack; Penguin’s John Siciliano and Elda Rotor; Clément Gaujal[/caption] Publishers Weekly  covered the series in its current print edition with this article, Penguin Mixes Art, Books for a Cause. Penguin Director of Publicity Louise Braverman and Penguin Vice President and Marketing Director John Fagan are quoted. “Long before the current administration we had talked about the idea of having some sort of salon series,” said Fagan. “When you think of the breadth of the Penguin list, there’s so many books, there’s such a deep backlist, and there’s so much to talk about.” Since the salons are, Fagan said, rooted in the idea that “people like to get together and talk and exchange ideas,” the hope is to engender conversation while benefitting nonprofits doing important work. “You’re being entertained, you’re talking about books, perhaps you’ll meet an author—and you’ll learn about, well, here’s a group doing this,” Fagan said. “It seemed like the perfect end to the whole package.”

Viking/Penguin Author Karan Mahajan Wins 2017 NYPL’s Young Lions Fiction Award

nypl logoThe New York Public Library held the 2017 Young Lions Fiction Award ceremony in NYC last Thursday (6/1), when Viking/Penguin author Karan Mahajan won for his novel THE ASSOCIATION OF SMALL BOMBS. This is the latest in a string of accolades for Mahajan, who earlier this year was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists,

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received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the 2017 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.  Last year, Mahajan was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. [caption id="attachment_6484" align="alignright" width="200"]Karan Mahajan Karan Mahajan[/caption] Congratulations to Karan, and everyone involved with the success of this extraordinary book. Established in 2001, The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award is a $10,000 prize awarded each spring to a writer age 35 or younger for a novel or a collection of short stories. Each year, five young fiction writers are selected as finalists by a reading committee of Young Lions members, writers, editors, and librarians. A panel of judges selects the winner.

Penguin Books Founder Sir Allen Lane Honored at Exeter St Davids Railway Station

allen lane plaque1The founder of Penguin Books, Sir Allen Lane, is being commemorated with a distinctive “orange plaque” at Exeter St Davids railway station today. The plaque, commissioned by Lane’s daughter, Clare Morpurgo, and designed by Penguin Random House, recognizes his contribution to British publishing and commemorates the location where he

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conceived the iconic sixpenny paperback in 1934.  For the first time, the sixpenny paperback made quality literature accessible to a wide audience, sparking the paperback revolution and the beginning of Penguin Books. allen laneThe unveiling of the plaque is being marked by a special ceremony at the station to celebrate Sir Allen’s life and his extensive contribution to literature in the UK.  Members of Sir Allen’s family including daughters Clare Morpurgo and Christine Teale, Managing Director of Penguin Press, Stefan McGrath, representatives from Great Western Railway, and local charities and community groups are attending. Today Penguin Random House publishers are giving away a specially curated selection of paperback books to celebrate Sir Allen Lane’s legacy. Commenting on the unveiling of the plaque, Ms. Morpurgo said: “It is wonderful to be able to celebrate my father’s contribution to literature in the UK. I know he would be delighted to see how many people have fallen in love with reading since Penguin Books first put quality books into the hands of readers everywhere.  Given Exeter’s integral role in my father’s story, I could not think of a better place for this plaque to stand.” [caption id="attachment_6122" align="alignright" width="270"]Allen Lane Allen Lane[/caption] Tom Weldon, CEO, Penguin Random House UK, added: “Allen Lane was central to the success of Penguin Books and his legacy lives on today. We all still share his passion for publishing iconic books and his ambition of connecting them with readers everywhere. We’re thrilled to celebrate his life and contribution at the very place he first had his inspiration.” GWR Station Manager for Exeter St Davids Debbie Ferris commented: “Reading is often associated with railway stations, and relaxing journeys to the UK’s most renowned destinations. For over 80 years Penguin has inspired its readers to escape, while the railway has turned that fiction into reality. “We are delighted to be able to welcome Sir Allen’s family here today as we celebrate his life and a publishing revolution, which like the railways a hundred years before had a massive, and continuing, impact on public life in Britain.”

Nathaniel Philbrick Wins 2017 George Washington Prize

george washington prizeNathaniel Philbrick has won the George Washington Prize, including an award of $50,000, for his book, VALIANT AMBITION: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution (Viking/Penguin). Now in its 12th year, the George Washington Prize honors its namesake by recognizing the year’s best new books on the nation’s founding era, especially those that engage a broad public audience.

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Conferred by George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and Washington College, the award will be presented to Mr. Philbrick on May 25 at a black-tie gala at Mount Vernon. [caption id="attachment_5965" align="alignright" width="173"]Nathaniel Philbrick Nathaniel Philbrick[/caption] “To have Valiant Ambition recognized in this way means a tremendous amount to me, especially given the extraordinary quality of the books produced by the other six finalists,” said Mr. Philbrick. “My heartfelt thanks to the jurors involved in the selection process and to the George Washington Prize’s sponsoring institutions.” VALIANT AMBITION is a surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold. Philbrick creates a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and of the war that gave birth to a nation. “Our objective in creating the Washington Prize was to stimulate scholarly works that are accessible to the general public,” said Mount Vernon president Curt Viebranz. “This year’s finalists confirm that we are succeeding; Nat Philbrick’s VALIANT AMBITION is at once a detailed and accurate account of the relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold as well as an engaging read.” Established in 2005, the George Washington Prize has honored a dozen leading writers on the Revolutionary era including, Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the hit musical Hamilton. For this year’s prize, a distinguished jury comprised of notable historians David Preston, Kathleen DuVal, and Nick Bunker, selected the finalists from a field of nearly 60 books.
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How Can We Help Save the Earth? Paul Hawken Has a Plan in DRAWDOWN

Drawdown book buzz1With Earth Day 2017 almost here, this week’s Igloo Book Buzz selection is Paul Hawken’s DRAWDOWN: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, on sale April 18 from Penguin Books. Mr. Hawken says, “Unquestionably, distress signals are flashing

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throughout nature and society, from drought, sea level rise, and unrelenting increases in temperatures to immigration, conflict, and dislocation. This is not the whole story. “We have endeavored in DRAWDOWN to show that many people are staunchly and unwaveringly on the case. Although carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion and land use have a two-century head start on these solutions, we will take those odds. The build-up of greenhouse gases we experience today occurred in the absence of human understanding; our ancestors were innocent of the damage they were doing. That can tempt us to believe that global warming is something that is happening to us—that we are victims of a fate that was determined by actions that preceded us. If we change the preposition, however, and consider that global warming is happening for us—an atmospheric transformation that inspires us to change and reimagine everything we make and do—we can begin to live in a different world. We take 100 percent responsibility and stop blaming others. We see global warming not as an inevitability but as an invitation to build, innovate, and effect change, a pathway that awakens creativity, compassion, and genius. This is not a liberal agenda, nor is it a conservative one. This is the human agenda.” Drawdown_QuoteCard_8Viking Executive Editor Rick Kot: “When Paul pitched the idea for DRAWDOWN to me several years ago over dinner, I was skeptical. By that point I’d worked with him on three books on environmentalism and activism that had become classics in their field, and there are few writers I enjoy working with as much as I do Paul. For an editor it’s equivalent to being on a vacation to be able to engage in ideas rather than the body and fender jobs that many manuscripts require, and Paul’s ideas always leave me challenged and inspired by the possible future a genuine visionary can imagine. “But a book about ways to reverse global warming? Wouldn’t that be chasing a moving target, given the rapidly changing pace of technology? When I raised that point, he countered by asking me to guess what the biggest factor would be in the carbon reduction effort, and after I ran through the usual suspects (cars, coal, etc.) he told it me was women’s education. That was, granted, a great ‘gotcha!’ but I still was dubious, and for the next year or so we circled around the project, with Paul patiently sending me more and more compelling research that the DRAWDOWN team was compiling. When I presented it to Penguin and the Academic Promotions Department, both saw the potential, and a contract was soon signed. “In the time since we made that deal, climate change has become an issue of even greater concern, not only because of the ever more alarming findings of the effects of global warming, but on the recent actions undertaken by the government to reverse the policies that address it. As several early reviews of DRAWDOWN have noted, the book could not have been published at a better time, as it offers solutions that are practical, imaginative, scalable, and economical. When I first read the manuscript, I was expecting an encyclopedic overview of the latest research in the area. While all that science is definitely a fundamental aspect of the book, it’s so much more than that, as it takes in cultural history, ethnography, botany, design, and many other fields. It’s an engagingly readable book—few writers in this area have Paul’s lyrical touch—and one that surprises on every page. For those of us old enough to remember it, DRAWDOWN will be reminiscent of the epochal Whole Earth Catalog: a window into another world, and a door to lead you there.” Drawdown_QuoteCard_8Media praise for the book has been nothing short of amazing. Outside Magazine calls it a “bold plan to beat back climate change” while Fast Company, who profiled Mr. Hawken for their “World Changing Ideas” column, describes the book as a “blueprint for what comes next if the U.S. government (and the global community) begins to aggressively focus on altering the climate future.” On tour, Paul will give 13 presentations on DRAWDOWN in 10 cities, including Santa Barbara, California where he will be awarded the Environmental Hero Award, presented by actor Jeff Bridges along with the President of Santa Barbara City College.

Our Two 2017 NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award Finalists

nypl logoFive finalists have been announced for the $10,000 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, “honoring the works of five commanding, diverse, young authors” aged 35 or younger, including our two nominees: THE MOTHERS by Brit Bennett (Riverhead) and THE ASSOCIATION OF SMALL BOMBS by Karan Mahajan (Viking/Penguin).  

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Congratulations to Ms. Bennett and Mr. Mahajan as well as their editors and publishers. 97803991845129780143109273View the complete list of this year’s finalists here. The winning author will be named on June 1 during a ceremony in the Celeste Bartos Forum of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at the New York Public Library. Founded in 2001, the Young Lions Fiction Award is given annually to an American writer age 35 or younger for either a novel or collection of short stories.  Each year, five young fiction writers are selected as finalists by a reading committee of writers, editors and librarians.

Meet Our Author: Meg Howrey

meg howryAuthor Meg Howrey is a former dancer who performed with the Joffrey, Eglevsky Ballet, and City Ballet of Los Angeles. She toured nationally with the Broadway production of Contact, for which she won the Ovation Award in 2001 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. During her writing career, Meg has been the author two novels for Pantheon/Vintage, Blind

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Sight and The Cranes Dance, and the coauthor of two bestselling novels for Penguin, City of Dark Magic and City of Lost Dreams, published under the pen name Magnus Flyte. 9780399574634Ms. Howrey’s new book, THE WANDERERS, which goes on sale from G. P. Putnam’s Sons on March 14, has been described as “Station Eleven meets The Martian.” This brilliantly inventive novel is about three astronauts training for the first-ever mission to Mars, an experience that will push the boundary between real and unreal, test their relationships, and leave each of them—and their families—changed forever. Wonderfully imaginative, tenderly comedic, and unerringly wise, THE WANDERERS explores the differences between those who go and those who stay, telling a story about the desire behind all exploration: the longing for discovery and the great search to understand the human heart. In this “Meet Our Author” interview, Meg takes us inside the heart of her creative life: How would you describe your writing regimen and routines? I alternate writing sitting at a desk with standing up at a sort of jury-rigged podium. In both places there is much gesticulation and theatrical facial expressions and mumblings. Making a book is a form of performance art. I’m a slow starter and will spend months on the first one or two chapters. Whether I’m writing two hours a day or ten, each book feels like its own particular beast and requires different regiments of feeding, care, and grooming. Books can bite or run away so you have to stay calm and be patient. What was the genesis of and the inspirations behind your new novel, THE WANDERERS? I read a newspaper account of a study conducted by the Russian and European space agencies to investigate the psychological effects of a long duration space mission. I thought, “Well, that’s interesting but wouldn’t what you’d feel on an actual mission to Mars be substantially different from what you’d feel in a simulator?” And then, “Possibly not, if the simulation was very good,” and also, “That would make a cool setting for a novel,” followed by, “It’s too bad I can’t write that novel since I don’t know anything about space.” So, the beast of this novel entailed a lot of research. Some of the themes I’ve tried to work on in other books are here: consciousness, ambition, the constructs of family, the problem of deciding what is real, and what “real” means. How have you been able to find the time and the creative energy to achieve success as an author, dancer and actress? meg pull quote1A thing about dance is you start so young you can have had a ten-year career by the time you’re in your mid-twenties, especially if you don’t go to college, which I didn’t. The acting really came out of the dancing—every once in a while somebody needed a ballet dancer who actually wanted to speak, and there weren’t that many of us. (Basically, there was the really beautiful one, the one who could also sing, and me.) Whatever else I was doing I was always, always reading, and trying to write came out of that. With all these things—dancing, acting, writing—I never feel that I’ve arrived. I’m always squinting at goalposts. You are among a handful of Penguin Random House authors whose books have been published by multiple imprints, in your case Pantheon/Vintage, Penguin and Putnam.  How has this experience helped shape your writing career? An accurate reckoning in my “Acknowledgements” section would run to twenty pages.  THE WANDERERS exists because of the generosity of Shelley Wanger and everyone at Pantheon/Vintage, and Carolyn Carlson and many delightful Penguins, and now Tara Singh Carlson and a fantastic team at Putnam. Through five books I’ve been reinventing myself, and these people have given me the space to do it. There aren’t enough thank you cards.

“Coloring Book Queen” to Receive OBE from Queen of England

johannaPenguin Books author and illustrator Johanna Basford, who has been called “The Queen of Coloring Books,” will be awarded an OBE, “for services to Art and Entrepreneurship,” by Queen Elizabeth II.

“I received a letter a few weeks ago to say I would be receiving an OBE as part of the Queen’s (90th) Birthday Honors this year,” Ms. Basford posted on her blog. “This was so unexpected that I called Buckingham Palace to check if they had made a mistake! If I’m honest, I don’t feel I

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deserve praise for simply being lucky enough to do work that I love, but I’m hugely grateful to have been selected for an OBE and will receive it humbly and on behalf of our amazing, worldwide coloring community. It’s an incredible honor and something that I think acknowledges more about the coloring community than it does any one individual within it –we’re part of a global movement that is making people healthier, happier and more creative.” Our warm congratulations to Ms. Basford on this high honor. Her books include LOST OCEAN (Penguin) and  LOST OCEAN: 36 POSTCARDS (Penguin) as well as the upcoming MAGICAL JUNGLE (on sale 8/9/16) and JOHANNA’S CHRISTMAS (on sale 10/25/16).