They'll just keep coming: this week it's Andrew Anthony who profiles Ian McEwan: The literary novelist with a popular appeal, in The Observer.
(Still a few more weeks until Solar comes out; I'm rather surprised that this review hasn't attracted more traffic -- the McEwan-reviews at the complete review tend to attract a lot (far more than the Amis-reviews, for example), and I would have figured interest in the new title would be great(er).)
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Romain Gary's (writing as Émile Ajar) Hocus Bogus.
Fascinating stuff -- and while I'm generally not a fan of 'creative' translations, David Bellos should certainly be in the running for a couple of translation prizes with this one.
With Eating Animals now also coming out in the UK (get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk), Emily Stokes lunches with author Jonathan Safran Foer and writes it up for the Financial Times' Lunch with the FT-series -- which at least makes more sense than usual, given the subject matter.
In The National Rana Dasgupta discerns A new bend in the river, as he writes about an Indian literature that has 'moved beyond postcolonialism and a welter of sari-and-mango novels':
What kind of Indian reality emerges from this new fiction?
It is almost unremittingly dark. Earlier novels from India were tenebrous too -- inequality, violence and misogyny have been constant themes -- but in novels like The God of Small Things these things were redeemed by the sensitivity of author and characters, the beauty of the world and the fundamental meaningfulness of life.
Literary fiction of the last five years is far more cynical, for in it finer feelings have all but died out and pretty much everything is meaningless.
The masterpiece of this new current in Indian fiction has still to be written, but its ambition could not be greater.
Meanwhile, in the Wall Street Journal (of all places ...) John Krich finds 'India's Dalit writers come into their own', in Words That Touch.
According to Sabine Erlenwein, who is responsible for promoting German literature and translations, this international success is also due to the fact that the storytelling style of German authors has changed a lot since the 1980s and is now less "experimental."
The Bangkok Post has a profile of the one-man Thai translation industry (into French and English) that is Marcel Barang Man of letters (via).
Now employed by one of media magnate and PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul's companies (Thai Day Dot Com Co Ltd) to translate what quality literature he feels warrants it, he is currently putting the finishing touches on a new translation of Kukrit Pramoj's Si Phaendin (Four Reigns).
There are no reviews of any Thai fiction available at the complete review at this time, and I've only read a handful of works translated from the Thai -- most, indeed, by Barang, but also Tulachandra's 1981 translation of สี่แผ่นดิน which Silkworm brought out (get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) and ... well, let's just say, I can see where a new translation might be in order.
(Kukrit Pramoj is a fascinating figure, by the way -- not only was he (ever so briefly) the Thai prime minister, but he also played the role of prime minister Kwen Sai in the 1963 Marlon Brando film, The Ugly American.)
Barang also opines:
Could Thailand one day produce a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature?
"They should do," he muses.
"The only one, though, who has been really successful in Europe, on the French side, is Saneh Sangsuk."
What about Chart Korbjitti?
"Chart has not sold well.
Those who really appreciate literature swear by him, as I do, but in terms of public audience he doesn't get the recognition."
(Chart is among the most accomplished contemporary Thai authors -- but good luck finding his books .....)
Barang's Thai Fiction site used to have all this work completely freely accessible; sadly, apparently that's no longer the case.
Still, it provides the best overview you're likely to find.
At hlo Dóra Szekeres interviews Miljenko Jergović, in You cannot delete the past.
Archipelago brought out Jergović's Sarajevo Marlboro a couple of years ago (see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- and I will get around to reviewing it, too) -- and will bring out Mama Leone in 2011.
The Salman Rushdie Archive opens Friday at Emory's Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library and gives the public an upclose view of his life and career.
On display are e-mails and written correspondence from the 1970s through 2006, and the exhibit includes letters between Rushdie and people such as U2's Bono and then-Sen. Barack Obama.
Journals and appointment books describe his creative process and how he developed his characters and nonfiction works.
The exhibit is called 'A World Mapped by Stories'.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of James Currey's book on The African Writers Series and the Launch of African Literature, Africa Writes Back.
There are just over a dozen titles from the Africa Writers Series under review at the complete review, but I figure I've probably read about a hundred of them (out of some 350); it's one of those imprints I basically grew up with, and that certainly opened new literary worlds (well, that one specific continental one) to me; it's disappointing that they couldn't keep it going.
The Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists have been announced.
The only title under review at the complete review is fiction-finalist The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam; there's also a review-overview of An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah, finalist for the 'Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction'.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Michal Viewegh's Případ nevěrné Kláry.
(Surprisingly, the only one of Viewegh's works available in translation is Bringing up Girls in Bohemia (get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).)
By trying to be all things to all people the Galle Literary Festival (GLF) has degenerated into being nothing to anyone except to the fashionistas and ex-pats who dominate Colomboís social scene and donít seem to have read anything in their lives other than a book of nursery rhymes.
And the invited writers will no doubt be pleased to read:
With the notable exception of Scottish crime fiction writer Ian Rankin the "C" and "D" list of imported authors was a good indication that in its fourth incarnation the festival had lost the edginess of the first two years.
Of course, given the recent domestic turmoil in Sri Lanka, GLF invitations were probably a pretty hard sell to foreign writers.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Macedonio Fernández's The Museum of Eterna's Novel (The First Good Novel), just out from Open Letter.
Quite a few Argentine authors who first came to (local) prominence before World War II are finally being 'discovered' in the US: Dalkey Archive Press recently brought out the first translation of a work by Juan Filloy -- Op Oloop -- and now Open Letter introduce
Fernández -- and next year Dalkey is bringing out Vizconde de Lascano Tegui's Elegance of a Man Asleep [updated] On Elegance While Sleeping.
Matilda points me to the poll the Australian Book Review did, determining their readers' favourite Australian novels (warning ! dreaded pdf format !).
Of the top ten, only two are under review at the complete review: Voss by Patrick White (number three) and Eucalyptus by Murray Bail (number eight).
See also the list of all nominated titles (a reminder, too, that there is far too little Australian fiction under review at the complete review).