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)
Upon completing Albertine Sarrazin’s Astragal I was left to wonder why it ever fell from print. Aside from the location, Astragal could pass as the great American novel. Its edginess and rawness capture the angst and desires we all had. . .
When my eyes first crossed the back cover of Fabio Genovesi’s novel Live Bait, I was caught by a blurb nestled between accolades, a few words from a reviewer for La Repubblica stating that the novel was, however magically, “[b]eyond. . .
“I preferred the war to the plague,” writes Curzio Malaparte in his 1949 novel, The Skin. He speaks of World War II and the destruction it has wrought on Italy, the city of Naples in particular. But the plague he. . .
With the steady rise of feminist scholarship and criticism in recent decades, it is little wonder that the work of Louise Labé should be attracting, as Richard Sieburth tells us in the Afterword to his translation, a “wide and thriving”. . .
In Conversations, we find ourselves again in the protagonist’s conscious and subconscious, which is mostly likely that of Mr. César Aira and consistent with prototypical Aira style. This style never fails because each time Aira is able to develop a. . .
You are not ashamed of what you do, but of what they see you do. Without realizing it, life can be an accumulation of secrets that permeates every last minute of our routine . . .
The narrative history of. . .
Literature in translation often comes with a certain pedigree. In this little corner of the world, with so few books making it into this comforting nook, it is often those of the highest quality that cross through, and attention is. . .
Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn is a set of two loosely interlinked novellas that play with narrative and the construction of character. Ably translated by Ann Goldstein, Mr. Gwyn plays some subtle metafictional games as Baricco delves into what it means. . .
I must admit upfront that I went into reading Saadat Hasan Manto’s Bombay Stories almost entirely blind. I have not read Salman Rushdie. I have read, perhaps, two short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. I might shamefully add that I really. . .
Throughout his work The Gray Notebook, Josep Pla mentions many different authors, some of whom have inspired him to pick up a pen. One of them is Marcel Proust. Even though Pla normally prefers nonfiction, he lauds the French novelist. . .