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Recent Reads

It's been an incredibly busy month, but I have found time to get through a few good fictions recently:A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, by George R.R. Martin: For fans of the "Song of Ice and Fire" series, this new edition of the three...Show More Summary

A Taxonomy for Pacifism

A couple of days ago we talked about the need to reclaim the word "pacifism" and return it to general use. We believe the time is ripe right now — if Bernie Sanders can bring "socialism" back from the dead we're sure pacifism can't be far behind. Pacifism is not a simple word but rather indicates a vast family of meanings and possible connotations. Show More Summary

Links & Revews

- The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair is next weekend (and I look forward to seeing at least some of you there!). The ABAA has posted a few featured items that will be on offer.- President Obama signed S. 2162 this week, providing...Show More Summary

Peter Weiss at 99

The great Peter Weiss would have turned ninety-nine today. Playwright (Marat/Sade, etc.), novelist (The Aesthetics of Resistance, etc.), painter, he's faded quite a bit from view. Sure, his plays are still occasionally revived -- they're...Show More Summary

Literary mentors

At Guernica Maaza Mengiste and Rodrigo Rey Rosa write 'On being mentored by Breyten Breytenbach and Paul Bowles' (respectively), in Fiction Tells a Truth That History Cannot.

Finlandia-palkinto finalists

The Finlandia-palkinto is the leading Finnish literary prize (and pays €30,000 to the winner) and, as Yle reports, Seasoned novelists contend for 2015 Finlandia Literary Prize. Among the finalists is previous winner Kari Hotakainen --...Show More Summary

Translating from ... the Korean

They've announced a variety of translation awards in Korea (for translations from the Korean), and in The Korean Times Yun Suh-young reports how Translation award winners discuss challenges.

Translating from ... the Korean

Malawi literature isn't exactly high-profile abroad, but at okayafrica Chisomo Kalinga reports on The Clubs Shaping Malawi's Literary Future. A good overview, and great to see the variety of efforts underway.

Captivity review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Spiró György big, impressive historical novel, Captivity, just out from Restless Books. Spiró is in the US promoting the book, and I hope it finds the audience (and critical...Show More Summary

Prix Médicis

Another day, another French literary prize: yesterday they announced the winners of the prix Médicis -- a threefer (fiction, non, and translated fiction). Goncourt-finalist Titus n'aimait pas Bérénice, by Nathalie Azoulai took the fiction...Show More Summary

Philip Pullman Q & A

At Slate Katy Waldman has a Q & A with Philip Pullman, as it's the twentieth anniversary of his Northern Lights (published in the US as The Golden Compass), the first in his His Dark Materials-trilogy.

An interview with Jeff Jackson, author of Mira Corpora

Darragh McKeon is the author of All That is Solid Melts Into Air. This is an interview he conducted with author Jeff Jackson about his debut novel Mira Corpora, published by Two Dollar Radio. I’m always interested in how a… Continue reading ?

Reading the Collections, Week 35: Douglas Dunn’s Elegies notebooks

Douglas Dunn published Elegies in 1985 – a collection of 39 poems written after the death of his first wife, Lesley Balfour Dunn, who died in 1981, aged 37, from […]

The Bookstore Made By the Bookseller That Thinks Books Are a Pure Commodity

Aside from the bemusement of seeing a bricks and mortar bookstore launched by the online retailer that led a million pundits to declare the death of the bricks and mortar bookstore, I’m genuinely curious to see what Amazon thinks a bookstore should be for the reason that the Amazon website was founded on the principle Continue Reading

Premio Nacional de Letras Españolas

The Spanish Ministry of Culture awards the Premio Cervantes, the most prestigious Spanish(-language) author prize; they also award a Premio Nacional de Letras Españolas -- a national Spanish career-prize, honouring a Spanish national...Show More Summary

Prix Femina

The big-two French literary prizes were announced on Monday -- see my previous mention -- but that still leaves a second tier of prizes to name their winners, with the Femina next up: they've announced their fiction, non, and translated...Show More Summary

New Literature from Europe Festival

The New Literature from Europe Festival runs 6 to 9 November in New York city, and looks like it has a nice selection of authors.

The Principle of Inversion

If you look from a distance at our media talking about traditional religions, you find that “Hinduism” is reduced to the caste system and Hindu nationalism, “Islam” to fundamentalist or jihadi movements, and “Christianity” to the Catholic Church’s latest concession,… Continue reading ?

Pacifism: Rescue the Word

Since we're getting serious about pacifism, we need to also get serious about the words we use when we talk about it. Language has been nearly fatal to pacifism, as the label itself is often considered foul and offensive. This is because many people mistakenly believe pacifism to be an extreme and fanatical position. Show More Summary

Prizes: Goncourt, Renaudot

The two biggest annual French literary prizes were announced yesterday, with Boussole (by Mathias Enard) winning the prix Goncourt, and D'après une histoire vraie (by Delphine de Vigan -- in her fifth try at the prize) winning the prix...Show More Summary

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