Thursday, March 18, 2010

Auction for the first copy of Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven begins today!

To celebrate the worldwide launch of international bestseller Guy Gavriel Kay’s much anticipated new novel Under Heaven, Penguin Group (Canada) is auctioning the first book off the press anywhere in the world, autographed by the author. Signed and verified by the printer and the publisher, this first copy includes a product identification slip and letter from the printing press identifying the book as the first copy printed in Canada. The auction begins March 18, 2010 on eBay, and closes March 25, 2010.

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to Indigo Books and Music, Inc.’s Love of Reading Fund. The fund directly supports high-needs elementary school literacy programs across Canada. Guy Gavriel Kay will personally match the winning bid to a maximum of $1000 (CDN). Additionally, Penguin Canada will match the winning bid to a maximum of $500 (CDN).

Under Heaven will go on-sale in Canada on April 3. Inspired by the glory of Tang Dynasty China in the eighth century, Guy Gavriel Kay melds history and the fantastic into something both powerful and emotionally compelling. Under Heaven is a novel on the grandest narrative scale, encompassing the intimate details of individual lives in an unforgettable time and place.

Earlier this month, Penguin Group (Canada) launched, a website dedicated entirely to Kay’s oeuvre, and featuring an array of music files, artwork, and downloadable wallpaper and posters, plus a first chapter excerpt of Under Heaven, a journal by the author, Twitter and Facebook links, book synopsis, and Canadian tour information.

Guy Gavriel Kay was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, and raised in Winnipeg. In the 1970's he was retained by the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien to assist in the editorial construction of Tolkien's posthumously published The Silmarillion. He returned to Canada from Oxford to take a law degree at the University of Toronto and was called to the Bar in Ontario.

Kay became Principal Writer and Associate Producer for the CBC radio series, "The Scales of Justice", dramatizing major criminal trials in Canadian history. He also wrote several episodes when the series later moved to television. He has written social and political commentary for the National Post and the Globe and Mail and for The Guardian in England, and has spoken on a variety of topics at universities and conferences around the world.

In 1984, Kay's first novel, The Summer Tree, the first volume of The Fionavar Tapestry, was published to considerable acclaim in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, and then in a number of countries and languages. In 1990 Viking Canada's edition of his novel Tigana reached the national bestseller list, and his next book A Song for Arbonne debuted at #1 nationally. Kay has been a bestseller with each novel since.

Translations now exceed twenty languages and Kay has toured and read on behalf of his publishers and at literary events across Canada, and in countries ranging from the United States and England to Poland, France, Russia, Croatia, Serbia, Mexico and Greece, among others, with his next international appearance being slated for June 2010 in Shanghai and Beijing. He has been nominated for and has won numerous literary awards and is the recipient of the International Goliardos Prize (presented in Mexico City) for his contributions to the literature of the fantastic.

Click here to see our page for Under Heaven in the Fiction section.

Source: Penguin Group (Canada)