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20 February 2020 - Thursday

The Good Soldier Švejk Q & A | Artforum review

       The Good Soldier Švejk Q & A

       Radio Prague International has started a series on The Czech Books You Must Read and they now have a Q & A by Ian Willoughby with Abigail Weil ("who is currently working on a book about Hašek") about the most-translated and one of the best-known Czech novels, Jaroslav Hašek's The Good Soldier Švejk.
       The Penguin Classics edition is the Cecil Parrott translation -- get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- but, as they note, a new one, by Gerald Turner, is in the works, apparently scheduled for the centenary of Hašek's 1923 death.
       (The Good Soldier Švejk isn't under review at the complete review -- I guess I'll wait until the new translation is out ... -- but Hašek's The Secret History of my Sojourn in Russia is.)

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



       Artforum review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of César Aira's Artforum, due out shortly from New Directions.

       This is the 10th Aira under review at the site, and it's great to see his work coming out in English translation at a steady clip (with another due out later this year, The Famous Magician).

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



19 February 2020 - Wednesday

Ror Wolf (1932-2020) | New Peter Handke novel | Das Rapportbuch review

       Ror Wolf (1932-2020)

       German author Ror Wolf has passed away; see the notice at his publisher's site, Schöffling & Co., as well as their (English) author page.

       Open Letter admirably published his Two or Three Years Later a few years ago, but not much of his work is available in English.

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



       New Peter Handke novel

       2019 Nobel laureate Peter Handke has a new novel out (with the English version due out from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in a year or two), Das zweite Schwert -- 'The Second Sword: A May Story'; see the Suhrkamp foreign rights page, or get your copy at Amazon.de.
       The first reviews are in, and they're generally mixed-to-positive; see, for example, those in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Der Standard.

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



       Das Rapportbuch review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Dorothea Zeemann's 1959 novel, Das Rapportbuch.

       None of her work seems to have been translated, but with a new translation of one of Heimito von Doderer's books due out from New York Review Books maybe there will be some interest in it (as she was very close to him, literarily as well as personal-intimately -- and wrote extensively about that ...). This one may not be the obvious first choice to translate -- the later work is stronger (and more sensational) -- but this is certainly the kind of period-piece American publishers seem to love .....
       Suhrkamp published a batch of her books in paperback -- those are the ones I have -- but seem to have dropped her (this (warning ! dreaded pdf format !), brilliantly, seems to be what's left of her at their site ...); this one was re-issued by Edition Atelier a couple of years ago.

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



18 February 2020 - Tuesday

Charles Portis (1933-2020) | Prix Sade longlist
Icelandic Literary Prize | Contemporary Iranian literature

       Charles Portis (1933-2020)

       American author Charles Portis -- best known for True Grit -- has passed away; see, for example, Roy Reed's obituary in The New York Times.
       True Grit (get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) was also filmed twice -- in 1969 with John Wayne (a role for which he won the 1970 Oscar; get it at Amazon.com) and in 2010 , starring Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld (get it at Amazon.com).
       I haven't covered any of his books at the complete review but I have a couple and should get to them -- maybe Masters of Atlantis first .....

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



       Prix Sade longlist

       They've announced the longlist for the prix Sade -- no official site, just, ugh, a F***book page --; see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report, promisingly titled: Urinoirs, serial-killer et orgasme féminin dans la première sélection du prix Sade 2020.
       Among the titles is Julien Green's Journal intime (1926-1940) (see the Robert Laffont publicity page) and Giacometti/Sade. Cruels objets du désir (see the Fage publicity page and the Fondation Giacometti exhibit page (the exhibit annoyingly having ended ... two days ago)) -- but the one I'm most interested in is Gérard Macé's Et je vous offre le néant (see the Gallimard publicity page).
       The shortlist will be announced 22 June, and the winner on 26 September.

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



       Icelandic Literary Prize

       Via I'm pointed to the announcement that they handed out the 2019 Íslensku bókmenntaverðlaunin; see, for example, also the Icelandic Literature Center report.
       The fiction prize went to Selta, by Sölvi Björn Sigurðsson; see also the Sögur útgáfa publicity page.

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



       Contemporary Iranian literature

       At Qantara.de Gerrit Wustmann writes about Reading outside the box, offering a bit of an overview of contemporary Iranian literature.
       Quite a bit of Iranian literature is also under review at the complete review.

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



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17 February 2020 - Monday

Ibtisam Azem Q & A | The Inugami Curse review

       Ibtisam Azem Q & A

       "Palestinian writer Ibtisam Azem sits down with Asia Times to discuss her latest novel, The Book of Disappearance" in a Q & A with Sherif Abdel Samad, in Novelist Azem imagines Israel without Palestinians.
       I haven't seen The Book of Disappearance, but the premise sounds intriguing; see also the Syracuse University Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       The Inugami Curse review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Yokomizo Seishi's The Inugami Curse.

       Originally published in English as The Inugami Clan in 2003, it has just been re-issued by Pushkin Press (in the UK; the US edition will be out in a few months).
       This novel has also been filmed twice by Ichikawa Kon.
       This was long the only book by popular mystery writer Yokomizo available in translation, but Pushkin Press also recently published The Honjin Murders (which I haven't seen yet) and apparently will be bringing out more; in The Guardian Alison Flood recently wrote on How locked-room mystery king Seishi Yokomizo broke into English at last. (I'd suggest it's a bit early to claim he's broken through, but one can hope; as to his having: "hardly been translated into English before (apart from one small-press US edition)", The Inugami Clan was published by (admittedly small) ICG Muse in 2003 and then re-issued by Stone Bridge Press in 2007; the edition I relied on is the latter. It is good to see The Honjin Murders having already gotten more review attention than this did, back in the day; maybe he really will catch on now.)

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



16 February 2020 - Sunday

The Hölderlinturm | Translation in ... Bangladesh | Saudi literary support

       The Hölderlinturm

       The 250th anniversary of Friedrich Hölderlin's birth is on 20 March, and they've renovated the tower in which he spent his last years, the Hölderlinturm in Tübingen, as part of the celebrations -- and it opens to the public today.

       Hölderlin is a wonderful poet -- but ... challenging to translate; still, most of his work is available in English; see, for example, the recent translation of Hyperion (see the Archipelago publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) or the Penguin edition of the Selected Poems and Fragments, translated by Michael Hamburger (see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk)
       Hölderlin was also a fascinating figure, and Peter Weiss' play, Hölderlin, recently out in English from Seagull Books, is probably the most interesting accessible (in English) introduction. (Pierre Bertaux's Friedrich Hölderlin impressed me greatly in the day, but it's not available in English; get your (German) copy at Amazon.de.)

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



       Translation in ... Bangladesh

       In the Dhaka Tribune Kohinur Khyum Tithila reports on the Amar Ekushey Book Fair -- where: Bangla translation in high demand, English translation on the wane.
       This is in Bangladesh, but if the books aren't getting translated there, they're even less likely to be in the US/UK .....

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



       Saudi literary support

       They recently announced, as the Arab News reports, that the Saudi Cabinet launches 11 new cultural development authorities for Kingdom, including the Ministry of Culture's new Literature, Translation and Publishing Commission.
       Nice to see translation seems to be a big part of the effort -- whatever it turns out to be. Appointing novelist Mohammed Hasan Alwan -- winner of the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction -- to head the commission sounds like a good start; see also the brief profile in Arab News, Mohammed Hasan Alwan, executive head of the Literature, Translation and Publishing Commission.

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



15 February 2020 - Saturday

Nordic Prize | Naguib Mahfouz Museum

       Nordic Prize

       The Nordic Prize. awarded by the Swedish Academy -- yes, the same folks who (most years ...) give you the Nobel Prize in Literature -- is the biggest Scandinavian author prize, and they've now announced this year's winner, and it is Rosa Liksom.
       Several of her works have been translated into English, most recently The Colonel's Wife; see the Graywolf publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
       Recent winners of the Nordic Prize include Shyness and Dignity-author Dag Solstad (2017) and My Struggle-author Karl Ove Knausgård (2019)

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



       Naguib Mahfouz Museum

       In ahramonline Mohammed Saad reports that Naguib Mahfouz's daughter donates 257 translated editions of his works to museum -- a nice reminder that, since last year, there's a Naguib Mahfouz Museum in Cairo ! (There are some more pictures here.)
       There's actually a second Naguib Mahfouz museum in Cairo -- but, yeah, a different Naguib Mahfouz ..... (I kind of wish they'd combined these .....)

       There are 26 books by Naguib Mahfouz -- the Nobel laureate, not the Ob/Gyn -- under review at the complete review.

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



14 February 2020 - Friday

Leopoldstadt | Reading in ... Japan | Priyadarśikā review

       Leopoldstadt

       Tom Stoppard's latest (and last ?) play, Leopoldstadt, has opened in London, in a production directed by Patrick Marber; see the official site.
       Playbill collects links to the reviews so that I don't have .....
       With an ensemble "of 27 adult and 15 child performers" this probably won't be a widely performed play -- there are not that many theaters that can afford such a huge cast (the main reason that most contemporary plays have so few parts).

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



       Reading in ... Japan

       At nippon.com they report that Japanese Elementary Students Reading Fewer Books, as:
A 2019 survey by Gakken Educational Research Institute found a significant drop in the volume of reading by elementary school children compared with 1989.
       Significant indeed -- "the volume of books being read has dropped by two-thirds".
       The study did find a significant drop-off in TV viewing too -- "by at least 50-60%" -- and presumably the use of digital devices, especially for game-playing and video-viewing, has taken much of what was previously reading- (and TV-watching-)time.

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



       Priyadarśikā review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Harsha's 7th-century play, Priyadarśikā.

       This translation I relied on is from almost a century ago, published in the short-lived Columbia University Indo-Iranian Series; more recently Wendy Doniger's translation, as The Lady who Shows her Love, appeared in the Clay Sanskrit Library (see the NYU Press publicity page); I haven't seen that one.

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



13 February 2020 - Thursday

Society of Authors' Translation Prizes | Reading de Sade
Reading is Walking review

       Society of Authors' Translation Prizes

       They've announced the winners of the 2019 Society of Authors' Translation Prizes, and they include:
  • Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize (Arabic): Leri Price for Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa
  • Vondel Prize (Dutch): Michele Hutchison for Stage Four by Sander Kollaard
  • Scott Moncrieff Prize (French): Linda Coverdale for The Old Slave and the Mastiff by Patrick Chamoiseau
  • Schlegel-Tieck Prize (German): Iain Galbraith for River by Esther Kinsky
  • The TLS-Risa Domb/Porjes Prize (Hebrew): Peter C. Appelbaum for Hell on Earth by Avigdor Hameiri
  • Premio Valle Inclán (Spanish): Jessica Sequeira for Land of Smoke by Sara Gallardo
       I've only seen one of these (the Kinsky) .....

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



       Reading de Sade

       At the NYR Daily Mitchell Abidor considers Reading Sade in the Age of Epstein, noting in particular the two recent translations, The 120 Days of Sodom and Aline and Valcour.
       He finds:
Both the content and the worldview expressed in The 120 Days of Sodom make it as close to a repellently unreadable book as has ever been written.
     This new translation also happens to be a clumsy one, full of odd and poor choices, the worst of which is a character’s exclaiming, “Golly, sweetheart.” But the infelicities of the translation are of relatively minor concern. The 120 Days of Sodom most clearly poses the problem of Sade’s survival. How has this body of work continued to be read, let alone enjoyed the status of a classic ?
       And:
Sade the stylist hardly figures in the commentaries written by his admirers; indeed, it would be hard to make much of a case for writing that is verbose, repetitive, and, for all its sexual explicitness, impoverished. Added to these faults is the sheer bloat of his book
       More relevant to Abidor's argument than even Epstein is of course the scandal currently shaking the French literary world -- yes, the same one behind the Sadean revival --, that surrounding Gabriel Matzneff -- a story that even made the first page of The New York Times yesterday, Norimitsu Onishi writing on A Pedophile Writer Is on Trial. So Are the French Elites.

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



       Reading is Walking review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the quintet of The Encyclopedia Series by Gonçalo M. Tavares collected in Reading is Walking -- recently out in English, from Quantum Prose.

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



12 February 2020 - Wednesday

Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse finalists | Pavel Vilikovský (1941-2020)
New Goncourt academicians

       Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse finalists

       The biggest German book prize -- the ... German Book Prize -- is announced in the fall, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, but there's also a big spring book fair in Germany, the Leipzig Book Fair (12 to 15 March this year), and they also have a prestigious book prize -- and whereas the German Book Prize is a single-category prize (novel !) the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair honors books in three categories: fiction, non, and translation.
       They've now announced the fifteen finalists for this year's prize(s) -- five in each category, selected from a total of 402 submitted titles.
       The fiction finalists include books by Ingo Schulze and Lutz Seiler (whose Kruso won the 2014 German Book Prize).
       Translated-book finalists include Oreo by Fran Ross, a novel by A Short Tale of Shame-author Angel Igov, Clarice Lispector's collected stories, and George Eliot's Middlemarch.
       The winners will be announced at the book fair, on 12 March.

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



       Pavel Vilikovský (1941-2020)

       Slovak author Pavel Vilikovský has passed away; see, for example, the Slovak Spectator report, Pavel Vilikovský, one of Slovakia's biggest writers, dies.

       Several of his works have been translated into English, with Ever Green Is ... published in the great Northwestern University Press 'Writings From An Unbound Europe'-series (see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) and Fleeting Snow recently out from Istros (see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).

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



       New Goncourt academicians

       Two members of the prix Goncourt-awarding Académie Goncourt resigned in recent months -- Bernard Pivot and Virginie Despentes -- but they've now announced the two members who will succeed them and fill out the 10-person academy: The Paradox of Love-author Pascal Bruckner and In His Arms-author Camille Laurens.

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



11 February 2020 - Tuesday

Aras Publishing profile | The Circus review

       Aras Publishing profile

       In Al Monitor Ayla Jean Yackley reports on how a Small Istanbul publisher sustains Armenian literature.
       That would be Aras Publishing, a third of whose catalogue is in Western Armenian.
       Only one of their titles is in English -- Mıgırdiç Margosyan's Infidel Quarter; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- but it would be great to see more available in translation.

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



       The Circus review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jonas Karlsson's The Circus.
       This came out in the UK last year, in one volume together with Karlsson's previous two novels -- a loose sort of trilogy -- and has now come out as a stand-alone in the US, from Hogarth.

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



10 February 2020 - Monday

Krishna Baldev Vaid (1927-2020)
LBF International Excellence Awards shortlists

       Krishna Baldev Vaid (1927-2020)

       Hindi writer Krishna Baldev Vaid has passed away; see, for example, Ashutosh Bhardwaj in the Indian Express explaining how Krishna Baldev Vaid's novels stepped into uncharted zones.
       A quartet of his books is available from Penguin (India); see their author page -- and their Q & A with him.
       Get your copy of, for example, None Other from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       LBF International Excellence Awards shortlists

       They've announced the shortlists for the 2020 London Book Fair International Excellence Awards -- not yet at the official site, last I checked, but see, for example, The Bookseller report.
       There are sixteen categories, and representatives from twenty-nine countries are among the finalists -- including the Yemen Bookstore in Yemen.
       The three finalists for the Literary Translation Initiative Award are:
(Posted by: M.A.Orthofer)    - permanent link -



9 February 2020 - Sunday

Harry Potter in Yiddish | Karel Čapek as travel writer
The Secret Tale of Tesur House review

       Harry Potter in Yiddish

       J.K.Rowling's Harry Potter is among the most widely-translated contemporary works, and in Tablet Yair Rosenbergnow offers: "The inside story of how Harry Potter was translated into Yiddish", in How Do You Say 'Quidditch' in Yiddish ?

       (Updated - 11 February): See now also Jordan Kutzik's report in Forward that Mazel tov: First edition of Yiddish 'Harry Potter' sells out in less than 48 hours -- the whole first print run of 1,000.

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



       Karel Čapek as travel writer

       Karel Čapek is best-known for his dramas (notably R.U.R., in which he coined the word 'robot') and fiction (e.g. The Absolute at Large), but he was also a travel-writer, and Mirna Šolić recently published a study of these writing, In Search of a Shared Expression: Karel Čapek’s travel writing and imaginative geography of Europe; see for example, the Charles University press release.
       At Radio Praha Ian Willoughby now has an interesting Q & A about this with Šolić.

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



       The Secret Tale of Tesur House review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A chronicle of old Tibet by W. Tailing, The Secret Tale of Tesur House published by China Tibetology Publishing House.

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



8 February 2020 - Saturday

Pierre Guyotat (1940-2020) | Granthika profile | Charles Yu Q & A

       Pierre Guyotat (1940-2020)

       French author Pierre Guyotat has passed away; see, for example, the Le Monde report.
       His writing was fairly extreme and certainly intense; quite a bit of it has been translated into English. See, for example, Rod Smith's review in Rain Taxi of Tomb for 500,000 Soldiers and Eden, Eden, Eden; those two are hard to find in the US/UK right now, but the recent MIT Press titles are readily available; get your copy of In the Deep at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Granthika profile

       In Wired Andrew Leonard reports on how A Code-Obsessed Novelist Builds a Writing Bot. The Plot Thickens, as: "Vikram Chandra, the author of Sacred Games, created Granthika to keep track of complex narratives. It could change the future of storytelling."
       Not sure how convinced I am by this.

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



       Charles Yu Q & A

       In Bomb Gabe Hudson has a Q & A with How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe-author Charles Yu, Weird Political Fiction.
       Yu's Interior Chinatown is just out; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



7 February 2020 - Friday

Stella Prize longlist | New Hudson Review | The Seep review

       Stella Prize longlist

       They've announced the twelve-title longlist for this year's Stella Prize -- a: "literary award celebrating Australian women's writing and an organisation that champions cultural change".
       The longlist was selected from 150 entries; the shortlist will be announced 6 March, the winner on 8 April.

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



       New Hudson Review

       The Winter issue of the Hudson Review is now out, with quite a bit of the contents available online.

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



       The Seep review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Chana Porter's debut novel, The Seep, just out from Soho Press.

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



6 February 2020 - Thursday

Iranian Book of the Year Awards | Svetlana Alexievich Q & A
In Praise of Annada review

       Iranian Book of the Year Awards

       They've announced the Iranian Book of the Year Awards; a full list of the winners (in Farsi) can be found e.g. here -- and see also the Tehran Times report, Iran honors top books of the year.
       The novel of the year award was shared by two books: وضعیت بی عاری ('The Shamelessness Situation') by Hamed Jalali; see also the Adab publicity page, and دور زدن در خیابان یکطرفه ('Turning on the One-Way Street') by Mohammadreza Marzuqi; see also the Third Publishing publicity page. Both of these were also finalists for the Jalal Al-e Ahmad Literary Award, awarded in December.
       A translation of David Damrosch's What Is World Literature ? shared in one of the translation prizes.

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



       Svetlana Alexievich Q & A

       At Deutsche Welle Anastassia Boutsko has a Q & A with the Nobel laureate, Putin 'his own hostage': Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich on her opera debut.
       The opera is Boris, which premiered at the Stuttgart Opera on Sunday; it's based on Alexievich's Secondhand Time.

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



       In Praise of Annada review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Bharatchandra Ray's eighteenth century In Praise of Annada, now out complete in two volumes in Harvard University Press' Murty Classical Library of India series.

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



5 February 2020 - Wednesday

IPAF shortlist | Kamau Brathwaite (1930-2020) | Naga literature

       IPAF shortlist

       They've announced the six-title shortlist for this year's International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
       Lots of geography in the titles -- from The Spartan Court to Firewood of Sarajevo .....
       The winner will be announced on 14 April.

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



       Kamau Brathwaite (1930-2020)

       Barbadia poet Kamau Brathwaite has passed away; see, for example, Prime Minister Mia Mottley's tribute to him.
       New Directions has brought out several of his works; see their publicity page.

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



       Naga literature

       In the New Indian Express Pradip Phanjoubam argues that: "While Naga nonfiction is seemingly unable to break free from revisiting the conflict, fiction is starting to show signs of a new life germinating", in Remembering & forgetting in Naga literature.

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



4 February 2020 - Tuesday

George Steiner (1929-2020) | Vilcek Foundation Awards in Literature
Blues for Outlaw Hearts and Old Whores review

       George Steiner (1929-2020)

       George Steiner has passed away; see, for example, The New York Times obituary by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt and William Grimes. (Yes, it's one of those creepy The New York Times obituaries (co-)written by someone who pre-deceased the subject.)

       I was a great admirer of Steiner's work, and it was tremendously influential on my reading in my late teens (and also beyond) -- starting with In Bluebeard's Castle and After Babel (of course). (I name-checked him when I spoke On Reading at the Salzburg Festival last year as one of the few (mainly) non-fiction writers who had a profound influence on what (and how) I read -- in contrast to, I noted, for example, a Marcel Reich-Ranicki.) Not that I always agreed with him -- he panned (the first volume of) Peter Weiss' The Aesthetics of Resistance !
       Several of Steiner's works are under review at the complete review:        But I still have some to get to, too -- such as George Steiner at the New Yorker (which is unfortunately only a selection-of; hopefully, a complete volume will follow ...); see also the New Directions publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

       (Updated - 6 February): See now also Adam Gopnik on The Seriousness of George Steiner at The New Yorker.

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



       Vilcek Foundation Awards in Literature

       The Vilcek Foundation awards a lot of money in a variety of categories, and they've now announced their literary awards.
       Edwidge Danticat will receive the 2020 Vilcek Prize in Literature, while the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Literature will go to Yaa Gyasi, Valeria Luiselli, and Jenny Xie.

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



       Blues for Outlaw Hearts and Old Whores review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Massimo Carlotto's Blues for Outlaw Hearts and Old Whores, the latest in his 'Alligator'-series, which is out ... today.
       This is the tenth Carlotto under review at the complete review.

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3 February 2020 - Monday

Ekushey Book Fair | Reagan Arthur Q & A

       Ekushey Book Fair

       The Ekushey Book Fair has opened in Bangladesh -- inaugurated by prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
       In The Daily Star report, Translate more Bangla literature (yes !) they report:
Hasina lamented that now she cannot move around the Ekushey book fair freely as she used to do in her student life.

Noting that this book fair is her favorite event, she said, "After becoming the prime minister, it always hurts that I don't have the liberty anymore as I had in my student life when I used to spend hour after hour in the book fair. I feel very good whenever I visit the book fair."

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       Reagan Arthur Q & A

       In The Los Angeles Times Maris Kreizman has a Q & A: Reagan Arthur on taking the reins of book publisher Alfred A. Knopf.
       Arthur succeeds Sonny Mehta as head of Alfred A. Knopf -- amazingly, she is only the fourth person to run the house/imprint since 1915 when it was founded.

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



2 February 2020 - Sunday

Gabriel García Márquez exhibit | Foreign Studies review

       Gabriel García Márquez exhibit

       At the Harry Ransom Center the exhibit Gabriel García Márquez: The Making of a Global Writer has opened; it runs through 19 July and sounds like it's well worth a visit.

       Only two García Márquez titles are under review at the complete review -- Living to Tell the Tale and Memories of My Melancholy Whores -- but I really should return to his other work as well.

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



       Foreign Studies review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Endō Shūsaku's Foreign Studies.

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1 February 2020 - Saturday

Victorian Premier's Literary Awards | Wingate Prize shortlist
Flashman ! | Len Rix Q & A

       Victorian Premier's Literary Awards

       They've announced the winners of this year's Victorian Premier's Literary Awards -- "Australia's richest literary prize".
       Like the British Whitbread Costa Book Awards, there are category-winners (fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, writing for young adults and, every other year (but not this one), Indigenous writing), who each receive A$25,000, with the 'Victorian Prize for Literature' (and another A$100,000) going to the one selected from the category winners as best of all; this year it was the drama winner, S.Shakthidharan's Counting and Cracking; see also the Belvoir production page.
       Christos Tsiolkas' novel, Damascus, won the fiction category award.

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



       Wingate Prize shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Wingate Literary Prize, "awarded annually to the best book to 'translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader'", with both works of fiction and non under consideration.
       Finalists include novels by Gary Shteyngart, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Howard Jacobson, and Linda Grant, but the only work under review at the complete review is Benjamin Balint's Kafka's Last Trial: The Case of a Literacy Legacy.
       The winner will be announced 16 March.

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



       Flashman !

       In the new issue of the New Criterion John Steele Gordon writes on "the beloved brainchild of George MacDonald Fraser", the infamous Flashman, in No flash in the pan.
       Only a trio of the Flashman-titles are under review at the complete review -- including the first, Flashman -- but I've read them all save one (I'm a fan); as with a few much-loved authors all of whose other novels I have read, I've been holding back one in reserve, saving it for desperate times. (Other examples: Graham Greene (Brighton Rock) and Patrick White (The Tree of Man).)
       (Oddly, however, it's another title by Fraser -- Quartered Safe Out Here -- that is one of the titles that, over the years, users have purchased most steadily and frequently via the Amazon link at the site; it's among a dozen or so dependable sellers, year in and year out, and I have no idea why.)

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       Len Rix Q & A

       At hlo Owen Good has a Q & A with Len Rix: Magda Szabó inspires deep trust, even as she wrenches the heart, as Rix's translation of Szabó's 1970 novel Abigail is finally out in English.

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