Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Neustadt Challenge

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Up for a Challenge??

After much thought, I have finally decided to dive into the world of hosting challenges. Therefore, I introduce the Neustadt Challenge, which will run from May - August 2008. The Neuwhat, you say?

The Neustadt International Prize for Literature is a biennial award for a body of work by poets, novelists, or playwrights. The prize is not limited by geographic area, language, or genre, and is hosted by the University of Oklahoma and the international literary publication World Literature Today.

I only recently learned of the existence of the Neustadt Prize, after reading Links by Nuruddin Farah, the 1998 award recipient. I quickly looked up other winners, and added quite a few authors to my TBR list. Then, I thought to myself, I should share this joy with others! Hence, a challenge is born. And if anyone could help create one of those neat image buttons for the challenge, let me know!

You have two options with this challenge, which will run from May - August, 2008.
1. Read three books/plays/collection of poetry by one of the authors who have received the award.
2. Read three books by three different authors.

You can combine any or all of your books with other challenges. There will be giveaways and fun stuff for participants, because I love to give things away!

Here is the list of award winners. In the weeks leading up to the challenge start date, I will be posting information about each writer and their work. If you would like to join me, just sign up with Mr. Linky below.

2008 Patricia Grace (New Zealand) - to be awarded in Fall 2008)
2006 Claribel Alegría (Nicaragua/El Salvador)
2004 Adam Zagajewski (Poland)
2002 Alvaro Mutis (Colombia) 
2000 David Malouf (Australia) 
1998 Nuruddin Farah (Somalia) 
1996 Assia Djebar (Algeria) 
1994 Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados) 
1992 João Cabral de Melo Neto (Brazil) 
1990 Tomas Tranströmer (Sweden)
1988 Raja Rao (India)
1986 Max Frisch (Switzerland) 
1984 Paavo Haavikko (Finland) 
1982 Octavio Paz (Mexico) 
1980 Josef Škvorecky  (Czechoslovakia/Canada) 
1978 Czeslaw Milosz (Poland) 
1976 Elizabeth Bishop (USA) 
1974 Francis Ponge (France) 
1972 Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia) 
1970 Giuseppe Ungaretti (Italy)

The Neustadt Challenge Sign-Up 
Edit: Please link to your challenge post, even if it is just preliminary, so other participants can easily find it on your blog.


Juliette said...

Alisia - I am going to include this as part of my 888 challenge as one of my categories is Award winners! In addition a 'friend' from LJ asked me why I had not read any Assia Djebar (Algeria) as I am a francophile so here I am. Not quite sure about which route I will take but relish the expanding horizon challenge, maybe Brazil where my son lives and France would be my other two choices. Thanks for hosting!

Nyssaneala said...

juliette - I am thinking of reading one of Assia Djebar's books as well. I look forward to seeing what you choose. Thanks for joining!

gautami tripathy said...

I find there are three I have heard about. Marquez, Paz and Of course Raja Rao. I was on the verge of discarding my dad's copy of Serpent and the rope. Now looking at you challenge, I have changed my mind.

I think I will take this as I can combine this for 888 and Books awards Challenge.

Does reading three books by any one author counts? For that I will take Marquez.

I entirely blame you for weakening my stance about not joining any Challenges after 15th Jan, 2008.

PS: I couldn't access your blog by clicking on it from my comments section. I could only get here by google searching your name. Do check it out, please!

Iliana said...

Oh no - a new challenge! :)
I've only read three authors listed here - Marquez, Paz and Malouf. Let me think about this one a bit.

Camille said...

This was too interesting to pass up. I'm so glad to know about this award which I'd never heard of before. I kind of feel bad to choose an American off of such an international list, but I might go with Elizabeth Bishop. But I have time to think about it.

Laura said...

Can't pass this one up Alisia! It helps me "visit" more countries (and I want to visit 20 new countries this year). Thanks for hosting!

Juliette said...

Dear Alicia, So sorry I didn't directly link to the Neustadt post in my blog. Is it possible for you to change the link or not I wonder. If you can change it here is the precise link.
If not, shall I reuse Mr Linky?


Nyssaneala said...

Guatami, Camille, Laura - Thanks for joining in!

Iliana - You still have a lot of time to join - so think away. :)

Julie - If you want to re-post with Mr. Linky, I can delete your first one. Don't worry about it!

Eva said...

What a neat idea! I'm going to wait to sign up until I make my list, though. :)

Brenda said...


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Leo Stoly said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ex Libris said...

Alisia, what a great idea! Count me in. I will post about it in the next day or two and will then come back and fill in Mr. Linky.

I'm going to read 3 books by Czeslaw Milosz, as one of his poems was quoted in a book I received in the mail yesterday! I did some checking yesterday for titles by him, and it seems he was also quite an essayist. I may read a book of his essays along with some of his poetry. Also, since he is a nobel laureate, these books will count towards that reading project as well.

Madeleine said...

I love this idea. I used to run an international book site, now i have just started 2 blogs one in french one in english. There is so much talent in this world and also we might not all be able to travel to all those countries, books bring us an immense amount of culture and information we would otherwise miss. It makes for a better world and better understanding. thank you for this great idea!

Jan (in Edmonds) said...

Hi Alisia & all

Am ready to do this challenge! Thanks for having me.

Jan (in Edmonds)

Jan (in Edmonds) said...

Here's one I've chosen -- Black + Blues by Kamau Brathwaite. I love that these books are so short! ;-)

Maria said...

I haven't decided what I'm going to read, but I couldn't turn down this challenge. I also love reading through everyone's comments and sharing everyone's appreciation for the international. I'm familiar with a few of the writers, but think I'll expand my horizons and read some people I've never heard of before.

Madeleine said...

Here are my choices:
1- "COUSINS" by Patricia Grace NEW ZEALAND

2- "ANOTHER BEAUTY" by Adam Zagajewski POLAND

3- "LINKS" by Nuruddin Fahra SOMALIA

I also picked writers which are not well known to me, a more interesting challenge.

P.S. I tryed to post earlier and was unable to which made my name appear to many times, sorry about that.

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Lotus Reads said...

Wow, I hadn't heard of the Neustadt Prize either and to think that it's been in existence since the '70's! I looked through the winners list...what a glorious selection of writers, I'm going to make a note of their books NOW!

Nyssaneala, I would have loved to have joined this challenge but I'm not doing too well on the reading front at the moment but I do look forward to reading what the participants have to say about their books.

Thanks for telling us about this prize and for setting up the challenge!

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled on your blog and thought this sounded like a lot of fun! Can't wait to start! Thanks!

Beastmomma said...

I decided to join the challegen and put my list up. Hopefully, I will be able to finish the challenge on time!

Maggie said...

Oops! I forgot! Got my list up and I'm ready to read! :)

The Holistic Knitter said...

Thanks for hosting this challenge. I love discovering new authors ;0)

The Holistic Knitter said...

Initial blog here...deciding on my three books...;0)

Jan in Edmonds said...

I've finished this challenge & did:
Thresholds/Umbrales - Claribel Alegria
Black + Blues - Kamau Brathwaite
The Half-Finished Heaven - Tomas Transtromer

see my blog for the reviews & thanks for hosting this challenge

Beastmomma said...

I finished my first selection for the challenge. I am not sure where to put reviews, I am leaving my link here:

Laura said...

I've read 2 out of 3 so far ... reading Links by Nuruddin Farah, and Women of Algiers in Their Apartment by Assia Djebar. Links to reviews can be found in my challenge post (follow Mr. Linky).

beastmomma said...

I finished my second selection for the challenge: Maps by Nurridin Farah. Here is the link:

beastmomma said...

I completed the challenge! Here is the review for my final selection:

____Maggie said...

I didn't get any read! I am so sorry! Thanks for doing this challenge, though. :)