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It's Good to Be Here [Excuses & Bits]

Admittedly, things have been a bit slow around here lately. I’ve been in NY for the Festival of New French Writing (more below), and hard at work on a grant for the National Endowment for the Arts. It’s due next week, but, I have to finish tomorrow (along with review for Bookforum) or suffer the bureaucratic wrath of the ORPA.

Which is all a long winded way of saying that Three Percent will be back in full on Thursday with reviews, “Why This Book Should Win the BTBA” write-ups, and all the usual randomness.

For now, a couple quick things:

  • The Festival of New French Writing was a huge success. All seven panels were fantastic, and very well attended. After hearing Philippe Claudel talk, I’m definitely going to read Brodeck, and the conversation between Mark Lilla and Pascal Bruckner about the role of religion in society was very interesting. Might have some more detailed notes later, but for now, I wanted to thank and congratulate everyone who put this together and recommend checking this festival out when it comes around again in two years.
  • Amid the heap of stuff that arrived while I was gone was a galley of Jean Echenoz’s Lightning, which is translated by Linda Coverdale and is “drawn from the life of Nikola Tesla.” EXCITED. (In fact, I’m going to try and review all three of Echenoz’s short novels on “accomplished eccentrics”: Running, Ravel, and Lightning.)
  • Sadly, Moaycr Scliar passed away this past Sunday. In the words of The Americas Series editor Irene Vilar, “Moacyr Scliar was one of Latin America’s most important contemporary writers who was repeatedly awarded the most distinguished prizes of his country and a great contribution to Brazilian society. He leaves us the memory of a deeply compassionate man who, marked by his own experiences as the son of Jewish-Russian immigrants, spared no efforts to ease other people’s suffering. His extensive oeuvre of over 70 books in Portuguese language and uncountable translations all over the world gives testimony to his life, what moved him, what he dreamed of and what he shared with all of us.” The Americas Series (which, someday, we will write about in full) published three Scliar books: The Centaur in The Garden, War at Bom Fim and Kafka’s Leopards (forthcoming this Fall 2011).
  • The new issue of World Literature Today is available and focuses on Jazz Poetry and Neustadt Laureate Duo Duo.


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