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opinionated commentary on literary matters - from the complete review


The Literary Saloon Archive

1 - 10 May 2019

1 May: Hindi pulp | Prix Servais
2 May: Literary prizes: Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize - Wellcome Prize - Sami Rohr Prize | RSL Christopher Bland Prize shortlist | Middle England review
3 May: EU Prize for Literature shortlists | Hold Fast Your Crown review
4 May: Publishing in ... Brazil | Copyright (not) in .... Iran | Translating Vasily Grossman
5 May: PEN World Voices Festival | The Closed Garden review
6 May: Sebald Lecture 2019 | Joseph-Breitbach-Preis
7 May: Premio Formentor | Internationaler Literaturpreis shortlist | Libris Literatuur Prijs | Tim Parks 'On Criticizing Translation' | Sleepless Night review
8 May: Wodehouse Prize | Orwell Prize longlists | Translation in the US | Deep Red review
9 May: Goncourts | Translating Maltese literature into ... Norwegian | Karl Ove Knausgård Q & A | A Devil Comes to Town review
10 May: Austrian State Prize for European Literature | Ingeborg Bachmann Prize preview

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10 May 2019 - Friday

Austrian State Prize for European Literature
Ingeborg Bachmann Prize preview

       Austrian State Prize for European Literature

       The Österreichischer Staatspreis für Europäische Literatur, awarded since 1965, is one of the leading international author prizes (though it is limited to European authors), and does have a very impressive list of winners; they've now announced that this year's winner is Michel Houellebecq (The Elementary Particles, Submission, etc.).
       He gets to pick up the prize on 26 July.

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



       Ingeborg Bachmann Prize preview

       They've announced the lineup for this year's Ingeborg Bachmann Prize-competition at the 'Tage der deutschsprachigen Literatur' ('Days of German-language literature'), the 43rd time they're holding this public-reading-and-judging prize; previous winners include Ulrich Plenzdorf (1978), Wolfgang Hilbig (1989), Sibylle Lewitscharoff (1998), Terézia Mora (1999), and Lutz Seiler (2007).
       Clemens J. Setz will start things off with his lecture on 'Kayfabe and Literature'
       The competition runs 26 to 30 June.

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



9 May 2019 - Thursday

Goncourts | Translating Maltese literature into ... Norwegian
Karl Ove Knausgård Q & A | A Devil Comes to Town review

       Goncourts

       The winner of the prix Goncourt -- the big French novel-prize -- will only be announced in November, but they've now announced a batch of the other Goncourts:
(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Translating Maltese literature into ... Norwegian

       At MaltaToday Teodor Reljic has a Q & A with Kristina Quintano about Translating Trevor: the challenging road of bringing Maltese literature to Norway.
       She notes:
The main challenges in promoting the literature from Malta in Norway in general has always been that I have to start from scratch every time. Norwegian readers or publishers don’t know a lot about Malta so I always have to start by explaining the two-language practice and the Arabic influence before I even start talking about the Maltese literary scene.
       And:
Translating swearing is almost impossible. No one in Norway would use the swear words we use in Malta. [...] Also, all religious and political references are much more present in the Maltese language than in Norwegian. It’s challenging to transform that into plausible Norwegian, but that is what makes it so interesting.

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



       Karl Ove Knausgård Q & A

       The latest in the always interesting Conversations with Tyler-series (yes, I did one of these too) has Tyler Cowen speak with My Struggle-author Karl Ove Knausgård on Literary Freedom.

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



       A Devil Comes to Town review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Paolo Maurensig's A Devil Comes to Town, just out from World Editions.

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



8 May 2019 - Wednesday

Wodehouse Prize | Orwell Prize longlists
Translation in the US | Deep Red review

       Wodehouse Prize

       They've announced that Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe has won this year's Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction; see, for example, the report at The Bookseller.
       Reasons to be Cheerful isn't out in the US yet, but is coming in July; see the publicity pages from Little, Brown and Viking, pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or get your copy at Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Orwell Prize longlists

       They've announced the longlists for this year's four Orwell Prizes, including the new Orwell Prize for Political Fiction (as well as the nicely named Prize for Exposing Britain's Social Evils).
       The shortlists will be announced later this month, and the winners will be announced 25 June.

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



       Translation in the US

       At Publishers Weekly Open Letter publisher Chad Post takes a look at the numbers over the (recent) years and ponders Will Translated Fiction Ever Really Break Through ?

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



       Deep Red review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Nozawa Hisashi's Deep Red, out from Vertical a couple of years ago.

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



7 May 2019 - Tuesday

Premio Formentor | Internationaler Literaturpreis shortlist
Libris Literatuur Prijs | Tim Parks 'On Criticizing Translation'
Sleepless Night review

       Premio Formentor

       The (revived) Premio Formentor de las Letras has a solid list of winners since they brought it back in 2011, after a more than forty year hiatus -- including Carlos Fuentes, Juan Goytisolo, and Enrique Vila-Matas -- and they've now announced this year's winner -- the certainly very worthy Annie Ernaux; see, for example, the El País report.

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



       Internationaler Literaturpreis shortlist

       They've announced the six-title shortlist for this year's Internationaler Literaturpreis, honoring: "an outstanding work of contemporary international literature that has been translated into German for the first time" (and paying out €20,000 for the author and €15,000 for the translator).
       Only one of the books is a translation from the English -- Gerald Murnane's Border Districts .
       (Hélène Cixous's Mother Homer is Dead... is one of the titles also available in English -- though it a rather pricey edition; see the Edinburgh University Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.)

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



       Libris Literatuur Prijs

       They've announced that De goede zoon, by Rob van Essen, has won this year's Libris Literatuur Prijs, one of the leading Dutch book prizes, paying out €50,000.
       See also the Dutch Foundation for Literature information page for the book, or the Atlas Contact publicity page.

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



       Tim Parks 'On Criticizing Translation'

       At the Asymptote weblog Allison Braden has a Q & A with Tim Parks, On Criticizing Translation.
       Among his observation/arguments:
In recent years and in Anglo-Saxon countries in particular, translation has become attached to a certain political stance. Translation is seen, in some broad sense, as morally good. Hence it has to be defended even when done badly.

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



       Sleepless Night review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Margriet de Moor's Sleepless Night, out ... today, from New Vessel Press (and House of Anansi Press, in Canada).

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



6 May 2019 - Monday

Sebald Lecture 2019 | Joseph-Breitbach-Preis

       Sebald Lecture 2019

       Emily Wilson delivered the W G Sebald Lecture 2019 -- 'Translating the Odyssey Again: Why and How' -- on 17 April, and the video is now available online.

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



       Joseph-Breitbach-Preis

       At €50,000 the Joseph-Breitbach-Preis is a leading German author-prize, and they've now announced that this year's prize will go to Thomas Hettche -- not yet at the official site, last I checked, but see, for example, the Boersenblatt report.
       Hettche's The Arbogast Case (see the Farrar, Straus and Giroux publicity page) and What We Are Made Of (see the Picador publicity page) have been translated into English.
       The award will be presented on 20 September.

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



5 May 2019 - Sunday

PEN World Voices Festival | The Closed Garden review

       PEN World Voices Festival

       The PEN World Voices Festival, with a theme of 'Open Secrets' starts tomorrow in New York, and runs through 12 May.
       A lot of interesting events, so if you're in the neighborhood, well worth checking out.

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



       The Closed Garden review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Julien Green's 1927 novel, The Closed Garden, re-issued under its original French title, Adrienne Mesurat.

       I like the beginning of the Publishers Weekly review:
Ah, to be young, beautiful, wealthy and living in the French countryside ... take it from Adrienne, it's hell.
       It was a big success, back in the day, both in Europe and the US -- a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, and reviewed (very favorably) by Walter Benjamin. And the Persian translation recently came out in Iran !

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



4 May 2019 - Saturday

Publishing in ... Brazil | Copyright (not) in .... Iran
Translating Vasily Grossman

       Publishing in ... Brazil

       At The Brazilian Report Marcelo Soares has a graph-filled look at The bleak scenario of book publishing in Brazil, as there has been a significant decrease in both the number of titles published and copies sold in recent years.

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



       Copyright (not) in .... Iran

       In the Tehran Times Samaneh Aboutalei reports that Lack of copyright, big obstacle for Iranian publishers of translated books.
       Iran is one of the few countries not party to international copyright regimes and even where publishers try to play by international rules, buying rights to publish in Iran, successful books often face rival unauthorized translations. American sanctions complicate matters further -- having: "put obstacles in the way of companies trying to legally collaborate with publishers overseas".

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



       Translating Vasily Grossman

       In Publishers Weekly Elina Alter reports on What Robert and Elizabeth Chandler Found in Translation in translating Vasily Grossman's Stalingrad, a thousand-pager forthcoming from New York Review Books in the US and Harvill Secker in the UK next month; see the NYRB publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



3 May 2019 - Friday

EU Prize for Literature shortlists | Hold Fast Your Crown review

       EU Prize for Literature shortlists

       The EU Prizes for Literature are an odd semi-national prize, awarded each year to emerging authors from twelve or thirteen of the 'Creative Europe'-programme countries (the member states of the EU, and thirteen assorted others), rotating from year to year; this year the countries whose authors will be honored are: Austria, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
       National juries select the national winners, and they've now announced this year's shortlisted candidates.

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



       Hold Fast Your Crown review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Yannick Haenel's Hold Fast Your Crown, recently out from Other Press.

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



2 May 2019 - Thursday

Literary prizes: Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize - Wellcome Prize - Sami Rohr Prize
RSL Christopher Bland Prize shortlist | Middle England review

       Literary prize: Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize

       The Goethe Institut has announced that this year's winner of the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize, awarded for the best literary translation from German into English published in the US the previous year, is the very deserving Damion Searls for his translation of Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries.

       Great to see the recognition for this work and this translation -- especially since it wasn't eligible for other leading translation prizes such as the Man Booker International Prize and the (American) National Book Award for Translated Literature (both are limited to living authors) or the Best Translated Book Award (because there was a previous translation (of sorts ...)).
       The prize will be presented on 23 May.

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



       Literary prize: Wellcome Prize

       They've announced that this year's Wellcome Book Prize -- awarded to a book, fiction or non, with: "a central theme that engages with some aspect of medicine, health or illness" -- goes to Murmur, by Will Eaves.
       See the publicity pages from CB Editions and Bellevue Literary Press, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Literary prize: Sami Rohr Prize

       They've announced that this year's Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature -- rewarding: "an emerging writer whose work has demonstrated a fresh vision and evidence of further growth" -- goes to Michael David Lukas' The Last Watchman of Old Cairo; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       RSL Christopher Bland Prize shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's RSL Christopher Bland Prize -- a new prize: "to encourage and celebrate older writers [...] awarded annually to a debut novelist or popular non-fiction writer, first published at the age of 50 or over"
       The winner will be announced 29 May.

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



       Middle England review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jonathan Coe's Middle England.
       It came out in the UK last fall, but is only due in the US in August.

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



1 May 2019 - Wednesday

Hindi pulp | Prix Servais

       Hindi pulp

       At Verve Huzan Tata takes A Closer Look at the Vibrant and Kitschy World of Hindi Pulp Fiction, with a Q & A with publisher Minakshi Thakur.
       Only one Surender Mohan Pathak title is under review at the complete review -- The 65 Lakh Heist -- but I hope to get to more (and would, of course, love to see more Hindi pulp by other authors).

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



       Prix Servais

       They've announced that this year's Prix Servais -- a leading Luxembourgeois book prize -- goes to Stürze aus unterschiedlichen Fallhöhen by Elise Schmit; see also the Hydre Editions publicity page.

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



previous entries (21 - 30 April 2019)

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