10 September 09 | E.J. Van Lanen

Last week they announced the shortlist for the prestigious NIKE Award, which will be awarded on October 4th. The shortlist:

  • The Flypaper Factory, Andrzej Bart (WAB)
    The writer narrates the imaginary Łódź trial of Chaim Rumkowski, chairman of the Judenrat in the Łódź Ghetto.
  • Bambino, Inga Iwasiów (Świat Książki)
    Iwasiów ponders on the identity of the German and Polish town and presents a panorama of the whole of People’s Poland, from World War II until 1981.
  • Gestures, Ignacy Karpowicz (Wydawnictwo Literackie)
    A new novel from the author of Niehalo [“Uncool”] and Cud [“The Miracle”]. Grzegorz arrives in his provincial native parts to see his ill, aging mother and realizes they have little in common.
  • Ostrogski Palace, Tomasz Piątek (WAB)
    The author himself says: “It’s a book about someone trying to disentangle himself from being a thing and returning to humanity, being reborn. Having a choice in life.” Personal memories are mingled here with essays and the fantasy of novels.
  • Queen of Tiramisu, Bohdan Sławiński (Jacek Santorski)
    The protagonist of Bohdan Sławiński’s novel is Peter, or rather Petey—a delicate, sensitive and tender person. The thoughtful boy gets involved with a mature, well-off married woman.
  • A Song About Dependences and Addictions, Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki (Biuro Literackie)
    A new book of poetry from the author of the volumes Kamień pełen pokarmu [“A Stone Full of Nourishment”], Dzieje rodzin polskich [“A History of Polish Families”], winner of the Gdynia Literary Prize.
  • Turul Goulash, Krzysztof Varga (Czarne)
    Varga’s previous novel, Nagrobek z lastryko [“Terrazzo Tombstone”], was about Polish history and symbols; now, in this volume of essays, Varga turns to the Hungarians.

I’m disappointed that Jerzy Pilch’s March Polonia didn’t make the cut (he was on the longlist), but they seem to have a pretty good cross-section of work represented here.

Go to culture.pl for more information.


Comments are disabled for this article.
....
Berlin
Berlin by Aleš Šteger
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

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. . .

Read More >

The Gun
The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura
Reviewed by Will Eells

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. . .

Read More >

This Place Holds No Fear
This Place Holds No Fear by Monika Held
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

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. . .

Read More >

The Room
The Room by Jonas Karlsson
Reviewed by Peter Biello

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. . .

Read More >

Thérèse and Isabelle
Thérèse and Isabelle by Violette Leduc
Reviewed by Kaija Straumanis

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. . .

Read More >

On the Edge
On the Edge by Rafael Chirbes
Reviewed by Jeremy Garber

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. . .

Read More >

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. . .

Read More >

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. . .

Read More >

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. . .

Read More >

Dinner
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. . .

Read More >

The next few events from our Translation Events Calendar: See More Events >