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12 November 2019 - Tuesday

International DUBLIN Literary Award longlist
How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired review

       International DUBLIN Literary Award longlist

       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:        The shortlist will be announced 2 April, and the winner on 10 June.

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



       How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Dany Laferrière's 1985 debut, How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired.

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



11 November 2019 - Monday

Swiss Book Prize | The Mutations review

       Swiss Book Prize

       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.

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



       The Mutations review

       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 .....

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



10 November 2019 - Sunday

Classical translation journal | Prix Médicis
Prix du meilleur livre étranger shortlists

       Classical translation journal

       At the Society for Classical Studies weblog Adrienne K.H. Rose wonders Can a New Journal Modify the Way We Teach and Understand Classical Translations ? as she is involved in forming; "a new journal focused inclusively on publishing Classical translators [...] an online journal devoted to literary translations of ancient texts".
       Sounds promising, and I look forward to seeing this.

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



       Prix Médicis

       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.

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



       Prix du meilleur livre étranger shortlists

       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.

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



9 November 2019 - Saturday

(American) National Translation Awards
Irrawaddy Literary Festival | UWA Publishing

       (American) National Translation Awards

       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.)

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



       Irrawaddy Literary Festival

       The Burmese Irrawaddy Literary Festival opens today and runs through Monday; see also the preview-article by Zon Pann Pwint in the Myanmar Times, Irrawaddy Literary Festival returns to Mandalay.

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



       UWA Publishing

       UWA Publishing -- University of Western Australia Publishing, a leading Australian university press with an impressive list of publications, including fiction -- is apparently going to be shuttered by the university, after 85 years of operation. This is very disappointing news.
       See Stephanie Convery's report in The Guardian, University of Western Australia's decision to close publishing house sparks outrage, and Emma Young's report in the Sydney Morning Herald, 'We will fight': Writers aghast as university signals closure of UWA Publishing.

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



8 November 2019 - Friday

Handke's passport | Books of the year list | Palpasa Café review

       Handke's passport

       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.

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       Books of the year list

       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.

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



       Palpasa Café review

       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.

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



7 November 2019 - Thursday

Nabokov on Apostrophes | Knausgaard at Frankfurt
Stephen Dixon (1936-2019) | DSC Prize shortlist
Writing in ... South Korea

       Nabokov on Apostrophes

       In this week's Times Literary Supplement they print the transcript of Vladimir Nabokov's 1975 appearance on Bernard Pivot's classic series, Apostrophes, in Melting with tenderness.

       This comes, of course, as the grand collection of Nabokov's 'Uncollected Essays, Reviews, Interviews, and Letters to the Editor', Think, Write, Speak, is about to appear -- a volume I am very excited about. (A previous volume of Conversations with Vladimir Nabokov is already under review at the complete review.)
       See also the publicity pages from Alfred A. Knopf and Penguin Classics, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Knausgaard at Frankfurt

       My Struggle-author Karl Ove Knausgaard delivered the opening speech at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, and The New Yorker's Page-Turner now has an adapted version of it, The Slowness of Literature and the Shadow of Knowledge.

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



       Stephen Dixon (1936-2019)

       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.

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



       DSC Prize shortlist

       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.

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



       Writing in ... South Korea

       In The Korea Times Anna J. Park looks at (South) Korean literature, and also its success abroad, in Recent trend in Korean literature.

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



6 November 2019 - Wednesday

Another '100 Novels' list | Ernest J. Gaines (1933-2019)
Edwin Frank Q & A | Prix Femina

       Another '100 Novels' list

       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:        I'm not sure how high a priority the 'genre-busting'-mandate was in the selection process; that seems like a ... complicated bar.

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



       Ernest J. Gaines (1933-2019)

       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.

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



       Edwin Frank Q & A

       Another Q & A with the founder and editorial director of the now twenty-year-old New York Review Classics-series, here by Rachel Cooke in The Observer, Edwin Frank: 'The best art is often powerfully irrelevant'.
       Obviously, I'm a huge fan of what they do -- and quite a few NYRB Classics titles are under review at the complete review .....

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



       Prix Femina

       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).

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



5 November 2019 - Tuesday

Prix Goncourt | Prix Renaudot | Ernst Augustin (1927-2019)
Österreichischer Buchpreis | Vernon Subutex 1 review

       Prix Goncourt

       They've announced the winner of this year's prix Goncourt, the leading French novel prize, as Tous les hommes n'habitent pas le monde de la même façon, by Jean-Paul Dubois, beat out Amélie Nothomb's Soif six votes to four in the second round of voting; see also The New York Times report Jean-Paul Dubois Wins Goncourt Prize With Melancholy Prison Novel by Annalisa Quinn and the AFP report, France's top literary prize goes to novel about prisoner having imaginary conversations with the dead, here at The Local.fr.

       Dubois' Vie Française (UK title: A French Life) has been published in English; presumably this one will be too.

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



       Prix Renaudot

       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.

       Several Tesson works are out in English -- including Berezina, out from Europa Editions today; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Ernst Augustin (1927-2019)

       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) ?

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



       Österreichischer Buchpreis

       They've announced the winner of this year's Austrian Book Prize, and it is Als ich jung war, by Norbert Gstrein; see also, for example, the Hanser foreign rights page.

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



       Vernon Subutex 1 review

       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.

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



4 November 2019 - Monday

Europese Literatuurprijs | Chinese online fiction as 'soft power'

       Europese Literatuurprijs

       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.

       See also the Hanser foreign rights page, or the information page at new Books in German; it will be coming out in English, with Macmillan having US/UK rights.

       Two earlier Geiger titles are under review at the complete review:
(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



       Chinese online fiction as 'soft power'

       In the South China Morning Post Simone McCarthy looks at How a new generation of online storytellers is helping to spread the word about Chinese culture.
       An interesting observation that:
This officially sanctioned push involves the global spread of state media news bureaus and the use of Confucius Institutes to teach language and culture.

However, unlike big-budget television programmes or feature films that major production companies hope to export, the fiction writers face a lesser degree of pressure from the censors.

And that just may be why they are successful.

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



3 November 2019 - Sunday

JCB Prize for Literature | 'Favorite Japanese books of the decade'
Q & As: Havel v Americe - Márton László

       JCB Prize for Literature

       They've announced the winner of this year's JCB Prize for Literature, a leading Indian fiction prize, and it is The Far Field, by Madhuri Vijay -- not yet at the official site, last I checked, but see, for example, the PTI report, here in The Hindu.
       See also the publicity pages at HarperCollins India and Grove Press, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       'Favorite Japanese books of the decade'

       The Japan Times has Our critics' favorite Japanese books of the decade -- a decidedly mixed bag that also stretches the idea of 'Japanese'.

       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).

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



       Q & A: Havel v Americe

       At Radio Prague International Ian Willoughby has a Q & A with Rosamund Johnston and Lenka Kabrhelová about their new Q & A-based book, Havel v Americe, in Humility and “rock star” appeal – how Václav Havel won over the US.

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



       Q & A: Márton László

       At hlo they have a Q & A with author Márton László in their 'The State of Things'-series, László Márton: Intellectuals ? Come on. Where are they these days ?
       (For more about Márton, see the Publishing Hungary author page.)

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



2 November 2019 - Saturday

Murakami profile | Publishing in ... Korea
Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River review

       Murakami profile

       At nippon.com they profile Murakami Haruki: Breaking New Frontiers for Japanese Literature, with a focus on the prizes he's won -- and especially the one he hasn't.
       They note:
“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.”

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



       Publishing in ... Korea

       In The Korea Times Kwon Mee-yoo reports that Exhibition looks into modern publishing history -- the Samseong Museum of Publishing's exhibit on Publishing a Book -- 100 Years of Modern Publishing in Korea, which runs through 10 December.

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



       Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jung Young Moon's Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River, just about out from Deep Vellum.

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



1 November 2019 - Friday

Grand prix de l'Académie française | Diagram Prize finalists
Orhan Pamuk profile | Literaturpreis Alpha

       Grand prix de l'Académie française

       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 Monde report 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.

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



       Diagram Prize finalists

       They've announced the finalists for this year's Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year -- not yet at organizer The Bookseller, last I checked [[updated]: here's the official story, along with the online poll where you can vote for your preferred choice], but see, for example, Alison Flood's report in The Guardian, Ending the War on Artisan Cheese begins battle for Oddest book title prize.
       The winner will be announced 29 November.

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



       Orhan Pamuk profile

       In The National Alexandra Chaves reports on Orhan Pamuk's appearance at the Sharjah International Book Fair, in 'I do not regret any of my books': Orhan Pamuk reveals his creative process at the Sharjah International Book Fair.

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



       Literaturpreis Alpha

       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.

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



31 October 2019 - Thursday

Nordic Council Literature Prize | McGrath on Updike and Roth

       Nordic Council Literature Prize

       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.

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



       McGrath on Updike and Roth

       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.

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



30 October 2019 - Wednesday

Governor General's Literary Awards | Prix Renaudot finalists
Ismat Chughtai | Life for Sale review

       Governor General's Literary Awards

       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.

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



       Prix Renaudot finalists

       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.

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



       Ismat Chughtai

       At The Wire Raza Naeem writes on Remembering Ismat Chughtai, Urdu's Wicked Woman.
       Her The Crooked Line, in Tahira Naqvi's translation, has repeatedly been re-issued; see the publicity pages from The Feminist Press and Speaking Tiger, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Life for Sale review

       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.)

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



29 October 2019 - Tuesday

Warwick Prize shortlist | Literature in ... Malta

       Warwick Prize shortlist

       They've announced the six-title strong shortlist for this year's Warwick Prize for Women in Translation.
       Three of the titles are under review at the complete review:        I haven't seen the other three titles.
       The winner will be announced 20 November.

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



       Literature in ... Malta

       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).

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



28 October 2019 - Monday

Prix Goncourt finalists | Daniel Kehlmann profile | 97,196 Words review

       Prix Goncourt finalists

       They've announced the four finalists for the leading French literary prize, the prix Goncourt:
  • Extérieur monde, by Olivier Rolin
  • La part du fils, by Jean-Luc Coatalem
  • Soif, by Amélie Nothomb
  • 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.

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



       Daniel Kehlmann profile

       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.

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



       97,196 Words review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Emmanuel Carrère's non-fiction collection, 97,196 Words.

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



27 October 2019 - Sunday

Bookselling in ... Tokyo | Taiwan Literature Awards | De Sade's Valet review

       Bookselling in ... Tokyo

       In The Japan Times Manami Okazaki reports that Tokyo's Jimbocho neighborhood won't close the chapter on books -- a nice little overview of this neighborhood where: "More than 150 mostly secondhand bookstores lie in close proximity to Jimbocho Station".
       It's not all good news:
While almost 22,300 bookstores were in operation nationwide in 1999, according to the Japan Writer's Sales Promotion Center, this figure had dwindled to 12,526 by the middle of 2017.
       And:
“Many universities have no budget and so they no longer buy books,” Sakai says. “Computer schools might have money but they can find information on the internet.”

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



       Taiwan Literature Awards

       They've announced the winners of this year's Taiwan Literature Awards, with 野豬渡河 ('Wild Boars Cross the River') by Zhang Guixing winning the top award; see also the Taiwan News report by Lyla Liu, Chang Guei-sing unveiled as Taiwan Literature Award winner.
       Zhang's My South Seas Sleeping Beauty came out a few years ago from Columbia University Press; for more information about 'Wild Boars Cross the River' see the Books from Taiwan information page.

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



       De Sade's Valet review

       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.

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



26 October 2019 - Saturday

PW's best of the year | Saltire Literary Awards shortlists
Irish Book Awards shortlists
Grand prix de littérature américaine finalists

       PW's best of the year

       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.

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



       Saltire Literary Awards shortlists

       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.

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



       Irish Book Awards shortlists

       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.

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



       Grand prix de littérature américaine finalists

       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.

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



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