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Literary roundup: Ranking Russians, Glas and Balla

Way back in 2013 when the world wasn’t utterly collapsing I had the foresight to publish an excerpt from Balla’s novella In the Name Of the Father, translated from the Slovak by Julia and Peter Sherwood. Now the book has been published by Jantar Publishing and translator Charles Sabatos has written about it in the […]

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Literary roundup: A time of fear, Russian litweek and Zagreb Noir

2015 Nobel Prize for literature winner Svetlana Alexievich gave her speech (available in a translation by Jamey Gambrell) a couple days ago in Stockholm and like her books it was a mix of her present reflections, witness testimonies as well as her diary entries stretching from 1980 to 1997. Her conclusions aren’t very cheerful, but […]

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Literary Roundup: New (Kundera) Yorker and Bulgarian writing

Milan Kundera’s first novel in 13 years, The Festival of Insignificance, will be published in Linda Asher’s English translation next month and the New Yorker has just published an excerpt, though it’s being promoted as a short story, “The Apologizer”. The novel was published in Italy in 2013 and then in France and Spain. Bulgarian […]

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Literary roundup: Prague marathons and Caucasian weddings

The New York Times has an article that uses the occasion and course of the Prague Marathon to venture into Czech dissidence and history as well as some very interesting issues of a renewal of interest in political debate among the younger generation of artists and writers and how this is controversial. The whole article […]

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Literary roundup: Cairo Lit Fest + Readux on Paris and Berlin

The inaugural Cairo Literature Festival is underway in the Egyptian capital and with panels on “Writings of Youth Writers in Central and Eastern Europe” and “Eastern Women Writing between Egypt and Europe”, among others, there are a number of Central European writers present at the festival There actually aren’t any Eastern European writers there, unless […]

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Literary roundup: Beginning of the ‘Best of’ lists and Bulgarian translation

It is Best Books of the Year time and The Guardian’s Nicholas Lazard has put together a great best paperbacks of 2014 that includes a Literalab Best Book of a couple years back, when it was a paperback too, but, never mind. The book in question is Seven Terrors by Selvedin Avdić. It also includes […]

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Literary roundup: Velvet disillusion and Polish crime

Hungarian writer and foreign correspondent Sándor Jászberényi has an article (subscriber’s only though I managed to read it free the other day) on the death of a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter he had met and the particular significance of her being a woman. It’s a very powerful story and reminiscent of the writing in his story […]

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Literary roundup: Sci-fi from another world

The Paris Review has an article on great Polish science-fiction writer Stanisław Lem’s view of the future (and, of course, present) of humanity entitled “The Future According to Stanisław Lem”. The occasion is the screen adaptation of Lem’s 1971 novella The Futurological Congress, translated into English by Michael Kandel, into a film called The Congress […]

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Literary roundup: Bosnian and Hungarian fiction + Gombrowicz in pictures

The Missing Slate has a host of Central European fare just out. Their story of the week is “How We Killed The Sailor” by Alma Lazarevska, translated from the Bosnian by Celia Hawkesworth. It comes from Lazarevska’s collection Death in the Museum of Modern Art recently published by Istros Books, a book of short stories […]

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Literary roundup: Prague writers + a peasant Don Juan

PEN has announced its 2014 Translation Fund Winners and there are some cool and unusual writers that will be coming into English from this part of the world, and by this part of the world I mean in this case from a few blocks away from where I’m sitting writing this. One of the grants […]

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