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September, 2007

Jungle Books

The New York Times follows our Lusophone lead with a profile of our Milton Hatoum and his fellow Brazilian Márcio Souza.

To Write is to Transmit

Patrick Kurp at Anecdotal Evidence has an illuminating piece on Primo Levi's inclusion of Paul Celan's Todesfuge in his anthology-as-biography The Need for Roots: A Personal Anthology. Levi was almost famously perplexed by the darkness and obscurity in Celan's poetry, and as Kurp mentions in his piece,…...

Panel Discussion at the Americas Society

The Americas Society is hosting a panel discussion on Argentine Literature, Culture and Society on the 28th of September. Essayist Jorge Monteleone and literary critic Gabriela Nouzeilles (Princeton University), both contributors to Review 75 (Fall 2007, Argentine writing/arts), will engage in a discussion…...

A Few Questions for Anna Moschovakis, Translator of “The Engagement”

To add to the ongoing discussion about Georges Simenon's The Engagement, we asked translator Anna Moschovakis a couple of questions. Q: How did this project come about? A: I was lucky this time because the project came to me. I had already worked with Edwin Frank, the editor of New York Review Books…...

Writers Gather in Finsbury Park

A blue and white striped tent, 30 white plastic chairs, a table covered in books supplied by Serpent's Tail, Apis Books, Legend Press, 12 writers and a microphone: Welcome to the Story Tent at FinFest: One World, One Park Community Festival in Finsbury Park, North London. No glitz or queues waiting for…...

An Author Questionnaire for “The Jewish Messiah”

On the subject of "small cultural differences between the U.S. and Europe," I'd like to say a few words about the author questionnaire. Before this summer I thought that questionnaires were limited to a few occasions: when applying for visa or for jobs. When a lady from the census rings the doorbell…...

Mark Binelli’s Recommendations for the Mystery Novel Aficionado

Continuing with our discussion of Georges Simenon's The Engagement, Mark Binelli responds to Chad Post's earlier blog entry about the book and even recommends some of his own picks for fans of detective fiction.—Editor's note. Well, see, I'd actually dispute Gray's entire premise. Like you, Chad,…...

Boris Akunin

I was delighted to see that Josh Spero at the Guardian's Book Blog has written about the Russian writer Boris Akunin in a recent post. Akunin is a figure familiar to many English-language readers, with four of his books already out in English translation. Akunin's Erast Fandorin series, which features…...

Promising Stuff

The autumn leaves fell as the school year began when I was a child; now they stay on the trees longer as indian summers become the norm. In Britain around 120,000 new books are published every year, of which 6,000 are novels. Around 1% of unsolicited (fiction) manuscripts received in a year are published.…...

La Paz Book Fair

In the middle of the summer, I traveled to the capital of Bolivia, La Paz—where it was winter—for a literary festival. The festival was part of the La Paz Book Fair. Even La Paz has a book fair. It's small compared to the book fair of, let's say, Thessaloníki, Greece. The fair takes…...

Young-ha Kim’s “Empire of Light”

Publishers Marketplace reports that WWB author Young-ha Kim's latest book, Empire of Light, was just picked up by Harcourt. The brief reads: "Young-ha Kim's EMPIRE OF LIGHT, Manhae Prize-winning novel about a day in the life of a North Korean spy who is recalled from the South and must decide to either…...

Susan Sontag Prize for Translation

The Susan Sontag Foundation has just officially announced that it's now open season for the 2008 Susan Sontag Prize for Translation. The prize invites undergraduate students and graduate students under the age of 30 to apply for a commission to translate a work of German literature into English. The…...

“The Engagement” as Genre-Bender? Chad Responds

In today's installment of our discussion of Georges Simenon's Engagement, Chad Post addresses Mark Binelli's comments on whether the book really subverts the expectations of the genre—Editor's note. For any of you who haven't read the book yet, the part of John Gray's afterword that (I believe)…...

Mark Binelli Weighs in on Simenon

Mark Binelli's post, below, is part of our monthlong discussion of Georges Simenon's Engagement, WWB's pick for our September Book Club. Mark is leading the discussion along with Chad Post, whose first two blog posts you can find here and here. Check them out and be sure to return for more--it's Simenon…...

Chronicle of a Murder Foretold

A Polish writer has been convicted of a 2000 murder that replicated (or, more accurately, foreshadowed) the pulpy plot of his 2003 novel. The court ruled the evidence insufficient to convict Krystian Bala of killing Dariusz Janiszewski, but strong enough to charge him with planning and orchestrating…...

Biography and Online Resources for Georges Simenon’s The Engagement Book Club

Before getting into the book itself, I thought it would be useful to get a little more info about Simenon himself—aside from the fact that he was a great showman. Below is a brief outline of Simenon and his career, straight from the New York Review Books Reading Group Guide, which is also worth…...

An Introduction to Georges Simenon’s The Engagement

I had never heard of Georges Simenon before New York Review Books brought out Dirty Snow and Tropic Moon back a few years ago. What most caught my attention—and most intimidated me in terms of picking one of these up—was a statement from the íAbout the Authorë section: íGeorges…...

Reading the World with Georges Simenon

We're very pleased to announce the launch of our September Book Club on Georges Simenon's The Engagement, as part of the Reading the World series. This month, discussion will be headed by guest bloggers Chad Post from Three Percent, translator Anna Moschovakis and Rolling Stone contributor, Mark Binelli.…...

The Maias by Eça de Queirós

This review of Margaret Jull Costa's translation of Eça de Queirós's The Maias from the International Herald Tribune comes just in time for our monthlong celebration of writing from the Lusophone world. Alan Riding gives us a glimpse of the pointed social commentary and passionate style…...

Open Call for Manga

Ned Beauman at the Guardian's Book Blog gives us a refresher course in Japanese Manga and polls his readers in his most recent post. The perplexing and often misunderstood Japanese narrative art form has come under criticism from readers in the west for its sporadic pacing, sometimes unusual themes,…...

Bill Marx on Dating Dürrenmatt

Bill Marx has a great piece over at the Arts Fuse on the role that timeliness plays in a work's reception and how books come into and go out of fashion. Marx dishes on reviews of the Williamstown Theater Festival's now closed production of Friedrich Dürrenmatt's The Physicists and the critics' various…...

August, 2007

Paradiso Re-translated

Jean and Robert Hollander have just come out with the last installment of their translation of the Divine Comedy. The release of the final canticle of the Hollanders' triad is discussed in this week's New Yorker. Jean Hollander deals with the verse in the pair's translations, and Robert, ostensibly with…...

Strange Book in a Strange Land

If the life of the mind is what binds us across differences of nation, belief and race, then surely bookstores are the outposts of that warm and inviting brotherhood. Maud Newton has been running short features from her readers on bookstores across America and the world that they are particularly fond…...

Burning Down Madurai

In honour of a trip to Chennai tomorrow, here's a post dedicated to a gem of Tamil literature that I recently revisited after many years. R. Parthasarathy's translation of Ilango Adigal's Tamil-language epic, the Silapadikaram, or the Epic of the Anklet is a fantastic read, not least of all for the hallowed…...

Googlies in Dublin and Madrid

The Guardian has a story on Ian Gibson's Viento del Sur (Wind of the South), which was recently published in Spain and is rapidly selling out its printrun. The twist in this otherwise ordinary publishing success story is that though Gibson has been a Spanish national for over 20 years, he was born and…...

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