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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 - 20 November 2022

11 November: Premio Cervantes | Goldsmiths Prize | Bayerischer Buchpreis
12 November: Rixdorf Editions | Hungarian Speculative Fiction | Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas review
13 November: Boye's Crisis | John Banville Q & A
14 November: Jon Fosse Q & A | Boekenbon Literatuurprijs
15 November: Warwick Prize shortlist | Time's 100 Must-Read Books of 2022 | Prix du Meilleur livre étranger
16 November: KLWave | Jenny Bhatt Q & A | Punishment of a Hunter review
17 November: National Book Awards | Governor General's Literary Awards | TLS Books of the Year
18 November: Baillie Gifford Prize | Murakami 'By the Book' | Carnap reviews
19 November: PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants | Ann Goldstein Q & A
20 November: JCB Prize for Literature | Mori Ōgai meals

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20 November 2022 - Sunday

JCB Prize for Literature | Mori Ōgai meals

       JCB Prize for Literature

       They've announced the winner of this year's JCB Prize for Literature, a leading Indian fiction prize, and it is The Paradise of Food, by Khalid Jawed, translated from the Urdu by Baran Farooqi; see, for example, the Scroll.in report.
       Get your copy at Amazon.com, Flipkart, or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Mori Ōgai meals

       In The Asahi Shinbun Takashi Konishi reports that Literary giant Mori Ogai's favorite dishes recreated, served, as:
Now, a ryokan inn association in his hometown here is trying to capitalize on his fame by serving his favorite dishes recreated on the basis of recollections of his daughters and others close to the writer.
       Apparently: "They offer a tantalizing glimpse into his obsession with cleanliness" -- and:
While some dishes are suggestive of what today might be diagnosed as a compulsive cleanliness disorder, others are downright eccentric.
       The only one of his works under review at the complete review is The Wild Geese.

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



19 November 2022 - Saturday

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants | Ann Goldstein Q & A

       PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants

       PEN America has announced their 2023 literary grant winners for literary works-in-progress, including the PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants; scroll down for the winning projects. They include translations from the Filipino, Swahili, Urdu, and Bulgarian, among other languages.

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



       Ann Goldstein Q & A

       At Public Books Saskia Ziolkowski and host Aarthi Vadde have a Q & A with (Elena Ferrante-)translator Ann Goldstein; 'Translation is the closest way to read:'; you can listen to it, or read the transcript (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) .

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



18 November 2022 - Friday

Baillie Gifford Prize | Murakami 'By the Book' | Carnap reviews

       Baillie Gifford Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's £50,000 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, and it is Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne, by Katherine Rundell.
       See also the publicity pages from Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Faber, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Murakami 'By the Book'

       This weekend's By the Book-column in The New York Times Book Review features the Novelist as a Vocation-author, in What Books Does Haruki Murakami Find Disappointing ? His Own.
       Among his responses:
While I’m writing a novel, I often translate fiction. It’s a nice change of pace, an excellent way to make a mental switch. Translating uses a different part of the brain from composing a novel, so it keeps one side of my brain from wearing out.
       And I can certainly appreciate this attitude:
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite ?

My apologies, but I’m not big on dinner parties.

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



       Carnap reviews

       The most recent additions to the complete review are my reviews of the first two volumes of Rudolf Carnap's diaries:        These are both from the remarkable Meiner Verlag -- see, for example, Peter Laudenbach's profile in brand eins Kant kann warten.

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



17 November 2022 - Thursday

National Book Awards | Governor General's Literary Awards
TLS Books of the Year

       National Book Awards

       The (American) National Book Foundation has announced the winners of this year's National Book Awards.
       The award for Translated Literature goes to Seven Empty Houses by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell; see also the Riverhead publicity page.
       The award for fiction goes to The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty; see also the Knopf publicity page.
       I haven't seen either of these (or any of the other winners).

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



       Governor General's Literary Awards

       They've announced the winners of this year's Governor General's Literary Awards, a leading Canadian literary prize.
       Winners were announced in each of seven categories in each of the two languages represented, French and English.
       The English-language fiction winner is Pure Colour by Sheila Heti; the French-language fiction winner is Mille secrets mille dangers by Alain Farah.

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



       TLS Books of the Year

       The Times Literary Supplement has their: "contributors select their favourite books of 2022", in Books of the Year 2022, generally one of the more interesting of these kinds of list (though it seems disappointingly non-fiction-heavy this year).

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



16 November 2022 - Wednesday

KLWave | Jenny Bhatt Q & A | Punishment of a Hunter review

       KLWave

       The Literature Translation Institute of Korea has announced a new online platform, KLWave, which includes a database of some 1,088 authors, 4,735 book titles, and 39 translators.
       See also Park Ga-young's report in The Korea Herald on how New online platform KLWave aims to lead literature's Hallyu.

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



       Jenny Bhatt Q & A

       In The Dallas Morning News Joyce Sáenz Harris has a Q & A with the translator of Dhumketu's The Shehnai Virtuoso, Jenny Bhatt, in This Dallas author is shining a light on Desi authors from around the globe.
       Among her responses:
The New York Times has a series called “Read Your Way Around the World.” How significant is it that American journalism is becoming more open to international literature ?

I love that series. That said, I check it regularly and see barely a couple of South Asian works featured and they’re typically from languages at the top of the South Asian translation pyramid: Bangla, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, etc. For robust international literature coverage, we need to look to, again, independent venues like Words Without Borders, World Literature Today, Asymptote Journal and, of course, Desi Books.

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



       Punishment of a Hunter review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A Leningrad Confidential by Yulia Yakovleva, Punishment of a Hunter, the first in the series.

       Crime fiction has exploded in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but relatively little beyond Boris Akunin has been translated into English so I was curious about this. A second instalment in the series is due out next year.

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



15 November 2022 - Tuesday

Warwick Prize shortlist | Time's 100 Must-Read Books of 2022
Prix du Meilleur livre étranger

       Warwick Prize shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Warwick Prize for Women in Translation.
       Two of the seven titles remaining in the running are under review at the complete review -- Karen Van Dyck's translation of Margarita Liberaki's Three Summers and Daisy Rockwell's translation of Geetanjali Shree's Tomb of Sand.
       The winner will be announced on 24 November.

       (And don't forget that this prize admirably reveals all the books (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) that were considered for the prize -- like every literary prize should.)

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



       Time's 100 Must-Read Books of 2022

       Yet another very early best-of-the-year list, as Time has released its list of The 100 Must-Read Books of 2022.
       (I've read and reviewed all of four of these .....)

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



       Prix du Meilleur livre étranger

       They've announced the winners of this year's prix du Meilleur livre étranger, a leading French foreign book prize, with Juan Gabriel Vásquez's Retrospective winning in the novel category, and Maria Stepanova's In Memory of Memory winning in the non-fiction category; see also the Livres Hebdo report.

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



14 November 2022 - Monday

Jon Fosse Q & A | Boekenbon Literatuurprijs

       Jon Fosse Q & A

       At The New Yorker Merve Emre has a Q & A with the author, in Jon Fosse's Search for Peace.
       Lots of interesting stuff here -- including the news that Fosse is translating Gerald Murnane's The Plains into Norwegian (and that he has previously translated Kafka and Trakl).
       I fully agree with Emre's wish, that: "more novelists would work as translators" -- but, of course, many of them do, outside the English-speaking world. (In the US/UK ... not so much.) In any case it's good to see that Fosse does this as well -- and that he recognizes:
I really like to translate. It's like reading, in a way, but you get very deep. It's very deep reading.
       Embarrassingly, I haven't gotten to his Septology yet (I don't have the full set ...), but several Fosse-works are under review at the complete review, e.g. Scenes from a Childhood.

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



       Boekenbon Literatuurprijs

       They've announced the winner of this year's Boekenbon Literature Prize, the leading Dutch book prize (which you might remember from its days as the AKO Literatuurprijs), and it is Het lied van ooievaar en dromedaris, by Anjet Daanje; see also the Uitgeverij Passage publicity page and the Dutch Foundation for Literature information page.
       This is another prize that does it right: they publish a list of all the titles entered (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) and hence in the running for the prize -- something that all literary prizes should do. They considered 565 titles -- remember that, too, next time the Booker Prize judges yammer about how many books they have to consider .....

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



13 November 2022 - Sunday

Boye's Crisis | John Banville Q & A

       Boye's Crisis

       Karin Boye's most famous novel is Kallocain, but recently my review of her Crisis has been among the most popular at the site.
       Only now have I learned why: apparently the book gets mentioned in something called 'Young Royals', which can be seen on Netflix; with McKinley Franklin explaining that The Book Featured In ‘Young Royals’ Season 2 Has So Many Parallels With The Show at Her Campus.
       Hey, whatever the reason, it's great to see the book get some attention -- and I hope it helps Norvik Press, who published this, shift a few more copies.

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



       John Banville Q & A

       At The Guardian Anthony Cummins has a Q & A with John Banville: ‘There’s been a creeping retreat into infantilism’.
       But sad to hear:
I’m an old man and I don’t read much fiction; whatever fiction gives you, I don’t seem to need it any more.
       I can't imagine ever reaching that point ......

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



12 November 2022 - Saturday

Rixdorf Editions | Hungarian Speculative Fiction
Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas review

       Rixdorf Editions

       Via I'm alerted to the sad news that Rixdorf Editions is closing shop; see publisher James J. Conway on five years of Rixdorf Editions, wondering What am I doing here ?
       This was a worthwhile endeavor, impressively carried through -- and aside from being an interesting selection of titles, the Rixdorf books are physically things of beauty. I have two -- and am ashamed that I haven't yet gotten around to covering them, since they definitely deserve the coverage and attention, and readers. I'm disappointed to hear there won't be more.

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



       Hungarian Speculative Fiction

       At hlo Austin Wagner offers an introduction and overview of Hungarian Speculative Fiction: Forceful, Vicious, Viscous -- far too little of which is, of course, available in English translation.

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



       Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jules Verne's classic, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas.

       I read huge piles of Verne in my youth, but mostly (especially the better-known titles like this one) in German and English translations -- and I suspect quite a few of these were of the inferior variety, so it seems worthwhile to return to some of these in the newer, more reliable (and nicely annotated) editions. William Butcher has also done Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Centre of the Earth in the Oxford World's Classics-series, and I think I'll try to seek those out as well.

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



11 November 2022 - Friday

Premio Cervantes | Goldsmiths Prize | Bayerischer Buchpreis

       Premio Cervantes

       They've announced the winner of this year's Premio de Literatura en Lengua Castellana Miguel de Cervantes, the leading Spanish-language author prize (which also pays out €125,000), and it is Rafael Cadenas -- the first ever Venezuelan winner of this prize which they've been awarding since 1976.
       Not much of his work is available in English -- but you can get the collection The Land of Mild Light; see the Arrowsmith Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com.
       See also a Q & A by Claudia Sierich with Cadenas at Latin American Literature Today.

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



       Goldsmiths Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Goldsmiths Prize, and it is Diego Garcia, by Natasha Soobramanien and Luke Williams.
       Diego Garcia was published by Semiotext(e) in the US and Fitzcarraldo Editions in the UK; get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Bayerischer Buchpreis

       They've announced the winners of this year's Bavarian Book Prize in the two categories, fiction and non, with Wilderer by Reinhard Kaiser-Mühlecker taking the fiction prize; see also the S.Fischer foreign rights page.

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



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