Archives

November, 2009

Dispatches: Shadows of Your Black Memory

Shadows of Your Black Memory is a rarity -- a novel from the tiny West African nation of Equatorial Guinea. Of Africa’s three Guineas -- Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea -- Equatorial Guinea is the smallest at 28,000 square kilometers, about the size of Massachusetts. It is also the…...

The Salon du Livre de Montréal

Bonjour from the Salon du Livre de Montréal Salon. Katie Mace of Europa, Lorin Stein of FSG, and I are here on an editors trip courtesy of the Délégation générale du Québec in New York; the Société de Développement des Industries Culturelles…...

Dispatches: Breyten Breytenbach

The South African poet Breyten Breytenbach has been a regular participant in PEN World Voices events, but although I had seen him on panels I had never had the chance to hear him read and discuss his work on his own. Earlier this month Idlewild Books invited Breytenbach to read and discuss his work,…...

From the Magazine

The process of translation is a key element of Turkish-German author Feridun Ziamoglu’s Koppstoff: Kanaka Sprak vom Rande der Gesellschaft (The Knowledge Holder Doesn't Choke on Cleverness), a fictional text of 26 women’s voices, all of Turkish descent and living in Germany. Though composed…...

Today in International Lit

Nabokov Screaming his Head Off The new online newspaper The Faster Times was linked by the New Yorker yesterday for their take on the new Nabokov publication, the unfinished novel The Origin of Laura. They also link to the 92nd Street Y's recording of Nabokov reading selections from Pale Fire and…...

Triptych Reading Series

If you are in New York City, you must, you absolutely must, attend the Triptych Reading Series. Curated by Iranian-born translator and poet Kaveh Bassiri and poet Mary Austin Speaker, the reading series brings everyone from Mark Strand to Charles Wright (this week), and next month will feature John Ashbery.…...

From the Magazine

“My bag in the back of the truck, the Antarctica bottles open, and we’re off.” So begins our excerpt of Ross Benjamin’s translation of Thomas Pletzinger’s novel Bestattung eines Hundes (2008), forthcoming from W. W. Norton as Funeral for a Dog. This is the kind of writing…...

Dispatches: Under the Volcano

November 2, the Day of the Dead in Mexico, marked the 70th anniversary of the day on which Malcolm Lowry’s masterpiece Under the Volcano begins. In honor of that anniversary I began rereading it, but first I reread the letter that Lowry wrote to Jonathan Cape, his publisher, after hearing that…...

Today in International Lit

Why we Read Bolaño Horacio Castellanos Moya's, "Bolaño Inc." for the November Guernica, is a further effort to debunk our romanticized construction of the decade's literary star. Moya is one of our authors, so we have to forgive him if he overlooked some of the more thoughtful criticism…...

Polish Poetry Now

Last week, the Polish Cultural Institute presented a two-part symposium at Poets House that sought to address questions on the nature and identity of Polish poets working today. The program began Tuesday with a panel discussion, and culminated with readings by each of the four participating poets on…...

South Africa: A Traveler’s Literary Companion

Based in Berkeley, California, Whereabouts Press publishes an intriguing series of Traveler's Literary Companions. "Unlike guidebooks written by professional travel writers," they explain, "our books feature stories written by literary writers -- all of whom who have lived in the places they write…...

Today in International Lit

WWB in the New Yorker The November issue of Words Without Borders, with new translations from Germany, has just gone live and is met with praise today from the New Yorker's Book Bench blog with a piece that focuses on contributor Feridun Zaimoğlu, who, along with fellow German-Turkish contributor…...

CLMP Spelling Bee

My agent sent me an invitation to a fundraiser. I was in town, so I had no excuse not to go. Besides that, I'm in generally in favor of fundraisers. I would happily go to a fundraiser in support of better living conditions for milk cows in the Midwest, but I would be equally supportive if some organization…...

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