This week, Chad W. Post and Kaija Straumanis talk with Philip Graham — a co-founder and current nonfiction editor of Ninth Letter, author of several books, including The Moon, Come to Earth:Dispatches from Lisbon, — about Portuguese culture and literature, specifically the works of Gonçalo Tavares, whose book The Neighborhood is coming out this month with Philip’s introduction. (Which will appear here on Three Percent in the near future.)
There’s a lot of references included in the podcast this week, the main ones being to Sintra, an amazing town just outside of Lisbon that was once the playground of the aristocracy. It’s LOADED with castles and palaces and other intriguing estates.
The main stop is the Pena Palace which looks a little something like this:
Yes, this is a real place.
The part of Sintra I’m most obsessed with though is the Quinta de Regaleira, which you should really read about because it’s got all the intrigue AND underground tunnels that end in an “Initiation Well”:
Anyway, enjoy this podcast—I think it’s one of the best we’ve done.
And this week’s music is the suspension-building Intro by The xx.
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?),. . .
From the late 1940s to the early 1950s, Egypt was going through a period of transition. The country’s people were growing unhappy with the corruption of power in the government, which had been under British rule for decades. The Egyptians’. . .
Miruna is a novella written in the voice of an adult who remembers the summer he (then, seven) and his sister, Miruna (then, six) spent in the Evil Vale with their grandfather (sometimes referred to as “Grandfather,” other times as. . .
Kamal Jann by the Lebanese born author Dominique Eddé is a tale of familial and political intrigue, a murky stew of byzantine alliances, betrayals, and hostilities. It is a well-told story of revenge and, what’s more, a serious novel that. . .
While looking back at an episode in his life, twenty-year-old Taguchi Hiro remembers what his friend Kumamoto Akira said about poetry.
Its perfection arises precisely from its imperfection . . . . I have an image in my head. I see. . .
The central concern of Sorj Chalandon’s novel Return to Killybegs appears to be explaining how a person of staunch political activism can be lead to betray his cause, his country, his people. Truth be told, the real theme of the. . .
Spoiler alert: acclaimed writer Stefan Zweig and his wife Lotte kill themselves at the end of Lauren Seksik’s 2010 novel, The Last Days.
It’s hard to avoid spoiling this mystery. Zweig’s suicide actually happened, in Brazil in 1942, and since then. . .
To call Kjell Askildsen’s style sparse or terse would be to understate just how far he pushes his prose. Almost nothing is explained, elaborated on. In simple sentences, events occur, words are exchanged, narrators have brief thoughts. As often as. . .
After a mysterious woman confesses to an author simply known as “R” that she has loved him since she was a teenager, she offers the following explanation: “There is nothing on earth like the love of a child that passes. . .