Amie Ferris-Rotman reports how This Afghan ambassador in Moscow mixes diplomacy and Dostoevsky as admirably: "When [Latif] Bahand is not navigating his country's changing relationship with Moscow, he is translating".
He's working on Crime and Punishment, and has already translated And Quiet Flows the Don, War and Peace, and Anna Karenina.
Interesting too that:
There was also a shortage of words to work with.
Russian has around 150,000 words in current usage; Pashto has around 100,000.
"It's like taking a vase of water and trying to fit it into a teacup."
In the first-floor lobby, visitors can view an art installation, "Flowers in the Toilet."
It symbolizes literature's irrigation of the human mind, which, like plants, need to be watered to grow stronger, said the museum.
Italian author Luciano De Crescenzo has passed away; see, for example, the ANSA report.
His Thus Spake Bellavista attracted some attention when it came out in English; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Millions has their Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2019 Book Preview, with more than a hundred (mainly pretty mainstream) US titles.
Only two of these are already under review at the complete review -- The Memory Police by Ogawa Yoko and Doppelgänger by Daša Drndić --, and I only have one more of them (Empty Hearts by Juli Zeh, which I should be getting to soon); I do suspect/hope there are a lot more other interesting titles out there beyond these.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Karolina Pavlova's A Double Life, out in a new edition in Columbia University Press' Russian Library.
This is Pavlova's only novel, but she has an interesting biography, from being tutored in Polish by Adam Mickiewicz ("she already knew Russian, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, and Dutch, as well as Russian" translator Barbara Heldt notes (slightly overenthusiastically ...) in her Introduction) to the literary circles she moved in -- though she had a hard time in the very male and sexist Russian literary world of the time.
He said novels were "currently losing a bit of their lustre" because of declining quality.
"Some books just carry the phrase 'A Novel' on the cover.
The best proof of the loss of popularity of the novel is its dwindling sales at book fairs in the Arab world during the past two years," he said.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Lawrence Lessig on How the Supreme Court Has Read the American Constitution, in Fidelity & Constraint, recently out from Oxford University Press.
The German 'Hotlist' invites all German-language independent publishing houses to submit one book to compete in a three-phase competition that begins with the Hotlist board of trustees selecting a longlist of thirty titles, which the public can then vote on (though only the top three vote-getters make the final ten; the remaining seven titles are chosen by the Hotlist jury); the jury then picks the winning publisher (it is the publisher, rather than the book/author that gets the cash).
They've now announced the thirty-title longlist -- and opened the voting.
(Admirably, they also reveal all 160 submitted titles, as every literary prize should .....)
This gives a good overview of what independent German publishers are publishing -- even if the one-book-per-publisher limit is rather ... limiting.
They do include some big names: among authors in translation with books in the final thirty are Anthony Burgess, Patrick Deville, Helen Oyeyemi, and Boualem Sansal.
They've announced the judges for the 2020 [no-longer-'Man'] International Booker Prize, and they are: Ted Hodgkinson (chair), Lucie Campos, Jennifer Croft, Valeria Luiselli, and Jeet Thayil.
The longlist will be announced in March 2020.
With the start of the French 'rentrée littéraire' -- the fall book-flood, this year with 524 titles (down from 567 last year (and 727 in 2007 ...)) -- the longlists for the fall book prizes start appearing -- a good overview of some of the interesting new titles coming up.
The Prix du Roman Fnac -- which considers both French fiction (there are 366 in this year's rentrée) and translated fiction (188) -- has announced its huge, thirty-title selection, which includes titles by Nathacha Appanah, Laurent Binet, Marie Darrieussecq, Edna O'Brien, and Juli Zeh.
The prix littéraire « Le Monde » has also announced its (considerably shorter) longlist; it also includes new books by Leonora Miano and Jean-Philippe Toussaint (La Clé USB; see the Les Éditions de Minuit publicity page).
Among the events at this year's Manchester International Festival is Studio Créole: "an intimate laboratory for stories where we can hear writers read in their original language and simultaneously listen to a live translation, channeled through a lone performer", which runs from 12 to 14 July.
The seven writers involved are: Patrick Chamoiseau, Sayaka Murata, Adania Shibli, Sjón, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Dubravka Ugrešić, and Alejandro Zambra -- quite the line-up ! -- while the project was conceived and is curated by Adam Thirlwell, is co-curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and was designed by Rem Koolhaas and Cookies.
At the Times Literary Supplement Thirlwell has an introductory overview as he "considers the history of créolité and literature transcending a single language" in World literature: lightness, multiplicity, transformation.
Lots of Iris Murdoch material in this week's Times Literary Supplement -- it's her centenary; she would have turned 100 on the fifteenth -- including them having their "contributors reflect on the novelist's impact" in What does Iris Murdoch mean to you now ?
I'm a huge fan -- and pleased that there are still a few of her works I haven't gotten to; I only got around to An Accidental Man last year, and it was the best book I read all year.
(Updated): Iris Murdoch coverage abounds -- see now also Leo Robson on Iris the insoluble in the New Statesman -- though obviously I move in the wrong circles (at least on the internet) and can find no evidence that: "Iris Murdoch's work has fallen out of fashion", as everyone (properly) gushes about her work.
Even before the current centenary-interest, I don't think any title has popped up on the weblogs and Twitter-feeds I read, going back many, many years as often as a favorite read as The Sea, the Sea (though obviously that's influenced by what weblogs/Twitter-feeds I follow -- my kind of readers ...).
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Tanaka Yasuo's 1981 novel, Somehow, Crystal, just out from Kurodahan Press.
I review far too few books that I read before I started the site but I actually have read this one before -- the German translation, some twenty-five years ago.
It's not a great book, but of enough interest that it was certainly worth covering (if not necessarily revisiting ...) -- and I fear it won't get all that much coverage otherwise (though surely The Japan Times will at least get to it).
Indeed, it's notable enough -- for several reasons -- that if the English translation had been available I would have mentioned it in my The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction.
If you need further convincing/tempting: Sayonara, Gangsters-author Takahashi Gen'ichirō wrote the Introduction to this -- and he concludes it by suggesting:
There has never been anther novel like this, nor is there likely to be on in the future.
I can think of no other novel that so deeply and thoroughly confronts capitalist society.
If Marx were still alive, his follow-up to Das Kapital would surely have been a novel like Somehow, Crystal.
That last sentence is some tag-line; I hope some booksellers use it .....