TRACING HISTORY: Columbia University announced on Monday that two acclaimed works have been awarded the 2013 Bancroft Prize: a gripping and eloquent history of the human impact on the ocean, and a persuasively argued history of the idea that conflict among nations can be regulated by law. The winners are W. Jeffrey Bolster for The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press) and John Fabian Witt for Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History (Free Press). The Bancroft Prize is awarded annually by the trustees of Columbia University. 223 books were nominated for the 2013 prize. Bolster is Associate Professor of History in the Department of History at the University of New Hampshire while Witt is Allen H. Duffy Class of 1960 Professor of Law at Yale Law School.
FAMILY DYNAMICS: Set in the film world, Owen King's (36, youngest son of Stephen) debut novel, Double Feature, about a famous father and son, unravels the tumultuous, decades-spanning story of a family's friends, lovers, and adversaries. It's about letting go of everything—regret, resentment, dignity, moving pictures, the dead—and taking it again from the top. Against the backdrop of indie filmmaking, college campus life, contemporary Brooklyn, and upstate New York, King’s debut combines propulsive storytelling with mordant wit and brims with a deep understanding of the trials of ambition and art, of relationships and life, and of our attempts to survive it all. Double Feature (Scribner) arrives in stores this Tuesday.