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Open Letter Love from the West Coast, Part II

I’m not even going to bother setting this one up—just read the opening of this review by Gregory Leon Miller from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Quim Monzó might just be the best writer you’ve never heard of. One could say he’s Catalan’s best-known writer – in fact, the publicity materials for Monzó’s books in the English-language markets routinely say so. But given our culture’s scant attention to literature in translation, such titles, however well meant, only accentuate a writer’s obscurity.

His latest, “A Thousand Morons,” is one of the strongest short-story collections I’ve read in years. Out of material too bleak perhaps for mainstream tastes, Monzó has crafted the funniest prose.

THIS IS ALL TRUE.

Monzó is one of the best—and one of the funniest—writers writing today. He’s an incredible person and deserves all this praise and more. But don’t forget about Peter Bush!

As a translator himself – he has produced Catalan versions of authors ranging from Thomas Hardy to Truman Capote – Monzó must surely appreciate the suppleness of Peter Bush’s work here. Bush gives us Monzó’s subtle complexity without any of the clunky moments that can deform translations of comic writing in particular.

Credit must also go to Open Letter (an imprint of the University of Rochester), whose devotion to literature in translation and unpredictable roster have quietly made it one of the most important small presses in the country.

Aw shucks. That’s a really nice compliment at the end as well . . .

So, just like in my last post, if you take out a year-long subscription to Open Letter I’ll throw in both A Thousand Morons and 18% Gray. (For current subscribers, I’ll still give you 12 books for $100—don’t worry.)

Actually, I’m going to take this one step further . . . If you email me at chad.post at rochester.edu, I’ll send you a free Thousand Morons T-shirt. Just let me know what size you want. We have S, M, L, XL, and XXL.



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