Books | Sherman Alexie wins PEN/Faulkner award for fiction, for ‘War Dances’

Books | Sherman Alexie wins PEN/Faulkner award for fiction, for ‘War Dances’ | Seattle Times Newspaper:

Seattle author Sherman Alexie has added another award to his groaning shelf of literary trophies — the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction for his book of short stories, essays and poems, ‘War Dances’ (Grove Press).

The prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award is the largest peer-juried prize for fiction in the United States.

Benny and Penny’ tops 2010 Geisel awards list of best books for beginners

Books | ‘Benny and Penny’ tops 2010 Geisel awards list of best books for beginners | Seattle Times Newspaper:

A list of recipients of the Geisel Award for beginning readers: “The award, presented annually by the American Library Association, is named for the man better known as Dr. Seuss.”

Books | Colum McCann novel wins national award for fiction

Books | Colum McCann novel wins national award for fiction | Seattle Times Newspaper:
The Associated Press, via the Seattle Times, reports on the National Book Awards. McCann’s novel Let the Great World Spin took the fiction prize, and T.J. Stiles’s The First Tycoon, a biography of Cornelius Vanderbilt, won for nonfiction.

Also a winner was Phillip Hoose’s Claudette Colvin, in the young people’s literature category. Colvin, now 70, “who as a teenager was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Ala. bus, months before a similar incident made Rosa Parks a symbol of defiance,” appeared on stage with Hoose.

American Publishers and Foreign Languages at the Frankfurt Book Fair

American Publishers and Foreign Languages at the Frankfurt Book Fair – NYTimes.com:

As a follow-up to several previous posts about the recent announcement of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Motoko Rich, writing from the Frankfurt Book Fair, explains why most Americans had never heard of the winner:

Although there are exceptions among the big publishing houses, the editors from the United States are generally more likely to bid on other hyped American or British titles than to look for new literature in the international halls.

According to Chad W. Post, the director of Open Letter, a new press based at the University of Rochester that focuses exclusively on books in translation, 330 works of foreign literature — or a little more than 2 percent of the estimated total of 15,000 titles released — have been published in the United States so far this year.

A week before the Nobel Prize announcement, Horace Engdahl, permanent secretary of the organization that awards the Nobel Prize, explained why the prize did not go to an American:

‘The U.S. is too isolated, too insular,’ Mr. Engdahl said in an interview with The Associated Press. ‘They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature.’

One French publisher told Rich, “American publishers are depriving the American readership of the cultural diversity through translation to which they are entitled.”

The Best Foreign Books You’ve Never Heard Of : NPR

The Best Foreign Books You’ve Never Heard Of : NPR:

French writer Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio won the Nobel Prize for literature Thursday. If most Americans have never heard of this accomplished author of more than 30 novels, essays and story collections, perhaps it’s because there is so little emphasis on international books in the U.S. publishing world.

The reason why most Americans had never heard of the latest Nobel Prize winner for literature is that only about 3% of the books published in the U.S. are works that have been translated.

To remedy that situation, this piece ends with a list of some of the best foreign authors compiled by David Kipen, director of Literature and National Reading Initiatives at the National Endowment for the Arts.