2 October 07 | Chad W. Post

With the Frankfurt Book Fair practically here, we’re rushing around the Open Letter offices desperately preparing for all the parties meetings.

So things might be a bit quite online for the next few days. But come next week, we’re hoping to provide some image heavy posts about our first trip to the FBF.

I’ve heard that to be cool in Frankfurt, you have to be reading some hip, slightly obscure books that you can toss casually into late-night, half-drunk conversations.

I always have a hell of a time figuring out what to bring on these 6+ hour plane rides, but a few books just arrived that I’m really excited about and seem to fit this billing:

Autonauts of the Cosmoroute by Julio Cortazar and Carol Dunlop will be out next month from Archipelago. Unfortunately, I just finished reading this (and writing a review for The Quarterly Conversation), so I can’t bring it, although I plan on mentioning it every chance I get. Seriously—this book is amazing.

John Siciliano at Penguin just sent me the new translation of Knut Hamsun’s Growth of the Soil . I’ve heard over and over how great this book is, but refused to buy the crappy looking Vintage mass market edition (again, snobbery) . Thankfully, this is part of the Penguin Classics line now, in a completely readable format.

Finally, I’m also excited about Bohumil Hrabal’s In-House Weddings, which just came out from Northwestern. Here’s a clip from the jacket copy:

Inspired by “Mrs. Tolstoy and Mrs. Dostoevsky, whose biographies about their husbands have now been published in Prague,” Bohumil Hrabal decided to produce his own autobiographical work, ostensibly fiction, from his wife’s point of view. He would write, he said, “not a putdown about myself, but a little bit of how it all was, that marriage of ours, with myself as a jewel and adornment of our life together.”


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