26 November 13 | Chad W. Post

For the past ten years, The Morning News hosts the Tournament of Books, a March Madness of sorts for works of fiction. Every bracket matchup is decided by a blogger/writer/critic/minor celebrity who picks between the two books on merit, readability, cover design, weight, other intangibles—whatever they want.

As a sucker for a) brackets and b) contests, I usually pay some attention to this every year. Or, I used to. Over the past few years, the “Sweet 16” titles have been overwhelmingly American. Which is fine, obviously, there are great American writers out there, but, well, at the same time, it just seems a bit provincial and lame.

SO. For this year’s Tournament—the 10th!—I’d like to see a few international works make it. More specifically I would give anything1 to get an Open Letter book into the competition.

Until December 2nd, The Morning News is accepting write-ins for the Long List of Potential Books via this Survey Monkey form..

If you click there and enter in one of the eligible Open Letter titles listed below, and then email me at chad.post [at] rochester [dot] edu, I’ll give you a special gift code to use on our new website.2

Here are the titles that are eligible for this year’s Tournament of Books:

  • Tirza by Arnon Grunberg, translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett (Personally, I think this one might have the best chance of making it.)
  • L’amour by Marguerite Duras, translated from the French by Kazim Ali and Libby Murphy
  • The Dark by Sergio Chejfec, translated from the Spanish by Heather Cleary
  • 18% Gray by Zachary Karabashliev, translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel
  • Everything Happens as It Does by Albena Stambolova, translated from the Bulgarian by Olga Nikolova
  • A Short Tale of Shame by Angel Igov, translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel
  • High Tide by Inga Ābele, translated from the Latvian by Kaija Straumanis
  • Two or Three Years Later by Ror Wolf, translated from the German by Jennifer Marquart

Just choose your favorite, write it in, and email me at chad.post [at] rochester [dot] edu and I’ll give you some thanks.

1 That “anything” is capped at a $5 gift certificate to Open Letter’s website. Well, at least publicly . . . WINK, WINK.

2 More on the new site tomorrow morning when it is live, but it’s basically like the old site, only 100,000,000 TIMES COOLER. All the same products will be available, so if you’ve been holding out to buy a subscription, or waiting to get the First 50 Open Letter titles, or just want a copy of Death in Spring, you can get $5 simply by showing your love for our titles.


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