Literary Saloon

the literary
weblog at the
complete review

about the saloon

support the site





The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction by M.A.Orthofer
The CR Guide

the Complete Review: the book - A Site History
The CR:the book

to e-mail us:

literary weblogs:

  Books, Inq.
  Critical Mass
  Guardian Books
  The Millions
  NewPages Weblog
  Three Percent

  Rép. des livres

  Arts & Letters Daily
  The Millions
  The Rumpus
  Two Words

  See also: links page

saloon statistics

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

24 February 2018 - Saturday

November 1918 (I) review

       November 1918 (I) review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the first of the four parts of Alfred Döblin trilogy of the (well, 'a', as he called it ...) German Revolution, November 1918, Bürger und Soldaten 1918 -- the part John E. Woods hasn't translated .....
       Döblin -- greatly admired by both Günter Grass (who endowed the Alfred Döblin Prize) and Arno Schmidt, among many others -- has quietly been gaining some English-language momentum in recent years, with New York Review Books bringing out a trio of his works, from a re-issue of The Three Leaps of Wang Lun (see their publicity page, or get your copy at or to the new Michael Hofmann translation of the classic Berlin Alexanderplatz (which is now also out as a Penguin Classic in the UK; get your copy at or
       The November 1918-series would sort of lend itself to a 2018 revival (the hundredth anniversary of the subject matter, after all), but, hey, it took them a while to sort out in German, too, so .....
       Anyway, I do hope to get to the remaining volumes before ... November.

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

23 February 2018 - Friday

Europese Literatuurprijs longlist | Science fiction in ... Bangladesh

       Europese Literatuurprijs longlist

       The Dutch Europese Literatuurprijs is awarded for the best (European) book in Dutch translation, and they've just announced their (twenty-title) 2018 longlist.
       It is limited to European authors, but still interesting to see the variety, and what's been translated into Dutch. There are a few familiar English names, and at least some titles also translated into English -- though some of the most interesting are still to come, like Dubravka Ugrešić's Fox, forthcoming from Open Letter (see their publicity page, or pre-order your copy at or, and Nino Haratischwili's The Eighth Life, forthcoming from Scribe.

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

       Science fiction in ... Bangladesh

       In the Dhaka Tribune Afrose Jahan Chaity reports Ekushey Book Fair: Science-fiction books see the largest sales.
       A new title by Muhammed Zafar Iqbal was apparently all the rage:
Titled "Tratina" [ত্রাতিনা], the book has seen the highest number of sales in the book fair until now. According to its publisher, Somoy Prokashon, it has already sold 30,000 copies.
       But local content apparently isn't enough:
A salesman of Anannya said that keeping up with visitors' demands, they have also published translations of different works of science fictions

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

22 February 2018 - Thursday

IPAF shortlist | LA Times Book Prize finalists
Israeli fiction in ... Israel | A Girl in Exile review

       IPAF shortlist

       They've announced the six-title strong shortlist for this year's International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
       It includes works by Ibrahim Nasrallah and Amir Tag Elsir -- as well as one that's been translated and is due out in English shortly, Shahad Al Rawi's The Baghdad Clock; see the Oneworld publicity page, or pre-order your copy at or
       The winner will be announced 24 April.

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

       LA Times Book Prize finalists

       They've announced the finalists for this year's LA Times Book Prizes -- awarded in ten categories.
       Neat to see Vivek Shanbhag's Ghachar Ghochar -- a book in translation, and a paperback original at that -- as one of five fiction finalists.
       (That is the only one of the finalists under review at the complete review.)

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

       Israeli fiction in ... Israel

       In the Forward Aviya Kushner wonders Do Israeli Writers Still Care About Israeli Literature ?
       Apparently: "Israeli readers are reading less Israeli literature in favor of work in translation" -- and:
in Israel, in literary circles, there is a growing sense of worry about the lack of interest readers are showing in Israeli writers, especially newer and younger writers.
       (See also the Israeli literature under review at the complete review.)

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

       A Girl in Exile review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ismail Kadare's A Girl in Exile: Requiem For Linda B..
       This came out in 2016 in the UK, but it's taken until now for a US edition to come out (from Counterpoint).

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

21 February 2018 - Wednesday

PEN America Literary Awards | Frankfurt Book Fair 'Guests of Honour'
The last 100 reviews

       PEN America Literary Awards

       They've announced the winners of this year's PEN America Literary Awards, with Len Rix's translation of Katalin Street by Szabó Magda winning the translation prize; see also the New York Review Books publicity page, or get your copy at or
       Of course, my favorite category is the PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Award for Paraguayan Literature -- because there definitely isn't enough Paraguayan literature ... well, pretty much anywhere beyond Paraguay. Fantasmario, by Javier Viveros, takes that one -- so we'll hopefully soon/eventually see it translated into English .....

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

       Frankfurt Book Fair 'Guests of Honour'

       More 'Guests of Honour' !
       They've announced that Slovenia to be Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2022 -- just a few weeks after they announced that Italy to be Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2023.
       Tiding you over until then, the Frankfurt Book Fair has the following Guests of Honour:
  • 2018: Georgia
  • 2019: Norway
  • 2020: Canada
  • 2021: Spain
       So you can already plan pretty far ahead now ....

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

       The last 100 reviews

       Yes, I'm up to 4100 books under review at the complete review, so it's time for another overview of the past 100 reviewed titles.

       - The last 100 reviews were posted over a zippy 163 days (previous hundred: almost a month longer, at 188 day), totaling 99,527 words (up considerably from the previous hundred: 93,697 ); the longest review was 3258 words, and eight reviews were over 1500 words long.
       The reviewed books had a total of 25,555 pages (previous hundred: 25,387); despite a higher average page-total than the last hundred, the trend of short and shorter books in translation continues, with ten reviewed titles (one-tenth of the total) under 100 pages (last hundred: seven).

       - Reviewed books were originally written in 23 different languages (including English; previous hundred: 26), with English topping the field (22), ahead of French (16) and Japanese (9). No new languages were added. (See also the updated full breakdown of all the languages books under review were originally written in.)

       - Reviewed books were by authors from 34 countries (previous 100: 36), led by France (12), followed by the UK and the US (10 each).

       - As always, male-written books were overwhelmingly dominant -- 82 of the reviewed books were written by men (improving the horribly sexist average of written-by-women titles under review ever so slightly, to ... 15.85 per cent).

       - Three books received a grade of 'A' -- Andrés Barba's Such Small Hands, Annie Ernaux's The Years, and Dag Solstad's T Singer. One book rated a 'C-'; two were ungraded.

       - Fiction dominated, as always, with 85 titles that were novels/novellas/stories.

       As always, there are all sorts of areas, languages, genres, etc. that I wish I'd read more of/from. Maybe eventually .....

If you want to support the site,
consider becoming a patron:

Become a patron via Patreon

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

20 February 2018 - Tuesday

Republic of Consciousness Prize shortlist | Fariba Vafi Q & A
Cruel is the Night review

       Republic of Consciousness Prize shortlist

       The shortlist for the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small (UK and Irish) Presses has been announced.
       This looks like a pretty interesting list -- but I haven't seen any of these.
       The winner will be announced next month.

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

       Fariba Vafi Q & A

       At Sabine Oelze has a Q & A with Author Fariba Vafi: Writers struggle for influence in Iran.
       Her My Bird has been translated into English, and see information about two other titles at Gazelle International.

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

       Cruel is the Night review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Karo Hämäläinen's thriller, Cruel is the Night, which Soho Press brought out last year (and is due out in paperback soon).

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

19 February 2018 - Monday

Gender in English-Language Fiction | JQ Wingate Prize
The Life and Opinions of Zacharias Lichter review

       Gender in English-Language Fiction

       An interesting study in the Journal of Cultural Analytics, where Ted Underwood, David Bamman, and Sabrina Lee data-crunch (a lot of books) in examining The Transformation of Gender in English-Language Fiction.
       Not only do they find a decrease of descriptions of women in English-language fiction "from the nineteenth century through the early 1960s", but also a stunning fall in the number of authors who were women that has also only recently been reversed.
       In Smithsonian Kat Eschner offers a summary of the findings, in Women Were Better Represented in Victorian Novels Than Modern Ones.

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

       JQ Wingate Prize

       They've announced that The Mighty Franks by Michael Frank has won the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize, "awarded to the best book -- fiction or non-fiction -- to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader"; see, for example, Daniel Sugarman's report in The Jewish Chronicle, Michael Frank wins JQ Wingate literary prize.
       See also the Farrar, Straus and Giroux publicity page, or get your copy at or

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

       The Life and Opinions of Zacharias Lichter review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Matei Calinescu's The Life and Opinions of Zacharias Lichter, a 1969 Romanian novel only now forthcoming in English, from New York Review Books.
       Despite the fact that Călinescu was a longtime US-resident -- and wrote and published several works in English after emigrating in 1973 -- this work only appears in English now. And it really is a nice little (re)discovery.

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

18 February 2018 - Sunday

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants | 2023 review

       PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants

       They've announced the recipients of the 2018 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants -- and the winner of the PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature, for good measure.
       Thirteen project were selected for translation fund grants -- from 177 applications -- in thirteen different languages, no less, and they include Srinath Perur's translation of Ghachar Ghochar-author Vivek Shanbhag's All Will Be Revealed, Michael Gluck's translation of Alexander Ilichevsky's Russian Booker Prize-winning Matisse, and Jamie Lee Searle's translation of Valerie Fritsch's Winter's Garden (see also the Suhrkamp foreign rights page).
       "Publishers and editors who wish to express an interest in any of these projects are invited to contact PEN Literary Awards" -- and I certainly hope they do, there's some very promising stuff here.

       "The PEN/Heim Translation Fund was established in the summer of 2003 by an endowed gift of $730,000 from Priscilla and Michael Henry Heim" -- and you can read more about translator Heim in the Open Letter volume, The Man Between.

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

       2023 review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of 2023: A Trilogy, by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (i.e. its "current representatives [...] Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond").

       Several Drummond/KLF and related titles are under review at the complete review -- including the Annual Report, which would appear to be the review copy that has most appreciated in value of all those I have received over the many years of running this site (though given its limited availability -- a single ridiculous offer at, and only two at -- the market is not exactly liquid ...). . Which reminds me of publisher ellipsis, several of whose titles I covered (kindly provided by them, back in the day) -- now long gone, but see for example, an Internet Archive snapshot. (Which in turn reminds me of other lost and much-missed UK publishers, like Codex (snapshot), publishers of Martin Millar, Steve Aylett, Jeff Noon's Cobralingus (and remember that site ? snapshot), Stewart Home .....)

       Meanwhile, 2023 was published by ... Faber & Faber. (But the novel has the distinction of making both of my favorite site-indexes: Real People in Works of Fiction and Titles beginning with/consisting of a number.)

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

17 February 2018 - Saturday

Ahmet Altan conviction | Global Humanities Translation Prize

       Ahmet Altan conviction

       Turkish author (Endgame) and journalist Ahmet Altan, his brother Mehmet, and Nazlı Ilıcak were among six people sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday in the continuing Turkish government crackdown on dissent in all its forms; see, for example, the PEN International report, as well as Kareem Shaheen's report in The Guardian.
       American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was actually in Turkey yesterday, and he and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke and took questions at a press conference; this subject was apparently not a high priority .....

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

       Global Humanities Translation Prize

       Northwestern University's Global Humanities Initiative recently launched a Global Humanities Translation Prize, awarded: "for an in-progress translation of a non-Western or otherwise marginal literary or scholarly text".
       The winners of the first prize were Jason Grunebaum and Ulrike Stark for Manzoor Ahtesham's The Tale of the Missing Man -- due out now in August; see the Northwestern University Press publicity page, or pre-order your copy at or -- and Carl Ernst for his translations of poetry by Mansur al-Halla, to be published as Hallaj (see the Northwestern University Press publicity page).
       Now they've announced the winner of the second prize, and it's Lawrence Venuti, for his in-progress translation of J.V.Foix's Daybook 1918: Early Fragments, translated from the Catalan ; no English-language publisher listing yet -- it's due April 2019 -- but see, for example the grup62 page for Diari 1918 -- and short preview-peeks from the translation, The Village and I'll come later tomorrow. Looks promising.

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

16 February 2018 - Friday

PEN World Voices Festival | Kleist-Preis
'Best of (Man) Booker' (again) | Nowherelands review

       PEN World Voices Festival

       The PEN World Voices Festival in New York City will run 16 through 22 April, and much of the schedule is already up -- and looks darn good !
       The theme this year is 'Resist and Reimagine'; the list of particpants looks promising.

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


       They've announced that Atlas of an Anxious Man-author Christoph Ransmayr will receive (on 18 November) the Kleist Prize 2018.
       The Kleist Prize is -- as most German literary prizes are -- an author (as opposed to specific-book) prize, but it's unusual in that a single judge -- different every year -- decides who gets it; this time around, Földényi László was the one picking, and he picked Ransmayr. (You may recall that Yale University Press recently brought out Földényi's Melancholy; see their publicity page, or get your copy at or; I still expect to get to it, sometime ......)
       The system seems to have worked reasonably well -- they've honored both the Müllers for example, Nobel laureate Hertha as well as the great Heiner; Yoko Tawada won two years ago .....
       The prize was revived in 1985, but actually first awarded in 1912, but it only lasted until 1932 in its first incarnation, because ... well, you know ..... But among the winners back then were: Hans Henny Jahnn, Bertolt Brecht, Robert Musil, Anna Seghers, Ödön von Horváth, and Else Lasker-Schüler .....

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

       'Best of (Man) Booker' (again)

       I thought they had already done this -- didn't they select Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children as the Booker of Bookers (in 1993) and the Best of the Booker (2008) ? -- but apparently they feel obligated to anoint it yet again, this time in the just-announced The Golden Man Booker Prize.
       A group of judges will select a "'Golden Five’ shortlist" (to be announced 26 May), and then the public will have a month to vote on the best of the lot and then, on 8 July, Midnight's Children will be announced as the winner (unless Russian bots decide otherwise).
       Seriously -- there have been some very good books that have won this award (and some real crap -- Vernon God Little, anyone ?), but Midnight's Children is the only epochal one. I'm no fan of the recent Rushdies, but he had a great run in the 1980s (with this, as well as Shame and The Satanic Verse), and Midnight's Children is up there with One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Tin Drum as a fundamental post-World War II text. Basically, surely, it's: no contest.
       Still, it'll be interesting what four titles the judges pit against it.
       (See also the (Man) Booker winners under review at the complete review.)

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

       Nowherelands review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of An Atlas of Vanished Countries 1840-1975 by Bjørn Berge, Nowherelands, recently out in English from Thames & Hudson.

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

15 February 2018 - Thursday

'Books at Berlinale' | The Rehearsals review

       'Books at Berlinale'

       The Berlin film festival, the Berlinale, starts today, and among their programs is Books at Berlinale, showcasing 'Twelve International Novels With Screen Potential' -- "Selected from close to 150 submissions from 30 countries".
       This year they include works by Isabel Allende and Véronique Olmi.

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

       The Rehearsals review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Vladimir Sharov's The Rehearsals, just out in English from Dedalus.

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

14 February 2018 - Wednesday

'Translating India'-series | Thomas-Mann-Preis | The Square review

       'Translating India'-series

       A neat series at the Hindustan Times has ten translators 'share their experiences of translating from their respective languages'. See, for example:        The nearly 1000-page The Mirror of Beauty sounds awesome, by the way; see the Penguin India publicity page, or get your copy at or; I hope to get a copy eventually .....

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


       They've announced that this year's Thomas-Mann-Prize will go (on 17 November) to Nostalgia- (etc.) author Mircea Cărtărescu, with Uwe Tellkamp delivering the laudatio; see, for example, the report.
       The prize has a solid list of previous winners.

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

       The Square review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Choi In-hun's 1960 novel, The Square, a volume in Dalkey Archive Press' Library of Korean Literature-series.
       The Kirkus Reviews review really won me over:
Awkward in several off-putting ways, this earnest work -- originally published in 1960 -- can be appreciated for offering a window onto Korean history during the crucial period of division. (...) (T)he result is a strange quasi-poetic treatise that could well make a withered vegetable sink.
       Which is (fortunately ?) not what I found .....

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

13 February 2018 - Tuesday

Israel Prize for Literature | Prix Anaïs Nin
The Dictator and the Hammock review

       Israel Prize for Literature

       David Grossman has been named the 2018 Israel Prize for Literature winner; see, for example, the JTA report.
       Three Grossman titles are under review at the complete review:        But I haven't seen the Man Booker International Prize-winning (and Best Translated Book Award frontrunner ?) A Horse Walks Into a Bar yet.

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

       Prix Anaïs Nin

       When I first heard about this prize -- "Orienté vers le monde anglo-saxon", sigh ... -- and this year's longlist I suggested -- sight unseen, mind you -- : "The ringer in the lot would appear to be Catherine Cusset's novel Vie de David Hockney" and, hey, would you look at that, guess what novel picked up this year's prize ? Yes, see the Livres Hebdo report -- and look forward to an English translation, no doubt coming sometime soon.

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

       The Dictator and the Hammock review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Daniel Pennac's doubles (and more) novel, The Dictator and the Hammock.

       (Incidentally, for all the coverage of French titles at the site -- a ridiculous 15 per cent of all reviewed titles -- it's been seven weeks and more than thirty reviews since I last reviewed a written-in-French title, the longest such drought in ages.)

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

12 February 2018 - Monday

(English) fiction in ... Pakistan | ST/EFG Short Story Award longlist
More on the Céline pamphlets | Knausgaard Q & A

       (English) fiction in ... Pakistan

       In the Herald English-writing authors Kamila Shamsie, H.M.Naqvi, Omar Shahid Hamid, and Osama Siddiquen "provide a quick glance into the burgeoning world of Pakistani English fiction", answering a variety of questions.

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

       ST/EFG Short Story Award longlist

       They've announced the 2018 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award longlist, fifteen stories -- selected from 810 eligible entries -- vying for the £30,000 prize, the richest English-language single short story prize going.
       The shortlist will be announced 25 March.

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

       More on the Céline pamphlets

       I've mentioned the controversy surrounding the planned (and now put on hold) publication of the notorious Louis-Ferdinand Céline pamphlets, and now Andrew Hussey offers a good overview in the New Statesman, The literature debate tearing apart Paris: should Céline's racist pamphlets be published ?
       Also worth a look again: Wyatt Mason's Uncovering Céline from The New York Review of Books from a couple of years ago.
       (And still, much of his fiction is compelling -- and see also, for example, his Conversations with Professor Y.)

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

       Knausgaard Q & A

       After his My Struggle sextet -- the final volume of which will be appearing in English this fall -- Karl Ove Knausgaard has a seasonal quartet that's been appearing in translation as well -- they're only up to Winter in the US (get your copy at but already up to Spring in the UK (get your copy at --, and in The Guardian Andrew Anthony has a Q & A with him about it, and more, including a lot of what he's been reading.

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

11 February 2018 - Sunday

Publishing in ... isiZulu | Little Reunions review

       Publishing in ... isiZulu

       At Books Live they have Carla Lever's Q&A with Wade Smit, founder of the isiZulu publisher Kwasukela Books.
       Smit notes that:
Retailers have only just caught on to the huge possibilities in the local market -- I think publishers haven't quite caught up yet.
       There would seem to be a lot of potential here -- and South Africa is better equipped than many African countries in dealing with some of the basic difficulties publishers face (notably distribution).
       See also the official Kwasukela Books site.

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

       Little Reunions review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Eileen Chang's posthumously published novel, Little Reunions, now also out in English, from New York Review Books.

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

10 February 2018 - Saturday

Keshiki profile | Translation in ... India | Murakami in China

       Keshiki profile

       In Metropolis Clara Kumagai profiles Strangers Press' beautiful little Keshiki-series, in two parts: The Translators and The Writers.

       I have this lovely set, and two of the titles are under review at the complete review: Mikumari by Kubo Misumi and The Transparent Labyrinth by Hirano Keiichirō -- with more to come soon, as several of these pair nicely with other releases by the authors this spring and summer -- notably Tawada Yoko and Ono Masatsugu.

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

       Translation in ... India

       In an IANS report finding Major focus on translations among publishing houses in India (here at the Business Standard) Saket Suman reports that:
Translations of major literary works from various Indian languages into English have come to the fore in recent years with leading Indian and multinational publishing houses dedicating separate teams and resources to focus on the area. The warmth with which the readers have accepted translations has only propelled this push further as the focus on translations in 2018 seems to be at an all time high.
       Sounds promising !
       The four-volume set of The Complete Short Stories by Premchand -- "a monumental project involving 70 translators, which brings together every short story Premchand ever wrote in a box set", from Penguin India, certainly sounds pretty neat; see their publicity page, or get your copy at or
       Meanwhile HarperCollins India's dedicated imprint for translations, Harper Perennial, celebrates its tenth anniversary -- including with special editions of ten works; see the Harper Broadcast Cover story: Here's the design thinking that went into Harper Perennial's ten special editions (which includes a list of the titles -- two of which are under review at the complete review: Bhima: Lone Warrior by M.T. Vasudevan Nair and Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag). I'm looking forward to seeing more of these !
       And, as long as they're working on it, good to hear that:
However, almost every leading publisher that IANS spoke to said that there's a vast ocean of stories in Indian languages that are yet to be translated into English and made available to a wider spectrum of readers, in India and abroad.

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

       Murakami in China

       Murakami Haruki's Killing Commendatore is only coming out in English in the fall (pre-order the UK copy from; no US listing so far), but it's already out in translation in quite a few countries -- including now China, as Xinhua reports in Murakami's book on Nanjing Massacre printed in China.
       It's unclear whether Chinese publishers are as ... creative in reporting initial print run numbers as American publishers are, but the 700,000 copies reported here is, even if somewhat embellished, impressive. I don't think the US first printing will be anywhere close.

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

9 February 2018 - Friday

Literary prize longlists: Leipzig Book Prize - Wellcome Prize - Stella Prize

       Literary prize longlists: Leipzig Book Prize

       The two big German book- (as opposed to the more widespread author-) prizes are the relatively new German Book Prize (awarded in the fall, at the Frankfurt Book Fair), and the Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse, awarded in the spring, at the Leipzig Book Fair. The German Book Prize is, like the Man Booker a one-category novel prize; the Leipzig prize has three categories -- fiction, non, and translation, and they've just announced the finalists for this years prize, five titles in each category.
       You might recognize the name of one of the authors with a novel in contention -- but not as a novelist: yes, US-born Isabel Fargo Cole, who has published numerous translations of works by authors such as Wolfgang Hilbig, Klaus Hoffer, and Franz Fühmann has written a prize-contending 500-page novel in German, Die grüne Grenze; see also the (German) publicity page at Edition Nautilus.
       Meanwhile, the translation category includes two translations-from-the English: Robin Detje's of Joshua Cohen's Book of Numbers and Michael Walter's 1952-page, three-volume collected works of Laurence Sterne -- more than is readily available in English ? see the Galiani publicity page. Other contenders are a Viktor Shklovsky-translation, and the latest by Voroshilovgrad-author Serhiy Zhadan.
       The winners will be announced 15 March.

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

       Literary prize longlist: Wellcome Prize

       The Wellcome Book Prize, awarded for a book -- fiction or non -- that has: "a central theme that engages with some aspect of medicine, health or illness", has announced its twelve-title strong longlist.
       I haven't seen any of these, though I expect to get to the Han Kang when it becomes US-available.
       The shortlist will be announced 20 March, and the winner on 30 April.

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

       Literary prize longlist: Stella Prize

       They've announced the twelve-title-strong longlist for the 2018 Stella Prize, for which both fiction and non by Australian women authors is eligible.
       I haven't seen any of these either, but certainly some interesting-sounding titles here.

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

8 February 2018 - Thursday

NEA grants | Erotic Poems from the Sanskrit review

       NEA grants

       The American National Endowment for the Arts is a favorite target of many US politicians, who would like to do away with it completely, but for the time being it is still going strong -- and yesterday announced $25 Million in Grants Support Art Projects Nationwide.
       Of this, 48 grants went to literary organizations, who received a total of $1,100,000; you can find the full list of who got how much here (warning ! dreaded pdf format !). Good to see quite a few specifically translation-focused institutions among them, including publishers like Archipelago Books, Open Letter Books, Ugly Duckling Presse, and White Pine Press (along with many other worthy, more generally-focused publishers), as well as publications/institutions such as the Center for the Art of Translation and Words without Borders.

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

       Erotic Poems from the Sanskrit review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of An Anthology edited and translated by R. Parthasarathy, of Erotic Poems from the Sanskrit, recently out from Columbia University Press.

       Not all of the poetry is particularly erotic -- including one of the best little verses, by Māgha:
Did grammar ever feed the hungry ?
Did the nectar of poetry ever quench anyone's thirst ?
No one can raise a family on book learning.
Make your pile and screw the arts.
       There you go ! Even in the seventh century, Māgha knew ....

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

go to archive

- return to top of the page -

© 2018 the complete review

the Complete Review
Main | the New | the Best | the Rest | Review Index | Links