All Blogs / Academics / Literature / Popular

Old News: The Consequences of our Cultural Obsession with Newness

  There’s nothing new about our love of newness. “Men love that song which is newest on their ears”—that’s Homer, writing as early as Europe’s second epic poem. The problem with the new is that it’s already old news. The… Continue reading ?

BTBA 2016 countdown begins !

The starting gun for the Best Translated Book Awards 2016 (for best previously untranslated work of fiction and of poetry published/distributed in the US in 2015) has now pretty much officially sounded: at Three Percent they introduce...Show More Summary

Africa Writes report

The Royal African Society's annual literature festival, Africa Writes was held 3 to 5 July, and at openDemocracy Ché Ramsden has a lengthy report on it, In celebration of African literature: Africa Writes 2015. Local success storiesShow More Summary

The Noble Racist: Atticus Finch and the Ashley Wilkes Principle

Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee's long-unseen companion novel to To Kill A Mockingbird, is arriving with a shock. Where Lee's classic novel presents Atticus Finch as a lawyer who fights heroically for an African-American who is unjustly...Show More Summary

Chenjerai Hove (1956-2015)

Zimbabwean author Chenjerai Hove has passed away (in Norway, having long lived in exile); see, for example, the BBC report, as well as Lovemore Ranga Mataire's report, Literary fraternity mourns Hove, in The Herald. An important author, whose work seems no longer to be adequately in print; but get your copy of Bones, for example, at or

Gerhard Zwerenz (1925-2015)

Prolific German author (and sometime parliamentarian, post-unification) Gerhard Zwerenz has passed away; no English-language reports yet, as far as I've seen, but see, for example, Arno Widmann's obituary in the Frankfurter Rundschau. Only...Show More Summary

(Lack of) copyright in Iran

I've noted this phenomenon a couple of times here, and now at the Asymptote blog Poupeh Missaghi writes about how Iran's very free copyright regime -- there's very little intellectual property protection -- leads, in conjunction with other factors, to multiple translations of the same work, in 31 Animal Farms: Literary Translation and Copyright in Iran

'Israeli' literature

Last month I mentioned the debate in Israel about what constitutes 'Israeli' literature, as a leading national Hebrew literary prize, the Sapir Prize, changed its rules to limit eligible authors to those resident in Israel. The Economist's...Show More Summary

Do Your Own Thing

There is an interview here with Jon Baskin, who is one of the is co-founders and editors of The Point magazine. You should definitely check it out, as The Point has impressed me as one of the most interesting and worthwhile of the literary magazines to begin in the Internet era, and Jon et al. Continue Reading

Prix Jean Monnet de Littérature Européenne

A couple of weeks ago I wondered whether we might be looking at a Christoph Ransmayr revival, with Atlas of an Anxious Man set to come out at the end of this year from (who else ?) Seagull Books; see their publicity page or the S.Fischer foreign rights page (foreign rights sold in eight markets ! including... Show More Summary

Smile as they Bow, uncensored

In The Myanmar Times Chit Su reports that Classic novel to be published uncensored (in Burma), as Nu Nu Yi's Smile as they Bow will finally appear uncut, two decades after its first publication. Apparently, back then: "The censorship...Show More Summary

Links & Reviews

- According to a Daily Sabah report, two manuscripts stolen from a library in Turkey in 2000 were returned after a doctoral student determined that the manuscripts had made their way to the Schoenberg collection at Penn.- In The Atlantic,...Show More Summary

Author summer reads recommendations

In The Guardian they offer a Best holiday reads 2015 guide, where "leading authors recommend favourites and reveal what books they'll be packing for the summer holidays". Always fun to see what writers recommend -- and they have some decent names offering selections.

Submission review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Michel Houellebecq's Submission. On the one hand I am way early with this -- the William Heinemann/UK edition is only due out in September, the Farrar, Straus and Giroux/US...Show More Summary

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman: Denis Theriault

Image courtesy: Hesperus Press I picked up “The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman”by Denis Theriault based on the recommendation of a friend. I am glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed reading Bilodo the postman’s story. Theriault’s...Show More Summary

Literary impotence ?

In the Irish Times Ian Maleney has a Q & A with Michel Faber -- and the author laments: For a long time now, especially since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, I've despised literature for its impotence to change the world for the better,...Show More Summary

Books to look forward to

I mentioned The Millions' Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2015 Book Preview a couple of days ago, and that's all well and good and semi-useful, if you want to know about the 'big' upcoming books, but really it only scratchesShow More Summary

Salted Biscuits: Jasper Daniel

For the longest time, I had put off reading this book because of time constraints. When I finally began reading it, I didn’t realize the time pass. Combining humor and dark thoughts through vignette like short stories, poetry, and illustrations, “Salted Biscuits” by Jasper Daniel is a mixed bag of thoughts. Show More Summary

On Latindad and Community: CantoMundo Poets Share their Influences

A guest post by Rosebud Ben-Oni This past March, I shared my current reading list with Poetry Magazine; later, I realized just how many Latina/o authors dominated my list: J. Michael Martinez, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Carmen Giménez Smith, Ruben Quesada,… Continue reading ?

Gratis & Libre, or, Who Pays for Your Bandwidth?

via Philip Taylor, Flickr In talking with Robin DeRosa about open educational resources (OER), a lot of my skepticism was focused on (and continues to be focused on) the question of who pays for it. If I'm not just skeptical but also...Show More Summary

Copyright © 2015 Regator, LLC