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


The Literary Saloon Archive

11 - 16 June 2021

11 June: Premio Strega finalists | Joseph-Breitbach-Preis | Friedrich Dürrenmatt under surveillance | Potsdamer Platz review
12 June: Pulitzer Prizes | Forthcoming Soyinka
13 June: Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize | Daniel Kehlmann Q & A | October Child review
14 June: Ariel Barría Alvarado (1959-2021) | Labor Relations review
15 June: Deutscher Sachbuchpreis
16 June: 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature finalists | Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel shortlist | Love and Sex in the Time of Plague review

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16 June 2021 - Wednesday

2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature finalists
Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel shortlist
Love and Sex in the Time of Plague review

       2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature finalists

       They've announced the ten finalists for the 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the biennial author prize where ten jurors each nominate an author and then vote (in late October) on a winner.
       Books by only two of the finalists are under review at the complete review: Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (There Once Lived a Girl who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself) and Boris Boubacar Diop (The Knight and His Shadow)
       Certainly an interesting selection. I'm particularly intrigued by Hamid Ismailov's nominee, Jean-Pierre Balpe -- not exactly the French author you'd most expect to make this list. There's also very little of his work, in any form, available in English -- but you can get some idea about some of what he does from his piece on Principles and Processes of Generative Literature: Questions to Literature. And there's apparently an issue of Hyperrhiz that features: "A collection of Facebook and other textbots" he ... authored.
       (Has there ever been a Neustadt nominee so little of whose work is available in English ? And I wonder how that will affect the judging.)

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



       Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel shortlist

       They've announced the six shortlisted titles for this year's Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.
       Readers can now vote for the winner, which will be announced on 22 July.

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



       Love and Sex in the Time of Plague review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Guido Ruggiero's Love and Sex in the Time of Plague: A Decameron Renaissance, just out from Harvard University Press.

       Yes, this time of the plague isn't ours but the fourteenth century -- and this certainly makes me eager to return to Boccaccio's Decameron. (And to read up more on virtù and virtue, finally making it through James Hankins' Virtue Politics, also from Harvard University Press.)

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



15 June 2021 - Tuesday

Deutscher Sachbuchpreis

       Deutscher Sachbuchpreis

       They've announced the winner of this year's German Non-Fiction Prize, and it is Hegels Welt, by Jürgen Kaube.
       They were unable to award the year last year (despite getting 240 submissions), so this is the first time this prize has been awarded.
       See also the Rowohlt foreign rights page for Hegels Welt. I have an (e-)copy and have found it quite engaging -- Hegel's world was indeed a fascinating one. I am not sure I'll be able to get to a full review -- I hate reviewing off of e-copies ... -- but I might; in any case, I wouldn't be surprised to see a US/UK publisher pick it up.

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



14 June 2021 - Monday

Ariel Barría Alvarado (1959-2021) | Labor Relations review

       Ariel Barría Alvarado (1959-2021)

       Panamanian author Ariel Barría Alvarado has passed away; see, for example, the report at La Estrella de Panamá.

       One doesn't see much Panamanian fiction in English translation -- so also, so far, none of his; Barría Alvarado was a five-time winner of the leading Panamanian literary prize, the Concurso Nacional de Literatura Ricardo Miró, thrice in the novel category, twice in the short-fiction category; see also this overview.

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



       Labor Relations review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Watanabe Kazuo's 1979 Japanese Business Novel, Labor Relations.

       There are several examples of this genre available in translation -- Tamae K. Prindle, who also translated this one, has brought out quite a few -- though obviously there was a lot more interest in these in the 1980s, when Japan was a more feared economic competitor in the US.
       It's not the first keizai shōsetsu (経済小説) under review at the complete review -- see, for example, Azuchi Satoshi's Supermarket -- but I still haven't come across one that is much good, as a work of fiction. But I'll keep looking; it is a fascinating (if very local) kind of workplace/corporate fiction.

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



13 June 2021 - Sunday

Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize | Daniel Kehlmann Q & A | October Child review

       Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize

       They've annou8nced the winner of this year's Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize, awarded for: "book-length literary translations into English from any living European language", and it is Nichola Smalley, for her translation of Andrzej Tichý's Wretchedness.
       I haven't seen this one yet, but see the And Other Stories publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Daniel Kehlmann Q & A

       At hlo they continue their The State of Things-interview series with Daniel Kehlmann: "Sometimes before that return to clarity the crises are turbulent".

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



       October Child review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Linda Boström Knausgård's October Child, just out in English, from World Editions.

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



12 June 2021 - Saturday

Pulitzer Prizes | Forthcoming Soyinka

       Pulitzer Prizes

       They've announced this year's Pulitzer Prizes.

       The fiction prize went to The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich; see also the publicity pages from Harper Perennial and Corsair, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
       The other finalists were: A Registry of My Passage upon the Earth by Daniel Mason and Telephone by Percival Everett.

       The Criticism prize went to Wesley Morris, for: "unrelentingly relevant and deeply engaged criticism on the intersection of race and culture in America, written in a singular style, alternately playful and profound". No literary critics were among the finalists.

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



       Forthcoming Soyinka

       US/UK publication of Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka's novel Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth -- "his first novel in almost 50 years" -- is due in September, and in Publishers Weekly Louisa Ermelino previews that and profiles the author, in Wole Soyinka Returns.
       I'm looking forward to this one; meanwhile, see the publicity pages from Pantheon and Bloomsbury, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



11 June 2021 - Friday

Premio Strega finalists | Joseph-Breitbach-Preis
Friedrich Dürrenmatt under surveillance | Potsdamer Platz review

       Premio Strega finalists

       They've announced the five finalists -- with vote totals ! -- for the Premio Strega, the leading Italian fiction prize.
       The winner will be announced 8 July.

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



       Joseph-Breitbach-Preis

       They've announced the winner of this year's Joseph Breitbach Prize, a €50,000 author-prize honoring a German-writing author's entire output, in any genres, and it is Karl-Heinz Ott.
       Previous winners include Jenny Erpenbeck (2013) and Arno Geiger (2018); in banner year 2000 the prize was shared by Ilse Aichinger, W.G. Sebald, and Markus Werner.

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



       Friedrich Dürrenmatt under surveillance

       As swissinfo.ch summarizes, Swiss secret service spied on Dürrenmatt.
       Okay, apparently: "The Swiss federal police ended up collecting information on more than 800,000 people – every 20th Swiss citizen and every third foreigner – suspected of “unSwiss” behaviour during the Cold War". Still .....

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



       Potsdamer Platz review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Curt Corrinth's 1919 novel, Potsdamer Platz,or, The Nights of the New Messiah: Ecstatic Visions -- with illustrations by Paul Klee -- just out in English from Wakefield Press.

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



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