16 December 08 | Chad W. Post | Comments

It’s not available on The Bloomsbury Review website1, but Syracuse University Press was named as the Publisher of the Year, due in great part, to its Middle East Literature in Translation Series.

In the write-up, Jeff Biggers cites both Taghi Modarressi’s The Virgin of Solitude: A Novel and Contemporary Iraqi Fiction: An Anthology (which we reviewed) as examples of the great work SUP is doing.

At a time with bookstores are overwhelmed by superficial cut-and-paste portraits of the Middle East that provide little insight into the cultures and experiences in the war-torn region, Syracuse University Press serves as a beacon of light for the publishing industry. These books deserve the widest distribution and attention possible in our country.

Congratulations to Syracuse University Press. It’s great to see a publisher honored for its commitment to international literature.

1 I swear I’m sick of repeating the same complaints, but the Bloomsbury Review website is yet another example of a publisher/magazine website that’s so out-of-date to basically be useless. Look, I’m glad you’re trying to protect your content, but this way of listing back issues is insane. And I’m 99% sure that I’ll never download a pdf, print it out, complete it, and mail/fax it in to get a subscription. Even if it’s not perfect, Google Checkout is free and very easy to install and use.

....
Sphinx
Sphinx by Anne Garréta
Reviewed by Monica Carter

Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .

Read More >

Morse, My Deaf Friend
Morse, My Deaf Friend by Miloš Djurdjević
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in Morse, My Deaf Friend— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .

Read More >

The Crimson Thread of Abandon
The Crimson Thread of Abandon by Terayama Shūji
Reviewed by Robert Anthony Siegel

The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .

Read More >

Life Embitters
Life Embitters by Josep Pla
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Last year, NYRB Classics introduced English-language readers to Catalan writer Josep Pla with Peter Bush’s translation of The Gray Notebook. In that book, Pla wrote about life in Spain during an influenza outbreak soon after World War I, when. . .

Read More >

The Physics of Sorrow
The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov
Reviewed by Izidora Angel

“Your bile is stagnant, you see sorrow in everything, you are drenched in melancholy,” my friend the doctor said.
bq. “Isn’t melancholy something from previous centuries? Isn’t some vaccine against it yet, hasn’t medicine taken care of it yet?” I. . .

Read More >

Vano and Niko
Vano and Niko by Erlom Akhvlediani
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

What to make of Vano and Niko, the English translation of Erlom Akhvlediani’s work of the same name, as well as the two other short books that comprise a sort of trilogy? Quick searches will inform the curious reader that. . .

Read More >

The Indian
The Indian by Jón Gnarr
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

The opening of Jón Gnarr’s novel/memoir The Indian is a playful bit of extravagant ego, telling the traditional story of creation, where the “Let there be light!” moment is also the moment of his birth on January 2nd, 1967. Then. . .

Read More >