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the Literary Saloon at the Complete Review
opinionated commentary on literary matters - from the complete review


17 June 2024 - Monday

Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize | Gretel and the Great War review

       Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize, awarded: "for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language" -- not yet at the official site, last I checked, but see for example their tweet -- and it is Kibogo by Scholastique Mukasonga, in Mark Polizzotti's translation.
       See also the publicity pages from Archipelago and Daunt Books, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org, or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Gretel and the Great War review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Adam Ehrlich Sachs' new novel, Gretel and the Great War.

       (His dad Jeffrey's The Price of Civilization is also under review at the complete review -- not the first instance of books by both father and son under review at the site, but there are only a handful.)

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



16 June 2024 - Sunday

Pushkin House Book Prize | Sunday Times Literary Awards longlists

       Pushkin House Book Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Pushkin House Book Prize, rewarding: "books that are well-written, well-researched and accessible to the non-specialist reader" that examine: "Russian culture, history and politics" -- not yet at the official site, last I checked, but see, for example, Michele A. Berdy's report in The Moscow Times; the winner is: I Love Russia by Elena Kostyuchenko, translated by Ilona Yazhbin Chavasse and Bela Shayevich.

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



       Sunday Times Literary Awards longlists

       They've announced the longlists for this year's (South African) Sunday Times Literary Awards in its two categories, fiction and non.
       Lots of books in the running .....

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



15 June 2024 - Saturday

Jennifer Egan profile

       Jennifer Egan profile

       At Penn Today Louisa Shepard profiles The English major's cheerleader and champion, as: 'Author and alum Jennifer Egan returns to campus to teach an undergraduate literature course as a booster for the humanities' -- ENGL 0900.001: Jennifer Egan and the Art of Fiction.

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



14 June 2024 - Friday

EBRD Literature Prize | Women's Prizes | Walter Scott Prize
Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel shortlist

       EBRD Literature Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's EBRD Literature Prize -- awarded: "to authors from countries where the [European Bank for Reconstruction and Development] invests and their English-language translators" -- and it is The End, by Bartis Attila, in Judith Sollosy's translation; see also the Archipelago publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org, or Amazon.co.uk.

       I haven't seen this yet; the only work by Bartis under review at the complete review is Tranquility.

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



       Women's Prizes

       They've announced the winners of this year's Women's Prizes, with the Women's Prize for Fiction going to Brotherless Night, by V.V.Ganeshananthan, and the Women's Prize for Non-Fiction going to Doppelganger, by Naomi Klein.

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



       Walter Scott Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, and it is Hungry Ghosts, by Kevin Jared Hosein.

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



       Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.
       One of the six finalists is under review at the complete review: The Secret Hours by Mick Herron.
       The winner will be announced 18 July.

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



13 June 2024 - Thursday

MIT Press profile | Ottaway Award acceptance speech
Chaos in Kinshasa review

       MIT Press profile

       At MIT News Rachel Aldrich profiles Bob Prior: A deep legacy of cultivating books at the MIT Press, as Prior is set to retire from MIT Press at the end of this month.

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



       Ottaway Award acceptance speech

       ArabLit's M. Lynx Qualey was recently awarded the Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature by Words without Borders, and they now have “The Landscape around Us”: Marcia Lynx Qualey’s Ottaway Award Acceptance Speech.

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



       Chaos in Kinshasa review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Barly Baruti and Thierry Bellefroid's graphic novel, Chaos in Kinshasa.

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



12 June 2024 - Wednesday

Deutscher Sachbuchpreis

       Deutscher Sachbuchpreis

       They've announced the winner of this year's German Non-Fiction Prize, the leading ... German non-fiction prize, and it is Tausend Aufbrüche, by Christina Morina; see also the Siedler foreign rights page.

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



11 June 2024 - Tuesday

New The Yale Review | Jinbōchō profile
Prix Jean Monnet finalists | César Aira reviews

       New The Yale Review

       The summer issue of The Yale Review is now out -- with a focus: "on the past, present, and future of criticism".
       Among the pieces are Christine Smallwood on 'The material constraints of writing criticism today', in A Reviewer’s Life, Merve Emre on 'The challenge of reading generously', in The Critic as Friend, and Namwali Serpell on Critical Navel-Gazing.

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



       Jinbōchō profile

       At nippon.com they look at Jinbōchō Through the Years: The Story of Tokyo’s Secondhand Book District.
       Among the observations:
The major used goods chain BookOff was founded in 1990 and expanded across the whole of Japan, but Sakota dismisses it as lacking substance. “As well as secondhand books, it deals in other goods, and there’s no specialist book knowledge anyway. We carefully appraise individual works and decide their price. There are association members who find undervalued books at BookOff outlets and sell them for a high price in their own stores.”

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



       Prix Jean Monnet finalists

       They've announced the three finalists for this year's prix Jean Monnet de littérature européenne -- not yet at the official site, last I checked, but see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report.
       The three finalists are Ian McEwan's Lessons, Pascal Quignard's Les heures heureuses -- see the Albin Michel publicity page -- and Jeroen Olyslaegers' Wildevrouw -- see the Flanders Literature information page.
       The winner will be announced 18 November.

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



       César Aira reviews

       The most recent additions to the complete review are my reviews of two short César Aira novels -- published together in one volume by New Directions: Festival and Game of the Worlds: A Science Fiction Book.

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



10 June 2024 - Monday

Prix Fitzgerald | Reading in ... Ukraine | Charu Nivedita profile

       Prix Fitzgerald

       They've announced the winner of this year's Prix Fitzgerald, a French award honoring: "a novel or short story that reflects the elegance, spirit, and art of living embodied by the American writer and adopted son of the French Riviera, Francis Scott Fitzgerald", and it is 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister, by Joyce Carol Oates
       Among the other finalists were Ian McEwan's Lessons and Christian Kracht's Eurotrash.

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



       Reading in ... Ukraine

       At RFE/RL Aleksander Palikot reports on A 'Very Painful' Book Boom: As Russia Wages War On Their Culture, Ukrainians Turn To Reading, as:
With a hip new bookstore opening in Kyiv every other month and unexpected bestsellers rocking the market, readers and publishing industry insiders alike speak of a spike in demand for books.
       Meanwhile, at the Kyiv Independent Kate Tsurkan offers a list of 10 authors shaping contemporary Ukrainian literature. Books by four of them are under review at the complete review: Yuri Andrukhovych (The Moscoviad), etc.), Lyubko Deresh (Культ, etc.), Oksana Zabuzhko (Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex), and Serhiy Zhadan (Voroshilovgrad, etc.).

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



       Charu Nivedita profile

       At Scroll.in Diya Isha writes How Tamil author Charu Nivedita has created a cult following for his books (and his persona).
       The only one of his books under review at the complete review is Zero Degree, but I do hope to see more.

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



9 June 2024 - Sunday

Gratiaen Prize

       Gratiaen Prize

       They announced the winner of this year's Gratiaen Prize -- a Sri Lankan prize for the best work written in English, founded by Michael Ondaatje -- last week, and it is Father Cabraal's Recipe for Love Cake, by Ramya Jirasinghe -- not yet published; see the The Ampersand Agency information page.
       See also the Q & A by Tina Edward Gunawardhana in the Daily Mirror, Winning the GRATIAEN PRIZE Ramya Chamalie Jirasinghe lays bare her thoughts on winning Sri Lanka's most prestigious Literary Award.

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



8 June 2024 - Saturday

Franz Kafka Prizes | Norton Anthology of World Literature, 5th ed.
Crimean Tatar literature

       Franz Kafka Prizes

       The Czech Franz Kafka Prize had a good run from 2001 (Philip Roth) through 2021 (Ivan Vyskočil), but they seem to have given up on it.
       The Austrians had a biennial Franz Kafka Prize they awarded from 1979 (Peter Handke) through ... 2001 (Marianne Fritz), with Nobel laureates Elias Canetti (1981) and Herta Müller (1999) being among the impressive award winners -- and they've now revived it, with Josef Winkler winning this year's prize; he gets to pick it up next week, on the 14th.

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



       Norton Anthology of World Literature, 5th ed.

       The latest -- the fifth -- edition of The Norton Anthology of World Literature is coming out -- see the W.W.Norton publicity pages for Volumes A. B. C (pre-1650) and Volumes D, E, F (post-1650) -- and in Harvard Magazine Nina Pasquini looks at this latest version, in The DNA of World Literature.
       This certainly sounds good:
Throughout the anthology, “translation labs” such as this one offer several versions of translated texts, allowing students to see how various translators capture and lose different elements of the original, said [Martin] Puchner, who serves as general editor of the anthology and who has written widely about world literature and other subjects.

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



       Crimean Tatar literature

       Alyona Savchuk has a Q & A with Journalist Mustafa Ametov on Crimean Tatar Literature’s Vital Role in Language Preservation.
       Ametov takes a hard line:
Chytomo: So in other words, “Crimean Tatar literature” refers to prose and poetry works written in the national language. What about texts by Crimean writers who wrote in other languages ?

Mustafa Ametov: Most of the other works are in Russian. But I have not read these works and I do not want to. This is my personal point of view: everything that was published in Russian by Crimean Tatar writers was published due to the influence of Soviet propaganda on Soviet literary circles. It was either about Lenin, Stalin, or the so-called Great Patriotic War [World War II from the point of view of the USSR].

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



7 June 2024 - Friday

Griffin Poetry Prizes | Daniel Kehlmann Q & A | Cassandra review

       Griffin Poetry Prizes

       They've announced the winners of this year's Griffin Poetry Prize, with George McWhirter winning the international prize for his translation of Self-Portrait in the Zone of Silence by Homero Aridjis; see also the New Directions publicity page.
       This is a prize that rewards the translator more than the originator: "The international prize of C$130,000 is shared 60% to the translator, 40% to the original author".
       The winner was selected from 592 titles -- of which 49 were translations, from 22 languages.

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



       Daniel Kehlmann Q & A

       At hlo András Greff has a Q & A with Daniel Kehlmann: He makes a pact with the devil, but doesn't even know it -- mainly about his recent G.W.Pabst-novel, Lichtspiel. (Lichtspiel will no doubt come out in English sometime soon, but I haven't seen any announcements about the US/UK edition yet.)

       Kehlmann also admits:
I do have lots of unfinished and one finished novel that I didn't publish. I wrote it when I was 23 or so and it's not a lost masterpiece, it's a terrible, terrible book, and I hope no one ever gets to read it. My editor back then at Suhrkamp asked me, “Please don't publish this, this is terrible,” and I said, "Oh I guess you might be right," but now the whole Suhrkamp archive is in the German literature archive in Marbach, and I can't get that manuscript out of there.

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



       Cassandra review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A Dramatic Poem by Lesia Ukrainka, her 1908 drama Cassandra, just out in a new translation in the Harvard Library of Ukrainian Literature.

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



6 June 2024 - Thursday

Albert Camus manuscript | Premio Strega shortlist
Edgardo Cozarinsky (1939-2024)

       Albert Camus manuscript

       A handwritten manuscript of Albert Camus L'Étranger -- The Stranger/The Outsider -- was sold at auction house Tajan, Lot 97 apparently selling for €500,000 (which was on the low(est) end of the estimate). (French reports put the sales-price at €656,000, but the Tajan page says half a million .....)
       The manuscript is of particular interest because it seems to have been written (in 1944) quite a while after the book was originally published (in 1942) -- but Camus backdated it to 1940 ..... And Camus included: "14 sketches in the margins" !
       See also the full Tajan manuscript-brochure (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) -- scroll down for the English-language text -- and Angelique Chrisafis' report in The Guardian, Handwritten ‘draft’ of Albert Camus’s L’Étranger sold in Paris for €650,000.

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



       Premio Strega shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Premio Strega, the leading Italian fiction prize.
       It's an unusual prize not only in that the shortlist and then the winner are determined by a large-scale vote but that the number of votes each title receives are made public; the vote for the final six was close at the top: with 248 votes top vote-getter L’età fragile by Donatella Di Pietrantonio only came out narrowly ahead of Invernale, by Dario Voltolini, which got 243 votes.
       The winner will be announced on 4 July.

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



       Edgardo Cozarinsky (1939-2024)

       Argentine director and writer Edgardo Cozarinsky has passed away; see, for example, the Buenos Aires Herald report.
       Several of his works have been translated; Archipelago has published his Milongas; see their publicity page.
       The only one of his books under review at the complete review is Borges in/and/on Film.

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



5 June 2024 - Wednesday

Reading (by children) in the UK | Hard Copy review

       Reading (by children) in the UK

       Renaissance UK reports on their findings "as measured by the Accelerated Reader software" of 1,273,795 pupils' reading habits in the UK and Ireland, in The Book-Reading Behaviours of Pupils 2024 -- finding among other things, that:
Average Book Difficulty rose until Year 6, then plateaued until Year 9, then declined steadily thereafter, even though the older pupils should have been reading harder books. Secondary school pupils read books at almost the same difficulty level as upper primary pupils.
       The report is presented very piecemeal at the Renaissance site, but the Data Tables-appendix (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) has all the interesting numbers -- including the interesting international comparisons at the end.
       (What the kids are reading -- when they're reading ... -- is ... not entirely encouraging, either.)
       See also the summary by Lucy Knight in The Guardian, Children reading fewer, less challenging books, UK and Ireland study finds.

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



       Hard Copy review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Fien Veldman's Hard Copy -- Xerox, in the original.

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



4 June 2024 - Tuesday

Dalkey Archive checklist | Museum of Hong Kong Literature

       Dalkey Archive checklist

       At Mining the Dalkey Archive Chad Post writes about putting together a list of every book published by Dalkey Archive Press, in Who Doesn't Love a Checklist ?; see the list of 956 titles here.

       I'm hoping to catalogue my Dalkey collection (indeed, my entire collection) sometime next year; Dalkey Archive Press is certainly among the best-represented publishers in my library; I suspect I have 600 or so. And 319 Dalkey titles are currently under review at the complete review.

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



       Museum of Hong Kong Literature

       Xinhua reports that Hong Kong's first literary museum sows seed of hope and exchange, reporting on the Museum of Hong Kong Literature.

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



3 June 2024 - Monday

Mortal Leap review

       Mortal Leap review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of MacDonald Harris' 1964 novel Mortal Leap, recently re-issued by Boiler House Press in their Recovered Books-series.

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



2 June 2024 - Sunday

Salomes in June

       Salomes in June

       If you're looking to get in the mood to read my recent novel Salome in Graz there are a couple of productions of the Richard Strauss opera version you can catch in June: the Vienna State Opera is reviving theirs -- the Cyril Teste production, conducted by Philippe Jordan, with Camilla Nylund in the title role --, with performances on the 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th, and the Houston Symphony is putting on a concert version on the 7th and 9th, with Jennifer Holloway as Salome. (There's something to be said -- so also by the protagonists of my novel ... -- for the concert-version, without the distractions of all the acting-out of the scenes .....)

       The Vienna State Opera information page has a rather basic 'Nice to Know'-feature (scroll down), where they note Gustav Mahler's enthusiasm for the work, and that he:
wanted to bring the work to the Vienna Court Opera. But the censors thwarted his plans and banned the opera due to »moral« concerns. It was not until 1918 that Salome celebrated its premiere at the Vienna State Opera.
       But no mention that when it couldn't be staged at the leading Viennese opera house they performed it in Graz -- the production that gives my novel its title --, with Mahler in attendance ! (The story behind the difficulties in getting permission to stage it are also discussed some in the novel; Wilde's play, which the opera is based on, of course faced similar difficulties: a good part of the 'Salome'-story involves not only how it was presented but often how it was not presented, one of the many aspects of the treatment of the Salome-story over the centuries which my novel gets into .....)

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



1 June 2024 - Saturday

Paul Theroux Q & A | John Burnside (1955-2024)
Gender bias in men's reading habits

       Paul Theroux Q & A

       At The Collidescope George Salis has a Q & A with the Burma Sahib-author, in The Grit That Makes the Pearl: An Interview With Paul Theroux.
       Among his responses:
GS: What novel do you think deserves more readers ? Why ?

PT: I love Madam[e] Bovary. It has tons of admirers, of course, but needs more, as all great novels do. A vastly underrated or overlooked writer is the English novelist and short story writer Elizabeth Taylor -- maybe it’s her name. I think she’s wonderful.

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       John Burnside (1955-2024)

       English poet and author John Burnside has passed away; see, for example, the obituary in The Guardian.
       The only one of his works under review at the complete review is The Dumb House.

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



       Gender bias in men's reading habits

       The Women's Prize Trust reports on new research they've commissioned, finding, sadly but probably unsurprisingly, that: "men overwhelmingly reject books written by women in favour of male authors"; see their press release, Gender bias in men’s reading habits still exists.
       UK data shows:
Just one of the top 20 bestselling female writers of fiction and non-fiction in 2023 was purchased mainly by men – Harper Lee – whereas seven of the top 20 bestselling male writers of fiction and non-fiction in 2023 were purchased mainly by women
       The complete review remains ridiculously gender-imbalanced; there is certainly no conscious bias against women writers but obviously something is at work here; the historic imbalance of what gets translated surely plays a significant role (but doesn't seem sufficient to explain it all). (This has improved greatly in recent years -- many more books by women are being translated --, but the trickle-down effect to the site has been slow.)
       Over the past three months books by Iris Murdoch, Elisa Shua Dusapin, Kate Briggs, Iman Mersal, George Sand, Amélie Nothomb, Scarlett Thomas, Kay Dick, Simone Weil, and Jane Ellen Harrison -- among other women -- have been reviewed at the site; that seems like a pretty good spread of women authors to me -- but, yes, books by men still dominate .....

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



31 May 2024 - Friday

HKW International Literature Prize shortlist | Debut novels

       HKW International Literature Prize shortlist

       The Haus der Kulturen der Welt has announced the shortlist for its International Literature Prize, awarded to: "an outstanding work of contemporary international literature that has been translated into German for the first time"
       The one translation from English is James, by Percival Everett.
       The winner will be announced 5 July.

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



       Debut novels

       In Esquire Kate Dwyer considers Why Are Debut Novels Failing to Launch ?
       Apparently, also: "BookTok -- er, TikTok -- is still considered the au courant emergent platform" .....

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



30 May 2024 - Thursday

Caja de las Letras | Prix Jean d'Ormesson
Central and Eastern European literature abroad

       Caja de las Letras

       At Euronews Jonny Walfisz offers a look at 'Caja de las Letras': Inside an old Madrid bank vault full of literary treasures, as the Cervantes Institute in Madrid is housed in an old bank and they've converted the vault into a Caja de las Letras -- which you can visit virtually by following that official link (recommended !).
       I wasn't aware of this, and it's pretty cool:
Among the 1,700 drawers of the old safe, there is Nicanor Parra's typewriter, José Saramago's phone book, a bowler hat belonging to musician Joaquín Sabina, the Nobel medal for Medicine won in 1906 by Ramón y Cajal, a broken brass bracelet that belonged to Elena Poniatowska's father and, above all, many books, drafts and manuscripts, some of them unpublished.

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



       Prix Jean d'Ormesson

       They've announced the winner of this year's prix Jean d'Ormesson, the anything-goes prize where the jurors get to pick which books are considered for the prize (and can pick any book, from any time), and it is Proust, roman familial, by Laure Murat; see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report.
       Despite being a 'roman familial', this won the non-fiction prix Médicis -- the prix Médicis essai -- last year.
       Murat lives in the US -- she teaches at UCLA. See also the Laffont publicity page for Proust, roman familial.

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



       Central and Eastern European literature abroad

       In the Kyiv Post Beata Stasińska looks at how Europe's Literature on the Edge Breaks Into the Mainstream (or doesn't ...).

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



29 May 2024 - Wednesday

Lyrikpreis Orphil | Samantha Schnee Q & A | Prix Les Lorientales finalists

       Lyrikpreis Orphil

       The city of Wiesbaden has announced the winner of this year's Lyrikpreis Orphil, a €10,000 poetry prize, and it is Franz Dodel for the 'endless' haiku-poem he has been writing since 2002, Nicht bei Trost.
       So far eight volumes have been published (by Edition Korrespondenzen) -- but you can read the whole thing online (on a convenient single page !), and follow as it continues to be updated. An interesting project.

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



       Samantha Schnee Q & A

       At The Berliner Alexander Wells has a Q & A with Words Without Borders founder Samantha Schnee: “It’s like going to the gym for your brain”.

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



       Prix Les Lorientales finalists

       They've announced the five finalists for this year's prix Les Lorientales

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



28 May 2024 - Tuesday

Eliot Weinberger profile

       Eliot Weinberger profile

       In the new Harper's Wyatt Mason writes 'On Eliot Weinberger', in The Scavenger of History.
       Among Mason's pronouncements: "the best brief book on translation, hors catégorie, is Eliot Weinberger’s Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei"
       Weinberger is certainly always worth reading.

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



27 May 2024 - Monday

Orwell Prize finalists | The Singularity review

       Orwell Prize finalists

       The Orwell Foundation has announced the finalists for this year's Orwell Prizes in their four categories: Political Writing, Political Fiction, Journalism, and Reporting Homelessness.
       The Political Fiction finalists include books by Percival Everett, Hisham Matar, and Adam Thirlwell. I haven't seen any of these.
       The winners will be announced 27 June.

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       The Singularity review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Dino Buzzati's 1960 science fiction novel, The Singularity, out in a new translation from New York Review Books.

       It's very contemporary title -- it was previously translated (back in 1962) as Larger than Life -- is a fitting one, and the novel is timely; I wonder if OpenAI etc. will learn anything from it ..... (One of the best sentences/ideas in it: "Language is the worst enemy of mental clarity".)

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



26 May 2024 - Sunday

'Wahon' | Amit Chaudhuri Q & A

       'Wahon'

       At nippon.com Itakura Kimie offers “Wahon”: The History of the Japanese Book and: 'how they changed over the centuries as technology advanced and the reading public expanded'.

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



       Amit Chaudhuri Q & A

       At Shelf Awareness they have Reading with ... Amit Chaudhuri, the Sojourn-author.
       Among his responses:
Book you're an evangelist for:

I'm an evangelist for the modernist experiment and avant-garde play to be found in literatures in the Indian languages of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Engaging with them -- and their counterparts in other locations in the world (Japan, for instance) -- might rescue modernism from its currently fossilized incarnation, where it's mainly available to us as European "heritage," like the paintings in the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower.

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



25 May 2024 - Saturday

Walter Kappacher (1938-2024) | The Noh Mask Murder review

       Walter Kappacher (1938-2024)

       Sad to hear that author Walter Kappacher has passed away; see, for example, the obituary by Paul Jandl in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
       Kappacher was awarded the biggest German author-prize, the Georg-Büchner-Preis, in 2009 -- and I was honored to be on the jury for the 2020/2021 ACFNY Translation Prize which we awarded to Georg Bauer for his translation of Kappacher's Palace of Flies.
       See also the information page at Agentur Poppenhusen.

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



       The Noh Mask Murder review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Takagi Akimitsu's The Noh Mask Murder, now available in English from Pushkin Press.

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



24 May 2024 - Friday

Dublin Literary Award | Princess of Asturias Award

       Dublin Literary Award

       They've announced the winner of this year's Dublin Literary Award, and it is Solenoid, by Mircea Cărtărescu, translated by Sean Cotter (who gets a solid cut of the prize-money).
       See also the Deep Vellum publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org, or Amazon.co.uk. (Pushkin Press will be publishing a UK edition in a couple of weeks.)
       I do have this, but shamefully have not yet gotten to it.

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



       Princess of Asturias Award

       They've now announced the winner of this year's Princess of Asturias Award for Literature, and it is Ana Blandiana. (Persepolis-author Marjane Satrapi was announced as winner in the Communication and Humanities category a few weeks ago; winners in a few more categories will be announced in the coming weeks.)
       Several of Blandiana's works have been translated into English -- including the collection of Five Books published by Bloodaxe; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org, or Amazon.co.uk

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



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