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15 December 2019 - Sunday

Translations from the ... Chinese | A Couple of Soles review

       Translations from the ... Chinese

       At Paper Republic Nicky Harman tallies the 2019 Book Translations from Chinese into English -- coming up with only 27, way down from last year. Shockingly, too, only three of those twenty-seven are by women authors.
       A useful overview -- though disappointingly, aside from The Handsome Monk I've only seen a single one of these titles (the Jia Pingwa).

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



       A Couple of Soles review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A Comic Play from Seventeenth-Century China by Li Yu, A Couple of Soles, just out from Columbia University Press.

       I only knew Li Yu from his novel, The Carnal Prayer Mat, but he was a leading playwright of his time; surprisingly, this is apparently the first of his ten surviving stageworks to be translated into English.
       I've been meaning/hoping to cover more plays, especially classical ones, but one of the problems with covering them is that they're often printed in collections and I prefer to review them individually; this one at least has the advantage of being a one-volume, one-play edition. Still, I do hope to pick and choose from the many impressive collections I've accumulated and review more plays .....

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



14 December 2019 - Saturday

PEN America Literary Awards longlists
Best of 2019 in ... Spain | More favorites of the year

       PEN America Literary Awards longlists

       They've announced the longlists for the 2020 PEN America Literary Awards.
       Lots of categories here, including the PEN Translation Prize ("for a book-length translation of prose") and the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.
       Two of the ten longlisted titles for the PEN Translation Prize are under review at the complete review:        I have several more of these, and do hope to get to some of them. And interesting to see that an AmazonCrossing title is in the running (The Dead Wander in the Desert, by Rollan Seisenbayev).
       There is also one of the titles longlisted for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation under review:        The finalists will be announced next month, and the winners on 2 March.

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



       Best of 2019 in ... Spain

       Another foreign best-of-the-year list: in Spain, the year-end El País-list is the big one, but before we get that Vanity Fair (Spain) offer what they consider Los 42 mejores libros del año.
       A lot in (Spanish) translation -- including many from English -- but at least that means many are also available in English .....

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



       More favorites of the year

       The Sydney Morning Herald asked: "writers from here and overseas to tell us about their favourite reads this year", and collect them in The books we loved in 2019.

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



13 December 2019 - Friday

Indie booksellers favorite translations of the decade
Nobel Prize sales effect | Free Day review

       Indie booksellers favorite translations of the decade

       At the Center for the Art of Translation blog Chad Felix has Indie Booksellers Share Their Favorite Translations of the Decade -- twenty-three works of literature in translation.
       Lots of great titles here -- and several that are obvious choices, including Anniversaries and Zibaldone, but John E. Woods' translation of Arno Schmidt's Bottom's Dream only gets an incidental mention ("which I'd venture to say is more admired than read") ? Slightly disappointing too: only one title not translated from a European language (and French and Spanish ... very well represented).

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



       Nobel Prize sales effect

       I haven't seen any discussion of the extent to which this year's Nobel Prize in Literature announcements have had an effect on sales of books by laureates Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke, but at Deutsche Welle Sabine Peschel offers a look at How the Nobel Prize affects book sales, mainly in the German-speaking world.
       Interesting, for example, that:
The publisher mentions the case of Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz, who was unexpectedly named the winner in 1988: "Nobody knew him, or even how to spell his name right. We had sold 300 copies in three years — and then 30,000 in three minutes."
       (In German they write his name: 'Nagib Machfus' .....)
       As to this year's prizes: Handke has always been a big seller in German, but: "In the seven weeks following the announcement of the Nobel Prize, Suhrkamp sold 150,000 copies of Handke's books, according to press spokesperson Tanja Postpischil".
       As to Tokarczuk:
Her 1,200-page opus magnum, The Books of Jacob, was published in German 10 days before she was awarded a Nobel Prize. Before the announcement, Kampa had sold about 1,200 copies. After that, the 3,000 copies of the available print run were sold out in no time.
       No doubt, they've sold quite a few more copies since.

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



       Free Day review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Inès Cagnati's 1973 novel, Free Day, just out in translation from New York Review Classics.

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



12 December 2019 - Thursday

100 works in Spanish by women from the past 100 years
Literary prizes (in Germany) | 'How Reading Has Changed in the 2010s'

       100 works in Spanish by women from the past 100 years

       Instead of a 'best of 2019'-list, the Colombian publication Arcadia had a jury of 91 people select a hundred titles by Spanish women authors from the past century -- Cien años, cien libros de escritoras en español (with Portuguese-writing Clarice Lispector sneaking her way onto the list).
       The official site presents the titles in rather annoying slideshow fashion, so see, for example, the whole list more conveniently at infobae.

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



       Literary prizes (in Germany)

       At the Universität Duisburg-Essen they have a research project, Literaturpreise im deutschsprachigen Raum seit 1990: Funktionen und Wirkungen -- a project that: "intends a comprehensive analysis of the phenomenon of literary prizes in the German speaking cultural area since 1990 examining its functions for and effects on the literary field, cultural policies, and the publishing world".
       At Börsenblatt they have a Q & A two of those involved in the project, Sarah Maaß and Dennis Borghardt, in Mehr Literaturpreise, mehr Wettbewerb, mehr Publikumsbeteiligung.
       Some interesting titbits, including that there are currently some 950 literary prizes in Germany (though not all are awarded annually -- in 2018 only 579 were).

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



       'How Reading Has Changed in the 2010s'

       At the BBC site Erica Wagner "picks the most important book trends of the past decade", in How Reading Has Changed in the 2010s.

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



11 December 2019 - Wednesday

World Literature Today's 75 Notable Translations
Fabulous Monsters review

       World Literature Today's 75 Notable Translations

       At World Literature Today they have their 75 Notable Translations of 2019.
       As usual, this is a fairly useful overview of much that has appeared in translation in the US over the past year -- but, as they acknowledge, it is: "admittedly incomplete"; notable omissions include the Marquis de Sade's Aline and Valcour, certainly one of this year's more interesting translations.

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



       Fabulous Monsters review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Alberto Manguel on Dracula, Alice, Superman, and Other Literary Friends, in Fabulous Monsters, recently out from Yale University Press.

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



10 December 2019 - Tuesday

Ayu Utami Q & A | Saba Literary Prize | New Perec collection !

       Ayu Utami Q & A

       At the Asymptote weblog Lara Norgaard has Personal Histories, Sexual Politics: An Interview with Ayu Utami.
       Utami's Saman is a landmark Indonesian text; hopefully, we'll get to see more of her work.

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



       Saba Literary Prize

       They've announced the winners of this year's Saba Literary Prize, the leading Georgian literary prize; see also the Georgia Today report, 2019 Saba Literary Prize Winners Revealed.
       Aka Morchiladze's კუპიდონი კრემლის კედელთან ('Cupid at the Kremlin Wall') won for best novel; see also the Bakur Sulakauri publicity page. (Two Morchiladze titles are under review at the complete review: Journey to Karabakh and Obolé.)

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



       New Perec collection !

       Oh, here is a volume I would love to get my hands on: a massive (over 1100 page) Georges Perec collection, of interviews and various stray texts, Entretiens, conférences, textes rares, inédits, just out from Éditions Joseph K; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.fr.
       They have an excerpt at BibliObs.

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



9 December 2019 - Monday

Guadalajara International Book Fair | Revenge of the Translator review

       Guadalajara International Book Fair

       The Guadalajara International Book Fair ran 30 November to 8 December, with India as the guest of honour this year.
       At Publishers Weekly Ed Nawotka reports on how Guadalajara Book Fair Continues to Grow in Importance.

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



       Revenge of the Translator review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Brice Matthieussent's Revenge of the Translator.

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



8 December 2019 - Sunday

Nobel Prize in Literature lectures | Women and the novel

       Nobel Prize in Literature lectures

       The two Nobel Prize in Literature laureates honored this year -- 2018 winner Olga Tokarczuk and 2019 winner Peter Handke -- were among Nobel Prize winners who delivered their Nobel lectures yesterday (another batch does so today).
       You can watch and read both online now        They are very different kinds of lectures, and no doubt the Tokarczuk is the more memorable (and accessible) one. The fuss around Handke has not died down -- though everyone was all decorum at the lecture --, in no small part because Handke really does not know how (or, apparently, want) to help (or. more specifically, explain) himself, witness the Friday press conference (see, for example, the report in The Guardian) -- but his lecture reflects his art, and his focus on (his personal) experience and art, which has an unworldly feel in this hyper-politicized day and age (and in contrast to, for example, Tokarczuk). We seem to expect activism and position-taking at near every turn from our contemporary authors; as Handke's unfortunate and very limited (in every respect) forays out of his comfort zone and into that area suggest, maybe that's not always desirable.

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



       Women and the novel

       In The Observer Johanna Thomas-Corr reports that Without women the novel would die: discuss -- based on Helen Taylor's forthcoming Why Women Read Fiction (see the Oxford University Press publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).
       I am a bit surprised to learn that:
The idea that fiction is a female domain is taken for granted by most people involved in books. According to Nielsen Book Research, women outbuy men in all categories of novel except fantasy, science fiction and horror.
       And even more surprised that: "surveys show they account for 80% of sales in the UK, US and Canadian fiction markets".
       As someone who values fiction (and specifically the novel) above all else, I'm baffled by anyone, male or female, who doesn't recognize the value and pleasure of fiction -- but given the disparity in what I read/cover -- less than 20 per cent of the reviewed titles at the complete review are by women --, regardless of other factors (notably availability: the focus here is on fiction in translation, and until recently male author were much, much more likely to be available in translation), gender obviously does play a role in the kind of literature I engage with -- and one that I should probably examine more closely.
       I do like Jonathan Coe's observation:
“Female readers in the signing queue will sometimes tell you directly how much a book has moved them, whereas male readers will say how much they share my enthusiasm for obscure bands like Hatfield and the North,” he says. “But I think, essentially, they are saying the same thing: it’s just that men sometimes need these proxies, these intermediaries – football, music, etc – as a way of voicing their emotions.”

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



7 December 2019 - Saturday

Crossword Book Awards shortlists | Perseus Digital Library Q & A
When I Whistle review

       Crossword Book Awards shortlists

       They've announced the shortlists for the Crossword Book Awards, one of the leading Indian literary prizes -- four jury shortlists (English fiction, English non-fiction, Children's writing, and Indian language translation), as well as six 'popular' shortlists.
       All the English fiction shortlisted titles are authored by women; the translation shortlist includes the twin novels by Perumal Murugan as well as a pair of 'anti-novels' by Subimal Misra.
       The winners will be announced 14 January.

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



       Perseus Digital Library Q & A

       The Perseus Digital Library is an invaluable Latin and Greek online resource , and at Tufts Now Angela Nelson has a Q & A with editor in chief Gregory Crane, in Nothing Gets Lost in Translation in the Perseus Digital Library.

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



       When I Whistle review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Endo Shusaku's 1974 novel, When I Whistle.

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



6 December 2019 - Friday

Prix Marguerite Yourcenar | Nobel days

       Prix Marguerite Yourcenar

       The prix Marguerite Yourcenar is a relatively new French author prize awarded by Scam (the Société civile des auteurs multimedia) -- now for the fifth time -- and they've now announced that this year's prize goes to Pascal Quignard. (The previous two winners were Jean Echenoz (2018) and Annie Ernaux (2017).)

       A couple of Quignard titles are under review at the complete review -- On Wooden Tablets: Apronenia Avitia; The Roving Shadows; and A Terrace in Rome -- but I have a lot more I'd like to get to.

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



       Nobel days

       It's Nobel ceremony time, and they're getting busy in Stockholm.
       Early today (13:00 CET) the two Nobel laureates, Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke, will be participating in a sure to be well-attended press conference, so that should be fun ..... (Will there be cake ? It's Handke's birthday -- he turns 77 today.)
       Tokarczuk and Handke will be delivering their Nobel lectures tomorrow -- and you can catch them (and all the Nobel lectures) online.
       Finally, the medals will be handed over 10 December at the official ceremony, with the fancy banquet to follow.

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



5 December 2019 - Thursday

Jan Michalski Prize | FT and McKinsey & Company Business Book of the Year
RBC Taylor Prize longlist | 61 Hours review

       Jan Michalski Prize

       They've announced that this year's Jan Michalski Prize -- a CHF50,000 prize "awarded for a work of fiction or non-fiction, irrespective of the language in which it is written" -- goes to Pain, by Zeruya Shalev; see also the Other Press publicity page, the ITHL information page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
       See also Shalev's acceptance speech (warning ! dreaded pdf format !).

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



       FT and McKinsey & Company Business Book of the Year

       They've announced the winner of this year's Financial Times and McKinsey & Company Business Book of the Year Award -- bafflingly paywalled at the official site, but see, for example, Katie Mansfield's report in The Bookseller, Criado Perez wins FT and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, as Caroline Criado-Perez has won for Invisible Women; see also the Chatto & Windus publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       RBC Taylor Prize longlist

       They've announced the twelve-title longlist for next year's RBC Taylor Prize, awarded to: "enhance public appreciation for the genre known as literary non-fiction" -- the last time they'll be awarding the prize.
       The shortlist will be announced 8 January, and the winner 2 March.

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



       61 Hours review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Lee Child's 61 Hours -- the fourteenth Jack Reacher novel, back from 2010.

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



4 December 2019 - Wednesday

Milan Kundera, re-Czeched | All That is Evident is Suspect review

       Milan Kundera, re-Czeched

       As widely reported, Milan Kundera's Czech citizenship renewed -- as Ruth Fraňková's report at Radio Praha International has it; see also the official Czech embassy in France announcement.
       Yes, the Czechoslovak (as it was still then) government stripped Kundera of his citizenship in 1979, and they've now gotten around to restoring it -- rather taking their time about it .....
       Long established in France, Kundera also took to writing in French, and considers the French versions the definitive ones of his novels; several are under review at the complete review        (And see also François Ricard's Agnès's Final Afternoon.)

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



       All That is Evident is Suspect review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of All That is Evident is Suspect: Readings from the Oulipo 1963-2018, edited by Ian Monk and Daniel Levin Becker.

       I finally got my hands on a (library) copy of this; next, I hope to eventually get to see a copy of The Penguin Book of Oulipo, edited by Philip Terry (see the Penguin Classics publicity page, or get your copy from Amazon.co.uk) -- I can never get enough of Oulipo titles .....

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



3 December 2019 - Tuesday

'Language hacking' | Bad Sex in Fiction Award
Swedish Academy turmoil | Nikolai Nikolaevich and Camouflage reviews

       'Language hacking'

       In the Harvard Data Science Review Gregory Crane writes about Beyond Translation: Language Hacking and Philology, pointing to a path: "between linguistic mastery and reliance upon translation".
       It also points to a variety of interesting internet resources -- well worth a look.

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



       Bad Sex in Fiction Award

       They've announced the winners of this year's Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award -- not yet at the official site, last I checked, but see, for example, Sian Cain in The Guardian reporting on the Bad sex award twosome: prize goes to Didier Decoin and John Harvey.

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



       Swedish Academy turmoil

       The attempts to get their act together do not seem to be proceeding particularly well: the Swedish Academy has announced that two external (i.e. not Academy) members of the Nobel committee -- Gun-Britt Sundström and Kristoffer Leandoer -- have had enough and have quit.
       See also, for example, the Reuters report by Johan Ahlander, Two members leave Nobel literature committee, criticizing Swedish Academy. Leandoer is quoted as having written in Svenska Dagbladet:
The Academy and I have a different perspective on time, one year is far too long in my life and far too short in life of the Academy
       Meanwhile, they haven't exactly impressed anyone with their handling of the awarding of this year's prize to Peter Handke.

       Handke's Nobel Lecture is scheduled for 7 December, at 17:30 CET; you'll be able to watch it here. That should be interesting.

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



       Nikolai Nikolaevich and Camouflage reviews

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Yuz Aleshkovsky's Nikolai Nikolaevich and Camouflage, two short novels, recently out from Columbia University Press in their Russian Library-series.

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


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2 December 2019 - Monday

Society of Authors' Translation Prizes shortlists
African literary prizes | The Woman and the Puppet review

       Society of Authors' Translation Prizes shortlists

       They've announced the shortlists for the seven 2019 Society of Authors' Translation Prizes -- six language-specific prizes (for translations from the German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Dutch, and Hebrew), as well as the TA First Translation Prize.

       I'm disappointed to see how few of these books I've seen -- but a few are under review at the complete review:
        - Schlegel-Tieck Prize: Damion Searls' translation of Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries and Simon Pare's translation of Christoph Ransmayr's The Flying Mountain
        - Scott Moncrieff Prize: Tina Kover's translation of Négar Djavadi's Disoriental
        - TA First Translation Prize: Charlotte Whittle (translator) and Bella Bosworth (editor) for Norah Lange's People in the Room

       The winners will be announced 12 February.

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



       African literary prizes

       At The Conversation Doseline Kiguru finds that African literary prizes are contested -- but writers' groups are reshaping them.

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



       The Woman and the Puppet review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Pierre Louÿs' The Woman and the Puppet, recently re-issued by Dedalus.

       This story has been adapted for the big screen several times -- most notably as The Devil is a Woman, directed by Josef von Sternberg, starring Marlene Dietrich (and with John Dos Passos getting a screenwriting credit), and then as That Obscure Object of Desire, directed by Luis Buñuel.

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



1 December 2019 - Sunday

More best book lists | Scotland's National Book Awards | Hans profile

       More best book lists

       The Guardian offers a variety of Best books of 2019 lists -- notably also the one of author-selections, where: 'Bernardine Evaristo, Lee Child and more pick the best books of 2019'.

       The Irish Times also asked a bunch of authors for their choices, in What writers are reading: The Irish Times books of the year 2019.

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



       Scotland's National Book Awards

       They've announced the winners of this year's Scotland's National Book Awards -- as well as the winner of the inaugural Saltire Society Scottish Lifetime Achievement Award, the great Alasdair Gray; see also Brian Ferguson's Lanark author Alasdair Gray honoured with lifetime achievement award for his contribution to Scottish literature in The Scotsman

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



       Hans profile

       In The Caravan Nishant Kauntia profiles "India's most prestigious Hindi literary magazine", Hans -- founded in 1930 by Premchand, with Gandhi on its editorial board, and then revived after a thirty year hiatus in 1986 -- in The Intruders.

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



30 November 2019 - Saturday

'Best of the 21st century', Spanish edition | Translating from the ... Japanese
The Crooked Line review

       'Best of the 21st century', Spanish edition

       In El País they asked 84 experts to select Los 21 mejores libros del siglo XXI, not restricted by genre. Certainly a lot one could argue about, but some decent choices. And revealing about Spanish literary preferences.
       Quite a few of the titles are under review at the complete review:        It's also interesting to see how the choices shaped up, depending on the gender of the selectors.

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



       Translating from the ... Japanese

       In Metropolis Eric Margolis looks at: 'The ongoing battle to translate Japan's leading literary women', in Mind the Gap, as a gender parity in Japanese hasn't translated into gender parity as far as translations into English go.

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



       The Crooked Line review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ismat Chughtai's 1944 Urdu classic, The Crooked Line.

       This translation first came out, in 1995, in Heinemann's Asian Writers Series; it was recently re-issued by the Feminist Press (and Speaking Tiger in India).

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



29 November 2019 - Friday

TLS (contributors') Books of the Year | Books of the year in ... France

       TLS (contributors') Books of the Year

       At the Times Literary Supplement they have their: "contributors select their favourite books of 2019", in Books of the Year 2019 -- always an interesting exercise.

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



       Books of the year in ... France

       While literary coverage at this time of year is wall-to-wall best-of-the-year-lists in the US/UK media, there are far fewer of these elsewhere (and the ones that do appear tend to appear ... closer to the actual end of the year) -- but Le Point joins in the fun with their 30 meilleurs livres de l'année.
       Not many of these are under review at the complete review -- just Middle England by Jonathan Coe and Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq.

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



28 November 2019 - Thursday

Clive James (1939-2019) | Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead review

       Clive James (1939-2019)

       Clive James -- critic, poet, broadcaster -- has passed away; see, for example, the obituary by Jim Waterson and Sian Cain in The Guardian.
       Only one James title is under review at the complete review, his Cultural Amnesia.

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



       Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Sara Gran's Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, the first in the series.

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



27 November 2019 - Wednesday

1984 in ... Russian | David Cohen Prize
Whitbread Costa Book Awards shortlists

       1984 in ... Russian

       An interesting lengthy piece on George Orwell's 1984 in Russian by Leonid Bershidsky at Bloomberg Opinion, I Just Translated ‘1984’ Into Russian. I’m Gasping for Air.
       He's not the first to translate it, but it:
was banned in the Soviet Union in any language until 1988. To the best of my knowledge, my Russian translation will be the fifth to be published officially.
       Among the previous translations:
Done by Soviet writer and journalist Sergei Tolstoy from the French edition of “1984” — and therefore woefully imprecise — it had mysteriously leaked to the West and then back to the Soviet Union.

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



       David Cohen Prize

       The David Cohen Prize for Literature is a leading biennial English-language author prize that: "recognises a living writer from the UK or the Republic of Ireland for a lifetime's achievement in literature", and they've announced that this year's prize goes to Edna O'Brien; no word yet at the official site, last I checked, but see, for example, Heloise Wood's report at The Bookseller

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



       Whitbread Costa Book Awards shortlists

       They've announced the shortlists for the Whitbread Costa Book Awards, twenty books nominated in five categories, selected from 701 entries.
       The only shortlisted title under review at the complete review is Middle England by Jonathan Coe.

       The category winners will be announced 6 January; the Costa Book of the Year will be announced 28 January.

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



26 November 2019 - Tuesday

Augustpriset | Bookselling in ... Pakistan
NYTBR 100 notable books | Aline and Valcour review

       Augustpriset

       They've announced the winners of this year's Augustpriset, the leading Swedish literary prize.
       Marit Kapla's Osebol won in the 'skönlitteratur'-category -- though this 800-page work, based on interviews with the 40 adult inhabitants of Osebol, sounds like a Svetlana Alexievich-like documentary work, rather than fiction. See also the Teg Publishing publicity page.

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



       Bookselling in ... Pakistan

       Via I'm pointed to Irfan Aslam's piece in Dawn, The Damned Books, on the consequences of the Pakistani authorities having stopped all trade -- including of books -- with India -- a considerable problem, since a significant percentage of books sold in Pakistan are imported from India, as: "India has become a hub of the publishing industry in the last couple of decades and serves the whole region, not only Pakistan".
       Among the problems:
The bigger issue is that many publishers in the UK and US have given distribution rights to distributors in India and the publishers would forward the order back to India. Such books can’t be acquired even from the UK or the US then.
       Yet more arguments for free trade .....

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



       NYTBR 100 notable books

       A couple of days ago The New York Times Book Review announced their 10 Best Books of 2019; usually they first announce their list of '100 notable books' and then select the top ten from that, but not this year ... but they have now gotten around to their 100 Notable Books of 2019.
       Last year they had nine works of translation on the list; this year ... all of three, best I can tell. And only two of the 100 titles are under review at the complete review: Ogawa Yoko's The Memory Police and Neal Stephenson's Fall; or, Dodge in Hell.

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



       Aline and Valcour review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the Marquis de Sade's Aline and Valcour or, the Philosophical Novel.

       This is the first full translation of the novel -- a few pages were translated in Selected Writings of de Sade by Leonard Saint-Yves (1953), but now the entire 800-page work is available, in a three-volume edition from Contra Mundum Press.

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



25 November 2019 - Monday

Indigenous literature | George Eliot Archive

       Indigenous literature

       In the Sydney Morning Herald Broede Carmody reports that: 'Quite incredible': demand for Indigenous literature goes global.
       HarperCollins publisher Judith Curr is quoted as saying:
There is a general reawakening in the United States to the past, present and future realities of First Peoples' lives and readers want to know more," she says. "Mainstream publishers are more open to Indigenous stories of late ... [and] US readers have always been interested in Australia.
       I haven't really noticed this yet, but it would certainly be great to see.

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



       George Eliot Archive

       Via I'm pointed to Tara Thomas' Q & A with Beverley Rilett, Introducing the George Eliot Archive.
       That site, the George Eliot Archive, looks impressive -- but see also the George Eliot 2019 site in this, the bicentenary of her birth.
       The only Eliot title under review at the complete review is the great Middlemarch.

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



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