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In Memoriam: William H. Gass

Penguin Random House mourns the loss of author, William H. Gass, who died on Wednesday at his home in Missouri. He was 93. Gass won numerous awards for his writings, including several Pushcart Prize awards, the 1997 Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, and the PEN/Nabokov Lifetime Achievement Award. Knopf will publish The William H. Gass Reader in June, which includes his essays, stories, and more. Gass was a leading experimental writer, known for abandoning traditional narrative, and whose style influenced other writers such as Jonathan Safran Foer and David Foster Wallace. His first novel, Omensetter’s Luck, published in 1966, is now a classic in American Literature. Browse more of Gass’ works here.
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2017 Books for the Holidays: Guide

Looking for a book to give to a loved one this season? We have a few suggestions for your friend with the travel bug, your aunt who loves knitting, and anyone else on your list. Below is the complete list of all our holiday book guides for 2017:  

Congratulations to Masha Gessen, Winner of the 2017 National Book Award for Nonfiction!

Masha Gessen was honored Wednesday night with the National Book Award for Nonfiction for her book, The Future is History.  This is the fifth consecutive year in which Penguin Random House authors have won at least one National Book Award as recognized by the respective panels of judges in each of the four categories. Read more about our other finalists for the 2017 National Book Awards.

Tips for Starting a Book Club with Winc

There’s no denying that books and wine make a great pair (looking at you #bookstagram 👀). And what better way to enjoy both than with friends? We’ve teamed up with Winc to remind you just how easy it is to kick off that book club you’ve been meaning to start: Step 1: Have a book club brainstorm. Think about what kind of books you’d like to read and how often you’d like your book club to meet. Step 2: Once you’ve hammered out the details, invite some friends! Give your friends an overview of what they can expect –monthly meetups, discussion questions, and plenty of snacks and wine, of course! Step 3: Select a book! Whatever book you select, make sure it’s long enough to encourage a good discussion, but short enough for people to finish on time. Step 4: Get busy reading! Reading a chapter or two] a night before bed is not only be a great way to wind down, but will also help you chip away at the book in time. Step 5: Gather! As the founder of a book club, you may enjoy hosting the first meeting. But, though you might have started the club, you don’t have to host every meetup. Change locations and take turns hosting amongst members. Step 6: Let the discussion flow. There are no rules once everyone gathers, but it can be helpful to have a discussion guide to spark conversation. Come up with your own focus questions as a group or use a reading group guide. And don’t forget the wine to fuel conversation! Check out Winc.com for a complete guide on how to start a book club and, of course, for plenty of wine delivery recommendations! 🍷
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Congratulations to George Saunders, Winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction!

George Saunders, famed short story writer, has won the Man Booker Prize for his first full-length novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. From The Man Booker Prize website: The 58-year-old New York resident, born in Texas, is the second American author to win the prize in its 49-year history. He was in contention for the prize with two British, one British-Pakistani and two American writers. Lola, Baroness Young, 2017 Chair of judges, comments: ‘The form and style of this utterly original novel, reveals a witty, intelligent, and deeply moving narrative. This tale of the haunting and haunted souls in the afterlife of Abraham Lincoln’s young son paradoxically creates a vivid and lively evocation of the characters that populate this other world. Lincoln in the Bardo is both rooted in, and plays with history, and explores the meaning and experience of empathy.’ Lincoln in the Bardo focuses on a single night in the life of Abraham Lincoln: an actual moment in 1862 when the body of his 11-year-old son was laid to rest in a Washington cemetery. Strangely and brilliantly, Saunders activates this graveyard with the spirits of its dead. The Independent described the novel as ‘completely beguiling’, praising Saunders for concocting a ‘narrative like no other: a magical, mystery tour of the bardo – the “intermediate” or transitional state between one’s death and one’s next birth, according to Tibetan Buddhism.’ Meanwhile, the Guardian wrote that, ‘the short story master’s first novel is a tale of great formal daring…[it] stands head and shoulders above most contemporary fiction, showing a writer who is expanding his universe outwards, and who clearly has many more pleasures to offer his readers.’ -Read the rest here. Browse below for Saunders’ rightfully beloved works:
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