Happy Friday, Asymptote pals! This week may not be “prize season” per se, but literary prizes abound this and every week, as usual. The United Kingdom‘s former Orange Prize for Fiction—then the Bailey’s Prize—and now titled the “Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction”—has been awarded to The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney. In France, the Prix du Livre Inter has been awarded to Tristan Garcia for his 500-page novel, 7 (fitting: the shortlist was seven titles long). And the British Commonwealth Short Story Prize (judged by Man-Booker-award-winner Marlon James) was awarded to Indian writer Parashar Kulkani, for the short story “Cow and Company.” Finally, Akhil Sharma beat out 160 other contenders to win the International Dublin Literary Award for his novel, A Family Life.
If you’re like me, you don’t waste your time with too many movies—too many books to read!—so if you decide to hit the cinema, it isn’t without having consulted the book’s Rotten Tomatoes score, an altogether helpful metric. LitHub has created a similar review aggregator in BookMarks. It makes all these book reviews feel so… exposed.
Meanwhile, movies might dip, too, if the European Union goes through with this potentially disastrous change in cinema-making policy, which is sure to disproportionally harm art-house flicks. And Hollywood is hard at work at “challenging Muslim stereotypes” by casting a very famous white dude as a 13th-century Muslim poet. Hm…
The classics aren’t subject to data-driven scrutiny—just yet. In case you’re interested, here is German flaneur, philosopher, and writer Walter Benjamin’s personal reading list. And literary star-seekers use astronomy to precisely date the moment of inception/inspiration in Sappho’s “Midnight Poem.” Meanwhile, in Australia, Icelandic novels are making it big. Perhaps other Anglophone countries could learn by example.
In Montreal, a city celebrating its “375th anniversary,” citizens debate on how to best commemorate or memorialize the city’s colonialist past and present.