For all of you who like to buy your indie press books from an indie press distributor, you should head over to Small Press Distribution to take advantage of their Around the World Sale. All this month, select translation (click above to see the complete list) are available for 40% off. All you have to do is use the promo code: WORLD.
There are a lot of great books on the list, and the one that I’d recommend—which will come as a surprise to most all of you—is Magnolia & Lotus: Select Poems of Hyesim, a wonderfully translated collection of poetry from the first Korean Zen master who was dedicated to writing poetry. It’s a great book from a great press (White Pine) and the translation really is top notch.
Additionally, the featured press of the month at SPD is Host Publications, which means that all of their books are available for 40% off. Click here to see the complete list, which contains a host (see what I did there?) of great titles, including Mario Benedetti’s The Rest Is Jungle and Other Stories and Nicanor Parra’s After-Dinner Declarations.
It’s also worth mentioning that SPD is the only nonprofit book distributor in the country, so purchasing a couple books from them not only enriches your reading experience, but helps support an organization that plays an absolutely vital role for a slew of small presses. In fact, without SPD, there are a ton of these presses that would be left without a distributor at all. So do a good deed for the book industry (the part that doesn’t suck) and get a few of these titles.
Prose translators will likely disagree, but I believe translating poetry requires a significant level of talent, a commitment to the text, and near mania, all of which suggests that the undertaking is the greatest possible challenge. The task is to. . .
The biggest issues with books like The Subsidiary often have to do with their underpinnings—when we learn that Georges Perec wrote La Disparition without once using the letter E, we are impressed. Imagine such a task! It takes a high. . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .