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


4 August 2021 - Wednesday

Daisy Rockwell Q & A

       Daisy Rockwell Q & A

       At Business Line P Anima has a Q & A with Daisy Rockwell about her translations -- most recently of Usha Priyamvada's Fifty-Five Pillars, Red Walls -- in ‘I make a conscious effort to seek out women’s stories... men’s voices are easily heard’.
       Rockwell notes:
Publishers in the US and UK are reluctant to publish translations in general, and South Asian literature in translation rarely appears in print there. Luckily, with the internet, it is easier to get Indian books all around the world now, so readers can access them even if they’re not being published there.
       Still, it would be great if more were published in the US/UK .....

       See also the Speaking Tiger publicity page for Fifty-Five Pillars, Red Walls.

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



3 August 2021 - Tuesday

Svetlana Alexievich Q & A | Chinese literary criticism guidelines
We Who Are About To ... review

       Svetlana Alexievich Q & A

       In The Nation Nadezhda Azhgikhina speaks with the Nobel laureate 'on a new wave of repressions in Belarus, the role of women in revolution, and life after the pandemic', in “We Will Live in a Completely Different World”: A Conversation With Svetlana Alexievich.
       Alexievich notes:
If we were one-on-one with Lukashenko, it would be different. But Lukashenko has Putin’s support, which changes everything. I watch anxiously as Russia Russifies Belarus. We need the support of the West.

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



       Chinese literary criticism guidelines

       Xinhua reports that China issues guideline to strengthen literary criticism -- "to promote the healthy and prosperous development of socialist literature and art"
       Apparently: "the guideline stresses prioritizing social benefits and values instead of online traffic", so, yeah, that's sure to produce results .....

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



       We Who Are About To ... review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Joanna Russ' 1977 novel, We Who Are About To ....

       I'm not sure this is the absolute bleakest novel I've ever read, but it's right up there.

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



2 August 2021 - Monday

Women in Translation site | The Final Days of Immanuel Kant review

       Women in Translation site

       Women in Translation has been online, in various forms (notably on Twitter), for a while now but now has its own dedicated website -- just in time for this year's 'Women in Translation month'.
       It's certainly an admirable project and endeavor, given the still low percentage of literature in English translation that was originally written by women, a situation that has improved somewhat in recent years (in no small part because of increasing awareness of the issue) but still has quite a ways to go.

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



       The Final Days of Immanuel Kant review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Odd Nerdrum's play, The Final Days of Immanuel Kant.

       Yes, after recently reviewing Thomas De Quincey's The Last Days of Immanuel Kant I couldn't resist taking a look at another take.
       Thomas Bernhard next ? Or reviews of some of Kant's own writing ?

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



1 August 2021 - Sunday

Taiwan Literature Awards | Age Book of the Year shortlist

       Taiwan Literature Awards

       They've announced and now handed out this year's Taiwan Literature Awards; see, for example, Wendy Wu's report in the Taiwan News, Nine authors win Taiwan Literature Awards.
       The nine winners were selected from 34 nominated for the awards, selected from 171 works.
       The best novel award went to 斑甲市 ('Banjia City') by Wang Yung-cheng

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



       Age Book of the Year shortlist

       The Australian Age Book of the Year has been 'on hiatus' for nine years, but it's back this year, and they've now announced the shortlist -- and, as Jason Steger (one of the judges) reports in The Age, Tasmanian authors dominate line up for Age Book of the Year award.
       The winner will be announced 3 September.

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



31 July 2021 - Saturday

Litera Prize | The Emperor of the Sorcerers review

       Litera Prize

       At the start of the week they announced The long list of Literary Award Litera, one of the leading Georgian literary prizes -- meaning that submissions were closed and they found themselves with 110 books nominated for the six categories in which prizes are awarded; they didn't actually reveal the titles.
       The plan was to reveal the shortlists in November, and a few days ago they announced The jury of Literary Award Litera has started working -- but that did not last long. One of the new twists this year did not go over well, as:
This year, for the first time, out of 5 jury members, 4 were ed by the Writers’ House and the fifth member was presented by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs of Georgia, pursuant to Paragraph 4, Article 5 of the appendix of the decree N00007864 by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs of Georgia “On the conditions and rules of funding for cultural events / projects to be implemented by the Ministry of Culture”.
       It's that government-imposed juror that did not go over well, and the fallout has been fast and disastrous: the four other jurors have resigned and several authors have also withdrawn; numerous other participants have also "addressed an open letter to minister Thea Tsulukiani"; see the Agenda.ge articles, Writers exit Litera Prize nominations in protest of culture minister, appointment of jury member and Litera Prize juries leave panel, authors ask culture ministry to remove its judge.

       (Updated - 3 August): It blew up fast, and no one is willing to put the pieces back together: as Agenda.ge now report, Litera Prize cancelled by organisers following participant, jury team protest. So, no prize this year.

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



       The Emperor of the Sorcerers review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Budha·svamin's The Emperor of the Sorcerers, a volume (well, actually two), in the Clay Sanskrit Library.

       (As with so many books, I was a bit slow getting to this one -- my review copy arrived ... 5721 days ago (yes, over fifteen years ago), but, hey, it's a timeless classic, right ? Still, disappointing to see there hasn't been much other coverage of it over that whole span either .....)

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



30 July 2021 - Friday

Roberto Calasso (1941-2021) | Prix Sade longlist | The last 100 reviews

       Roberto Calasso (1941-2021)

       Adelphi-publisher Roberto Calasso has passed away; see, for example, the Reuters report.

       The author of many works that have been translated into English, he was also one of Europe's great publishers -- and the only one of his works under review at the complete review is The Art of the Publisher.

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



       Prix Sade longlist

       The prix Sade has announced its (shortened) longlist; see, for example, the report at LivresHebdo.
       Garth Greenwell's Cleanness is still in the running, but the most intriguing title is probably Caroline de Mulder's Manger Bambi; see also the Gallimard publicity page.
       The finalists will be announced on 14 September, and the winning title on 2 October.

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



       The last 100 reviews

       I recently reached 4800 books under review at the complete review, so it's time for another overview of the past 100 reviewed titles (4701 through 4800).

       - The last 100 reviews were posted over 194 days -- down from 181 for the previous 100 -- and totaled 156,736 words (also down from the last 100, with 161,356 words). Three reviews were over 3000 words long, and eighteen were over 2000 words long.
       Reviewed books had a total of 27,318 pages, the most ever. The longest reviewed book was 775 pages long, and a surprising 22 titles were over 400 pages long; only two were shorter than 100 pages (and one of those was 99 pages long ...).

       - Reviewed books were originally written in 24 different languages (including English); English was the most popular language, with 22 titles (down from 27 over the last 100 titles), followed by French (15), Spanish (10), 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.)

       - While male-written books were again in the (super-majority), the 28 out of 100 written by women represented a new high. That raised the historic sexist average of written-by-women titles under review to ... 16.77 per cent.

       - A single book was rated 'A' -- Chi Ta-wei's The Membranes -- and ten did rate 'A-'; the lowest-rated title was a 'C'.

       - As always, fiction -- and especially novels -- dominated, with 81 titles that were works of fiction.

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



29 July 2021 - Thursday

Changó returns | Cairo International Book Fair report

       Changó returns

       At Electric Lit. Keenan Norris offers a list of 11 Afro-Latinx Writers Whose Work Traverses the Americas, and among them is Manuel Zapata Olivella, with his Changó, el gran putas -- with Norris noting that: "Unfortunately, few readers in the English-speaking world have even heard of Zapata Olivella, let alone read his work".
       Among the few, I suspect, would be at least some of the more dedicated followers of this site: Zapata Olivella and this book rated half a page in The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction. Unfortunately, however, as Norris correctly points out:
The basics of publication and reader access are still an issue for many a great book written by Black writers across our diaspora. Despite being every bit as ambitious and as innovative with its use of myth and time as the famed magical realist text One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chango, el gran putas is very difficult to procure as an English-language text.
       It was, in fact, published, as Changó, the Biggest Badass, in Jonathan Tittler's translation just over a decade ago, in Texas Tech University Press' 'The Americas' series; I was excited when I got my copy (and am embarrassed that I haven't posted a review yet ...). Alas, the series is no longer, and that edition already out of print (really out of print, it seems: even used copies seem almost impossible to come by). The good news is that it's apparently been picked up again: Routledge is publishing it -- apparently as Changó, Decolonizing the African Diaspora ? -- this fall; see their publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
       Yes, the Routledge edition looks even more like an 'academic' edition -- i.e. less likely to get bookstore-stocked -- but I hope the book (finally) gets the attention (and, especially, the readers) it deserves.
       The Texas Tech University Press edition (and series) was certainly meant to be more casual-reader friendly, but the price-point was already pretty ... challenging -- US$34.95 --; still, that was also for a hardcover; the Routledge paperback has a list price of $44.95 (though generously discounted at the official site) .....

       Anyway, I'm very pleased to see the book will be available again -- and commend it to you -- though it's also a sad reminder that the TTUP 'The Americas'-series was short-lived, and the books from it -- the Wayback Machine gives you a glimpse of what they did manage to publish -- aren't easy to find any longer. A handful of titles from the series are under review at the complete review -- but, yes, I'll try to get to this one as well, now that it will be readily available again (as if I didn't have enough summer-projects to keep me busy ...).
       (For all the success of new publishers focusing on translation in the past ten-plus years, it's worth remembering that quite a few have also gone by the wayside, along with several such translation-dedicated series from larger/academic publishers.)

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



       Cairo International Book Fair report

       At ahramonline Dina Ezzat reports on this year's Cairo International Book Fair, in The appeal of the translated text, Never lost in translation -- discussing many of the titles recently translated into Arabic.

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



28 July 2021 - Wednesday

Kawakami Mieko Q & A | The Last Days of Immanuel Kant review

       Kawakami Mieko Q & A

       At the arts fuse Izzy Smith has 10 Questions for novelist Mieko Kawakami (though, in fact, I count less than ten ...).
       The three titles by Kawakami translated into English are all under review at the complete review: Breasts and Eggs, Heaven, and Ms Ice Sandwich.

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



       The Last Days of Immanuel Kant review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Thomas De Quincey's The Last Days of Immanuel Kant, now also out in a nice pocket-sized edition from Sublunary Editions.

       This was translated into French by Marcel Schwob, and into Italian by Fleur Jaeggy, which certainly speaks for it .....
       There's also a movie-version: at The New Yorker Richard Brody enthused about it -- and you can see it, with English subtitles, at YouTube.

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



27 July 2021 - Tuesday

Booker Prize longlist | Caine Prize | And Other Stories profile
Henri Vernes (1918-2021) | Chitambo review

       Booker Prize longlist

       They've announced the thirteen-title longlist for this year's Booker Prize, selected from 158 (unfortunately not revealed ...) titles:
  • Bewilderment, by Richard Powers
  • China Room, by Sunjeev Sahota
  • The Fortune Men, by Nadifa Mohamed
  • Great Circle, by Maggie Shipstead
  • An Island, by Karen Jennings
  • Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Light Perpetual, by, Francis Spufford
  • No One is Talking About This, by Patricia Lockwood
  • A Passage North, by Anuk Arudpragasam
  • The Promise, by Damon Galgut
  • Second Place, by Rachel Cusk
  • The Sweetness of Water, by Nathan Harris
  • A Town Called Solace, by Mary Lawson
       I actually have two more of these title -- the Sahota and the Cusk -- and suppose I should try to get to them.
       The shortlist will be announced 14 September.

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



       Caine Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's AKO Caine Prize for African Writing, "awarded for a short story by an African writer published in English (indicative length 3,000 to 10,000 words)", and it is 'The Street Sweep', by Meron Hadero
       You can read the story here (warning ! dreaded pdf format !).

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



       And Other Stories profile

       At The Bookseller Caroline Carpenter reports on how And Other Stories celebrates 10th year with revamp and events.
       And Other Stories has certainly had an impressive first decade, and quite a few of their titles are under review at the complete review.

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



       Henri Vernes (1918-2021)

       Belgian author of the popular Bob Morane-books Henri Vernes has passed away; see, for example, the France 24 report.
       Apparently Morane featured in: "200 novels that sold 40 million copies worldwide"; several were translated into English in the 1960s -- The Dinosaur Hunters, for example -- but are hard to come by.

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



       Chitambo review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Hagar Olsson;s 1933 novel, Chitambo, out from Norvik Press last year.

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



26 July 2021 - Monday

Jeanette Winterson profile | The Illustrious House of Ramires review

       Jeanette Winterson profile

       Jeanette Winterson has a new book coming out -- 12 Bytes: How We Got Here. Where We Might Go Next -- and in The Observer Claire Armitstead profiles her, in Jeanette Winterson: 'The male push is to discard the planet: all the boys are going off into space'.

       See also the publicity pages for 12 Bytes from Jonathan Cape and Grove, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       The Illustrious House of Ramires review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of José Maria de Eça de Queirós' The Illustrious House of Ramires.

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



25 July 2021 - Sunday

Jabbour Douaihy (1949-2021)

       Jabbour Douaihy (1949-2021)

       Lebanese author Jabbour Douaihy has passed away; see, for example, Saeed Saeed's report in The National, Lebanese novelist Jabbour Douaihy dies at 72: 'The world is dimmer'.

       Two of his novels were shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and another was longlisted.
       Several of his novels have been translated into English, but only one is under review at the complete review -- Printed in Beirut.

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



24 July 2021 - Saturday

Slavenka Drakulić on Irena Vrkljan

       Slavenka Drakulić on Irena Vrkljan

       At Eurozine Slavenka Drakulić offers A personal reflection -- on Irena Vrkljan, the Croatian author who passed away earlier this year.

       Vrkljan's The Silk, the Shears and Marina came out in Northwestern University Press' classic Writings from an Unbound Europe-series; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



23 July 2021 - Friday

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year | Noah Gordon
Dead Horse review

       Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year

       They've announced the winner of this year's Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and it is We Begin At The End, by Chris Whitaker; see also Sian Bayley's report in The Bookseller.
       See also the Henry Holt publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Noah Gordon

       An interesting look by Andrew Silverstein in Forward at The most phenomenally successful Jewish author you've probably never heard of -- Noah Gordon, who is: "a household name, just not in the United States".
       Debuting with a novel that spent 26 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, it's not like he hasn't enjoyed some considerable success in the US -- but that was back in in 1965, and it's true that ever since he's enjoyed much greater success (and sales) abroad.

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



       Dead Horse review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Walter Satterthwait's Raoul Whitfield-mystery, Dead Horse.

       One can see why Satterthwait was attracted to this character and material -- and the colorful (and once very popular and successful) Whitfield certainly seems like a subject deserving a thorough biography.

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



22 July 2021 - Thursday

Κρατικά Λογοτεχνικά Βραβεία 2020 | Arabic literature in translation
The Atom Station review

       Κρατικά Λογοτεχνικά Βραβεία 2020

       The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports has announced the 2020 State Literary Awards; see also the Athens 9.84 report, The State Literary Awards 2020 have been announced.
       The lifetime-achievement Grand Prize for Letters went to Jenny Mastoraki; the novel award went to Ilias Magklinis, for his Είμαι όσα έχω ξεχάσει; see also the Metaichmio publicity page.

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



       Arabic literature in translation

       At the Middle East Eye AJ Naddaff reports on the recent Bila Hudood literary festival, in From Babel to Berlin: How Arabic literature can unite the world, reporting that:
The three-day festival was packed with raw conversations on writing from an array of experts, leaving this writer at least feeling invigorated and hopeful for the future of Arabic literature in translation.
       Sounds good.

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



       The Atom Station review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness' 1948 novel, The Atom Station.

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



21 July 2021 - Wednesday

Georg-Büchner-Preis | Sylvia Plath | Bullet Train review

       Georg-Büchner-Preis

       They've announced that this year's Georg Büchner Prize -- the leading German-language author prize -- will go to Clemens J. Setz; he gets to pick up the €50,000 prize on 6 November.
       He's still under forty years old -- less than half the age of last year's winner, Elke Erb, when she got the prize -- and the youngest winner since Durs Grünbein got it in 1995.
       His novel Indigo appears to still be the only one of his works available in English; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Sylvia Plath

       At the BBC Lillian Crawford considers, at considerable length, Sylvia Plath: Will the poet always be defined by her death ?
       She focuses on the biographical works about Plath -- but recall that Connie Palmen's Plath-novel Your Story, My Story also came out in English this year.

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



       Bullet Train review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Isaka Kotaro's Bullet Train, now also out in a US edition.

       No doubt the reason this has now appeared in English translation is because the movie version -- starring Brad Pitt -- is coming out next year.
       This is only the second Isaka novel to appear in English -- Remote Control came out a decade ago. Interestingly, while more of his work has been translated into French -- see, for example, the Éditions Picquier page -- apparently this one has not yet been published in French.

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



20 July 2021 - Tuesday

Tsitsi Dangarembga profile | AUC's Center for Translation Studies

       Tsitsi Dangarembga profile

       In Prospect Catherine Taylor finds: 'The Zimbabwean novelist is today admired worldwide, but hounded at home -- and by the very regime whose postcolonial pathologies she has spent a lifetime documenting' as she profiles Tsitsi Dangarembga's trials of freedom.

       The only Dangarembga book under review at the complete review is Nervous Conditions.

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



       AUC's Center for Translation Studies

       The American University in Cairo's Center for Translation Studies, launched in 2009, sounds like a great and useful institution -- so it's all the more disappointing that, as ArabLit reports, AUC Shuts Down Center for Translation Studies; that seems like a big loss.

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



19 July 2021 - Monday

The Luminous Novel review

       The Luminous Novel review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Mario Levrero's The Luminous Novel, just about out from And Other Stories.

       I hope they go with this from the Publishers Weekly review for a blurb:
This is literature in the same way that John Cage’s 4’33” is music.

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



18 July 2021 - Sunday

International authors in English this summer | 'Translating sounds and signs'
Book-based sculptures

       International authors in English this summer

       In The Guardian several critics introduce the foreign "writers who are making waves", in Going places: The international authors to read this summer.
       Several of these nine authors have already had numerous titles published in English -- in fact, books by five of the nine are under review at the complete review -- so they're not exactly new to the scene; still, it's good to see some foreign writing being highlighted among all the summer-reading lists.

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



       'Translating sounds and signs'

       In The Hindu Mini Krishnan takes a look at Say it out loud: Translating sounds and signs, with a variety of interesting examples.

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



       Book-based sculptures

       Some neat pictures in The Guardian as Alice Fisher looks at Stephen Doyle's Sculptures that make novel use of books -- in pictures.
       Very impressive -- but it does also break my heart to see this kind of thing done to books.

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



17 July 2021 - Saturday

Ibrahim al-Koni Q & A | New Asymptote

       Ibrahim al-Koni Q & A

       At The Collidescope George Salis has A Bilingual Interview with Ibrahim al-Koni.

       Two of al-Koni's novels are under review at the complete review: The Fetishists and Gold Dust.

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



       New Asymptote

       The July issue of Asymptote is now up -- the usual extensive variety of great material, more than enough to get you through the weekend.

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



16 July 2021 - Friday

Japanese literary prizes | Miles Franklin Literary Award
The Millions' second-half of 2021 book preview
Midnight, Water City review

       Japanese literary prizes

       They've announced the latest batch of winners of the biannual Akutagawa and Naoki Prizes -- the best-known Japanese literary prizes. There were two winners for both prizes -- though so far English-language coverage has focused almost entirely on only one of the Akutagawa winners; see, for example, Satoshi Yamazaki's report in the Asahi Shimbun, Taiwan-born novelist Li Kotomi nabs Akutagawa Prize; for a report on all the winners you have to check out the Japanese coverage, e.g. the Bunshun report.
       Li Kotomi won the prize for 彼岸花が咲く島 ('An Island where Red Spider Lily Blooms'); she is only the second winner of the prize whose mother tongue isn't Japanese. Li shared the prize with Mai Ishizawa, who won for her book 貝に続く場所にて ('At a Place that follows Shellfish').
       The Naoki Prize was shared by Satō Kiwamu, who won for his テスカトリポカ, and Sawada Toko, who won for 星落ちて、なお.

       US/UK publishers have shown great interest in recent Akutagawa winners -- see how many are under review at the complete review -- and the Li sounds like a strong contender to get picked up sooner rather than later.

       (Updated - 23 July): See now also Nojima Tsuyoshi's profile at nippon.com Beloved Japanese: Taiwanese Writer Li Kotomi's Journey to Akutagawa Fame.

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



       Miles Franklin Literary Award

       They've announced the winner of this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award, and it is The Labyrinth, by Amanda Lohrey.
       It does not appear to be readily US/UK-available yet, but see, for example, the Text publicity page.

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



       The Millions' second-half of 2021 book preview

       The Millions has released their Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2021 Book Preview.
       Yes, it's dominated by the big books you probably have/will hear of anyway, but is certainly useful as an overview of such.

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



       Midnight, Water City review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Chris McKinney's Midnight, Water City, just out, and the first in a planned trilogy.

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



15 July 2021 - Thursday

2022 International Booker Prize judging panel
Marie-Claire Blais profile

       2022 International Booker Prize judging panel

       They've announced the judging panel for next year's International Booker Prize: translator Frank Wynne will chair the panel, and the other judges are: Merve Emre, Petina Gappah, Mel Giedroyc, and Jeremy Tiang.
       The longlist will be announced next March.

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



       Marie-Claire Blais profile

       At Quill & Quire Marie-Claire Blais reflects on her 10-book novel cycle, as Steven W. Beattie profiles the author.
       He notes that: "in English Canada, Blais is more spoken about (usually in hushed, reverent tones) than actually read". (Recall also Pasha Malla in The New Yorker, wondering a couple of years ago: Will American Readers Ever Catch on to Marie-Claire Blais ?.)

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



14 July 2021 - Wednesday

Warwick Prize entries | Hotlist 2021 | Birds review

       Warwick Prize entries

       The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation is awarded for a literary work written by a woman in English translation and published by a UK or Irish publisher.
       They also do what far too few literary prizes do (and, indeed, what every one of them should): reveal all the titles actually being considered for the prize, and they've now released this year's list of eligible titles entered (warning ! dreaded pdf format !). 115 titles, translated from 28 languages, with French easily leading the way (27), ahead of Spanish (15), German (9), and Dutch (8).
       The list also makes for a great resource to see what's been published in translation in the past year -- yes, only books written by women, but you (and I ...) read far too few of these, so it's good to see what the possibilities are.

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



       Hotlist 2021

       They've announced the German "Hotlist' for 2021 -- 30 titles selected from submissions by 179 independent German publishers (each gets to submit one title). Admirably, they also reveal all 179 submitted titles; somewhat disappointingly they only provide that information on a supremely annoying page where they divide the submissions into twelve categories and you have to click on the category to learn what the books are. (Lists, folks; simple lists. Really. Everything on one page. It's not that hard.)
       Quite a few of the 30 titles on the Hotlist are works in translation and/or available in English; as best I can tell, only two of the titles are under review at the complete review: How to Order the Universe by María José Ferrada and I am a Japanese Writer, by Dany Laferrière.
       Readers can now vote (until 20 August) for their favorites; the three top vote-getters are guaranteed a place among the ten finalists, from which the jury will then select the winning title.

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



       Birds review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Aristophanes' classic comedy, Birds -- the Loeb Classical Library edition, in Jeffrey Henderson's translation.

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



13 July 2021 - Tuesday

De Sade manuscript stays in France | The Death of Vazir-Mukhtar review

       De Sade manuscript stays in France

       In France The Ministry of Culture announces the acquisition by the State of major literary manuscripts that enter the collections of the BnF following their classification National Treasures.
       The manuscripts include several by André Breton, and the Marquis de Sade's (in)famous roll-manuscript of The 120 Days of Sodom. The latter was purchased for €4.55 million -- provided entirely by Emmanuel Boussard, facilitated by: "the use of the tax system for the acquisition of national treasures provided for in Article 238a 0A of the General Tax Code", i.e. he got a big tax write-off.
       The de Sade has now gone to the Bibliothèque nationale de France -- see their press release -- and:
This manuscript will be presented at a conference in 2022, bringing together specialists and intellectuals, aiming to question the figure of Sade, the reception of his work over the centuries and its reading today.
       Sounds good !

       See also the AFP report at France 24, France acquires de Sade's 'Sodom' manuscript for over $5 mn.

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



       The Death of Vazir-Mukhtar review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Yury Tynyanov's 1927 novel The Death of Vazir-Mukhtar, recently out from Columbia University Press in a new translation in their Russian Library series.

       The Vazir-Mukhtar of the title is Alexander Griboedov -- whose Woe from Wit is also available in the Russian Library.

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



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