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The Literary Saloon Archive

11 - 19 April 2019

11 April: Best Translated Book Award longlists | Guggenheim Fellowships | Dee Lestari Q & A | Early Riser review
12 April: Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize shortlist | Gordon Graham Prize for Naga Literature | 本屋大賞 | KL Management profile
13 April: (English) writing in ... Bangladesh | Science fiction from ... China | Machines Like Me review
14 April: Michel Houellebecq to get légion d'honneur | Roberto Calasso Q & A | The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes
15 April: Book-buying Netflix | NLNG Literature Prize submissions | Knights of Arabia review
16 April: Pulitzer Prizes | Wolfson History Prize shortlist | Lucky Per
18 April: Swedish Academy annual report | French Voices Grand Prizes | Die Außerirdischen review
19 April: Magnesia Litera awards | Translation in ... the US | New Asymptote | Renaten tarina review

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19 April 2019 - Friday

Magnesia Litera awards | Translation in ... the US
New Asymptote | Renaten tarina review

       Magnesia Litera awards

       Last week, they announced the winners of the Magnesia Litera awards, the leading Czech literary prize; see also Brian Kenety's Radio Praha report, Radio Prague alumna Pavla Horáková wins Magnesia Litera award for novel 'A Theory of Strangeness.
       Hodiny z olova, by Radka Denemarková, was named book of the year; Denemarková is already a three-time Magnesia Litera winner -- amazingly, in three different categories: prose, non-fiction, and translation; see also her literary agency's author information page.
       Teorie podivnosti by Pavla Horáková took the prose award.

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



       Translation in ... the US

       '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.)

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



       New Asymptote

       The April issue of Asymptote is now up, with, as usual, a great deal and variety of content -- including some 'Creative Reflections on Translation'.
       Well worth setting aside some time for.

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



       Renaten tarina review

       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.

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



18 April 2019 - Thursday

Swedish Academy annual report | French Voices Grand Prizes
Die Außerirdischen review

       Swedish Academy annual report

       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.

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



       French Voices Grand Prizes

       "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).

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



       Die Außerirdischen review

       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.

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



16 April 2019 - Tuesday

Pulitzer Prizes | Wolfson History Prize shortlist | Lucky Per

       Pulitzer Prizes

       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 to The 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

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



       Wolfson History Prize shortlist

       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.

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



       Lucky Per

       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.

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



15 April 2019 - Monday

Book-buying Netflix | NLNG Literature Prize submissions
Knights of Arabia review

       Book-buying Netflix

       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.
       And:
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.

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



       NLNG Literature Prize submissions

       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.

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



       Knights of Arabia review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of another of (Frédéric Dard-writing-as-)San Antonio's 1960s thrillers, Knights of Arabia.

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



14 April 2019 - Sunday

Michel Houellebecq to get légion d'honneur | Roberto Calasso Q & A
The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes

       Michel Houellebecq to get légion d'honneur

       Submission-author Michel Houellebecq will get the French légion d'honneur from Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, in a ceremony at the palais de l'Elysée; see, for example, the RFI report, Enfant terrible of French literature to receive Legion of Honour as well as the Paris Match report.
       Among those invited are the Sarkozys, Alain Finkielkraut, and -- so Paris Match -- several representatives from Valeurs Actuelles, who recently published an exchange between Houellebecq and Geoffroy Lejeune which is now available in English translation at First Things as Restoration: An Exchange of Views on Religion.

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



       Roberto Calasso Q & A

       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.

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



       The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes

       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.

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



13 April 2019 - Saturday

(English) writing in ... Bangladesh | Science fiction from ... China
Machines Like Me review

       (English) writing in ... Bangladesh

       In the Dhaka Tribune Mir Arif finds, at quite some length: English fiction from Bangladesh: A vibrant prospect.
       Certainly a useful overview.

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



       Science fiction from ... China

       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.

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



       Machines Like Me review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ian McEwan's latest, Machines Like Me, which is just out and will, of course, be getting a lot of review- and other coverage.

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



12 April 2019 - Friday

Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize shortlist
Gordon Graham Prize for Naga Literature
本屋大賞 | KL Management profile

       Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize shortlist

       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).

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



       Gordon Graham Prize for Naga Literature

       The Gordon Graham Prize for Naga Literature has been awarded for the first time and, as the Nagaland Post reports, Easterine, Kethoser bag Naga literature award.
       The fiction prize, worth ₹100,000, went to When the River Sleeps, by Easterine Kire -- which already won The Hindu Prize for Best Fiction (for 2015); see also the Zubaan publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       本屋大賞

       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.

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



       KL Management profile

       In The Korea Herald Lee Sun-young profiles The agent behind Korea's global literary growth, Joseph Lee and his boutique agency KL Management.
       His first breakthrough in the US market was Kim Young-ha's I Have the Right to Destroy Myself, followed by Jo Kyung-ran's Tongue, and then the first big success, Shin Kyung-sook's Please Look After Mom -- the latter now having; "racked up total overseas sales of around 2.1 million copies and has been published in nearly 40 countries".
       (Pyun Hye-young's The Hole is also under review at the complete review -- and see the other Korean fiction under review.)

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



11 April 2019 - Thursday

Best Translated Book Award longlists | Guggenheim Fellowships
Dee Lestari Q & A | Early Riser review

       Best Translated Book Award longlists

       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):        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.

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



       Guggenheim Fellowships

       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.

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



       Dee Lestari Q & A

       At Five Books Cal Flyn has a Q & A with Supernova-author Dee Lestari on the best of Contemporary Indonesian Literature
       Embarrassingly, of the five books discussed only Eka Kurniawan's Man Tiger is under review at the complete review -- though of course Ayu Utami's Saman does get a mention in my The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction.

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



       Early Riser review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jasper Fforde's new novel, Early Riser.

       I've enjoyed Fforde's novels -- this is the tenth under review at the site -- but I did burn out on them a few years ago; this one doesn't really burn me back in, as it were.

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



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