National Book Awards 2016


The National Book Awards were this week and they were amazing! Here’s the breakdown as far as the awards and I’ve highlighted a few of the most incredible moments from the evening:

Fiction: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Nonfiction: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi (his speech here)

Poetry: The Performance of Becoming Human by Daniel Borzutzky

Young People’s Literature: March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell (artist)

(See John Lewis’s speech here, it is a must-see.)

Three Percent & My Latest Review


Three Percent is the translation blog hosted by Open Letter Books—it’s one of the best around for books and news in the translation world (and wider!) I’ve got my latest review on the site below:

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Pierce Alquist on Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah, published in 2014 by AmazonCrossing.

Just a side note, that if you’ve been itching for more from Bae Suah since this one came out, there are THREE more forthcoming titles of hers making their way into English: A Greater Music (Open Letter, October 2016), Recitation (Deep Vellum, 2016), and The Owls’ Absence (Open Letter, ~2018), all three in translation by Deborah Smith. So get your reading hats on, because it’s about to get amazing out here.

Here’s the beginning of Pierce’s review:

It’s been almost a year since the publication of Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah, but despite being included on the 2015PEN Translation award longlist, and some pretty vocal support from key indie presses, the book has been widely overlooked. I’ve found this to be largely because Nowhere to Be Found is published by AmazonCrossing.

If you’ve overlooked Bae Suah out of some desire to punish Amazon, or because of a general indifference to the AmazonCrossing imprint, you’re only doing yourself a disservice. With three upcoming books translated into English—_A Greater Music_, The Owls’ Absence, and _Recitation_—Bae Suah will continue to establish herself as one of the hottest voices coming out of South Korea. list: Books from Korea named her as “one of the most risk-taking, experimental writers active in Korea”—and with the fiction that is coming out of South Korea right now (see: Han Kang and others), that is high praise.

For the rest of the review, go here.


Man Booker 2016 Longlist Announced


The Man Booker International Prize 2016 Longlist was announced this week and the list is insane! The selections are incredibly on point, featuring the really exciting and dynamic work of Han Kang (review of The Vegetarian to come!), Fiston Mwanza Mujila, and Eka Kurniawan. I highly recommend Tram 83 from Deep Vellum, a new translation press that’s doing really great stuff. The heavy hitters are here too (Elena Ferrante if you haven’t heard of her) but they’ve got some strong competition.


From their website:

“The Man Booker International Prize is delighted to reveal the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ of 13 books in contention for the 2016 Prize, celebrating the finest in global fiction.

This is the first longlist ever to have been announced for the Man Booker International Prize, which has joined forces with theIndependent Foreign Fiction Prize and is now awarded annually on the basis of a single book. The £50,000 prize will be divided equally between the author of the winning book and its translator. The judges considered 155 books.

José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola) Daniel Hahn, A General Theory of Oblivion (Harvill Secker)

Elena Ferrante (Italy) Ann Goldstein, The Story of the Lost Child (Europa Editions)

Han Kang (South Korea) Deborah Smith, The Vegetarian (Portobello Books)

Maylis de Kerangal (France) Jessica Moore, Mend the Living (Maclehose Press)

Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia) Labodalih Sembiring, Man Tiger (Verso Books)

Yan Lianke (China) Carlos Rojas, The Four Books (Chatto & Windus)

Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo/Austria) Roland Glasser, Tram 83 (Jacaranda)

Raduan Nassar (Brazil) Stefan Tobler, A Cup of Rage (Penguin Modern Classics)

Marie NDiaye (France) Jordan Stump, Ladivine (Maclehose Press)

Kenzaburō Ōe (Japan) Deborah Boliner Boem, Death by Water (Atlantic Books)

Aki Ollikainen (Finland) Emily Jeremiah & Fleur Jeremiah, White Hunger (Peirene Press)

Orhan Pamuk (Turkey) Ekin Oklap, A Strangeness in My Mind (Faber & Faber)

Robert Seethaler (Austria) Charlotte Collins, A Whole Life (Picador)


Industry News: Hachette buys Perseus

It was officially announced last week that Hachette Book Group has bought Perseus and in conjunction with that deal sold the distribution arm to Ingram. The deal is expected to close at the end of July and will greatly impact the Boston publishing scene.    HBG seems devoted to maintaining Perseus’s great imprints but it is a big change that yet another indie publisher will get scooped up by a larger press and the Da Capo offices will be integrated into Hachette’s offices. I’ll be interested to see how it plays out and I’ll save my rants or raves for then.

The addition of the Perseus imprints, which has annual sales of about $100 million, will boost HBG annual revenue to over $700 million. HBG said it will retain the Perseus imprints and move employees into its new headquarters.” –Publishers Weekly Article published on July 24, 2014