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A C.S.A. for Books

Mariah Hughs and her husband, Nick Sichterman, founded Blue Hill Books in 1986. It sits on Pleasant Street, in Blue Hill, Maine, a coastal town with a population that swells during the warmer months and thins out again each winter, reduced to its cast of fewer than three thousand year-round residents. Show More Summary

Sofia Translation Forum

At bnr they report that the recently held Sofia Translation Forum addresses literary exchange between the Balkans and the Arab world -- and how great is it to see that there's active work in this area. Gotta love the official site and name -- Translation Collider ! -- and would love to see more of this kind of support and exchange.

The Great Passage review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Miura Shion's The Great Passage. This just came out from AmazonCrossing -- and the 125 reviews on Amazon suggest it's attracting some attention (though apparently not from...Show More Summary

The end of TINA

Yesterday, I experienced something entirely new. I finally learnt what it felt like to celebrate an election result. To be honest, I’d given up hope of ever having this experience. I thought my politics were[...]

Princess of Asturias Award for Literature

They've announced this year's winner of the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature, and it is Adam Zagajewski, whose Slight Exaggeration just came out in English; he'll get to pick up the prize with the other laureates "in the second fortnight of October".

More One Hundred Years of Solitude celebration

As I recently noted, it's the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude (get your copy at or, and there's been quite a bit of coverage. In addition to the...Show More Summary

Copyright ABCs – “The Clock Struck Four!!!”: Ashford v Thornton, Trial by Combat, and Nineteenth-Century Melodrama

We return to the Copyright Deposit ABC’s, as the cataloguing of this massive collection continues apace. For this instalment we are skipping past G (Geography, Anthropology, and Recreation) and H […]

On Gabo Conquering the World

My latest column is up at Lit Hub this week, “Why is One Hundred Years of Solitude Eternally Beloved?” I found this an interesting question to ponder, as One Hundred Years of Solitude turns 50 this year (apparently it happened right on May 30), and it has had astonishing success in terms of translation and Continue Reading

Andrey Kurkov Q & A

At TOL Kseniya Turkova has a Q & A with Death and the Penguin-author Andrey Kurkov -- "Ukraine's best-known writer" --, 'My Dreams Are Not Related to Literature'.

French-American Foundation Translation Prizes

They awarded the French-American Foundation Translation Prizes -- for the 30th time ! -- at a nice ceremony at the Century Association yesterday, with keynote remarks from last year's 'Translator Laureate', Lydia Davis. (InformationShow More Summary

Griffin Poetry Prizes

The Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize is one of the major international poetry awards, with two categories -- international and Canadian -- and yesterday they announced this year's winners. Falling Awake, by Alice Oswald, won the international...Show More Summary

Women Who Like to Watch

Pop quiz: Do eggs look like breasts or eyes to you? It’s crucial to identify whether they resemble how we are seen or how we see. I got three double-yolked… Continue reading ?

Women's Prize for Fiction

They've announced the winner of the prize-that-was-once-called-the-Orange-Prize-but-I-can't-be-bothered-to-remember-this-week's-sponsor (give me a break: next week, or soon thereafter, there's going to be... yet another 'new sponsorship...Show More Summary

Czech fiction in translation

The Prague Daily Monitor reports State to sponsor foreign publishers to translate Czech writers, as the government has apparently decided to be more generous, covering up to 70 per cent of translation costs (previously: 25 per cent)Show More Summary

Number 11 review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jonathan Coe's Number 11. This is Coe's eleventh novel -- and, yes, all eleven are under review at the complete review, as is his B.S.Johnson biography. It came out in the...Show More Summary

Recommended Reading: Berger, Herrera, Poetry via Robert Hass, Abstract Expressionism

Some things I’ve read and liked recently. A Little Book on Form by Robert Hass — For my full thoughts on this book you can just read my review in the San Francisco Chronicle. Here I’ll say that this book is equally an education in poetic form and in Hass’s remarkably, idiosyncratic literary mind. This is Continue Reading

The Starling Bureau profile

At the World Literature Today weblog Jen Rickard Blair has a Q & A with Roland Glasser about the translator-collective he formed with Morgan Giles, Ruth Clarke, Paul Russell Garett, and Zoë Perry -- The Starling Bureau. An interesting idea -- and the success of Paper Republic, focused on translation from the Chinese, suggests this might be a useful way forward.

Prix mondial Cino Del Duca

The Prix mondial Cino Del Duca may not be the best-known of author-prizes -- and with its 'contemporary humanism' focus extends beyond the merely literary -- but with an impressive (if wildly varied) list of laureates and quite staggering €200,000 in prize money it is... Show More Summary

Excerpts from Fiction that Capture My Own Awkward Adolescence

While reading Elif Batuman’s The Idiot, a sprawling novel that follows Harvard student Selin through her first year of college and her first romantic infatuation, I came across a description… Continue reading ?

Denis Johnson’s Lasting Advice

When a friend texted me the news that Denis Johnson had died, I was deep inside my everyday life, far away from the world of fiction, at the back of an Italian joint, gathered around a table of family members raising our glasses during a celebratory dinner for my daughter, who had just graduated from law school. Show More Summary

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