Tag Archives: The German Lottery

Recognition for Miha Mazzini’s novella The German Lottery

Good news comes from the lovely little publisher CB editions in London:

Miha Mazzini’s The German Lottery is on the IMPAC Dublin longlist, announced today. It’s translated from the Slovenian. It’s one of those books that flies under the radar of the reviewing machinery…

THE GERMAN LOTTERY by Miha MazziniThere are 152 nominees for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the winner of which will be announced in 2014. Dublin City Public Libraries manages the award process. This is the second time Mazzini’s fiction has been nominated for the prize.

Last week, Miha Mazzini and Marko Plahuta were invited participants in the Memefest workshop, Food Democracy, at the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, Australia.

Miha Mazzini in London at the Wapping Project

Imagine you’re seventy or eighty—in a word, you’re old. You’ve got no one, you’re all alone. There’s nobody to leave something to. No one to work for. The state gives you food stamps, perhaps a pension. It’s not much, but you don’t need more. You’ve got a roof over your head, an entire house. It keeps you nice and cool in summer and warm in winter. You’re not missing anything. Then, you get a letter that says you can get a million marks in faraway Berlin, if you trade everything you own for something you don’t need. What would you do with a million, if you were in their place? Buy a bigger house? Keep cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter? Buy youth?

The publisher of the English translation of The German Lottery calls the novella “altogether funnier and more kind-hearted than you might expect.” Is he expecting the author to be as well?THE GERMAN LOTTERY by Miha Mazzini

Find out for yourself—when Miha Mazzini makes an appearance, along with B.B. Brahic, translator of Apollinaire’s The Little Auto, at the Wapping Project Bookshop in London on Thursday, April 5, 2012.

Tomorrow is the official publication date for The German Lottery, which was translated from the Slovene language into English by the talented Urška Zupanec.

My clients make me happy

Miha Mazzini, photographed by Robert KruhMiha Mazzini ought to be celebrating, but instead he’s hard at work completing a documentary film. Earlier this week, he was awarded a PhD in anthropology. On the heels of the degree ceremony came confirmation that he’s received a Pushcart Prize for his short story “That Winter,” which appeared in the fifth-anniversary issue of Ecotone. The journal’s editor, Ben George, deserves high praise for contributing to the achievement. “That Winter” was the first of Mazzini’s stories to be published in a magazine in the US.

Lest I make such accomplishments sound easy, I should mention that Mazzini’s short stories have been included in a dozen anthologies published in countries around the world. Nor am I accountable for his successes. On the contrary, I’m confounded by my good fortune. Having such talented clients makes an agent’s job infinitely easier.

Bringing translations of an acclaimed author’s work to readers in the English language is a particular pleasure, which Ben George expressed when he introduced Mazzini in Ecotone last year:

Can one “discover” someone who has written the best-selling novel of all time (The Cartier Project) in his native country? Who has written a separate novel (Guarding Hanna) whose translation was long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the largest cash prize in the world for a book of fiction published in English? Perhaps. If you can be a willing penitent and confess your ignorance.

Early in 2012, Charles Boyle, the publisher of CB editions in London, will enjoy the same professional satisfaction when he presents Urška Zupanec’s English translation of Mazzini’s entertaining and satirical novella The German Lottery to readers in the UK.

Yet another English translation of Mazzini’s work will appear in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 4 later this year.

The author-screenwriter-director, who writes in the Slovene language, also works as a usability consultant and until recently turned in a weekly column for his employer’s news portal, SiOL.net. Apparently the word leisure only amuses him.

I could ask Mazzini if sustaining this level of productivity gets easier with experience, but I already know the answer. It doesn’t get easier, but perhaps the challenges of a career as a creative writer are slightly less frustrating when all the obstacles have become such familiar landmarks.