They've announced the longlist for next year's International DUBLIN Literary Award -- 156 books nominated by libraries from across (much of) the world.
Just under a third of the novels -- 50 -- are works in translation, originally written in 21 different languages
Only fourteen of the nominated titles are under review at the complete review:
They've announced the winner of this year's Schweizer Buchpreis, the leading Swiss (German-language) book prize, and it is GRM, by Sibylle Berg; see also the Kiepenheuer & Witsch foreign rights page (US/UK rights apparently still available ...) or Romy Fursland on Sibylle Berg: A Vehement Voice.
As I've mentioned before, I am intrigued by this title -- I really should try to have a look at it.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jorge Comensal's The Mutations, just out in English.
This came out from a Mexican publisher in 2016 and has now taken off, with a new Spanish edition and translations in all the major European languages; I have to admit that I don't entirely understand the bandwagon/fuss .....
Still more French prize winners have been announced -- now, it's the winners of this year's prix Médicis; see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report.
Luc Lang's La tentation won the main prize; see the Stock publicity page.
Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir's Ungfrú Ísland won the foreign fiction prize; this is forthcoming from Grove/Black Cat, as Miss Iceland, next summer; pre-order your copy at Amazon.com.
They've announced the shortlists for one of the French foreign literature prizes, the prix du meilleur livre étranger -- seven titles in the fiction category, and a mere two in the 'essai' category; see the Livres Hebdo report.
There's one more round where they announce the finalists -- though it's hard to see how they can winnow down the essai-category any further ... -- on 14 November, and the winners will be announced on the 28th.
The American Literary Translators Association has announced the winners of this year's National Translation Awards, with Karen Emmerich's translation of Ersi Sotiropoulos' What's Left of the Night winning the prose award, and Bill Johnston's translation of Adam Mickiewicz's Pan Tadeusz winning the poetry award.
(I actually have both of these, and do hope to get to them.)
A new twist in the to-do around this year's Nobel laureate, Peter Handke, and his much-criticized expressions, at the time, of sympathy/support for Serbia during the 1990s conflicts in Yugoslavia: it turns out he was issued a Yugoslavian passport in 1999.
At The Intercept Peter Maass reports at length on it, in Why Did Nobel Winner Peter Handke Have a Secret Passport from Milosevic-era Yugoslavia ?
It's unclear that the passport was 'secret' -- and the explanation Handke apparently gave for why he had it (so that he didn't have to pay foreigner-rates at hotels on his trips to Serbia) is ... well, amusing, more than anything else (and actually not implausible -- people like these kinds of money-saving shortcuts/special permits ...).
As Maass notes, it's unclear whether Handke also obtained Yugoslavian citizenship at that time -- "It is not unimaginable that the regime provided Handke with a passport, bypassing the citizenship process, as a reward and encouragement for his vocal support" -- but that actually is the more interesting question, since the Austrians are very strict with their citizenship laws and Handke would have lost his Austrian citizenship if he accepted a foreign one, unless he went through a rather complicated bureaucratic process.
(Many countries do allow dual- and multiple-citizenship -- notably (and rather surprisingly) the US -- but Austrians have to apply for permission to hold dual citizenship before even applying for that second citizenship, much less receiving it.)
Since Sweden is in the Schengen Area, Handke will not have to go through border controls on his way pick up his Nobel Prize next month, whether he travels from France or Austria -- i.e. he won't have to show any passport.
Still, it'll be interesting to see how this bureaucratic curiosity plays out -- and, of course, gives the commentators fun new fodder.
At The Spectator they have the first half of their Books of the year selection chosen by their regular reviewers; these kinds of personal choice-lists tend to be more interesting than the usual collective top-10s, etc.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Narayan Wagle's 2005 novel, Palpasa Café, probably the most significant contemporary Nepali novel.
This is one of a number of works -- others include Babelandia and Saman -- that I included in my The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction but which, when I wrote it, I only had library-access to; it's been nice to collect some of these -- i.e. obtain personal copies -- in the past year or two and revisit them more comfortably and at greater leisure at home.
American author Stephen Dixon has passed away; see, for example, Harrison Smith's obituary in The Washington Post, or Dale Keiger's 2007 piece from Johns Hopkins Magazine when Dixon retired from teaching, Door Opens.
They've announced the six-title strong shortlist for this year's DSC Prize for South Asian Literature; one of the works is a translation, There's Gunpowder in the Air, by Manoranjan Byapari (translated by Arunava Sinha).
The winner will be announced 16 December.
The BBC now present their list of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World -- whereby the 'our' isn't the expansive-collective one but rather the six folks -- "leading writers, curators and critics" (Stig Abell, Mariella Frostrup, Juno Dawson, Kit de Waal, Alexander McCall Smith, and Syima Aslam) -- who were asked: "to choose 100 genre-busting novels that have had an impact on their lives".
This being a UK media-organization, it seems to practically go without saying (though they do slip it in) that the selections are limited to novels written in English (which maybe limits the range ... enormously, no ?).
I've read a few dozen of these, but was initially a bit surprised by how few are under review at the complete review -- but as, presumably, mainly formative books ("had an impact on their lives"), it's not that surprising that I read most of the ones I have read before I started the site (despite that already being twenty years ago ...).
The titles that are under review are:
American author Ernest J. Gaines, probably best-known for his The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, has passed away; see, for example, the notice at the Ernest J. Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana or Neil Genzlinger's obituary in The New York Times.
The French prize-announcements keep rolling in: they've now announced the winners of this year's prix Femina, which has several categories: Par les routes, by Sylvain Prudhomme took the fiction prize (see the Gallimard publicity page), while the essai-category went to the intriguing-sounding Giono, furioso by Emmanuelle Lambert (see the Stock publicity page).
There's also a foreign fiction prize and that went to Ordesa, by Manuel Vilas, which has already enjoyed great success in Spain and will surely be out in English relatively soon.
To top it off, they awarded a 'prix spécial' to Edna O'Brien, for her lifetime's work.
See also the Livres Hebdo report (because, like almost all the French literary prizes, they do not do official websites well).
Shortly after the prix Goncourt they announced the winners of this year's prix Renaudot -- the runner-up most important French novel prize (which also has an 'essai' and a 'poche' award) -- and it went to La panthère des neiges by Sylvain Tesson; see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report.
German author -- and East German-trained psychiatrist, who was a doctor at the Charité in the 1950s -- has passed away; see, for example, Paul Jandl's obituary in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Der Schriftsteller Ernst Augustin ist tot. Er wurde von denen gelesen, die selbst schreiben -- who reminds also of the notorious Gruppe 47 meeting in Princeton in 1966, and the day Augustin made a good impression but was immediately overshadowed by the provocative performance by one Peter Handke ......
Is it really possible that none of his work has been translated into English, not even Der amerikanische Traum (see, for example, the C.H.Beck publicity page) ?
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Virginie Despentes' Vernon Subutex 1, the first in her acclaimed trilogy.
This 2015 novel was already published in the UK in 2017 -- but only now is it coming to the US.
It'll be good to see the complete trilogy -- but even the UK edition of volume three is only due out next year.
They've announced that this year's Europese Literatuurprijs -- for the best novel translated into Dutch from the language of a country that belongs to the Council of Europe -- goes to Unter der Drachnewand by Arno Geiger.
Two of these titles are under review at the complete review -- Ms Ice Sandwich by Kawakami Mieko and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell -- and I do agree with Iain Maloney's assessment that Furukawa Hideo is: "Japan's least-boring hope for a Nobel Prize in literature" (and that he is a genuine contender, or will be in coming years);
two of his books are under review at the complete review: Slow Boat and Horses, Horses, in the End the Light Remains Pure (though I haven't gotten around to posting a review of Belka, Why Don't You Bark ? yet).
“Translation strategy has played a part in Murakami’s international acclaim,” says Associate Professor Kōno Shion of Sophia University.
“His first English translator, Alfred Birnbaum, grabbed the attention of readers by bringing the pop image to the fore.
Then, the translations of Jay Rubin, as a Japanese literary researcher, faithfully conveyed the meaning of the original text, helping to foster wider appreciation for Murakami’s writing style.
Like Kawabata and Ōe, Murakami has been blessed with excellent translators.
And he has always had translation in mind while writing and in his forming of a tight network with his agent and editors in the English-speaking world.”
The Académie française has announced the winner of this year's Grand prix du roman -- and it is Civilizations, by Laurent Binet; see also the Le Mondereport and the Grasset publicity page.
It sounds fun: an alternate history in which, rather than Columbus 'discovering' America the Incas invade Europe; no doubt, it will appear in English fairly soon.
I wasn't a huge fan of his earlier HHhH and The Seventh Function of Language, but I do look forward to seeing this one.
They've announced the winner of this year's Literaturpreis Alpha, the Austrian literary prize for a (relative) newcomer, and it is Vater unser, Angela Lehner debut novel; see also the Hanser foreign rights page.
They've announced that this year's Nordic Council Literature Prize, the leading Scandinavian literary prize, goes to the story-collection Efter Solen, by Danish author Jonas Eika; the work was chosen from thirteen finalists selected from eight Nordic territories/languages; see also the Basilisk publicity page.
The Nordic Council Literature Prize has a very impressive track record -- with nine previous winners under review at the complete review.
In the autumn issue of the Hudson Review Charles McGrath -- who ran The New York Times Book Review a while back -- finds he has: "trouble thinking about one without thinking of the other, and so that's what I propose to do now -- to think about Philip Roth while also thinking about John Updike"; the result is the fairly interesting piece on Roth/Updike; certainly worth a look.
Among his observations:
(T)hey were American writers of a very particular sort—it’s what they most had in common.
They both practiced a very American kind of realism—sharing an almost religious faith in the importance of facts and details for their own sake.
Both writers had a passion for exactitude, for getting things right.
There's no Updike under review at the complete review -- I read most of his work before I started the site -- but his reviews in The New Yorker (and then the fat collections of them) certainly were very important for me; surprisingly, among his fiction, it's probably some of the short stories that made the most lasting impression (which says a lot for someone who is as novel-obsessed (and short-story-avoiding-if-I-can-help-it) as I am).
There's a decent amount of Roth under review at the site; mostly the later stuff, with The Plot Against America the obvious stand-out.
They're hardly the first authors I'd turn back to -- but certainly also not authors I'd turn away from (beyond a few real duds among their vast outputs); lots here that's problematic, but certainly enough that's worthwhile, and I'll certainly continue to keep them on my shelves.
They've announced the winners of this year's (Canadian) Governor General's Literary Awards -- winners in seven categories, twice over, once in English and once in French.
The English-language fiction winner was Five Wives by Joan Thomas, the French Le drap blanc by Céline Huyghebaert.
They've announced the finalists for the prix Renaudot -- the number two French literary prize, after the Goncourt, which, knowing its place, is announced minutes after the big Goncourt announcement (on 4 November); there are five fiction finalists and three in the 'essai'-category; see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Mishima Yukio's Life for Sale.
This came out in the UK a few months ago, but is only coming out in the US next April.
It is one of the many, many, many pulpier Mishima-works previously unavailable in English; presumably it rose to the top of that heap because it's been getting more attention in Japan recently, with a TV mini-series and a stage version.
Here's hoping it's successful, prodding publishers to translate more .....
(The Mishima estate is represented by the Wylie Agency, so don't hold your breath; they tend to ... bide their time.)
The Malta Book Festival will run 6 to 10 November; among the events is one on the work of National Book Prize Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Lillian Sciberras, and in the Times of Malta Ramona Depares has a Q & A with The doyenne of Maltese literature.
Her Shadows In Penumbra came out in English translation in 2016 but is the rare not-even-available-on-Amazon title -- but you can get your copy at the maltaonlinebookshop.com; it sounds pretty intriguing -- see reviews in the Malta Independent (by Vincent Vella) and the Times of Malta (Paul Xuereb).
Tous les hommes n'habitent pas le monde de la même façon, by Jean-Paul Dubois
See also the Livres Hebdo report.
Other titles by three of the four finalist-authors are under review at the complete review: twenty-four by Nothomb; Hotel Crystal and Paper Tiger by Rolin; and Vie Française (UK title: A French Life) by Dubois -- and Coatalem's backlist looks pretty fun as well.
Soif is a final-hours-of-Jesus novel, so that sounds ... interesting; I'm looking forward to eventually seeing it -- and figure this is pretty likely to be translated, whether it wins the prize or not.
The winner will be announced 4 November.
Daniel Kehlmann's Tyll is only due out in English in February, but the publicity engine is already at work, as J.W.McCormack writes about how Daniel Kehlmann Forays Into Folklore with 'Tyll' -- which, he suggests, is: "almost certainly Kehlmann's magnum opus" in this fairly extensive career-overview.
I recently finally got my copy of the novel and should be covering it soon.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Nikolaj Frobenius' De Sade's Valet.
This 1996 novel came out in English in 2000, from Marion Boyars, and was translated into many other languages; the early international success -- and the fact that it wasn't that successful, at least in the US/UK -- seems to have been a mixed blessing; given Frobenius' talents, more of his books should be available in English, but Dark Branches, from Sandstone Press, seems to be the only other one to date.
I'm always curious about de Sade-related titles -- but of course what I'm really looking forward to seeing is Contra Mundum's forthcoming three-volume Aline and Valcour; see their publicity page.
It's October, so apparently it's time for the best-of-2019 lists, with Publishers Weekly starting things off with their Publishers Weekly Best Books 2019.
One of their top 10 is actually under review at the complete review: From the Shadows, by Juan José Millás; there's also one from their best-fiction list, the just-reviewed The Factory, by Oyamada Hiroko.
And I should be getting to a few more of these.
They've announced the shortlists for this year's Saltire Literary Awards -- 'Scotland's National Book Awards'.
(The headline still says '2018', last I checked, but these are this year's shortlists.)
The winners will be announced 30 November.
They've announced the shortlists for this year's Irish Book Awards, in its many categories -- which, it's good to see, also include the Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year.
The winners will be announced 20 November.
If you trust the French to pick the best American fiction, then the Grand prix de littérature américaine is for you -- and they've now decided on their three finalists: Valeria Luiselli's Lost Children Archive, Tommy Orange's There There, and Kevin Powers' A Shout in the Ruins; see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report.
The winner will be announced 8 November.