Newsroom:
Penguin Books

On June 10, 2015, Saul Bellow would have turned 100. In celebration of the writer and his work, Viking and Penguin Books, whose history with Bellow goes back more than 65 years, is hosting a Bellow Centennial Slam at Housing Works Bookstore and Café (126 Crosby Street ) on Wednesday (6/10), a reception from 7:00 to 7:30 pm reception and the main program, 7:30 – 8:30 pm. Writers and editors will honor him by reading from his works and sharing stories, memories, and inspiration about the man himself. Penguin Books also turns 80 this year and is thrilled to kick off this banner year by paying homage to one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers. Participating in the event are: Adam Kirsch, Deborah Treisman, A.M. Homes, Colum McCann, Jonathan Santlofer, and Penguin’s own Beena Kamlani. There will be a special musical performance by students from Julliard and books for sale from Greenlight Bookstore. To commemorate the Bellow centennial, Viking and Penguin Classics published several outstanding books. There Is Simply Too Much To Think About: Collected Nonfiction features Bellow’s essays, reviews, interviews, and more. It was edited by Benjamin Taylor, who also edited Saul Bellow Letters. Penguin Classics published Ravelstein as an iconic black spine edition for the first time, with an introduction by Gary Shteyngart. In addition, Herzog is now available as a gorgeous Penguin Classics Deluxe, with an introduction by Philip Roth.  
Garrison Keillor’s The Keillor Reader (Penguin) has been selected as one of the seven semi-finalists for the 2015 Thurber Prize for American Humor, the only recognition for the art of humor writing in the United States.  The judges for the prize include Sloane Crosley, author of  I Was Told There’s Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number, both published by Riverhead. The three finalists will be determined in August and the winner announced in September.  
Chautauqua Institution has announced Redeployment by Phil Klay (Penguin Press/Penguin) as the 2015 winner of The Chautauqua Prize, which “celebrates a book of fiction or literary/narrative nonfiction that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and honors the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts.” Klay receives $7,500 and all travel and expenses for a one-week summer residency at Chautauqua, the not-for-profit educational and cultural center in southwestern New York state.
The 2015 Anthony Awards shortlist  was announced this week and includes two Penguin titles. Tana French’s The Secret Place is a finalist in the Best Novel category and Alex Marwood’s The Killer Next Door is a finalist in the Best Paperback Original category. Congratulations to Tana, Alex and everyone on the teams involved with these books’ success stories. The Anthony Award winners will be chosen by the voting members during the Bouchercon convention, which will be held October 8 -11 in Raleigh, NC. The final Awards will be presented at the Anthony Award ceremony near the end of the convention. The Viking hardcover edition of The Secret Place was a New York Times bestseller in 2014. The Penguin paperback edition  will be released August 4.  The Killer Next Door was published by Penguin last October.
Penguin is pleased to announce that the Poetry Foundation has awarded poet Alice Notley the 2015 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, which was established in 1986 and recognizes the outstanding lifetime achievement of a living U.S. poet.  Previous winners have included Philip Levine, John Ashbery, Kay Ryan, and Carl Dennis.  The $100,000 award, one of the richest literary prizes in the U.S., will be presented to Notley at a ceremony at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago on June 8. The Penguin Poets series has published five of Notley’s  collections, including Culture of One (2011), In the Pines (2007), Disobedience (2001), Mysteries of Small Houses (1998) and The Descent of Allette (1992). Penguin will publish a new work by Notley, Certain Magical Acts, in June of 2016. Robert Polito, President of the Poetry Foundation, commented: “The range, comprehensiveness, and empathetic imagination of Alice Notley’s poems are among the major astonishments of contemporary poetry. Book by surprising book, she reinvents not only herself as a poet, but also what it means for anyone to write a poem at this volatile moment in our history.”
Sue Monk Kidd’s #1 New York Times bestseller and “American classic-to-be” (Dallas Morning News) THE INVENTION OF WINGS was released in Penguin paperback this week and copies are already flying off shelves. Sue kicked off her 10-city tour in Charleston, SC, where she participated in Sarah and Angelina Grimké Day, a city-wide celebration honoring the progressive 19th century Charlestonian sisters whose abolitionist activism was the impetus  at The Invention of Wings.  The festivities included an unveiling of the new Grimké historical marker, a Grimké Sisters historical walking tour and archival exhibit, and The Invention of Wings Grimke Historical Markerdiscussion and signing. Here Kidd is pictured with her husband Sandy (right) and a Grimké family descendent (left) in front of Charleston’s newly unveiled Grimké historical marker. Feature coverage on the book and Sue’s tour can be found in Charleston’s Post & Courier and City Paper, Savannah’s Morning News, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The  2015 James Beard Foundation’s Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards winners were announced last Friday (4/24) evening and award-winning chef/author Dan Barber won a 2015 James Beard Foundation Book Award in the Writing and Literature category for The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food.  Penguin Press published this title in hardcover in 2014 and Penguin Books published the paperback edition early last month. In his book, Barber discusses how, traditionally, Americans have dined on the “first plate,” a classic meal centered on meat with few vegetables. Thanks to the farm-to-table movement, many people have begun eating from the “second plate,” the new ideal of organic, grass-fed meats and local vegetables.  But neither model, Barber shows, supports the long-term productivity of the land. Indeed the inefficiency of these systems exacts a high cost on the land, and in the case of the “second plate,” on the price and accessibility of food.   Instead, Barber calls for a “third plate,” a new way of eating rooted in cooking with and celebrating the whole farm—an integrated system of vegetable, grain, and livestock production. Drawing on personal insight as well as the wisdom and experience of chefs and farmers from around the world, Barber proposes a new definition for ethical and delicious eating that inspires us to look at food and the land on which it grows in an entirely new way.
The Mystery Writers of America announced the 2015 Edgar Awards winners Wednesday night at its 69th gala banquet in New York.  Acclaimed Penguin author Chris Abani took home the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original for his latest thriller, The Secret History of Las Vegas (Penguin Books, January 2014). Abani’s visceral and gritty novel explores the blurry line between good and evil through the story of a detective trying to solve a series of murders of Las Vegas’s homeless. The New York Times Book Review praised it, saying “In the end, what lifts the novel is its energy, the audacity of Abani’s imagination, and most of all the breadth of vision that supplies its moral context.” Abani has also previously won a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and PEN Hemingway Book Prize, among other honors. He is known for his fiction, poetry, and work on humanitarian causes related to art and ethics. This is the third year in a row that Penguin Books had taken home an Edgar Award.  Congratulations all!
Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat returns to the #1 spot on The New York Times paperback nonfiction bestseller list. Penguin Books celebrated this achievement with a champagne toast and a clever book display in the shape of #1.  In addition to having spent 48 weeks on the paperback printed list and over a year on the eBook fiction bestseller list, The Boys in the Boat continues to be embraced by the public and the media with recent pieces in the New York Times  and not only a feature in the San Jose Mercury News but also inclusion in a piece about the rowing rivalry between California and Washington in the San Jose Mercury News. number one  
Capital: The Eruption of Delhi by Rana Dasgupta (Penguin Books) has been shortlisted for the UK’s Orwell prize, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing. Every year, the competition committee awards prizes for the work which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition “to make political writing into an art.” The short list was announced April 22 and includes five other books in addition to CAPTIAL. The New Yorker calls the book “[An] unsparing portrait of moneyed Delhi, no telling detail seems to escape Dasgupta’s notice.”