I’m still going to need a few days to process this year’s ALTA conference before I write something more substantial, but I just wanted to say that the conference went even better than expected. The panels were brilliant, David Bellos was incredible, the parties were drunken, and the conversations were stimulating. And nothing went terribly wrong!
(Well, our tattoo plans had to be delayed till this week due to unfortunate timing, but that’s not too tragic . . . We’re still getting the hyphellipses tattoos and will post pics when it happens.)
Anyway, over the next month or so, we’ll be posting videos from the conference. We taped a TON of events and panels for those who couldn’t make it, or are just curious about what goes on at ALTA. It’s going to take a little while to make this happen though, but we will get them up eventually.
In the meantime, if you attended, would you please fill out this survey about the conference? I’m very curious as to what people thought, and I’m sure the Dallas office and next year’s organizers would appreciate some feedback as well.
Over at Literary License, Gwen Dawson has started an interesting survey to look at the influence of lit blogs on book purchasing. She’s going to post the results on February 13th, so you have plenty of time to a) take the survey and b) spread the word.
I’m really interested in seeing how this turns out . . .
At 30, the Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is already gathering her rosebuds. Faces in the Crowd, her poised debut novel, was published by Coffee House Press, along with her Brodsky-infused essay collection, Sidewalks. The essays stand as a theoretical map. . .
Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia (narrated by Julio Cortázar) is, not disappointingly, as wild a book as its title suggests. It is a half-novella half-graphic novel story about . . . what, exactly? A European tribunal, Latin. . .
Marie NDiaye has created a tiny, psychological masterpiece with her Self-Portrait in Green. In it she explores how our private fears and insecurities can distort what we believe to be real and can cause us to sabotage our intimate relationships.. . .
Reading a genre book—whether fantasy, science fiction, crime, thriller, etc.—which begins to seem excessively, stereotypically bad, I have to make sure to ask myself: is this parodying the flaws of the genre? Usually, this questioning takes its time coming. In. . .
The Sicilian Mafia has always been a rich subject for sensational crime fiction. The Godfather, Goodfellas, and The Sopranos worked the mob’s bloody corpses and family feuds to both entertainment and artistic value. Giuseppe di Piazza’s debut novel attempts this,. . .
Antoine Volodine’s vast project (40 plus novels) of what he calls the post-exotic remains mostly untranslated, so for many of us, understanding it remains touched with mystery, whispers from those “who know,” and guesswork. That’s not to say that, were. . .
It hasn’t quite neared the pitch of the waiting-in-line-at-midnight Harry Potter days, but in small bookstores and reading circles of New York City, an aura has attended the novelist Elena Ferrante and her works. One part curiosity (Who is she?),. . .