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Thread: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    Why her? I'm not too familiar with her work

  2. #22

    Default Re: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Here are the 9 finalists for the 2018 edition:


    • Emmanuel Carrère: France
    • Edwidge Danticat: Haiti and US
    • Amitav Ghosh: India
    • Aracelis Girmay: US
    • Mohsin Hamid: Pakistan
    • Jamaica Kincaid: Antigua and US
    • Yusef Komunyakaa: US
    • Patricia Smith: US
    • Ludmila Ulitskaya: Russia


    https://www.neustadtprize.org/finalists-2018-neustadt-international-prize-literature/
    I'm not sure that this is actually a great shortlist. There are a few names I'm not familiar with. I do recognize Emmanuel Carrere, Amitav Ghosh, Mohsin Hamid, Jamaica Kincaid, Patricia Smith, and Ludmila Ulitskaya.

    Only two of those might have the potential to be worthy of this prize based on what little I have read about them (and have yet to read anything by them). Ulitskaya and Carrere.

    I don't see it going to anybody else, that is for sure.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    I just purchased Emmanuel Carrère's book, The Kingdom (Le Royaume in French). I haven't read it yet, but its gotten rave reviews in french and the english translation has been well received. "A brilliant, shocking book" - The Guardian.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    I've got a copy of The Moustache by him that I plan on reading soon. And one by Ulitskaya, The Funeral Party, that I want to read soon. Do we know the date when it will be awarded? Maybe I'll try and read the two of them before that happens.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    Quote Originally Posted by OverTheMountains View Post
    Do we know the date when it will be awarded?
    Thursday, November 9, 2017. Probably won't be on the website until the next day.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    Quote Originally Posted by hoodoo View Post
    I just purchased Emmanuel Carrère's book, The Kingdom (Le Royaume in French). I haven't read it yet, but its gotten rave reviews in french and the english translation has been well received. "A brilliant, shocking book" - The Guardian.
    I also started Un Roman Russe last Monday after he was announced winner of the Premio FIL. On the contrary when I read L'adversaire, this time I'm quite enjoying it. Prose style is still very journalistic (I guess this won't change in all his works) but he manages to take three or four interesting topics and knit them together into one solid piece of fiction.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    Too many American names (I'm including Kincaid and Danticat), too many American poets, too many Anglophone writers. The choices for American poets are terrible. What is happening to this prize?

    They had some pretty terrible writers in the last shortlist (MacDonald, Forche), and if that list seemed designed to produce a female winner at all costs, this one now seems intent to produce a black winner no matter the quality of writing.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    Quote Originally Posted by Uemarasan View Post
    Too many American names (I'm including Kincaid and Danticat), too many American poets, too many Anglophone writers. The choices for American poets are terrible. What is happening to this prize?

    They had some pretty terrible writers in the last shortlist (MacDonald, Forche), and if that list seemed designed to produce a female winner at all costs, this one now seems intent to produce a black winner no matter the quality of writing.

    Yep, exactly my thoughts. I've stated before though, the prize itself is designed in a way so that there's really very little serious consideration given to how candidates are chosen. Each judge nominates (choses) their preferred winner and then presents one work as that author's representative text. The winners are then chosen after each judge presumably reads these one works each by the candidates and then they meet for one weekend and pick the winner.

    A lot of the times I've looked through the representative works chosen I'm baffled. A lot of times it seems like the judges aren't even choosing the kind of work I would say best "represents" the candidate from their oeuvre.

    I agree, the American choices are more or less crap. At the very least, even if their work isn't crap, I don't think any of them are important enough/well lauded enough to deserve a prize of this caliber.

    Mohsin Hamid: Back when I was in high school or early in college his novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist was getting massive acclaim. Universities were requiring all incoming students to read it for seminars and stuff like that. Maybe I was immature and my memory isn't the greatest, but from I remember the work was crap. The type of work people desperately want to insist contains deep social messages because they seem to equate good literature with politics (the whole replacing philosophy/ethics classes with English and Literature classes dumbed down to teach social issues is a whole separate issue though). Discussions made it out to be some nuanced, post-9/11 examination of racial tension. I didn't get that at all. The story was basically Pakistani guy moves to the US to go to Princeton, has a crush ion a white girl, sometime after they graduate or go on a class trip (something along those lines) they drunkenly hookup. The girl has no lasting interest in him. The main character then gets all mopey and gives up on the US and moves to Chile. It read more like a petty breakup novella than anything meaningful.

    Amitav Ghosh: One of many Indian-born but now mostly western authors who have one or two acclaimed works and then numerous lower quality works that really don't have much if any importance.

    The French guy I know almost nothing about other than the he also writes films and that he just won the Romance languages award.

    Really though, by default to me, Ulitskaya seems like the only realistic winner of this lot. She's also politically outspoken.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    Quote Originally Posted by Isahoinp View Post
    Mohsin Hamid: I remember the work was crap..
    +1 on that.
    Jayan



  10. #30
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    Default Re: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    Quote Originally Posted by Isahoinp View Post
    Amitav Ghosh: One of many Indian-born but now mostly western authors who have one or two acclaimed works and then numerous lower quality works that really don't have much if any importance..
    One of the main issue with Indian Writers who write in English, is that it is (arguably) written for a Western Audience, hence it tends to be superficial or adhering to the established norms / expectations. I am not incuding the writers like Chetan Bhagat, who has the 'English Speaking Urban Youth' as his prime target and wouldn't dare including him in discussion of serious literature. Writers like Keki Daruwalla etc are exception to this.
    Jayan



  11. #31

    Default Re: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    Quote Originally Posted by Isahoinp View Post
    The French guy I know almost nothing about other than the he also writes films and that he just won the Romance languages award.

    Really though, by default to me, Ulitskaya seems like the only realistic winner of this lot. She's also politically outspoken.
    Of what I've read by Carrere, he is a solid writer. Perhaps not on the same level as Ulitskaya, but then the prize is careful in its wording here:
    https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/neustadt-prize

    The Neustadt Prize Charter

    ...

    "The prize may serve to crown a lifetime's achievement or to direct attention to an important body of work that is still developing."

    I've yet to read Kincaid in full but good things have been written about her on the other forum. I'm perplexed by this, though:
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1978/06/26/girl

    Maybe it's part of a longer work? As it stands, it seems rather slight.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Neustadt International Prize for Literature

    Too many Americans? I'll give you that. But as usual on this forum, everyone's concentrating on the prose writers. Yusef Komunyakaa is a very deserving candidate. His range is impressive, and his technique superb. I hope he wins.

    I think that the jury was stacked to pick a winner who explored the issue of immigration. But as usual with literary folks, they are not cooperating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uemarasan View Post

    The Neustadt Prize Charter

    ...

    "The prize may serve to crown a lifetime's achievement or to direct attention to an important body of work that is still developing."
    Uemarasan, thank you for quoting from the charter as it may help to explain a number of the nominees to forum members less familiar with this prize. I've been following this award for over 20 years, and it is not unusual for there to be one or more young writer on the short list. They don't win. It is not unusual for the short list to include a few writers who are not widely read. And they do sometimes win. That is what makes this prize interesting.
    Last edited by Gregg H.; 10-Sep-2017 at 13:15.

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