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Weekly News Update

By David Varno

The PEN World Voices Festival schedule has been announced. Events begin on April 29th.


The bicentennial mark of Gogol's birth has sparked hundreds of events throughout Russia, according to Moscow News Weekly, including theatre and film adaptations, readings, reopening of the Gogol House Museum, and has even impacted the nation's fashion week.


Available now from Russia is Vladimir Sorokin's The Wait, translated by Sally Laird. The novel is written entirely in dialogue and follows the development of a line of people in the Soviet 1980, who don't know exactly what they're there for or what they want to buy. Reviewed in the Nation.

We published Jamey Gabrell's translation of the author's afterward to the anniversary edition in September 2008.


One of the highest selling books at this year's Salon Du Livre, which ended last week, was a 17th-century novel. Since 2006, when French president Sarkozy first questioned the indispensability of Madame de La Fayette's The Princess of Cleves, the nation's academia and literati have mobilized in support of the proto-modern novel (and against philistinism). At the book fair, according to the Guardian, íI am reading The Princess of Clevesë buttons were distributed and quickly became scarce.


April is prize month on the international front, with the Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist to be announced on April 7, at Le Select Bistro in Toronto, the Pulitzer winners to be announced at a press conference at Columbia Unversity on April 20, and the Miguel Cervantes Prize for literature in Spanish will be announced on April 23 at Alcalá de Henares University in Madrid.

Published Mar 31, 2009   Copyright 2009 David Varno

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