German author Christoph Meckel has passed away; see, for example, the (German) report in Die Zeit.
The selected-prose collection The Figure on the Boundary Line appears to be the only available translation; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Hanser brought out his collected poetry a few years ago -- 29 collections in one nearly thousand-page book, Tarnkappe; see the Hanser foreign rights page.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Charles Dantzig's Why Read ?
I actually did not realize there was an English translation of this available until I reviewed the book -- but then the English translation came out from not a US or UK publisher but an Indian one, Yoda Press (good for them -- but too bad there's no US/UK distribution).
It's obviously a book of interest to me -- reading is something I spend ... some time doing (and, hey, I spoke on the subject at the Salzburg Festival last year) -- and, I would imagine, many of the users of this site.
I've also been enjoying Dantzig's Dictionnaire égoïste de la littérature française (see the Le Livre de Poche publicity page) for quite a while now -- a great big book to dip into -- and hope to cover it at some point as well.
And now I'm also really eager to see his recent international companion volume, the Dictionnaire égoïste de la littérature mondiale (see the Grasset publicity page).
This came out last year in the UK -- to surprisingly little media attention; I would have thought a Venezuelan novel about Chávez would have gotten more coverage.
It's only coming out in the US next month -- and it will be interesting to see whether it gets more attention then.
Interesting, also, that in the UK it was published by a commercial publisher -- MacLehose Press -- but in the US it is coming out from a university press, University of Texas Press.
(It is part of their Latin American Literature in Translation-series, which is certainly developing nicely; of course, I still recall Texas Tech University Press' promising 'The Americas'-series, but that seems to have ... expired (see also the Three Percent post, Let Us Now Praise Texas Tech's "The Americas" Series (which closes, sigh: "With a brilliant advisory board I have a lot of faith in the future of this series")).)
They've announced the finalists for this year's PEN America Literary Awards
Among the categories is the PEN Translation Prize; the only one of the finalists under review at the complete review is Allison Markin Powell's translation of Kawakami Hiromi's The Ten Loves of Nishino -- though I do have several more of these and may get to them.
The winners will be announced 2 March.
In The Dispatch they have: "the first part of an interview series featuring literary translators" -- Chirdeep Malhotra's Q & A with translator-from-the-Malayalam J. Devika.
Great to hear:
The best work in Malayalam is being translated into English and Malayali authors are gaining visibility like never before.
When I see K.R. Meera and Unni R. being discussed as Indian authors rather than as just Malayali, a warm feeling overcomes me !
Indeed, even some of the less gifted authors in Malayalam have actually done much better in their English versions, thanks to imaginative translators.
Though of course it would be nice if more of these were published or at least better distributed in the US/UK .....
Also interesting to hear:
From other languages to Malayalam, yes, there is a lot happening in that direction too, but the quality of it is often abysmally poor, and the choices of texts are too often driven by crass market considerations.
For example Malayalis have a love for Latin American literature, so any trash that gets hyped as ‘Latin American’ highbrow gets (badly) translated here.
I look forward to seeing the next Q & A in this series.
French writer Hubert Mingarelli has passed away; see, for example, the obituary in Le Figaro.
Several of his works have been translated into English, including the prix Médicis-winning Four Soldiers; see the New Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
At Eurozine Katerina Luketić looks at recent Balkan fiction Between poetry and politics -- finding that: "following Kiš, Balkan novelists are challenging received wisdom and integrating the political and the poetic in surprising new ways".
The most recent additions to the complete review are my reviews of two novels that try to capture the life of Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten:
Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth, by Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz -- the 26th work by Mahfouz under review at the complete review (and I am amazed by how many of his major works I still haven't gotten to ...).
Several of the titles he mentioned are under review at the complete review: T Singer by Dag Solstad ("He’s also doing crazy stuff"), Snow by Orhan Pamuk ("When I finally got over the first 50 pages, I liked the length because it was like living in a different world"), and The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen ("I got so pissed off. I like his journalism much better.")
As are three books by Markus Werner -- "He wrote small books, which probably were not thick enough for an American market" --: Cold Shoulder, On the Edge, and Zündel's Exit.
They've announced the winner of this year's Romain Rolland Book Prize for literary translation ("of a French title into any Indian language, including English") -- and it is ... Dipa Chaudhuri and Puneet Gupta's translation into Hindi of the first three albums of the Astérix series (e.g.).
(Somewhat disappointingly, there were only seven submissions for this prize.)
In The Japan Times "Nicolas Gatting and Damian Flanagan argue over whether a new wave of writers are transcending Japan's literary past" as they consider: Is Japan enjoying a new literary golden age ?
Flanagan argues the no side, noting: "Few writers in Japan today excite a deep interest" -- and that:
Literature in Japan today is a far gentler, more head-on-its-shoulders, biodegradable business, no longer the preserve of a monomaniacal, fantastically ambitious elite who all went to the Tokyo University.
These days literature embraces more women, minority and less-privileged voices.
It generates works of social worth, entertainment and insightful reimaginings of modern life.
Yet it is no more exceptional than dozens of other literatures across the world.
And always worth bearing in mind: as Gattig notes:
Before we trumpet a new Japanese golden era, it bears remembering that what is published in English may not reflect current landscapes in Japan
Many of the books mentioned here are under review at the complete review.
They've announced the finalists for this year's Japanese Booksellers Award, with the Tsundoku Reader weblog having a useful (English) overview of these titles that Japanese bookstore employees "are most eager to recommend to customers" -- presumably presenting a decent picture of the current Japanese bookselling/reading scene.
There are titles by several authors who have had works published in English translation -- notably Kawakami Mieko (e.g. Ms Ice Sandwich, with her Breasts and Eggs due out soon) and Yokoyama Hideo (e.g. Six Four).
The winner will be announced 7 April.
They've announced the longlist for this year's Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses, which: "rewards the best fiction published by publishers with fewer than 5 full-time employees" (in the UK and Ireland).
The twelve titles were selected from seventy submissions.
Only one is under review at the complete review: Hanne Ørstavik's Love, which is now also out in a UK edition.
(I haven't seen most of the others because they are from UK/Ireland-based publishers.)
The winner will be announced in March.
They've announced the twelve-title longlist for this year's £30,000 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize -- "Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under".
Some titles here that have already gotten a lot of attention -- notably On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong -- but I haven't seen any of these.
Neat to see that both poetry and fiction makes the longlist.
The shortlist will be announced on 7 April, and the winner on 14 May.
They've announced the winner of this year's prix du Livre étranger France Inter/JDD, a French prize for best book in translation, with Iakovos Kambanellis' Mauthausen -- a translation from the Greek -- beating out four translations from the English (books by Chigozie Obioma, Téa Obreht, Susan Orlean, and Elif Shafak) and one from the Spanish.
An English translation of Mauthausen came out a quarter of a century ago -- but only from local publisher Kedros; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
At Five Books Miles Leeson, director of the Iris Murdoch Research Centre, recommends The Best Iris Murdoch Books "from her canon of 27 novels" (and, obviously, her non-fiction, since one of the titles is non-fiction ...).
While eight of her novels are under review at the complete review -- see, for example, An Accidental Man --, surprisingly, none of these are.
I read some before I started the site -- though not The Bell, which I guess I really should get to.
Via I'm pointed to Shireen Quadri's Q & A in the punch with the jury members, in 2019 DSC Prize: Inside the Minds of Jurors.
The DSC Prize For South Asian Literature announced its winner a month ago, and here the jurors explain their decision-making process, from winnowing down the 90-some submissions to a fifteen-title longlist through the next stages.
Not too revealing, of course, but still some interesting behind-the-scenes glimpses of the book-prize-judging process.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Peter Stamm's latest, The Sweet Indifference of the World, now out in English in Michael Hofmann's translation from Other Press (US) and Granta (UK).
Via I'm pointed to James Borton's report in Nikkei Asian Review finding that: In Vietnam, economic success underpins literary boom.
A bit too anecdotal/observational for my taste -- with those numbers that are given fairly irrelevant ("In 2018, international arrivals to Vietnam reached 15.5 million, with visitors from America accounting for nearly 1 million") and inetresting numbers not available ("There are no official figures for overseas sales") -- ; still, good to hear that at least the general impression is that:
This rapid expansion of book-buying within Vietnam has been accompanied by rising interest in translated Vietnamese literature abroad.
I do note, however, that the Publishers WeeklyTranslation Database lists no translation of works of fiction from the Vietnamese being published in the US in 2019.
Indeed, the most recent is from ... 2014 (Nguyen Nhat Anh's Ticket to Childhood).
They've announced the winner of the 2019 Prix Mémorable -- a French prize for a work by an author translated into French for the first time, or a resurrected work previously published but long-forgotten (previous winners include Emmanuel Bove's My Friends (2016) and John Williams' Stoner (2011)).
This year's winner is another translation from the English, John Wain's 1962 novel Strike the Father Dead; no word yet at the official site, last I checked, but see for example the Livres Hebdo report.
Strike the Father Dead was also reïssued a couple of years ago in both the US and UK; see the Valancourt and Foruli publicity pages, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.