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Happy 100th Birthday, Peter Taylor

It is customary on a writer’s birthday, especially on a date so significant as his 100th, to grant his life and work a few moments of your attention. Today we… Continue reading ?

Arabic comics (+)

In Le Monde diplomatique Jonathan Guyer finds: 'Much connects art and comics in Egypt and the wider Middle East, even if publishing houses keep fine art and graphic narratives on different shelves', in the well-illustrated piece, On the Arab page.

The Mystery of the Three Orchids review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Augusto De Angelis' 1942 mystery, The Mystery of the Three Orchids, the third of his works that Pushkin Press has published.

Ricardo Piglia (1941-2017)

Argentine author Ricardo Piglia has passed away; see, for example, Muere Ricardo Piglia, un clásico contemporáneo de la literatura en español in El País. Quite a few of the former Princeton University professor's books have been translated into English -- most recently Target in the Night; see the Deep Vellum publicity page, or get your copy at or

Indonesian literature (not) abroad

In the Southeast Asia Globe Dene Mullen examines Lost in translation: why the world is missing out on Indonesia's best writers. Most of the usual stuff -- including a focus that is almost entirely on translation-into-English (which,Show More Summary

Justine review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Iben Mondrup's Justine, recently out from Open Letter.

Innovation in Conversation: Part I

In thinking about formal innovation in the poetry of Terrance Hayes in my last post, it struck me that, paradoxically, innovation loves company. As a reader, when I encounter formal “newness,”… Continue reading ?

Etisalat Prize shortlist

They've announced the three titles left in the running for the Etisalat Prize for Literature, a: "pan-African Prize that celebrates debut African writers of published book-length fiction". The three are: And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile; get your copy at or Mr. Show More Summary

Bookselling in ... South Korea

Not a great headline to start the year, with Yun Suh-young wondering in The Korea Times whether this is the Sign of book industry's collapse ? Yes, in South Korea: The bankruptcy of Songin Books, the country's No. 2 book wholesaler,Show More Summary

Murakami and/vs. Mizumura

At the Literary Hub they reprint a piece by Stephen Snyder from the New England Review 'On the Homogenizing Dangers of Easily Translated Literature', The Murakami Effect -- discussing specifically the cases of Murakami Haruki, on the...Show More Summary

The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi

A couple of years ago, when Coldplay’s Chris Martin was going through a divorce from the actress Gwyneth Paltrow and feeling down, a friend gave him a book to lift his spirits. It was a collection of poetry by Jalaluddin Rumi, the thirteenth-century Persian poet, translated by Coleman Barks. Show More Summary

The Millions' Book Preview

I've pointed you to quite a few 2017-preview pieces, but The Millions' annual feature is certainly among the biggest out there, and worth a separate entry. Their The Great First-Half 2017 Book Preview is now up, covering "80-something upcoming books". Very much big-house, big-title oriented -- i.e. Show More Summary

Kill the Next One review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Federico Axat's new thriller, Kill the Next One. I can't recall a book which has been published with such different titles in the major languages: the original Spanish one is: La última salida, the French went with: L'opossum rose, the Germans opted for: Mysterium.

The year in reviews at the complete review

In 2016, 205 books were reviewed at the complete review, down a bit from the 216 reviewed in 2015, but above the soft target of 200. You can find the 50 most popular reviews, 2016 here. Only eight of these weren't on the 2015 list --...Show More Summary

The Sick Thrill of “Fever Dream”

Fiction is remarkably effective when it comes to provoking certain visceral reactions, and notoriously ham-fisted when it comes to others. Hundreds of novels have flooded me with heartbreak or compassion, but very few—maybe none—have made me feel libidinous or spooked.

Nobel Prize candidates, 1966

The Swedish Academy opens up the Nobel archives after fifty years, so this year we get to (begin to) learn the story behind the Nobel Prize in Literature 1966 -- shared by S.Y.Agnon and Nelly Sachs. They usually have a nice summary of...Show More Summary

Costa awards category winners

The grand prize winner -- selected from these -- will only be announced on 31 January, but they have announced (yes, really and bafflingly, in the dreaded pdf format !) the category winners for the Whitbread Costa awards; see also, for...Show More Summary

John Berger (1926-2017)

John Berger has passed away; see, for example, Michael McNay's obituary in The Guardian. The only one of his books under review at the complete review is King -- which I didn't take to, at all -- but I read and admired much of his work,...Show More Summary

Derek Parfit (1942-2017)

Philosopher Derek Parfit has passed away; see Cody Fenwick's obituary at... Patch (which is the only one I've been able to find, so far -- and is actually quite thorough -- but (many) more will surely follow). Certainly one of the leading...Show More Summary

César Aira Q & A

There are seven César Aira titles under review at the complete review (e.g. How I became a Nun) but I'm way behind on my coverage, as New Directions have been bringing out a nice, steady flow of his work the past few years. In the Neue...Show More Summary

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