Juan José Saer was one of the greatest
Spanish-language writers of the past hundred years. When he passed away in 2005, he was working on La Grande, a novel that brings together a number of characters from his earlier works in an exploration and ends with one of the greatest final lines in literature: “With the rain came the fall, and with the fall, the time of the wine.” (You can read a longer excerpt of Steve Dolph’s translation by clicking here.)
If you’ve read Saer before, you’re undoubtedly dying to get your hands on this; if you’ve never read him, this, despite being his last book, is a fantastic place to start.
To help everyone out, we’re giving away 15 copies through GoodReads. All the info on entering is below—just make sure you do it before March 24th.
And if you’d rather just forgo the whole “entering a drawing” aspect, you can just preorder the book via your favorite bookselling outlet, or via our website.
Our latest GoodReads Giveaway is for Amanda Michalopoulou’s Why I Killed My Best Friend, which may well win the prize for the best Open Letter title ever. And, along with Navidad & Matanza, it’s in the running for one of the best blurbs:
“Flawlessly translated, Amanda Michalopolou’s WIKMBF uses the backdrop of Greek politics, radical protests, and the art world to explore the dangers and joys that come with BFFs. Or, as the narrator puts it, ‘odiodsamato,’ which translates roughly as ‘frienemies.’”—Gary Shteyngart
This novel, which is coming out in May, is the second book of Michalopoulou’s to come out in the U.S., the first being I’d Like, which Dalkey brought out a few years back. (And both of which are translated by Karen Emmerich.) It’s a book about two women—Maria who relocates to Greece from Africa, and Anna who moved to Greece from Paris—and their lifelong “friendship” that is filled with both unquestioned support and bitter competition.
The structure of the novel, and the way it fills in the details of their present day relationship (which is reignited when Anna’s daughter ends up in Maria’s art class) with flashbacks to the tumultuous events of growing up in Greece in 70s works incredibly well, and provides and interesting look into the impact politics can have on friendships and life in general.
We’re giving away 20 copies, so if you’re a GoodReads user, be sure and sign up below.
Also, we’re in the final stages of planning a reading tour for Amanda that will take place in April. More information about that in the near future.
To celebrate the upcoming release (Nov. 20) of Juan Gelman’s Dark Times Filled with Light, we’re giving away 10 copies via the GoodReads giveaway program. All you have to do to enter (if you’re a member of GoodReads) is click on the box below. The giveaway went live this morning, and will close on November 15th, so if you want a chance to win, do it soon!
To give you a sense of Gelman’s importance and poetry, here’s a bit from Paul Pines’s introduction:
Juan Gelman was born in Buenos Aires in 1930 to a father who had participated in the 1905 Russian revolution before immigrating to Argentina. Juan was a political activist until the 1976 Argentine coup d’état brought a reign of terror to Buenos Aires. Gelman’s son, Marcelo, and daughter-in-law, Claudia, pregnant with the poet’s grandchild, were “disappeared.” The poet spent the next thirty years as an exile in Mexico and Europe. In 2000, after decades of searching, he located his granddaughter, born before her mother’s murder and given to a pro-government family in Uruguay.
The Argentina that nurtured the tango, and then “disappeared” its people, became the crucible for a poet. Steeped in the authority of his wound, Gelman’s poems transform the unspeakable into an affirmation that locates light even in the darkest of times:
dark times / filled with light / the sun
spreads sunlight over the city split
by sudden sirens / the police hunt goes on / night falls and we’ll
make love under this roof
Enter below, and if you’d rather just buy the book, you can order it directly from us for $11.95.
For all you GoodReads users, we’re giving away 10 copies of Kristin Omarsdottir’s Children in Reindeer Woods though their special program. To enter, simply click on the button below before March 31st.
In terms of this book, it’s a very intriguing novel that’s kind of like a war book that’s not about a war. It opens in shocking fashion with a group of paratroopers descending on an idyllic farmhouse and killing everyone in site. Then one paratrooper turns on the others, and by page three, the only people remaining are Rafael—a soldier who wants to start life over as a farmer—and the eleven-year-old Billie, a precious and strange child who had been living at the Children in Reindeer Woods foster home.
As the book progresses, it becomes less about war—the when and where of this war are displaced and made intentionally irrational, transforming this into a more mythic, or universal sort of story—and more about the relationship between these two characters who are building an oasis amid a culture of violence.
Back at the MLA conference, I gave a copy of this to a friend who texted me the next day to say that it gave her “the most fucked up dreams ever . . . in a good way.” It really is that strange and powerful and vivid.
It’s also going to be reviewed in the New York Times Book Review next month. So get your copy now, either by entering below, or simply buying it through our website.
This month our GoodReads Giveaway is for The Cyclist Conspiracy by Svetislav Basara. A strange, fragmented, playful book, fans of Pynchon or Basara’s earlier work (Chinese Letter available from Dalkey Archive) will definitely love this. It’s sort of like The DaVinci Code meets The Crying of Lot 49. Or something like that.
Oh, and people obsessed with bicycles will dig it as well. And those who like to smash clocks. Seriously. You just have to read it to understand.
Sign up below before the end of the month to have a chance to win one of these 10 copies.
The Smoke of Distant Fires by Eduardo Chirinos is the second book in our International Poetry Series, and to help spread the word about this collection (which G. J. Racz did an amazing job translating), we’re giving away 10 copies through GoodReads. Just click below to enter.
We’re bringing out Scars, the the follow-up to Juan Jose Saer’s critically acclaimed The Sixty-Five Years of Washington this December, but if you can’t wait till then, you can enter into the GoodReads Giveaway by clicking on the link below. Contest closes on the 15th, at which time 10 lucky winners will be selected . . .
Over at GoodReads, we’re giving away 10 copies of Milen Ruskov’s Thrown into Nature, which will be coming out this November.
If you want a chance to win one, just click on the link below before the end of the month.
Karaoke Culture doesn’t officially come out until October 25th, but 15 lucky people will win copies of Dubrakva Ugresic’s latest (and in the opinion of some, greatest) book through this GoodReads giveaway. Just click below to enter yourself in the drawing.
As with other recent books, we’re giving away 10 copies of Guadalajara via Goodreads. Accepting entries until June 15th, so follow the instructions below for a chance to win.
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. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .