The WhitbreadCosta Book Awards award prizes in five categories, and then pit those against each other to determine a final 'Book of the Year' -- which they now have, with the poetry-winner, Inside the Wave, by Helen Dunmore , taking the prize; see the official press release (warning ! dreaded pdf format !).
See also the Bloodaxe publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The practical utility of Google Translate and similar technologies is undeniable, and probably it’s a good thing overall, but there is still something deeply lacking in the approach, which is conveyed by a single word: understanding.
It'll be interesting to see if 'understanding', as he means it, will ever be achievable.
He's certainly right that we're nowhere near now.
In the Index on Censorship they get several viewpoints on attending or boycotting book fairs, including from Swedish Academy member Peter Englund and Frankfurt Book Fair vice president of international affairs Tobias Voss, in Book fairs and freedom.
Only in French, but at Radio Praha Václav Richter reports on Lidové noviny's (Czech) 'Book of the Year' poll from last month -- focusing on the top three titles: Marek Švehla's biography of Mahor, the latest Jáchym Topol, and the latest edition of Milan Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, which restores some passages.
The official results were published in a twelve-page-spread in Lidové noviny, but that doesn't seem to be readily accessible online -- just the article about the top title.
But this list actually has it's own Wikipedia page, and the 2017 one does list the top eleven titles, and the votes each of those books got, out of 192.
Czech works dominate -- with only Laurent Binet's The Seventh Function of Language slipping in, tied for eight.
They've announced the finalists in the many categories of the Iranian Book of the Year Awards, including in what amounts to the foreign literature prize; as the Tehran Timesreports, the finalists are Persian translations of:
Barley Patch-author Murnane is of course most admired hereabouts -- and I look forward to the forthcoming-in-April one-two punch of Border Districts (see the Farrar, Straus and Giroux publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk)
and Stream System: The Collected Short Fiction of Gerald Murnane (see the Farrar, Straus and Giroux publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).
Máirtín Ó Cadhain's Irish classic Cré na Cille has been translated twice into English in recent years -- both volumes out from Yale University Press, and one of them under review at the complete review (The Dirty Dust) -- but now it's also been translated into Czech (!), as Hřbitovní hlína (see the Argo publicity page) and at Radio Praha David Vaughan has a Q & A with Czech translator Radvan Markus.
PEN America has announced the finalists for their 2018 Literary Awards finalists.
Daniel Alarcón's translation of The Book of Emma Reyes, by Emma Reyes -- a translation prize finalist --, is the only title under review at the complete review
The winners will be announced 20 February.
The idea behind the Prix Mémorable is a pretty good one: basically, it's a prize for forgotten books, or overdue translations -- i.e. a worthy book translated into French for the first time (e.g. 2011 winner Stoner, by John Williams), or a long-forgotten but now re-issued French classic (e.g. 2016 winner My Friends, by Emmanuel Bove).
They've now announced the 2017 winner, and it's Czech author Ota Pavel's How I Came to Know Fish -- published in English as a Penguin Classic in 2010 (and by New Directions in 1991); get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Edgardo Franzosini's Rembrandt Bugatti-novel, The Animal Gazer, just out in English from New Vessel Press.
(Updated - 26 January): If you're in New York next week, you have a brief opportunity to admire ten select Bugattis at the Taylor Graham gallery, courtesy the Sladmore Gallery, in a combination book launch exhibit that runs only from 30 January to 4 February.
Looks very promising, and worth checking out.
As widely noted, leading American author Ursula K. Le Guin has passed away; see, for example, Gerald Jonas' obituary in The New York Times, Ursula K. Le Guin, Acclaimed for Her Fantasy Fiction, Is Dead at 88.
None of her work is under review at the complete review -- what I read of hers I read before I started the site -- but she's definitely worth your time; consider, for example the two-volume Library of America edition of The Hainish Novels & Stories; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
(Note however that, while US sanctions do largely prevent American authors and publishers from entering into contracts with Iranian publishers, or getting paid for the rights to their work, since Iran is not a signatory to the major international copyright agreements the free-for-all situation is simply ... the (legitimate) way it is -- very similar to the situation with Soviet works in the 1960s, when Western publishers published whatever they wanted, without any obligation to pay the authors for their troubles; see, for example, the three translations of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich that came out in the US in 1963 alone.
Similarly, of course, American publishers are (legally, if not morally) free to publish pretty much anything that was originally published in Iran, without getting the author/publisher's permission, or paying them anything.)
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Durian Sukegawa's Sweet Bean Paste.
This is the basis of the popular movie, Sweet Bean (yeah, they presumably figured that 'paste' was not that cinematically appealing); predictably, too, the feel-good trailer avoids alluding to a central part of the story (the old lady is a (cured, but still bona fide) leper, for god's sake ... !).
Interesting also to see the different titles chosen for the translations of this book: 'The Delights of Tokyo' (French); 'Cherry Blossoms and Red Beans' (German); 'The Recipes of Mrs. Tokue' (Italian) .....
They've announced the finalists for the (American) National Book Critics Circle Awards -- thirty finalists in six categories.
No, none of them are under review at the complete review -- though I am planning on getting to The Invention of Angela Carter, at the very least.
The Winners will be announced on 15 March.
In The New Yorker Cressida Leyshon has a Q & A with Jhumpa Lahiri on Writing in Italian
Aside from writing in Italian -- see her In Other Words -- Lahiri has also been translating (e.g. Domenico Starnone's Ties) -- and, I'm pleased to see, confirms my long-held opinion in support of writers translating:
There is no better lesson for a writer.
Translation goes beyond reading; the act is visceral as opposed to merely intimate, and it impacts you, it teaches you in a different way.
Late-1970s Italian rediscoveries seem to be doing well recently: Nicola Pugliese's Malacqua, out recently from And Other Stories, which I should also be getting to, is another; amusingly, the English (re)discovery of this one seems to have also led to its Italian revival.
Bohumil Hrabal (Vita Nuova, etc.) is among the most revered modern Czech authors, and there have been quite a few fictional tribute-works to the master, such as Esterházy Péter's The Book of Hrabal and Paweł Huelle's Mercedes-Benz -- and now there's also an opera ! by Miloš Orson Štědroň: Don Hrabal, playing at the Prague National Theatre; see their information page or, for example, the Prague TV report
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Bora Ćosić's grand 1978 novel Tutori.
This is certainly among the great Yugoslavian novels -- up there with Meša Selimović's Death and the Dervish and Ivo Andrić's The Bridge on the Drina -- but I wonder whether it will ever make it into English; it's massive, and quite a translating challenge (though I imagine any translator would have a blast with it -- it's the financing of the work that's the issue).
Ćosić isn't entirely unknown in English -- and My Family's Role in the World Revolution is definitely worth your while; see the Northwestern University Press publicity page (yes, it appeared in their wonderful Writings from an Unbound Europe-series), or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- but he's woefully under-translated/appreciated; post-Kiš (and Ćosić is actually older ...), he's surely the grand old man of modern Serbian fiction, and has likely been regularly Nobel-nominated for quite a while.
Quite a few of his works would be worth translating (and cheaper/easier to do ...), so I hope someone has a look/try.
They've announced the six finalists for the prix Anaïs Nin -- the prize with its eyes towards the winning title getting translated into English (it's specifically: "orienté vers le monde anglo-saxon", sigh); see, for example, the Livres Hebdoreport.
I'm a bit surprised Régis Jauffret's Microfictions 2018 -- which seems to me a hard sell in the US/UK -- is still in the running; I'm not surprised Catherine Cusset's Vie de David Hockney is.
The winning title will be announced 12 February.