After the German Book Prize (started 2005) and the (limited to German titles) Swiss Book Prize (2008), the Austrians decided they needed one all their own too (though Swiss and Austrian-authored titles are in fact also eligible for the German Book Prize), and so now there's an Österreichischer Buchpreis -- and they've announced the first winner, fleurs, by Friederike Mayröcker; see also the Suhrkamp foreign rights page.
A nonagenarian winner might not exactly be seen as encouraging fresh talent, but Mayröcker is no staid old author (and the much-honored name presumably gives the prize a bit of instant credibility ...).
I'm embarrassed that I completely missed this when it was announced last week -- despite the fact that more titles that have won this prize are under review at the complete review than Pulitzer and (American) National Book Award winners combined -- but they've announced the winner of this year's Nordic Council Literature Prize -- the poetry collection Sånger och formler, by Katarina Frostenson; see also the Wahlström & Widstrand publicity page.
Frostenson isn't well-known in English, but she's been a member of the (Nobel-selecting) Swedish Academy since 1992 -- Chair no. 18 --, admitted when she was just 39.
They've announced that the Goldsmiths Prize -- 'awarded to a book that is deemed genuinely novel and which embodies the spirit of invention that characterizes the genre at its best' -- goes to Solar Bones, by Mike McCormack -- apparently a single-sentence-novel.
See also judge Erica Wagner's comments at the New Statesman.
It was published by Irish Tramp Press; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The Hindu has a now-"weekly feature that derives its name from French writer Marcel Proust, whose personality-revealing responses to these questions went on to popularise this form of celebrity confession", and the most recent one of these 'Proust questionnaires' is with Chetan Bhagat (yes, the author of Revolution 2020, etc.).
Always a fun exercise -- and even more fun in this case, because you can compare it to the (slightly different set of) questions he answered almost exactly five years ago.
Today is the centenary of Peter Weiss' birth -- and it's good to see, for example, performances of Marat/Sade at both Adelphi University (8 through 13 November) and Temple University (9 through 19 November).
(Those planned performances of a play inspired by The Aesthetics of Resistance at the Sarajevo International Theatre Festival MESS, on the other hand, don't seem to have gone so well.)
Aside from his dramas and fiction, Weiss is also worth remembering as a painter -- and at the Uppsala konstmuseum they have an exhibit devoted to his work through 8 January; see also the SvDreport for more painting samples.
Meanwhile, see also the peterweiss100.de site for more information and links to Weiss-anniversary-related activities.
They've announced that Do Not Say We Have Nothing (by Madeleine Thien) has won this year's Canadian Scotiabank Giller Prize -- less than two weeks after taking a Governor General's Literary Award
See also, for example, the W.W.Norton publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Apparently not trusting Americans to be able to pick their own best books, the French award a 'Grand prix de littérature américaine' -- and they've now announced this year's winner, Preparation for the Next Life (by Atticus Lish).
See also, for example, the Oneworld publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Robert Harris' new papal-election thriller, Conclave (not to be confused with ... Roberto Pazzi's papal-election novel, Conclave ...).
Appropriate election-day reading, perhaps -- though a very different sort of election-procedure.
At hlo they have a Q & A with 'Zsuzsanna Szabó, the head of the Balassi Institute's Publishing Hungary programme about the recent Frankfurt Book Fair, Krakow Book Fair and the Conrad Festival'.
It's always interesting to see what foreign countries are promoting, and for example here we learn that at Frankfurt: "Five Hungarian writers were there to represent the country: Ferenc Barnás, László Darvasi, András Forgách, Gergely Péterfy and Zoltán Böszörményi".
But what of the US/UK market ?
(You've seen books by all of the five ?
Some of them ?
Heard of any of them ?)
Very little mentioned here that's 'coming soon' -- or ever ? -- to the US/UK.
At least Szilárd Borbély's The Dispossessed is set for publication soon -- from Harper Perennial; see their publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
Still, it would be great to see more of these kinds of articles, from other nations/languages, for those of us missing the book fairs -- and hence what they're trying to push abroad.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ariel Ezrachi and Maurice E. Stucke's look at The Promise and Perils of the Algorithm-Driven Economy, in Virtual Competition, just out from Harvard University Press.
It's been a while since Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out, but the trend of 'zombifying' classical literature is apparently as hard to kill as the danged creatures themselves -- even abroad: even Multatuli's Max Havelaar isn't safe, as Martijn Adelmund has now published Max Havelaar met zombies; see also the publisher's publicity page.
I wonder whether this will spread to other languages as well, the (pseudo-)genre taking on local classics elsewhere, too.
Reiner Stach's three-volume biography of Franz Kafka is now complete with the publication of the last (but first) of the volumes, Kafka: The Early Years (see the Princeton University Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk), and he'll be in conversation with Daniel Kehlmann at the Goethe Institut in New York tomorrow, 7 November, at 18:30.
The conversation, Narrating the Lives of Great Writers and Scientists, will be moderated by Stach-translator Shelley Frisch, and sounds fairly promising.
In The Korea Times Park Jin-hai finds that "small, independent bookstores with unique concepts, as opposed to major bookstore chains, are emerging as hot places to go" (even as "many neighborhood bookstores are vanishing"), in Small concept bookstores thriving.
While figures show that local bookstore numbers fell more than 70 percent over the past two decades, small, concept bookstores, armed with genre books, books by independent publishers and with strong local communities, are increasing.
It is somewhat disappointing, if not too surprising, that it apaprently takes specialization -- or a gimmick-- but, hey, whatever works, right ?
Petit Pays, by 'rappeur' Gaël Faye, was the runner up for the prix Goncourt announced on Thursday, but the author now has some consolation, as his novel has won the French 'first novel'-prize.
They also award one for best foreign first, and that went to the French translation of On Earth as It Is in Heaven, by Davide Enia -- a book Farrar, Straus and Giroux brought out a couple of years ago; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
See also the Irish Times report by Lara Marlowe, Women lead in prestigious French literary awards.
(Marlowe writes that Chanson douce: "had already sold 76,000 copies before winning the Goncourt", but Livres Hebdo only claim "plus de 35 000 exemplaires" have been shifted (and 28,000 of the Reza book).)
I've mentioned the new Penguin Classics translation, by Will McMorran and Thomas Wynn, of the Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom before, and now in The Independent McMorran explains that: 'When translating The 120 Days of Sodom, we had a duty to be just as rude, crude, and revolting as Sade', in We translated the Marquis de Sade's most obscene work -- here's how -- an interesting look at the difficulties of translating these terms.
See also the Penguin publicity page for The 120 Days of Sodom, or get your copy at Amazon.co.uk, or pre-order at Amazon.com
The awarding of the big French prizes this week opens up with the threefer that is the prix Médicis: they've announced that Laëtitia ou la fin des hommes (by Ivan Jablonka) takes the fiction prize (see also the Seuil publicity page -- and recall that Jablonka's A History of the Grandparents I Never Had recently came out in English from Stanford University Press;
see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).
The foreign literature prize went to (the French translation of) De utvalda (by Steve Sem-Sandberg) -- available in English as The Chosen Ones; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
(I have seen both this and the previous Sem-Sandberg, but don't really know what to do with them; reviewing them is entirely beyond me.)
(They also awarded a non-fiction prize. to Boxe (by Jacques Henric).)
They've announced the winners of this year's Ясная Поляна Literary Awards, which come in a variety of categories; see also the (English) Russia Beyond the Headlines report.
Vladimir Makanin won in the 'Modern Classics' category, while Orhan Pamuk's A Strangeness in My Mind won in the foreign literature category.
In The New York Times Amy Qin has a Q & A with Zhang Wei -- no, not 张炜, but 张威, "better known by his pen name, Tang Jia San Shao" -- apparently China's highest-earning author, whose success comes largely via his online output -- hence also the title of the piece: Making Online Literature Pay Big in China.
(For examples of his work, see his Wuxiaworld page -- with links to ... English versions of his work.)
As I've frequently noted, online writing (especially in China) is an under-reported/analyzed phenomenon that deserves more attention.
Indonesia was the 'guest of honour' at the Frankfurt Book Fair last year, and in The Jakarta Post Stevie Emilia now looks at how they handled their year-after visit.
Hey, they sold 72 Indonesian titles -- and a total of 148 on the entire international book fair circuit -- apparently impressive, given that:
Indonesia only came with 10 publishers and a literary agent, as well as 11 writers, 10 performers and several chefs
I don't really get the traveling chef concept (yes, cookbooks, but still ...) -- but maybe that makes them more memorable: "Our food promotions were getting great responses" .....
(Well, sure -- people like to eat. No doubt, booze promotions would have gotten an even better response.)
I guess expecting literature to be the big selling point is expecting too much.
Fun to hear that there's some regional competition, too -- with a barrage of below-the-belt blows:
Indonesia's success, he said, also made neighboring countries envious -- since, unlike Indonesia, they do not have big-name writers.
"They probably have lots of money and support from their governments, but do not have strong content like ours."