Earlier this month Gazeta Wyborcza announced the longlist for the 2008 Nike Prize, which is awarded to the best Polish book from last year.
The website is less than helpful—every time I click on the “more” button about the prize, I’m brought back to the same opening page and the fragmented statement—and totally in Polish, but what I can decipher is pretty interesting. There are twenty finalists and the winner will be announced in October. Starting earlier this month, the site started highlighting a finalist a day, which is a pretty nice feature.
Here’s the longlist in all its untranslated glory:
Great to see Jerzy Pilch on this list (we’re publishing The Mighty Angel next April), and we just got a copy of Pawel Huelle’s Castorp (a finalist for this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize) in for review.
I’l post more useful, reliable info about the individual titles as soon as I can find it. (Google Translator sucks as much as Babelfish with the Polish. See: “Contemporary American prose, it is impossible to describe, but fragmentary. Zwielokrotniła so much that the world is not literally.” Yes, yes Zwielokrotnila is that much.)
Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .
There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in Morse, My Deaf Friend— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .
The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .
Last year, NYRB Classics introduced English-language readers to Catalan writer Josep Pla with Peter Bush’s translation of The Gray Notebook. In that book, Pla wrote about life in Spain during an influenza outbreak soon after World War I, when. . .
“Your bile is stagnant, you see sorrow in everything, you are drenched in melancholy,” my friend the doctor said.
bq. “Isn’t melancholy something from previous centuries? Isn’t some vaccine against it yet, hasn’t medicine taken care of it yet?” I. . .
What to make of Vano and Niko, the English translation of Erlom Akhvlediani’s work of the same name, as well as the two other short books that comprise a sort of trilogy? Quick searches will inform the curious reader that. . .
The opening of Jón Gnarr’s novel/memoir The Indian is a playful bit of extravagant ego, telling the traditional story of creation, where the “Let there be light!” moment is also the moment of his birth on January 2nd, 1967. Then. . .
Mahasweta Devi is not only one of the most prolific Bengali authors, but she’s also an important activist. In fact, for Devi, the two seem to go together. As you can probably tell from the titles, she writes about women. . .
The prolific Spanish author Benito Pérez Galdós wrote his short novel, Tristana, during the closing years of the nineteenth century, a time when very few options were available to women of limited financial means who did not want a husband.. . .
Pedro Zarraluki’s The History of Silence (trans. Nick Caistor and Lorenza García) begins with the narrator and his wife, Irene, setting out to write a book about silence, itself called The History of Silence: “This is the story of how. . .