the
Literary Saloon

the literary
weblog at the
complete review

the weblog

about the saloon

support the site

archive

cr
crQ
crF

RSS

Twitter

the Literary Saloon on Kindle

to e-mail us:


literary weblogs:

  Arts Journal
  the Book
  The Book Bench
  Bookninja
  Books, Inq.
  Bookslut
  Booksquare
  BritLitBlogs
  Confessions/IM
  Con/Reading
  Critical Mass
  Elegant Variation
  GalleyCat
  Guardian Unlimited
  Jacket Copy
  Maud Newton
  The Millions
  MobyLives
  NewPages Weblog
  Omnivoracious
  PowellsBooks.Blog
  Three Percent

  La Feuille.
  Moleskine
  De Papieren Man
  Perlentaucher
  Rép. des livres

  Arts & Letters Daily
  Bookdwarf
  Brandywine Books
  Buzzwords
  Collected Miscellany
  Emerging Writers
  Laila Lalami
  Light Reading
  The Page
  Paper Cuts
  Reading Experience
  ReadySteady Blog
  splinters
  This Space
  Two Words
  The Valve
  Waggish
  wood s lot

  See also: links page






saloon statistics

the Literary Saloon at the Complete Review
opinionated commentary on literary matters - from the complete review


The Literary Saloon Archive

21 - 28 February 2010

21 February: Favorite Australian novels | Anna Gavalda profile
22 February: Galle Literary Festival report | The Museum of Eterna's Novel review
23 February: LA Times Book Prize finalists | Případ nevěrné Kláry review
24 February: Miljenko Jergović interview | Salman Rushdie exhibit | Africa Writes Back review
25 February: Translation from the ... Thai | March/April World Literature Today | transcript review
26 February: James Currey profile | Writing in ... India | German literature abroad | The Education of a British-Protected Child review
27 February: Beyond the Hoax in paperback | Foer lunches with the FT
28 February: Celebrity novels debate | Jewish Review of Books online | The next Ian McEwan profile ... | Hocus Bogus review


go to weblog

return to main archive



28 February 2010 - Sunday

Celebrity novels debate | Jewish Review of Books online
The next Ian McEwan profile ... | Hocus Bogus review

       Celebrity novels debate

       In The Observer 'AL Kennedy, Martine McCutcheon and John Sutherland debate whether the current spate of publications from the nation's celebrities is a good or bad thing for publishing', in Is there a place on the bookshelf for celebrity novels?
       Not exactly a great debate.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Jewish Review of Books online

       I mentioned the new Jewish Review of Books a couple of weeks ago, and am glad to see there is now a decent online presence too.
       Much of the print material is available online; looks like a good start.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       The next Ian McEwan profile ...

       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).)

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Hocus Bogus review

       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.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



27 February 2010 - Saturday

Beyond the Hoax in paperback | Foer lunches with the FT

       Beyond the Hoax in paperback

       Alan Sokal's Beyond the Hoax (see the complete review review) is now out in paperback, and it's good to see Nicholas Lezard cover (and commend) it in The Guardian.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Foer lunches with the FT

       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.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



26 February 2010 - Friday

James Currey profile | Writing in ... India | German literature abroad
The Education of a British-Protected Child review

       James Currey profile

       I just reviewed James Currey's book on The African Writers Series and the Launch of African Literature, Africa Writes Back, and now David Tresilian profiles him in Al-Ahram Weekly, in James Currey: Godfather of African publishing.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Writing in ... India

       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.
       And:
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.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       German literature abroad

       At DeutscheWelle Knut Cordsen finds German literature wins readers abroad -- and:
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."
       Okay .....

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       The Education of a British-Protected Child review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Chinua Achebe new collection of (mainly old) essays, The Education of a British-Protected Child.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



25 February 2010 - Thursday

Translation from the ... Thai
March/April World Literature Today | transcript review

       Translation from the ... Thai

       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).
       Currently:
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.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       March/April World Literature Today

       The March/April of World Literature Today is now available online -- well, a very limited part (including the tantalizing table of contents).

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       transcript review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Heimrad Bäcker's unusual but impressive transcript.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



24 February 2010 - Wednesday

Miljenko Jergović interview | Salman Rushdie exhibit | Africa Writes Back review

       Miljenko Jergović interview

       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.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Salman Rushdie exhibit

       As Katie Leslie reports in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Salman Rushdie's life and work on display at Emory, as:
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'.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Africa Writes Back review

       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.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



23 February 2010 - Tuesday

LA Times Book Prize finalists | Případ nevěrné Kláry review

       LA Times Book Prize finalists

       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'.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Případ nevěrné Kláry review

       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).)

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



22 February 2010 - Monday

Galle Literary Festival report | The Museum of Eterna's Novel review

       Galle Literary Festival report

       The Galle Literary Festival was held a couple of weeks ago, and in the Sunday Leader Viresh Fernando now rounds things up, finding Lackluster Literary Fest Aches For New Vision:
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.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       The Museum of Eterna's Novel review

       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.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



21 February 2010 - Sunday

Favorite Australian novels | Anna Gavalda profile

       Favorite Australian novels

       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).

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Anna Gavalda profile

       In the Independent on Sunday Christian House profiles popular French author Anna Gavalda, in The last-chance saloon can wait: Anna Gavalda renews her fascination with melancholy.
       There's a new translation out in English -- in the UK --, Consolation (see the Chatto & Windus publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.co.uk).
       Chatto & Windus note that it was:
the bestselling French novel in 2008, with sales of over half a million copies and translations into thirty-two languages
       So where's the US edition ? You tell me ..... (I'm sure one will come along eventually, but no one seems in any great hurry to get around to it.)
       The only two Gavalda titles under review at the complete review are of I Wish Someone were Waiting for me Somewhere and Someone I loved.

(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



previous entries (11 - 20 February 2010)

archive index

- return to top of the page -


© 2010 the complete review

the Complete Review
Main | the New | the Best | the Rest | Review Index | Links