Author (country/territory), Translator, Title (imprint)
• Virginie Despentes (France), Frank Wynne, Vernon Subutex 1 (MacLehose Press)
• Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith, The White Book (Portobello Books)
• László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes, The World Goes On (Tuskar Rock Press)
• Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), Camilo A. Ramirez, Like a Fading Shadow (Tuskar Rock Press)
• Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad (Oneworld)
• Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Jennifer Croft, Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
The Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize, worth £1,000, has just announced its lauded shotlist. The OWP is for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language and aims to honour the craft of translation, and recognise its cultural importance.
This year’s shortlist includes eight books from an "outstanding" entry of 112 titles in translations from 24 different languages.
Shortlisted from Portobello are Yoko Tawada's Memoirs of a Polar Bear, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky, which is the story of three generations of polar bears who famous as both circus performers and writers in East Germany; and Andrés Barba's Such Small Hands, a "chilling" novella about a young girl sent to live at an orphanage, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman (Portobello Books).
Also shortlisted are Dorthe Nors's Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, a tale of one woman's journey in search of herself, translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra (Pushkin Press); and Émile Zola's A Love Story, an "intense psychological and nuanced" portrayal of love's different guises, translated from the French by Helen Constantine (Oxford University Press).
Rounding out the shortlist are Louis Guilloux's Blood Dark, translated from the French by Laura Marris (New York Review Books), which tells the story of a brilliant philosopher trapped in a provincial town and of his spiraling descent into self-destruction; Édouard Louis' The End of Eddy, an "extraordinary" portrait of escaping from an unbearable childhood, inspired by the author’s own, translated from the French by Michael Lucey (Harvill Secker) and Daša Drndić's Belladonna, a "timely" parable on the perils of growing old and infirm in an unforgiving modern world, translated from the Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth (MacLehose Press). The winner will be announced at a prizegiving and dinner at St Anne’s College, Oxford on Saturday 9th June 2018, on Oxford Translation Day.
Author Preti Taneja (featured) has been shortlisted for the 2018 The Desmond Elliot Prize for first time authors. The lauded £10,000 prize is given to a debut novel from any genre, published between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018 for a novel which has a "compelling narrative, arresting characters and which is both vividly written and confidently realised". Chairman of the Trustees, Dallas Manderson, said: “Last year, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Prize and received what was undoubtedly the highest calibre of entries in the Prize’s history. We are incredibly excited to see what dazzling debuts this coming year will bring and I know Desmond would be very impressed and proud of all the authors who have been nominated over the last decade.”
Taneja`s novel We That Are Young, is a retelling of "King Lear" in contemporary India (the title of the book comes from the end of Shakespeare's play). The results will be announced in The winner will then be revealed at a London ceremony on the 20th June.
The novel The Second War of the Dog by Ibrahim Nasrallah (featured) has won the 11th International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF).
The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) is the most prestigious and important literary prize in the Arab world.
Its aim is to reward excellence in contemporary Arabic creative writing and to encourage the readership of high quality Arabic literature internationally through the translation and publication of winning and shortlisted novels in other major languages.
Author Elif Shafak is to appear at the 2018 Balham Literary Festival this year featuring a number of literary events, running from June 11th to June 14th. Acclaimed writer Hanan al-Shaykh will be in conversation with Shafak one of today’s most influential writers and intellectuals who straddle East and West. She is the acclaimed author of ten novels including The Architect’s Apprentice and The Bastard of Istanbul, and is the most widely read female writer in Turkey. Her most recent novel is Three Daughters of Eve, published last year in paperback. Check out details and listings of all international fiction events.
Elena Ferrante is to write a weekly newspaper column for the Guardian’s new look Weekend magazine starting on Saturday (20th January).
The regular column will cover the pseudonymous Italian novelist’s thoughts “on life, love, childhood, ageing, the female experience and everything in between”. Her inaugural column will focus on her first love.
According to a Guardian report, the author of the bestselling Neapolitan series said she was “attracted to the possibility of testing myself” with a regular column describing the experience “a bold, anxious exercise in writing”. The pieces will be translated by Ferrante’s regular collaborator Ann Goldstein.
The reclusive Italian author’s four-part series, published by Europa Editions, follows Elena Greco and her friend Raffaella Cerullo, who she has always called Lila, in the first year of primary school in 1950. Set against a dangerous and vibrant Naples, the story spans 60 years of their lives as Elena tries to unravel the mystery of her friend.
The announcement follows the launch of the Guardian in tabloid format on Monday (15th January). In addition to the refreshed Weekend magazine, the paper will also include the Review section revamped as a “beautiful and stylish books magazine”. Other sections include food magazine, Feast, as well as Travel and the listings supplement Guide.
Melissa Denes, editor of Weekend, revealed she was "thrilled to be working with Elena Ferrante on her first newspaper column” and described it as “a new adventure for her and for Guardian Weekend magazine.”
“Every week, she will be writing a personal piece, covering subjects from sex to ageing to the things that make her laugh. I can't wait to see where she will take us," Denes said.
Weekend has been redesigned as part of the Guardian’s move to tabloid format with the first new look issue appearing on Saturday (20th January).
Fans of Chigozie Obioma, author of the Man Booker-shortlisted debut The Fishermen (Pushkin Press) can expect a follow-up to his Manbooker Prize Shortlisted novel The Fisherman.
His new novel an Orchestra of Minorities is expected to be out in 2019 and is about the life of a troubled young poultry farmer who sacrifices everything to win the woman he loves. According an article in The Bookseller, the publishers Little Brown described the novel as a modern epic of Igbo civilisation, dealing with myth, spirituality, life, death,obsession and ownership.It canalso be read as parable about civilisation lurching towards modernity, sometimes the cost of abandoning the wisdom of elders."
Obioma said: "I'm thrilled at the prospect of making this book with Ailah and the folks at Little, Brown, UK. Their enthusiasm for An Orchestra of Minorities and The Fishermen has been great, and I couldn't feel more satisfied to be working with such a wonderful editor in Ailah. It is pleasing that she will be working with Judy Clain, also at Little, Brown US, in a collaboration I'm convinced will yield great results."
Croation editor Antonija LetinicI interview author Ece Temelkuran on the Relationship between politics and writing.
A new study by the Bookseller magazine has revealed a “shockingly low” number of books by British BAME (black, asian and minority ethnic) authors in the top 500 titles of the year to date.
The study uncovered the fact that among the top 100 bestselling titles for the year to date, there was just one British BAME author in the list – Kazuo Ishiguro with his novel The Buried Giant, which had sold just over 100,000 copies to make 59th place with the next UK BAME author Dorothy Koomson, in 156th place with the commercial novel That Girl from Nowhere.
Bookseller’s charts editor Kiera O’Brien, commented "Of the top 500 titles for 2016, 343 were written by UK authors, of which 1.7% were penned by BAME Brits. That drops to 1.2% when extrapolated to the top 500. Considering the BAME population of England and Wales is around 15%, this is shockingly low,”
However the study did have some positive news - while there were just a paltry three UK BAME authors in the top 300, and six in the top 500, the Bookseller revealed that 2016’s charts were actually more diverse than in previous years.
In Chinelo Okparanta’s new novel Under the Udala Trees, a chance meeting between Ijeoma, a Christian Igbo, and Amina, a Muslim Hausa, begins a friendship that turns quickly to passion. “This was the beginning,” Okparanta writes. “Our bodies being touched by the fire that was each other’s flesh … Tingly and good and like everything perfect in the world.”
Ijeoma’s secure, stable childhood has already unravelled by then. The novel is set in 1968, one year into the Biafran conflict, and Ijeoma’s world is beset by “the ruckus of armored cars and shelling machines, bomber planes and their loud engines sending shock waves through our ears”. Things grow worse. Her father, “a man who liked to wallow in his thoughts”, becomes so consumed by sorrow for his massacred people that he refuses to seek refuge during an air raid over their town of Ojoto. When Ijeoma and her mother Adaora emerge from a nearby bunker, they discover his blood-soaked body.
Meera Syal immerses us in the tale of a rarely spoken subject: surrogacy. We are introduced to a forty-something has been mother trying for her second child. Shyama’s character reminds the reader that life isn’t always kind; escaping a troublesome marriage when her first born was young and now living opposite her ageing parents. Read More