Archive for the ‘Literary News’ Category

The Art of Translation

With Google translate easily at everyone’s fingertips, is the art and trade of translation on it’s way out?

David Bellos’ new book, Is That a Fish in Your Ear? takes the debate of robot v human translation head on – and comes out firmly on team human.

Will automation completely replace human translation? Are we about to see the end of multilingualism? According to David Bellos, a professor of French and comparative literature at Princeton and Booker Prize-winning translator, that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. In his new book, “Is That a Fish in Your Ear?,” about process and social meaning of translation, he persuasively argues that human translators are as crucial as ever. At a time when the world seems more globalized and small than ever, they play a central role helping us understand each other and bring art to a broader audience. (Salon)

For all of your bookworms and word-nerds interested in translation and transcreation, don’t miss our Translation Slam on Wednesday, October 16th. Two (human) translators tackle blogger/race car driver/social critic/heartthrob Han Han’s short essay on the state of culture in China.

Translation Slam: Han Han, Wednesday, October 19 7:30pm, 20 rmb (members), 30rmb (non-members).

Brought to you by English Trackers. 

2011 National Book Award Finalists Announced

The 2011 National Book Award Finalists were announced this week. Each of the four categories – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and young adult – long lists five books. Winner to be announced November 16th. We’ll thrilled that a lot of our favorite reads, including The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht, made it on the list this year.

Here is the complete list of finalists:


The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories by Edith Pearlman

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward


The Convert by Deborah Baker

Love and Capital by Mary Gabriel

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

Malcolm X by Manning Marable

Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie by Lauren Redniss


Head Off and Split by Nikky Finney

The Chameleon Couch by Yusef Komunyakaa

Double Shadow by Carl Phillips

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve by Adrienne Rich

Devotions by Bruce Smith

Young People’s Literature

Chime by Franny Billingsley

My Name Is not Easy Debbie Dahl Edwardson

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Flesh and Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Okay for Now Gary D. Schmidt

Interesting in joining the BLF 2012 team?

The Bookworm International Literary Festival is a unique celebration of literature and ideas in China, programming 100 events across three cities, connecting over 70 Chinese and international writers and thinkers, running March 9-23.

We are now accepting applicants for the following positions:

Logistics Coordinator

Volunteers Coordinator

Junior Designer

Secondary Venues Coordinator


If you are interested in any of these positions, please contact [email protected] for more information.


Lev Grossman’s The Magicians coming to tv

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians is one of our favorite novels from the past few years. Fox has bought the rights and is currently developing the novel and its sequels into a tv series. Often described as ‘a grown-up Harry Potter,” The Magicians follows its young protagonists from Brooklyn to an elite university of magic to the gritty post-collegiate years in New York and then to a pseudo-Narnia. A fast and fun read, Grossman’s novel ties together the worlds of magic, drugs, sex, teenage angst and mythical creatures.

While you may need to wait for the tv adaptation, you can continue the story of The Magicians with Grossman’s sequel, The Magician King.



2011 Nobel Prize for Literature

Congratulations to Swedish poet  Tomas Tranströmer who was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature. The Nobel Prize committee made this decision “because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality”. (Nobel Prize)

Peter Hessler – MacArthur Genius

Congratulations to BLF author Peter Hessler on being awarded a MacArthur Fellow. The New Yorker has posted a list of Hessler’s articles for the magazine. Or stop by The Bookworm for a read of Country Driving, Oracle Bones or River Town.

Man Booker Shortlist Announced

The Man Booker Short list was announced this week. The following six writers have made the cut from the longlist:

Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape – Random House)

Carol Birch Jamrach’s Menagerie (Canongate Books)

Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers (Granta)

Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues (Serpent’s Tail)

Stephen Kelman Pigeon English (Bloomsbury)

A.D. Miller Snowdrops (Atlantic)

From more info on the prize visit the Man Booker website. Or stop by The Bookworm to pick up one of these great novels.

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