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Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate and Song of Solomon Author, Has Died

By Brian Hoey. Aug 7, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Nobel Prize Winners

“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language.
That may be the measure of our lives.”
-Toni Morrison, Nobel Lecture 1993

Toni Morrison, author of Beloved and Song of Solomon, died peacefully in her home on Monday, surrounded by her family. Morrison was the first African American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her books were commercially and critically acclaimed and rightly find their way onto many collectors' shelves. Today, we honor Ms. Morrison's life and work.

     
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Ernest Hemingway, Famous Author or Failed Double Agent?

By Andrea Koczela. Jul 21, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners

During World War II, Ernest Hemingway was determined to be a spy. He spoke to no less than four governmental entities on the matter. Three were American: the American embassy in Cuba, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). One was Russian: the NKVD, a forerunner of the KGB. He accepted positions from three—the American embassy in Cuba, the ONI, and the NKVD—and worked simultaneously for the Americans and Russians from 1941-1943.

     
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Famous Authors Who Wrote Only One Novel

On March 30, 1820, Anna Sewell was born into a devoutly Quaker family. Her mother, Mary Wright Sewell, was a successful children's book author. Sewell was mostly educated at home and did not attend school for the first time until she was twelve years old. Two years later, she seriously injured both ankles in an accident. From then on, Sewell had extremely limited mobility; she required crutches and could never walk great distances. 

     
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Boris Pasternak, Thwarted Nobel Laureate

By Carrie Scott. Jun 13, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners, Book News

If English literary critic William Hazlitt was correct in his assertion that “When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest,” we can assume that the 1958 Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to Boris Pasternak will remain relevant through the ages.

     
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A Saul Bellow Round-Up

By Leah Dobrinska. Jun 10, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners

If you've been reading our blog for any length of time, you know that we have a strong appreciation for Saul Bellow. Bellow was an extremely prolific writer in his lifetime, and his works have become prized collectibles. He is perhaps best known for the titles The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, and Henderson the Rain King. Bellow was also the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize (in the same year!). We've written about him at length, so in honor of his birthday, we've rounded up several of our favorite Saul Bellow posts for you to enjoy. 

     
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Rudyard Kipling: A Retrospective

Today marks the anniversary of the birthday of Rudyard Kipling, the world renowned author who brought a new (and often controversial) perspective to British imperialism. During his lifetime Kipling would cross continents, win a Nobel Prize, and befriend the celebrated authors of his day.

     
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Harold Pinter: Playwright, Actor, Cricketeer, Nobel Prize Winner

This month, we celebrate Harold Pinter, whose varied career spanned over fifty years. Born on October 10, 1930, the Nobel laureate was more than a legendary writer. He was also a political activist, actor, director, and cricketeer.      
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Happy Birthday, Doris Lessing!

By Kristin Wood. Oct 22, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners

When it comes to literature, Doris Lessing has her hand in every dish.  She claims the titles of novelist, poet, playwright, short story writer, and biographer – if anyone proves that it’s possible to do it all, and well, it’s Lessing.  She won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, along with the David Cohen prize in 2001.

     
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Ongoing Scandal Causes Nobel Prize in Literature to Go Unawarded

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 4, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Nobel Prize Winners, Book News

This spring, the Swedish Academy announced that there would be no Nobel Prize in Literature awarded this year, stating instead that two laureates will be awarded in 2019. At the heart of this issue is photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of committee member Katherine Frostenson, who has been accused of eighteen counts of sexual harassment and assault. He is also suspected of leaking lists of possible winners for betting purposes. While this is not the first time this has happened (in 1949, the Academy famously announced that no candidates met the criteria, delaying the decision to the following year when they selected William Faulkner as the 1949 winner), this is the first time the decision has been made as a direct result of scandals surrounding the committee.

     
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Happy Birthday, T.S. Eliot!

By Leah Dobrinska. Sep 26, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Poetry, Nobel Prize Winners

T.S. Eliot authored some of the most recognizable poems of the 20th century. He was a major player in the modernist movement, and his "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is considered one of the best of the genre. Eliot won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, and the selection committee praised him for "his outstanding, [pioneering] contribution to present-day poetry." Many other writers owe a debt of gratitude to T.S. Eliot for paving the way, and as Britannica states, "From the 1920s onward, Eliot’s influence as a poet and as a critic—in both Great Britain and the United States—was immense, not least among those establishing the study of English literature as an autonomous academic discipline." 

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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