14 October 11 | Chad W. Post | Comments

At a press conference earlier this week, AmazonCrossing and Fabulous Iceland announced that Amazon would be publishing ten Icelandic titles in the near future, starting with The Greenhouse (which we featured here).

Here’s the official announcement:

“The Icelandic series from AmazonCrossing will ensure that the guest country will still be present on the international book market once the Book Fair has come and gone,” said Halldór Guðmundsson, director of Fabulous Iceland, at a press conference given to announce that AmazonCrossing, a new imprint of Amazon Publishing dedicated to foreign works in translation, had resolved to publish ten Icelandic titles in the near future.

The series will kick off with The Greenhouse by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir and Hallgrímur Helgason’s The Hitman’s Guide to Iceland. Both authors appeared at the conference. Also slated for publication are works by Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson, Árni Þórarinsson, Vilborg Davíðsdóttir and Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, with more to be announced in early 2012.

Translated books comprise less than three percent of titles published in the United States and United Kingdom. “This figure is too small, by a long shot,” Jon Fine of AmazonCrossing said, adding that the imprint’s aim was to improve the ratio of foreign translation on the English-speaking market. “There are wonderful stories in Iceland and around the world that are not accessible to English speakers. We want to translate these extraordinary international literary works and authors and introduce them to new audiences worldwide.”

....
Walker on Water
Walker on Water by Kristiina Ehin
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

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. . .

Read More >

The Nightwatches of Bonaventura
The Nightwatches of Bonaventura by Bonaventura
Reviewed by J. T. Mahany

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. . .

Read More >

Pavane for a Dead Princess
Pavane for a Dead Princess by Park Min-Gyu
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

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. . .

Read More >

Tram 83
Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila
Reviewed by Caitlin Thomas

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. . .

Read More >

Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic by Octave Mirbeau
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

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. . .

Read More >

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 >