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opinionated commentary on literary matters - from the complete review


28 September 2022 - Wednesday

Wilhelm Raabe-Literaturpreis
Shortlists: Royal Society Science Book Prize - Scotiabank Giller Prize
The Famous Magician review

       Wilhelm Raabe-Literaturpreis

       They've announced the winner of this year's Wilhelm Raabe Literary Prize -- though not yet at the official site, last I checked ... -- and it is Trottel by Jan Faktor; see, for example, the Börsenblatt report.
       Paying out €30,000, this prize actually pays out more than the German Book Prize -- for which this novel has also been shortlisted. Will it do the double ?
       See also the Kiepenheuer & Witsch foreign rights page for Trottel.

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



       Shortlist: Royal Society Science Book Prize

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Royal Society Science Book Prize, with six titles left in the running
       The winner will be announced 29 November.

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



       Shortlist: Scotiabank Giller Prize

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Scotiabank Giller Prize, with five titles left in the running -- two story collections and three novels.
       The winner will be announced 7 November.

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



       The Famous Magician review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of César Aira's The Famous Magician, another volume in New Directions' new Storybook ND-series (and the eleventh Aira under review at the site).

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



27 September 2022 - Tuesday

Prix Jean-Monnet | Publishing in ... Canada

       Prix Jean-Monnet

       They've announced the winner of this year's prix Jean-Monnet de littérature européenne, and it is the French translation of Jón Kalman Stefánsson's Fjarvera þín er myrkur; see, for example, the report at ActuaLitté; see also the Forlagið publicity page for the book.
       This prize, awarded since 1995 (Antonio Tabucchi's Pereira Declares !). has a pretty good record of winners.

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



       Publishing in ... Canada

       At Publishers Weekly Ed Nawotka looks at Publishing in Canada 2022: Canadian Publishing Adapts to New Challenges.
       Among the interesting numbers: "starting in 2020, online book sales eclipsed sales in physical bookstores. Online now accounts for 55% of overall book sales, while sales in physical stores represent 45%", and:
“Prepandemic, there were 8,000 new ISBNs issued each month,” says Noah Genner, CEO of BookNet. “Now that number is down to 6,000 to 7,000.”

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



26 September 2022 - Monday

Writing and motherhood | Translation in ... India | Island of Bewilderment review

       Writing and motherhood

       An interesting piece -- with lots of data ! -- at Slate by Karen Bourrier and John Brosz finding that Women Writers Have Had Plenty of Babies. Here’s the Data.

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



       Translation in ... India

       In the Financial Express Shubhangi Shah looks at How the rise in translations have helped in bridging language barrier in India.

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



       Island of Bewilderment review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A Novel of Modern Iran by Simin Daneshvar, Island of Bewilderment -- a 1993 work now out in English, from Syracuse University Press.

       Best-known for her novel Savushun (also translated as A Persian Requiem -- which I really should get to ... --, it's great to see another novel by Daneshvar available in translation.

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



25 September 2022 - Sunday

Book World is back | William Boyd: Q & A | Cypriot translation

       Book World is back

       The Washington Post's standalone Book World-section is back, with new books editor John Williams now Reintroducing Book World.
       A stress on politics is understandable; as to the plan to: "delve more often into the lives and minds of writers" ... well, my book-coverage preference is always a focus on the books rather than on writers, but I understand why it's popular .....
       Meanwhile, one of the section's old editors also weighs in, as Michael Dirda offers: Book World began on Watergate's heels: A look back at the early days.

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



       William Boyd: Q & A

       Any Human Heart-author William Boyd has a new book coming out -- The Romantic -- and at The Guardian Anthony Cummins has a Q & A with the author, William Boyd: ‘The books world is much tougher now’.
       Interesting (and troubling) to hear how times have changed:
How has the writing life changed since you began publishing ?

The 1980s was a kind of boom period but the challenge for a literary novelist now is to just keep the show on the road. It used to be you could write a novel every couple of years or so and have a perfectly nice bourgeois life. Now the mid-list has gone. The brutal fact is you either sell or you don’t. Friends of mine who’ve written 12 novels can’t get published or their advances have dropped by 80%. It’s a much tougher world.
       As to Stendhal, I' m not so sure that he: "isn’t read so much in English nowadays", as Cummins has it -- recall also, that there's a new translation of Red and Black, by Raymond N. MacKenzie, just out from the University of Minnesota Press; see their publicity page.

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



       Cypriot translation

       In the Cyprus Mail Sarah Ktisti reports that Scheme launched to translate literary works to boost understanding between Cypriot communities.
       Grants will be provided for: "the translation of works by renowned Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot writers from Greek into Turkish and from Turkish into Greek", which sounds like a great idea. Of course, it would be nice to see translations of some of these works into English as well ......

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



24 September 2022 - Saturday

Hilary Mantel (1952-2022)
Q & As: Yiyun Li | Boubacar Boris Diop

       Hilary Mantel (1952-2022)

       As widely noted, two-time Booker Prize-winning author Hilary Mantel has passed away; see, for example, the obituary by Lisa Allardice in The Guardian, or tributes by a variety of "leading contemporaries", also in The Guardian.
       Half a dozen of her works are under review at the complete review, but I haven't reviewed anything of hers (or updated the existing reviews, sigh) in well over a decade -- i.e. once she hit it so big.

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       Q & A: Yiyun Li

       At Bomb Sarah Rose Etter has a Q & A with Yiyun Li, who has a new novel out, The Book of Goose.

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



       Q & A: Boubacar Boris Diop

       At Public Books Sarah Quesada and Aarthi Vadde speak with The Knight and His Shadow-uathor Boubacar Boris Diop, in a Q & A which you can either listen to or read (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) .
       Especially interesting: his turning from writing in French to writing in Wolof:
When you write in French, you write -- that's what I discovered when I started writing in Wolof, you write your language you never hear in your daily life. To put it the way I can say, when I start writing in French, I shut the door, I shut the window, and I tell the words of my people, you are not welcome. Don't enter, I don't need you. So that's why, and now, now, wherever you go in Senegal, people, they speak Wolof. So the difference is that when I arrive in France, I don't hear the words I’m writing. When I write in Wolof, I hear everything, every word.
       He also notes that: "It's very, very difficult to translate from Wolof to French, and the other way round from French to Wolof". English, too, I bet.

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



23 September 2022 - Friday

Europese Literatuurprijs
FT Business Book Award shortlist | Cundill History Prize shortlist
Baillie Gifford Prize longlist | Sarah Maguire Prize shortlist

       Europese Literatuurprijs

       They've announced the winner of this year's Europese Literatuurprijs, a prize for the best European novel translated into Dutch, and it is Agustín Fernández Mallo's Nocilla-trilogy.
       The first two titles in the trilogy are under review at the complete review: Nocilla Dream and Nocilla Experience (I haven't seen the third volume ...).

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



       FT Business Book Award shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award, with six books left in the running.
       The winner will be announced on 5 December.

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



       Cundill History Prize shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Cundill History Prize, "the world's leading history prize", with eight titles left in the running.
       The finalists will be announced 20 October, and the winner 1 December.

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



       Baillie Gifford Prize longlist

       They've announced the longlist for this year's Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, "the most prestigious non-fiction prize in the UK".
       I've only seen one of these twelve titles (and haven't reviewed it yet); the selection was made from 362 books.
       The shortlist will be announced 10 October, and the winner on 17 November.

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



       Sarah Maguire Prize shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Sarah Maguire Prize for Poetry in Translation, a biennial prize for: "the best book of poetry by a living poet from Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East published in English translation", with the £3,000 prize money to be shared between the author and the translator(s).
       I haven't seen any of these six -- though I very much hope to see The River in the Belly by Fiston Mwanza Mujila -- but it looks like a very interesting list.
       The winner will be announced 1 November.

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



22 September 2022 - Thursday

Nobel Prize in Literature betting | PEN Presents shortlist
WIT Festival | Prix Sade finalists

       Nobel Prize in Literature betting

       The 2022 Nobel Prize in Litrature will be announced on 6 October -- and betting odds are now up at Ladbrokes.
       They posted odds, but this is surely not how even only semi-literate bettors would rate the contenders (beyond sentimental favorite (but unlikely choice) Salman Rushdie (8/1)). Stephen King is tied for third, at 10/1 (sorry, it ain't going to happen), and eight authors have odds of 12/1 or better -- tilting this exercise ridiculously way in the house's favor. (Given that we don't even know whether some of these authors have been nominated -- and only five or so remain in the final running -- odds in general should be much higher.) Oh, and Michel Houellebecq is the favorite, at 7/1.
       Uneven diacritical marking -- well done with Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o, Hélène Cixous, and Dubravka Ugrešić; couldn't be bothered with 'Mircea Cartarescu', 'Maryse Conde', or 'Ivan Vladislavic' --, ineligible authors (Javier Marías: he dead), and simple carelessness ('Both Strauss') suggest just how (un)serious(ly) they take the whole thing, but, hey, it attracts attention and the eyeballs/clicks (and presumably more than just occasional betting-dollars).

       (As to more serious discussion, the World Literature Forum is valiantly doing its part -- 1418 posts in their Nobel Prize in Literature 2022 Speculation-thread as I write this --, and there's a bit of action at The Mookse and the Gripes discussion board on their 2022 Nobel Prize-thread (101 posts, at this time), but I have to admit I haven't been paying much attention.
       Most of my personal favorites are much the same as in previous years, with no new(er) authors breaking through for a while now, so I don't have much to add. But maybe I will as the announcement approaches ?)

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



       PEN Presents shortlist

       English PEN has announced the shortlist for its new PEN Presents award, a dozen translations from seven Indian languages
       Now:
Six samples will be chosen from the shortlist by the PEN Presents Selection Panel -- seven experts from across the UK and Indian literary sectors -- to be showcased in an issue on the PEN Presents platform, an online catalogue of the most outstanding, original, and bibliodiverse literature not yet published in English translation. They will be given editorial support from English PEN and promoted to UK publishers.
       So no guarantees yet, but there's a good chance we'll be seeing some of these published in full in translation.

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



       WIT Festival

       The inaugural WIT: Words, Ideas, and Thinkers Festival, hosted by the Authors Guild, runs today through Sunday in Lenox, Massachusetts; the theme is: 'Reimagining America', and there are quite a few promising-sounding sessions.

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



       Prix Sade finalists

       They've apparently announced the finalists for the prix Sade -- with the winner to be announced 1 October -- and ... there seem to be a lot more books in the running now (18) than on the first longlist (11); compare the reports at Livres Hebdo for the longlist and the finalists.
       Either way/list, certainly some titles of interest.

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



21 September 2022 - Wednesday

Deutscher Buchpreis shortlist | Yagi Emi Q & A | Fitzcarraldo classics list

       Deutscher Buchpreis shortlist

       They've announced the six-title shortlist for this year's German Book Prize, the leading German novel prize; see also Christine Lehnen's report at Deutsche Welle.
       I might try to have a look at some of these before the winner is announced -- maybe Spitzweg.
       The winner will be announced 17 October.

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



       Yagi Emi Q & A

       At Electric Lit J.R.Ramakrishnan has a Q & A with the Diary of a Void-author, in My Work-Life Balance Improved Dramatically With My Fake Pregnancy.
       Yagi also describes the novel she is currently working on:
I’m writing about a woman who has a part-time job talking to a statue of Venus. I have no idea what’s going to happen at this point, but I’m looking forward to finding out !
       Which seems like an ... interesting way of going about it.

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



       Fitzcarraldo classics list

       In The Bookseller Ruth Comerford previews a new classics list from publisher Fitzcarraldo Editions that certainly sounds promising, in Fitzcarraldo kicks off new classics list with de Andrade 'modernist masterpiece'.
       Neat to hear that:
Other acquisitions include two novels by Witold Gombrowicz, including Possessed, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones directly into English for the first time, and with a foreword by Olga Tokarczuk; The Book Against Death by Elias Canetti, translated by Peter Filkins; and Lili is Crying and Twenty Minutes of Silence by Hélène Bessette, translated by Kate Briggs.
       Sounds good.

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



20 September 2022 - Tuesday

Imperial poetry | Translation hurdles | Eine Liebe in Pjöngjang review

       Imperial poetry

       Kyodo News reports that Poems by Emperor Meiji now in English after over 30 yrs of work.
       The book is Bridge on the Shikishima Way, a selection of 100 poems by the emperor, "who, during his lifetime, composed around 100,000 poems". So I guess we shouldn't be expecting a translation of the collected works anytime soon .....
       See also the Chuo Koron Shinsha publicity page for the book.

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



       Translation hurdles

       In the Los Angeles Review of Books Lily Meyer writes about the difficulties of Breaking into English.

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



       Eine Liebe in Pjöngjang review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Andreas Stichmann's Eine Liebe in Pjöngjang.

       This is one of the twenty titles longlisted for this year's German Book Prize -- the shortlist for which will be announced ... today.

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



19 September 2022 - Monday

Wilhelm Raabe-Literaturpreis shortlist | The Enigma of Room 622 review

       Wilhelm Raabe-Literaturpreis shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Wilhelm Raabe Literary Prize.
       Paying out €.30,000 to the winner, this German fiction prize is actually bigger than the German Book Prize (which pays out €.25,000 to its winner).
       Only one of the four shortlisted titles has also been longlisted for this year's German Book Prize -- Jan Faktor's Trottel.
       The winner will be announced 6 November.

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



       The Enigma of Room 622 review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Joël Dicker's international bestseller, The Enigma of Room 622, now also out in English.

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



18 September 2022 - Sunday

Q & As: Shehan Karunatilaka - Geetanjali Shree

       Q & A: Shehan Karunatilaka

       In The Hindu Stanley Carvalho has a Q & A with the author, in Sri Lanka is cursed but its storytellers are blessed: Shehan Karunatilaka, author of Booker-shortlisted The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida.
       Among other things, he also describes how The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida differs from the earlier version published in India as Chats with the Dead:
The book was revised for an international audience during the pandemic. So that the details of Sri Lanka in 1989 and the complexity of the afterlife wouldn’t confuse. It’s the same book, though Moons is more accessible to an audience unfamiliar with Sri Lankan politics and folklore.
       See also my review of The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida.

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



       Q & A: Geetanjali Shree

       In the Business Standard Sandeep Kumar has a Q & A with the author, in Future of Hindi literature set to prosper: Booker winner Geetanjali Shree.
       Among her responses:
You have been writing for more than three decades. Can a Hindi writer make a living only by writing ? Are writers financially better off today ?

My plain answer is ‘No’. I cannot detect any improvement in the financial condition of Hindi writers. The same is more or less true for writers in other Indian languages.
       See also my reviews of her Tomb of Sand and The Empty Space.

       (Updated - 19 September): See now also Rohan Datta's Q & A with the translator of the International Booker-winning novel at My Kolkata, Trust and a sense of shared purpose behind success: Daisy Rockwell on ‘Tomb of Sand’.

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



17 September 2022 - Saturday

(American) National Book Award for Fiction longlist
Ian McEwan Q & A | Metropolitan Books

       (American) National Book Award for Fiction longlist

       The (American) National Book Foundation has announced the longlist for this year's National Book Award for Fiction, ten titles selected from 463 (regrettably not revealed ...) titles.
       I have not seen any of these.
       The shortlists in all the National Book Award categories will be announced 4 October, and the winners on 16 November.

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



       Ian McEwan Q & A

       Ian McEwan answers readers' question in The Guardian, in Ian McEwan: ‘The perfect novella is always just out of my reach’.

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



       Metropolitan Books

       At Publishers Weekly Jim Milliot reports that Henry Holt Lays Off Metropolitan Books Staff.
       Founded in 1997, and run by Sara Bershtel since 2008, the imprint has had a very solid list; it's a shame it is being closed down.

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



16 September 2022 - Friday

Österreichischer Buchpreis longlist
Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize finalists
More National Book Award longlists

       Österreichischer Buchpreis longlist

       I'm a bit late with this one, but they've announced the ten titles for this year's Austrian Book Prize -- with two of the ten titles also on the longlist for the German Book Prize, the novels by Anna Kim and Reinhard Kaiser-Mühlecker.
       The finalists were selected from 110 submissions.
       The shortlist will be announced 10 October, and the winner on 24 November.

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



       Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize finalists

       The generous -- C$60,000 -- Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize has announced its five finalists -- which include two translations.
       The winner will be announced 2 November.

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



       More National Book Award longlists

       The (American) National Book Foundation has announced two more longlists, in the Nonfiction and Poetry categories, with ten titles each.
       The shortlists will be announced 4 October, and the winners on 16 November.

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



15 September 2022 - Thursday

(American) National Book Award for Translated Literature longlist
Siddhartha at 100 | The Bad Angel Brothers review

       (American) National Book Award for Translated Literature longlist

       The (American) National Book Foundation has announced the ten-title strong longlist for this year's National Book Award for Translated Literature:
  • The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft
  • The Employees by Olga Ravn, translated by Martin Aitken
  • Ibn Arabi’s Small Death by Mohammed Hasan Alwan, translated by William M. Hutchins
  • Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda, translated by Sarah Booker
  • Kibogo by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated by Mark Polizzotti
  • A New Name: Septology VI-VII by Jon Fosse, translated by Damion Searls
  • Scattered All Over the Earth by Tawada Yoko, translated by Margaret Mitsutani
  • Seasons of Purgatory by Shahriar Mandanipour, translated by Sara Khalili
  • Seven Empty Houses by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell
  • Where You Come From by Saša Stanišić, translated by Damion Searls
       Damion Searls impressively manages to have two titles longlisted -- translated from different languages, no less.
       The finalists in this and all the categories will be announced 4 October, and the winners on 16 November.

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



       Siddhartha at 100

       At Deutsche Welle Manasi Gopalakrishnan writes on 100 years of Hermann Hesse's 'Siddhartha'

       No doubt, you read it in high school or college, but if you need a new copy you can get it at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       The Bad Angel Brothers review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Paul Theroux's latest novel, The Bad Angel Brothers.

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



14 September 2022 - Wednesday

Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalists | More French prize longlists

       Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalists

       They've announced the finalists for this year's Dayton Literary Peace Prize in its two categories, fiction and non -- not yet at the official site, last I checked, but see, for example, the report at 'The Hub'
       The winners will be announced on 27 September.

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



       More French prize longlists

       The French literary prize season continues apace, with yet more longlist announcements, including now the Medicis and the Femina -- of interest also because in addition to a French-language best novel category they also have one for translated fiction.
       Among the titles making both prizes' longlists: Colm Tóibín's The Magician and Andrey Kurkov's (or Andreï Kourkov's ...) Grey Bees.
       See the reports at Livres Hebdo on the prix Medicis and the prix Femina.

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



13 September 2022 - Tuesday

The novel in ... India | Adam Gopnik on Simenon and Maigret

       The novel in ... India

       In The Print Humra Laeeq finds that: "There’s new enthusiasm among readers and publishers for fact, data, narrative, theory, and experiences. Fiction's time under the Indian sun might just be over" as she wonders: Is the novel dying in India ? Publishers chasing more and more non-fiction.
       Apparently: "The share of non-fiction has gone up 58 per cent in the last few years", while: "The best decade for fiction was the 2000s, says Advaita Kala", as:
There was a “buoyant” space for commercial writers — Chetan Bhagat, a writer previously treated “very shabbily” was catapulted into a commercial cult with the release of Five Point Someone in 2004, which sold over a lakh copies in no time of its launch.

That was the high for Indian fiction. Now it’s mostly for literature aficionados and college students.
       [A brief pause here, as I weep.]

       I'm not sure the situation is so bleak -- I think the surge in interest in fiction in translation from and into Indian languages is very promising.
       And, of course, I remain convinced that fiction is what really matters, and that Indian readers too will eventually see that light .....

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       Adam Gopnik on Simenon and Maigret

       In The New Yorker Adam Gopnik writes on Georges Simenon and The Mysterious Case of Inspector Maigret.
       Interesting that he believes: "The Maigret books, seventy-five in all, seem the likeliest to live" -- rather than: "the romans durs, the “hard books,” often set outside Paris and meant as works of more self-conscious art". Much as I enjoy the Maigrets -- e.g. Maigret Hesitates -- I think there are more standouts among the romans durs -- e.g. The Mahé Circle.
       But it's an interesting look at the author and his work.

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



12 September 2022 - Monday

Javier Marías (1951-2022) | Case Study review

       Javier Marías (1951-2022)

       Spanish author Javier Marías has passed away -- a major loss. We have no way of knowing if he was on the shortlist for this year's soon-to-be-announced Nobel Prize in Literature, but there is little doubt that he was nominated -- and probably has been numerous times previously; he would have been a worthy laureate -- he was that good..

       See for example Spanish literary great Javier Marías dies aged 70 by Javier Rodríguez Marcos at El País, Spanish novelist Javier Marías dies at home in Madrid aged 70 by Sam Jones in The Guardian, links to a whole lot Spanish-language coverage of Marías' death -- and football (soccer) club Real Madrid's official announcement .

       Several works by Javier Marías are under review at the complete review:        Also under review is Gareth J. Wood's very good Javier Marías's Debt to Translation.
       And, yes, I really should get around to posting reviews of the rest of the Your Face Tomorrow-trilogy .....

       Meanwhile, a book I'm very much looking forward to is Michael Hingston's Try Not to Be Strange: The Curious History of the Kingdom of Redonda -- see the Biblioasis publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org or Amazon.co.uk -- as Redonda is one of those places that figure very large in many things Marías.

       (Updated - 13 September): See now also Alberto Manguel on Javier Marías: modern literature’s great philosopher of everyday absurdity in The Guardian.

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



       Case Study review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Graeme Macrae Burnet's recently Booker Prize-longlisted novel, Case Study.

       This came out in the UK last fall, and French, German, and Spanish translations have been available for a while now, but a US edition is only coming out in November -- and that from Canadian publisher Biblioasis.
       Having just reviewed another title by a prominent author that was published in the UK two years ago and in numerous translations since before finally coming out in the US (Jonathan Coe's Mr. Wilder and Me), I have to wonder -- even more than usual ... -- what the hell is going on with American publishing.

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



11 September 2022 - Sunday

Orhan Pamuk profile | Minakshi Thakur Q & A | 'Books for the Century'

       Orhan Pamuk profile

       Orhan Pamuk's Nights of Plague is coming out in English shortly, and at The Guardian Lisa Allardice profiles him, in Author Orhan Pamuk: ‘I used to have three bodyguards, now I have one’.
       Among the bits of interest:
While Pamuk is by no means poor (he was born into a wealthy family and is Turkey’s bestselling writer), ink cartridges, along with everything else, have become so expensive in Turkey under Erdoğan’s “economic war of independence”, he has reverted to using old-fashioned refillable fountain pens. He always writes by hand, only using the computer to check his email and the news.
       Meanwhile, at Daily Sabah, we learn about his next book, as: Orhan Pamuk reveals plot of his new book 'The Card Players' (via).

       I haven't seen Nights of Plague yet but do hope to; meanwhile, see the publicity pages at Knopf and Faber, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Minakshi Thakur Q & A

       At Scroll.in Sayari Debnath talks with Minakshi Thakur: "about setting up imprints for translations and regional language publishing, the future of the publishing industry, and more", in the interesting ‘Multi-platform publishing is the future’: Minakshi Thakur on Westland’s new innings with Pratilipi.

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



       'Books for the Century'

       Foreign Affairs' Foreign Affairs at 100 issue is now out, and in the review-section: "reviewers each selected a set of books essential to understanding the past century and another set essential for imagining the century ahead"; it is now up, at Books for the Century -- an interesting selection.

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



10 September 2022 - Saturday

Premio José Donoso | 'Five Ukrainian authors you should read' | Hotlist 2022

       Premio José Donoso

       They've announced the winner of this year's Premio Iberoamericano de las Letras José Donoso, a US$50,000 Spanish-language author prize, and it is Samanta Schweblin, several of whose works have been translated into English.
       They've been handing this out since 2001, and while the list of winners does include Isabel Allende (2003), it is more hit than miss, with Ricardo Piglia (2005), António Lobo Antunes (2006), Javier Marías (2008), Diamela Eltit (2010), and Rodrigo Rey Rosa6‚Äč (2015) among the winners.

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



       'Five Ukrainian authors you should read'

       At Deutsche Welle Elizabeth Grenier suggests Five Ukrainian authors you should read.
       Titles by three of them are under review at the complete review: Yurii Andrukhovych (e.g. Perverzion), Oksana Zabuzhko (Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex), and Serhiy Zhadan (e.g. Mesopotamia),

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



       Hotlist 2022

       They've announced the ten finalists for the Hotlist 2022, an award for which each German independent publisher can nominate one title for consideration
       Always interesting to see what foreign independent publishers are bringing out.

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



9 September 2022 - Friday

Griffin Poetry Prize consolidation | Guyana Prize for Literature relaunched
Kirkus Prize finalists

       Griffin Poetry Prize consolidation

       They've announced that the Griffin Poetry Prize will no longer award two prizes -- one for a collection by a Canadian author, one by a foreign author -- but rather combine the two into one prize, combining the generous prize money as well -- making for: "the world's largest international prize for a single book of poetry written in, or translated into English"
       Among the interesting features of the prize:
In the event a winning book is a translation into English, and to recognize the important and often underrepresented work of translators, the Griffin Poetry Prize will allocate 60% of the prize to the translator and 40% to the original poet.
       I don't know of any literary prize that is not primarily a prize for translation that gives the translator a bigger cut than the original author. (The DUBLIN Literary Award divvies up the money 75/25 if the winning title is a translation, the International Booker Prize -- which is for a work in translation -- goes 50/50.)
       The longlist for this new iteration of the prize will be announced in March 2023.

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



       Guyana Prize for Literature relaunched

       They've announced that Guyana Prize for Literature relaunched with newer categories, features..
       As the Stabroek News report Guyana Prize for Literature returns after six-year hiatus also notes, the top prize will be -- $1,000,000 !
       Oh, right -- that's a million Guyanese dollars (which, I'm afraid, trade at (considerably) less than a penny to the (US) dollar ...).
       Still, good to see !

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



       Kirkus Prize finalists

       They've announced the finalists for the Kirkus Prize in its three categories -- fiction, non, and 'Young Readers' Literature'
       The only title under review at the complete review is fiction finalist The Books of Jacob, by Olga Tokarczuk.
       The winners will be announced 27 October.

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



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