Sometimes it’s pleasant to post literary gossip and links to juicy articles about books. (Juicy by our unexciting standards.)
1. Who is the biggest publisher of literature in translation in the U.S.? The New York Times reports,
It’s not Random House, and it’s not a specialized indie outfit like Europa Editions or New Directions. It’s Amazon.com. Last year, the company’s translation imprint, AmazonCrossing, brought out 44 new English translations from a diverse slate of literature, including Icelandic, Turkish and Korean. That’s more translated titles than any other American publisher, according to data from Three Percent, a literary translation blog at the University of Rochester.
2. In The Guardian, Tessa Hadley writes about Margaret Drabble’s first novel, The Millstone. She says, “For my money, it’s the seminal 60s feminist novel that Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook is always supposed to be.”
3. In The Guardian, we also learned that Dorothy Richardson’s superb sequence of novels, Pilgrimage, is to be reissued by Oxford World Classics.
4. At the TLS blog, you can read Michael Caines’s article on rediscovering Brigid Brophy. Coincidentally, on my e-reader I have a copy of of Brophy’s The Finishing Touch, with an introduction by TLS editor Sir Peter Stothard.
5. Karen E. Bender’s stunning collection of short stories, Refund, is on the longlist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story award. (I blogged about this extraordinary book here.)
6. Jo Walton has won the James Tiptree Award for her dazzling novel, My Real Children. (I wrote about it here.)
7. Wendy Pollard’s brilliant biography of Pamela Hansford Johnson, who is one of my favorite writers, is a finalist for The People’s Book Prize. (You can vote here.) Wendy said in an email that it is “a vote for literary biography.” I interviewed Wendy here.
8. Penguin has reissued Shirley Jackson’s Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons. Ruth Franklin in The New York Times Book Review describes them as “a collection of warm and funny magazine pieces chronicling the ups and downs of Shirley Jackson’s household.” Franklin also reports that ten years after the publication of Life Among the Savages, “Betty Friedan accused Jackson of betraying her readers by contributing to the pernicious myth of the ‘happy housewife’ purveyed by women’s magazines of the era.” Hm, I love Betty Friedan, but I also enjoyed Jackson’s funny memoirs.
I really must read some more Shirley Jackson I read The Haunting of Hill House and her astonishing short story The Lottery, so good.
The Haunting of Hill House is so terrifying I wanted to put it in the freezer as Joey did with The Shining in “Friends!”
I read the Jackson memoirs some years ago and loved them thoroughly. They were both fun and funny. I don’t remember much happy housewife — more like woman deals with entertaining disaster on the home front.
I felt the same way, Nancy! But feminist were very hard on “cozy” women’s humor for a while there.
Literary gossip is fun! And I’m so glad that Richardson is getting the attention she deserves – although I still love my old Virago copies!
She is wonderful! I don’t have the Viragos, but I do have American editions. They were very hard to find back in the day!
LikeLiked by 1 person