The December Issue of the Frankfurt Book Fair Newsletter is now available online and includes a number of interesting pieces.
The article on the 10th Anniversary of the German Book Office, which highlights the difficulties of getting German titles published in English translation and the job the GBO is doing to make this happen is interesting if for nothing else than Lorin Stein’s quote that “In America the market for translated literature is—almost without exception—the most sophisticated readership we have.”
The article on creating networks of young publishers focuses on the Society of Young Publishers and the German young publishers groups and the desire to create a large “international network for young publishers—from Iceland to the Arab world.” According to this piece there will be an exploratory meeting at this year’s London Book Fair and BookExpo America, with a first event to take place at next fall’s Frankfurt Book Fair.
With my obsession about the future of publishing though, the thing that really caught my eye is this ongoing series about the future of the industry around the world. Right now there are pieces from the U.S., China, Germany, South Africa, and the Arab World, and there are more in the works for future newsletters. I’m a big fan of this series, especially since each entry/region is pretty distinct in its approach and thoughts about the future. A series definitely worth checking out and keeping an eye on.
“I preferred the war to the plague,” writes Curzio Malaparte in his 1949 novel, The Skin. He speaks of World War II and the destruction it has wrought on Italy, the city of Naples in particular. But the plague he. . .
With the steady rise of feminist scholarship and criticism in recent decades, it is little wonder that the work of Louise Labé should be attracting, as Richard Sieburth tells us in the Afterword to his translation, a “wide and thriving”. . .
In Conversations, we find ourselves again in the protagonist’s conscious and subconscious, which is mostly likely that of Mr. César Aira and consistent with prototypical Aira style. This style never fails because each time Aira is able to develop a. . .
You are not ashamed of what you do, but of what they see you do. Without realizing it, life can be an accumulation of secrets that permeates every last minute of our routine . . .
The narrative history of. . .
Literature in translation often comes with a certain pedigree. In this little corner of the world, with so few books making it into this comforting nook, it is often those of the highest quality that cross through, and attention is. . .
Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn is a set of two loosely interlinked novellas that play with narrative and the construction of character. Ably translated by Ann Goldstein, Mr. Gwyn plays some subtle metafictional games as Baricco delves into what it means. . .
I must admit upfront that I went into reading Saadat Hasan Manto’s Bombay Stories almost entirely blind. I have not read Salman Rushdie. I have read, perhaps, two short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. I might shamefully add that I really. . .
Throughout his work The Gray Notebook, Josep Pla mentions many different authors, some of whom have inspired him to pick up a pen. One of them is Marcel Proust. Even though Pla normally prefers nonfiction, he lauds the French novelist. . .
On that September 11th I had a conversation with a professor friend who was teaching a creative writing class that evening. He questioned, “What can I possibly teach when all of this has happened?” While the dismay and grief were. . .
In a story of two emotionally distant people, Japanese author Takashi Hiraide expertly evokes powerful feelings of love, loss, and friendship in his novel The Guest Cat. The life of the unnamed narrator and his wife, both writers, is calm. . .