Weekly book agenda: Upcoming releases by Bolaño, DeLillo, McEwan

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The Independent Culture

The horizon is marked by releases from Roberto Bolaño, Don DeLillo, and Ian McEwan. Also coming up: Three Percent chooses the Best Translated Book of 2009, and book fairs spotlight comics and Indian literature.

Roberto Bolaño's 'Monsieur Pain'
January 12/February 1

The first of four Bolaño titles to be published in English by New Directions in 2010, Roberto Bolaño's Monsieur Pain - published in Spanish in 1999 - will be available January 12 in the US and February 1 internationally. The Chilean author who died at age 50 in 2003 gained recognition in the English-speaking world with the posthumous publication of his 900-page novel 2666. Set in 1938 Paris, the story centers on Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo, afflicted with an undiagnosed illness and unable to stop hiccupping, and the mesmerist Pierre Pain, a timid bachelor who sets out to help him.

Costa Book Awards
January 26
London, UK

The Costa Book Awards, previously called the Whitbread awards, are given annually to authors based in the UK and Ireland for what judges consider the "most enjoyable books of the year." Winners are chosen in five categories, and an overall winner - to be announced January 26 '- is named Costa Book of the Year. Category winners, announced on January 5, are Irish author Colm Toibin for Brooklyn (best novel), Raphael Selbourne for Beauty (first novel), Christopher Reid for A Scattering (poetry), Graham Farmelo for The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius (biography), and Patrick Ness for The Ask and the Answer (children's book).

International Comics Festival in Angoulême
January 28-31
Angoulême, France

The International Comics Festival in Angoulême is the largest event of its kind in Europe. The 37th edition, which begins January 28, will feature a Manga Building, an exhibition of Russian comics, and an International Encounters Forum. An annual highlight is the 24-hour Comic Strip Contest, in which contestants create 24-page comic books in the 24 hours before the festival begins. General entrance fees are €14 per day, or €30 for all four days.

New Delhi World Book Fair
January 30 - February 7
New Delhi, India

India's publishing industry, the third largest for English books after the US and UK, has been featured in recent years as guest of honor at the 2006 Frankfurt Book Fair, 2006, Market Focus of the 2009 London Book Fair, and guest country at the 2009 Moscow International Book Fair. The National Book Trust of India has organized the New Delhi World Book Fair since 1972 to integrate the Indian publishing world with the global market. The theme of the 2010 fair, in honor of the Commonwealth Games, is "Reading Our Common Wealth: An International Rights Exhibition of the Books on Sports in India."

'Point Omega' by Don DeLillo
February 2

American author Don Delillo, born in 1936, is a central figure in contemporary literature, known for works such as White Noise that satirize postmodern society. The short novel Point Omega, which follows 2007's Falling Man, will be published on February 2 in North America (Scribner), and on March 5 in the UK (Picador). An early short description reads: "A young filmmaker visits the desert home of a secret war advisor in the hopes of making a documentary. The situation is complicated by the arrival of the older man's daughter, and the narrative takes a dark turn."

Best Translated Book Award shortlist
February 16
Rochester, NY, USA

Three Percent, a resource for international literature based at the University of Rochester, USA, is due to announce its finalists for the Best Translated Book Award. In order to be considered, books must have been published in the US in English translation between December 1, 2008 and November 30, 2009. Authors from 23 different countries writing in 17 different languages are on the 25-title longlist, including Orhan Pamuk (Turkey), Robert Walser (Austria) and Roberto Bolaño (Chile), and lesser-known authors Wolf Haas (Austria), Ferenc Barnas (Hungary), and Cao Naiqian (China). Winners will be announced in March, date TBD.

'Solar' by Ian McEwan
March 18, 30

The latest novel by Booker Prize-winning novelist Ian McEwan is due out internationally in April. Solar will tell the story of a Nobel prize-winning physicist who receives an invitation to travel to New Mexico - an opportunity that offers him a chance to, according the the book's description, "extricate himself from his marital problems, reinvigorate his career, and very possibly save the world from environmental disaster."