Last year there apparently weren't any funny (enough) books, so they just didn't bother, but this year they've come up with six titles for the shortlist for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, selected from 71 submissions; see, for example, Mark Chandler's report at The Bookseller, Stibbe and Doyle make female-dominated Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize shortlist.
The winner of this prize gets champagne (Bollinger), books (a complete set of the Everyman Wodehouse), and a pig.
A surprising number of previous winning titles -- nine of the eleven awarded between 2000 and 2010 alone -- are under review at the complete review; I don't review that much English-language fiction, but apparently I review the funny stuff ?
(Ian McEwan's Solar (2010) is among them, as is the terrible Vernon God Little (2003), so their notions of 'comic' are certainly ... expansive.)
The winner will be announced at the Hay Festival, which starts 23 May.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of another of Lee Child's Jack Reacher thrillers, Make Me -- the fifth of these under review.
Not sure how many more of these I'll bother with, but they've proven decent pass-time reads.
'U.S. readers want books from around the world, so why can't publishers deliver them ?' Terena Bell wonders in her piece on Lost translations at The Outline, and while I'm not sure about American readers wanting books from around the world (sure, many do, but I'm not sure how many ...) she does address some of the problems regarding how, and from what languages, translations get published in the US.
(I also take issue with the idea that: "some countries' books get over-translated for the U.S. market": no country or language gets 'over-translated' -- not even close.)
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Johanna Sinisalo's Renaten tarina -- a novelization of the first of the Iron Sky movies, for which Sinisalo was one of the screenwriters.
In an effort to make a show of greater transparency, the Nobel Prize in Literature-deciding Swedish Academy has, for the first time, published its (Ernst & Young audited) annual report -- only in Swedish (warning ! dreaded pdf format !), but still.
Not sure how revealing this is, but I look forward to taking a closer look.
And certainly interesting to see some of the numbers, including the personalkostnader, even if many of the categories are way too broad ("böcker, tidskrifter, databas och datasystem" all in one, for example) to provide great insight.
"The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FACE Foundation have announced the recipients for the 2018 fiction and nonfiction French Voices Grand Prizes", with Lara Vergnaud's (still-looking-for-a-US-publisher-)translation of Sciences de la vie by Joy Sorman taking the fiction grand prize; see also the Seuil publicity page.
The press release lists all thirteen selected titles -- and while the Grand Prize winners get US$10,000, the others get a still-impressive US$6,000 each (distributed between translator and publisher).
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Doron Rabinovici's Die Außerirdischen.
I'm a bit surprised this doesn't seem to have any Western foreign publishers yet (Suhrkamp just lists rights sales to Hungary and Bulgaria); it certainly seems like a book that could attract some attention.
They've announced the winners of this year's Pulitzer Prizes, a leading American journalism and arts prize.
The Fiction prize -- probably still the most prestigious American book award -- went toThe Overstory by Richard Powers; the other finalists were The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai and There There by Tommy Orange.
The Criticism prize went to Carlos Lozada of The Washington Post -- a book critic ! (links to his work at the winner's page); the other finalists were Jill Lepore and Manohla Dargis
They've announced the shortlist for this year's Wolfson History Prize (at their brand new dedicated prize-site), the £40,000 prize that celebrates: "the best new historical non-fiction books in the UK".
The winner will be announced 11 June.
Nobel laureate (1917) Henrik Pontoppidan's Lucky Per is out today in an Everyman's Library edition.
This translation actually came out almost a decade ago, from Peter Lang, but that probably didn't make it to too many bookstore bookshelves, so it's great to see a more commercial edition out that should attract a bit more attention.
(In fact, there's a second recent translation, by Paul Larkin, A Fortunate Man, out from Museum Tusculanum Press -- but it's probably the Everyman's Library edition that is most likely to be found at your local bookstore.)
Maybe it's the recently released film version -- directed by Pelle the Conqueror-director Bille August; see the IMDb page -- that helped pave the way for this new edition, but introduction-writing Garth Risk Hallberg (who pointed me to the original edition, back in the day) surely also helped it along a great deal.
In Publishers Weekly Jason Boog reports on The Netflix Literary Connection, as: 'The streaming service is on a book-buying spree as it seeks more content for its ever-growing global subscriber base'.
Apparently some fifty "literary properties are being turned into series projects, while the screening service has announced plans to adapt only a handful into features"; among the most notable of the projects is a series based on Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Many of Netflix's deals begin with Maria Campbell Literary Associates.
In 2017, Netflix exclusively retained that agency for its book-scouting efforts to find English- and foreign-language titles to adapt from around the world, including from the U.S.
The Nigerian NLNG Literature Prize rotates through four genres (fiction, poetry, drama, children's books), and this year is a kids' book year -- and this year's submissions have now been tallied up and, with 173 entries, are way up over the last batch four years ago (though it's likely not all will ultimately be found eligible); see, for example, The Nation report by Evelyn Osagie, 2019 NLNG's Literature Prize gets 59% increase Inb.
The large increase suggests something of a boom in local children's literature -- certainly welcome !
It's also particularly good to see that there were ten entries for the Literary Criticism Prize; this one -- admittedly not nearly as remunerative as the (at US$100,000) very well-endowed main prize -- has struggled to get even a handful of entries in previous years.
Hopefully, this is a sign of a general increase in interest in and availability of literary criticism, surely a vital part of any literary culture.
In The Guardian Anita Sethi has a Q & A with The Art of the Publisher-author Roberto Calasso.
Regrettably, he refuses to answer the question: "What writers working today do you most admire ?"
And of all the problems to have, this is one I'm jealous of:
I have about 50,000 books in five different places.
It's a drama every day trying to find a book.
They've announced the winners of this year's The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.
The fiction prize went to The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai; the only title under review at the complete review is the mystery/thriller winner, My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.
In China Daily Mei Jia again finds an international Appetite for fantasy, sci-fi from China.
Not sure that Jia Pingwa's Broken Wings really fits in, but it is good to see so much greater variety being translated from the Chinese now.
The Goethe Institut has announced the shortlist for this year's Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize, "awarded each spring to honor an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the USA the previous year", covering all genres -- with the official page also helpfully listing all twenty-eight submitted titles, which makes for a good (if not quite complete) overview of German translations published in the US in the past year (including re-translations, which aren't included on the other main resource to check what's recently been translated, the Translation Database at Publishers Weekly).
Two of the six finalists are under review at the complete review: Tim Mohr's translation of Wolfgang Herrndorf's Sand and Damion Searl's translation of Uwe Johnson's monumental Anniversaries (not eligible for the Best Translated Book Award (or the Man Booker International Prize, or the National Book Award for Translated Literature), but surely the odds-on favorite here).
The Japanese Booksellers' Award is a more popular-fiction prize than the better-known Japanese literary ones (Akutagawa and Naoki, for example), and Tsundoku Reader has a good English Round-up of the 2019 Booksellers Award Nominees, with a look at the books (and winner) -- an interesting glimpse of some contemporary popular fiction we haven't (won't ?) see in English yet.
They've announced (at The Millions) the longlists for this year's (American) Best Translated Book Award -- 25 fiction titles, and 10 in the poetry category.
A surprising 9 of the 25 fiction titles are under review at the complete review (though none of the poetry titles are):
Seventeen by Yokoyama Hideo, tr. Louise Heal Kawai
I am surprised by many of the omissions -- including all of those I hoped would make the list but worried wouldn't, as well as quite a few that I was fairly certain would (notably at least one Dag Solstad !); more good books -- and some great ones -- than usual seem to have slipped through the process (especially considering some of the titles that made it ...).
One fun oddity: three one-name authors !
Frankétienne, Ondjaki, and Sjón.
For discussion of the list see, for example, The Mookse and the Gripes thread.
The shortlists are scheduled to be announced 15 May, the winners 31 May.
They've announced this year's Guggenheim Fellowships -- 168 of them.
The fiction fellows are: Edward Carey, Patricia Engel, Michael Helm, Catherine Lacey, Carmen Maria Machado, Helen Schulman, and Luis Alberto Urrea.