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Holbergprisen to Marina Warner

They've announced that the Holberg Prize -- named after Niels Klim-author Ludvig Holberg, and: "awarded annually to scholars who have made outstanding contributions to research within the arts and humanities, social sciences, law or theology" (and worth 4.5 million NOK (ca. Show More Summary

Preis(e) der Leipziger Buchmesse

The German Book Prize, awarded at the (fall) Frankfurt Book Fair is the biggest German book award, but the Preis(e) der Leipziger Buchmesse, awarded at the (spring) Leipzig Book Fair -- in three categories: fiction, non, and translation...Show More Summary

Hans Mayer on Arno Schmidt

Fifty-one years ago today the great Hans Mayer -- about as influential (and well/widely-read) a non-fiction writer on me as George Steiner -- wrote in Die Zeit on Die Bücherwelt und Arno Schmidt -- noting: Schade, daß man nicht lesen...Show More Summary

All Days are Night review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Peter Stamm's All Days are Night.

Reading the Collections, Week 6: Insight into the 19th Century Mind

The St Andrews Literary and Philosophical Society was founded in 1838; it was no coincidence that Sir David Brewster was appointed Principal of the United College here in that year. A […]

How to Write Human: Outkast’s Art of Storytellin’

Literature is at its best when it humanizes its characters and, by extension, its readers. The poetry of the duo Outkast, comprised of Big Boi and Andre 3000, peels back the distorted surfaces of stories our society tells itself about urban… Continue reading ?

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist

They've announced the longlist for this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Four of the titles are under review at the complete review : Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Murakami Haruki, translated by Philip...Show More Summary

One of Us review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway by Åsne Seierstad, One of Us.

The Middle of Things: Advice for Young Writers

The following is adapted from a speech the author gave at the Whiting Writers’ Awards on March 5th. When I had just finished my schooling and was looking for a job, a friend put me in touch with an absurdly well-connected British biographer who, she assured me, would help me find the professional position of my dreams. Show More Summary

De Inktaap 2015

The Dutch literary prize decided by 15-18 year-old students, De Inktaap (see also the EU Read explanation) has announced the 2015 winner: La Superba, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer -- -which Deep Vellum will be bringing out in English; meanwhile,...Show More Summary

Best book year ?

At BBC Culture Jane Ciabattari wonders what was: The greatest year for books ever ? -- and suggests it was... 1925. She notes: The year 1925 was a golden moment in literary history. Ernest Hemingway's first book, In Our Times, Virginia...Show More Summary

The Dream of My Return by Horacio Castellanos Moya

The Dream of My Return by Horacio Castellanos Moya publishes today. After a quick browse through this, the latest of Horacio Castellanos Moya novels, I’m thinking this might be the best Moya novel to hit the English language since Senselessness. Show More Summary

Nicholson Baker and Him: A Talk with J. C. Hallman

"Do we really want writers to be okay? Just okay?" That intriguing response is one of many I elicited from J. C. Hallman, author of B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal, a bright, funny and expansive account of a rewarding and investigative personal journey through another living writer's unusual career. This other writer is Nicholson Baker,...

Post-Internet Poetry Comes of Age

In 2010, the conceptual poet Vanessa Place published a provocative book called “Statement of Facts,” the first volume of a three-part project. Place has a day job as a lawyer who represents indigent sex offenders on appeal. To compose...Show More Summary

Orange Prize longlist

The twenty-title-strong longlist for the Orange Prize for Fiction (now apparently re-named for some alcoholic-beverage sponsor), for the best UK-published novel written by a woman in English, has been announced. Predictably, none ofShow More Summary

Wellcome Book Prize shortlist

The six-title-strong shortlist for the Wellcome Book Prize -- open to both fiction and non, as long as it has: "a central theme that engages with some aspect of medicine, health or illness" -- has been announced. Two novels made the shortlist, but, rather unsurprisingly, none of the titles are under review at the complete review.

Israel Prize in literature

One prize for which there won't be a long- or short-list, or a winner this year is the Israel Prize in literature. A month ago I mentioned how Israeli PM -- and then-Education Minister -- Benjamin Netanyahu got the ball rolling hereShow More Summary

Translation from ... Indonesian

Indonesia is the Frankfurt Book Fair 'guest of honour;' this year, and in The Jakarta Post they report that Indonesian literati demand a translation center [via] -- maybe a bit late in the day, but it would still be good to see. SadShow More Summary

Newspaper review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Edouard Levé's Newspaper, the fourth Levé title from Dalkey Archive Press. Not quite Kenneth Goldsmith's The Weather, but certainly an interesting (and pretty successful) concept-work.

What More?: The Contrarian Poetics of Daniel Brown

  Not to set up an unnecessary straw man, but a few assumptions about the Nature of Poetry seem current in our moment: That irrationality is inherently more poetic than rationality—that poetry works by leaps of “intuition” that are inaccessible… Continue reading ?

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