BOOKS ROUNDUP: Crook’s Corner announces book prize

Feb. 02, 2013 @ 11:07 AM

Crook’s Corner Café & Bar recently announced the first annual Crook’s Corner Book Prize, to be inaugurated with an award for best debut novel set in the American South. The winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and a free glass of wine at Crook’s Corner every day for a year.
The wine pays homage to the inspiration for this prize. In Paris, such cafés as the Deux Magots, the Café de Flore, and Brasserie Lipp have for many years awarded writers’ prizes. Anna Hayes, an author who is a part-time resident of Paris, suggested the idea of a similar prize in Chapel Hill.
The idea is to encourage discovery of new writers and possibly spur other restaurants to inaugurate their own book prizes.
The deadline for submitting a book for the first Crook’s Corner Prize is June 30. For this year’s award, eligible novels will have been published between May 1, 2011, and May 1, 2013. Self-published books with ISBN numbers will be accepted, but e-books are not eligible.
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-- In 1985, Shelby “Chip” Smoak was diagnosed HIV positive, a fact that he did not learn (by choice) until a few years later. Smoak’s diagnosis is compounded with the fact that he is also hemophiliac. Smoak, a poet and novelist, who now teaches at Northern Virginian Community College in Arlington, has written a memoir of his experiences with both diseases, “Bleeder” (Michigan State University Press, $22.95).
Smoak will read and sign copies of his memoir Saturday at 2 p.m. at Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill.
-- Rose Styron and R. Blakeslee Gilpin will give a book talk about “The Selected Letters of William Styron,” at 5 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Gothic Reading Room of the Rubenstein Library on Duke University’s West Campus.
Rose Styron, widow of William Styron, and Gilpin edited the recently published selection of Styron’s letters. Styron was one of the great American novelists of the 20th century’s post-World War II generation. His novels include “The Confessions of Nat Turner,” “Sophie’s Choice” and “Lie Down in Darkness.” His memoir of his battles with depression, “Darkness Visible,” had a profound influence on the public discussion of that malady.
Styron graduated from Duke University, and his papers are held in the university’s library. Admission to this talk is free and open to the public. 
-- Ariel Djanikian’s debut novel, “The Office of Mercy,” is set 300 years after the Storm, an event in which young idealists try to re-make civilization.
The book will go on sale Feb. 25 and Djanikian will read and sign copies of the novel at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill; and at 11 a.m. March 2 at McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village, Pittsboro.
-- Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill has launched a new imprint featuring books for readers ages 7 to 17.
Elise Howard, editor and publisher of Algonquin Books for Young Readers, said that the plan is to build this list to 15 titles a year, featuring primarily fiction, and also to include a few select narrative non-fiction titles.
The first list, launching in fall 2013, includes five novels, two for young adults and three for middle-grade readers: “The Time Fetch” by Amy Herrick (middle-grade hardcover fiction), “Three Ring Rascals Book One: The Show Must Go On” by Kate and M. Sarah Klise (middle-grade hardcover fiction), “Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea” by Lisa and Valerie Martin (middle-grade hardcover fiction), “If You Could Be Mine” by Sara Farizan (young adult hardcover fiction), and “Somebody Up There Hates You” by Hollis Seamon (young adult hardcover fiction).
The new imprint will be introduced to librarians, booksellers and media this spring with appearances at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference, the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute, and BookExpo America.
-- Novelist and short story writer Ron Rash’s new collection of stories, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (HarperCollins, $24.99), will be published Feb. 19. Rash, whose pervious novels include “One Foot in Eden” and “Saints at the River,” will read from his new collection at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill.

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