Over the past couple days, I’ve received two interesting press releases from the Frankfurt Book Fair worth sharing.
First off, it was announced earlier this week that Finland will be the 2014 Guest of Honor. From the press release:
Finland is known for its literary export of children’s books – for example, Tove Jansson’s “Finn Family Moomintroll” – and of mystery novels, including authors like Pentti Kirstilä, Matti Y. Joensuu, Outi Pakkanen or Taavi Soininvaara. Authors like Kari Hotakainen, Anja Snellmann or Arto Paasilinna have also managed to make the leap into the international publishing world – their most important works are also available in German translation.
For more information about Finnish literature, I highly recommend checking our the online journal Books from Finland. We’ve written about this before, but honestly, this is the best place to find samples, read reviews of Finnish works, etc. Also, although it’s not exclusively Finnish, the blog Nordic Voices in Translation is a fantastic source for information and sample translations. (Especially sample translations.)
For more information about China, this year’s Guest of Honor, the Frankfurt Book Fair put together this very handy overview of the Chinese book market, which includes a brief survey of the development of Chinese contemporary literature and a review of the development of Chinese literature in 21st century.
And on a slightly different note, the application information for the international bookseller’s program is now available. I personally think this sounds really interesting:
The international programme provides foreign booksellers with an insight into the functions and structures of the German book trade, enabling them to efficiently organise their import and sales of German books. The programme promotes dialogue with other booksellers, German publishers and wholesalers and helps participants to create their own network.
In addition to the attendance at the Frankfurt Book Fair and visits to German publishing companies the programme includes an introduction to the German book market, one day of work experience in a bookshop, two visits to wholesalers as well as cultural activities.
All visits will be supported by presentations given during the seminar. Participants will be able to report about their home countries’ book markets. Time is allowed for indepth exchanges of experience between participants, speakers and organisers.
Application deadline is July 15th, and all the necessary info can be found at the link above.
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love.. . .
Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .