This is just awful:
In Los Angeles, one of that city’s landmark independents, Dutton’s Brentwood Books, will close on April 30. The news comes a little more than one year after Dutton’s closed its Beverly Hills store. Owner Doug Dutton said that he had been trying to save the Brentwood location for months, but had been unable to find a way to keep the business afloat. He added that any chance to reopen at a new location would depend on a real offer. Dutton’s was founded by Dutton’s parents in 1961. (via Publishers Weekly)
This, on the other hand, is quite interesting:
An Ann Arbor literary institution, Shaman Drum does not have a clear successor to owner Pohrt. He thought about selling the store – but instead, he’s decided to give it away.
For the past several months, Pohrt and Bob Hart of Shaman Drum have been working on a plan to transform the 27-year-old bookselling business into a nonprofit enterprise. The change could happen later this year.
“I like to think in terms of metaphors, that this is a vehicle, and you are stepping from one vehicle into another,” said Pohrt, who is being honored for his contributions to the literary community during a conference March 6-7 at the University of Michigan.
“I don’t think the book business in this country, as a business model, has worked for anybody.” (via MLive)
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. . .