They've announced that the sometime-Nobel Prize-predicting -- Elfriede Jelinek was named the winner in 2004, Harold Pinter in 2005, and they would go on to win the Nobel later those years -- Cena Franze Kafky will go to Margaret Atwood this year; see also the English-language press release (warning ! dreaded pdf format !).
She gets to pick it up in October.
The Kafka Prize has a very solid list of winners -- aside from the two Nobel laureates everyone from Philp Roth (2001, the first prize-winner) to Peter Handke (2009), Amos Oz (2013), Yan Lianke (2014), and Claudio Magris (last year) have taken the prize.
The only Atwood title under review at the complete review at this time is The Penelopiad -- but one of her older titles, The Handmaid's Tale, is attracting renewed attention .....
(See the Hulu 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 Zareh Vorpouni's 1967 novel, The Candidate, a translation from the Western Armenian that Syracuse University Press brought out last year.
The German Haus der Kulturen der Welt ('House of the Cultures of the World' -- with an address on the John-Foster-Dulles-Allee in Berlin !) have announced (yes, thoughtfully in English, too) the shortlist for this year's Internationaler Literaturpreis, a generous (€35,000 -- €20,000 for the author and €15,000 for the translator !) prize for: "an outstanding work of contemporary international literature that has been translated into German for the first time":.
Among the six finalists are two that have done quite well in their English translations as well -- Han Kang's The Vegetarian and Fiston Mwanza Mujila's Tram 83.
See also Sabine Peschel's Deutsche Welle report, Prophetic world literature: International Lit Prize shortlist in touch with the times.
The winner will be announced 6 July.
At hlo they report on Nádas Péter's new, two-volume, 1200 page memoir, Világló részletek, recently out from jelenkor; see their publicity page.
Not your typical memoir, apparently -- it: "doesn't explore too far beyond the writer's childhood", for example, and is: "not an autobiography but rather a study of a period".
So which US/UK publisher(s) are going to get this to us in English ?
Come on, folks !
Step up !
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Adam Kirsch on Writing the World in the 21st Century, in The Global Novel, just out in a nice little volume from new-to-me Columbia Global Reports.
documenta 14 has been going ... strong in Athens for a while now, and moves on to home base Kassel soon -- and one of the ... big installations there is slated to be Marta Minujín's The Parthenon of Books (a recreation of her 1983 installation El Partenón de libros), featuring: "up to 100,000 books from all over the world which are now in legal circulation again after years of prohibition, or are allowed in some countries and prohibited elsewhere"; you can see many of the titles here, for example.
It looks -- work in progress -- like this:
A nice idea -- including the tipping of the monument and getting the books in circulation when it's done -- but I wish it weren't quite so hideous.
They've (apparently) announced that Karl Ove Knausgaard will pick up the biennial Jerusalem Prize at this year's Jerusalem International Book Fair -- not yet at that official site, last I checked (where they claim: "the 2017 Jerusalem Prize winner soon to be announced" ...), but Gili Izikovich has the (apparent) scoop at Haaretz, that the My Struggle-man is the winner.
Knausgaard is already due to receive the Austrian State Prize for European Literature this year, so that's quite the run of prestigious international literary prizes .....
On the final day, participants discussed the commercialization of literature and the blame fell on the Japanese mega best-selling author Haruki Murakami.
At the keynote speech, critic Yu Jong-ho said Murakami's writings have a negative influence over the readers.
"Murakami portrays characters enjoying weariness and depression in escapism, instead of being social and realistic," Hyun [Ki-young] said.
"Murakami might think his literature is global, transcending the bounds of nationality, but in fact he is promoted elaborately by the American publishing industry."
I suspect Hyun also isn't going to get far with his ... rallying cry: "Serious literature should be reinstated" !
(As to his own work: Dalkey Archive Press have published his One Spoon on This Earth; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.)
At Northwestern Now they have a little feature on literary translation at the university, with brief looks at the work of three translators: Laura Brueck (Hindi), Andrew Leong (Japanese), and Clare Cavanagh (Polish).
As widely reported, American author Denis Johnson (1949-2017) has passed away; see, for example, Danuta Kean's obituary in The Guardian.
None of his work is under review at the complete review, but see, for example, differing opinions about his Tree of Smoke (get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk): Geoff Dyer was impressed (though admits: "he is not everybody's cup of tea"), while B.R.Myers considered it 'astonishingly bad'.
You can also read a selection of his work from The New Yorker.
The Solothurner Literaturtage have begun, and The Collector of Worlds-author Ilija Trojanow gave the opening talk; in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung they print a slightly abridged version of it (in the original German ...), Runter vom Montblanc.
He considers 'canon'-lists/making -- and argues there's just way too little reading beyond the comfortably local (especially European) familiar.
With Georgia the 2018 guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair we should be hearing more about the local lit; Dalkey Archive Press has a Georgian Literature Series, but there hasn't been anything new added in a while.
Several Georgian titles (including from the Dalkey series) are under review at the complete review -- but I'd love to see more.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Marian Engel's notorious 1976 classic, Bear.
Yes, it's the book with the bear-sex -- but it's a shame to reduce it to that.
Though, hey, whatever gets folk to pick it up .....
(And pick it up they seem to: the David R. Godine copy I read was a fresh-off-the-presses eight printing.)
As "three titles of contemporary Slovak fiction are set to be launched on the Anglophone book market" just now, Eva Andrejčáková reports on How to sell Slovak books to English readers in The Slovak Spectator.
The main problem remains the same as it has been in the past -- Slovak literature is a big unknown in the UK and does not have the supporting pillars as Czech literature does in the tradition of Hašek, Hrabal, or Kundera.
Nevertheless, some of the older titles mentioned here are under review at the complete review, including Rivers of Babylon by Peter Pišťanek and Samko Tále's Cemetery Book, by Daniela Kapitáňová.
And I did just get a copy of the Balla, In the Name of the Father (see the Jantar publicity page), and hope to get to that soon.
The diminished Folio Prize -- half the money of the original prize, but now open not just to works of fiction but any: "literature, regardless of form" -- has announced that this year's winner is The Return, Hisham Matar's acclaimed memoir (which also won this year's Pulitzer Prize).
While Matar's novel, In the Country of Men -- covering some of the same ground -- is under review at the complete review, this one isn't, and I don't see myself getting to it; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
They've announced that this year's Austrian Cultural Forum New York Translation Prize will go (on 12 October) to Adrian Nathan West, for his translation of Josef Winkler's Die Verschleppung (see, for example. the Suhrkamp foreign rights page).
They've announced the winners of this year's NSW Premier's Literary Awards -- in horrible fashion at the official site and equally if differently horribly, in pdf format for the official 'media release'.
Book of the year went to a play, The Drover's Wife, by Leah Purcell (see the Currency Press publicity page), while the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction went to Heather Rose's Marina Abramović-inspired Stella Prize-winning novel, The Museum of Modern Love.
The UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing went to Letter to Pessoa, by Michelle Cahill (see the Giramondo publicity page).
And Royall Tyler -- who has done both The Tale of Genji and The Tale of the Heike -- won the NSW Premier's Translation Prize.
Nice to see that they also have a 'Multicultural NSW Early Career Translator Prize' (which went to Jan Owen).
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of a late work by Tanizaki Jun'ichirō, The Maids, just out from New Directions.
(Nice to see a bit of a revival of Tanizaki-interest -- and translations into English, as I got yet another new translation just yesterday, another story-collection, from the University of Michigan Press, The Gourmet Club (see their publicity page).)
Not very helpful, and not much different than in years past, but in her going-on summer-vacation post at her Ur Akademiens liv weblog the Swedish Academy's Sara Danius -- organizer of all things Nobel (Prize in Literature) -- reveals that they have indeed narrowed down this year's contender list to five candidates.
'Candidates' (kandidater), mind you -- no clue whether they are writers, pop singers or who knows what.
It's going to be hard to top last year's ridiculous selection -- but maybe they can outwit themselves (and us) even more spectacularly this year.
I haven't seen his The Death of the Perfect Sentence yet (though I hope to, eventually), but both The Brother and The Reconstruction are under review at the complete review, and he's certainly an interesting author.
They've announced the winner of the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature (though not yet at that official site, as I write this ...), a prize for a first work of fiction by an African author, with a payout of £15,000.
The prize went to And After Many Days, by Jowhor Ile; see, for example, the ... tweet.
The book has been available in the US for a while -- it was even reviewed in The New York Times Book Review --; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
They announced the winner of the 2017 Wolfson History Prize last week.
The £40,000 prize "for excellence in accessible and scholarly history" went to Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, by Christopher de Hamel.
See also the Allen Lane publicity page; it's only due out in October in the US -- pre-order your copy at Amazon.com -- but is readily available in the UK; get your copy at Amazon.co.uk.