There was a time when mountains of literature from Russia, Europe and America used to be translated into Bengali.
This stream has dried up completely now. But translated literature has found a new life elsewhere, domestic expression has found a huge global space. I think there will be much more of this in the future.
The Morning News' 2018 Tournament of Books has now concluded, pitting Samanta Schweblin's Fever Dream against multiple-prize-winning George Saunders ' Lincoln in the Bardo in the finals, with the title in translation coming out tops.
Does this make the Schweblin -- also shortlisted for last year's Man Booker International Prize -- a frontrunner for the soon to be announced longlist for the Best Translated Book Award ?
I have to admit, I didn't really take to it at first read -- but I'll probably revisit it (and would be surprised if it didn't make the BTBA longlist).
They've announced the finalists for the James Tait Black Prizes -- "Britain's longest-running literary awards" --, with four each in the two categories, fiction and biography.
The winners will be announced ... 18 August.
Which certainly gives the juries sufficient time to deliberate.
They've announced the Latvijas Literatūras gada balva finalists, in four categories.
Always interesting to see the local works getting prize-attention - as well as what's being translated locally -- in this case including works by Italo Kalvīno and Emīlija Dikinsone .....
The winners will be announced 27 April.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz's Narcotics: Nicotine, Alcohol, Cocaine, Peyote, Morphine, Ether + Appendices, a 1932 text now available in English in an attractive edition from Twisted Spoon Press.
Witkacy definitely deserves more attention and readers -- notably for Insatiability, but also more generally .....
They've announced the (still eight title strong) shortlist for this year's Rathbones Folio Prize ('open to all works of literature written in English and published in the UK' -- all genres and forms, except what's written for kids).
The winner will be announced on 8 May.
We've seen these sorts of books (and articles) in the US/UK -- e.g. Michael Korda's Making the List, or more recently Jodie Archer and Matthew L. Jockers' The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel (see the St.Martin's publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com) -- and now Jörg Magenau has written one for and about the German-language market, Bestseller (see the Hoffmann und Campe publicity page) and at Deutsche Welle Jochen Kürten has a Q & A with him, What makes a book a bestseller ?
It's been ten years since Flemish author Hugo Claus died, and via I'm pointed to the Letterenhuis Claus 2018 activities and information -- and the nice overview at De Redactie, Hugo Claus remembered in unique exhibition.
Several Claus works are under review at the complete review:
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A Fiction by Gerald Murnane, Border Districts.
This came out in Australia last year, and Farrar, Straus and Giroux is now publishing it in the US -- along with a fat collection of his stories.
Will this be the big breakthrough for the often Nobel-touted author ?
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Karin Brynard's Weeping Waters.
An English translation of this Afrikaans police procedural, the first in a (so far only two-book ...) series, came out in South Africa a couple of years ago, but now Europa Editions has brought out a US+ edition.
I don't think it'll be quite a Deon Meyer-like breakthrough, but we'll see .....
Yet for all the adulation, serious critical appreciation of Murakami’s works lags.
The conferences he mentions -- at Newcastle University (40 years with Murakami Haruki), Strasbourg (Haruki Murakami au présent et au futur), etc. -- do suggest considerable critical engagement (as he notes: "These days, the diversity of critical research on Murakami is startling") -- though, yes, maybe Murakami isn't taken quite as 'seriously' as some other authors.
An interesting overview, in any case.
Among many comments:
[Motoyuki] Shibata cites contemporary authors such as Yoko Ogawa and Mieko Kawakami as examples of authors thriving in the post-Murakami style.
Seven Ogawa-titles are under review at the complete review -- though three of these are not yet available in English translation --; see, for example, Revenge, while Kawakami is only beginning to appear in English; see, for example, the recently released Ms Ice Sandwich.
Quite a few Murakami-titles are also under review at the complete review -- sixteen -- but not yet the latest, only appearing in English in the fall (pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).
Despite now already even having been translated into ... Burmese (among many, many other languages) .....
They've announced the longlist for this year's Desmond Elliott Prize -- a UK debut-author prize.
I haven't seen any of these -- and I assume most haven't (yet ?) made it to the US -- but certainly some intriguing-sounding titles.
Sad to hear that Philip Kerr, best known for his many Bernie Gunther novels, has passed away; see, for example, Hannah Summers' report in The Guardian
While I read the first, best, Gunther novels -- that first trilogy -- as well as favorites such as A Philosophical Investigation (and duds like Dead Meat and The Grid) before I started the site, several of his works are under review at the complete review:
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Mario Vargas Llosa's latest novel to be translated into English, The Neighborhood.
This hasn't gotten very much US-review attention yet (the UK edition isn't out yet) -- with the notable exception of The New York Times, who have not only done the rare daily-edition/The New York Times Book Review double (admittedly both times in reviews that also cover the simultaneously-released essay collection, Sabers and Utopias) but also a very fancy profile in The New York Times Magazine.
Yes, the guy's a Nobel laureate -- but this is ... a lot of coverage, for two not-very-good books .....
Perhaps not the best allocation of limited literary coverage/review resources ?
French author Jean d'Ormesson died last year -- but at least there's a prix Jean d'Ormesson now, with a focus on classics that have fallen into some obscurity, and they've now announced a twelve-title longlist, with lots of modern translations: works by Chinghiz Aitmatov, Gerald Durell, Gerald Durell, Claudio Magris, Eric Newby, William Styron, and Inoue Yasushi (The Hunting Gun) among them.
A pretty solid line-up.
The winner will be announced on 6 June.
Swiss author Jürg Laederach has passed away; see, for example, Paul Jandl's Neue Zürcher Zeitungpiece.
He wasn't widely translated into English, but Semiotext(e) brought out 69 Ways to Play the Blues (see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) and Dalkey Archive Press brought out The Whole of Life (see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk), so that should tell you something .....
The American Academy of Arts and Letters has announced that Thomas Pynchon has been awarded the inaugural biennial US$100,000 Christopher Lightfoot Walker Award, "which recognizes a writer of distinction who has made a significant contribution to American literature".
They've also announced their (other) literature award winners -- eight 'Arts and Letters Awards in Literature'-winners, and the winners of seven other awards.