The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the first of the four parts of Alfred Döblin trilogy of the (well, 'a', as he called it ...) German Revolution, November 1918, Bürger und Soldaten 1918 -- the part John E. Woods hasn't translated .....
Döblin -- greatly admired by both Günter Grass (who endowed the Alfred Döblin Prize) and Arno Schmidt, among many others -- has quietly been gaining some English-language momentum in recent years, with New York Review Books bringing out a trio of his works,
from a re-issue of The Three Leaps of Wang Lun (see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) to the new Michael Hofmann translation of the classic Berlin Alexanderplatz (which is now also out as a Penguin Classic in the UK; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).
The November 1918-series would sort of lend itself to a 2018 revival (the hundredth anniversary of the subject matter, after all), but, hey, it took them a while to sort out in German, too, so .....
Anyway, I do hope to get to the remaining volumes before ... November.
The Dutch Europese Literatuurprijs is awarded for the best (European) book in Dutch translation, and they've just announced their (twenty-title) 2018 longlist.
It is limited to European authors, but still interesting to see the variety, and what's been translated into Dutch.
There are a few familiar English names, and at least some titles also translated into English -- though some of the most interesting are still to come, like Dubravka Ugrešić's Fox, forthcoming from Open Letter (see their publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk), and Nino Haratischwili's The Eighth Life, forthcoming from Scribe.
They've announced the six-title strong shortlist for this year's International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
It includes works by Ibrahim Nasrallah and Amir Tag Elsir -- as well as one that's been translated and is due out in English shortly, Shahad Al Rawi's The Baghdad Clock; see the Oneworld publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
The winner will be announced 24 April.
They've announced the finalists for this year's LA Times Book Prizes -- awarded in ten categories.
Neat to see Vivek Shanbhag's Ghachar Ghochar -- a book in translation, and a paperback original at that -- as one of five fiction finalists.
(That is the only one of the finalists under review at the complete review.)
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ismail Kadare's A Girl in Exile: Requiem For Linda B..
This came out in 2016 in the UK, but it's taken until now for a US edition to come out (from Counterpoint).
They've announced the winners of this year's PEN America Literary Awards, with Len Rix's translation of Katalin Street by Szabó Magda winning the translation prize; see also the New York Review Books publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Of course, my favorite category is the PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Award for Paraguayan Literature -- because there definitely isn't enough Paraguayan literature ... well, pretty much anywhere beyond Paraguay.
Fantasmario, by Javier Viveros, takes that one -- so we'll hopefully soon/eventually see it translated into English .....
Yes, I'm up to 4100 books under review at the complete review, so it's time for another overview of the past 100 reviewed titles.
- The last 100 reviews were posted over a zippy 163 days (previous hundred: almost a month longer, at 188 day), totaling 99,527 words (up considerably from the previous hundred: 93,697 ); the longest review was 3258 words, and eight reviews were over 1500 words long.
The reviewed books had a total of 25,555 pages (previous hundred: 25,387); despite a higher average page-total than the last hundred, the trend of short and shorter books in translation continues, with ten reviewed titles (one-tenth of the total) under 100 pages (last hundred: seven).
- Reviewed books were originally written in 23 different languages (including English; previous hundred: 26), with English topping the field (22), ahead of French (16) and Japanese (9).
No new languages were added.
(See also the updated full breakdown of all the languages books under review were originally written in.)
- Reviewed books were by authors from 34 countries (previous 100: 36), led by France (12), followed by the UK and the US (10 each).
- As always, male-written books were overwhelmingly dominant -- 82 of the reviewed books were written by men (improving the horribly sexist average of written-by-women titles under review ever so slightly, to ... 15.85 per cent).
- Three books received a grade of 'A' -- Andrés Barba's Such Small Hands, Annie Ernaux's The Years, and Dag Solstad's T Singer.
One book rated a 'C-'; two were ungraded.
- Fiction dominated, as always, with 85 titles that were novels/novellas/stories.
As always, there are all sorts of areas, languages, genres, etc. that I wish I'd read more of/from.
Maybe eventually .....
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The shortlist for the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small (UK and Irish) Presses has been announced.
This looks like a pretty interesting list -- but I haven't seen any of these.
The winner will be announced next month.
They've announced that The Mighty Franks by Michael Frank has won the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize, "awarded to the best book -- fiction or non-fiction -- to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader"; see, for example, Daniel Sugarman's report in The Jewish Chronicle, Michael Frank wins JQ Wingate literary prize.
See also the Farrar, Straus and Giroux 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 Matei Calinescu's The Life and Opinions of Zacharias Lichter, a 1969 Romanian novel only now forthcoming in English, from New York Review Books.
Despite the fact that Călinescu was a longtime US-resident -- and wrote and published several works in English after emigrating in 1973 -- this work only appears in English now.
And it really is a nice little (re)discovery.
They've announced the recipients of the 2018 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants -- and the winner of the PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature, for good measure.
Thirteen project were selected for translation fund grants -- from 177 applications -- in thirteen different languages, no less, and they include Srinath Perur's translation of Ghachar Ghochar-author Vivek Shanbhag's All Will Be Revealed, Michael Gluck's translation of Alexander Ilichevsky's Russian Booker Prize-winning Matisse, and Jamie Lee Searle's translation of Valerie Fritsch's Winter's Garden (see also the Suhrkamp foreign rights page).
"Publishers and editors who wish to express an interest in any of these projects are invited to contact PEN Literary Awards" -- and I certainly hope they do, there's some very promising stuff here.
"The PEN/Heim Translation Fund was established in the summer of 2003 by an endowed gift of $730,000 from Priscilla and Michael Henry Heim" -- and you can read more about translator Heim in the Open Letter volume, The Man Between.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of 2023: A Trilogy, by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (i.e. its "current representatives [...] Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond").
Several Drummond/KLF and related titles are under review at the complete review -- including the Annual Report, which would appear to be the review copy that has most appreciated in value of all those I have received over the many years of running this site (though given its limited availability -- a single ridiculous offer at Amazon.com, and only two at Amazon.co.uk -- the market is not exactly liquid ...). .
Which reminds me of publisher ellipsis, several of whose titles I covered (kindly provided by them, back in the day) -- now long gone, but see for example, an Internet Archive snapshot.
(Which in turn reminds me of other lost and much-missed UK publishers, like Codex (snapshot), publishers of Martin Millar, Steve Aylett, Jeff Noon's Cobralingus (and remember that site ? snapshot), Stewart Home .....)
Turkish author (Endgame) and journalist Ahmet Altan, his brother Mehmet, and Nazlı Ilıcak were among six people sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday in the continuing Turkish government crackdown on dissent in all its forms; see, for example, the PEN International report, as well as Kareem Shaheen's report in The Guardian.
American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was actually in Turkey yesterday, and he and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke and took questions at a press conference; this subject was apparently not a high priority .....
Northwestern University's Global Humanities Initiative recently launched a Global Humanities Translation Prize, awarded: "for an in-progress translation of a non-Western or otherwise marginal literary or scholarly text".
The winners of the first prize were Jason Grunebaum and Ulrike Stark for Manzoor Ahtesham's The Tale of the Missing Man -- due out now in August; see the Northwestern University Press publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) -- and Carl Ernst for his translations of poetry by Mansur al-Halla, to be published as Hallaj (see the Northwestern University Press publicity page).
Now they've announced the winner of the second prize, and it's Lawrence Venuti, for his in-progress translation of J.V.Foix's Daybook 1918: Early Fragments, translated from the Catalan ; no English-language publisher listing yet -- it's due April 2019 -- but see, for example the grup62 page for Diari 1918 -- and short preview-peeks from the translation, The Village and I'll come later tomorrow.
The PEN World Voices Festival in New York City will run 16 through 22 April, and much of the schedule is already up -- and looks darn good !
The theme this year is 'Resist and Reimagine'; the list of particpants looks promising.
They've announced that Atlas of an Anxious Man-author Christoph Ransmayr will receive (on 18 November) the Kleist Prize 2018.
The Kleist Prize is -- as most German literary prizes are -- an author (as opposed to specific-book) prize, but it's unusual in that a single judge -- different every year -- decides who gets it; this time around, Földényi László was the one picking, and he picked Ransmayr.
(You may recall that Yale University Press recently brought out Földényi's Melancholy; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk; I still expect to get to it, sometime ......)
The system seems to have worked reasonably well -- they've honored both the Müllers for example, Nobel laureate Hertha as well as the great Heiner; Yoko Tawada won two years ago .....
The prize was revived in 1985, but actually first awarded in 1912, but it only lasted until 1932 in its first incarnation, because ... well, you know .....
But among the winners back then were: Hans Henny Jahnn, Bertolt Brecht, Robert Musil, Anna Seghers, Ödön von Horváth, and Else Lasker-Schüler .....
I thought they had already done this -- didn't they select Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children as the Booker of Bookers (in 1993) and the Best of the Booker (2008) ? -- but apparently they feel obligated to anoint it yet again, this time in the just-announced The Golden Man Booker Prize.
A group of judges will select a "'Golden Five’ shortlist" (to be announced 26 May), and then the public will have a month to vote on the best of the lot and then, on 8 July, Midnight's Children will be announced as the winner (unless Russian bots decide otherwise).
Seriously -- there have been some very good books that have won this award (and some real crap -- Vernon God Little, anyone ?), but Midnight's Children is the only epochal one.
I'm no fan of the recent Rushdies, but he had a great run in the 1980s (with this, as well as Shame and The Satanic Verse), and Midnight's Children is up there with One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Tin Drum as a fundamental post-World War II text.
Basically, surely, it's: no contest.
Still, it'll be interesting what four titles the judges pit against it.
(See also the (Man) Booker winners under review at the complete review.)
The Berlin film festival, the Berlinale, starts today, and among their programs is Books at Berlinale, showcasing 'Twelve International Novels With Screen Potential' -- "Selected from close to 150 submissions from 30 countries".
This year they include works by Isabel Allende and Véronique Olmi.
They've announced that this year's Thomas-Mann-Prize will go (on 17 November) to Nostalgia- (etc.) author Mircea Cărtărescu, with Uwe Tellkamp delivering the laudatio; see, for example, the Beorsenbaltt.net report.
The prize has a solid list of previous winners.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Choi In-hun's 1960 novel, The Square, a volume in Dalkey Archive Press' Library of Korean Literature-series.
The Kirkus Reviewsreview really won me over:
Awkward in several off-putting ways, this earnest work -- originally published in 1960 -- can be appreciated for offering a window onto Korean history during the crucial period of division. (...)
(T)he result is a strange quasi-poetic treatise that could well make a withered vegetable sink.
When I first heard about this prize -- "Orienté vers le monde anglo-saxon", sigh ... -- and this year's longlist I suggested -- sight unseen, mind you -- : "The ringer in the lot would appear to be Catherine Cusset's novel Vie de David Hockney" and, hey, would you look at that, guess what novel picked up this year's prize ?
Yes, see the Livres Hebdo report -- and look forward to an English translation, no doubt coming sometime soon.
(Incidentally, for all the coverage of French titles at the site -- a ridiculous 15 per cent of all reviewed titles -- it's been seven weeks and more than thirty reviews since I last reviewed a written-in-French title, the longest such drought in ages.)
In the Herald English-writing authors Kamila Shamsie, H.M.Naqvi, Omar Shahid Hamid, and Osama Siddiquen "provide a quick glance into the burgeoning world of Pakistani English fiction", answering a variety of questions.
They've announced the 2018 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award longlist, fifteen stories -- selected from 810 eligible entries -- vying for the £30,000 prize, the richest English-language single short story prize going.
The shortlist will be announced 25 March.
After his My Struggle sextet -- the final volume of which will be appearing in English this fall -- Karl Ove Knausgaard has a seasonal quartet that's been appearing in translation as well -- they're only up to Winter in the US (get your copy at Amazon.com) but already up to Spring in the UK (get your copy at Amazon.co.uk) --, and in The Guardian Andrew Anthony has a Q & A with him about it, and more, including a lot of what he's been reading.
Retailers have only just caught on to the huge possibilities in the local market -- I think publishers haven't quite caught up yet.
There would seem to be a lot of potential here -- and South Africa is better equipped than many African countries in dealing with some of the basic difficulties publishers face (notably distribution).
See also the official Kwasukela Books site.
I have this lovely set, and two of the titles are under review at the complete review: Mikumari by Kubo Misumi and The Transparent Labyrinth by Hirano Keiichirō -- with more to come soon, as several of these pair nicely with other releases by the authors this spring and summer -- notably Tawada Yoko and Ono Masatsugu.
Translations of major literary works from various Indian languages into English have come to the fore in recent years with leading Indian and multinational publishing houses dedicating separate teams and resources to focus on the area.
The warmth with which the readers have accepted translations has only propelled this push further as the focus on translations in 2018 seems to be at an all time high.
Sounds promising !
The four-volume set of The Complete Short Stories by Premchand -- "a monumental project involving 70 translators, which brings together every short story Premchand ever wrote in a box set", from Penguin India, certainly sounds pretty neat; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Meanwhile HarperCollins India's dedicated imprint for translations, Harper Perennial, celebrates its tenth anniversary -- including with special editions of ten works; see the Harper Broadcast Cover story: Here's the design thinking that went into Harper Perennial's ten special editions (which includes a list of the titles -- two of which are under review at the complete review: Bhima: Lone Warrior by M.T. Vasudevan Nair and Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag).
I'm looking forward to seeing more of these !
And, as long as they're working on it, good to hear that:
However, almost every leading publisher that IANS spoke to said that there's a vast ocean of stories in Indian languages that are yet to be translated into English and made available to a wider spectrum of readers, in India and abroad.
Murakami Haruki's Killing Commendatore is only coming out in English in the fall (pre-order the UK copy from Amazon.co.uk; no US listing so far), but it's already out in translation in quite a few countries -- including now China, as Xinhua reports in Murakami's book on Nanjing Massacre printed in China.
It's unclear whether Chinese publishers are as ... creative in reporting initial print run numbers as American publishers are, but the 700,000 copies reported here is, even if somewhat embellished, impressive.
I don't think the US first printing will be anywhere close.
The two big German book- (as opposed to the more widespread author-) prizes are the relatively new German Book Prize (awarded in the fall, at the Frankfurt Book Fair), and the Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse, awarded in the spring, at the Leipzig Book Fair.
The German Book Prize is, like the Man Booker a one-category novel prize; the Leipzig prize has three categories -- fiction, non, and translation, and they've just announced the finalists for this years prize, five titles in each category.
You might recognize the name of one of the authors with a novel in contention -- but not as a novelist: yes, US-born Isabel Fargo Cole, who has published numerous translations of works by authors such as Wolfgang Hilbig, Klaus Hoffer, and Franz Fühmann has written a prize-contending 500-page novel in German, Die grüne Grenze; see also the (German) publicity page at Edition Nautilus.
Meanwhile, the translation category includes two translations-from-the English: Robin Detje's of Joshua Cohen's Book of Numbers and Michael Walter's 1952-page, three-volume collected works of Laurence Sterne -- more than is readily available in English ? see the Galiani publicity page.
Other contenders are a Viktor Shklovsky-translation, and the latest by Voroshilovgrad-author Serhiy Zhadan.
The winners will be announced 15 March.
The Wellcome Book Prize, awarded for a book -- fiction or non -- that has: "a central theme that engages with some aspect of medicine, health or illness", has announced its twelve-title strong longlist.
I haven't seen any of these, though I expect to get to the Han Kang when it becomes US-available.
The shortlist will be announced 20 March, and the winner on 30 April.
They've announced the twelve-title-strong longlist for the 2018 Stella Prize, for which both fiction and non by Australian women authors is eligible.
I haven't seen any of these either, but certainly some interesting-sounding titles here.