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Reading in ... Iran

An interesting piece at the TLS' weblog, as Pardis Mahdavi writes about Iran's literary sexual revolution, focusing on how: a different genre occupies today's literary love landscape: the romance novel-cum-self-help book. But Mahdavi...Show More Summary

Eduardo Mendoza receives picks up Cervantes Prize

The awards ceremony for the Cervantes Prize, the leading Spanish-language author prize, was a couple of days ago, with Eduardo Mendoza (An Englishman in Madrid, etc.) finally able to pick up his prize; see, for example, the Deutsche Welle report. His acceptance speech is now up (in Spanish), too.

The Snow Kimono review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Mark Henshaw's The Snow Kimono. This is one of those rejected-then-acclaimed works -- Rejected 32 times, The Snow Kimono by Mark Henshaw wins NSW Premier's Literary Award,...Show More Summary

European Union Prize for Literature

They've announced the 'winners' of this year's European Union Prize for Literature -- the very peculiar EU 'prize' that rotates through all the member states, twelve or thirteen each year (including, for the last time ever this year,...Show More Summary

Cullman Center fellows

The New York Public Library has announced the fifteen fellows (selected from 357 applicants from 38 countries) who will be Cullman Center Fellows from September 2017 through May 2018. Among them are The Physics of Sorrow-author Georgi...Show More Summary

Prelude to Chemistry: Images from the Alchemy Collection

In order to write four influential books on the history of chemistry, St Andrews’ Professor John Read (1884-1963) assembled a remarkable collection of primary sources. Read, a brilliant organic chemist […]

Man Booker International Prize shortlist

They've announced the shortlist for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize, and the six remaining titles are: Compass by Mathias Énard, tr. Charlotte Mandell Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin, tr. Megan McDowell A Horse Walks Into a Bar by David Grossman, tr. Show More Summary

César Aira Q & A

I recently reviewed César Aira's The Little Buddhist Monk and The Proof, and in The Skinny Alan Bett now has a Q & A with the author. Among Aira's observations: I have a provocative (but sincere) definition for my books: 'Dadaist fairy tales'. I recently found a much better one: 'Literary Toys for Adults'. Sound about right.

The Life of Harishchandra review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Raghavanka's The Life of Harishchandra, another volume in Harvard University Press' Murty Classical Library of India series. With the NYRB re-issue of U.R.Ananthamurthy's...Show More Summary

Mister Ego

Mister Ego is a ten-part novel by Anouk Asghar, serialized in the Egyptian literary magazine Weghat Nazar, about a Western man incapable of bringing his inquisitive mind—e.g., his meandering self—to… Continue reading ?

Stella Prize

The A$50,000 Stella Prize, awarded for a work -- fiction or non -- written by a woman, has announced that the 2017 prize goes to The Museum of Modern Love, Heather Rose's novel inspired by Marina Abramovi?'s The Artist Is Present exhibit/performance...Show More Summary

Ketabook profile

Via I'm pointed to Ursula Lindsey's profile of Ketabook and the man behind it, Mohamed El Mansour, at Al-Fanar Media, Moroccan Academic Plays Matchmaker Between Books and Readers. Showing yet again that 'publishing' by itself isn't enough -- people have to know the books exist, and have the possibility of finding them.....

Libraries in ... Bangkok

With the fancy new Bangkok City Library already accessible (though officially only opening 28 April), Melalin Mahavongtrakul takes a look around there and compares it to some of the 36 other public libraries in Bangkok, in Shelf improvement,...Show More Summary

Recommended: At the Lightning Field by Laura Raicovich

I’ve recently finished Laura Raicovich poetic essay At the Lightning Field, just released by Coffee House Press. The book revolves around Raicovich’s experiences at The Lightning Field, a major work of Land Art constructed in 1977 in New Mexico (see more here). In this book, Raicovich combines poetic narratives of her experiences at The Lightning Continue Reading

When Students Become Teachers

Recently an essay by a student at the school where I teach was named one of sixteen finalists in the Facing History and Ourselves essay contest. I had given him… Continue reading ?

Best Translated Book Award shortlists

They've now announced the fiction finalists for the (American) Best Translated Book Award -- ten titles still in the running. (They announced the five poetry finalists too.) The most notable missing title is, of course, John E. Woods' translation of Arno Schmidt's Bottom's Dream, though since that wasn't on the longlist... Show More Summary

New issue of Asymptote

The April issue of Asymptote is now available online, themed: 'People from the In-Between' and with a 'Special Feature on Literature from Banned Countries' (as in: those countries whose citizens American president Trump has repeatedly...Show More Summary

César Aira reviews

The most recent additions to the complete review are my reviews of two short César Aira novels -- forthcoming in a single volume in the US (from New Directions) and just out in the UK in separate volumes (from And Other Stories): The Little Buddhist Monk The Proof

Translation prize finalists

The big(ger) translation prize shortlists are coming up later this week -- the American Best Translated Book Prize today, the Man Booker International Prize on Thursday -- but we have a few single-language ones to tide us over: - They've...Show More Summary

Taban lo Liyong Q & A

At the Daily Monitor Emmanuel Mukanga considers African literature through the eyes of Taban lo Liyong, interviewing one of the grand old men of (East) African literature. He's unimpressed with how African literature has(n't) developed...Show More Summary

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