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


24 May 2024 - Friday

Dublin Literary Award | Princess of Asturias Award

       Dublin Literary Award

       They've announced the winner of this year's Dublin Literary Award, and it is Solenoid, by Mircea Cărtărescu, translated by Sean Cotter (who gets a solid cut of the prize-money).
       See also the Deep Vellum publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org, or Amazon.co.uk. (Pushkin Press will be publishing a UK edition in a couple of weeks.)
       I do have this, but shamefully have not yet gotten to it.

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



       Princess of Asturias Award

       They've now announced the winner of this year's Princess of Asturias Award for Literature, and it is Ana Blandiana. (Persepolis-author Marjane Satrapi was announced as winner in the Communication and Humanities category a few weeks ago; winners in a few more categories will be announced in the coming weeks.)
       Several of Blandiana's works have been translated into English -- including the collection of Five Books published by Bloodaxe; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org, or Amazon.co.uk

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



23 May 2024 - Thursday

Society of Authors Awards shortlists | Sergio Ramírez profile
Reminiscences of a Student's Life review

       Society of Authors Awards shortlists

       The Society of Authors Awards has announced the shortlists for their various prizes.
       The winners will be announced on 20 June.

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



       Sergio Ramírez profile

       The Havana Times has a profile of the Divine Punishment-author -- and former Nicaraguan vice president --, in Sergio Ramirez: “I Live in Nicaragua Through Literature”.

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



       Reminiscences of a Student's Life review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jane Ellen Harrison's Reminiscences of a Student's Life.

       This was originally published in 1925, by Leonard and Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press, and has now been re-issued by McNally Editions.

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



22 May 2024 - Wednesday

International Booker Prize | Prix Orange du livre en Afrique
Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize shortlist | Kate Briggs Q & A

       International Booker Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's International Booker Prize, and it is Kairos, by Jenny Erpenbeck, in Michael Hofmann's translation.
       The prize has been awarded in this form -- for a novel in translation -- since 2016, and on this ninth try: "Michael Hofmann becomes the first male translator to win".
       See also the publicity page for Kairos from New Directions and Granta, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org, or Amazon.co.uk. (The US paperback edition conveniently came out just last week.)
       (Updated - 24 May): see now also Lisa Allardice's profile in The Guardian, ‘It was high time I told our stories’: Jenny Erpenbeck on her International Booker winner Kairos.

       (Several works by Erpenbeck are under review at the complete review -- e.g. Visitation -- but I haven't seen this one.)

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



       Prix Orange du livre en Afrique

       They've announced the winner of this year's prix Orange du livre en Afrique -- awarded to a book written in French by an African writer and published by an Africa publisher -- and it is Le psychanalyste de Brazzaville, by Dibakana Mankessi; see, for example, the Jeune Afrique report.
       See also the Les Lettres Mouchetées publicity page; I hope to see this eventually -- perhaps in translation ?

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



       Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize, awarded: "for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language".
       I have several of these, but have not yet reviewed any.
       The winner will be announced next month.

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



       Kate Briggs Q & A

       At Words without Borders Lauren Goldenberg has a Q & A with the The Long Form-author, in “A Hidden but Necessary Labor”: Kate Briggs on Translation and Parenthood.

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



21 May 2024 - Tuesday

NSW Premier's Literary Awards | Europese Literatuurprijs longlist
Fantômas review

       NSW Premier's Literary Awards

       They've announced the winner's of this year's NSW Premier's Literary Awards, a leading set of Australian literary prizes -- though finding all the winners at the official site is terribly cumbersome, so check out, for example, the Books + Publishing overview.
       The Sitter by Angela O'Keeffe took the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, while She Is the Earth, by Ali Cobby Eckermann, won the Indigenous Writers' Prize as well as the overall Book of the Year award.

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



       Europese Literatuurprijs longlist

       They've announced the longlist for this year's Europese Literatuurprijs, the leading Dutch prize for a (European) work in translation.
       The only one of these works under review at the complete review is Jon Fosse's A Shining; other longlisted titles include books by Ismail Kadare, Olga Tokarczuk, Ian McEwan, and Michel Houellebecq. Three of the fourteen titles are translations from the English.
       The shortlist will be announced 26 June.

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



       Fantômas review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain's classic Fantômas.

       The review was posted only ... 6380 days after I received my review copy of this one -- a good reminder to publishers and publicists that even if I haven't gotten to their book(s) yet, I may well ... eventually.

       And a Fantômas review also lets me point to a local favorite, by Julio Cortázar -- Fantomas versus the Multinational Vampires.

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



20 May 2024 - Monday

Sophie Kerr Prize | Thomas McGuane Q & A(s)

       Sophie Kerr Prize

       Washington College has announced the winner of this year's Sophie Kerr Prize, "the nations largest literary award for a college student" -- paying out just over US$77,000 this year (which, as they note, "totals more than the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award combined" -- though it's down from last year's $79,826) -- and it is Sophie Foster; "Primarily a poet, her work largely tends to personal internality and inclinations toward the natural world".
       See also all the finalists.

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



       Thomas McGuane Q & A(s)

       At Hour Detroit Geoff Koch has a Q & A with the author, in How Thomas McGuane Went From Academic Ignominy to Literary Icon.
       McGuane also has story in this week's issue of The New Yorker, and so Deborah Treisman has a Q & A with him about it.

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



19 May 2024 - Sunday

BIO Plutarch Award | European Writers' Festival 2

       BIO Plutarch Award

       The Biographers International Organization has announced the winner of their Plutarch Award for the Best Biography, and it is Anansi's Gold, by Yepoka Yeebo; see also the Bloomsbury publicity page.

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



       European Writers' Festival 2

       The second European Writers' Festival is on at the British Library this weekend, with the theme of 'Transformation'.
       The programme looks pretty good.

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



18 May 2024 - Saturday

Prix mondial Cino Del Duca | Jenny Erpenbeck profile | Hari Kunzru Q & A

       Prix mondial Cino Del Duca

       They've announced the winner of this year's prix mondial Cino Del Duca -- a €200,000 author prize that's been around since 1969 -- and it is Art-author Yasmina Reza; no word yet at the official site, last I checked, but see, for example, the report at ActuaLitté.

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



       Jenny Erpenbeck profile

       At Deutsche Welle Suzanne Cords profiles Jenny Erpenbeck: Germany's least-known famous author.
       Apparently: "Ask your average German who Jenny Erpenbeck is, and they may very well respond, "Jenny who ?"" (Though Cords also notes: "It's not as if Erpenbeck is totally unknown in Germany -- quite the contrary", so I have no idea what the point here is.)

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



       Hari Kunzru Q & A

       The Guardian's 'The books of my life'-Q & A this week features Hari Kunzru.
       Among his responses:
My comfort read

Emile Zola’s 20-volume Rougon Macquart sequence, which I’ve been working my way through over the last couple of years. Sixteen down, four to go. Big set pieces, lots of social detail. It’s a sort of baseline for what a novel can do.
       I've slowly been adding reviews from this series to the complete review for a while now -- most recently, The Masterpiece.

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



17 May 2024 - Friday

James Tait Black Prizes | Dylan Thomas Prize
Miles Franklin longlist | F-AF Translation Prizes

       James Tait Black Prizes

       They've announced the winners of this year's James Tait Black Prizes -- "the UK's longest running literary award" --, with Praiseworthy by Alexis Wright taking the fiction prize, and Traces of Enayat by Iman Mersal and Fassbinder Thousands of Mirrors by Ian Penman sharing the biography prize.

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



       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 Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson. No word yet at the official site, last I checked, but see, for example, the report in The Guardian.

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



       Miles Franklin longlist

       Perpetual has announced the longlist for this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award, a leading Australian novel prize, selected from 104 (unfortunately not revealed) books -- and, yes, Alexis Wright's Praiseworthy is on this one as well.

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



       F-AF Translation Prizes

       The French-American Foundation has announced the winners of their Translation Prizes, with Frank Wynne's translation of Mathias Énard's The Annual Banquet of the Gravediggers' Guild winning the fiction category and Angela Hunter and Rebecca Wilkin's co-translation of Louise Dupin's Work on Women: Selections winning the non-fiction category.

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



16 May 2024 - Thursday

Ockham New Zealand Book Awards | 118 years after Salome in Graz

       Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

       They've announced the winners of this year's Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, with Lioness, by Emily Perkins, taking the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction -- see also the Bloomsbury publicity page -- and Te Rautakitahi o Tūhoe ki Ōrākau by Tā Pou Temara (Ngāi Tūhoe) taking the Mūrau o te Tuhi Māori Language Award; see also the Auckland University Press publicity page.

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



       118 years after Salome in Graz

       The title of my new novel, Salome in Graz, refers to the 16 May 1906 Austrian premiere of the Richard Strauss opera -- 118 years ago today !
       Commemorate the occasion by reading my book !

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



15 May 2024 - Wednesday

Alice Munro (1931-2024) | Goncourt de printemps | RSL Ondaatje Prize
On the Abolition of all Political Parties review

       Alice Munro (1931-2024)

       Canadian author and 2013 Nobel laureate Alice Munro has passed away; see, for example, reports at the CBC and The Guardian.
       I am afraid none of her work is under review at the complete review -- mainly because I struggle with reading and especially reviewing short story collections and that was, after all, her thing.

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       Goncourt de printemps

       The Académie Goncourt has announced (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) its four spring prizes, including for best first novel -- won by Rapatriement, by Eve Guerra; see the Grasset publicity page -- and biography.

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



       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 Fassbinder Thousands Of Mirrors, by Ian Penman; see also the publicity pages from Fitzcarraldo Editions and Semiotext(e).

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



       On the Abolition of all Political Parties review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Simone Weil's On the Abolition of all Political Parties -- a late (and only posthumously published) essay of hers, padded in a volume by pieces by Czesław Miłosz and translator Simon Leys (and still coming in at a total of only seventy-five pages), brought out first by Black Inc. and then New York Review Books anout a decade ago.

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



14 May 2024 - Tuesday

Carol Shields Prize | Wales Book of the Year shortlists

       Carol Shields Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Carol Shields Prize for Fiction, celebrating: "creativity and excellence in fiction by women and non-binary writers in Canada and the United States", and it is Brotherless Night, by V. V. Ganeshananthan.
       The prize is worth US$150,000 -- with the other finalists also each receiving US$12,500.

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



       Wales Book of the Year shortlists

       Literature Wales has announced the shortlists for this year's Wales Book of the Year Awards, two sets of four categories with three finalists each, in English and in Welsh.
       The winners will be announced 4 July.

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



13 May 2024 - Monday

Premio Strega Europeo | Goodnight Tokyo review

       Premio Strega Europeo

       They've announced the winner of this year's Premio Strega Europeo, the leading Italian prize for a work in translation, and it is Neige Sinno's Triste Tigre, translated from the French.
       This has gotten a lot of attention -- and several other prizes, including the prix Femina -- and was the 25th bestselling title in France in 2023, with 199,000 copies sold. It will apparently be published in English by Seven Stories Press in April, 2025; see also the P.O.L publicity page.

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



       Goodnight Tokyo review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Yoshida Atsuhiro's Goodnight Tokyo, due out in English in July, from Europa Editions.

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



12 May 2024 - Sunday

Korean and Japanese literature in English | Deborah Levy Q & A

       Korean and Japanese literature in English

       At the Booker Prizes site Sarah Shaffi explores at some length Why fiction from Korea and Japan has become so popular with English-language readers.

       See also the Japanese and Korean literature under review at the complete review.

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



       Deborah Levy Q & A

       At The Guardian Anthony Cummins has a Q & A with Deborah Levy: ‘Writing and swimming help each other’.

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



11 May 2024 - Saturday

CWA Dagger Awards shortlists | Leïla Slimani Q & A

       CWA Dagger Awards shortlists

       The Crime Writers' Association has announced the shortlists for their Dagger Awards -- not yet at the official site, last I checked, but The Bookseller has the run-down.
       One of the Gold Dagger finalists -- awarded for best crime novel -- is under review at the complete review: The Secret Hours, by Mick Herron, but none of the finalists for the Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger is.
       The winners will be announced 4 July.

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



       Leïla Slimani Q & A

       This week's 'The books of my life'-Q & A at The Guardian is with the The Perfect Nanny- (aka as Lullaby-)author -- Leïla Slimani: ‘Salman Rushdie’s books made me feel I could become a writer’.

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



10 May 2024 - Friday

Berman Literature Prize | Shirley Conran (1932-2024)

       Berman Literature Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Berman Literature Prize -- a 750,000 Swedish kronor (almost US$70,000) prize which rewards: "an author whose works embody the statues of the Prize, in the spirit of the Jewish tradition and literary works aiming to explore the rich Jewish culture and at the same time “exceed times and cultures” thereby striving for the universally human" -- and it is Eduardo Halfon, for his Canción.
       Bellevue Literary Press has brought this out in English; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org, or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       Shirley Conran (1932-2024)

       Lace-author Shirley Conran has passed away; see, for example, Lucy Knight's obituary in The Guardian.

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



9 May 2024 - Thursday

Joyce Carol Oates Prize | TIBF
Salomé on stage | Takaoka's Travels review

       Joyce Carol Oates Prize

       The New Literary Project has announced the winner of this year's Joyce Carol Oates Prize, awarded to: "a mid-career fiction writer who has earned a distinguished reputation and the approbation and gratitude of readers", and it is Ben Fountain, best known for his novel Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

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



       TIBF

       The Tehran International Book Fair has opened and runs through the 18th; see also the Tehran Times report, 35th TIBF opens doors to public.
       India was scheduled to be the 'Guest of Honour' this year, but, pretty much at the last minute, was replaced by ... Yemen; see, for example, the Tehran Times report -- where they note:
With only 10 days remaining until the event, it remains to be seen what plans Yemen has for its participation in the Tehran International Book Fair.
       Ten days does seem like a short time to organize much of a presence .....

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



       Salomé on stage

       As I've mentioned re. my novel Salome in Graz, the Wilde-play isn't performed all that often; a recent Salome in Tehran -- see my mention -- is a rare exception -- but the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club's production of a "radical new adaptation" by Evie Chandler is being performed at the Corpus Playroom through Saturday.
       I'm not sure what my protagonists would make of this one, but always interesting to see the different spins put on the material.

       (Updated - 11 May): See reviews of this production here (Jack Marley, in Varsity) and here (Carissa Wong, in The Cambridge Student).

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



       Takaoka's Travels review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Shibusawa Tatsuhiko's only novel, the 1987 Takaoka's Travels, now out in English, from Stone Bridge Press.

       Shibusawa also translated extensively from the French, notably the works of the Marquis de Sade; his collected translations run to fifteen volumes; see the Kawade publicity page.

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



8 May 2024 - Wednesday

Oxford-Weidenfeld longlist | Max Lawton Q & A

       Oxford-Weidenfeld longlist

       They've announced the longlist for this year's Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, awarded "for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language".
       Three of the sixteen longlisted titles are under review at the complete review:        The winner will be announced 15 June.

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



       Max Lawton Q & A

       At minor literatures there's a Q & A with the translator, “I have a weird fearlessness with translation [...] I don’t think they can’t speak with an accent”: An interview with Max Daniel Lawton — Cristina Politano
       Much of the discussion is about Vladimir Sorokin's Blue Lard -- and among Lawton's responses is:
Do you have a favorite Dostoyevsky translator ?

I like the Pevear and Volokhonsky. They get a lot of flack, but their fucked-up English is a good match for Dostoyevsky’s fucked-up Russian.

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



7 May 2024 - Tuesday

Pulitzer Prizes | Bernard Pivot (1935-2024)
Simon & Schuster buying VBK

       Pulitzer Prizes

       They've announced the winners of this year's Pulitzer Prizes, with Night Watch by Jayne Anne Phillips taking the fiction prize; the other two finalists were: Wednesday's Child by Yiyun Li and Same Bed Different Dreams by Ed Park.
       The criticism prize went to a film critic, Justin Chang; Zadie Smith was also a finalist -- but also for a film review.

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



       Bernard Pivot (1935-2024)

       Bernard Pivot, host of the famous French literary talk show, Apostrophes, which ran 1975 to 1990, has passed away; see, for example, the report at France24.
       You can find an Apostrophes-sampler here -- and see also the Q & A with Ma vie avec Bernard Pivot-author Noël Herpe at the Blogs of Alexandre Gilbert from just a few weeks ago.

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



       Simon & Schuster buying VBK

       Simon & Schuster has announced that they are buying leading Dutch publisher Veen Bosch & Keuning; see the press releases from S & S (English) and VBK (Dutch).
       VBK CEO Geneviève Waldmann says: "We would like to offer our writers a larger and international platform. By joining S&S, we can expand on this ambition". I am curious to see how that pans out .....

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



6 May 2024 - Monday

Literature in ... India | They review

       Literature in ... India

       At EFE Rita Cardeira looks at the ‘Modi-fied Narrative:’ India’s literary landscape reflects ‘saffron’ shift, as: "Indian bookstores currently reflect a shift in the concept of the new India, rewriting history to align with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist ideology as he gears up for a third consecutive term".
       Sigh.

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



       They review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A Sequence of Unease by Kay Dick, her 1977 novel They, 'rediscovered' a couple of years ago, and re-issued by McNally Editions (in the US) and Faber & Faber (in the UK), and then in translation by all the publisher-lemmings in all the major international markets .....

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



5 May 2024 - Sunday

Margaret Atwood profile | Magnesia Litera

       Margaret Atwood profile

       At The Guardian Lisa Allardice profiles the author, in ‘I can say things other people are afraid to’: Margaret Atwood on censorship, literary feuds and Trump.

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



       Magnesia Litera

       I missed this a couple of weeks back, but they've announced the winners of this year's Magnesia Litera awards, the leading Czech literary prize.
       Hella, by Alena Machoninová, won book of the year; see also the maraton publicity page.
       The Czech translation of Szilasi László's A harmadik híd won for best translation; see the publicity pages from Protimluv (Czech) and Magvető (Hungarian). (This was also reviewed in World Literature Today in 2014 -- unfortunately, paywalled.)

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



4 May 2024 - Saturday

'Me, me, me' reviewing | Edgar® Award winners
NSW Premier's Literary Awards shortlists | Mina's Matchbox review

       'Me, me, me' reviewing

       The new -- 23 May -- issue of The New York Review of Books offers the usual interesting mix, and I'm looking forward to making my way through it. However, upon my initial leaf-through when my print copy arrived yesterday I couldn't help but notice that in four (out of thirteen) reviews the reviewer begins personally, mentioning themselves in the opening sentence:
  • Martin Filler: "In the pre-Trump, prepandemic paradise of 2015, when I first wrote in these pages about [...]"

  • Joanna Biggs: "I was eight, and I wore a black tulle petticoat from Marks and Spencer."

  • Pamela Druckerman: "When I was a child, my grandmother used to tell me [...]"

  • Clair Wills: "If it is true, as Saint Augustine says, that the dead aren’t absent but merely invisible, then somewhere round about, as I write about her and you read about her, Hilary Mantel is present."
       One almost has to admire Matthew Aucoin's restraint -- he waits until the second sentence to introduce himself ("For most composers, the only way to learn how to write operas is to write operas. I may not love every one of the works that W.A. Mozart dashed off [...]":) .....
       (Two more pieces also have an "I" in the opening sentence, but Catherine Lacey certainly gets a pass -- she's quoting from the book under review ("“I was wrong to buy this notebook, very wrong,” writes Valeria Cossati [...]") -- and Stephen Breyer's piece is adapted from a lecture he gave, so the personal mention seems more reasonable ("For more than forty years I served as a federal judge").)

       The success of 'BookTok' certainly suggests that the personal approach -- the reviewer front and center -- appeals to audiences, and certainly the reviewer putting themselves out there is ... honest -- after all, there is a person, an individual, behind the review --, but I have to say, I long for the days of the (more or less) invisibility of the reviewer (even if that is entirely artificial); indeed, I'd love to see a whole lot less 'personal' writing in non-fiction generally .....

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



       Edgar® Award winners

       The Mystery Writers of America Inc. has announced (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) the winners of this year's Edgar® Awards, with Flags on the Bayou by James Lee Burke winning Best Novel.

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



       NSW Premier's Literary Awards shortlists

       They've announced the shortlists for this year's NSW Premier's Literary Awards, "the richest and longest running state-based literary awards in Australia".
       They do a horrible job of presenting the shortlists at the official site -- come on folks, one simple press release (but, please, not in pdf form ...), listing categories and finalists, it shouldn't be this hard ! -- but the Australian Arts Review does it much better.

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



       Mina's Matchbox review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ogawa Yōko's Mina's Matchbox -- coming out in English this August (in both the US and UK).

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



3 May 2024 - Friday

Stella Prize | Prix Jean d'Ormesson finalists
John Guillory Q & A | 'Faith and Russian Literature'

       Stella Prize

       They have announced the winner of this year's Stella Prize, an Australian prize awarded: "to one outstanding book deemed to be original, excellent, and engaging" and written by a woman or non-binary author, and it is Praiseworthy, by Alexis Wright.
       See also the publicity pages from Giramondo, New Directions, and And Other Stories, or get your copy at Amazon.com, Bookshop.org, or Amazon.co.uk.
       I do have a copy of this and am looking forward to getting to it.

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



       Prix Jean d'Ormesson finalists

       They've announced the finalists for the prix Jean d'Ormesson, a French prize where the jurors get to select whatever books they want -- old or new -- to be considered; somewhat disappointingly, this year's finalists are all more or less new publications; see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report.
       The winner will be announced 29 May.

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



       John Guillory Q & A

       At Public Books John Plotz and Nicholas Dames have a Q & A with the Professing Criticism-author, Interpret or Judge ?: John Guillory on the Future of Literary Criticism.

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



       'Faith and Russian Literature'

       At First Things Gary Saul Morson writes about Faith and Russian Literature.
       I'm not sure about sweeping generalizations such as: "Russians dwell in abstractions and aren’t very good at producing actual things (apart from weapons), which is one reason their economy always lags behind", so .....

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



2 May 2024 - Thursday

Paul Auster (1947-2024) | Peter Demetz (1922-2024)
New World Literature Today | Walter Scott Prize shortlist
Dominican literature

       Paul Auster (1947-2024)

       American author Paul Auster has passed away; see, for example, Paul Auster, American author of The New York Trilogy, dies aged 77 in The Guardian and Paul Auster, the Patron Saint of Literary Brooklyn, Dies at 77 in The New York Times (presumably paywalled).
       I've enjoyed some of his work, but haven't read any of his mroe recent work; none of his books are under review at the complete review.

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



       Peter Demetz (1922-2024)

       Czech-born author Peter Demetz has passed away; see, for example, Benjamin Ivry on How a Jewish son of Prague became a 101-year-old historian of human ideals in Forward and Andreas Platthaus on this Jahrhundertfigur der Literaturwissenschaft in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung .
       A longtime professor at Yale, Demetz was also a judge for the annual Franz Kafka Prize, which had a very nice run for a while. The only one of his works I've read is his useful look at (then-) 'Recent Writing in the Germanies, Austria, and Switzerland', After the Fires; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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



       New World Literature Today

       The May-June issue of World Literature Today is now available, with a spotlight as The City Issue: Buenos Aires -- and of course the always interesting and extensive book review section.

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



       Walter Scott Prize shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.
       One of the six titles is under review at the complete review: Tan Twan Eng's The House of Doors.
       The winner will be announced 13 June.

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



       Dominican literature

       In Evangelical Focus Tomás Gómez Bueno complains about there being No Dominican evangelical literature.
       I don't know about the 'evangelical' part -- who needs or wants that ? -- but striking that: "over 95% of the titles on offer here are by foreign authors", so there's certainly some room for some local literature in the Dominican Republic. (I do think they might fare better gaining market share by decidedly not focusing on or worrying about: "Dominican evangelical reality".)

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



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