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The Literary Saloon Archive

11 - 20 March 2014

11 March: Best Translated Book Award longlist | The Folio Prize | Urdu literary magazines
12 March: 'Top 20 South African Books, 1994-2014' ? | Halban profile | Leipzig Book Fair
13 March: French bestseller get-together | Swiss literary map | Maureen Freely elected English PEN president | Through the Night review
14 March: Prizes: National Book Critics Circle Awards - Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse | Japanese literature abroad | Madras Literary Society library
15 March: Writing in ...: China - Nigeria - Romansh | Sebald Lecture - video | Icchokas Meras (1934-2014) | Definitely Maybe review
16 March: Running out of time to read in France ? | David Malouf profile | Oddest German book title
17 March: Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Lagos
18 March: Andrew Wylie on as publisher | Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honor 2016 | The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature review
19 March: Best Translated Book Award longlisted books - covered | Laurent Binet Q & A
20 March: Vladimir Lorchenkov Q & A | Crime fiction from ... Poland | A Sentimental Novel review

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20 March 2014 - Thursday

Vladimir Lorchenkov Q & A | Crime fiction from ... Poland
A Sentimental Novel review

       Vladimir Lorchenkov Q & A

       Vladimir Lorchenkov's The Good Life Elsewhere just came out from New Vessel Press -- a rare Moldovan novel (albeit written in Russian) to make it to the US -- and at the World Literature Today weblog Michelle Johnson has A Conversation with Vladimir Lorchenkov.
       It's very much in the same tragi-comic vein of the novel, with responses such as:
MJ: Are writers in Moldova free to write what they choose without fear of punishment ?

VL: Of course they are free, because they aren't published here. Besides, nobody reads Moldovan writers' books. However, it's cool.
MJ: Do most Moldovan writers write in Russian ?

VL: In Moldova, writers write either in Romanian or in Russian. I suppose 50/50. It does not matter, though, because their books are not read here.

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

       Crime fiction from ... Poland

       In The International New York Times Ginanne Brownell suggests: Move Over Scandinavian Noir, Here Comes the Polish Gumshoe, as the Polish market has moved from four thrillers being released in 2003 "while last year 112 crime novels were published". And a few of these even make it into English -- such as works by Marek Krajewski (e.g. The End of the World in Breslau), Zygmunt Miłoszewski (Entanglement), and Mariusz Czubaj.
       I'm not sure the Scandinavians have much to worry about yet, but always good to see stuff from elsewhere, too.

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

       A Sentimental Novel review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Alain Robbe-Grillet's A Sentimental Novel, forthcoming from Dalkey Archive Press.
       This 2007 novel was Robbe-Grillet's last, and caused quite a stir; as translator D.E.Brooke also notes in a Preface:
French publisher Fayard confirms that, indeed, all their publishing contacts in the U.S. turned the book down in 2007 due to its subject matter, which was considered beyond the pale.
       (It should be noted: they weren't the only ones: while the book was reviewed upon (French) publication in some of the major German papers, the Germans, too, appear to have declined to publish a translation; the only other foreign edition I could find (not that I looked particularly hard) was a Romanian one. Of course, it's worth noting that this wasn't published by Robbe-Grillet's usual publisher in France either, Les Éditions de Minuit; still, kind of a shame that after all those books Grove didn't rise to the challenge in the US.)
       I'm curious what happens with this book -- figuring that either everyone will just ignore it (and with not even a Publishers Weekly review (yet ?) that seems a distinct possibility), or people will take a closer look and a nice little shitstorm will ensue. (In any case, it's safe to assume it won't figure on your kid's high-school reading list anytime soon; it also won't be longlisted for next year's Best Translated Book Award (between the squeamish and the offended, it would never get by enough of the judges).)

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

19 March 2014 - Wednesday

Best Translated Book Award longlisted books - covered
Laurent Binet Q & A

       Best Translated Book Award longlisted books - covered

       As noted last week, the longlist for the Best Translated Book Award has been announced -- and, of course, the fun doesn't stop with the announcement.

        - At BTBA headquarters, Three Percent, there's continuing coverage, from a lengthy podcast-overview to a near-daily entry making the case 'Why This Book Should Win' for each of the titles.

        - Meanwhile, at The Mookse and the Gripes Forum there's an on-going BTBA 2014: Discussion -- join in !

        - And for a different facet of the longlisted titles, check out 'The Many Covers of the 2014 Best Translated Book Award Nominees' -- the covers of various editions of all the longlisted titles -- Aaron Westerman has collected at Typographical Era -- the only drawback being that they're collected over (arghhh) five pages: one, two, three, four, and five.

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

       Laurent Binet Q & A

       At Sampsonia Way Olivia Stransky has a Q & A with the HHhH-author (mainly about that work), "I Enjoy Correcting Myself": An Interview with Author Laurent Binet.
       Admissions such as: "I'm also fond of Bret Easton Ellis' work" do not help convince me to take him any more seriously.

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

18 March 2014 - Tuesday

Andrew Wylie on as publisher
Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honor 2016
The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature review

       Andrew Wylie on as publisher

       'Literary' agent Andrew Wylie (of The Wylie Agency) weighs in on's recently announced plans to play at being a publisher in Germany in an entertaining (he's always good for that) interview (in German) with Patrick Bahners in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (I have no idea, however, what image he is trying to project with the accompanying headshot.)
       Basically, he ridicules the idea of Amazon as a publisher (and as much of anything else book-related) over the entire interview -- calling it a "publishing program that stands out for its idiocy".
       Only one of the authors he represents ever published with Amazon, he says -- against his advice, a 'Kindle single'.
       Wylie also says that: "Nothing that Amazon publishes is worth reading" (which seems a slight exaggeration -- a handful of AmazonCrossing titles are under review at the complete review, and a lot of this stuff is certainly decent fiction -- and most of these titles, at least, were published in their native languages by reputable and often leading literary publishers; Seuil-published Le roi de Kahel even won the 2008 prix Renaudot -- so, unfortunately (as is his wont), Wylie exaggerates a bit unfairly, undermining whatever credibility he may have ...).
       As to his closing advice for publishers:
My advice is: if you have a choice between the plague and Amazon, pick the plague !
       (So, sadly, that's the level of current debate, about rather serious issues.)
       No word, however, on what Wylie thinks of nook press (presumably he, like the rest of us just burst out giggling at the very mention ...).

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

       Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honor 2016

       As I recently mentioned, they recently announced that, after this year's 'Guest of Honour' at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Finland, and 2015 Guest Indonesia, Georgia was signed up for 2018. The 2017 guest is still a mystery, but they've now also announced Netherlands and Flanders as joint Guests of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016.
       Sounds good -- and see also the Dutch and Flemish literature under review at the complete review.

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

       The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Michael Emmerich's The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature. (Yes, it's a study of The Tale of Genji: I still don't know that that justifies titling it ... The Tale of Genji.)
       This came out last year from Columbia University Press, and I'm rather disappointed to see that it's gotten so little attention -- okay, it's a bit specific, but it's still an impressive work, and a fascinating case-study, and deserves to be in the discussion-mix.

       (Author Emmerich is also a fairly well-known translator-from-the-Japanese -- and half of the most impressive brother-and-sister translating team around, as sister Karen translates from the Greek; in fact, just yesterday I got my advance copy of her translation of Amanda Michalopoulou's Why I Killed My Best Friend, forthcoming from Open Letter (see their publicity page (and note that in real life the cover doesn't look anywhere near that purple ...), or pre-order your copy from or

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

17 March 2014 - Monday

Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Lagos

       Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award

       Via I learn that they've announced that Charles Simic has won this year's Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award; last year it went to W.S.Merwin.
       Seems a good choice, as:
The Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award (hereafter "Herbert Award") is conferred in the area of poetry, and in second place, in the area of essay writing, translation and editing.
       Good to see also that the great Zbigniew Herbert gets continued attention, too.

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

       Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Lagos

       At The Daily Beast Henry Krempels has a Q & A about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Literary Lagos.
       I can't help but note that she doesn't actually answer the first question, 'Can you describe the area of Lagos you live in ?' (though it sounds more like she's unwilling to rather than not able to).

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

16 March 2014 - Sunday

Running out of time to read in France ?
David Malouf profile | Oddest German book title

       Running out of time to read in France ?

       Les Echos report on a recent Livres Hebdo survey (not freely accessible online) finding Faute de temps, les Français lisent moins, as the percentage of respondents who claimed (admitted ?) to reading a book in the past year fell quite dramatically, from 74 in 2011 to 69 currently. Lack of time is the major factor (have the French suddenly gotten busier ?) -- though having kids under fifteen is also reported to cut into reading time.

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

       David Malouf profile

       David Malouf turns 80 in a couple of days, and in The Australian Geordie Williamson profiles him, in Open country -- focusing on the story, Valley of Lagoons.

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

       Oddest German book title

       In imitation of the UK's Diagram Prize for oddest book title the Germans have started their own Ungewöhnlichster Buchtitel des Jahres-competition -- with the prize just handed out, for Das Mädchen mit dem Rohr im Ohr und der Junge mit dem Löffel im Hals (get your copy at
       As the ten-title shortlist suggests, the Germans don't really seem to get the oddity-idea that well -- most of these are just ... long. Though Das erotische Potential meines Kleingärtnervereins ('The erotic potential of my garden club') isn't half bad. (I suppose How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You (a translation from the English) -- the runner-up -- is okay, too.)

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

15 March 2014 - Saturday

Writing in ...: China - Nigeria - Romansh
Sebald Lecture - video | Icchokas Meras (1934-2014)
Definitely Maybe review

       Writing in ...: China

       At the Wall Street Journal's China Real Time weblog Laura Fitch asks Eric Abrahamsen and Canaan Morse (of Pathlight) about The Mo Yan Effect on China's Literary Scene.
       Lots of interesting observations, including that:
One of the ironies about Mo Yan is that his style of writing is a kind of Chinese literature that international publishers are getting tired of and are deciding not to continue publishing -- the very long, epic novels about China's rural problems and recent history. There's a real fatigue among publishers and among readers.
       (For 'fatigue' presumably read -- at least among publishers --: annoyance that this stuff just doesn't sell.)
       Interesting also to hear the example of the popular (in China) author of the just-published-in-translation Decoded:
We'll take an extreme example. Mai Jia's advance supposedly from his Chinese publisher was over 10 million yuan ($1.6 million). You could push [a foreign publisher] to maybe $10,000 at best.
       That does skew incentives, quite a bit -- though you figure entry to the English-language market (and via that potentially to many others) is worth an upfront discount that you hope to make up in the long run.
       Also interesting:
The writers that China has been bringing to the international book fairs have been actually good writers. But they show up, they're squirreled away in the hotel, their media contact is doled out very carefully, they don't get a lot of opportunities to talk to local writers, they do a couple of events at the book fair and then they're whisked away again. People still get the feeling that these are a bunch of party hacks that have been stuck on a plane and flown over here to give us the impression that China has literature.
       (You know my opinion: that's part of the problem -- paying attention to authors rather than to their works. Don't worry about signing personalities (or party hacks) -- worry about signing texts ..... Of course, this kind of silly thinking is exactly why I am not employed in publishing .....)

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

       Writing in ...: Nigeria

       The Literary Society of Nigeria recently held an international conference, and in The Sun they now report on it, in Scholars ponder on future of Nigerian literature.
       The theme was apparently 'Whither African Literature ?' not, as reported in The Sun, merely 'Whither Nigerian Literature ?' but regrettably, either way, it only offers a pretty basic overview as to what was said and discussed.

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

       Writing in ...: Romansh

       As I recently noted, Switzerland is the 'guest of honour' at the current Leipzig Book Fair, and at Deutsche Welle Susanne von Schenck reports on an often overlooked sliver of Swiss literature, in A fading language finds new life in literature. That language is Romansh: not widely spoken -- "About 50,000 to 60,000 people still speak Romansh" -- but nevertheless an official language of Switzerland, along with German, French, and Italian.
       Among the authors and works mentioned are Arno Camenisch -- who: "sprinkles his German texts with phrases from Romansh" -- and his Sez Ner. Noteworthy because the admirable Dalkey Archive Press is coming out with a translation shortly, The Alp; I just got my galley and hope to cover it; meanwhile, see their publicity page, or get your copy at or

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

       Sebald Lecture - video

       The video of this year's Sebald Lecture by Margaret Atwood, 'Atwood in Translationland', can now also be seen online.

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

       Icchokas Meras (1934-2014)

       Lithuanian-born writer Icchokas Meras, best-known as the author of Stalemate, has passed away; see, for example, the mention in The Jerusalem Post.

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

       Definitely Maybe review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's Definitely Maybe.
       Melville House has just reissued this one, one of a number of Strugatsky titles coming back in print (some in new translations), with Chicago Review Press' Hard to Be a God due up next; see their publicity page, or pre-order your copy at or

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

14 March 2014 - Friday

Prizes: National Book Critics Circle Awards - Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse
Japanese literature abroad | Madras Literary Society library

       Prizes: National Book Critics Circle Awards

       They've announced the winners of the National Book Critics Circle ('for Publishing Year 2013'), with Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie taking the fiction prize and Distant Reading by Franco Moretti winning the criticism category.

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

       Prizes: Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse

       They've announced the winners of the Preise der Leipziger Buchmesse (though, amazingly, they seem incapable of offering that information on a single page at the official site ...), with How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone-author Saša Stanišić's new book, Vor dem Fest, taking the fiction prize, and Robin Detje's translation of William T. Vollmann's Europe Central winning in the translation category.

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

       Japanese literature abroad

       Via I'm pointed to Takayuki Iwasaki's piece in Nikkei Asian Review finding Japan's literati impervious to politics -- meaning that, despite tensions with nearby South Korea, China, and Taiwan, Japanese titles are still selling well in those markets. But, while the Americans and Europeans don't have similar beefs with the Japanese: "exports to Europe and the U.S. are not progressing as desired".
Japanese literature is struggling in Europe and the U.S. Writers such as Fuminori Nakamura and Yoko Ogawa have garnered attention, but Haruki Murakami is about the only widely recognized author. It is difficult to get Japanese literature translated and sold in the U.S. and European markets, where commercial success is a prerequisite.
       I note that Higashino also gets published in English (The Devotion of Suspect X and Naoko, among others) -- even if he has not enjoyed anywhere near as much success and popularity as he has in easter Asia --, and Isaka's Remote Control is also available. But, yes, overall the US/European picture is pretty dismal regarding translation-from-the Japanese.

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

       Madras Literary Society library

       Divya Chandrababu exaggerates in the Times of India in describing it as a Forgotten library: 200-year-old Madras Literary Society -- every couple of years someone profiles the place (e.g. Asha Sridhar in The Hindu, in Survivors of time: Pages from the past) -- but it's still always fun to read about it.

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

13 March 2014 - Thursday

French bestseller get-together | Swiss literary map
Maureen Freely elected English PEN president
Through the Night review

       French bestseller get-together

       L'Express report on Le palmarès 2013 des best-sellers, as they got together the authors of many of last year's bestselling (in France) titles, fiction and non, to exchange ... (sigh) "confidences et selfies".
       Noteworthy for the list of the top 35 bestselling titles and for the picture of the authors -- and for how male-dominated both groups are. Just three ladies (including Amélie Nothomb in trademark black hat) in the photograph, and the best-placed female author on the bestseller list is Yasmina Reza, whose Heureux les heureux ranks ... twelfth.

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

       Swiss literary map

       Switzerland is 'Guest of Honour' at this year's Leipzig Book Fair, and among the promotion-ideas they came up with was to add 'Literaturlandkarten' -- six semi-interactive literary maps -- to their guest-website. Only in German, and a bit limited -- but still, gotta love a map of 'Todesorte' ('death spots'). See also the (German) NZZ article describing the project.

       Literary mapping has apparently become very popular -- see also A Literary Atlas of Europe, where they're working: 'towards a geography of fiction'.

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

       Maureen Freely elected English PEN president

       English PEN announces new President -- Maureen Freely, author and translator from the Turkish (works by Orhan Pamuk; The Time Regulation Institute, etc.).

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

       Through the Night review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Stig Sæterbakken's Through the Night. -- just longlisted for the Best Translation Book Award (see my recent mention).

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

12 March 2014 - Wednesday

'Top 20 South African Books, 1994-2014' ? | Halban profile
Leipzig Book Fair

       'Top 20 South African Books, 1994-2014' ?

       Via I learn that the Library and Information Association of South Africa has selected the Top 20 South African Books, 1994-2014 (from 253 titles nominated by librarians).
       An interesting variety, certainly -- but only two titles are under review at the complete review: Disgrace by J.M.Coetzee and 13 ure by Deon Meyer.

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

       Halban profile

       At Tablet Vladislav Davidzon profiles The Best Little Jewish Publishing House in London -- Halban Publishers.
       A pretty interesting read, given everything from their interesting family-backgrounds to their view of (and position in) the publishing world.

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

       Leipzig Book Fair

       The Leipzig Book Fair starts tomorrow, and runs through the 16th; they'll also announce the winners of the Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse, the big German spring book prize (the German Book Prize is the big(ger) fall prize).
       They let readers vote for their favorite in the fiction category (Am Ende schmeissen wir mit Gold by Fabian Hischmann easily won) -- and I'm kind of disappointed that they used the word 'voting' for this process; there is a perfectly good German word for that .....
       Meanwhile, today Pankaj Mishra -- who has been on some kind of prize-roll (he just won the big-money Windham Campbell Prize) -- gets the Leipziger Buchpreis zur Europäischen Verständigung ('Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding') -- but in Die Welt Necla Kelek denounces the choice, arguing Mishra is 'anti-European' (and not much one for understanding ...). It'll be interesting to see what he says in his acceptance speech.

       (Also always good to see: that even a small weekly like the Falter offers a jam-packed book review section in the Leipzig-week issue.)

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

11 March 2014 - Tuesday

Best Translated Book Award longlist
The Folio Prize | Urdu literary magazines

       Best Translated Book Award longlist

       The longlist for the Best Translated Book Award has now been announced, and the titles are:
  • The African Shore by Rodrigo Rey Rosa; tr. Jeffrey Gray

  • Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky; tr. Joanne Turnbull

  • Blinding by Mircea Cărtărescu; tr. Sean Cotter

  • City of Angels Or, The Overcoat of Dr. Freud by Christa Wolf; tr. Damion Searls

  • Commentary by Marcelle Sauvageot; tr. Christine Schwartz Hartley and Anna Moschovakis

  • The Devil's Workshop by Jáchym Topol; tr. Alex Zucker

  • The End of Love by Marcos Giralt Torrente; tr. Katherine Silver

  • The Forbidden Kingdom by Jan Jacob Slauerhoff; tr. Paul Vincent

  • Her Not All Her by Elfriede Jelinek; tr. Damion Searls

  • Horses of God by Mahi Binebine; tr. Lulu Norman

  • In the Night of Time by Antonio Muñoz Molina; tr. Edith Grossman

  • The Infatuations by Javier Marías; tr. Margaret Jull Costa

  • Leg Over Leg, Vol. 1 by Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq; tr. Humphrey Davies

  • The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra by Pedro Mairal; tr. Nick Caistor

  • My Struggle: Book Two by Karl Ove Knausgaard; tr. Don Bartlett

  • Red Grass by Boris Vian; tr. Paul Knobloch

  • Sandalwood Death by Mo Yan; tr. Howard Goldblatt

  • Seiobo There Below by Krasznahorkai László; tr. Ottilie Mulzet

  • Sleet by Stig Dagerman; tr. Steven Hartman

  • The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante; tr. Ann Goldstein

  • Textile by Orly Castel-Bloom; tr. Dalya Bilu

  • Through the Night by Stig Sæterbakken; tr. Seán Kinsella

  • Tirza by Arnon Grunberg; tr. Sam Garrett

  • A True Novel by Mizumura Minae; tr. Juliet Winters Carpenter

  • The Whispering Muse by Sjón; tr. Victoria Cribb
       Chad Post had a preview-post with some of the statistics on Sunday, noting that:
  • the books are published by twenty-three different publishers, an absolutely amazing spread

  • books originally written in sixteen different languages are represented
       More statistics and observations:
  • the two Nobel laureates with eligible titles -- Mo Yan and Elfirede Jelinek -- both made the cut

  • two authors with the first name: 'Stig' made the cut

  • two translations by Damion Searls made the cut

  • only two books that made the recently-announced Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist also made the BTBA cut: The Infatuations and A Man in Love/My Struggle: Book Two (because of different eligibility criteria (most notably US/UK publication -- but also, for example, the IFFP requires authors to be living (and seven of the BTBA nominees are deceased ...) only a limited number of titles are eligible for both prizes)

       Among the surprise omissions from the BTBA longlist the most notable is surely last year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize winner, Gerbrand Bakker's The Detour/Ten White Geese. Presumably also a surprise: 2012-BTBA-winner Wiesław Myśliwski's new novel, A Treatise on Shelling Beans (an Archipelago title -- one of only two publishers to place two titles on this year's longlist) also fell short. Other books you might have expected include: Amos Oz's Between Friends, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya's There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself, at least one of Dalkey Archive Press' Korean titles (No One Writes Back by Jang Eun-jin, for example), and Ogawa Yoko's Revenge.

       If I had to identify the biggest oversight, I'd say -- no question: Where Tigers Are at Home by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès, a book that just can't seem to get the respect, attention, and readers it deserves.

       I am one of the judges for the BTBA; I have already at least dipped into every one of these books save Textile (which I did not get a copy of in time; I do have one now). In selecting the longlist, each of the judges votes for their top ten, the top vote-getters are the sixteen title-foundation of the longlist, and then each judge gets to throw in another title of their own choosing. Just like last year, only six of my top ten made the top-sixteen; with my additional personal choice seven of my top ten are on the longlist.

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

       The Folio Prize

       The £40,000 Folio Prize, a new literary prize that: "aims to recognise and celebrate the best English-language fiction from around the world, published in the UK during a given year", has been awarded for the first time, and they've announced that it goes to Tenth of December, a collection of stories (by George Saunders).
       It's not under review at the complete review, but see, for example the Bloomsbury publicity page, or get your copy at or

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

       Urdu literary magazines

       In Dawn Rauf Parekh writes about The phenomenon called Urdu literary magazines -- which, alas, seems to be less of a phenomenon than it once was:
Until the 1960s and 1970s, readers not only waited for the arrival of the new issues of literary periodicals such as 'Nuqoosh', 'Seep', 'Funoon' and 'Auraaq' but any literary writings that deserved attention were discussed in teahouses and continued to reverberate through literary circles. I still remember that as a schoolboy when I would pass by the Regal bus stop in Karachi's Sadder area, I would notice the banners displayed by roadside booksellers, announcing the arrival of a new issue of a literary magazine or a new novel by Ibn-i-Safi.
       Banners !
       But they continue to be published -- despite the fact that, in most cases:
publishing a literary magazine is not a viable commercial venture and it is a sheer delight or pride of the editor that keeps the magazine going.
       Good for those delighted editors .....

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

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