Nobel win showcases Le Clézio

trumpeted ABE Books in an uncharacteristically understated newsletter:

Since the Nobel announcement, the author’s publishers have been scrambling to reissue his novels but Le Clézio’s hard-to-find books are already selling quickly on with demand coming mainly from the United States.

Sometime this week, I will offer a full report (with statistics) of this wave of attention as manifested in cherry-picking and the attendant price-gouging, highlighting some of the good-hearted book cellars I met along the way.

In the meantime, by way of moving slowly toward the promised alphabet of objectively perfect German poets, you heard it here first: Ilse Aichinger will, okay should, win the Nobel Prize in 2009.


OK, so Herta Mueller won instead–what were the odds? And Schoen Books lost out on the above book, which has since sold, though we do have a couple of other Aichinger in store, more on which in good time. In the meantime, if you don’t Jubilat 13, with two Aichinger prose pieces, including the unforgettable “The Green Donkey,” get on it. Rumor has it Christian Hawkey and Uljana Wolf are translating more Aichinger so read her now before we told you so. And a reward for anyone who can tell us who designed this:

Amsterdam (1948)

First published in Amsterdam in 1948 (pictured: can anyone name the artist?), in Germany in 1960, and (the same time as Le Clezio’s first book, Le procès-verbal, which Pantheon brought out as The Interrogation less than a year later) by Pantheon as Herod’s Children in September 1963. Infinitely harder to find then any of Clezio’s Pantheon books (until Thursday, that is), never was a book more primed for revival: editors at Dalkey Archive Press, Third Letter, or the NYRB Classics, if you’re reading..

And if any lucky winners of early Le Clezio are reading, we’d love to hear your success stories.

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