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


18 May 2022 - Wednesday

Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize | Sami Rohr Prize
EBRD Literature Prize finalists | Maigret's Pickpocket review

       Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize, awarded for: "an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the USA the previous year", and it is Vincent Kling's translation of Heimito von Doderer's The Strudlhof Steps; see also the New York Review Books publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org or Amazon.co.uk.

       I haven't reviewed the translation, but it is great novel and it is great to finally see it available in English.

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



       Sami Rohr Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, a $100,000 prize which alternates between honoring fiction and non from year to year; this was a non-fiction year.
       The winning title was Plunder, by Menachem Kaiser; see the Mariner Books publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       EBRD Literature Prize finalists

       They've announced the three finalists for this year's EBRD Literature Prize, awarded to a work in translation from one of: "the almost 40 countries where the Bank invests":
  • Boat Number Five by Monika Kompaníková, translated by Janet Livingstone
  • The Book of Katerina by Auguste Corteau, translated by Claire Papamichail
  • The Orphanage by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler
       The winner will be announced on 13 June.

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



       Maigret's Pickpocket review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Georges Simenon's Maigret's Pickpocket.

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



17 May 2022 - Tuesday

Emergency World Voices Congress of Writers | Prix mondial Cino Del Duca
NSW Premier's Literary Awards | Expanded book coverage at The Atlantic

       Emergency World Voices Congress of Writers

       PEN America convened an Emergency World Voices Congress of Writers on 13 May, and you can now watch the entire proceedings at UN Web TV.
       You can also read an overview of the event in Jennifer Schuessler's report in The New York Times, We, the Writers ? A Global Literary Congress Meets in New York.

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



       Prix mondial Cino Del Duca

       It's no Nobel Prize, but the prix mondial Cino Del Duca has been around for a while -- since 1969 -- does pay out €200,000 and it has a solid list of winners, including several Nobel laureates -- not all literary (Konrad Lorenz, Andrei Sakharov), but at least some (Mario Vargas Llosa and Patrick Modiano) -- and quite a few other worthies, from Borges to Kundera.
       They've now announced this year's winner, and it is ... Murakami Haruki; see also, for example, the report at Livres Hebdo.

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



       NSW Premier's Literary Awards

       They've announced the winners of this year's NSW Premier's Literary Awards; for a more convenient list of all the winners, see the Books + Publishing report.
       The Christina Stead Prize for Fiction went to Dark as Last Night by Tony Birch -- see also the University of Queensland Press publicity page -- while Book of the Year (and the Multicultural NSW Award) went to Still Alive by Safdar Ahmed -- see also the Twelve Panels Press publicity page.

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



       Expanded book coverage at The Atlantic

       At The Atlantic Jane Yong Kim goes about Introducing an Expanded Books Section, promising:
Expect more book reviews and essays -- plus provocative arguments, reported stories, profiles, original fiction and poetry, and, of course, recommendations for your every reading need.
       That sounds ... good. But I recall New York magazine (well, New York Media) announcing New York Media to Triple Books Coverage Across Sites Including Vulture and the Cut less than three years ago and that fizzled spectacularly and pretty much immediately, lasting about a week.

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



16 May 2022 - Monday

Q & As: Daniel Mendelsohn - Tess Lewis | The Long Corner review

       Q & A: Daniel Mendelsohn

       At The Oxonian Review Foteini Dimirouli has An Interview with Daniel Mendelsohn, the fifth in their: "series of interviews with contemporary critics about criticism".
       Among his admissions:
I tend to write exactly the way I talk, which is why my punctuation is extremely idiosyncratic.
       And not surprising to hear that:
There was an absolute rule at The New York Review of Books that you could never use the word ‘compelling’ to describe a work. I thought this was really great advice because the language that's available to describe the effect of literature or art needs to be purged as much as possible of words that are placeholders, which stop us, as we write, from actually working out the problem. ‘Compelling’ really says nothing.

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



       Q & A: Tess Lewis

       At Exberliner Alexander Wells has a Q & A with Tess Lewis on Lutz Seiler -- and why translators are destined to fail.
       I haven't seen Seiler's Stern 111, but I did enjoy her translation of Kruso.

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



       The Long Corner review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Alexander Maksik's new novel, The Long Corner, just out from Europa Editions.

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



15 May 2022 - Sunday

Jeroen Brouwers (1940-2022) | Translating an Omani novel

       Jeroen Brouwers (1940-2022)

       Dutch author Jeroen Brouwers has passed away; see, for example, the report at Radboud University; see also the Dutch Foundation for Literature author information page

       Sunken Red is the only one of his books translated into English, but it appears to currently be out of print.

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



       Translating an Omani novel

       At Electric Lit Anna Learn has a Q & A with author Jokha Alharthi and translator Marilyn Booth on How an Omani Novel Gets Translated from Arabic into English -- the novel being Bitter Orange Tree.
       See also the publicity pages from Catapult and Scribner UK, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org or Amazon.co.uk.

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



14 May 2022 - Saturday

CWA Dagger shortlists | Pilgrims Way review

       CWA Dagger shortlists

       The Crime Writers' Association has announced (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) the shortlists for its CWA Daggers.
       The only title under review at the complete review is in the Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger category -- Sam Malissa's translation of Isaka Kōtarō's Bullet Train.
       The winners will be announced 29 June.

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



       Pilgrims Way review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Abdulrazak Gurnah's 1988 novel, Pilgrims Way.

       Gurnah is the fiftieth Nobel laureate under review at the complete review, and it's good to see his works being reïssued and once again more readily available.
       See also this recent Q & A with Gurnah at Democracy Now !

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



13 May 2022 - Friday

Dylan Thomas Prize | Romain Rolland Book Prize

       Dylan Thomas Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, awarded: "for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under", and it is No One Is Talking About This, by Patricia Lockwood.
       This was also shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Women's Prize for Fiction last year.
       See also the publicity pages at Riverhead Books and Bloomsbury, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Romain Rolland Book Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Romain Rolland Book Prize, awarded to: "the best translation of a French title (francophone area) into any Indian language".
       Impressively, while translations into English are also eligible, the prize so far has only gone to translations into Hindi, Tamil, and now Bengali, as this year's winner is the Bengali translation, by Trinanjan Chakraborty, of Kamel Daoud's The Meursault Investigation; see, for example, the report in the Financial Express.

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



12 May 2022 - Thursday

Ockham NZ Book Awards | Republic of Consciousness Prize
Anarchy in the UKR review

       Ockham NZ Book Awards

       They've announced the winners of this year's Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, with Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka taking the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction; see also the Huia publicity page

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



       Republic of Consciousness Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Republic of Consciousness Prize, awarded for the best fiction published by a UK or Ireland-based publisher with fewer than five full-time employees, and it is Happy Stories, Mostly, by Norman Erikson Pasaribu; see, for example, the Books + Publishing report.
       See also the publicity pages from Tilted Axis Press and Giramondo..

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



       Anarchy in the UKR review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Serhiy Zhadan's 2005 novel, Anarchy in the UKR -- not yet translated into English.

       See also Yuri Andrukhovych's Q & A with Zhadan at Craft from last year.

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



11 May 2022 - Wednesday

Goncourt de printemps | TIBF | 'BookTok'
The US publishing/literary world

       Goncourt de printemps

       The Académie Goncourt has announced (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) the winners of their spring prizes, which include the Goncourt for a first novel -- which went to Les envolés by Étienne Kern; see also the Gallimard publicity page -- as well as those for biography and poetry.

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



       TIBF

       The Tehran International Book Fair opened today and runs through 21 May; the Guest of Honour is Qatar.
       As the Tehran Times report notes, the book fair also functions as an enormous book-selling opportunity, with publishers selling their books there at a discount. But:
Due to this policy, a number of Iranian platforms for selling books online and publishers have banned the Tehran book fair this year. They argue that this policy would cause too much damage to book sales at other times and may lead to the shutdown of bookstores and platforms.
       An interesting situation .....

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



       'BookTok'

       I remain, online and off, very text-focused, both consumption- and production-wise; I don't have the patience to listen to podcasts and, although TikTok-videos at least have the advantage of great concision, haven't been able to work up much interest in them either. Apparently, however, they're big -- even, or especially, in spreading the book-word.
       At Oprah Daily Yashwina Canter offers the latest look at the phenomenon, in Why Are Authors Like Colleen Hoover and Taylor Jenkins Reid Seeing Their Book Sales Spike ? Credit BookTok.
       I have to admit, I'm still scratching my head -- in no small part because of observations such as:
Bookstagrammer Rod Kelly (@read_by_rodkelly) proudly declares, “We don’t read the same books,” convincing reluctant readers to give writers like Philip Roth a chance.
       (Okay, that's about 'Bookstagram' -- book talk/pictures on Instagram -- ... but it's all one big blur to me. And ... Philip Roth ? )

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



       The US publishing/literary world

       Even though I have been following -- very much on the periphery -- the American publishing and literary world for over two decades now with this site, how it functions remains fundamentally baffling to me.
       This week -- and we're not even halfway through it -- has brought with its some pretty impressive examples of its dysfunction already. There's The Believer-saga -- the magazine, which had been bought by UNLV, apparently flogged off to a group calling itself the 'Sex Toy Collective'; see the report at Gawker, as well as Heidi Julavits' Note to Believer Writers and Readers. (Meanwhile: gotta love that UNLV still has a Give Online to the The Believer page up .....)
       And then there's this case, which Daniel Victor summarizes in the opening paragraph of his article in The New York Times as:
A writer’s personal essay explaining why she plagiarized portions of what was to have been her debut novel was removed from a literary website on Monday after the essay itself was also found to have included plagiarized material.
       Sigh.
       (Victor notes that the essay dealt with, among other things: "the pressures of producing a debut book". There should be no pressure to 'produce' a debut book. There is no obligation to write a book. If you have something to say, then, sure, try to say it -- but it's okay if you don't have anything to say; most people don't (at least not a book's worth ...). It seems self-evident that if you are plagiarizing you do not have something to say -- you just like what someone else said. (Which is fine, too -- just don't claim it for yourself.))

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



10 May 2022 - Tuesday

Pulitzer Prizes | Libris Literatuurprijs
Linda Lê (1963-2022) | Memento Mori review

       Pulitzer Prizes

       They've announced the winners of this year's Pulitzer Prizes.

       The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen won the Fiction prize, beating out Palmares by Gayl Jones and Monkey Boy by Francisco Goldman.
       (This is only the fourth Pulitzer Prize-winner under review at the complete review.)

       The Criticism prize went to Salamishah Tillet; none of the finalists in the category were literary critics.

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



       Libris Literatuurprijs

       They've announced the winner of this year's Libris Literatuurprijs, a leading Dutch novel prize, and it is Wormmaan, by Mariken Heitman.
       See also the Atlas Contact publicity page for Wormmaan.

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



       Linda Lê (1963-2022)

       Vietnamese-born French author Linda Lê has passed away; see, for example, the (French) obituary at L'Obs.

       Only a few of her works have been translated into English -- Slander (see the University of Nebraska Press publicity page) and The Three Fates (see the New Directions publicity page).

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



       Memento Mori review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Muriel Spark's 1959 novel, Memento Mori.

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



9 May 2022 - Monday

Kawakami Mieko profile | Against Constitutionalism review

       Kawakami Mieko profile

       At inews.co.uk Max Liu profiles Mieko Kawakami on All the Lovers In The Night: ‘I find the hells young people go through compelling’.
       Among her comments:
“I have been surprised by the success of my work in English,” says Kawakami, 45, who now lives in Tokyo with her husband and her son. “What really surprises me, though, is the actual act of translation. It’s just mind-blowing how translation transforms a story into a completely different language with different letters and sentence structures but still gets the heart of the narrative across.”
       See also my review of All the Lovers in the Night.

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



       Against Constitutionalism review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Martin Loughlin making the case Against Constitutionalism, just out from Harvard University Press.

       As the leaked draft (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) of the Supreme Court's majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization makes clear, the question of constitutionalism and the forms it is taking couldn't be more timely .....

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



8 May 2022 - Sunday

Art in Ukraine

       Art in Ukraine

       At Eurozine Kateryna Botanova considers, at some length: 'The Ukrainian art that was destroyed -- and the art that never happened', in Defined by silence.

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



7 May 2022 - Saturday

Joseph-Breitbach-Preis | Brisbane review

       Joseph-Breitbach-Preis

       They've announced the winner of this year's Joseph-Breitbach-Preis, a €50,000 German author prize, and it is Natascha Wodin; see, for example, the SWR2 report.
       This prize has a solid list of previous winners -- though they'll be hard pressed to top 2000, when they were still awarding the prize to a trio of authors: that year they gave it to Ilse Aichinger, W.G.Sebald, and Markus Werner.
       The timing of the announcement is convenient, as there's a new translation of a Wodin book just out -- her 2017 Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair-winning She Came from Mariupol, which certainly sounds timely; see also the Michigan State University Press publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Brisbane review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Eugene Vodolazkin's Brisbane, just out from Plough Publishing.

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



6 May 2022 - Friday

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel longlist | SoA Awards shortlists

       Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel longlist

       They've announced the longlist for this year's Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, awarded to: 'the best crime novel published in the UK and Ireland in paperback over the past year'.
       The public can now vote for the shortlist, which will be announced on 14 June, and the winner will be announced on 21 July.

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



       SoA Awards shortlists

       The Society of Authors has announced the shortlists for this year's SoA Awards.
       These include the Betty Trask Prize and Awards, "presented for a first novel by a writer under 35", the McKitterick Prize, "awarded for a first novel by a writer over 40", and the Paul Torday Memorial Prize, "awarded to a first novel by a writer over 60". (Yes, writers between 35 and 40 are apparently out of luck.)
       The winners will be announced 1 June.

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



5 May 2022 - Thursday

RSL Ondaatje Prize | Translating Myself and Others review

       RSL Ondaatje Prize

       The Royal Society of Literature has announced the winner of this year's RSL Ondaatje Prize, "awarded for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place", and it is Free, Lea Ypi.
       See also the publicity pages from W.W.Norton and Penguin, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Translating Myself and Others review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jhumpa Lahiri on Translating Myself and Others, just about out from Princeton University Press.

       (This is the third work by Lahiri I've reviewed -- but they're all non-fiction; I haven't gotten to any of her novels yet .....)

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



4 May 2022 - Wednesday

Laligaba

       Laligaba

       They've announced the winners of this year's Latvian Literature Awards, with Svens Kuzmins' Dizažio; see also the Dienas Grāmata publicity page.
       A translation of a collection of Arkadii Dragomoshchenko's poetry won for the best translation, while the readers' prize went to Lauris Gundars' Svešam kļūt jeb Stāsts par Gunāru A.; see also the Dienas Grāmata publicity page

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



3 May 2022 - Tuesday

Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize longlist | Prix Lorientales finalists
The White Room review

       Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize longlist

       They've announced the longlist for this year's Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize , awarded for a translation: "into English from any living European language".
       Of the sixteen titles, only Rachael McGill's translation of Co-Wives, Co-Widows by Adrienne Yabouza is under review at the complete review; I'm astonished at how many of these I haven't even seen .....
       The shortlist will be announced later this month, and the winner on 11 June.

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



       Prix Lorientales finalists

       They've announced the five finalists for this year's prix du livre Lorientales, awarded for a book published in French (original or translation) by an author of any nationality, where: "le récit, les personnages, l'action, etc…devront nécessairement se référer à l'univers oriental".
       The winner will be announced 10 September.

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



       The White Room review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Zoran Živković's latest -- and last ? -- novel, The White Room, just out from Cadmus Press.

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



2 May 2022 - Monday

OCM Bocas Prize | 533 Days review

       OCM Bocas Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and it is Pleasantview, by Celeste Mohammed.
       See also the publicity pages from ig and Jacaranda, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       533 Days review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Cees Nooteboom's 533 Days, now also out in a US edition, from Yale University Press' Margellos World Republic of Letters-series. (A UK edition came out, as 533, last year.)

       It's been a while since I reviewed anything by Cees Nooteboom, but he's certainly always worth getting to.

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



1 May 2022 - Sunday

The New York Review of Each Other's Books ? | The Satyricon

       The New York Review of Each Other's Books ?

       Via I'm pointed to Dan Stone looking at the data in considering Is it really the “New York Review of Each Other's Books” ? as he goes about: 'Measuring the extent of self-reviewing at the New York Review of Books from 1963-2022'.
       A fascinating data-dive -- with especially the graph of Likelihood of a New York Review of Books Contributor Having Their Own Book Reviewed in the New York Review of Books by Articles Written impressive, as he finds: "46% of people who write only one article have had a book they wrote reviewed, 58% at two articles, 63% at three articles, and 72% at 5".

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



       The Satyricon

       In The New Criterion Victor Davis Hanson writes at considerable length on Living the “Satyricon”, arguing that: "The Satyricon of Petronius may be more relevant now than at any time in its two-millennium history".
       He also notes:
One theme of this novel is that there can be no remarkable literary or artistic achievement given the proliferation of rhetoric and academicism that has replaced creativity, trivialized existential concerns, and obviated the challenges of conducting war and maintaining peace during the prosperity of the early empire.
       Two translations of the Satyricon are under review at the complete review: the recent one by Gareth Schmeling and the earlier one by Michael Heseltine.

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



30 April 2022 - Saturday

New World Literature Today | Jhumpa Lahiri Q & A
Edgar Awards | M: Son of the Century review

       New World Literature Today

       The May-June issue of World Literature Today is now out, with a focus on: 'Muses: Writers, Artists, and Their Inspirations'.
       Certainly enough good material to keep you covered for the weekend -- and don't forget the always interesting book review section.

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



       Jhumpa Lahiri Q & A

       In The Daily Princetonian Maria Khartchenko has a Q & A with the author, in On the record with Jhumpa Lahiri: translation, transformation, love for Italian, and a move to Barnard.
       Lahiri's Translating Myself and Others is due out shortly -- see the Princeton University Press publicity page -- and I will be getting to it soon.
       Among her observations:
I’ve been translating my entire life. I was born to two people who never spoke English to me but who lived in the United States, so I was constantly translating things for them, and they were translating things for me. I was translating my life. That’s what I say in my book: that I’ve always been a translator and that I know no monolingual reality. The need to translate everything has been a constant need in my life.
       And I hadn't heard that she is bolting from Princeton and, as they've now announced, Jhumpa Lahiri '89 Returns to Barnard College as the Millicent C. McIntosh Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing.

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



       Edgar Awards

       Mystery Writers of America has announced the winners of their Edgar Allan Poe Awards, with James Kestrel's Five Decembers winning the best novel award.
       I haven't seen any of these.

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



       M: Son of the Century review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Antonio Scurati's Mussolini-novel, M: Son of the Century, -- the first in a planned quartet.
       This came out in the UK last year, and now the US edition is also available, from Harper.
       An international bestseller which also won the leading Italian fiction prize, the Premio Strega, and which The New York Times already took note of when it came out in Italian -- see Emma Johanningsmeier's article from 2018 --, it hasn't really gotten the attention I expected it would, first in the UK and now in the US. All the more surprising, given that in this time of rising populism and concerns about the decline of democracy it seems particularly relevant.

       (This is also the second recent Premio Strega-winning novel I've reviewed just this month -- having gotten to Sandro Veronesi's The Hummingbird just a few weeks ago.)

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



29 April 2022 - Friday

Céline exhibit | Stella Prize

       Céline exhibit

       The trove of manuscripts by Journey to the End of the Night-author Louis-Ferdinand Céline that surfaced last year -- see, for example, Lara Marlowe's report in the Irish Times -- of course also means that a whole lot of this material will appear in print, sooner or later.
       Guerre looks to be the first volume out -- see the Gallimard publicity page -- and in conjunction with the publication of that they're having an exhibit at the Galerie Gallimard on Céline: manuscrits retrouvés; it runs 6 May through 16 July.

       Also: why doesn't absolutely every publishing house have an affiliated gallery like the Galerie Gallimard ?

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



       Stella Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Stella Prize -- awarded to an Australian (citizen or permanent resident) woman (cis, trans, and non-binary inclusive) --, and it is Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen; see also the University of Queensland Press publicity page.

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



28 April 2022 - Thursday

Women's Prize shortlist

       Women's Prize shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Women's Prize for Fiction.
       The only one of the shortlisted titles under review at the complete review is The Sentence by Louise Erdrich.
       The winner will be announced 15 June.

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



27 April 2022 - Wednesday

Sami Rohr Prize shortlist | Translation in ... South Asia

       Sami Rohr Prize shortlist

       The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature has announced the three finalists for this year's prize.
       This US$100,000 prize alternates between fiction and non; this is a non-fiction year.

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



       Translation in ... South Asia

       In Dawn Moazzam Sheikh considers The translator and her place.
       I like the ambition:
A conversation should be initiated in South Asian literary magazines and newspapers’ literature columns, TV, radio and electronic media about the historical importance of translations.
       (But, yeah, I'm not holding my breath.)

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



26 April 2022 - Tuesday

Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize shortlist | Journey to Italy review

       Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize , honoring: "an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the USA the previous year"
       This prize admirably reveals all the titles in the running -- thirty-two, this year -- like every literary prize should. The submissions-list also makes for a convenient overview of much of what's been translated from the German in the past year.
       (Surprisingly, only two of the submitted titles are under review complete review (though I should be getting to at least a few more); they're both from Wakefield Press: Potsdamer Platz and Munchausen and Clarissa.)

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



       Journey to Italy review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the Marquis de Sade's Journey to Italy, out in a splendid volume from the University of Toronto Press, in their Lorenzo Da Ponte Italian Library series.
       De Sade has been getting some good attention in recent years, what with the re-translation of The 120 Days of Sodom, as well as new translations such as The Marquise de Gange, Aline and Valcour, and this. As the title suggests, this isn't your typical Sadean fare -- but it's a fascinating part of his voluminous output, and this edition is a truly impressive piece of scholarship.
       Yes, it qualifies as among the more obscure titles under review -- but being able to review this kind of work is one of the best things about running this site.

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



25 April 2022 - Monday

Gender disparity in pre-modern English fiction | Arundhati Roy Q & A

       Gender disparity in pre-modern English fiction

       Maya Abu-Zahra sums (some of) it up in the USC Viterbi press release -- AI study finds that males are represented four times more than females in literature -- but the actual paper by Akarsh Nagaraj and Mayank Kejriwal, Robust Quantification of Gender Disparity in Pre-Modern English Literature using Natural Language Processing (warning ! dreaded pdf format !), is also worth reading.
       While it should be emphasized that the study was limited to books from between 1700 and 1950 (2426 in all), the results are still striking -- notably that:
The largest difference, on average, is observed when using the Character Count measure (78% for male character prevalence), while the smallest difference is observed when using the Pronoun Count measure (74% for male character prevalence).
       The mean was: 32 unique male characters per book, and 9 unique female character (median: 22 and 6) ! The discrepancy isn't nearly as bad in books authored by women, but still ...:
On average, there are 32 (unique) male and 8 female characters per male-authored book compared to 38 male and 21 female characters in female-authored books.
       Discouragingly: "the male proportion of characters does not seem to change significantly over the years" -- those being the years 1700 to 1950; one hopes that the anecdotal evidence that things have improved somewhat in the past few decades does prove supported by the numbers (and it would be great to see those numbers too ...).

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



       Arundhati Roy Q & A

       Later this week, Arundhati Roy will be picking up this year's St. Louis Literary Award -- awarded to: "a living writer with a substantial body of work that has enriched our literary heritage by deepening our insight into the human condition and by expanding the scope of our compassion" -- and leading up to that Tobeya Ibitayo has A conversation with the 2022 St. Louis Literary Award recipient Arundhati Roy at St. Louis Magazine.
       She admits to having never heard of the prize before they let her know that she had won it; I wonder how often that happens with literary prizes.
       (This one has been around since 1967, and though not exactly high-profile it has a very solid list of winners, including many of the American standard-bearers (Philip Roth is a notable exception, perhaps having fallen short in the compassion-scope-expanding area ...) and several Nobel laureates (Saul Bellow, Seamus Heaney, Mario Vargas Llosa).)

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



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