Friday, 17 March 2017

William L. Gibson on trilogies

William L. Gibson is the author of Singapore Black, Singapore Yellow and Singapore Red, which together form the Detective Hawksworth Trilogy, hardboiled historical thrillers set in late 19th Century Malaya and Singapore. Gibson says he always wanted to write a trilogy, and he here explains why he decided the three-novel format “would be the best way to tell the story I wanted to tell.”

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Explosion Chronicles by Yan Lianke longlisted for 2017 Man Booker International Prize

The Explosion Chronicles by Yan Lianke, translated by Carlos Rojas, published by Chatto & Windus, has been long listed for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize - see previous post for more on the prize. 

The Man Booker International Prize 2017:  longlist announced

The Man Booker International Prize has revealed the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ of 13 novels in contention for the 2017 prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world.

The prize is awarded every year for a single book, which is translated into English and published in the UK. Both novels and short-story collections are eligible. The work of translators is equally rewarded, with the GBP 50,000 prize divided between the author and the translator of the winning entry. In addition, each shortlisted author and translator will receive GPB 1,000 each. The judges considered 126 books.

The full 2017 longlist is as follows:

Author (nationality)            Translator                          Title

Mathias Enard                     Charlotte Mandell               Compass

Wioletta Greg                       Eliza Marciniak                    Swallowing Mercury

David Grossman                  Jessica Cohen                       A Horse Walks Into a Bar

Stefan Hertmans                 David McKay                        War and Turpentine

Roy Jacobsen                        Don Bartlett                         The Unseen
(Norway)                               Don Shaw                             

Ismail Kadare                       John Hodgson                      The Traitor's Niche 

Jon Kalman Stefansson     Phil Roughton                     Fish Have No Feet

Yan Lianke                            Carlos Rojas                          The Explosion Chronicles

Alain Mabanckou                Helen Stevenson                 Black Moses

Clemens Meyer                    Katy Derbyshire                   Bricks and Mortar

Dorthe Nors                         Misha Hoekstra                   Mirror, Shoulder, Signal

Amos Oz                                Nicholas de Lange               Judas

Samanta Schweblin            Megan McDowell                 Fever Dream

The longlist was selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and consisting of: Daniel Hahn, an award-winning writer, editor and translator; Elif Shafak, a prize-winning novelist and one of the most widely read writers in Turkey; Chika Unigwe, author of four novels including On Black Sisters’ Street; and Helen Mort, a poet who has been shortlisted for many poetry prizes in the UK.

Nick Barley said, “It’s been an exceptionally strong year for translated fiction. Our longlist consists of books that are compulsively readable and ferociously intelligent. From powerful depictions and shocking exposés of historical and contemporary horrors to intimate and compelling portraits of people going about their daily lives, our longlisted books are above all breathtakingly well-written. Fiction in translation is flourishing: in these times when walls are being built, this explosion of brilliant ideas from around the world arriving into the English language feels more important than ever.”

The shortlist of six books will be announced on 20 April and the winner of the 2017 prize will be announced on 14 June at a formal dinner in London.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Touring China with a shady Frenchman, by William L. Gibson

In the Land of Pagodas: A forgotten tour through late Qing China with a fugitive Frenchman by Alfred Raquez edited and translated by William L. Gibson and Paul Bruthiaux is a book of travel history, with an intriguing history of its own.

It is the first English translation of Raquez’s long out-of-print account of a tour he took through China at the end of the 19th Century.

Here William L. Gibson, an American writer and translator based in Jakarta, explains how and why the In the Land of Pagodas has now been made available to new readers, everywhere.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day: be bold for change.

To celebrate International Women's Day, and its theme be bold for change, here are six thoughts about women and literacy in Asia.

Since the launch of the Merali University Scholarship Program for Disadvantaged Women in 2010, The Asia Foundation, in partnership with The Merali Foundation, has enabled hundreds of disadvantaged female students, predominantly from underserved rural areas, to successfully pursue undergraduate degrees. This woman is studying in Cambodia.

Friday, 3 March 2017

John Grant Ross debunks myths about China

At a time when so much attention is focused on alternative facts, You Don’t Know China by John Grant Ross, author of Formosan Odyssey, reminds us that the Trump administration doesn’t have a monopoly on bending the truth – either deliberately, or through carelessness.

You Don’t Know China amusingly debunks twenty-two enduring myths about China, ranging from history and economics to language and food. Does Chinese medicine work? Did Marco Polo really go to China? Is the fortune cookie Chinese? What's the truth about Feng Shui?  It is occasionally controversial, exploring, for instance, Chinese isolationism, myths about Nixon in China, and cherished beliefs about the Opium Wars. 

John Grant Ross here offers a glimpse into his book, by explaining the Great Wall is neither a single wall, nor particularly ancient, by taking a wrecking ball to some commonly held ideas about acupuncture, and by asking if it's really true that Mandarin will soon become a world language.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

OUP organises its first digital learning roadshow in Pakistan

Yesterday, 21 February, Oxford University Press Pakistan (OUP) organised its first Digital Education Roadshow at the head office in Karachi. The event was held as part of OUP’s search for business partners who can provide cutting-edge solutions that contribute to OUP’s vision of enhancing learning through quality digital resources.