Posts filed under 'prizes'

Weekly Dispatches from the Frontlines of World Literature

Your news from the literary world, all in one place.

We’re back with another week full of exciting, new developments in the world of literature! Our Editor-At-Large for Australia, Tiffany Tsao, updates us with a fresh report of prizes and publications and the inauguration of an exciting new festival. Julia Sherwood, Editor-At-Large for Slovakia, is filling us in on the latest exciting news in neighbouring Poland, involving prizes, authors and translators. Last but not least, our Editor-At-Large for Indonesia, Valent Mustamin, serves up a full platter of festivals, publications and awards. 

Tiffany Tsao, Editor-At-Large, with the latest updates from Australia: 

Congratulations to Josephine Wilson, author of the novel Extinctions, for winning the 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award, Australia’s most prestigious literary prize. The results were announced early last month.

Felicitations also to Stephanie Guest (former Asymptote Australia Editor-at-Large) and Kate Riggs on the publication of their piece “An Architecture of Early Motherhood (and Independence)” in The Lifted Brow’s September issue. The piece received the The Lifted Brow and non/fiction Lab Prize for Experimental Non-Fiction (announced at the end of August) and was lauded by the judges for its “determined fidelity to the banality and logistics of early motherhood—states of radical and ongoing beholden-ness—juxtaposed against reflections from an autonomous life in the margins.”

The shortlist for this year’s Richell Prize for Emerging Writers was announced earlier this week. The five finalist entries are: Michelle Barraclough’s “As I Am”; Sam Coley’s “State Highway One”; Julie Keys’ “Triptych”; Miranda Debljakovich’s “Waiting for the Sun”; and Karen Wyld’s “Where the Fruit Falls.” The prize was launched in 2015 as a joint initiative by the Emerging Writers Festival and the Guardian Australia. The winner will be announced November 1.

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Weekly Dispatches from the Frontlines of World Literature

Your weekly roundup of global literary news and intrigue.

Ever get the feeling that even with all the news happening right now in the world, you’re still not getting enough? Well, that’s what we’re here for, keeping you covered with the latest in global literary news from our Editors-at-Large who are on the ground as we speak. This week we have reports about censorship and activism from Singapore and Mexico, as well as important news about festivals and prizes in the UK, and much, much more. 

Theophilus Kwek, Editor-at-Large, reporting from Singapore: 

The Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA)―launched in 2014 to revive the Singapore Arts Festival, a landmark event in Southeast Asia’s arts calendar―drew to a close this week, concluding a month of theatre, film, music, and visual arts shows. These included a number of international partnerships such as Trojan Women, a Korean retelling of Homer’s epic directed by the SIFA’s founding festival director Ong Keng Sen; as well as Becoming Graphic, a collaboration between Australian theatre practitioner Edith Podesta and Eisner Award-winning graphic artist Sonny Liew, who previously had his funding withdrawn by the National Arts Council for his alternative political history of Singapore.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Guardian to mark his final year as festival director, Ong (who has previously spoken out against the censorship of SIFA’s programs by the government) lamented the “restrictive” attitudes of state funding agencies towards the arts, and said that he felt “drained by the fighting” of the past four years. His successor, fellow theatre practitioner Gaurav Kripalani―currently artistic director at the Singapore Repertory Theatre―struck a more conciliatory position earlier this year, saying that he would opt for increasingly “mainstream” programming.

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Weekly Dispatches from the Frontlines of World Literature

No matter where you are, we've got you covered.

Since 2013 we’ve been bringing you the latest news in the literary world, and we’re not about to stop anytime soon! This week our Executive Assistant, Cassie Lawrence, showcases the latest exciting books being published and prizes being awarded in the UK; our new Editor-at-Large from Brazil, Lara Norgaard, focuses on racial and gender diversity in festivals across the country, as well as newly published work that had been previously lost; finally, our Editor-at-Large for Taiwan, Vivian Szu-Chin Chih, fills us in on the latest prizes as well as film festivals happening right now! 

Cassie Lawrence, Executive Assistant at Asymptote, reports from the UK: 

An unpublished manuscript from the late author Maurice Sendak (known for Where the Wild Things Are) has been discovered. The manuscript is complete with illustrations and is said to date from twenty years ago, according to Publishers Weekly. A publisher for the new title has not yet been announced.

June 20-23 saw twenty British writers and over fifty literature professionals from around the world gather in Norwich as part of the International Literature Showcase. An online platform that allows the showcasing and collaboration of international literature organisations, the live event included panel discussions and readings from Elif Shafak, Graeme Macrae Burnet, David Szalay, and more.

Good news for libraries finally! Following the cuts that have taken place across the country in recent years, The Bookseller brings news that 14 libraries across Lancashire are set to reopen later this year and early next year. These will be partly run by community groups, but with the majority still being run by the council.
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Weekly News Roundup, 17 June 2016: A Cloudy Complex Mirror

This week's literary highlights from across the world

Happy Friday, friends! This week witnessed the unfortunate passing of one of the best translators into English: Gregory Rabassa has passed away at age 94. He famously translated epic Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez and Argentine novelist Julio Cortázar, whose works defined what we think of as the Latin American “boom” in literature. And his mastery underlined the importance of translators in creating a “world literature.”  READ MORE…

Weekly News Roundup, 10 June 2016: It’s Always Prize Season

This week's literary highlights from across the world

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 READ MORE…

Weekly News Roundup, 15th April 2015: So. Many. Shortlists.

This week's highlights from across the world

Happy Friday, Asymptoters! This Friday’s an especially good one, because if we’ve timed the post correctly, because it means a new issue is totally live! There are so, so many gems in this issue, (as per usual). But this one also features the winners of our Close Approximations contest—be sure to check out the fiction, nonfiction, and poetry winners (and runners-up)!

This week, our very own Megan Bradshaw reported from the (frightening) field at the 2016 London Book Fair. Other notes from the (not-so) Fair: translators champion books in underrepresented languages and literatures. And the Book Fair announces its International Excellence Award winners: Words Without Borders is this year’s winner of the Publishers Weekly Literary Translation Initiative Award—the very same prize we won last year!—big congrats, WWB!

Speaking of prizes: the Man Booker International Prize has announced its shortlist, which includes Italian anonymon Elena Ferrante, South Korean trendsetter Han Kang (for The Vegetarian, translated by Deborah Smith), among others. The Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction has similarly announced its shortlist. And yet another shortlist, this time for the 100,000-pound International Dublin Literary Award: featuring Jenny Erpenbeck, Marilynne Robinson, and many others. And shortly after the American PEN awarded its prizes this week, English PEN reflects on the notion of “reputation” with regard to non-Anglophone writers.

Also,  at the Rumpus, a look behind-the-scenes: here’s an interview with writer and translator (from the Korean) Minsoo Kang, translator most recently of The Story of Hong Gildong. If you’re interested in what goes on in one of the biggest (or perhaps *the* biggest, full stop) powerhouse publications, read this interview with the editor of the New York Times Book Review, Pamela Paul.  And if you’re still thinking about the Close Approximations prizewinners—don’t worry, we won’t judge you—read about our poetry judge, Michael Hofmann, here portrayed as a kind of literary daredevil of sorts.

Weekly News Roundup, 25th March 2016: Another Darkness and Another Noon

This week's literary highlights from across the world

Happy Friday, Asymptote friends! Can you believe we’ve already sprung forward (in the United States, at least)? This means we’re already a quarter-way through the year. Luckily, time flies slowly when digging through the archives: on finding German writer Arthuer Koester’s Darkness at Noon—a masterpiece known to the world only through translation—in its original, maybe. And speaking of the archive: with only black-and-white photos, what color were Franz Kafka’s eyes? This—and 99 other “finds”—in Reiner Stauch’s fascinating curation of Kafkanalia.

Speaking of daylight savings, we sure saved daylight—and lost sleep—on UNESCO’s World Poetry Day this past March 21. Here’s everything you needed to know so you can plan in advance next time. READ MORE…

When an Author You Translate Gets Death Threats

On a visit to Krakow last week, Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich spoke out in support of Tokarczuk, whom she called a “magnificent writer."

Acclaimed Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk (pictured) has received a steady stream of hate mail and even death threats after questioning her country’s view of itself as “an open, tolerant country.” As one person put it in a post to Tokarczuk’s Facebook page, “The only justice for these lies is death. Traitor.” Many agree that Tokarczuk’s “betrayal” must be punished; milder comments call for her expulsion from Poland. On a visit to Kraków last week, Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich spoke out in support of Tokarczuk, whom she called a “magnificent writer,” saying, “Some people would happily kick me out of Belarus in just the same way others are now calling for Tokarczuk to be removed from Poland.” While others have also expressed their solidarity with the author, the widespread outrage at Tokarczuk’s remarks has yet to subside.

The remarks in question are taken from a television interview Tokarczuk gave shortly after receiving Poland’s highest literary honor, the Nike, on October 4. She was awarded the Nike for her latest book, Księgi Jakubowe (The Books of Jacob), a monumental novel that delves into the life and times of controversial historical figure Jacob Frank, leader of a heretical Jewish splinter group that ranged the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth seeking basic safety as well as transcendence. Tokarczuk’s twelfth book, considered by many critics to be her masterpiece, The Books of Jacob is also a suspenseful and entertaining novel that remained a national bestseller for months after its November 2014 release.

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Weekly News Roundup, 2 October 2015: Genius, Granted

This week's literary highlights from across the world.

Happy Friday, joyous Asymptote-rs! You’ve probably already heard of some of this year’s MacArthur Fellows (or “geniuses,” as we like to call them)—like the Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates (most recently the author of Between the World and Me), or 10:04’s Ben Lerner (will he write his next book about the award?)—but the full list, which includes classicists, poets, chemists, and puppetry artists, is certainly worth a lookREAD MORE…

Weekly News Roundup: 25 September 2015: Poets! Prizes! Judging! You!

This week's literary highlights from across the world.

Happy Friday, Asymptote! This week marked the excited announcement of the poetry judges for our very-special-favorite book award—Three Percent‘s Best Translated Book Award. In the poetry-judging lineup is the blog’s very own co-editor and GIF extraordinaire Katrine Øgaard Jensen, among many other qualified and interesting names. But Katrine’s got plenty of award-reading experience: she judged last year’s BTBA fiction prize, too. If you’re interested in BTBA-buzz (the best kind there is!), it’s worthwhile to catch up on some early, “On Location” 2016 musings, featuring French writer Anne Garréta, William Burroughs, and Czech phenom Bohumil Hrabal. READ MORE…

Weekly News Roundup, 18th September 2015: National Book and We’re Awarded!

This week's literary highlights from across the world

Yay, it’s Friday! It’s a good Friday at that—this week marked the announcements for the American Literary Translators Association’s Lucien Stryk Prize shortlist. The Prize goes to literary translation from Asian languages, and with the exception of the Kalidasa, every single one of its nominees—both author and translator—have appeared on Asymptote‘s digital pages. We’re pretty chuffed about that—go ahead and check out the list or our archives, for what’s sure to be a star-studded reading experience (we recommend looking at Kim Hyesoon’s much-buzzed-about Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream to get you started).

This week was full of awards in general—the S.E.A. Write, or South East Asian Writers Award similarly announced its shortlist. Meanwhile, in other—Anglophone, more-or-less boring—prizes: the National Book Award announced its poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and young adult longlisted nominees—check them out! But we can’t say we aren’t a little baffled at what didn’t make the list (#Argonauts, anyone?).  And in light of the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara, the London Review of Books offers a strongly-worded dissenting opinion.

Meanwhile, over at the Poetry Foundation, Robert Fernandez and Blake Bronson-Barrett describe what it’s like translating French surrealist Mallarmé (don’t you love this shop talk?). And just when it’s announced that another Seamus Heaney translation is slated to appear posthumously, the Irish poet’s last words are revealed to the public. And if we’re interested in peeking in/behind the writer’s veil, read Iranian writer, artist, and activist Shahirar Mandanipour’s interview with Little Village. 

We reported last week on the terrible, repugnant Yi-Fen Chou debacle. This week, actual Asian poets continue to respond—and offer their work. Meanwhile, the New Republic suggests that cheating might be the only way to get published (say it isn’t so! It isn’t so at Asymptote). And it might be interesting to read Sherman Alexie’s private email to the group of poets accepted for Best American publication  (“I’m sorry for this pseudonym bullshit,” he says).

Weekly News Roundup, 15th Mary 2015: PEN or Sword, Too Many Prizes

This week's literary highlights from across the world

Happy Friday, Asymptote friends! Another day, another dollar, another slew of literary prizes to report. This week, the PEN prizes were of special interest: Two Lines Press’ translation of Baboon, written by Danish author Naja Marie Aidt with translation by Denise Neuman has snagged the PEN Translation Prize (for a short-story excerpt from Baboon, click here!—or better yet: read Eric MIchael Becker’s exclusive interview with the author here). Meanwhile, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize (for translations of German-into-English) is slated to go to Catherine Schelbert, for her translation of Hugo Ball’s Flametti. And the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize has announced its shortlist, which includes our own friend of the blog (and Tiff-ster) Susan Bernofsky, for her translation of German writer Jenny Erpenbeck’s The End of Days (coincidentally reviewed here in our latest issue). READ MORE…

Weekly News Roundup, 13th March 2015: Germans hit the Prizes, Hobbit in Hawai’i

This week's literary highlights from across the world

Is it spring yet? It’s certainly Friday, and awards season at the very least: one of our favorite worldwide translation-friendly prizes, the International Foreign Fiction Prize, has announced its longlist, and we’re happy to see some familiar names on the list—of the fifteen nominees, a whopping five of them were translated from the German, including Asymptote friend and alum Susan Bernofsky! German poet Jan Wagner also snagged the top prize for Belletristik at the Leipziger Buchmesse this week, quite the feat in competition with the language’s admittedly high-powered prose! In an altogether more Anglophone bent, the National Book Critics Circle has announced its award-winners, and the list includes Claudia Rankine’s Citizen in the poetry category and LIla by Marilynne Robinson for fiction, and the United Kingdom’s Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction has announced its impressive longlist.  READ MORE…

Weekly News Roundup, 14th November 2014: Finish Your Books, Discover New Things

This week's literary highlights from across the world

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re Internet-savvy (or at least Internet-literate, which is an appealing almost-rhyme—so you’re a poet, too). And those who use the Internet know what “clickbait” is, or think they do—but it may be time to rethink what that coinage actually means. (Speaking of regrettable words: Time Magazine has a poll asking readers what words/phrases they’d like to ban from the English language—and the word “feminist” is in the list. Seriously?!). While the Internet allows us to look back and cringe at photos, messages, and comments of yesteryear and today, prolific authors are rarely asked to do the same. Here are six authors (including Philip Roth, Asymptote friend Lydia Davis, and Junot Díaz) on some of their earliest work.

Famed French OULIPO member Georges Perec may no longer be living, but a recently discovered manuscript lets readers uncover more of his infuriatingly clever work: A Portrait of a Man was found inside a closet and hits the English-language market this week, thanks to a translation by none other than David Bellos. Yet more literature resurfaces: from famed American writer John Steinbeck, a story read by Orson Welles on radio never reached print—until now. And fans of tragic Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (including yours truly), rejoice: nineteen new poems of his have been uncovered. Now you might understand his tragedy! Finally, Holocaust survivor and Polish memoirist Mary Berg’s archival scrapbooks and journals have surfaced, shedding new light on a lifetime marked by trauma.

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