The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Yuri Herrera's Kingdom Cons, just out from And Other Stories.
This is the third of Herrera's short novels to be translated into English, all part of a loose trilogy, but it's actually his first -- and started out as his MFA thesis at the University of Texas at El Paso in 2003.
A neat project at the Culture Trip, where they offer a Global Anthology, a world-spanning sampler-anthology of literature from ... everywhere.
Or at least 220 nations, territories, and assorted not-quite-state locales.
(Even so, there are places and (significant) languages that get short shrift -- notably regional Indian literature.)
Still, an impressive collection, and obviously a great variety.
The new Duden -- the standard German dictionary -- is out, with 5000 new words (quite an increase, given that the total wordcount is only 145,000); at Deutsche Welle they have a decent overview, German language officially gets 5,000 new words.
'Emoji' is now a ... (German) word, for example.
But almost disappointing to hear that:
(T)he Germanized spellings of some words -- "Majonäse," "Ketschup" and "Anschovis" -- have been done away with.
American books contained dramatically more swear words in the late 2000s than they did in the early 1950s.
Readers of books in the late 2000s were 28 times more likely than those in the early 1950s to come across one of the "seven words you can never say on television."
I especially appreciate the helpful graphing:
There's some discussion -- but obviously also a lot of room for follow-up studies ...; I look forward to seeing them.
The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) has announced the shortlists for the 2017 National Translation Awards, in poetry and fiction.
Only one of the titles is under review at the complete review -- Zama by Antonio Di Benedetto, in Esther Allen's translation.
The winners will be announced at the ALTA conference in early October.
The Association of American Publishers released their 2016 numbers a few days ago, and at Publishers Weekly Jim Milliot sums things up in his report.
Revenue was down 5.1 per cent -- but unit sales were up by 1.2 per cent.
Disappointingly (worryingly ?):
Books with religious and inspirational themes from religious presses and trade publishers were among the best-selling books.
E-book sales continue to slump, down 16.9% (revenue) and 14.7% (unit sales) compared to 2015 -- though presumably that comes with caveats regarding the counting of Kindle-editions and whatnot (it's apparently harder to keep track of e-sales, in all the e-formats, than it is print books).
While: "publishers saw increased revenue from trade book sales at physical retail stores":
Most of the books purchased in 2016 were bought from an online retailer; about 814 million units were sold into online channels in 2016.
About 672 million books were sold to physical bookstores.
No money writing in Indian languages, say poets they report at the Times of India -- surely about as unsurprising a claim as one could make.
(You could leave out the: 'in Indian languages' and already gets nods of universal agreement; include them and, well, come on ...)
As Suryasnata Tripathy notes:
"There is no money in regional language writing.
One of the major hurdles as a regional poet and upcoming writer is to convince the publishing house.
Publishers are not so keen on taking risk in regional poetry, unless the poet is well known," said the 26-year-old poet, who is currently pursuing his PhD in microelectronics at IIT-Hyderabad.
(A PhD in microelectronics definitely sounds like a good career back-up plan.)
To preserve the feel of the Japanese original, Zielińska-Elliott has to race against another “deadline” – the publication date of the English translation.
Her editor, who does not speak Japanese, would judge her work’s quality based on the published English translation, Zielińska-Elliott explained.
This phenomenon, called “the hegemony of English,” is a frustration for many European translators of Murakami.
“English versions are often heavily edited. And generally, they tend to domesticate, so all the foreignness is taken out,” Zielińska-Elliott said.
“My editor would compare my version to the English and say: ‘This is not in the original.’
And I’d say: ‘Yeah, it was cut from your ‘original,’ but it is in the ‘original original.’”
Makes you wonder how different US/UK appreciation of Murakami is .....
(I continue to be amazed by the extent (and acceptance-with-a-shrug ...) of editorial interference -- generally in the form of radical and extensive cuts -- in the English translations of Murakami's work.
Yes, he's had the commercial success that one can argue these are 'successful'.
And yet .....)
Zielińska-Elliott has also translated Mishima's Temple of the Golden Pavilion and Yoshimoto Banana's Kitchen into Polish.
The possibly-Trump-endangered American National Endowment for the Humanities has announced its most recent batch of grants -- "$39.3 Million for 245 Humanities Projects Nationwide".
Twenty-eight of the grants were in the 'Public Scholar Program' -- supporting: "well-researched books in the humanities aimed at a broad public audience" -- and The Washington Post conveniently collects them here.
Twenty-two grants, totaling US$$5.87 million, were for 'Scholarly Editions and Translations'; no convenient listing at the official page yet, but you can find them (arduously) in the (geographically (!) arranged) complete list (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) of this year's grants.
They include the: "Preparation of a print and digital edition and translation of the Way of the Poet-King, a seminal literary treatise from 9th-century India written in the regional language Kannada", and: "The Ancient Graffiti Project: An Open-Access Critical Edition of First Century Pompeian Wall Inscriptions".
They've announced the nine jurors for the 2018 Neustadt International Prize, a biennial author prize.
The jurors play an even more significant role here than with most literary prizes, as they individually pre-select the finalists: each juror gets to pick one favored author (who will all be announced 5 September).
Then they all get together and vote for the winner, who will be announced 9 November.
In the official press release they somewhat misleadingly note:
First given in 1970 to Italian poet Giuseppe Ungaretti, the Neustadt since has included Nobel Prize in Literature recipients Gabriel García Márquez, Czesław Miłosz, Octavio Paz, and Bob Dylan, as well as many well-known novelists, poets, and playwrights.
García Márquez, Miłosz, and Paz all actually won the Neustadt; Dylan did not -- he was only a finalist (in 2012), and it speaks well for the prize that when he was nominated (sillily, by Andrea De Carlo) the rest of the jurors decided on someone -- anyone ! -- else (Rohinton Mistry).
Unlike the misguided Swedish Academy, who will never live down their awful misstep .....
They've announced this year's winners of the New Zealand Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement (worth a tidy NZ$60,000), with Witi Ihimaera taking the fiction prize
(Yes, Ihimaera is best known as the author of the book-that-was-made-into-the-film The Whale Rider (get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) but I would have included him in my The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction even without that ...; see also the New Zealand Book Council page on the author.)
the cost of book-making will go up by 10%-28% (excluding the overheads) and this will have to be paid directly by the publisher unless it is passed on to the reader, because there is no provision to claim Input Tax Credits (ITC) -- taxes paid by suppliers -- like in the erstwhile Value Added Tax (VAT).
The Etisalat Prize for Literature is a leading African literary prize -- but one of the difficulties with corporate sponsorship is that corporate stability is often ... unstable.
Etisalat Nigeria has been wobbling of late, and -- for now -- the result has been a re-branding/structuring: they now call themselves '9mobile'.
For now, as Ozolua Uhakheme reports in The NationEtisalat Prize for Literature must live -- and it does, albeit re-branded as the 9mobile Prize for Literature; still, the official press release suggests everything is set for the 2018 prize.
We'll see how that goes .....
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the first Rocco Schiavone Mystery by Antonio Manzini, Black Run.
(I've had this lying around for a while but picked it up now because I saw that the follow-up, A Cold Death (published in the US as Adam's Rib, because ... publishers ... ?) is one of the six finalists for this year's CWA International Dagger and, as I've mentioned, three of the other finalists are under review at the complete review, so I was curious.)