11 April 11 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Details about the Second Annual Young Translators’ Prize (brought to you by Harvill Secker and Foyles) are now available online:

The Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize was launched in 2010 as part of Harvill Secker’s centenary celebrations. It is an annual prize, which focuses on a different language each year, with the aim of recognising the achievements of young translators at the start of their careers. For the 2011 prize Harvill Secker has teamed up with Foyles, and the prize is kindly supported by Banipal. This year’s chosen language is Arabic, and the prize will centre on the short story ‘Layl Qouti’ by Mansoura Ez Eldin.

Egyptian novelist and journalist Mansoura Ez Eldin was born in Delta Egypt in 1976. She studied journalism at the Faculty of Media, Cairo University and has since published short stories in various newspapers and magazines: she published her first collection of short stories, Shaken Light, in 2001. This was followed by two novels, Maryam’s Maze in 2004 and Beyond Paradise in 2009. Her work has been translated into a number of languages, including an English translation of Maryam’s Maze by the American University in Cairo (AUC) Press. In 2010, she was selected for the Beirut39, as one of the 39 best Arab authors below the age of 40. Her second novel Wara’a al-Fardoos (Beyond Paradise) was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (the Arabic Booker) 2010. She was also a participant of the inaugural nadwa (writers’ workshop) held by the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in Abu Dhabi in 2009 and was a mentor at the second nadwa in October 2010.

The winning translator will receive £1,000, a selection of Harvill Secker titles and Foyles tokens.

To enter, you have to be between the ages of 18 and 34 on July 29, 2011. (God damn it, I hate not being eligible for “young” prizes.)

Anyway, you can download the entry form here, and the Arabic text here.

Good luck!

19 April 08 | Chad W. Post | Comments

I just found this roundup from a delegation of American Booksellers who attended the London Book Fair.

Not that extensive of a post, but there are a few interesting observations. First about the fair itself:

The London Book Fair is an interesting counterpart to America’s Book Expo America. In the most critical view, booksellers are little more than an afterthought at LBF. A historical legacy of the LBF’s origins and current industry dynamics, publisher deal-making is the focus as the majority of attendees are present to negotiate publishing & distribution rights.

And then about Foyles, one of the greatest bookstores in the world.

Foyles is in the heart of central London not far from Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square on Charring Cross Road. I’m so envious of their art-gallery-cum-author-event-space and deep selection of art & photography books. We attended an Arab Authors night co-hosted with “Words Without Borders” which was standing room only. Along the wall behind the authors was an art exhibition of photographs from the book “London Street Art” by Prestel press. You can see the signs that the store has had to respond to competition from the chain stores (including one right across the street), and as a result offers selective discounts at the main entrance but Foyles has also really tried to cultivate departments which cater to niche interest groups including oddly enough a specialty department for Doctors & Veterinarians where you can buy lab coats, scrubs, stethoscopes, doctors bags, along with medical school exam guides, related books and even a full skeleton if you require.

Rambling Jack
Rambling Jack by Micheál Ó Conghaile
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

“Rambling Jack—what’s that?”
“A novel. Novella, I guess.”
“Yeah, it looks short. What is it, a hundred pages?”
“Sorta. It’s a duel language book, so really, only about… 50 pages total.”
“50 pages?”
“Including illustrations.”
“And this—what. . .

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The Things We Don't Do
The Things We Don't Do by Andrés Neuman
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Many authors are compared to Roberto Bolaño. However, very few authors have the privilege of having a Roberto Bolaño quote on the cover of their work; and at that, one which states, “Good readers will find something that can be. . .

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Private Life
Private Life by Josep Maria de Sagarra
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

In Josep Maria de Sagarra’s Private Life, a man harangues his friend about literature while walking through Barcelona at night:

When a novel states a fact that ties into another fact and another and another, as the chain goes on. . .

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Dinner by César Aira
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

César Aira dishes up an imaginative parable on how identity shapes our sense of belonging with Dinner, his latest release in English. Aira’s narrator (who, appropriately, remains nameless) is a self-pitying, bitter man—in his late fifties, living again with. . .

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We're Not Here to Disappear
We're Not Here to Disappear by Olivia Rosenthal
Reviewed by Megan C. Ferguson

Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli. . .

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The Queen's Caprice
The Queen's Caprice by Jean Echenoz
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Even though the latest from Jean Echenoz is only a thin volume containing seven of what he calls “little literary objects,” it is packed with surprises. In these pieces, things happen below the surface, sometimes both literally and figuratively. As. . .

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French Concession
French Concession by Xiao Bai
Reviewed by Emily Goedde

Who is this woman? This is the question that opens Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a novel of colonial-era Shanghai’s spies and revolutionaries, police and smugglers, who scoot between doorways, walk nonchalantly down avenues, smoke cigars in police bureaus, and lounge. . .

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