They've announced that this year's Prémio Camões -- the leading Portuguese-language author prize -- will go to Raduan Nassar; see, for example, the report at Globo (with a convenient full list of previous winners at the end).
Penguin Classics have recently published two of his titles -- though the editions are not yet US-available; get your copy of A Cup of Rage at Amazon.co.uk, and of Ancient Tillage at Amazon.co.uk.
David Tod Roy has passed away; he is best-known for his translation of the classic Chinese novel The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei; see the Princeton University Press publicity page (for volume one), or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
(I've only read the old four-volume Clement Egerton translation, The Golden Lotus (with its (in)decorous Latin passages ...) -- decades ago -- and would love to tackle this one at some point.)
No English-language obituaries yet that I could find -- but see, for now, for example, My life: David Tod Roy from a coupe of years ago at the South China Morning Post.
Stiftung Buchkunst have announced the prettiest German books 2016 -- twenty-five titles selected from 788 submissions; the official prize ceremony will be on 8 September.
Some interesting titles among the honored titles -- and also interesting to see the print-runs of the various books (numbers which I suspect are more reliable than when these are tossed around by US publishers ...) -- so, for example, the German edition of Zaza Burchuladze's adibas was 4000; I wonder how many copies Dalkey Archive Press printed (or sold ... though, hey, the Amazon.com page says: "Only 20 left in stock (more on the way)" (but also: "Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,681,366 in Books")).
With Indonesia as the Guest of Honour at last year's Frankfurt Book Fair there has been a bit more international coverage -- and more translations than usual (still only a handful, but still ...) -- of the local literature, and in The Guardian Louise Doughty now takes a look at '17,000 islands of imagination': discovering Indonesian literature.
Works by several Indonesian authors -- including some mentioned in the piece -- are under review at the complete review -- though also not nearly enough.
It would have been Australian Nobel laureate Patrick White's 104th birthday yesterday -- as good an excuse as any to read some of his books (even if many are still/again woefully hard to fnd in print ...).
I missed this a couple of weeks ago, but in the Sydney Morning Herald Linda Morris recently reported that National Library secures Patrick White's first book of poems.
My favorite part of the story:
White wrote to the National Library saying if they didn't take their copy of his other poetry anthology off shelves he'd steal it himself and destroy it.
In The Myanmar Times Zon Pann Pwint reports that 'plans for a writers' hub inch closer to fruition' in Rangoon, in House of Literature.
The selected building/site may have some symbolic appeal but looks hideous; still, if they can finally get this done (if: "the planned House of Literature project faces major delays", even now ...), that would be pretty neat.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Augusto De Angelis 1936 mystery, The Hotel of the Three Roses, the second to come out from Pushkin Press, in their Vertigo imprint, this year (with another to follow).
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the classic eighteenth-century Japanese play, Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy, just out in a paperback re-issue (alas, a fairly pricey one) from Columbia University Press.
Do not expect many calligraphic revelations -- but it is certainly an entertaining piece.
Zang Jixian: Your works are gaining a large readership in the English-speaking world.
What would you say are the reasons ?
Can Xue: It's mostly because I integrate a lot of Western cultural elements in my work.
I believe I'm doing the best job among Chinese writers in that aspect.
Therefore, foreign readers can accept my work as literature.
Zang Jixian: Could you evaluate the current situation of China's literary world ?
Can Xue: I've said it before: I have no hope, and I don't feel like evaluating it.
At Sampsonia Way they now have a transcript of their Q&A with Fariba Hachtroudi, whose The Man Who Snapped His Fingers recently came out from Europa Editions; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
I do like this reaction:
The publisher suggested cutting the length of the book.
And I said, "Instead of trimming the book, I'm going to add."
At the Literary Hub they have six new translation-related pieces (as they're apparently 'Celebrating Translation Month', whatever that might be ...).
It's all worth a look -- despite some really lax fact-checking in several places .....
(E.g.: "In 2015, 570 translated books were published in the United States" writes Anjali Enjeti -- relying on the invaluable Three Percent database, but ignoring what databaser Chad Post always makes very clear, that that refers only to: "titles that have never before appeared in English" (in the US); the actual number of 'translated books' published is, of course many times larger, thanks to new translations of previously translated titles and, especially, reprints of previously published translations.)
One suspects that the reason for obituaries in e.g. The New York Times and The Washington Post have more to do with her centenarian- than literary-status; regardless, the death of Chinese author (and translator) Yang Jiang deserves the notice -- even if her work hasn't made much of an English impression.
She's perhaps best know in the English-speaking world as the wife of Qian Zhongshu, author the classic Fortress Besieged; see the New Directions publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk,
but her own companion piece of sorts, Baptism, -- though much harder to find -- is also worth a look; see the Hong Kong University Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Adam Mickiewicz's Pan Tadeusz is, of course, the great(est) Polish epic poem, and they've now opened up a museum dedicated to it, in Wrocław, the Muzeum Pana Tadeusza.
Looks pretty fancy; see also, for example, the Radio Poland report, Museum dedicated to Polish literary classic.
And if you're tempted to dip into the Mickiewicz in preparation for a visit, the dual-language Hippocrene Books edition of Pan Tadeusz, with the translation by Kenneth R. MacKenzie, looks like a handy volume; don't bother with their publicity-page (the world's least impressive publicity-page for a book ?), but get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Wojciech Żukrowski's Stone Tablets, a 1966 Polish novel -- set in 1950s India, no less -- that's only now appearing in English, from Paul Dry Books.
(I was amused when I realized that I've actually read a work by Żukrowski before -- his Nieśmiały narzeczony, in a German translation (Der schüchterne Bräutigam) in a flimsy little East German paperback in Aufbau Verlag's paperback 'bb'-line that I picked up and read in the mid-1980s.)
They've announced that Nothing is True and Everything is Possible (by Peter Pomerantsev) has won this year's Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, an: "annual award of £10,000 for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place" (in this case, as the sub-title has it: "The Surreal Heart of the New Russia").
See also the publicity pages at Faber & Faber and PublicAffairs, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Austrian Cultural Forum has opened its call for the 2017 prize -- and while you have until 10 October to submit (a sample translation (ca. 4000 words/10 pages), of prose or poetry by a living Austrian author first published in the original German after 1945) it's never too early .....
The weightiest translation in recent memory -- Zibaldone may have a greater page-count, but it doesn't come close, measured in words or in kilos --, Arno Schmidt's monumental Bottom's Dream, is due out in John E. Wood's career-culminating translation from Dalkey Archive Press in September, and via I see now that it is closer than ever to reality: the Arno Schmidt Stiftung (who I suspect subsidized this volume most generously) have posted a picture of an actual copy -- a 'Vorabexemplar' -- at their blog:
Oh, yes !
Oh, very much yes !
Meanwhile, of course, you can prepare for the reading ... pleasure ? adventure ? experience ? ... all that and more, with my introductory Arno Schmidt: a centennial colloquy -- or, for a more direct taste of what Schmidt is up to, the also-John E. Woods-translated The School for Atheists.
And you can always already take the plunge and pre-order your copy of Bottom's Dream -- as quite surprisingly many brave (would-be, hopeful) readers have done -- at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
(Don't hold out for the Kindle- (or any e-book-)edition -- that's not coming anytime soon, for reasons that will be obvious when you take a look at the print edition.)
In the Bangkok Post Kaona Pongpipat reports on Time-author Chart Korbjitti's latest 'novel', an experimental work based on his social media musings' titled facebook: โลกอันซ้อนกันอยู่, in Chart-ing Facebook.
Naturally, there is also a Facebook-page for the book .....
Yes, he does consider it a novel:
It's an experimental work in terms of the platform.
Issues I raised in my posts, if we are to consider this a novel, are the characters.
The book has every element a novel needs, the emotions, the subplots, the atmosphere, the ups and downs, and the climax.
They've announced the winner of this year's Sophie Kerr Prize at Washington College, "the largest undergraduate literary award" in the US, worth US$65,770 this year (the total varies year to year, depending on the performance of the endowment).
"Reilly D. Cox, a double major in English and theatre with a minor in creative writing" takes this year's prize,
See the page on all the finalists to see who he beat out -- and samples of all the finalists' work.