Nobel literature prize 2012 who’s going to win ?

Nobel literature prize 2012 who’s going to win ?

Well its that time of year again when people start asking who is going to win the Nobel prize for literature .In the last two days there has been posts on Complete review  where Michael discusses the betting . I must admit in recent years the winner has jumped in the betting last day .The Guardian also picked up on the betting and the fact that Haurki Murkami is favourite at the moment .So who do I think they’ll pick well it is like shooting fish in a barrel there are maybe 50 plus writers that could be in a position to win the prize .I always feel the prize is like a golden gong to say well done on being a great writer ,so the writers in the mix tend to be middle to end of their  writing life writers .Well I ll throw a few names in the mix as I have done previous years I ll go round the continents and say a few names and briefly why my feeling is it may be a Asian or African writer this year but I think I said that last year  -

Asia -

Haruki Murkami – ok 1q84 wasn’t quite the masterpiece we had all hoped it would be but has any writer such a good collection of novel,short stories and non fiction  ?

Salman Rushdie – counting that his best books are set in India and he grew up there I putting him down as Indian for this lots of good books and one great book midnight’s children is wonderful insight into India after british rule .(you could also include Rohinton Mistry and Vikram Seth both great writers .

Mo Yan – I don’t know a lot about but is called the chinese Franz Kafka ,but is only 57 .I think Chinese writers will win the Nobel but the problem is they have only in the last 15 -20 years grown in popularity in the west .But their time is coming .

Middle east -

Adonis – the Syrian poet is a Nobel speculation favourite he has been mention for years and years .I had him as one of my favourites last year with the Arab spring and with recent events in his homeland maybe this year is his .

Amos Oz – the voice of Israeli in many ways Oz has chronicle his homeland for more than 50 years ,he has won every major prize round the world bar this one .

Aharon Appelfeld – another Israeli writer Appelfeld has kept the horrors of the second world war alive in his fiction and made people think of what happened ?

Europe

 

Peter Nadas /Lazslo Krasznahorkai – I ve read books by both these Hungarian modernist in the last year they are shoulder to shoulder in my mind and the last Hungarian Nobel winner was ten years ago but for a country with such a rich heritage I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of these two win .

Juan Goytisolo – the Spaniard has long experimented with his fiction recent talk of english fiction being experimental makes me laugh Goytisolo has been doing it for decades .(Enrique Vila-Matas may also be a contender from spain )

Ulrich Holbein another writer that is always in the betting and one I ve mention a lot of times here on winstonsdad as one that needs to be translated into english .If he won how long would it take not long I ‘d say !!

Cees Nooteboom – I had an interview with Cees on the blog last year ,he is such a  talent writer poet ,novelist and travel writer  .He is too  many the voice of holland .Another writer I d like to win

Africa -

Ngugi wa thong – the Kenyan is another name that has been mention in recent years .He also recently published his first novel for twenty years the wizard which I ve on my tbr pile .

Chinua Achebe – Nigeria’s most famous writer best known for things fall apart one of the first modern african novels .

Assia Dejbar – rose high on  last year betting ,the Algerian is a member of the French academy and she is one of the  most respected writers from north Africa

Americas -

Philip Roth – I ll say same as I did last year neither Mailer or Updike won the nobel so maybe Roth should ,only concern for me is the recent books not been his best.

Alice Munro /Lorrie Moore – two great short story writers ,both have chronicle contemporary america life in their own ways .

Isabel Allende – She has long been the best female writer in latin america and not enough women from latin america have won .

Cesar Aira – The  major writer I ve missed covering and reading from Argentina ,but he has written over thirty novels .

So who do you think ?

here is the latest betting  

World book night top 100 lets make it a fresh list !!!

Beside the sea world book night

This years world book night giveaways are to be decided by us the public by choosing our  top ten books .I looked at the current top 100 and have to agree with Meike from Peirene it is a bit bland and from the perspective of winstonsdad the translation choices which there are at this moment ten book are what I would call the ones people think they should read or put in a list even if they’ve not read to look good (sorry needs to be said) .I love Murakami and Marquez but some diffeernt book here would be great open peoples eyes.Well Meike has suggest if we could all choose Beside the sea by Veronique Olmi  it is a lovely french gem and is one of my all time favourite reads any way ,at moment 35 votes will get it in the top 100 I ve vote so 34 would do it come on lets help the nymph and the lovely ladies of Peirene make the list ,all of us bloggers and tweeters know how much effort this publisher puts into social media and interaction with its readers more than any major publisher does .So put your hand up and say yes I want the small guy to win for once because we all love the underdogs in this country lets for once get them there  ,Meike has written a blog post about this too here ,thanks stu .I will be put up for giving away this time as I was too shy to volunteer last year .

My top ten -

Beside the sea by Veronique Olmi – reason a french gem touching and it will make you gasp if you’ve not read it !

Rings of saturn  by W G Sebald reason started my love of translation and it is a book that can be reread and still make you think .

Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes – reason the first novel it has all in it that has followed since a true master piece .

Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges reason he was a genius flash fiction avant grade fiction all look at this as a starting point

If on a winters night a traveller by Italo Calvino reason I love it and I know many people hate it but who can’t love a book that talks to you ?

My century by Gunter grass  - reason  short interlocking pieces covering the 20thcentury from the German master not his best but it is a good insight into Germany .

Cities of red night by William S Burroughs  - reason he was a one off writer this book has all a young guy could want from a book and men shou,ld read more !

The last brother by Nathacha Appananah – reason a unheard corner of post ww2 history jewish refugees stuck on a tropical island told touchingly through two young boys tale .

Goodbye to all that by Robert Graves – reason  my favourite memoir war is bad and read this you know it is ,a poets eye goes to war .

Walden by Henry David Thoreau – reason if more people had read this would the world be the way it is the simple life as he spent time in nature thinking whilst living in a wooden hut .

What are your choices ?

Booker longlist reaction

Well susan Hill had promised a fresh list of books for the longlist .But in my opinon what we got was ground shaking .Books new to most people ,the shock wave on twitter was noticable as people tried to find out more about the listed books ,also why the list was so different than peoples ideas of what shoulkd have been there .The fact smaller publishers have been picked is good thing in this modern age .

• Julian Barnes  The Sense of an Ending
• Sebastian Barry On Canaan’s Side
• Carol Birch Jamrach’s Menagerie
• Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers
• Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues
• Yvvette Edwards A Cupboard Full of Coats
• Alan Hollinghurst The Stranger’s Child
• Stephen Kelman  Pigeon English
• Patrick McGuinness The Last Hundred Days
• AD Miller Snowdrops
• Alison Pick Far to Go
• Jane Rogers The Testament of Jessie Lamb
• DJ Taylor Derby Day

so there it is, of the titles I ve read none I have two on my tbr pile ,a quick trip to library yesterday came back blank .Some of them aren’t out yet thou  .From the list the ones that grab my eye are Patrick Mcguiness the last hundred days set in the dying days of the Ceauceaus regime in Romania from the small publisher seren ,snowdrops Andrew miller set in Russia a thriller about a young Englishman struggling with the temptations of new Russia .I ve sister brother and strangers child on tbr ,I m not sure what others I will read maybe wait to see what makes shortlist .Is this shake up of longlist a good thing ,in some ways as there are a number of smaller publishers on the list ,but you have to question why so many people got so few books that are on the list right .Are we seeing the depth of English writing or a small choice by five judges set on shaking the booker order  for the sake of it ? I don’t know the answer as many of you know I am more interested in translations and world lit ,but always look at the booker as the barometer of what is good or interesting in English at the moment .so in that respect I think they have got it wrong and a good few books have missed out on the longlist .

What are your thoughts ?

Did the booker need shaking up ?

 

Purge the Prize winner

winner 2010 sofi oksanen

Sofi Oskannen together with Robert Saviano for a essay called beauty and Hell won the Le PrixLivree europeaan the European book prize in its third year the award site is here .This goes with the Nordic Council prize Purge won earlier this year .My review is here

Windows on the world by Frederic Beigbeder

Frederic Beigbeder is a french writer ,commentator and lit critic .He word as an advertising executive and work with the french communist party .He also had a talk show on the french tv channel Cannel+ called the hypershow .he has written many novels in french with a couple in translation .This is like many of his books autobiographical in many way .although I enjoyed reading this book I found it hard to review .

Windows on the world is set mainly in new york during the 9/11 attacks and imagines what happened over this time to the people in the windows on the world restaurant .The book is two stories really the first on 9/11 is the tale of a texas estate agent Carthew Yorsten who is having breakfast with his sons in the windows on the world you find out about them ,but I always feel sorry for them as I know what is coming ,maybe that sounds strange but I found it hard to connect with imagined people on this day when I knew what would happen to them .The second story is the writer writing the story and recalling his visits to new York eating at the windows on the world before the attack also,where he was the day of the attacks,I connected more to this section of the book I think Everyone remember what they where doing that day  .The story unfolds minute after minute with each really short chapter defining a minute of the time from the attack to the tower collapsing .

8:56

Everyone knows precisely where they were on september 11 ,2001 .Me I was in the basement of my publisher Grasset ,giving an interview for culture pub at 2:56 PM french time ,when the presenter Thomas Herve ,was informed via cellphone that an airplane had Just flown into one of the world trade center towers .At the time ,we both thought it was a small tourist plane and went on with the interview .

the writer remember where he was that awful day .

Well I enjoyed this book any book on 9/11 is hard to talk about ,for me I was getting ready for work that awful day and remember seeing it on tv just before I went to work and being stunned in to disbelief .As my family lived in Ulster and some still do, bombs and troubles are something I got use to hearing about. But 9/11 was terrorism on a new scale ,Frederic has caught and tried in a sympathetic way to connect with his feeling and emotions due to this .I ve read a couple of other 9/11 inspired novels and this is the best I ve read so far but is still flawed ,maybe some subjects need space and time before you can write about them and I think 9/11 is one of these events .the translation is top draw but Frank Wynne is a great translator and this book won the Independent foreign fiction prize in 2005 .

Have you read this book ?


THE END BY SALVATORE SCIBONA

SOURCE REVIEW COPY FROM JONATHAN CAPE .OUT NOV 4

Salvatore Scibona is an american writer ,he was named on the recent New Yorker twenty under forty list .He grew up in Cleveland Ohio and went to the creative writing course at university of Iowa ,he is from an Italian american family

The End is his debut novel it is set in his native Ohio in the early fifties ,well 15th august 1953 mainly .we focus on Elephant park an Italian community we open meeting Rocco the local baker who has just received word that his son has died in a Korean P.O.W CAMP  ,the day is Assumption day a carnival is due as the novel progress we see Rocco meet people and also we are sent back to Rocco’s youth in Scilly .We see poverty community and also a crime ,we meet a number of characters a seamstress ,a jeweller .as Rocco comes to terms with his loss whilst the is this carnival and other things happening in his life .

He was Five feet one inch tall in his street shoes ,bearlike in his round and Jowly face ,hulking in his chest and shoulders ,nearly just as stout around the middle but hollow in the hips and lacking a proper can to sit on (though he was hardly ever known to sit ) and wee at the ankles and girlish at his tiny feet ,a man in the shape of a lightbulb .

the opening and we meet Rocco .

This is a stunning debut novel ,assured with a unique voice ,he has been compared to the greats Joyce ,Faulkner and Bellow ,some are deserved, setting most of your events on a single day will always be compared with Joyce but in reality they are two completely different books this is about a community .Bellow is probably nearest to him of the comparisons in a lot of ways it is like bellows early books ,like seize thew day which follows a similar aged man over a day I wonder if part of this comes from stories Salvatore heard growing up around the dinner table .The characters in this book are beautifully drawn and realistic.Its nice to read a book about the Italian american community that avoids the obvious clichés of that community .He richly deserves to be on the new yorker list and also for this to be a national book award shortlisted book in 2008 .This is like a Edward hopper painting come to life or the kiss photo that is so famous it evokes the fifties and the struggles of that time for a working class community post WW2 struggling with another war .

C BY TOM McCarthy

This is my second booker shortlist read this year ,Tom McCarthy is considered the next big thing in british lit and this book as very technically clever .Well I enjoyed it ,at times found it very hard going .The book centres on the life of Serge Carafax a young man born on the cusp of a new century the twentieth century ,he is born ,to a family working at a deaf school,he soon becomes fascinated by the new technologies that are appearing and becomes a expert in radio and electrical equipment this sends him through the main events in the first few decades of the twentieth century ,he loves the planes in the first world war and ends up getting caught and made a prisoner and at a prisoner of war camp getting involved in escape plans and caring for his fellow prisoners ,post war he ends up in the swinging twenties of london and the drug scene ,then becomes a wireless operator for what was the internet of its day as it was a   front row technology of the day and led many a young man like Serge to the far-flung corners of what was the British empire then ,well that is the simple overview of the book .but this book is like a cryptic crossword each page has layers and meanings ,there is a great deal of symbolism about technology and its place in society,war drugs ,travel many things cleverly woven .McCarthy has firmly placed himself in the top echelons of British writers .

The static’s like the sound of thinking .Not any single person thinking ,collectively ,It’s bigger than that, wider – and more dialect .It’s like the sound of thought itself,its a hum and rush .Each night ,when Serge drops in on it ,it recoils with a wail ,then rolls back to the crackling waves that carry him away ,all rudderless ,untill his fingers nudging the dial , can get some traction on it at all ,

opening of chapter 3 shows Serges connection with radios and there workings .

I m not going say I got this book completely I d be lying, it is a book that maybe takes a couple of readings to break its shell completely but as my first reading I loved it ,echos of Pychon and Bolano as it says on the cover maybe even early Ballard in places .If it wins the booker it will be a worthy winner . This is my last of the shortlisted reads ,Did have Finklers question from library but they wanted it back ,so will read at a later date .

DID YOU LIKE THIS BOOK ?

WHO DO YOU THINK WILL WIN THE BOOKER THIS YEAR ?


translation blog award

I ve set another blog to run a blog prize focusing on books in translation and reviews from different places best blog ,interview so pop over to translation award blog .Let me know what you think .

200 UP and a giveaway

 

This is the 200th post on winstons dad and I ve choosen to do a giveaway ,two great books Nobel winner Hertha Muller’s passport a wonderfully surreal book and Aravind Adiga booker winning white tiger a wonderful yale of how a village man gets corrupted in the big city .The competion open world wide closes 26 august state book you want and e mail andwinston will choose the winner some how at random .

man booker 2010 longlist my feelings

To be truthful I m reading less and less modern british fiction these days so my thumb is a bit of the pulse but have a few ideas and here they are have read a couple and have a couple on tbr pile .so here are my views  on who may be on the longlist tomorrow .Well see what Andrew Motion and his fellow judges pick

Iain McEwan – Solar  .

David Mitchell  -The thousand autumns of Jacob DE Zoet

Peter Carey – Parrot and Olivier in America

Christoph Tsiolkas  – the slap

Peter Temple – truth

Andrea Levy – long song

Mike Thomas – pocket notebook

Damon Galgut – In a strange room

Mick Jackson – widows tales

Martin Amis - the pregnant widow

Jaspreet Singh – chef

Neel Mukherjee – A life apart

Tom McCarthy – c

Jon McGregor – Even the dogs

Johanna Moran – the wives of Henry Oakes

Jonathan Coe -the terrible privacy of Maxwell sim

There they are I ve read 2 and have the three in my t.b.r pile ,

there are other choices here at

farmlane books

savidge reads

lizzy’s literary life

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