Thursday, 12 December 2013

VUP December newsletter

What a year

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all our wonderful book buyers, readers, and word of mouth advocates for supporting VUP this year. We've had a fantastic year, with a list of 28 new books, one of which won the Man Booker Prize and is breaking all kind of sales records. We couldn't be prouder of all our authors.

New books in 2014


No rest for the wicked – we're busy organising next year's titles. As a taster: first up in February we have two new poetry collections, both first books – Marty Smith's Horse with Hat and Caoilinn Hughes' Gathering Evidence. Smith's Horse with Hat focuses on family feuds, the effects of WWII on returned servicemen and their families, as well as the long relationship between horse and man. In Gathering Evidence poetic venturing meets scientific venturing, and moments of discovery are focused on - from the first controlled nuclear reaction to the shape of an avalanche.

In March we have four new books – Kerry Donovan Brown's Adam Prize winning first novel Lamplighter (check out the gorgeous cover by Slane), Dylan Horrocks' Incomplete Works, a collection of art writings by Wystan Curnow, edited by Christina Barton and Robert Leonard, The Critic's Part, and Susy Frankel and John Yeabsley's Framing the Commons which examines regulation making in New Zealand.

But that's just the start. We are planning an exciting programme of about 30 books for 2014. Details of the first eight are on our forthcoming books page, and more will be added in the new year.

Events and Festivals

We're excited that some of our writers will be attending the Wellington Writers and Readers Festival in March, Auckland and Dunedin Festivals in May, and Christchurch Festival in August. We've also put together an event to take Eleanor Catton to Hokitika on March 13 (by horseback, of course) for an event at the Regent Theatre. VUP along with Eleanor's UK editor, Max Porter, will be on the coast for what we expect will be a very special event.


Best books


We've noticed a run on people's favourite reading lists this year – every paper and magazine seems to be running one and we're delighted that VUP titles have been included in many of them. Here's what we loved reading this year (other than the VUP titles!) and what we plan to read in our hammocks over summer.

Craig  I'm planning to read all of the original James Bond novels in order (I've read the first three already) because, you know, it's summer. Then I'm going to re-read The Luminaries in one steady go, and then as many YA novels as I can get my hands on. The best non VUP title would have to be More Than This by Patrick Ness (but I loved Wake more).

Kyleigh  I'm planning to read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and The Lifespan of a Fact by John D'Agata (author) and Jim Fingal (fact checker), about their battle over factual inaccuracies in an article D'Agata wrote.
Best non-VUP book I read this year: A Book is a Book – beautiful to hold and look at, and full of lovely sentences about books and reading – what more could an editor want? Plus my six-year-old loved it and has claimed it for her own.

Kirsten  I've discovered Spanish writer Javier Marias this year. I first read this year's The Infatuations, but it's A Heart So White published in 1992 that has got me really excited. Marias has a way of stretching out a scene like a long note of music. He is funny, poetic and serious all at once. I bought Umberto Eco's The Book of Legendary Lands from Unity on Sunday, it was just too shiny and brainy and beautiful to pass by.

Fergus What are books? I've just finished my annual four-week reading of the MA in creative writing folios — 20 manuscripts, 1,000,000 words — which is a huge pleasure and privilege, but it feels like a very long time since I read something with covers. Two books I remember were especially exciting are Colin McAdam's novel A Beautiful Truth (Granta), which is about chimps in captivity but really about being human and is heartbreaking; and Trances of the Blast, Mary Ruefle's new collections of poems, immaculately published by Wave. I'm planning to ease myself back into reading with Liam McIlvanney's Glasgow thriller, Where the Dead Men Go (Faber), which looks suitably nasty.

VUP Summer break

Our office closes on Friday 20 December, and will reopen on Monday 6 January.
Have a safe and happy holiday.

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