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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 May 2024

11 May: CWA Dagger Awards shortlists | Leïla Slimani Q & A
12 May: Korean and Japanese literature in English | Deborah Levy Q & A
13 May: Premio Strega Europeo | Goodnight Tokyo review
14 May: Carol Shields Prize | Wales Book of the Year shortlists
15 May: Alice Munro (1931-2024) | Goncourt de printemps | RSL Ondaatje Prize | On the Abolition of all Political Parties review
16 May: Ockham New Zealand Book Awards | 118 years after Salome in Graz
17 May: James Tait Black Prizes | Dylan Thomas Prize | Miles Franklin longlist | F-AF Translation Prizes
18 May: Prix mondial Cino Del Duca | Jenny Erpenbeck profile | Hari Kunzru Q & A
19 May: BIO Plutarch Award | European Writers' Festival 2
20 May: Sophie Kerr Prize | Thomas McGuane Q & A(s)

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20 May 2024 - Monday

Sophie Kerr Prize | Thomas McGuane Q & A(s)

       Sophie Kerr Prize

       Washington College has announced the winner of this year's Sophie Kerr Prize, "the nations largest literary award for a college student" -- paying out just over US$77,000 this year (which, as they note, "totals more than the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award combined" -- though it's down from last year's $79,826) -- and it is Sophie Foster; "Primarily a poet, her work largely tends to personal internality and inclinations toward the natural world".
       See also all the finalists.

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



       Thomas McGuane Q & A(s)

       At Hour Detroit Geoff Koch has a Q & A with the author, in How Thomas McGuane Went From Academic Ignominy to Literary Icon.
       McGuane also has story in this week's issue of The New Yorker, and so Deborah Treisman has a Q & A with him about it.

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



19 May 2024 - Sunday

BIO Plutarch Award | European Writers' Festival 2

       BIO Plutarch Award

       The Biographers International Organization has announced the winner of their Plutarch Award for the Best Biography, and it is Anansi's Gold, by Yepoka Yeebo; see also the Bloomsbury publicity page.

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



       European Writers' Festival 2

       The second European Writers' Festival is on at the British Library this weekend, with the theme of 'Transformation'.
       The programme looks pretty good.

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



18 May 2024 - Saturday

Prix mondial Cino Del Duca | Jenny Erpenbeck profile | Hari Kunzru Q & A

       Prix mondial Cino Del Duca

       They've announced the winner of this year's prix mondial Cino Del Duca -- a €200,000 author prize that's been around since 1969 -- and it is Art-author Yasmina Reza; no word yet at the official site, last I checked, but see, for example, the report at ActuaLitté.

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



       Jenny Erpenbeck profile

       At Deutsche Welle Suzanne Cords profiles Jenny Erpenbeck: Germany's least-known famous author.
       Apparently: "Ask your average German who Jenny Erpenbeck is, and they may very well respond, "Jenny who ?"" (Though Cords also notes: "It's not as if Erpenbeck is totally unknown in Germany -- quite the contrary", so I have no idea what the point here is.)

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



       Hari Kunzru Q & A

       The Guardian's 'The books of my life'-Q & A this week features Hari Kunzru.
       Among his responses:
My comfort read

Emile Zola’s 20-volume Rougon Macquart sequence, which I’ve been working my way through over the last couple of years. Sixteen down, four to go. Big set pieces, lots of social detail. It’s a sort of baseline for what a novel can do.
       I've slowly been adding reviews from this series to the complete review for a while now -- most recently, The Masterpiece.

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



17 May 2024 - Friday

James Tait Black Prizes | Dylan Thomas Prize
Miles Franklin longlist | F-AF Translation Prizes

       James Tait Black Prizes

       They've announced the winners of this year's James Tait Black Prizes -- "the UK's longest running literary award" --, with Praiseworthy by Alexis Wright taking the fiction prize, and Traces of Enayat by Iman Mersal and Fassbinder Thousands of Mirrors by Ian Penman sharing the biography prize.

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



       Dylan Thomas Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, "awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under", and it is Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson. No word yet at the official site, last I checked, but see, for example, the report in The Guardian.

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



       Miles Franklin longlist

       Perpetual has announced the longlist for this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award, a leading Australian novel prize, selected from 104 (unfortunately not revealed) books -- and, yes, Alexis Wright's Praiseworthy is on this one as well.

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



       F-AF Translation Prizes

       The French-American Foundation has announced the winners of their Translation Prizes, with Frank Wynne's translation of Mathias Énard's The Annual Banquet of the Gravediggers' Guild winning the fiction category and Angela Hunter and Rebecca Wilkin's co-translation of Louise Dupin's Work on Women: Selections winning the non-fiction category.

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



16 May 2024 - Thursday

Ockham New Zealand Book Awards | 118 years after Salome in Graz

       Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

       They've announced the winners of this year's Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, with Lioness, by Emily Perkins, taking the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction -- see also the Bloomsbury publicity page -- and Te Rautakitahi o Tūhoe ki Ōrākau by Tā Pou Temara (Ngāi Tūhoe) taking the Mūrau o te Tuhi Māori Language Award; see also the Auckland University Press publicity page.

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



       118 years after Salome in Graz

       The title of my new novel, Salome in Graz, refers to the 16 May 1906 Austrian premiere of the Richard Strauss opera -- 118 years ago today !
       Commemorate the occasion by reading my book !

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



15 May 2024 - Wednesday

Alice Munro (1931-2024) | Goncourt de printemps | RSL Ondaatje Prize
On the Abolition of all Political Parties review

       Alice Munro (1931-2024)

       Canadian author and 2013 Nobel laureate Alice Munro has passed away; see, for example, reports at the CBC and The Guardian.
       I am afraid none of her work is under review at the complete review -- mainly because I struggle with reading and especially reviewing short story collections and that was, after all, her thing.

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



       Goncourt de printemps

       The Académie Goncourt has announced (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) its four spring prizes, including for best first novel -- won by Rapatriement, by Eve Guerra; see the Grasset publicity page -- and biography.

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



       RSL Ondaatje Prize

       The Royal Society of Literature has announced the winner of this year's RSL Ondaatje Prize, awarded: "for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place", and it is Fassbinder Thousands Of Mirrors, by Ian Penman; see also the publicity pages from Fitzcarraldo Editions and Semiotext(e).

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



       On the Abolition of all Political Parties review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Simone Weil's On the Abolition of all Political Parties -- a late (and only posthumously published) essay of hers, padded in a volume by pieces by Czesław Miłosz and translator Simon Leys (and still coming in at a total of only seventy-five pages), brought out first by Black Inc. and then New York Review Books anout a decade ago.

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



14 May 2024 - Tuesday

Carol Shields Prize | Wales Book of the Year shortlists

       Carol Shields Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Carol Shields Prize for Fiction, celebrating: "creativity and excellence in fiction by women and non-binary writers in Canada and the United States", and it is Brotherless Night, by V. V. Ganeshananthan.
       The prize is worth US$150,000 -- with the other finalists also each receiving US$12,500.

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



       Wales Book of the Year shortlists

       Literature Wales has announced the shortlists for this year's Wales Book of the Year Awards, two sets of four categories with three finalists each, in English and in Welsh.
       The winners will be announced 4 July.

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



13 May 2024 - Monday

Premio Strega Europeo | Goodnight Tokyo review

       Premio Strega Europeo

       They've announced the winner of this year's Premio Strega Europeo, the leading Italian prize for a work in translation, and it is Neige Sinno's Triste Tigre, translated from the French.
       This has gotten a lot of attention -- and several other prizes, including the prix Femina -- and was the 25th bestselling title in France in 2023, with 199,000 copies sold. It will apparently be published in English by Seven Stories Press in April, 2025; see also the P.O.L publicity page.

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



       Goodnight Tokyo review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Yoshida Atsuhiro's Goodnight Tokyo, due out in English in July, from Europa Editions.

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



12 May 2024 - Sunday

Korean and Japanese literature in English | Deborah Levy Q & A

       Korean and Japanese literature in English

       At the Booker Prizes site Sarah Shaffi explores at some length Why fiction from Korea and Japan has become so popular with English-language readers.

       See also the Japanese and Korean literature under review at the complete review.

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



       Deborah Levy Q & A

       At The Guardian Anthony Cummins has a Q & A with Deborah Levy: ‘Writing and swimming help each other’.

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



11 May 2024 - Saturday

CWA Dagger Awards shortlists | Leïla Slimani Q & A

       CWA Dagger Awards shortlists

       The Crime Writers' Association has announced the shortlists for their Dagger Awards -- not yet at the official site, last I checked, but The Bookseller has the run-down.
       One of the Gold Dagger finalists -- awarded for best crime novel -- is under review at the complete review: The Secret Hours, by Mick Herron, but none of the finalists for the Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger is.
       The winners will be announced 4 July.

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



       Leïla Slimani Q & A

       This week's 'The books of my life'-Q & A at The Guardian is with the The Perfect Nanny- (aka as Lullaby-)author -- Leïla Slimani: ‘Salman Rushdie’s books made me feel I could become a writer’.

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



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