They've announced the winners of the Jalal Al-e Ahmad Literary Awards, one of the leading Iranian literary prizes.
Reza Amirkhani's رهش won for best novel; see also the Afeg publicity page.
As to the other categories ... the Tehran Timesreport notes the jury declined to select any winners, leaving only honorable mentions (with those mentioned getting only one-third of what a prize-winner payout would have been).
The prize payout is usually 30 Bahar Azadi gold coins, but this year they paid out cash -- 1 billion (!) rial.
That's about US$24,000 at the official rate -- but the black market rate is considerably worse; I suspect that is the reason the payout is in cash rather gold .....
(Admirably, whatever the amount, Amirkhani donated his entire winnings to a good cause.)
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Georges Perec's Portrait of a Man Known as Il Condottiere (published in the UK simply as: Portrait of a Man), as I finally got my hands on a copy.
Perec wrote this in 1960 but it wasn't published then and was long thought lost; it was only first published in 2012, and then in an English translation by Perec-expert David Bellos in 2014.
The UK (MacLehose Press) edition of this seems to have gotten considerably more attention than the University of Chicago Press edition did in the United States; I wonder why.
A commercial press has an edge on a university one ?
Are UK readers (or at least book review-assigning editors) more open to and interested in Perec/Oulipo ?
The shorter title ?
(Interesting, too, that this was commercially published in the UK, but that the US edition came from a university press.)
Meanwhile, Perec's even earlier (1957) L'attentat de Sarajevo has now also been published in French -- see the Seuil publicity page -- so I hope we see an English translation of that soon, too.
(I note that there's already a Chinese translation of this ... (really: 萨拉热窝谋杀案; see the Nanjing University Press publicity page).)
At a time when communicative incompetence in both spoken and written mother tongues has become the norm, how can Kenyan writers imbue cultural originality in the literary works that they hope to create ?
I fear that currently, Kenya's literature is in the sick bay -- and the prognosis is shifty -- because upcoming writers are deprived of the analytical depth and nuance that could be easily acquired through mastery of their mother tongues.
They've announced the winners of this year's Sahitya Akademi Awards -- a leading Indian literary award that honors writing in 24 (!) Indian languages; see the official press release (warning ! dreaded pdf format !).
This year's awards cover books first published in the past five years (1 January 2012 to 31 December 2016); winners get a plaque, a shawl, and ₹100,000.
Seven winning titles were poetry collections, while six each were novels and short story collections.
The Blind Lady's Descendants by Anees Salim won the English language category; see the Penguin India publicity page.
Rama Kant Shukla's मम जननी won the Sanskrit category, while Chitra Mudgal's novel, 203-नाला सोपारा, won the Hindi category.
Hopefully we'll see some of these in English translation at some point .....
In The Navhind Times Christine Machado has a Q & A with Thai author, filmmaker, and artist Prabda Yoon, A man of many arts.
Regarding the general absence of Thai literature on too much of the world stage he notes:
Good translators of Thai literature are also hard to come by.
That may be the biggest obstacle. But things are starting to change a bit.
In 2019 two books by the same Thai female author, Duanwad Pimwana, will be published in the US by two different publishing houses.
That is a really big deal because, amazing as it may seem, it will be the first time that a contemporary Thai author who writes in Thai gets published and distributed commercially in the US.
That is, indeed, a big deal -- and I look forward to seeing these titles (Bright, coming from Two Lines Press, and Arid Dreams, from The Feminist Press).
Prabda's The Sad Part Was is under review at the complete review, but I completely missed that Tilted Axis has brought out a second book by him -- Moving Parts; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Now that I know, I should be getting to this soon.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Gilbert Adair's The Act of Roger Murgatroyd, the first in his Evadne Mount trilogy, an amusing homage-cum-satire of Golden Age mysteries.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Dennis Potter's Hide and Seek.
I reviewed quite a few of his TV works in the early days of the site, as well as some books about him, but this is the first of his novels I've covered; I have the other two (Ticket to Ride and Blackeyes) and expect to get to them too.
It's certainly ... very Potter.
So also with a lot that's really sharp and bitter -- such as:
Honesty is in short supply within the putrefying corpse of the poisoned octopus which slimily tentacles the London literary scene.
They've announced this year's (Australian) Prime Minister's Literary Awards -- six titles in six categories, including Gerald Murnane's Border Districts for fiction, and Blindness and Rage by Brian Castro for poetry.
The Castro -- A novel in thirty-four cantos -- sounds great -- see the Giramondo publicity page -- but doesn't appear to be out in the US (yet ... ?).
But the best format for them to do so is likely no longer the traditional, single-book, literary review.
To break through the noise, editors must translate old-fashioned book coverage to the lingua francas of today’s impossibly paced media climate: shareable lists, essays, digestible Q&As, podcasts, scannable email newsletters, hashtags, Instagrams, even book trailers.
Of course, there's long been a lot of this sort of book coverage -- hell, some of this is exactly what you've gotten at this Literary Saloon for close to twenty years -- but I still think reviews are the most useful form of book-information to provide readers.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Eugene Vodolazkin's Solovyov and Larionov -- the third of his novels to appear in English (all from Oneworld, all translated by Lisa C. Hayden), but this was actually his debut.
It's out in the UK, but American reader will have to wait until ... May.
Meanwhile, at the Open Letters Review Steve Donoghue continues his listing of the best (and worst ...) of the year in various categories -- including now The Best Books of 2018: Works in Translation !
Lots of re-translations here -- only three of these books are entirely new --, and classical works -- and missing Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries .....
Only one of these titles is under review at the complete review: Vuillard's The Order of the Day.
For years she has been widely read and lauded in Europe.
The Anglophone world has been slow to recognise her talent, but with luck her Booker win will raise her profile.
In her native land, Tokarczuk enjoys commercial and critical success.
Moreover, she has emerged as a notable feminist, an environmental activist, and a prominent critic of Poland's right-wing politics.
The German Litprom organization was founded to promote African, Asian, and Latin American literature, and several times a year they publish a 'best-list' of recommended titles -- and the 41st, the Winter 2018 list, is now up.
Always interesting to see the foreign litertaure available in other languages -- and some of these are available in English, with more to follow (e.g. Wang Ting-Kuo's My Enemy's Cherry Tree is apparently due out from Portobello Books next April).
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of a collection of prose by Jon Fosse, Scenes from a Childhood, now also out in the US, from Fitzcarraldo Editions.
The collection was selected and translated by Damion Searls -- yes, the translator of Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries (among much else).
Fosse -- one of the most highly-regarded Scandinavian authors, and one of Europe's leading playwrights -- continues to be quite inexplicably underappreciated in the US/UK; for those who haven't given his work a try, this is a good introductory volume -- representative, but also with quite a bit of variety.
They've announced the 2019 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants -- ten projects covering works in eight different languages, selected from 237 applications.
The usual interesting variety -- many of which are still seeking a publisher.
Only one of the NYTBR's top ten is under review at the complete review, the one title in translation -- Leila Slimani's The Perfect Nanny (published in the UK as Lullaby); not a title I would have rated that highly .....
The only title under review from The Economist's list is Adam Tooze's Crashed.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Mathias Énard's Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants, just out in English -- from Fitzcarraldo Editions in the UK and New Directions in the US.
A clever little bit of alternative-history, featuring Michelangelo .....
At Oregon ArtsWatch David Bates has a Q & A with Sonia Ticas, one of the translators of The strangest epic poem you've never heard of, Costa Rican poet Eunice Odio's The Fire's Journey, which Tavern Books is publishing -- three volumes so far, with the fourth and final one scheduled for next spring.
It sounds like an intriguing, challenging work; see also the publicity page for the first volume, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Two other Shiraishi works, both brought out by Dalkey Archive Press, are already under review at the complete review -- The Part of Me That Isnít Broken Inside and Me Against the World -- but Hanawa is new to me.
Fun fact about him: he has also translated quite a few works, including the complete works of Rimbaud -- and the complete Encyclopedia Brown series.
This year we saw a record number of allocated grants when the Center awarded 106 grants for the translation of Icelandic works of literature into 31 different languages.
In comparison, allocated grants in 2008 were 31 for translations into 14 languages.
Almost two months ago, at Three Percent Chad Post looked at the growth in Icelandic translations-into-English over the past decade, in A Frozen Imagination, and it's good to see that they've similarly expanded their reach elsewhere as well.
The flipside of this success is how dependent it is on institutional-financial support -- mainly government support -- in the form of translation subsidies (hence the way they count: by the number of grants they've made).
Great for a country willing and able to invest in its literature -- but many, especially economies that are not as strong, don't, one reason why we get so little from them in translation ......
Het bestand was also made into a TV-movie -- and you can watch it at NPO.
The last Grunberg work to appear in English was Tirza, which Open Letter brought out in 2013; they were hoping to publish more by the prolific author, but ... that didn't work out; see Chad Post's Reason #387 Why Publishing Is a Thankless, Frustrating Business.
A shame -- he's always worth reading, and there's a ton of his stuff not yet available in English .....
A translator has the task of reading a foreign text for the home audience and delivering to them what he or she has read.
Not creating something ex nihilo.
So the creativity of the translator's writing is not in finding anything new, but in finding a way of getting that original text to happen in the target language.
My impression is that many translators write poorly because they haven't really grasped what the original is saying, or how it is saying it.
Film director Nicolas Roeg has passed away; see, for example, Neil Genzlinger's obituary in The New York Times.
I'm not a huge cinephile, but was always a great admirer of his work -- not just the literary adaptations (Don't Look Now, based on the Daphne du Maurier story; The Man Who Fell to Earth, based on the Walter Tevis novel), but also then the Theresa Russell-movies.
And there's one Roeg-related title under review at the complete review: Colin MacCabe's study of Performance.
The new prix André Malraux has announced its winners, and the winning "œuvre de fiction au service de «la condition humaine»" is Javier Cercas' The Monarch of the Shadows, due out next year in English; see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report.
Cercas gets to pick up his €1933 prize, and round-the-world ticket, on 20 December.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Dazai Osamu's A Shameful Life.
This is a new translation, by Mark Gibeau, of 人間失格, just out from Stone Bridge Press; the previous one is Donald Keene's No Longer Human -- from 1958 ! -- which is also still in print.
They've announced the shortlists for the Whitbread Costa Book Award -- for now apparently only in the dreaded pdf format (but see, for example, The Guardianreport, at the end of which they are conveniently listed).
This award has five categories, with winners in each to be announced 7 January; those category-winners will then compete for the final 'Book of The Year'-award, to be announced 29 January.
None of the finalists are under review at the complete review.
They held the vote yesterday to fill Fauteuil 8 at the Académie française -- one of four current vacancies --, last held by The Great and the Good-author Michel Déon, with The Paradox of Love-author Pascal Bruckner going head to head against The Little Girl and the Cigarette-author Benoît Duteurtre, and ... both fell short.
With thirty-one members voting, the votes were pretty evenly split between them (and what amounts to votes for neither) across three rounds, and neither ever managed more than eleven.
This is the second time they've tried to fill the seat -- the more hotly contested (four candidates) 21 June vote also fell short.
The seat remains empty, and they'll try again in a couple of months, presumably with a whole new slate of contenders.
They've announced the winner of this year's Jan Michalski Prize -- Księgi Jakubowe, by Olga Tokarczuk.
It's forthcoming in 2020 from Fitzcarraldo Editions -- you can even already pre-order it at Amazon.co.uk.
Tokarczuk's Flights won the Man Booker International Prize, while this one won the 2015 Nike Award -- the leading Polish literary prize (which Flights also won).
The Times Literary Supplement has its annual Books of the Year-list, with contributors naming their favorites of the year, an always interesting list.
(But no Anniversaries ? No Dag Solstad ?)
Other magazines have come out with similar lists already: see, for example, The Spectator's 'Books of the year', where; "Regular reviewers choose the best -- and most overrated -- books of 2018", parts one and two (with disappointingly few naming anything overrated ...), and the New Statesman's The best books of 2018.
(Updated - 23 November): See now also The best books of 2018 at the Evening Standard, where their: "writers and reviewers pick their favourite titles of 2018".
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Mbarek Ould Beyrouk's The Desert and the Drum, recently out from Dedalus.
This won the prix Ahmadou-Kourouma in 2016 -- and is a rare novel from (and set in) Mauritania.
(The complete review gets traffic from all over the world but over the past three months there's only been a single visitor from Mauritania.)
French literary-prize-season apparently won't end: the most recent to announce its winner is ... the Prix Littéraire de la Société Centrale Canine.
This is a prize that honors ... "les meilleures œuvres francophones mettant en exergue les relations entre l’Homme et le Chien".
Yes, not the best French-language dog books, but the best that 'highlight the relationship between Man and Dog' -- with a payout of €1,000.
This year's winner in the literary category -- a unanimous selection -- is the self-published Secret d'Irlande, by Geneviève Gaeng; see also the Le Livre en Papier information page.