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Week in Review: August 3, 2018

by Shannon Sullivan

Hemingway Grant Recipients Announced

Congratulations to the recipients of the first 2018 session of Hemingway Grants! Awarded by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy (we do more than post articles, you know), the grants allow American publishers to receive financial aid for the translation and publication of a French work into English. The grants for each work, in fiction and nonfiction, range from $1000 to $3000. This year’s grantees are: L’Été 80 et autres textes by Marguerite Duras, translated by Emma Ramadan and Olivia Baes (Dorothy, a publishing project); A Certain Plume by Henri Michaux, translated by Richard Sieburth (New York Review Books); “"Muslim": A Novel by Zahia Rahmani, translated by Matt Reeck (Deep Vellum); All That is Evident is Suspect by the OuLiPo, translated by Daniel Levin Becker (McSweeney’s); and The Barefoot Woman by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated by Jordan Stump (Archipelago). Congratulations!

Kicking off Women in Translation Month

August marks Women in Translation Month, which celebrates international women writers and their contributions to the literary world. Launched in 2014, Women in Translation Month was created in response to the discovery in 2013 that less than 30% of books translated into English come from women authors. Words Without Borders has compiled a list of 31 women in translation to read now, including three Francophone works: Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Europa Editions, translated by Alison Anderson), Dominique Eddé’s Kite (Seagull Books, translated by Ros Schwartz), and 2018 Albertine Prize winner Anne Garréta’s Sphinx (Deep Vellum, translated by Emma Ramadan). We’re featuring some of our favorite Francophone women authors on our Twitter; you can participate in the conversation by using #WITMonth and #womenintranslation.

Celebrating the Power of Beauty

NPR reviewed Annie Goetzinger’s latest graphical biography, The Provocative Colette, which details the life of the titular author. A prolific writer, controversial public figure, and self-proclaimed “erotic militant,” Colette penned 80 volumes during her life, including the well-known novella Gigi and the Claudine series, originally published under her husband’s name. Her writing met wide critical acclaim, with her book The Vagabond receiving three votes for the Prix Goncourt; she later served as president of the Académie Goncourt and as a grand officer of the Legion of Honor. The Provocative Colette will be published by NBM in September.

Blais’s “Zippily Told” Novel, Reviewed

The Complete Review reviewed François Blais’s novel Document 1, which was released in May from BookThug. Translated by J. C. Sutcliffe, Document 1 follows Tess and Jude, who live in small-town Quebec and dream of traveling across North America. They decide that it’s time to turn dreams into reality, and choose their destination: Bird in Hand, Pennsylvania. Now all that’s left is to fund the trip-- but how? After brainstorming several schemes, they settle on applying for an arts council grant-- with an experimental author as their frontman-- to write a book about traveling to Bird in Hand, thus justifying their trip. Their project results in a meta writing exercise with a “cheeky tone” that is “quite winning,” leaving a novel that is “quick, light fun.” Sounds like the perfect summer read to us!

 

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