New translations of old classics, free-range books, and pajama rave book tours

December 6, 2013

This week was all about new works and translations emerging out of the blue. First, new stories by J. D. Salinger appeared on a filesharing site and subsequently went viral. Then, previously unknown translations of well-known Indian author Rabindranath Tagore’s works popped up in Lithuania. Finally, Publishing Perspectives asked the question we all wonder from time to time: do we really need all of those translations of old classics? Happy reading!

News, Reviews, and Interviews

Charlotte Zolotow, a celebrated children’s author, passed away at the age of 98 last week.

In case you missed it, the four National Book Awards winners were announced before the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Despite all the political attention, the West knows little about the cultural scene inside Iran today,” writes Arash Hejazi for the PEN American blog.

The Guardian recently asked prominent authors for their personal picks for the best books of the year.

During this season of giving, English PEN kindly requests you consider sending a letter of solidarity to a writer at risk.

The inaugural issue of the Buenos Aires Review was released last week to great acclaim.

Even though previous translations of old classics have been highly successful, new translations come out every year. Why?

Though highly successful, HWJN, a Saudi Arabian science-fiction novel, has been summarily removed from bookstore shelves.

He won the “American Nobel” in 2004; this year, Adam Zagajewski has won the award dubbed the “Chinese Nobel.”

This week, previously unseen J. D. Salinger stories were leaked to a popular filesharing website.

Also this week, an unknown translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s work appeared in Lithuania.

For Your Calendar

Know someone who deserves to be recognized for their fight for freedom of expression? Nominate them for the 2014 Index on Censorship Award.

A new crowdfunded film needs your help! Timeless tells the story of love amid the Caribbean slave trade from Ghana to the Virgin Islands over a period of 100 years.

Entries for next year’s PEN Literary Awards are due December 16.

A brand new, Paris-based publishing house specializing in the literature of conflict issued a call for manuscripts in both English and French.

Fun Finds and Inspiration

What happens to books after they have been discarded by readers, by libraries? Try recycling!

You can celebrate Words Without Borders’ 10th anniversary with the official 10th anniversary collection, which includes stories from authors like Gabriella Ghermandi, Carmen Boullosa, Ilya Kaminsky, Zheng Xiaolu, among others.

Think you can Tweet an entire book review in just 133 characters? The New York Review of Books will give you an iPad if you can!

Chuck Palahniuk, Monica Drake, and Chelsea Cain just finished their Pajama Rave Book Tour, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Watch as sculpture artist Cara Barer transforms books into book art in this Poets & Writers video.