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The Snowman - the movie

Ever since the trailer for the movie came out, my review of Jo Nesbø's The Snowman has been among the most popular on the site. The apparently eagerly anticipated movie has now come out -- and the critical consensus seems to be... it's...Show More Summary

Japanese literature in ... Thailand

In The Nation (Thailand) they report, in A look at Japanese literature, that there will be a talk on 'The Journey of Thai-translated Japanese novels - growth from the past, next step for the future' in Bangkok tomorrow -- offering also...Show More Summary

Ferocity review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Nicola Lagioia's 2015-Premio Strega-winning novel, Ferocity, just out from Europa Editions. They've got Lagioia doing a North American tour -- Canada the last week, and now the US -- and it will be interesting to see how this book does in English.

Raisin Monday: an evolving tradition

Raisin Monday seems to have been a traditional celebration, the day when senior students claimed from their chosen bejant or bejantine (first year student) a pound of raisins and presented […]

New issue of Asymptote

The fall/October issue of Asymptote is now up, More than enough material to keep you busy, well through the weekend.


They've announced that Yoko Tawada -- who famously writes in both German and Japanese -- will get the 2018 Carl-Zuckmayer-Medal (on 18 January). Previous winners of the medal include Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1984), Martin Walser (1990),...Show More Summary

Robert Elsie (1950-2017)

Translator and promoter of all things Albanian Robert Elsie recently passed away -- but it's good to see that, as the Tirana Times reports, Robert Elsie's last wish comes true as Albanologist laid to rest in Albanian Alps. His Albanian...Show More Summary

Ma Jian Q & A

At Deutsche Welle Sabine Peschel has a Q & A with Chinese author Ma Jian (Beijing Coma, etc.) -- who now lives in Berlin. He suggests: Now we see that China has a problem that was never solved after 1989. After the tanks squashed political...Show More Summary

Notes on Blade Runner 2049

To write responsibly about Blade Runner 2049, I would need to see it again, and to explore what I want to explore I would need to watch Denis Villeneuve's previous film, Arrival, again (I last saw it on its theatrical release), and I...Show More Summary

Man Booker Prize

As widely noted, they've announced that this year's winner of the Man Booker Prize for Ficton is Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders. Obviously a book we've all heard a lot about, but I haven't seen it yet (nor sought it out), and I don't expect to get to, but see the publicity pages at Random House and Bloomsbury, or get your copy at or

Prix Femina shortlists

They've announced the prix Femina shortlists, in the three categories: French and foreign fiction (five titles left in the running in each), and non-fiction (seven left); see, for example, the Livres Hebdo report. Three of the five foreign novel finalists are translations from the English..... The winners will be announced 8 November.

South African Literary Awards shortlists

They recently announced the shortlists for the South African Literary Awards -- which admirably consider writing in a large number of South African languages. The winners will be announced 7 November.

Monsterhuman review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold's Monsterhuman, recently out from Dalkey Archive Press. It's the second of her books they've brought out; the previous one -- which this one...Show More Summary

Premio Planeta

Getting a jump on the Man Booker -- which announces its winner today -- the Premio Planeta, the world's richest book- (as opposed to author- (like the Nobel)) prize, worth a cool €601,000, has announced its 2017 winner -- and despite...Show More Summary

Svetlana Alexievich Q & A

At The Paris Review's The Daily weblog Mieke Chew offers Suitcase Full of Candy: An Interview with Svetlana Alexievich

University of St Andrews Library Special Collections Visiting Scholarship Scheme 2018

We are pleased to announce that the University of St Andrews Library is now accepting applications for the Special Collections Visiting Scholarship Scheme 2018. Visiting Scholarships are an opportunity for […]

Margaret Atwood: 'Stories in the World'

Margaret Atwood picked up the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (Peace Prize of the German Book Trade) yesterday, and her acceptance speech, Stories in the World, is now available online; you can also watch the entire prize ceremony here (English-speakers should feel free to jump ahead to the ca. Show More Summary

Ali Smith: 'The novel in the age of Trump'

In the New Statesman they print (an edited version of) Ali Smith's 27 September Goldsmiths Prize lecture, The novel in the age of Trump, which is certainly worth a look.

Literature in ... Kashmir

In Greater Kashmir Muzaffar Karim tries to (emphatically) make the case for/against Kashmir: The uselessness of literature !! Apparently, the situation there has gotten a bit... confused, as he wonders: why are people who deal with facts trying to write fiction and vice versa ? This is bad. Well, it ain't good.....

Black Money review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ross Macdonald's 1966 novel, Black Money, now also collected in the most recent Library of America Macdonald collection, Four Later Novels. Some really great writing here;...Show More Summary

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