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


The Literary Saloon Archive

1 - 10 September 2021

1 September: Knausgaard Q & A | New Latin American Literature Today
2 September: Europese Literatuurprijs | Istros Books Q & A | La Madre review
3 September: Österreichischer Buchpreis longlist | National Translation Awards longlists | Sasha Dugdale Q & A | Monkey Man review
4 September: Age Book of the Year | Bayerischer Buchpreis shortlists | Biblioasis Q & A | I Never Had a Best-Seller review
5 September: Fall previews | Words without Borders Q & A
6 September: W.F.Hermans at 100 | Genese Grill Q & A
7 September: JCB Prize for Literature longlist | Reykjavík International Literary Festival | The American review
8 September: Prix Goncourt longlist | Awake review
9 September: Women's Prize for Fiction | Ottaway Award | Prix de la littérature arabe finalists | Giller Prize shortlist | Karl Ove Knausgaard Q & A
10 September: Longlists: Prix Renaudot - Prix Mémorable - Baillie Gifford Prize | Lucien Stryk Prize shortlist | Eight Dogs, or "Hakkenden" review

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10 September 2021 - Friday

Longlists: Prix Renaudot - Prix Mémorable - Baillie Gifford Prize
Lucien Stryk Prize shortlist | Eight Dogs, or "Hakkenden" review

       Longlist: Prix Renaudot

       The French prize-longlist announcements keep coming, including now that for the prix Renaudot; see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report.
       There are sixteen titles on the list, including the Goncourt-overlooked latest by Amélie Nothomb and the Goncourt-longlisted titles by Anne Berest, Maria Pourchet, Abel Quentin, and Mohamed Mbougar Sarr. But no David Diop !
       They also announced the longlist for the non-fiction Renaudot -- ten titles.

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



       Longlist: Prix Mémorable

       The prix Mémorable is basically for a work by a previously unknown-in-French foreign author, or by a French author who has: "tombé dans l'oubli ou méconnu" and whose work is being re-issued again; examples of previous winners include John William's Stoner (an example of the former), in 2011, and Emmanuel Bove's My Friends (an example of the latter), in 2016. As such, it is meant to be a prize that, in particular, rewards editorial choices -- finding worthy foreign titles, or bringing back worthy French ones.
       They've now announced this year's ten-title strong longlist, which includes books by Brendan Behan, Wright Morris, Claude McKay, and Gabrielle Wittkop.

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



       Longlist: Baillie Gifford Prize

       They've announced the longlist for this year's Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, a UK-based £50,000 prize for non-fiction, open to authors of all nationalities.

       The longlist has thirteen titles, including two in translation -- including Maria Stepanova's In Memory of Memory, which you may recall was shortlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize -- a prize for a work of fiction .....

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



       Lucien Stryk Prize shortlist

       The American Literary Translators Association has announced the four finalists for the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize.
       (Note that the prize is only for some Asian translation: books must be: "a) poetry or b) source texts from Zen Buddhism (which must not consist solely of commentaries)", and on top of that only translations from Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Sanskrit, Tamil, Thai, or Vietnamese are considered.)

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



       Eight Dogs, or "Hakkenden" review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Part One: An Ill-Considered Jest of Kyokutei Bakin's early nineteenth-century Japanese classic, Eight Dogs, or "Hakkenden".

       Translator Glynne Walley is planning on translating the entire work -- originally published serially over twenty-eight (!) years, and some ten times the length of this volume -- and I hope he and his publisher are able to see it through; as is, it's great to have this first volume, recently out in the Cornell East Asia Series.
       As Walley notes in his Introduction, this is: "one of the monuments of Japanese literature" -- and a fascinating example of nineteenth-century (i.e. modern but pre-(strongly-)Western influenced) Japanese literature, of which far too little is available in English translation; a complete translation of this work is long, long overdue.

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



9 September 2021 - Thursday

Women's Prize for Fiction | Ottaway Award
Prix de la littérature arabe finalists | Giller Prize shortlist
Karl Ove Knausgaard Q & A

       Women's Prize for Fiction

       They've announced the winner of this year's Women's Prize for Fiction, and it is Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke.

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



       Ottaway Award

       They've announced the winner of this year's Words without Borders Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature, and it is Naveen Kishore, the publisher of the great Seagull Books -- certainly one of the leading publishers of works in English translation anywhere.
       He will receive the award in a "private hybrid ceremony in New York City on September 30".

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



       Prix de la littérature arabe finalists

       The Fondation Jean-Luc Lagardère and the l’Institut du monde arabe have announced the finalists for this year's prix de la littérature arabe.
       There are eight finalists; five of the works were originally written in Arabic, and three in French.
       The only one of these titles under review at the complete review is Aziz Mohammed's The Critical Case of a Man Called K .

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



       Giller Prize shortlist

       They've announced the finalists for this year's Scotiabank Giller Prize, a leading Canadian fiction prize, twelve titles selected from 132 submitted titles.
       Three of the titles are story collections, the rest novels.
       The shortlist will be announced 5 October, and the winner on 8 November.

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



       Karl Ove Knausgaard Q & A

       With Karl Ove Knausgaard's new novel, The Morning Star, coming out shortly the interviews keep coming, too -- see now Adam Dalva's at The Millions, Karl Ove Knausgaard Will Not Read This Interview.

       I haven't seen The Morning Star yet but hope to get to it; meanwhile, see the publicity pages from the Penguin Press and Harvill Secker, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



8 September 2021 - Wednesday

Prix Goncourt longlist | Awake review

       Prix Goncourt longlist

       French prize-watch season begins in serious now, with the announcement (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) of the sixteen-title-strong longlist for the biggest of them all, the prix Goncourt.
       Authors with books which made the cut who have had works translated into English include Christine Angot, Agnès Desarthe, Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, Tanguy Viel, and, of course, the winner of this year's International Booker Prize, David Diop.
       This is a four-round prize, with the shorter longlist to be announced 5 October, the shortlist then on 26 October, and then the winner on 3 November.

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



       Awake review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Harald Voetmann's Pliny the Elder-novel, Awake -- just (about) out in English from New Directions.

       This is apparently the first in a loose trilogy of historical-figure-based fictions, the following two centering on Tycho Brahe and Othlo of St. Emmeram, respectively; it'll be interesting to see how the trio works as a whole.

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



7 September 2021 - Tuesday

JCB Prize for Literature longlist | Reykjavík International Literary Festival
The American review

       JCB Prize for Literature longlist

       They've announced (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) the ten-title-strong longlist for this year's JCB Prize for Literature, one of the leading Indian fiction prizes.
       Three of the titles are works in translation; amazingly, they're all translations from the Malayalam.
       I haven't seen any of these, but I do hope some are eventually more readily US/UK available.
       The shortlist will be anounced 4 October, and the winner on 13 November.

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



       Reykjavík International Literary Festival

       The Reykjavík International Literary Festival starts tomorrow and runs through the 11th.

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



       The American review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Henry James' The American.

       I keep meaning to make my way through more James (and there is a lot ...); maybe I finally will.

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



6 September 2021 - Monday

W.F.Hermans at 100 | Genese Grill Q & A

       W.F.Hermans at 100

       They celebrated the hundredth anniversary of Dutch author Willem Frederik Hermans' birth on 1 September -- including the unveiling of a memorial stone in De Nieuwe Kerk,
       Not any English-language coverage, but lots in the Dutch press, including Michel Krielaars suggesting that if 'he wasn't such a difficult character and hadn't been so opposed to translations of his work he could have been as big an author as Graham Greene, Günter Grass, or Louis-Ferdinand Céline', while Guy Verhofstadt explains (in Dutch) 'Why Hermans is completely of this surreal time'.. At Boeken over Boeken they usefully have a running list of centenary events

       Several Hermans works are under review at the complete review:        And Archipelago is bringing out A Guardian Angel Recalls in November; I'll be getting to that in the next couple of weeks; meanwhile, see their publicity page. But if you want to see how much more there is to translate, check out the (still in progress) collected works site; they're up to twenty-one volumes.

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



       Genese Grill Q & A

       At Fifteen Questions they have ... Fifteen Questions Literature Interview with Genese Grill

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



5 September 2021 - Sunday

Fall previews | Words without Borders Q & A

       Fall previews

       The upcoming fall season apparently includes a lot of 'big' books; for some previews see, for example, Legends of the fall: the 50 biggest books of autumn 2021, collected by Justine Jordan and Katy Guest in The Guardian, and 40 Books We Can't Wait to Read This Fall at Vulture.
       I have seen all of ... one of these -- the Soyinka; it's on both, and my review should be up soon -- but I do hope to see a few more; regardless, these lists don't seem to come close to covering anything close to everything of interest that's coming out, so I hope you don't rely on just this sort of stuff but rather look (considerably) beyond.

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



       Words without Borders Q & A

       The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses has a Member Spotlight: Words Without Borders, as they: "spoke with Karen Phillips, the executive director of Words Without Borders, in this installment of the CLMP Member Spotlight series".
       I imagine that everyone who reads this weblog is familiar with Words without Borders; if, for some reason, you aren't yet a regular visitor to the site, please do check it out.

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



4 September 2021 - Saturday

Age Book of the Year | Bayerischer Buchpreis shortlists
Biblioasis Q & A | I Never Had a Best-Seller review

       Age Book of the Year

       After a nine year hiatus the Age Book of the Year is back again, and they've now announced this year's winner -- The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott.
       See also the publicity pages from FSG Originals and Atlantic Books, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Bayerischer Buchpreis shortlists

       After the announcement of the German Book Prize longlist last week, and the Austrian Book Prize longlist the day before yesterday, we now get even more regional, with the announcement of the shortlists for the Bavarian Book Prize - three titles each in the fiction and non categories.
       The deliberations and prize announcement ceremony -- on 11 November -- proceed a bit differently than usual for a literary prize: the jurors will discuss the six titles in the running live in front of an audience (and the nominated authors) -- and will decide then and there, on stage, who gets the prizes. I assume they'll have talked this through some backstage beforehand, but still, this has some potential; I particularly like the idea of live and in-front-of-an-audience deliberations -- manageable, with only three books to choose from in each category. Maybe more literary prizes should try this !

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



       Biblioasis Q & A

       At the Literary Hub Corinne Segal has an Interview with an Indie Press: Biblioasis.
       Canada-based Biblioasis certainly has an interesting list -- well worth checking out.

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



       I Never Had a Best-Seller review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jacob Steinberg's I Never Had a Best-Seller: The Story of a Small Publisher.
       Steinberg was the founder of Twayne -- best-known for their enormous and invaluable Authors-series, but also publishers of quite an interesting variety beyond that.

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



3 September 2021 - Friday

Österreichischer Buchpreis longlist | National Translation Awards longlists
Sasha Dugdale Q & A | Monkey Man review

       Österreichischer Buchpreis longlist

       Last week they announced the longlist for this year's German Book Prize, and now they've announced the longlist for this year's Austrian Book Prize -- ten titles, selected from 122 submissions, with two titles -- Monika Helfer's Vati and Ferdinand Schmalz's Mein Lieblingstier heißt Winter -- making both the German and Austrian longlists. (Unlike the German Book Prize -- strictly a novel-prize --, the Austrian Book Prize is wide open: fiction and non, poetry and drama are all welcome; nevertheless, the longlist is dominated by works of fiction.)

       One of the longlisted titles is actually already under review at the complete review -- Raphaela Edelbauer's Dave.

       The shortlist will be announced 7 October, and the winner on 8 November.

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



       National Translation Awards longlists

       The American Literary Translators Association has announced the longlists for this year's National Translation Awards in Prose and Poetry.

       Somewhat disappointingly, only a single title in each category is under review at the complete review: Sam Bett and David Boyd's translation of Kawakami Mieko's Breasts and Eggs in the prose category, and Geoffrey Brock's translation of Giuseppe Ungaretti's Allegria in the poetry category. (I do have copies of several more of the prose titles, so maybe I'll get to some of those.)

       The winners will be announced on 16 October.

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



       Sasha Dugdale Q & A

       At Scroll.in Anita Gopalan has: 'An interview on translating from Russian, poetry, and publishing', ‘I sometimes wonder why I translate. It expands something in you’: Translator Sasha Dugdale.

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



       Monkey Man review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ichikawa Takuji's Monkey Man, the latest Red Circle Mini (in a convenient true pocket-sized edition).

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



2 September 2021 - Thursday

Europese Literatuurprijs | Istros Books Q & A | La Madre review

       Europese Literatuurprijs

       They've announced the winner of this year's Europese Literatuurprijs, a prize for the best Dutch translation of a European novel, and it is Where You Come From, by Saša Stanišić -- a book that already won the German Book Prize, in 2019.
       The English translation, by Damion Searls, is coming out later this fall; see the publicity pages from Tin House and Jonathan Cape, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Istros Books Q & A

       In the new issue of the Bosphorus Review of Books Luke Frostick has a Q & A, "These were places that had amazing stories to tell and hadn’t been told." An interview with Susan Curtis Editor of Istros Books
       Specializing in translations from the Balkans and Turkey, Istros Books has an interesting list; several Istros titles are under review at the complete review.

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



       La Madre review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of 1926(-but-only-awarded-in-1927) Nobel laureate Grazia Deledda's 1920 novel, La Madre, recently re-issued by Dedalus.
       (This translation was originally published as The Woman and the Priest and has also been published as The Mother.)

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



1 September 2021 - Wednesday

Knausgaard Q & A | New Latin American Literature Today

       Knausgaard Q & A

       Karl Ove Knausgaard has a new novel coming out, The Morning Star, and at Vulture Torrey Peters has a Q & A with the author, Planet Knausgaard Norway's most famous self-exile debarks for a new frontier: genre fiction..

       I haven't seen The Morning Star yet but do hope to get to it; meanwhile, see the publicity pages from the Penguin Press and Harvill Secker, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       New Latin American Literature Today

       The August 2021 issue of Latin American Literature Today is now available online -- with Clarice Lispector as the featured author and also an Álvaro Mutis-dossier, among much else.
       Of obvious interest, too: the extensive book review section.

       (This issue is: Volume 1 No. 19, and I am kind of curious what their volume-span is; usually I'd expect it to be annual (i.e. a new volume every year), but since Volume 1 No. 1 was the January 2017 issue, obviously they're packing a lot more into each volume ..... When will they start Volume 2 ?)

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



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