Ryan Chapman (who totally rocked this podcast about the Pynchon ebooks and whatnot) just emailed me about “The Davids,” an annual competition among Penguin imprints to win a small plastic trophy . . . Here, I’ll let them explain:
Every year Penguin selects the best book videos for The Davids, named after our CEO David Shanks. And in 2013, we’re opening the voting to the public.
So head here to cast your vote. Note that you don’t have to vote in every category.
Of course we strongly, strongly recommend you choose our Thomas Pynchon entry for Best Animated Video. (You would not believe the amount of trash-talking in the offices this week between the imprints.)
Since I’m trying to sweet talk Ryan into doing another podcast this fall wherein we can talk about the new Pynchon novel, Bleeding Edge, I really want him and his Pynchon video to win. So vote!
And keep in mind, that a vote for Pynchon is a vote against Riverhead—which is, um, important, because Riverhead is . . . a bunch of loud-mouthed jerks? (I’ve got nothing. I just want Ryan to win.)
César Aira dishes up an imaginative parable on how identity shapes our sense of belonging with Dinner, his latest release in English. Aira’s narrator (who, appropriately, remains nameless) is a self-pitying, bitter man—in his late fifties, living again with. . .
Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli. . .
Even though the latest from Jean Echenoz is only a thin volume containing seven of what he calls “little literary objects,” it is packed with surprises. In these pieces, things happen below the surface, sometimes both literally and figuratively. As. . .
Who is this woman? This is the question that opens Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a novel of colonial-era Shanghai’s spies and revolutionaries, police and smugglers, who scoot between doorways, walk nonchalantly down avenues, smoke cigars in police bureaus, and lounge. . .
For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love.. . .
Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .