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(Australian) Prime Minister's Literary Awards

They've announced the winners of the (Australian) Prime Minister's Literary Awards, with Man Booker Prize-winning The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan a co-winner in the fiction category; see also, for example, Martin...Show More Summary

Chinese literature abroad

Via Paper Republic I'm pointed to this interesting piece at Bruce Humes' Ethnic ChinaLit weblog, "Most Influential" Chinese Literature in Translation: 2014 Ranking by International Library Purchases. This seems like an interesting way...Show More Summary

William Gibson’s Man-Made Future

The myth of the prophet William Gibson was born in the early nineteen-eighties, with the wild success of Gibson’s début novel, “Neuromancer,” and the stories collected in “Burning Chrome”: he was heralded as a “cyberpunk noir-prophet,”...Show More Summary

Tarr After the Horse

At BOMB: A couple of months after that, in February 2011, Béla Tarr presented the world premiere of The Turin Horse at Berlinale by declaring that it was going to be his last film: was this as the definitive victory of disillusion and...Show More Summary

Bolaño: A Biography

This is a pretty fair assessment of Bolaño: A Biography. Denied access to papers in the Bolaño estate, the Argentine journalist Mónica Maristain has sought instead to unveil the “real” Bolaño through a series of Q?&?A format interviews with his publishers, former lovers, student friends and literary rivals. Show More Summary


Billy Collins’s 1998 poem “Marginalia” is a tribute to the things people scrawl in books—“splayed footprints along the shore of the page.” Few people, Collins notes, “have managed to graduate from college / without ever having written ‘Man vs. Show More Summary

This Week in Fiction: Elizabeth McKenzie

In “Savage Breast,” your story in this week’s issue, a woman takes a nap and wakes up in a version of her childhood bedroom. Instead of her family, the house is populated by large beasts, covered in fur as thick as that of a sheepdog. Show More Summary

Modiano's Nobel lecture

It's Nobel Prize ceremony-week, and literature Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano gave his Nobel lecture yesterday. You can watch the whole thing on video, or simply read it, in English translation or the French original. Pedantic note --...Show More Summary

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They've announced that Vladimir Sharov's ??????????? ? ?????? has won this year's ??????? ????? -- the 'Russian Booker' prize. (And, yes, while I'm pleased/almost impressed the announcement is up in a timely manner at the official site,...Show More Summary

Mãn review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of French-writing Canadian-Vietnamese author Kim Thúy's new novel, Mãn. The English translation of this 2013 novel came out pretty quickly in Canada (and the UK), this year -- but I can't help but note that the Swedish (!?) translation came out quicker.....

Links & Reviews

- The Center for Media and Social Impact has issued a "Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use of Orphan Works for Libraries & Archives."- French scientists are working to date the Aztec manuscript known as the Codex Borbonicus.- Jill...Show More Summary

What Can A Pacifist Say About Racism?

What can a pacifist say about racism? A lot, it turns out. The pacifist perspective is badly needed when rage abounds, as it does right now following the decisions by grand juries in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City not to indict...Show More Summary

Menis Koumandareas (1931-2014)

As, for example, reported by Philip Chrysopoulos at Greek Reporter, Acclaimed Greek Writer Menis Koumandareas Found Murdered at Home. Dalkey Archive Press brought out his Koula a couple of years ago (and he's quite well-translated into French); aside from being an important writer he was also a translator -- of Hemingway and F.Scott Fitzgerald, for example.

Best lists abroad

As often noted, the US and UK lead the way with 'best of the year'-lists, and there tend to be far fewer abroad (especially this early in the year), but among those now available are: Australian writers pick the best books of 2014, here...Show More Summary

Hispabooks profile

At El País' Trans-Iberian Chris Finnigan suggests Put Down Orwell and Pick Up Contemporary Spanish Literature in his profile of the wonderful Hispabooks. I've reviewed far too few of their titles (The Hotel Life and The Faint-hearted Bolshevik), but I do have a pile of them and will continue to make my way through them -- and can certainly recommend them to you.

Outlaws review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Javier Cercas' Outlaws.

Weekend Reading: Black Pete, a Tango Tragedy, and More

In the winter issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review, Emily Raboteau writes about the controversial Dutch holiday tradition of Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete. Each year, thousands of people in the Netherlands, especially children, don black...Show More Summary

Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding

At the Leipzig Book Fair -- the big spring German book fair -- they hand out the Leipziger Buchpreis zur Europäischen Verständigung ('Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding'), and they've announced that Nostalgia-author Mircea...Show More Summary

Mirror literature

At KGOU Suzette Grillot talks to Warren Motte (editor, for example, of Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature), finding Warren Motte Watches Literary Characters As They Watch Themselves, as: When University of Colorado professor and...Show More Summary

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