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opinionated commentary on literary matters - from the complete review


The Literary Saloon Archive

11 - 20 June 2019

11 June: Doblougska priset | Girish Karnad (1938-2019)
12 June: Neustadt International Prize jurors | Wolfson History Prize | პატარა ქვეყანა review
13 June: International DUBLIN Literary Award | Peeping Tom review
14 June: PEN Translates awards | Saman review
15 June: Encore Award | New Swedish Book Review | Filip Florian Q & A
16 June: Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize | BSHS Hughes Prize shortlist | Orhan Pamuk in ... Persian
17 June: Amitav Ghosh Q & A | Tentacle review
18 June: Society of Authors' Awards | Walter Scott Prize
19 June: Most beautiful German books | Publishing in ... Armenia | Graphic science | The Capital review
20 June: Internationaler Literaturpreis | 'Japanese Books as World Literature' | TLS contributors' seasonal reading lists

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20 June 2019 - Thursday

Internationaler Literaturpreis | 'Japanese Books as World Literature'
TLS contributors' seasonal reading lists

       Internationaler Literaturpreis

       The Haus der Kulturen der Welt Prize for Contemporary Literature in Translation is a leading German translation prize, the winners getting €20,000 (the author) and €15,000 (the translator) and they've now announced that this year's prize goes to the German translation of Fernanda Melchor's Temporada de huracanes.
       At Deutsche Welle Sabine Peschel has a Q & A with the author.
       Sophie Hughes' English translation is forthcoming from New Directions (in the US) and Fitzcarraldo Editions (in the UK).

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



       'Japanese Books as World Literature'

       At nippon.com Kōno Shion writes on Following Murakami's Path: Japanese Books as World Literature.
       Many of the titles he mentions are under review at the complete review.

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



       TLS contributors' seasonal reading lists

       The Times Literary Supplement's Summer books 2019 feature is now out, with contributors providing their seasonal reading lists.

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



19 June 2019 - Wednesday

Most beautiful German books | Publishing in ... Armenia
Graphic science | The Capital review

       Most beautiful German books

       They've announced the Schönste Deutsche Bücher 2019 -- 25 books in five categories, selected from 682 submissions; the Börsenblatt overview offers a better ... overview, but there's more information at the official site about each title.

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



       Publishing in ... Armenia

       In The Armenian Mirror-Spectator Haykaram Nahapetyan explains How Modern Literary Publication Is Being Revived in Armenia, profiling the Antares publishing house.

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



       Graphic science

       In Physics Michael Schirber writes about the recent Telling Science, Drawing Science colloquium, in looking at Science in Comic Books.

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



       The Capital review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Robert Menasse's The Capital.

       This German Book Prize-winning international bestseller is now also out in the US.

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



18 June 2019 - Tuesday

Society of Authors' Awards | Walter Scott Prize

       Society of Authors' Awards

       The (UK) Society of Authors has announced the winners of its annual awards -- nine different awards, with thirty-two winners, including the McKitterick Prize (for a first novel by a writer over 40), the Paul Torday Memorial Prize (for a first novel by a writer over 60), as well as the Betty Trask Prize and Awards (for a first novel by a writer under 35) and some travelling scholarships.

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



       Walter Scott Prize

       They've announced that The Long Take, by Robin Robertson, has been awarded the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction this year; it was also Man Booker shortlisted, and won the Goldsmiths Prize.
       See also the Alfred A. Knopf publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



17 June 2019 - Monday

Amitav Ghosh Q & A | Tentacle review

       Amitav Ghosh Q & A

       Amitav Ghosh's new novel, Gun Island, is out (well, not yet in the US -- coming in September), and at Scroll.in Harsimran Gill has a Q & A with him, 'My book is not an apocalyptic book at all. I guess Iím leaving hope as a possibility': Amitav Ghosh.
       See also the Farrar, Straus and Giroux publicity page, pre-order your copy your copy at Amazon.com or get your copy at Amazon.co.uk

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



       Tentacle review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Rita Indiana's Tentacle.

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



16 June 2019 - Sunday

Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize
BSHS Hughes Prize shortlist | Orhan Pamuk in ... Persian

       Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize

       Yesterday was Oxford Translation Day 2019, which included the awarding of this year's Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize -- a prize for: "book-length literary translations into English from any living European language"; no information yet at the official site, but word is that Celia Hawkesworth's translation of Omer Pasha Latas by Ivo Andrić has won.
       I do have a copy of this and do expect to get to it; meanwhile, see also the New York Review Books publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       BSHS Hughes Prize shortlist

       The British Society for the History of Science has announced the five-title shortlist for its Hughes Prize, "awarded every two years to the best book in the history of science that is published in English and accessible to a general audience".
       The winner will be announced in October.

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



       Orhan Pamuk in ... Persian

       At Radio Farda they report that Orhan Pamuk in Search of Persian Translator, as the Nobel laureate is much translated in Persian, but apparently maybe not very well .....
       Interestingly, Pamuk says:
I prefer a censored but a correctly translated version of my novels to the uncensored but poorly translated ones.
       I wonder which is more important to readers. Though obviously censorship is much easier (at least theoretically...) to deal with -- just don't do it ! -- than poor translation.

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



15 June 2019 - Saturday

Encore Award | New Swedish Book Review | Filip Florian Q & A

       Encore Award

       The Royal Society of Literature has announced that Normal People, by Sally Rooney, has won their second book prize, the Encore Award.

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



       New Swedish Book Review

       There's a new -- double-issue -- Swedish Book Review out, 2019: Issue 1+2 -- though unfortunatley with only (so far ?) two book reviews.

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



       Filip Florian Q & A

       The latest in hlo's series of 'The State of Things'-Q & As is with Filip Florian: The age of prophets, great teachers and laws engraved on stone is over.
       Among his responses:
In literature, are there any recognisable trends typical of the end of the millennium and the 2000s ?

I would say that such characteristic tendencies do exist. The divergence from canons and other well-paved roads, as well as a freedom of thought and expression of unprecedented scope. In addition, the ego has once more returned to dominance. There is a characteristic openness about the engagement with subjectivity, and the authorial ‘I’ takes ever more prominence centre stage.
       Two Florian titles are under review at the complete review: The Days of the King and Little Fingers.

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



14 June 2019 - Friday

PEN Translates awards | Saman review

       PEN Translates awards

       English PEN has announced the latest batch of PEN Translates awards (which are translation grants) -- seventeen books, translated from eleven languages.
       The authors include some familiar ones -- including Yan Lianke, Mihail Sebastian, Frankétienne, and Hassan Blasim -- but there also some titles from very under-translated languages, including Belarusian and Burmese.
       I hope I get to see many of these.

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



       Saman review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ayu Utami's landmark 1998 novel, Saman -- probably the best-known Indonesian novel of the past twenty-five years.

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



13 June 2019 - Thursday

International DUBLIN Literary Award | Peeping Tom review

       International DUBLIN Literary Award

       They've announced that Idaho, by Emily Ruskovich, has won this year's International DUBLIN Literary Award -- the €100,000 novel award, with books nominated by libraries from all over parts of the world.
       There was only one translation among this year's ten finalists .....
       See also the Random House publicity page for Idaho, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Peeping Tom review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Leo Marks' Peeping Tom -- the screenplay for the notorious 1960 film directed by Michael Powell.

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



12 June 2019 - Wednesday

Neustadt International Prize jurors | Wolfson History Prize
პატარა ქვეყანა review

       Neustadt International Prize jurors

       They've announced the nine jurors for the 2020 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the biennial prize that is the leading American international-author prize (and pays out US$50,000).
       You remember how this one works: each juror gets to nominate one author -- they'll be announced next month -- and then, next year, the jury selects a winner from those nine.
       So far this system has worked out well: as they like to point out, four Neustadt laureates also went on to win the Nobel Prize -- and, showing more discernment than the Swedish Academy, while they couldn't avoid some misguided juror (yes you, Andrea De Carlo) nominating Bob Dylan (in 2012) they didn't do something silly like actually giving him the prize.

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



       Wolfson History Prize

       They've announced that Mary Fulbrook wins Wolfson History Prize 2019 for revelatory Holocaust study 'Reckonings'; see also the Oxford University Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       პატარა ქვეყანა review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Lasha Bugadze's პატარა ქვეყანა.

       An earlier work by Bugadze did come out in English translation a couple of years ago, from Dalkey Archive Press -- The Literature Express -- but otherwise ...: insert here my usual complaint (last made just a couple of weeks ago ...) about how little Georgian fiction makes it into English .....

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



11 June 2019 - Tuesday

Doblougska priset | Girish Karnad (1938-2019)

       Doblougska priset

       Thew Swedish Academy has announced the winners of this year's Doblougska Prize, awarded in Swedish and Norwegian categories, and paying out SEK200,000 (a bit over US$21,000) to each prize winner; as has been the case since the mid-1980s (the prize has been awarded since 1951) there are two winners in each language: Ernst Brunner and Carin Franzén, and Johan Harstad (Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion ?, etc.) and Olaug Nilssen.
       This prize has an impressive list of winners: on the Norwegian side authors with books under review at the complete review include: Tarjei Vesaas (1957), Jens Bjørneboe (1974), Lars Saabye Christensen (1993), Dag Solstad (1996), Jon Fosse (1999), Hanne Ørstavik (2002), Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold (2015), and Per Petterson (2016); on the Swedish side there are, among others: Nobel laureate Harry Martinson (1954), Torgny Lindgren (1997), Per Olov Enquist and Göran Sonnevi (1998), and Theodor Kallifatides (2017). A notable absence: no Karl Ove Knausgård (yet).

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



       Girish Karnad (1938-2019)

       Kannada-writing playwright (among much else) Girish Karnad has passed away; see, for example Sugata Srinivasaraju's BBC report, Girish Karnad: Colossus of Indian theatre dies at 81 or the Scroll.in report, Girish Karnad (1938-2019): Tributes roll in for revered writer, filmmaker and public intellectual.

       Oxford University Press has published quite a few of his plays in English translation; see, for example, their publicity page for the Collected Plays, volume 1, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
       (I actually have a copy of an earlier volume of Three Plays, which I probably should get to .....)

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



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