Popular Chinese fiction overview

At the admirable Global Literature in Libraries Initiative Heather Inwood offers a nice historical overview and introduction to Popular Genre Fiction in China. From some real classics — The Story of the Stone! —  to very contemporary fare. Worth checking out.


Reading suggestions: the Balkans; Mexico

Suggested-reading lists abound on the internet, including some focused on foreign fiction. Here are two regional ones you might want to check out:

Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

They’ve announced the winner of the 2016 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation (Jonathan Wright for his translation of The Bamboo Stalk, by Saud Alsanousi), and while the prize is useful in pointing to what is judged to be a superior translation, what’s great about this prize is that they list all the titles that were considered — nineteen of them (of which two were poetry and the rest fiction); scroll down on the announcement page. This makes for a handy quick reference of recent translations-from-the-Arabic, with quite a few titles that may be of interest to you. Continue reading

TLS review

In the Times Literary Supplement (2 December 2016) Michael LaPointe reviews several titles dealing with transnational literature — including my very own The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction.

A great review, in which he notes:

Orthofer’s Guide, which one can hardly believe was written by a single individual, traces almost every nation’s literature since 1945, with a particular emphasis on the past two decades.

And he suggests it is:

(T)he most complete resource for readers of a transnational bent, interested in further expanding their horizons.


Especially impressive are the chapters on Chinese and Iranian fiction, and adventurous readers will make good on the inclusion of sub-genres

Jan Michalski Prize for Literature

The Jan Michalski Prize for Literature is a CHF50,000 book prize that’s unusual for several reasons. First, it doesn’t differentiate between fiction and non-fiction. Second, it’s willing to consider any title, “irrespective of the language in which it is written”. (In reality, it is somewhat limited, with books generally having to at least be available in a French, German, or English translation, but that’s still much farther-ranging than the International Dublin Literary Award or the Man Booker International Prize, for example.

They’ve now announced this year’s winner: The Physics of Sorrow (by Georgi Gospodinov) — another fine choice (but you already knew that, since both author and book are mentioned in The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction).

The other two finalists were also novels: The Way Things Were (by Aatish Taseer), and Što pepeo priča (by Dževad Karahasan; see the Suhrkamp foreign rights page).

International DUBLIN Literary Award longlist

The International DUBLIN Literary Award is among the more interesting English-language international book prizes. Books are nominated by participating libraries from many (though, alas, far from all) parts of the world — 109 cities in 40 countries for the 2017 prize, apparently — and these nominated titles make up the just-announced 147-title  longlist, from which a jury will now select a still-huge shortlist (to be announced 17 April 2017) and then a winning title (21 June 2017). Continue reading