Friday, May 29, 2009

Dreaming of an international world of literature

* Canadian author Alice Munro wins Man Booker International Prize. She's considered one of the best short story writers of our time. I've never read anything she has written, what a shame... This was the short list: I wonder why the prize was given yet another time to an Anglophone writer (the previous winner was Chinua Achebe) if the prize is meant to be international, which means that writers of every language are eligible and not only those who write in English. My hope was Vargas Llosa (wonderful writer!) or Antonio Tabucchi (for mere nationalistic reasons). I'm beginning to be more and more fed up with these pretenses by anglophone writers and critics that only fiction originally written in English is worth reading. Of course I love the English language and a great lot of anglophone writers, but I would appreciate some more consideration for other literatures!
A post in Italian on Canadian authors (Che libro fa in Canada)

* I missed out on the Pulitzer Prize, maybe because I was in the UK and it was hardly in the news. Winner for fiction: Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout, a collection of 13 short stories set in small-town Maine. Never heard of. For some reason the prospect of reading short stories set in "small-town Maine" makes me feel like I'm in "Murder she wrote"...
Other finalists: The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich, a haunting novel that explores racial discord, loss of land and changing fortunes in a corner of North Dakota where Native Americans and whites share a tangled history; and All Souls by Christine Schutt, a memorable novel that focuses on the senior class at an exclusive all-girl Manhattan prep school where a beloved student battles a rare cancer, fiercely honest, carefully observed and subtly rendered. [from]
Drama: Ruined by Lynn Nottage
Poetry: The Shadow of Sirius by W. S. Merwin
I guess that these all-American books and authors are not very famous in Europe and they're not given any space in the news. Somehow I feel as if there was a wall that separates the two sides of the Atlantic...

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