The Jan Michalski Prize for Literature is a CHF50,000 prize for: "a work of world literature [...] irrespective of the language in which it is written", and they've now announced this year's winner, Mozambican author Mia Couto's trilogy, As areias do imperador.
The first two volumes in this Sands of the Emperor-trilogy have been published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (in the US) and World Editions (in the UK), as Woman of the Ashes and The Sword and the Spear -- see also the FSG publicity page --, with the final volume, The Drinker of Horizons, forthcoming.
French magazine Lire has announced what they consider: 'Les 100 livres de l'année' in various categories -- with Fille by Camille Laurens their book of the year; see also the Gallimard publicity page; an English translation is due out from Other Press next year.
You can't access the list at Lire, but, for example, Livres Hebdo has the run-down.
Usually, this is the week when they'd be holding the fancy Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm, but virus-related circumstances prevented this year's get-together.
Still, they're trying to go through most of the motions: Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Louise Glück received her Nobel medal yesterday, at her US home, and there's her fancy (if a bit underwhelming) Nobel diploma.
And though they are not streaming any performance-version of her Nobel lecture -- unlike for all the other prizes -- a print version has now been released: see the Nobel Lecture in Literature 2020 by Louise Glück.
She concludes the fairly short speech:
I believe that in awarding me this prize, the Swedish Academy is choosing to honor the intimate, private voice, which public utterance can sometimes augment or extend, but never replace.
5 January will be the 100th anniversary of Friedrich Dürrenmatt's birth and, to mark that, his German publisher Diogenes is bringing out new editions of his collected prose (19 volumes; 4480 pages) and collected dramas (18 volumes; 4032 pages) tomorrow.
I've read practically everything he wrote, but these are certainly tempting -- but what I'm really looking forward to is the forthcoming (in April) five-volume collection ('combined with an expanded online-version') of Das Stoffe-Projekt, among his most impressive achievements.
Meanwhile, the Swiss National Library looks like Dürrenmatt-at-100 central with their 100 Jahre Dürrenmatt 2021 pages; I look forward to at least the online-accessible events and exhibitions.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Dominique Fortier's Paper Houses.
While this came out in English translation in the US last year, the French-French edition only came out this year (as opposed to the 2018 Canadian-French edition ...), and last week it was awarded the prestigious prix Renaudot (essai).
The French edition subtitles it 'A life of Emily Dickinson', but it's certainly more fiction than the prize-categorization would suggest ......
(Recall that Christian Bobin also wrote a Dickinson book, translated a few years ago as The Lady in White.)
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Gesualdo Bufalino's Qui pro quo.
Several works by Bufalino have been translated into English -- published in the old Harvill series, and by Eridanos Press, among others -- but this one, Bufalino's spin on a mystery novel, hasn't been yet.
In the Irish Times Martin Doyle reports that Ireland's bestselling books of 2020 revealed.
It seems kind of early to make this kind of claim -- "Figures are for sales until the end of November", and aren't these last few weeks of the year among the biggest of the years, sales-wise ? -- but at least the list gives actual sales numbers, which are always interesting to see.
Selling 55,039 copies was good enough for the top place -- Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens -- while 20,646 was enough to get you in the top 10.
It hasn’t affected our services, except that we are temporarily not open on Sundays any more, since there are practically no tourists.
Last week we had an average of 53 customers per day in the shop, whereas last year for the comparable week it was 62, a decrease of 15%.
So, while the pandemic hit us, it did not hit us hard and it’s a hit we can absorb.
On the other hand, we have a well-functioning web shop where turnover and customer numbers are growing exponentially.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of José Donoso's 1981 novel, The Garden Next Door.
This novel also features Ecuadorian author Marcelo Chiriboga, one of the leading writers of the Latin American 'Boom' -- and an invention of Donoso and Carlos Fuentes'.
More recently, Javier Izquierdo filmed a documentary on the author, Un secreto en la caja (check it out, even if you don't speak Spanish -- it's subtitled); see also the IMDb page or Carlos Dávalos' article on El autor del ‘boom’ latinoamericano que no estuvo allí in El País.
They've announced the winner of this year's US$75,000 Cundill History Prize, and it is Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs, by Camilla Townsend.
See also the Oxford University Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
I actually have this one, but haven't gotten around to covering it yet.
They've announced the winner of this year's £30,000 William Hill Sports Book of the Year, and it is The Rodchenkov Affair: How I Brought Down Russia's Secret Doping Empire, by Grigory Rodchenkov; see also the WH Allen publicity page.
As Jim Milliot reports at Publishers Weekly, BookExpo and BookCon Are No More - ending the: "U.S. book publishing's biggest trade show".
BookExpo has been struggling with its function and identity for a while now, but the industry surely needs something like this, so its loss is unfortunate.
They've announced the winner of this year's FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, and it is No Filter, by Sarah Frier.
At least the UK and US titles of this one are the same -- but the descriptive sub-titles are different: in the UK this is: How Instagram transformed business, celebrity and culture, in the US it's: The Inside Story of Instagram.
See also the publicity pages from Simon & Schuster and Random House Business, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Tine Høeg's New Passengers.
This is one of the first books out from new publisher Lolli Editions, whose: "aim is to make available to English-speaking readers some of the most innovative writers that speak to our shared culture in new and compelling ways, from Europe and beyond".
Currently the list is very Danish heavy -- but it's certainly an interesting selection; certainly a publisher worth keeping an eye on.
The Académie Goncourt has announced the winner of this year's prix Goncourt, the leading French literary prize, and it is L'anomalie, by Hervé Le Tellier; see also the Gallimard publicity page; it's due out in English from Other Press (presumably in a year or two ...).
Le Tellier is the first member of the Oulipo to win the Goncourt; quite a few of his works have been translated into English -- and most of them are under review at the complete review:
The British Royal Society of Literature is celebrating its 200th anniversary with RSL 200, "a five-year celebration of the best in literature past, present and future".
Among the newly-announced programmes: RSL International Writers, which: "will recognise the contribution of writers from across the globe to literature in English, and the power of literature to transcend borders".
They: "are inviting public recommendations of writers who have contributed to international literary culture" -- so go ahead, recommend who you think might be appropriate authors.