23 August 11 | Chad W. Post |

For this week’s podcast, Tom and I answered our first mailbag question about literary journals, discussed the old adage that “short stories don’t sell,” and complained about the unbeatable Milwaukee Brewers.


17 June 10 | E.J. Van Lanen | Comments

In our fifty-first year of publication, the editors of the Massachusetts Review plan to dramatically increase the amount of fiction, poetry, and socially-engaged nonfiction they publish in translation. Today, we see a great need for literary journals to internationalize—to open their ears and their pages to voices from outside the United States, and to writers in languages other than English. MR believes we have a real opportunity for synergy with friends and colleagues from local institutions, given the strength of the University of Massachusetts Amherst programs in translation, of the locally-based translation studies journal Metamorphoses, as well as of the American Studies Diploma Program at Smith College (a one-year graduate program exclusively for international students). But we will of course need the help of readers, colleagues, and translators from across the globe. To that end, we announce the Jules Chametzky Prize for Literary Translation.

The Jules Chametzky Prize in Literary Translation, sponsored by the Massachusetts Review, will be awarded annually to the best poem and prose translations published within our pages in a Volume year. Judges for the award will be MR’s translation editors, Ellen Watson and Edwin Gentzler, along with an additional third judge, chosen yearly from the local pool of translation experts. MR editors are not eligbile for the prize. Once a decision has been made, the writers in both categories will be contacted directly. The prize will award $500 each for the best poetry and prose translations to appear in MR’s pages in a Volume year. There is no entry fee; all submissions must be adhere to our general guidelines, which you will find here. A copy of the translated text should be submitted along with the translation.

To put it simply, our goal is to publish great writing from across the globe, from writers we haven’t yet heard.

They’re accepting submissions starting October 1st…

Death by Water
Death by Water by Kenzaburo Oe
Reviewed by Will Eells

Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .

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Twenty-One Cardinals
Twenty-One Cardinals by Jocelyne Saucier
Reviewed by Natalya Tausanovitch

Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .

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One of Us Is Sleeping
One of Us Is Sleeping by Josefine Klougart
Reviewed by Jeremy Garber

We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .

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Bye Bye Blondie
Bye Bye Blondie by Virginie Despentes
Reviewed by Emma Ramadan

Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .

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La Superba
La Superba by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer
Reviewed by Anna Alden

Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .

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Intervenir/Intervene by Dolores Dorantes; Rodrigo Flores Sánchez
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .

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All Days Are Night
All Days Are Night by Peter Stamm
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .

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