Archives

May, 2009

PEN World Voices Festival: Mark Z. Danielewski and Rick Moody

I haven't yet read House of Leaves, the ambitious experimental novel that Mark Z. Danielewski published in 2000. I am unlikely to read Only Revolutions, the even quirkier second novel that Danielewski published in 2006. In his interview with Rick Moody, Danielewski said that Only Revolutions is the book…...

PEN World Voices Festival: This Critical Moment (Part II)

After Eric Banks's and Rigoberto Gonzalez presented on German and Mexican literature at this past Friday's panel featuring the National Book Critics Circle (see more in Part One of the coverage), Laila Lalami, past NBCC Balakian Award candidate, spoke on Egyptian novelist and playwright Nawal El Saadawi,…...

PEN World Voices Festival: This Critical Moment (Part I)

Yesterday afternoon at the Scandinavia House, board members of the National Book Critics Circle and other critics presented on select writers participating in this year's festival. The authors they discussed are from Germany, Mexico, Egypt, the Basque country of Spain, and Zimbabwe, and their comments…...

PEN World Voices Festival: Photos from 1,000 Words: The Power of Visual Storytelling

Photos by Mary Reagan, text from the PEN Website. "What can pictures provide that words cannot? Our panelists have all used pictures to tell challenging and compelling stories: Shaun Tan, from Australia, has imagined the experience of immigration in his wordless book The Arrival; Jonathan Ames, from…...

PEN World Voices Festival: Leaps, Fits, and Starts: The Evolution of a Children’s Book Writer

At Thursday night's panel, moderator Andrea Davis Pinkney did not waste much time before asking the three children's book authors on the panel the inevitable question: what was your favorite book when you were a child? "Animal Farm," answered Australian author-and-illustrator Shaun Tan. In response to…...

PEN World Voices Festival: Evolution/Revolution Readings

Cooper Union Great Hall Wednesday, April 29, 2009 The readings featured by PEN World Voices in the authors' original languages are a special treat, as Bud wrote yesterday to accompany Mary's photographs. Sometimes it's nice to follow line for line with the English translations that scroll down the screens…...

Dispatches: The Moth Revolution: Stories of Change

Great writers are not necessarily great storytellers. They are, after all, people who spend a great deal of time alone. But some of them are, and The Moth exists to showcase this rare breed. The Moth's events bring together famous and the not-so-famous authors in combinations you won't likely see otherwise.…...

PEN World Voices Festival Roundup for Friday

My second day at the PEN World Voices Festival. Tired from being up late talking about Thursday's events with our contributors Nicolle Elizabeth and David Varno, blogging friend Sam Jones and earlier, my friends Pam Yates and Paco de Onís whom I met at the Quiet Revolutions event. Going from one…...

April, 2009

PEN World Voices Festival: Evolution/Revolution Event Photos

Before our written report comes in from last night's PEN World Voices Festival event, Evolution/Revolution. Here's PEN's description of the event: Join us to celebrate the fifth annual PEN World Voices Festival. An extraordinary group of internationally acclaimed writers will come to the stage for an…...

PEN World Voices Festival

As you may know we at Words Without Borders have dedicated our April to the PEN World Voices Festival. We began with our monthly issue full of writing from festival participants and we've just started to post event coverage here on our blog, starting with James Marcus's piece on Nobel Laureate Jean-Marie…...

Raising The Dead

It is not everyday a person has the pleasure of seeing Mark Harman, Richard Howard and Sarah Ruden together in one place. Mark Harman, responsible for Kafka's Amerika and many other Kafka translations, Sarah Ruden for Virgil's Aeneid, and Richard Howard of course for Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal. Brought…...

Publishing in Exile, German-language Literature in the U.S. in the 1940s

According to curator Paul North, never in history has there been an event on German publishers exiled by the Third Reich in one show. íOur task tonight is to bring a group of publishers into view,ë North said. íThe right to discourse was taken.ë The panel and show was revelatory,…...

Weekly News Update

Bangladeshi author Selina Hossain, winner of this year's Ekushe Padak award, was interviewed recently for Ariful News: A Voice Against Violence. We published her story "Parul's Motherhood," translated from the Bengali by Shabnam Nadiya. ---------- The most prestigious academic position in English poetry…...

PEN World Voices Festival: Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio in Conversation with Adam Gopnik

James Marcus's report on Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio in Conversation with Adam Gopnik at the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center on Friday, April 24th is part of Words Without Borders ongoing coverage of the 2009 PEN World Voices Festival.   Although he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2008, Jean-Marie…...

Roses and Sunshine and Books, What More Could You Ask For

Sant Jordi is Barcelona's Valentine's Day. Seven million Catalans went out and partied all day and all night. In the streets, on the brick and cobblestone, in lovers' and loved ones' arms. A 24 hour reading of Don Quixote (my kind of celebration!) persevered through the romantic playfulness. The mood…...

Dispatches: Updike on Africa, Part II

My book A Basket of Leaves covers the 54 countries in Africa by way of 99 books, which is barely enough. I had originally planned to include some books that deal with more than one country, like Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth or Water Music by T. Coraghessan Boyle (a wonderful reimagining of Mungo Park's…...

Binhad Nurrohmat in Cirebon

This reading was filmed on the north-central coast of Java in the port city of Cirebon. The film shows Binhad Nurrohmat reading a poem he wrote on a previous visit to the city. The title of the poem is "Dermaga Cirebon": "dermaga" means "pier" or "jetty". The raw footage of the film was screened at a…...

Weekly News Update

In addition to the Penguin Prize for African Writing, a literary award announced today by Penguin South Africa (and featured on Book Case at The Times) that will honor unpublished manuscripts from African authors with a cash award and publication, Nigerian author Chinua Achebe is working with Penguin…...

Teaching in Translation

The general membership meeting of the American Literary Translators Association's annual conference in October of this year went smoothly until the final item of business. The members present were sharply divided over the newly imposed rule stipulating that only books with the translator's name…...

Weekend Reading: Nawal El Saadawi, Lynne Tillman, and more…

This week's weekend reading starts with some pieces from the PEN Website where we've been spending a lot of time recently gearing up for the PEN World Voices Festival. ---------------------- Nawal El Saadawi: How Does the World Change? "They told us that the year 1989 is a crucial year in world history.…...

Weekly News Post

Romanian author Norman Manea won the third Observator Cultural Opera Omnia Award this month from the Observer Translation Project, an international magazine of Romanian literature in translation. See Totalitarianism Today for an in-depth history of Manea and study of his work. Manea was a guest editor…...

Weekend Reading

Where we share some of what we're reading around the net...Enjoy ---------------------- Interview with Daniel Alarcón at La Bloga on the recent Latin American themed issue of Zoetrope: All-Story that he edited along with Diego Trelles Paz: "Alarcón: Latin America has changed a great deal…...

Dispatches: Camus in Oran

What makes you an African writer? That is a subject for another day, and one that's not likely to be resolved anytime soon. One consideration, though, must surely be the ability to convey a sense of place when writing about Africa. Albert Camus was born in Algeria, spent most of his life there, set his…...

The Undergound Aboveground

I am going to try to explain Oulipo. It is a thing which very seriously exists, and perhaps does not yet exist, because you he she they I have not yet exhausted all of its possibilities. If there is one thing I’ve learned this week it is that Oulipians are simultaneously the most serious and un-serious…...

Weekly News Update

The big news today is that Oskar Schindler's list of the 800+ people he saved has been found in a library in Australia, and also that Colombian octogenarian Gabriel García Márquez may not have any publishing plans, but he is indeed writing and has recently deigned to tell the press so.…...

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