The big news from last night’s National Book Awards ceremony was the winner of the Non-fiction Book of the Year category – Malala Yousafzai, the sixteen year old girl from Pakistan who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in 2012 due to her promotion of education for women and girls. Her book, I Am Malala, tells of her life in the Swat Valley in Pakistan when it was under Taliban rule, and her continuing campaign for girls education. Sadly, the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation has stated that they will ban the book from some 150,000 schools in the country, believing it would have a “negative effect” on pupils. Her campaign, it seems, is not over.
Gillian Flynn was also a winner last night, of the International Author of the Year prize. Her novel Gone Girl has been one of the biggest of the year, and she is probably the biggest writer of 2013 that I have yet to read – I must get a copy of Gone Girl and add it to my To Read pile; hopefully it will live up to expectations.