the
Literary Saloon

the literary
weblog at the
complete review


about the saloon

support the site

archive

cr
crQ
crF

RSS

Twitter

The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction by M.A.Orthofer
The CR Guide

the Complete Review: the book - A Site History
The CR:the book

to e-mail us:


literary weblogs:

  Books, Inq.
  BookRiot
  Con/Reading
  Critical Mass
  Guardian Books
  The Millions
  MobyLives
  NewPages Weblog
  Omnivoracious
  Page-Turner
  PowellsBooks.Blog
  Three Percent

  Perlentaucher
  Rép. des livres

  Arts & Letters Daily
  Bookdwarf
  Buzzwords
  The Millions
  The Rumpus
  Two Words
  Waggish

  See also: links page






saloon statistics

the Literary Saloon at the Complete Review
opinionated commentary on literary matters - from the complete review


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 -



10 June 2019 - Monday

Étonnants Voyageurs prizes | Orwell Prizes shortlists

       Étonnants Voyageurs prizes

       At the Étonnants Voyageurs festival they hand out a number of prizes.
       Among those now announced is the Prix Ouest-France Étonnants Voyageurs, which went to Des hommes couleur de ciel, by Anaïs LLobet (yes, that's how the name is written; see also the Éditions de l'Observatoire publicity page); previous winners include Alain Mabanckou's Broken Glass and books by Lola Lafon and Ananda Devi.
       They've also announced the winners of the Prix AFD-Littérature monde -- Trois concerts, by Lola Gruber -- and the Prix AFD-Littérature monde étranger, The Wild Inside, by Jamey Bradbury.

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



       Orwell Prizes shortlists

       They've announced the shortlists for this year's Orwell Prizes, including the six titles shortlisted for the inaugural Orwell Prize for Political Fiction.
       The winners will be announced 25 June.

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



9 June 2019 - Sunday

Daniel Rondeau elected to Académie française | The Memory Police review

       Daniel Rondeau elected to Académie française

       Michel Déon passed away in 2016, vacating fauteuil 8 at the Académie française; a vote to fill the seat in February had all the candidates (including Charles Dantzig) fall short; a new vote on Thursday, with another set of candidates, saw Daniel Rondeau easily get in on the first round of voting; 35 of the 40 fauteuils are now filled.
       Rondeau has published quite a lot, but it doesn't appear anything has been translated into English.
       I also suspect he's the first immortel where the announcement of his being accepted into the Academie makes such prominent mention of how close he was to ... Johnny Hallyday. (Really prominent, like in the headlines: e.g. Daniel Rondeau : un fan de Johnny Hallyday élu à l’Académie française and Daniel Rondeau, ami de Johnny Hallyday, élu à l'Académie française.)
       Okay, true, in (large) part that's certainly on him .....

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



       The Memory Police review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ogawa Yoko's The Memory Police, coming in August (from Pantheon in the US and Harvill Secker in the UK).
       This is the fifth Ogawa to be translated into English -- but that's still only such a small portion of her output. (All five translated titles are under review at the complete review; so are five that aren't available in English yet; the Germans, and especially the French, are way ahead of US/UK publishers .....)
       This is a 1994 work, one of her earlier novels, and certainly great to see -- but it's about time we see some of her more recent work, too .....

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



8 June 2019 - Saturday

Hedge fund buys Barnes & Noble | Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir profile

       Hedge fund buys Barnes & Noble

       As long troubled but still (bricks and mortar) market-leading US bookseller Barnes & Noble has announced, Barnes & Noble to Be Acquired by Elliott, Owner of Waterstones, Bringing Together the Leading Booksellers in the US and the UK, as they've been bought, "in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $683 million" by Elliott Advisors (part of Elliott Management), who acquired British bookseller Waterstones last year.
       James Daunt, who was installed as CEO of Waterstones, "will assume also the role of CEO of Barnes & Noble" -- though somehow the two companies are expected to: "operate independently".

       (Updated - 11 June): See also Philip Jones on Jimmy six-hundred: Mr Daunt goes to New York in The Bookseller.

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



       Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir profile

       At Reykjavík Grapevine Hannah Jane Cohen profiles, at some length, Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir: There's No Such Thing As An Innocent Text.
       Several of Auður's works have been translated into English (and many other languages), including the Nordic Council Literary Prize-winning Hotel Silence.

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



7 June 2019 - Friday

Griffin Poetry Prizes | The Book of Collateral Damage review

       Griffin Poetry Prizes

       They've announced the winners of this year's Griffin Poetry Prizes.
       The International winner is Autobiography of Death by Kim Hyesoon, translated by Don Mee Choi.
       The Canadian winner is Quarrels by Eve Joseph.

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



       The Book of Collateral Damage review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Sinan Antoon's The Book of Collateral Damage, just out in Yale University Press' Margellos World Republic of Letters.

       I'm a bit surprised this hasn't gotten more attention (yet) -- though surely some will come.

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



6 June 2019 - Thursday

Literary prizes: Prix Jean d'Ormesson - Women's Prize for Fiction - Albertine Prize
Le crime du comte Neville review

       Literary prize: Prix Jean d'Ormesson

       They've announced the winner of the prix Jean d'Ormesson, awarded for the second time this year and one of my favorite literary prizes because basically it's a judges' free-for-all: they can nominate pretty much any book, published at any time, for the prize and so the initial round included Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks, Ivo Andrić's The Bridge on the Drina, Juan Rulfo's Pedro Páramo, and San-Antonio's Faut-il tuer les petits garçons qui ont les mains sur les hanches ?
       So it's almost a bit disappointing that the winner is ... Julian Barnes' The Only Story; see the Livres Hebdo report; see also the publicity pages from Vintage (UK) and Vintage (US), or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Literary prize: Women's Prize for Fiction

       They've announced the winner of this year's Women's Prize for Fiction, a £30,000 prize "awarded annually to the woman who, in the opinion of the judges, has written the best, eligible full-length novel in English", and it is An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones; see also the Oneworld publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Literary prize: Albertine Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Albertine Prize, honoring: "American readers' favorite work of contemporary Francophone fiction that has been translated into English and published in the US within the preceding calendar year", and it is Disoriental by Négar Djavadi.

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



       Le crime du comte Neville review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Amélie Nothomb's Le crime du comte Neville.

       That's the 24th Nothomb under review at the site -- still a few short of her complete output (with the next one, Soif, due out 21 August; see the Albin Michel publicity page).

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



5 June 2019 - Wednesday

Murakami Q & A | Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honour 2019

       Murakami Q & A

       On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his debut novel Hear the Wind Sing Kyodo News has a lengthy (three page) Q & A with Murakami Haruki, by Yutaka Yukawa and Tetsuro Koyama, Haruki Murakami looks back over 40 years of literary endeavors -- with a lot about Killing Commendatore.
       Murakami explains how he's lasted for four decades:
I had a turning point every 10 years. And at each point, my writing style and the type of stories changed. I was never bored with writing. There was always a new goal. I think that was a good thing.

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



       Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honour 2019

       Norway will be the Guest of Honour at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair (16 to 20 October); they had a press conference yesterday introducing their pavilion-concept and the authors who will be in attendance.
       Not much information that's readily accessible, but see the brief NORLA summing up and bookmark the useful official site, where there's a steady flow of interesting information/news.

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



4 June 2019 - Tuesday

Binooki profile | Térey János (1970-2019)
I Have No Regrets review

       Binooki profile

       At Qantara.de Ulrich von Schwerin profiles "niche publishing house" binooki which specializes in modern Turkish literature in translation, in Cultural rapprochement hamstrung by Erdogan.
       As noted, among the books they've published is Oğuz Atay's The Disconnected -- this: "important touchstone for many younger authors".

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



       Térey János (1970-2019)

       As hlo reports, János Térey Has Passed Away Age 49.
       While he seems to be very highly regarded in Hungary, not much of his work is available in translation -- but (nudged by) taking a closer look at some of the information it sounds like some of his work really should be translated: at the end of the hlo piece they have links to a few excerpts, and the Sárközy & Co. Literary Agency pages have more information about several of his titles -- like the 403-page novel-in-verse Protocol, "not just a portrait of Budapest after the turn of the millennium, but of the world of globalised politics at the same time". Novels in verse ! I'm always intrigued by those .....

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



       I Have No Regrets review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Brigitte Reimann's Diaries, 1955-1963, I Have No Regrets, just out from Seagull Books.

       I've always had something of a soft spot for East German literature, and Reimann is certainly one of the must-read authors of that era; amazingly, none of her work appears to have been translated into English yet -- not even her classic Franziska Linkerhand, one of the iconic novels of the GDR (and college GDR-literature-course staple). (I gobbled up her books back in the 1980s -- so I actually haven't read the new, unabridged edition of Franziska Linkerhand, which only came out in 1998; Ill have to pick that up.)
       I'm not that big on diaries, but Reimann and the East German literary scene ... of course I've immediately ordered the 1964-1970 diaries .....

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



3 June 2019 - Monday

Премия 'Национальный бестселлер' | BookExpo 2019

       Премия 'Национальный бестселлер'

       As reported at Lizok's Bookshelf, they've announced the winner of this year's Russian 'National Bestseller' award -- also called/known as (as if that made it any better ...) the NatsBest Prize; it is Финист - ясный сокол, by Andrey Rubanov; see also the АСТ publicity page.
       Rubanov's earlier Do Time Get Time has been published in English; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       BookExpo 2019

       Last week they held BookExpo 2019, the big American industry get-together.
       Publishers Weekly has lots of coverage of it, including Jim Milliot on Books Are the Stars at BookExpo 2019, Claire Kirch reporting that Literary Fiction Gets the Buzz, and Chad Post on Finding an Audience for Books in Translation.

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



2 June 2019 - Sunday

Online literature in ... China | EU-China Literary Festival
Exemplary Departures reviews

       Online literature in ... China

       As I've often noted, online literature appears to be very popular in China, with several online-writers among the highest earners among Chinese authors.
       Tencent off-shoot China Literature was a huge IPO in 2017 and is one of the big (huge) platforms for writers; "As of December 31, 2018, the Company had 7.7 million writers and 11.2 million online literary works" -- but the stock has fared poorly and now there are new investor concern: as Bloomberg reports, Tencent's China Literature Sinks Amid Nation's Content Crackdown.
       This would seem to have been an obvious concern from the beginning; it'll be interesting to see what the long term implications/consequences are, both on the business model as well as on what is written/published online.

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



       EU-China Literary Festival

       The fourth EU-China Literary Festival continues through this week; an interesting idea, with some intriguing-sounding events.

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



       Exemplary Departures reviews

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Gabrielle Wittkop's collection of five Exemplary Departures, published by Wakefield Press.

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



1 June 2019 - Saturday

Translation from the ... Albanian | Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire
Sleepless Summer review

       Translation from the ... Albanian

       In the Tirana Times they report that the Culture Ministry freezes translation and composition funds, quoting writer Pandeli Koçi wondering:
What other means will the ministry use to encourage this activity that is vital to Albanian culture ? The ministry needs to clarify why there is no funding is available so far, and the secondly, what it plans to fund this practice
       Given how much better countries/languages that (heavily) subsidize translations do, this would seem to be an investment to consider. Shockingly, the Translation Database lists all of four translations of works of fiction from the Albanian into English for the entire period 2008 to 2019, and while there might be more that aren't listed, clearly Albanian is not very well represented in English. (All of those that are listed are under review at the complete review: three by Ismail Kadare (The Accident, A Girl in Exile, and The Traitor's Niche) and Ornela Vorpsi's The Country Where No One Ever Dies.)
       Menwhile, you are at least pretty well covered with Robert Elsie's Albanian Literature site.

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



       Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire

       They've announced this year's Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire winners, a leading French science fiction award.
       Patrick K. Dewdney's two books making up his Le Cycle de Syffe won best French novel, while the translation of Ben H. Winters' Underground Airlines won best foreign novel, a category in which all the finalists were translations from the English; oddly, Underground Airlines was not even a finalist for the best translation prize (the prix Jacques Chambon), which went to the translation of Neal Stephenson's Anathem.

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



       Sleepless Summer review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Bram Dehouck's Sleepless Summer, out in time for some sleepless summer reading from World Editions.

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



31 May 2019 - Friday

Tibetan literature Q & A | French translation prize
Litprom-Bestenliste Weltempfänger

       Tibetan literature Q & A

       At the Los Angeles Review of Books' China Channel Kevin McGeary has a Q & A with translator-of-The Handsome Monk Christopher Peacock about author "Döndrup’s work and the state of Tibetan literature", in Translating Tibetan Literature.

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



       French translation prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Grand Prix SGDL-Ministère de la Culture pour l'Œuvre de traduction, a career-translation prize worth €15,000 -- and it goes to translator from the Finnish Anne Colin du Terrail; no word yet at the official site, but see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report.
       She's translated a lot of Arto Paasilinna, as well as books by Johanna Sinisalo, Rosa Liksom, and Kari Hotakainen, among many others.

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



       Litprom-Bestenliste Weltempfänger

       The German Litprom organization has a "“Weltempfänger” jury", and four times a year they: "compile a list of the seven finest book releases of the season" in Germany from Africa, Asia and Latin America; they've just published list 43, for Summer 2019.
       One title is a translation from the English, but a solid variety -- including several others that are also already available in English translation, including a Roberto Arlt.

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



30 May 2019 - Thursday

Best Translated Book Awards | Fall; or, Dodge in Hell review

       Best Translated Book Awards

       They've announced the winners of this year's (American) Best Translated Book Awards.
       The fiction winner is Linda Coverdale's translation of Patrick Chamoiseau's Slave Old Man (published as The Old Slave and the Mastiff in the UK, because why give books in translation even a smattering of a chance ...); see The New Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. This 1997 work by Chamoiseau is only now available in translation; I haven't seen a copy of it yet.
       The poetry winner is Laura Cesarco Eglin's translation of Hilda Hilst's Of Death. Minimal Odes.

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



       Fall; or, Dodge in Hell review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Neal Stephenson's new novel, Fall; or, Dodge in Hell.

       That's the 14th Stephenson work under review at the site -- still quite a few behind the most-reviewed authors title-wise, but with their nearly 10,000 pages likely among the leaders as far as total pages/words covered.

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



29 May 2019 - Wednesday

Erich-Maria-Remarque-Friedenspreis | French fantasy

       Erich-Maria-Remarque-Friedenspreis

       The city of Osnabrück has announced that Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o has been awarded this year's Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize, "chiefly with regard to his enlightening anti-colonialist topics, his reference to traditional African theatre and narrative art and his advocacy of the preservation of his mother tongue as a mark of identification"; he gets to pick it up on 29 November.
       This €25,000 prize has a solid list of previous winners -- including Svetlana Alexievich in 2001, long before her Nobel win.

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



       French fantasy

       In Le Point Pop Lloyd Chéry considers Pourquoi la fantasy française se vend mal, as French readers are lapping up works by, for example, George R. R. Martin, David Eddings, and Terry Pratchett but no French work of fantasy has done particularly well in quite a while, with none selling more than 100,000 copies in the past decade, despite some 1500 new titles being published annually.
       Among the issues: very little makes it into translation:
Même les meilleurs titres de fantasy française ont dû mal à obtenir une traduction pour se faire une place à l'international. «Si on fait des romans trop originaux, les Anglo-Saxons ont peur que ça ne se vende pas. Et, sinon, ils estiment avoir déjà tout chez eux», résume la directrice des Imaginales Stéphanie Nicot.

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



28 May 2019 - Tuesday

'Book blogs as tastemakers' | New Lem story !
François Weyergans (1941-2019) | Han Kang in 'Future Library'

       'Book blogs as tastemakers'

       Via I'm pointed to Beth Driscoll's piece in Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, Book blogs as tastemakers (warning ! dreaded pdf format !), where she considers:
book blogs as shared expressions of readers’ aesthetic conduct, which may encompass a variety of tastes. I map two contrasting networks of blogs: highbrow literary blogs, and romance fiction blogs. Both networks demonstrate connections to the publishing industry, while also maintaining an autonomy based on readers offering authentic opinions as a service to other readers.
       The 'highbrow literary blogs' she focuses on are: Stephen Mitchelmore's This Space, Veronica Scott Esposito's Conversational Reading, and Daniel Green's The Reading Experience.
       Driscoll looks at the possible influence of these weblogs -- but without really committing herself one way or another:
The very blunt instrument of a Google Trend chart for Blanchot shows that interest has actually gone down in the period since Mitchelmore began blogging, but this doesn’t rule out a kind of slow-building interest amongst influential literary figures, the subtle word-of-mouth influence that operates in literary culture.
       (A quick check shows that the 'trend' for many similar authors ('literary', internationaly established/renowned but not really popular, foreign) is roughly very similar, starting out high (around 2004) and declining, first rapidly and then much more slowly, so I wouldn't really read too much into the Google Trend charts. On the other hand, anecdotal impressions don't strike me as particularly reliable either .....)
       Surely there must be more data to crunch to determine (possible) influence; it would be interesting to see more detailed analysis of it.

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



       New Lem story !

       Via I'm pointed to a newly discovered (and translated) story by the great Stanisław Lem published at Przekrój, The Hunt; see also the piece by Stanisław Bereś on A Typescript Found in a Folder.

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



       François Weyergans (1941-2019)

       Belgian author, Académie française-immortal (fauteuil 32), and prix Goncourt winner (2005, for Trois jours chez ma mère) François Weyergans has passed away; see, for example, the Le Monde obituary.

       None of his work appears to have been translated into English -- but he did both write and direct Flesh Color, a 1978 film starring both Dennis Hopper and Bianca Jagger.

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



       Han Kang in 'Future Library'

       The Vegetarian-author Han Kang is the latest author to contribute a work to the Future Library in Norway -- a book that will only be made public and published in 2114.
       See also, for example, the report in The Korea Times, Han Kang hands over book to Norway's 'Future Library' project.

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



go to archive

- return to top of the page -


© 2019 the complete review

the Complete Review
Main | the New | the Best | the Rest | Review Index | Links