After leading MacLehose Press for thirteen years Christopher MacLehose has stepped down as publisher; see, for example the report in The Bookseller by Katherine Cowdrey.
He's certainly had a good run -- just as he previously had running Harvill; in both positions he has been a leading publisher of fiction in translation.
It'll be interesting to see what he does next.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A Novel of the Hague by Louis Couperus, his 1889 novel Eline Vere.
Yes, this translation came out from Archipelago ten years ago (and from Pushkin Press in the UK), but I've only gotten around to properly reviewing it now -- mainly because I've been meaning to get to Sheila Liming's What a Library Means to a Woman (see the University of Minnesota Press publicity page) and I see that she devotes quite a bit of space to it .....
(But it was definitely worth revisiting anyway.)
As I mentioned two days ago, they've announced the four finalists for the prix Goncourt, the leading French fiction prize, and they had planned on announcing the winner on 10 November.
In the meantime, French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a new lockdown, closing all but essential services (see also, for example, the BBC report, Coronavirus: Macron declares second national lockdown in France).
Among the businesses that are supposed to close up shop: bookstores -- though, as for example Alison Flood reported in The Guardian, French bookshops ask to be treated as essential services during new lockdown.
Now the Académie Goncourt has announced (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) that they will not award their prize as planned if bookstores are closed at the time (as, under the Macron plan, they would be).
Given the importance of the prix Goncourt to book sales -- winning titles rack up huge sales, almost inevitably lifting the winning title to one of the bestselling books of the year in France -- and the fact that consumers would only be able to buy the book online (i.e. most probably at Amazon ...), this is a helpful show of solidarity with bricks and mortar booksellers.
As Livres Hebdo reports, several other major French prizes -- it's book-prize season in France, when many are usually announced -- have also announced delays in their proceedings.
The Prix Fu Lei de la traduction et de l'édition is a prize for the best French works translated into Chinese that they've been awarding since 2009, and they've now announced this year's ten finalists, five each in the essay category (selected from 28 submissions) and the literature category (20 submissions).
Among the literature finalists are translations of Raymond Queneau's Cent mille milliards de poèmes and Éric Vuillard's The Order of the Day.
They've announced the winner of this year's Nordic Council Literature Prize, the leading Scandinavian book prize, and it is Vem dödade bambi ? ('Who killed Bambi ?'), by Monika Fagerholm.
Fagerholm is Finnish, but she is part of the strong Swedish-writing tradition in Finland.
Several of her previous works have been translated into English; two are available from Other Press.
For more information about Vem dödade bambi ? see also the Salomonsson Agency information page.
A surprising number of Nordic Council Literature Prize winners are under review at the complete review.
They've announced the four finalists for this year's prix Goncourt, the leading French novel prize.
Previous work by two of the finalists has already been published in English translation -- works by Hervé Le Tellier (six are under review at the complete review; see, for example, Ebough about Love) and Camille de Toledo (Coming of Age at the End of History), while another book by Maël Renouard is due out from New York Review Books in February -- but Cameroonian author Djaïli Amadou Amal's title sounds like the most intrighuing of the final four.
The winner will be announced 10 November.
Meanwhile, they've also announced the three finalists for this year's Grand Prix de littérature américaine; see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report; the winner will be announced 8 November.
At Esquire Ryan Chapman has a Q & A with the author, What Martin Amis Really Thinks About ... Everyone.
He kind of (really ...) punts when responding to: "Every interview asks about your father, but it seems your late stepmother Elizabeth Jane Howard was also influential in your writing life", but mostly it's all fairly entertaining.
They've announced the sixteen-title strong longlist for this year's Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, selected from 132 eligible entries representing 34 languages.
Only two of the titles are under review at the complete review:
The Eighth Life, by Nino Haratischvili, translated by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin.
This is a UK-based prize, so not all the titles have been published or are readily available in the US; still, I am shocked and disappointed that I have only seen two more of these.
(One of them is the Ditlevsen, which is only due out in the US in January.)
The shortlist will be announced in a few weeks; the winner will be announced on 26 November.
Today is the Austrian National Day -- the 'Nationalfeiertag' --, a national holiday and surely a good opportunity for you to work on your submission for this year's ACFNY Translation Prize.
You have until Saturday -- the 31st -- to get your submission in.
(I am one of the judges this year, and look forward to seeing all the submissions !)
At Deutsche Welle Mathias Bölinger reports that Chinese censors target German publishers.
The pressure is still mostly at the edges, but of course it's not a great sign that stuff like this is happening.
(As far as I can tell, these kinds of attempts at message- and image-control don't really work, especially over the long term; that doesn't make them any less troubling.)
The British Crime Writers' Association has announced (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) the winners of this year's CWA Daggers; see also Ruth Comerford's report in The Bookseller, Robotham and Wood triumph in 2020 CWA Dagger awards.
The Gold Dagger, for the: "best crime novel by an author of any nationality, originally written in English", went to Good Girl, Bad Girl, by Michael Robotham.
The Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger, awarded to: "crime novels (defined by the broadest definition including thrillers, suspense novels and spy fiction) as long as the book was not originally written in English", went to The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre, translated by Stephanie Smee.
It's ... almost the end of October, so of course it's time for best-of-the-year lists .....
The first big one up: Publisher Weekly's -- see their Top 10, as well as their best-of in various categories.
I've only seen one of their top ten titles -- Bluebeard's First Wife, by Ha Seong-nan, from Open Letter -- but I haven't gotten to it yet (it's a story collection ...).
They've announced the winner of this year's International DUBLIN Literary Award, the €100,000 award that is: "the world's largest prize for a single novel published in English", and it is Milkman, by Anna Burns.
Yes, the book that won the 2018 Man Booker Prize.
I haven't seen this one, but see the publicity pages from Graywolf Press and Faber & Faber, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Bookseller has announced the shortlist for this year's Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year, and the public can now vote for the winner through 20 November; the winner will be announced 27 November.
Always good fun.
Martin Amis' Inside Story is now out -- get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- and the reviews and profiles keep coming -- including now Amis taking his turn answering The New York Times Book Review's By the Book-column question.
Among the quotes:
I like fiction that makes me welcome, and I’m quickly exasperated by the freakish, the introverted and above all the compulsively obscure.
For months now I’ve been trying to penetrate the bristling bastion of William Faulkner.
He is like Joyce — all genius and no talent; he just isn’t interested in pushing the narrative forward.
Well, I suppose his readers have enough to do anyway, trying to establish who is who and what (if anything) is going on.
(He has used that genius/no talent line before; see for example this 2012 Bookforuminterview, where he said of Nabokov's great late novel: "I mean Ada or Ardor is all genius and no talent. It's impossible to read, it's like Finnegan's Wake" [sic].
And it's been used elsewhere, back to Henry David Thoreau.)
Also fun to hear:
I used to regard “nonfiction” as a genre, and a minor one, like children’s books; now of course it consumes every spare moment
The prix Femina has announced the finalists in its three categories -- French novel, foreign novel, and non-fiction; see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report.
Most of the six finalists in the foreign novel category are translations from the English -- such as Colson Whitehead's Nickel Boys and a Deborah Levy-duo -- but the one title under review at the complete review is a translation from the Hebrew, Eskhol Nevo's The Last Interview.
The winners will be announced 3 November.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of The Epic of Gĩkũyũ and Mũmbi by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, The Perfect Nine, just out in English, from The New Press in the US and Harvill Secker in the UK.
They've announced the three finalists for this year's Cundill History Prize, US$75,000 prize for a: "book that embodies historical scholarship, originality, literary quality and broad appeal".
The winner will be announced on 3 December.
The New York Review of Books site has launched with a new design; see also the Introducing the new nybooks.com-letter from the editors.
I don't deal particularly well with change -- if it ain't broke, etc. etc. -- but it seems more or less functional.
I do find it rather annoying that the link to the current issue isn't front and center -- you have to scroll down to find it.
And they've replaced the NYR Daily weblog with what they're now calling The Latest; it seems to be the same the thing -- but, also, no immediately obvious link on the main page .....
The best thing about the re-launch, however, is that they've opened up the entire archive: through 3 November you can freely access all the content they have -- some 20,000 articles !
Honestly, I'm tempted to spend the next two weeks doing nothing else but working my way through all this .....
Take advantage while you can !