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Hear me talking with Richard & Judy about The Girl Who Fell From The Sky, for the WH Smiths, Richard & Judy Book Club

Hear me in discussion with Diane Rehm on the Diane Rehm Show, National Public Radio in the US.

and also in an interview for ABC radio in Australia


I'm giving a reading and talk about Prague Spring at the British Embassy in Prague. Next month there's much happening, including the premiere of The Glass Room film in Brno.



Prague Spring is no.1 in the Evening Standard London bestsellers list.



Is the official date for the publication of Prague Spring, my new novel.



Official announcement that the film of The Glass Room will begine shooting on 23 February 2018. Directed by Julius Ševcík and produced by Rudolf Biermann of InFilm Praha, it will star, amongst others, Carice van Houten. Here's Variety's announcement of the forthcoming production



Tightrope wins the Walter Scott Prize 2016




Tightrope makes the shortlist for the Walter Scott Prize 2016. Winner to be announced on 18 June at the Borders Book Festival




Not only is Tightrope on the long list for the Walter Scott 2016 Prize for historical fiction, but it is also the Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for March.



The Abacus paperback edition of Tightrope comes out this month.


"An ambitious, highly accomplished novel." Another great review of Tightrope, this time in the Washington Post. I'm off to the home of the Post on 1 December, to appear in the Diane Rehm Show on NPR.



Tightrope has just been reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. Find all US reviews here.



The US edition of Tightrope is published today, by Other Press. It has already been reviewed in the New York Times.



Tightrope reviewed, a couple of weeks ahead of US publication, in the New York Times.



In October I'll be in the US - Baltimore, NYC and Boston at the Boston Book Festival. See Appearances for details. Then December, I'll be on the Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio once again, on 3 December.



Ok, so I've missed a whole lot of things - more reviews for Tightrope (but I've already added them to the UK Reviews page), my interview on BBC Radio 4 World at One, my appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival. But Tightrope (abridged, of course) is currently the Book at Bedtime on Radio 4 read by Peter Firth, and can be heard via the BBC Website


More reviews of Tightrope, from the Times to the Sunday Mirror, are out now. Read excerpts from them on the reviews page. Also, I've done a piece on the Best Books I Never Wrote for the New Zealand Sunday Star-Times.




Tightrope is out now. The Sunday Times has already called it "a sophisticated, deviously constructed story of a woman who finds her true self in the distorting mirrors of the intelligence game". And Tatler (I move in exalted circles) found it "compelling".




The first reviews of Tightrope are appearing. The Mail on Sunday calls it "gripping stuff, with a sinuous plot and some haunting bedroom scenes" while Allan Massie in the Scotsman finds Marian "a thoroughly and impressively imagined character". James Walton in the Daily Telegraph also finds her "a compelling heroine, whose many contradictions are all believable".




Tightrope comes out in the UK on 4 June but bloggers are already beginning to review it, having got hold of bound proofs. Try these two that I've recently found, one from Lady Fancifull, the other from Chapter One Reviews.




On 7 February 2015 the premier of The Glass Room, in Czech, was a roaring success. All thanks, and admiration to Stanislav Moša, the director, the wonderful cast of actors and actresses and the whole production team. 55 scenes, 75 minutes of specially composed music, brilliant sets, heartfelt acting... I was overwhelmed. Here I am, congratulating Stanislav after the performance:

There's more about the play, with photos of the performance, here




In two weeks to Brno for the premiere of the Czech stage version of The Glass Room, at the City Theatre of Brno... meanwhile here's the poster:



My new novel, Tightrope, will be out in June 2015. Tightrope is a sequel to The Girl Who Fell From The Sky. Find out about Tightrope and read the first chapter here. Meanwhile, in February I'm off to Brno for the premiere of the stage adaptation of The Glass Room.




The Girl Who Fell From The Sky is now out in paperback in the UK, and has been chosen as one of the Summer 2013 reads for the WH Smiths, Richard & Judy Book Club




I've got behind with this... Trapeze - which is The Girl Who Fell From The Sky translated into American - has just got an excellent review in the Washington Post and I've just been on the Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio. This evening at 7 pm it's a reading/talk at Politics & Prose bookshop in DC. Then on to Baltimore, New Canaan and Cambridge Mass. See appearances for details.



Publication day for The Girl Who fell From The Sky, greeted with an excellent review in the Spectator. "Gripping and moving in equal measure, his story, Marian’s story, is unforgettable."




Trapeze, the US edition of The Girl Who Fell From The Sky, comes out today. The Daily Beast - there's a good literary reference - has just chosen it as a "hot read". Booklist says, "With its lyrical yet spare prose and heart-pounding climax, this is a compelling historical thriller of the highest order."




The Daily Mail seems to like The Girl Who Fell From The Sky. "Radiating an atmosphere of tense suThe Gspicion and claustrophobia, it is utterly gripping from start to finish"



Copy editing and proof reading for The Girl Who Fell From The Sky now completed. And all but proof reading done for the US edition, Trapeze.


More foreign rights deals: Editions Cherche Midi are buying the French rights of The Girl Who Fell From The Sky. This follows DVA Verlag who are buying the German rights. The French language edition of The Glass Room is to be published in May by Cherche Midi, as Le Palais de Verre.


More news of The Girl Who Fell From The Sky: already sold to Neri Pozza for an Italian language edition and Ambo Anthos for Dutch, there is now a German offer on the table and a French offer in the pipeline. People seem to like it...


Here's the Private Passions link. The programme will be available for a week.


Sunday 25th September, BBC Radio 3 at 12 noon British time (GMT) I will be divulging my Private Passions on the popular music programme of that name. Music from Hildegard of Bingen to George Antheil, from Mozart to Janacek. And voices from Emma Kirkby to Juliette Greco. Listen up! You'll be able to dowload the programme for some time afterwards.


The Girl Who Fell From The Sky (in UK) or Trapeze (US) is just about done. The jacket illustration for the UK edition will be out soon. Publication is scheduled for May 2012 for both of them.


Mendel's Dwarf is out today (Abacus Books), although Amazon UK has had it available for some days. Ever at the cutting edge of things, the leading scientific journal Nature is carrying a brief review of it by their senior European correspondent, Alison Abbott. She calls it "one of science-in-fiction's great love stories". "This piece of literature works on many levels: historical, moral and scientific," she writes. "There is no authorial voice insisting the reader acquires an education in genetics; that happens subtly. For all its depth, Mendel's Dwarf is a rollicking read."

At the same time, news comes that The Glass Room is on the shortlist for the Boeke Prize. This is not a joke.



The new novel, provisionally entitled Trapeze, has already been sold in Britain (Little, Brown) and the United States (Other Press), and to Ambo Anthos in Holland for Dutch translation. Expect to see it on the shelves some time in 2012. In the meantime the reissue of Mendel's Dwarf is already available at Amazon.co.uk in both paperback and Kindle edition.



I have recently been presented with my portrait, painted by Robert Hales, as a leaving present from St George's British International School, Rome, where I worked for over thirty years. Click on the image to see a larger version - not for the glorification of the sitter but to show the artistry of Robert Hales.




Mendel's Dwarf is due to be reissued on July 7 2011 under the Abacus imprint. This novel, which made the last ten for the Booker Prize in 1998, has not been in print in the United Kingdom for more than a decade!



Just back from the mad world of New Orleans. There's a piece by me in today's Observer about moments that change your life. The Fall, of course.


The Glass Room has been nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award - along with 162 other novels! The list of nominees is announced today. Another piece of news: Mendel's Dwarf, long out of print in Britain, is going to be republished. The book first came out in 1997 to fantastic reviews, but fell victim of the failure of Anchor Books, a literary imprint of Transworld that only lasted eighteen months. The US edition of Mendel's Dwarf was published in 1998 and has never been out of print since. More details about this new UK edition later.




Back from Boston, New York City and Chicago and pausing before setting off for New Orleans in two weeks time. Meanwhile an interview that I did for the Czech Arts magazine Host has appeared in English on the Eurozine website. Eurozine is worth watching. And here's a slide show from the event at the Center for Fiction in Manhattan





It's Booker Prize night at the Guildhall. Yesterday I was talking to first year students at Imperial College, London and tomorrow there's another session with a different group. The day after, it's off to Boston for the Boston Book Festival, then the Center for Fiction in New York and onwards to Chicago.





The Jewish Quarterly is carrying an article that I wrote for them on the city of Brno.




Two events at the West Cork Literary Festival over, the second one with writer and adventurer extraordinary Tim Severin. Both events seemed to go very well and the rain did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of participants.

Today the Guardian carries a review of the audio version of the The Glass Room. Sue Arnold thinks the book "much, much more than a historical novel – it's a brilliantly plotted, beautifully told story about love, cruelty, betrayal, survival and, above all, the complexity and power of sex" and Jefferson May's "cool, understated reading... perfectly pitched".

The audio book, 15hrs unabridged, is available from Whole Story Audio, £24.99



An interview with me from Radio Prague (in English) is now available on the Radio Prague website. You can listen to it or read the transcript.



Always the bridesmaid, never the bride: The Glass Room failed to win either the Walter Scott Prize or the Wingate Prize.


The unabridged audio book of The Glass Room is available now. Check it out and hear an excerpt here.

There's also an interview with me, and some photos of Brno and things, on Pamela Johnson's excellent website Words Unlimited.



At the Hay Festival I was interviewed by Jame Naughtie about The Glass Room. At Charleston Ed Hollis (The Secret Lives of Buildings) and I managed an entirely spontaneous double act on architecture and its significance that seemed to make the audience happy.



Today a visit to Brno, and more particularly, the Tugendhat House which is in the midst of restoration work. A thrilling experience to see the building stripped down and people at work on returning it to its former splendour. You can see Czech TV coverage of our visit here (scroll down for the video). Better if you understand Czech but at least you can see something of what the house looks like at the moment. The evening before, I was interviewed on Czech TV late night news. Again, it's in Czech. Again, you'll have to scroll down for the video link.



A film contract for The Glass Room has just been signed with Rudolf Biermann's production company IN FILM Praha. That's just the beginning of the beginning. The next step will be getting a screenplay done.




From Monday 10 May I'm in the Czech Republic on a week-long book tour of the country. I'll be in various places throughout the week but the high point will probably be Tuesday 11 when I'll be seeing round the Tugendhat House (currently closed to the public for restoration) and taking part in a press conference with the mayor of Brno.




The paperback edition of The Glass Room came out two days ago, and today there's a good review in the Observer - the one major newspaper to miss reviewing the book when it first came out. "Mawer's finest work so far" is James Purdon's opinion.




The paperback edition of The Glass Room (Abacus) comes out on Tuesday and there's a brief review in today's Sunday Telegraph. Ophelia Field thinks that "Written so intelligently and seriously that it avoids all traps of sentimentality, it explores the impossibility of perfect vision even as the author displays his own."




Another shortlist. The Glass Room is on the shortlist for the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize, winner to be announced in June.




Stop Press! The Glass Room is on the shortlist for the brand new Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. The winner will be announced on June 19 at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose. There's a certain déjà vu about the shortlist which, besides The Glass Room, contains two others from the Man Booker shortlist. At a cool £25,000 for the winner, the Walter Scott immediately goes into the top ranks of British literary prizes. Of course there are other ways by which such prizes may be ranked. The Goncourt is worth a mere €10...




The Glass Room paperback gets a review in today's Independent. Published by Abacus, it is due on the shelves on 22 April.




"This extraordinary book..." The Glass Room is reviewed in today's The Boston Globe. Read the full review here.




Restoration work on the Tugendhat House in Brno has just begun, with the removal of furniture from the living room and the cladding of the onyx wall and the chrome pillars. See pictures and get a progress update here




The Glass Room is still on the NY Times bestseller list - for the third week now.




An interview with the browser.com is online, and The Glass Room was on the NY Times bestseller list for the second week running...



The Glass Room has made the New York Times bestseller list for trade paperbacks - at number 29.



The Glass Room is to be published in French by Éditions Le Cerche Midi. That makes 14 different language rights so far.




My Guardian article on Theo van Doesburg (friend of Piet Mondrian and mover and shaker on the Avant-Garde in the 1920s) is online. It was in the print edition of the Guardian on 23rd January. If your interest is stirred, visit the exhibition at Tate Modern which starts on 4th February and runs until 16th May. The seriously eccentric Theo van D. is worth knowing about.




The discussion of The Glass Room went pretty well on the Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio. You can catch up with it here. It features Ron Charles of the Washington Post, the architect Susan Piedmont-Palladino and attorney Bernard Lambek, who just happens to be the grandson of Greta Tugendhat. A measure of the effect of the show is that immediately following it The Glass Room shot up to #27 in the Amazon.com sales rank, and #5 in the literary fiction rankings.




On Wednesday 27 January The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio will feature The Glass Room. Listen to it live on any one of these stations, or on the internet.




Romanian rights to The Glass Room are being sold to Art Grup Editorial, and some stray questions are answered on the New York Times website.




Books of the Year: 11 writers and critics in 8 different publications have picked THE GLASS ROOM as a best book of 2009, and it’s back in the top 50 Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers. Read what they have to say here.




"This stirring historical novel" says the upcoming New Yorker of December 21 reviewing The Glass Room.




Slate Magazine's Emily Yoffe makes The Glass Room her best read of 2009. And Boyd Tonkin, who reads an awful lot, has it amongst his best fiction books for Christmas in today's Independent.




The Sydney Morning Herald has published a good review of The Glass Room. Stella Clarke thinks it "a joy, suggesting the transcendence in art of the worst ruinations of time and history". She finds that "the storytelling is characterised by lucidity and understated elegance" and "speaks gently and insightfully about its intriguing subjects".




Both Sadie Jones and Melissa Katsoulis have chosen The Glass Room as Book of the Year in the Sunday Telegraph.




Genevieve Fox's Book Club in the Daily Telegraph seems to have liked The Glass Room, and The Economist has chosen in as one of its novels of the year.




The Prague Post, the Czech Republic's English language newspaper, features an interview with me about The Glass Room.




Jane Shilling chooses The Glass Room as her book of the year in today's Daily Telegraph.




Jeremy Paxman and Peter Conrad have chosen The Glass Room as book of the year in today's Observer. Pleasing, because the Observer was the one major newspaper not to review the book when it first came out. And The Glass Room also appeals to Dr. Anna Grmelová, a professor of English at Charles University in Prague. You can find her thoughts in an interview on the Prague Radio website. At the same website there's also an interview I gave in October.




The Glass Room is to be published in Spanish by Tusquets Editores.




Both Rachel Cooke and Alison Roberts include The Glass Room in their "best books of the year" in the London Evening Standard.




First major US book review for The Glass Room, in the Washington Post today. "The Glass Room works so effectively," Ron Charles says, "because Mawer embeds... provocative aesthetic and moral issues in a war-torn adventure story that's eerily erotic and tremendously exciting."



The Glass Room
is BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime from Mondy 9th to Friday 13th and Monday 16th to Friday 20th November. Greta Scacchi is reading it. If you can't hear it as it is broadcast, you can always catch up with the listen again feature on the BBC Radio 4 webpage.




The Glass Room is now out in bookshops in the US. Published by the Other Press. You can also see a brief video clip of the author reading from the book and discussing it. This was done by the BBC for Newsnight Review and the Man Booker Prize event.




The Glass Room is to feature as a BBC Radio 4 "Book at Bedtime" from 9th to the 13th November, with Greta Scacchi reading.




The US edition of The Glass Room is available now, published by The Other Press. Its actual date of publication is 27 October.




An interview with Radio Praha of Czech Radio can be heard, and read, here. If you want to see the BBC Newsnight Review piece on The Glass Room, then you can watch it here.




So it didn't win. Hangover, then...




Yesterday a signing at Hatchards and the Shortlist event at the Queen Elizabeth Hall before an audience of 900. Today the Man Booker Prize dinner at the Guildhall.

Tomorrow...? A hangover, probably.





Last night BBC2's Newsnight Review ran a big item on all the Man Booker shortlisted books. In a discussion afterwards the studio pundits decided, as more or less everyone except the bloggers has already decided, that Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall will win. Today there's a major feature on me in the Guardian by Sarah Crown. It's good - I don't mean complimentary, I mean interesting and accurate.




There was an interview with me on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning. Hear it on the internet at the Today website here (scroll down to 8.23)




It looks as though there is going to be a Chinese translation of The Glass Room. Publishers will be Shanghai 99.




The US deal has been confirmed. The Glass Room will be published in the United States by Other Press.




The Polish rights of The Glass Room have just been sold to Swiat Ksiask, who have published my previous books in Polish. And there's a US deal in the pipeline. Watch this space...



Writing in today's Independent, Boyd Tonkin seems to think that a copy of The Glass Room should be sent to the Palace as an education in the ideals of modernist architecture...



Kinneret-Zmora are acquiring the Hebrew rights to The Glass Room. US interest has finally woken up with a number of publishers in the running. Watch this space...




The Glass Room is on the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, announced at 11 am today. Open the champagne!




Kniha Zlin, who bring out the Czech language translation of The Glass Room next month, will also be publishing a Czech translation of Mendel's Dwarf.



Strange man reads from The Glass Room while standing on the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square. It's literature, but is it art? Gilly Cooke took the photo...



The Glass Room appears to be sold out... and it's being reprinted.




Booker listing has certainly done something for sales. From the doldrums of 135,000th on the Amazon sales ranking The Glass Room shot to somewhere under 200th. It's now reprinting.




The Glass Room has made the Man Booker Prize longlist, announced today. Previously (1997) Mendel's Dwarf reached the last ten, but that was in the days before the longlist was made public, so this is a big moment.




The Glass Room is featured in the Daily Mail's Ultimate Holiday Reading List. "...(a) gripping portrait of a home, a country and its people. Exhilarating and utterly absorbing." said Amber Pearson.




In today's Sunday Telegraph, Melissa Katsoulis has included The Glass Room in her recommended summer reading. "Truly stunning", she calls it. "A spectacular edifice of a novel, as tightly structured as it is beautifully written."




A new online literary journal called The Literateur has just launched. Find it at www.literateur.com, along with a review of The Glass Room, which the reviewer considers an "excellent new novel", talking about the "taut, precise writing" and finding moments when the book is "piercingly intense in its use of language". "...Mawer creates in the ‘Landauer House’ an almost perfect realisation of its multiform inhabitants’ actions and motivations, as well as of the political and social changes unravelling around them."

All of this is flattering enough. At bit harder to take is the accusation that the ‘Note on Pronunciation’, ‘Author’s Note’ and ‘Afterword’ are there to "to force the work into being a viable pseudo-historical document". Not true, I'm afraid. The Notes on Pronunciation are there to help the reader with... er, pronunciation (of unfamiliar Czech words); while the Afterword is there because it's a shame that a reader without German might miss the expanded meaning of the compound word Glassraum; and the Author's Note is there precisely to make it clear that this is neither an historical document nor (a far greater danger) a roman-à-clef, but rather a work of fiction.




I will be giving readings at two places at the end of the month: Topping Books in Ely on Tuesday 31st March, and The Grammar School at Leeds on Thursday 2nd April. Click on the links for more details. All are welcome.

In June I am due to speak on Gregor Mendel and the beginnings of quantitative genetics at Bristol University. More details later.




Giovedì 5 marzo, La Casa di Vetro, l'edizione italiana di The Glass Room, è pubblicata da Neri Pozza. Già ci sono interviste, su Venerdì di Repubblica il 6 marzo e su D Repubblica di oggi. Anche la rivista Flair prossimamente dovrebbe averne una.




Anita Brookner reviews The Glass Room in the Spectator, and finds it "informed by exceptional intelligence" and "definitely Bookerish". And Caroline Moore, writing in the monthly Standpoint, finds it "delicately subtle" yet "magnificent", while February's Literary Review thought it an "engrossing novel of ideas".




The Independent finds The Glass Room a "...thrilling and satisfying conceit..." while the Times Literary Supplement thinks it "...a compelling work of fiction."




Time Out has made The Glass Room its Book of the Week. Here are extracts from the review...




The Sunday Times reviews The Glass Room. It has also picked up good reviews in City A.M. and the Irish Sunday Business Post




"...a carefully constructed book, beautifully written." The Economist reviews The Glass Room. And so did the Lancashire Evening Post, on the 18th January.




"...a thing of extraordinary beauty and symmetry." Another excellent review of The Glass Room, from the Guardian. Read the whole thing here.




"Exciting, profoundly affecting and altogether wonderful." Another great review of The Glass Room, this time in the Daily Mail. And a rather lukewarm one in the Times. You can't win them all...




"...a passionately detailed portrait of individuals struggling to snatch order and happiness from frightenng, irrational times." Read an extract from the review in the Sunday Telegraph.



"... a fiction of many remarkable qualities..." Read the excellent review of The Glass Room by Jane Shilling in the Daily Telegraph.



The Glass Room comes out this month. It has already had its first review in the Financial Times.



Greek publishers Modern Times are purchasing the Greek translation rights of The Glass Room.



The Brazilian publishers Grupo Editorial Record have bought the Brazilian Portuguese translation rights of The Glass Room. Meanwhile the Frankfurt Book Fair is looming, where Jessica Craig of United Agents will be representing the book.



It does seem that the Mendel's Dwarf film project has received new impetus following the involvement of Jason Gould of Barwood Films and Endeavor, the front line talent agency. Watch this space...



The Czech rights of The Glass Room have been bought by Czech publishing house Kniha Zlin. This sale is a something of a triumph, giving a seal of authenticity to a book that is largely set in the former Czechoslovakia. All this good work with translation rights is down to Jessica Craig and Lettie Ransley, the foreign rights team at United Agents.



Little, Brown hardback, (2018)

Abacus paperback (2016)

Little, Brown hardback (2015)

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky

Abacus, May 2013

Mendel's Dwarf, Abacus edition, 2011

The Glass Room paperback, published by Abacus in UK, April 2010

The Glass Room is published in the US by the Other Press, October 2009

"Exciting, profoundly affecting and altogether wonderful" Daily Mail

Simon Mawer 2008 - 2018. This website is written and maintained by the author.