21 May 09 | Chad W. Post

Those of you who subscribe to our newsletter or are members of our Facebook group already received this, but for those who haven’t, here’s this week’s newsletter, which also serves as the kickoff for our first ever fundraising campaign.


There was such a great response to last week’s giveaway of Jerzy Pilch’s The Mighty Angel that we’re definitely going to do this on a regular basis . . . Copies of the book (and congratulatory e-mails) went out to the winners yesterday—for everyone else, copies are available at better bookstores everywhere, or via our website. (And yes, the book is even prettier in real life . . .)

This week, we’d like to do two things:

First off, I’d also like to officially kick off our first $10 fundraising campaign. As a nonprofit press (that does a lot of non-revenue generating activity like the Best Translated Book Award, Three Percent, and, well, publishing translations), we have to rely on grants and individual donations to keep doing what we’re doing—making great works of world literature available to readers like you (and me).

Obviously, the more money raised via this campaign, the more we’ll be able to offer, but seeing as this is our first ever online fundraising effort, the real goal is to demonstrate a broad base of support for Open Letter and Three Percent. So, although we’re more than happy to accept gifts of any level, we’re only asking for $10. It’s an affordable amount that adds up to a very significant total, and any show of support for what we do can’t be overestimated.

To contribute—and I really hope you will—simply take two minutes to fill out the online form here.

Second, our new fall/winter 2009 catalog is now available online) with lots of interesting books that I’ll be featuring on Three Percent in the near future and giving away through this newsletter.

Thanks in advance, and next week we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled newsletter. (Unless no one contributes. Kidding, kidding.)



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Rambling Jack
Rambling Jack by Micheál Ó Conghaile
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

“Rambling Jack—what’s that?”
“A novel. Novella, I guess.”
“Yeah, it looks short. What is it, a hundred pages?”
“Sorta. It’s a duel language book, so really, only about… 50 pages total.”
“50 pages?”
“Including illustrations.”
“And this—what. . .

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The Things We Don't Do
The Things We Don't Do by Andrés Neuman
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Many authors are compared to Roberto Bolaño. However, very few authors have the privilege of having a Roberto Bolaño quote on the cover of their work; and at that, one which states, “Good readers will find something that can be. . .

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Private Life
Private Life by Josep Maria de Sagarra
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

In Josep Maria de Sagarra’s Private Life, a man harangues his friend about literature while walking through Barcelona at night:

When a novel states a fact that ties into another fact and another and another, as the chain goes on. . .

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Dinner by César Aira
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

César Aira dishes up an imaginative parable on how identity shapes our sense of belonging with Dinner, his latest release in English. Aira’s narrator (who, appropriately, remains nameless) is a self-pitying, bitter man—in his late fifties, living again with. . .

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We're Not Here to Disappear
We're Not Here to Disappear by Olivia Rosenthal
Reviewed by Megan C. Ferguson

Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli. . .

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The Queen's Caprice
The Queen's Caprice by Jean Echenoz
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Even though the latest from Jean Echenoz is only a thin volume containing seven of what he calls “little literary objects,” it is packed with surprises. In these pieces, things happen below the surface, sometimes both literally and figuratively. As. . .

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French Concession
French Concession by Xiao Bai
Reviewed by Emily Goedde

Who is this woman? This is the question that opens Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a novel of colonial-era Shanghai’s spies and revolutionaries, police and smugglers, who scoot between doorways, walk nonchalantly down avenues, smoke cigars in police bureaus, and lounge. . .

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Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love.. . .

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The Cold Song
The Cold Song by Linn Ullmann
Reviewed by David Richardson

Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .

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This Life
This Life by Karel Schoeman
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

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. . .

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