They announced the finalist for the 2020 Icelandic Book Prize last month, and now at The Reykjavík Grapevine Valur Grettisson has a preview of the prizes, which will be announced in a couple of weeks, Reading Too Much Into The Icelandic Book Prize Nominees 2021.
(It does seem that these are the 2020 prizes, however.)
The finalists, in three categories (fiction, non, and children's literature), were selected from 280 submissions.
One of the fiction finalists, Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson's Snerting -- see the Forlagið publicity page -- actually came out in English translation a couple of years ago already, as One Station Away; see the Ecco publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
Another finalist is by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir -- who won the 2016 Icelandic Book Prize for Hotel Silence.
It's interesting to hear that while her The Greenhouse was nominated for the Nordic Council Book Prize in 2009, it wasn't nominated for this prize that year:
Her sales in Iceland were actually quite low compared to her acclaim abroad, which perhaps explains her absence from the list, but the snub was still a scandal.
The Académie Française has announced the winner of this year's €30,000 Grand Prix de la Francophonie, and it is Lebanese author Alexandre Najjar; see also the Livres Hebdo report.
Several of his works have been translated into English; see the author page at Saqi Books.
An interesting look at the most successful books (and publishers) in the US market last year, as Liz Hartman goes about Breaking Down the Bestselling Books of 2020 at Publishers Weekly.
Despite the dominance of the so-called 'Big Five' in American publishing, independents had a good showing, at least in this area.
Greek-French author -- yes, he wrote works both in French and Greek -- Vassilis Alexakis has passed away; see, for example, Tasos Kokkinidis' report in Greek Reporter, Greek Writer and Journalist Vassilis Alexakis Dies at 77; obviously, there's also a lot coverage in the French media.
Alexakis is woefully under-translated into English, but a bit of his work is available -- his novel Foreign Words for example; see the Autumn Hill publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
They've announced the winner of this year's Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation, and it is Kay Heikkinen's translation of Velvet by Huzama Habayeb.
See also the Hoopoe publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The prize will be awarded 11 February, along with the other Society of Authors Translation Prizes.
What great, great news: "In January 2021, Dædalus became an Open Access journal".
They're still working on digitizing the back catalog, but eventually all this great material will be freely accessible.
Some of it already is -- like the new Winter 2021 issue, 'On the Novel', edited by Michael Wood.
Lots of things that look worth a closer read, including: Simon D. Goldhill arguing for Finding the Time for Ancient Novels, Robyn Creswell on Poets in Prose: Genre & History in the Arabic Novel, and Two Theories by Franco Moretti.
A good-looking issue (on a topic of obvious interest ...), but that whole archive will be something to return to again and again .....
At Publishers Weekly John Maher has the numbers -- the top twenty-five bestselling titles in the US in 2020, along with the number of copies sold (as reported by NPD BookScan).
Barack Obama's A Promised Land was the only title to shift over 2,000,000 copies, and six more titles shifted over a million each.
None of the top twenty-five are under review at the complete review.
I read the first few installments of his twelve-volume memoirs -- it was a pretty fascinating life -- many, many years ago but never saw it through; predictably, the one Mehta title under review at the complete review is his novel, Delinquent Chacha.
One of the fun traditions at the start of every year is that the Swedish Academy opens the archives regarding the deliberations about the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature from fifty years earlier; this is where we learn who had been nominated for the prize (and by whom), and who the choice came down to (as well as some of the reasons the eventual winner came out top).
This year we are due to learn about the 1970 prize, which went to Alexandr Solzhenitsyn -- but, as you will have noticed, we haven't heard anything yet .....
Usually, the archive is opened in the first days of January.
This year, however, -- presumably in no small part because of the COVID-problem (closing the Nobel Library, among much else) -- they've announced they're postponing the big reveal, until (at least) the first of February; that is, for now, the provisional date for the opening; tune back in then .....
Originally published -- in the Philippines, where it won the National Book Award -- in 2009, this is the first time it has been published outside the Philippines, in a revised edition, just out from Soho Press.
Also: I really, really have to get around to reviewing José Rizal's Noli Me Tangere.
(His El Filibusterismo has long been under review at the site, but I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of the Penguin Classics edition (Harold Augenbraum's new -- well, 2006 -- translation) -- see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.)