The first round of the inaugural World Cup of Literature is complete! Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen sixteen books eliminated from the competition for a variety of reasons. (Click here to read all of the pieces from the first round.)
The second round starts—and finishes—next week, so for those of you following along at home, here’s an updated bracket:
And you can download a PDF version here.
Looking ahead to next week, here are the match-ups (and judges) for Round Two:
Brazil vs. Chile 6/30 – Jeff Waxman
Japan vs. Italy 6/30 – Rhea Lyons
Honduras vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina 7/1 – Stephen Sparks
Germany vs. Algeria 7/1 – Florian Duijsens
Mexico vs. Australia 7/2 – Chad W. Post
Ivory Coast vs. Uruguay 7/2 – Elianna Kan
France vs. Argentina 7/3 – Tom Roberge
USA vs. Belgium 7/3 – Lori Feathers
And once again, here’s the updated bracket:
Which matches are you most excited about? Bunch of intriguing match-ups this round: Houellebecq vs. Aira is definitely one, but so is Buarque against Bolaño. Ferrante—who has become a Twitter favorite to win it all—is taking on 1Q84. Will upstart Australian entry Barley Patch continue its winning streak? Or will Mexican Valeria Luiselli put a stop to that? No one knows. (Actually, I do, since I’m judging that match.)
Come back on Monday for four days of second round action!
Randall Jarrell once argued a point that I will now paraphrase and, in doing so, over-simplify: As a culture, we need book criticism, not book reviews. I sort of agree, but let’s not get into all of that. Having finished. . .
Like any good potboiler worth its salt, Fuminori Nakamura’s The Gun wastes no time setting up its premise: “Last night, I found a gun. Or you could say I stole it, I’m not really sure. I’ve never seen something so. . .
Heiner Resseck, the protagonist in Monika Held’s thought-provoking, first novel, This Place Holds No Fear, intentionally re-lives his past every hour of every day. His memories are his treasures, more dear than the present or future. What wonderful past eclipses. . .
If you’ve ever worked in a corporate office, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “Perception is reality.” To Björn, the office worker who narrates Jonas Karlsson’s novel The Room, the reality is simple: there’s a door near the bathroom that leads. . .
I recently listened to Three Percent Podcast #99, which had guest speaker Julia Berner-Tobin from Feminist Press. In addition to the usual amusement of finally hearing both sides of the podcast (normally I just hear parts of Chad’s side. . .
Let’s not deceive ourselves, man is nothing very special. In fact, there are so many of us that our governments don’t know what to do with us at all. Six billion humans on the planet and only six or seven. . .
“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.”
“And this—what. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .