Alessandra Bastagli has joined Nation Books as editorial director, filling the position vacated earlier this year when Carl Bromley moved to The New Press. Most recently she has been digital features editor at Al Jazeera America, after working at Free Press until it was merged into the Simon & Schuster Publishing Group in fall 2012.
Meg Cassidy has left Simon & Schuster, where she was a publicity manager, to pursue freelance work in publicity, culinary pr, and event planning from Portland, OR. She can be reached at email@example.com.
At their annual meeting later this month, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) will honor Judith Appelbaum with their 2014 Lifetime Service Award.
Rory Scarfe is joining UK agency Furniss Lawton, the Bookseller reports.
Haruki Murakami’s 96-page book THE STRANGE LIBRARY will be published on December 2 by Knopf in the US and Harvill Secker in the UK. Sonny Mehta calls it “as scary and surprising as anything he has ever written.” The book was originally published in Japan in 2008. Knopf has announced a 75,000 first printing for the $18 hardcover.
The National Book Festival in Washington, DC moved indoors for the first time on Saturday, disinvited from its traditional spot on the Mall, and compressed into a single, longer day at the Washington Convention Center. Attendance numbers have not been released yet, but organizers said the move was successful the crowds followed the event to its new location. One of the organizers, Jennifer Gavin, told the Washington Post: “The crowds are huge. I mean, they’re huge. And we’re very gratified by that.” (Attendance was 200,000 people in 2013.)
The Library of Congress Literacy Award winners were announced at the festival, with the $150,000 David M. Rubenstein Prize going to Room to Read, which promotes literary and academic success in Africa and Asia by helping to construct schools, establish libraries and distribute books.
Booker Prize winner for THE LUMINARIES Eleanor Catton said in accepting a recent prize from the New Zealand Post that she intends to establish a grant that will award writers $3,000 to provide “time to read.” Catton told the Guardian: “My idea is that if a writer is awarded a grant, they will be given the money with no strings attached except that after three months they will be expected to write a short piece of non-fiction about their reading (what was interesting to them, what they learned) that will be posted online so that others can benefit from their reading too.”
In the UK, the shortlists were announced for the CWA Dagger awards for crime novel of the year, thriller of the year, and best first novel. And the 15-title longlist was named for the Samuel Johnson Prize for nonfiction.