1. Congratulations to Attila Bartis (fiction) & Takashi Hiraide (poetry), winners of the 2008 Best Translated Book Award for Tranquility and For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut, respectively.
2. At BOMB Magazine, a rare interview with Cesar Aira, author of the just-released novel Ghosts.
3. From 3:AM, an overview of the works of Jean-Philippe Toussaint.
4. Tayeb Salih, long heralded as the preeminent Arabic novelist in the world, has died. His first novel, Season of Migration to the North (1966), was called the "Most important Arabic novel of the 20th century" by the Arab Literary Academy and is being reissued by NYRB in April.
5. The finalists for the NYPL's 9th annual Young Lions Fiction Award have been named. Green Apple customers may recall that Rivka Galchen's debut, Atmospheric Disturbances, was our July 2008 "Book of the Month" and the subject of our second Youtube commercial.
6. Michael Dirda's enthusiasm for literature is infectious. Read his review of Green Apple bestseller Elegance of the Hedgehog and try to stop yourself from reading the novel. Also see a review at Ready Steady Book.
7. Finally, one of the great troubled writers is "tiptoeing" back onto the world's literary stage. Although Hamsun's political opinions were questionable, his novels - Hunger, Pan, & Mysteries especially - remain remarkably fresh. Yale University Press is publishing a new translation of a biography of him in August.