>Winning a prize is one thing, but for Caryl Phillips and Mark Haddon, bowing to a queen is quite another and they want no parts of it. Both authors won the Commonwealth Prize and neither accepted the invitation, which comes with the prize, to an audience with the queen. It wasn’t just scheduling conflicts, either. Both authors say they don’t believe in the monarchy and the problems with the idea of monarchy are similar to those they explore in their work. Thanks to places for writers for the link to the Guardian article about their refusal to meet with the queen. Here’s a quote from the article from Phillips:

I’m trying to interrogate British history and mythologies and duplicities, and one of the enduring myths is the royal family, which is white and Christian and ‘pure-blooded’, and on which the sun never sets.

Phillips won the 2004 Commonwealth prize for his novel, A Distant Shore. Haddon won for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Authors Elsewhere

Bebe Moore Campbell (72 Hour Hold) and Terry McMillan (The Interruption of Everything) are both featured in the July issue of Essence with excerpts from their new novels. Also in the books section of the July issue: former Vibe editor-in-chief Danyel Smith talking about her new novel, Bliss and the following beach read recommendations: Kingston By Starlight by Christopher John Farley, The Icarus Girl, by Helen Oyeyemi and Tropical Fish, by Doreen Baingana.

BBB loves seeing the diaspora represented so well in corporate publication. Perhaps all is not lost with Essence.

By the way, the link above for Danyel Smith actually leads to her blog. We’ll be bookmarking that one. Incredibly, BBB couldn’t find an official site for Terry McMillan. You’d think she’d have a very good site – or at least something. The url of her name leads to a site that’s supposedly a coming attraction. Very odd – I would think she and her publisher would be all over that marketing opportunity.

Tayari Jones has a very good essay up at her site about marketing. She talks about her experiences being promoted as a Southern writer and then, with the current book, The Untelling, as a Black writer.

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