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'The Bookstore' appearance

A reminder that I'll be appearing at The Bookstore, in Lenox MA, at 17;30 (5:30 PM) today to introduce and talk about my book, The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction. See you there !

Too Close to the Edge review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Pascal Garnier's Too Close to the Edge, as Gallic Books kindly keeps the very welcome translations coming. This one is one of his more over the top ones -- closer to Jean-Patrick Manchette, with his Fatale-type excesses, than, say, Simenon -- but it still works.

Mass / Blood

I have been busy and have neglected this blog. I forgot to make a post here about some of the most exciting news of my year: I have a story in the current issue of my favorite literary magazine, Conjunctions. It's titled "Mass" and it...Show More Summary

Links & Reviews

- David W. Dunlap reports for the NYTimes on the five-decade Times career of Rudolph Stocker, described as "the last printer at The Times working under a guaranteed lifetime contract; the last Times employee who knew how to operate a Linotype casting machine; the last journeyman of the old International Typographical Union and its New York local, No. Show More Summary

Profile: Sjón

The Icelandic author of, among others, The Blue Fox and The Whispering Muse, is profiled in The Guardian by Sarah Crown, in Sjón: I’m one of the few people who’ve had Björk as a backing singer. His new novel, Moonstone, is out in the...Show More Summary

Profile: Saadat Hasan Manto

Urdu-writing great Saadat Hasan Manto is profiled by Sarfraz Manzoor in The Guardian, in Saadat Hasan Manto: 'He anticipated where Pakistan would go'. None of his work is under review at the complete review (yet), but Ayesha Jalal's study of Manto's Life, Times, and Work across the India-Pakistan Divide, The Pity of Partition, is.

Profile: Furukawa Hideo

Furukawa Hideo's Horses, Horses, in the End the Light Remains Pure recently came out, and in The Japan Times Kris Kosaka profiles the author, in Novelist Hideo Furukawa views the Fukushima disaster through nonhuman eyes. Only one other of his books is available in English, but from the sounds of it -- e.g. also here -- there's a lot more that looks really promising.

Prize help

In The National Ben East looks how International Prize for Arabic Fiction aims to make Arabic literature accessible to English audience. Prizes do help bring books to publishers' (and others' -- like me, who tends to report on them a lot in these pages) attention -- not necessarily just winning titles, but shortlisted, etc. Show More Summary

The Year 200 review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Cuban science-fiction legend Agustín de Rojas' The Year 200, forthcoming from Restless Books. I was quite impressed -- but the Kirkus reviewer certainly wasn't, concluding: This...Show More Summary

The Journals of Samuel R. Delany

Kenneth James is editing the journals of Samuel Delany for publication. Volume 1 is coming out from Wesleyan University Press in December. For the future volumes, Ken needs help with funding.If you already know how valuable this project is, don't read on. Show More Summary

Online literature in China

The phenomenon -- and phenomenal success of -- online literature in China is something that, as I have frequently noted, isn't noted or noticed nearly enough abroad. Sixth Tone now offer a sliver more insight, in Li You's Q&A With Author...Show More Summary

Prize: Prix Relay des Voyageurs-Lecteurs

They've announced that Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You has won this year's Prix Relay des Voyageurs-Lecteurs, a sort of 'best travel-read' award. (It's actually been around for a while, originally under the more grandiose name...Show More Summary

Prize: prix Saint-Simon

Okay, it's a memoir prize, and it tends to go to authors of a fairly advanced age (octogenarian seems to be the norm); still, nice to see that this year's prix Saint-Simon goes to Jean d'Ormesson (for Je dirai malgré tout que cette vie...Show More Summary

First Person Plural: Part III (Muhammad Ali)

Throughout my last two posts, I’ve been thinking about strength (and complication) in numbers—the first person plural: “We.” In between those posts and this one, the news broke that boxer and activist Muhammad Ali passed away on June 3 at… Continue reading ?

Prize: International DUBLIN Literary Award

The International DUBLIN Literary Award (formerly IMPAC-subsidized, but no longer) is that weird prize for books written in, or translated into, English that are nominated by libraries from (sort of) all around the world, making forShow More Summary

Prize: Europese Literatuurprijs shortlist

Translation prizes in other languages/countries are always interesting, revealing what's being translated elsewhere. So also with the Dutch Europese Literatuurprijs, which has now announced its shortlist -- which, rather surprisingly, includes no translations from the English. The only shortlisted title under review at the complete review is Michel Houellebecq's Submission.

Reading in ... Malaysia

The debate about Malaysians' reading habits -- too low for some folks' comfort (if and when there's any reading going on at all...) -- rages on, and Syareen Majelan has a nice overview in Malaysian Digest, Flesh Eating Zombies And Playboy Doctors, The Problem With Malaysian Reading Habits.

Author appearance/talk

If you're in the Massachusetts-Berkshires vicinity on Monday, 13 June, you can see and hear me talk about my The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction at The Bookstore in Lenox, at 17:30 ! Even if you already have a well-thumbed copy (as I assume you do -- how could you go this long without one ?), surely it's worthwhile to hear me speak, right ?

The St Andrews Rolevinck: A Gem in the University’s Collection

The St Andrews copy of the German monk Werner Rolevinck’s 1478 world history has already received attention as one of the treasures of the library. I first came across it […]

Women's Prize for Fiction

They've announced the winner of this year's Women's Prize for Fiction (which has appeared under various sponsorships over the years, most notably as the 'Orange' Prize), and it is The Glorious Heresies (by Lisa McInerney). This is actually only coming out in the US in August (pre-order your copy at, but you can get the UK edition at

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