Category: Awards

Mo Yan’s Fiery Nobel Speech

Mo Yan, a writer from the Chinese countryside with a lurching, sharply whimsical narrative voice that might be compared to that of Kurt Vonnegut or Chuck Palahniuk, has won the Nobel Prize. This news was greeted with some outrage around the world, because Mo Yan is not a Chinese dissident … Read the rest

Read More »

Getting To Know Mo Yan

There really is only one literary award that awes me. The Pulitzer prize? Everybody gets one eventually. National Book Award? Too clubby for my tastes. But the Nobel Prize for Literature is usually something special, and has by far the best track record of every major literary award.

J. M. … Read the rest

Read More »

Nobel Dreams

1. After a whole lot of passionate (and incorrect) guessing, Mario Vargas Llosa has won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature (the dapper fellow above just announced it on a live webcast from Stockholm). I must admit that, while I once enjoyed hearing from this Peruvian novelist at … Read the rest

Read More »

Street Piano

1. Sixty pianos have been placed around various New York City parks and plazas, providing a nice summer surprise. During the last five days I heard a soul ballad at Grand Army Plaza, Doo-wop in Washington Square, a klezmer melody at St. Mark’s Place, and, at Fort Greene Park, an … Read the rest

Read More »

Herta Who?

Herta who? The news from Stockholm left, as usual, a lot of people scratching their heads. Who is Herta Müller and why haven’t we heard more about her? As someone who has spent almost a decade working to bring the best new international literary work to America, I felt a … Read the rest

Read More »

Quick Hits

1. I’ve never read 2009 Nobel Prize winner Herta Mueller, but I know a few people who recommend her work (Harold Bloom, meanwhile, is unimpressed). The Literary Saloon has more substantial coverage.

2. Herta Mueller writes about Romania during the painful years of the Nicolai Ceausecsu regime, and coincidentally … Read the rest

Read More »