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Three Percent #188: Cultural Support in Multilingual Spain [A Riveting Event]

In this episode, Chad talks with Olga Castro (Univ. of Warwick), and translators Jacob Rogers (Galician), Mara Faye Lethem (Catalan), Robin Munby (Asturian), and Aritz Branton (Basque) about literatures from the official (and unofficial) languages of Spain, ways in which the regional governments support translation from these ...

BTBA 2020 Streaming Events

In a normal year, we would be gathering in NYC to announce the winners of the Best Translated Book Award, followed by a nice reception. Well . . . Since that's obviously not going to happen, we actually came up with TWO replacement events that—if I'm being totally honest—might be even better than our normal party, ...

Seventeen [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2019 Best Translated Book Awards.  Adam Hetherington is a reader and a BTBA judge. Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama, translated from the Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai (Japan, FSG) In August of 1985, Japan Airlines ...

“Seventeen” by Hideo Yokoyama

Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama Translated from Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai 368 pgs. | hc | 9780374261245 | $28.00 MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux Review by Maggie Myers   Seventeen is a thrilling mixture of truth and fiction by Hideo Yokoyama, acclaimed author of Six Four (which has also been translated into ...

Two Events in Toronto!

If you listen to either of our podcasts, you probably know that I’ve been traveling a whole lot this fall. Spain, Poland, Minneapolis (twice!), and Brazil. All of these trips have been fantastic, and you can expect some posts about Poland and Brazil in the near future, but in the meantime, I wanted to tell you about my ...

Two Month Review #2.8: this is the eleventh book, my 12th composition book, book 13 (Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller, Pages 282-305)

CORRECTION: Throughout this podcast, we joke about having recorded the final episode of the season live at Spoonbill & Sugartown last weekend. This is a lie! The live event will take place THIS SATURDAY (September 30, 2017) as part of the Taste of Iceland events. Eliza Reid, Iceland’s First Lady, will start things ...

Two Month Review #2.5: tómas's seventh composition book, 8. (Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller, Pages 140-199)

This week author and translator Idra Novey joins Chad and Lytton to talk about one of the most challenging sections of the book so far. Not only is there a proliferation of children whose voices constantly interrupt Tómas’s thoughts, but there are a few more unsettling bits that raise questions about what we should ...

Read Local: Supporting Rochester Presses and Making Events Fun Again

Although we referenced Read Local in the write up of Josefine Klougart’s tour, I haven’t really explained what it is here, or why I think it could be a really exciting thing for Rochester. Just to as not to bury the lede, the first Read Local event is Friday, September 23rd at 6pm at Nox Cocktail Lounge. ...

All Open Letter Fall Events

Although I already miss the lazy days of summer, this fall is going to be amazing. First off, the St. Louis Cardinals will be in the playoffs, again, which guarantees me at least a couple weeks of emotional rollercoasting and eventual disappointment. In terms of books, there are a ton of great things coming out this ...

"The Man Between" Event in Rochester on Thursday, April 2nd

If you happen to live in Rochester, or would like to visit and check our Open Letter and/or the University of Rochester’s Literary Translation Programs, I HIGHLY encourage you to come out this Thursday for one of the most star-studded translation events we’ve ever put together. In honor of The Man Between: ...

Reminder for Three Percent Events Calendar

Considering that the fall semester and season are night, we just wanted to post a brief reminder that Three Percent is happy to add literary translation events to its Events Calendar. To have events added to the calendar, please send all relevant event information (time, location, description, etc., and web link, if ...

Crossing Worlds: Translation, Eventfulness, and the Political @ Barnard College

On Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3, the Center for Translation Studies and the Columbia Institute for Comparative Literature and Society will present a conference, Crossing Worlds: Translation, Eventfulness, and the Political. Crossing Worlds: Translation, Eventfulness and the Political, a conference organized by the ...

Bulgarian Literature Live! [All the Events, Part III]

And, following on the posts about Amanda Michalopoulou’s tour and the announcement of the Reading the World Conversation Series events, here are some details about a few upcoming Bulgarian literature events that might interest you. Bulgarian Fiction Night at 192 Books Tuesday, April 8th, 7pm Albena Stambolova ...

Spring 2014 Reading the World Conversation Series [All the Events, Part II]

Following on the post about Amanda Michalopoulou’s upcoming events, here’s a list of all three Reading the World Conversation Series events taking place this month. Women in Translation Thursday, April 10th, 6pm Welles-Brown Room Rush Rhees Library University of Rochester Rochester, NY 14627 A ...

Amanda Michalopoulou's Reading Tour [All the April Events, Part I]

Amanda Michalopoulou’s second novel to appear in English, the brilliantly titled Why I Killed My Best Friend, doesn’t officially come out until May 20th, but we released it a couple months early for her cross-country tour. The book details the lifelong ups-and-downs of two best friends who meet in grade ...

PEN America Event for Stig Dagerman

A couple weeks ago, a copy of Stig Dagerman’s Sleet (translated by Steven Hartman) arrived at our offices. To be honest, I’d never heard of Dagerman, but the attractive cover (I am a fan of Godine’s new Verba Mundi designs) and a very nice email from the book’s publicist kept this on my desk as a book ...

RTWCS: Ledig House Event CANCELLED

This should be pretty obvious, but we’ve had to cancel Tuesday’s RTWCS: Ledig House Event. Hopefully we’ll be able to do something with them in the spring. In the meantime, stay dry, ...

RTWCS: Ledig House Event

Next Tuesday we’re going to be hosting the second event of this year’s Reading the World Conversation Series—our annual event featuring four authors currently in residence at the Ledig House. As one of—if not the—only residencies in the U.S. dedicated to international writing and literature, ...

EVENT – Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011: Sergio Chejfec & Margaret B. Carson

Our second (and final!) Reading the World Conversation Series event of the fall is happening in just a few days. As always, it’s taking place in Rochester, NY. So, if you’re in the area, you’d better check it out—lest all your friends go without you and bond intimately over the great time they all ...

Reminder: RTWCS Event Tonight!

If you’re in the Rochester area, you should definitely come out for tonight’s Reading the World Conversation Series event. This is the first one of the 2011-12 season (which may actually be the last season due to lack of funding—another story for another post) and will feature four writers and translators ...

Albert Cossery and Two Lines Launch Event

On Wednesday, November 9th at 7:30pm, Two Lines is collaborating with The Bridge reading series to put on a special event at McNally Jackson (52 Prince St.) in celebration of the new issue, Counterfeits. “Counterfeits” editor Luc Sante will host the event, and will be joined by translators Aaron Kerner, Patrick ...

EVENT – Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011: International Writers from the Ledig House

Our big Reading the World Conversation Series events for the fall are just about to start, with our first event happening next Tuesday. If you’re near the Rochester (NY) area, please come and check it out. Here are the intoxicating details on event #1: Reading the World Conversation Series: International Writers ...

PEN World Voices in Rochester [Events!]

In case we haven’t mentioned this before, tonight we’re co-hosting a special event with Writers & Books and PEN World Voices featuring three international authors: Najat El Hachmi, Marcelo Figueras, and Carsten Jensen. All the info can be found here, but in short, this event starts at 7pm at Writers & ...

PEN: Brooklyn Public Library Event

Where: Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch, Dweck Center, 10 Grand Army Plaza, New York City The status of Arab women—often portrayed in the US and Europe as invisible, silent, and subjugated—has been used for a variety of purposes, from passing discriminatory legislation to justifying invasion. Join moderator ...

PEN: Next Steps: On College, Jobs, and Independence, an Event for Young Adults

Where: Westbeth Center for the Arts, Gallery, 57 Bethune St., New York City The professional trajectory in publishing was once crystal-clear: graduate from college, learn the craft through an apprenticeship, and land a cushy gig. But decades of economic strain have considerably diminished opportunities for building a ...

EVENT – Wednesday, April 27, 2011: Reading the World w/ Thomas Pletzinger & Ross Benjamin

Our final Reading the World event of the spring is coming up next Wednesday, April 27, in Rochester. (This event is not to be confused, by the way, with another that we have scheduled quickly thereafter on May 2. That event is our contribution to the PEN World Voices Tour, and we’ll be posting all the info on that ...

EVENT – Wednesday, April 13, 2011: Reading the World w/ Piotr Sommer & Bill Martin

As mentioned in the previous post, our second RTW event of the spring is almost upon us, and it’s happening this Wednesday, April 13, at the University of Rochester. All the breathtaking details follow below. Reading the World Conversation Series Piotr Sommer & Bill Martin: Polish Poetry and ...

EVENT – Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 – Reading the World Conversation Series: Samuel Hazo & Nirvana Tanoukhi

Our first RTW event of the “spring” (I think we’d better keep that term in quotes for a little while longer, especially in Rochester) is coming up in just a few short weeks. See below for all the advance info that’s fit to print. Reading the World Conversation Series: Samuel Hazo & Nirvana ...

Reading the World Conversation Series: Announcing Our Spring 2011 Events

Extended details on all three events are in the queue. In the meantime, though, here’s a rundown of the schedule for this spring’s Reading the World Conversation Series. These events are hosted by Open Letter and University of Rochester Arts & Sciences, and all events are supported in part by the ...

Bragi Olafsson's Upcoming Events & Giveaway

As you may already know, Bragi Olafsson’s new novel, The Ambassador, is releasing next month. It’s an awesome, hilarious, fun novel about an Icelandic poet who attends a poetry festival in Lithuania, where his coat is stolen, where he gets pretty wasted, and where he meets a bunch of eccentric poets (surprise?). ...

Tonight's RTWCS Event

For all of you within driving distances of Rochester, you really should come out tonight for our first Reading the World Conversation Series Event of the season. Barbara Epler (publisher of New Directions) will be talking with Susan Bernofsky (translator of a number of German authors) about Robert Walser’s Microscripts, ...

Fall 2010 Reading the World Conversation Series Events

And here it is—the official Fall RTWCS schedule. We have three great events lined up with a possible surprise fourth in the works (more info on that when/if it happens), and hopefully any and everyone in the Central NY area will come out for these. And if you’re not living in the CNY, you can always fly in . . . ...

A Quasi-Literary Event for People in Rochester

This isn’t an official Open Letter event (or Three Percent event, or Writers & Books event), but any and everyone in Rochester reading this should come to Tapas 177 tomorrow night at 8pm for the second “Rochester Literary Salon.” This was an idea that Alexa Scott-Flaherty (of Writers & Books) and I ...

PEN World Voices: Friday's Events

Following up on yesterday’s post about today’s PEN World Voices events, here’s a list of the things taking place on Friday that seem most interesting to me. (Some of which I’ll be writing about for the PEN blogs. More on that later.) The Poetry of Edward Hopper (Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue, ...

PEN World Voices Festival (Preview of Thursday Events)

I’ve been meaning to write a bunch of things about the PEN World Voices events, but, well, life has sort of gotten in the way. Instead, what I think I’ll do is simply preview some of tomorrow’s events, and then tomorrow I’ll write up stuff about Friday and weekend. I’m flying down early (like ...

Macedonio Fernandez Event at the Americas Society

So last month, the day after the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award, the Americas Society hosted an amazing panel to help launch Macedonio Fernandez’s The Museum of Eterna’s Novel (The First Good Novel). This event—which Open Letter executive committee member Hal Glasser helped put ...

Reading the World Conversation Series: Announcing Our Spring 2010 Events

More information on each event will be posted separately, but—so you can mark your calendars now—here is the rundown of all three events in this spring’s Reading the World Conversation Series at the University of Rochester. These events are hosted by Open Letter and University of Rochester Arts & ...

"The Greatest Event Since It and the World Began"

So now that the Best Translated Book Awards are over, I can fully concentrate on the next event—one for Macedonio Fernandez’s The Museum of Eterna’s Novel (The First Good Novel) that is taking place tonight at the Americas Society tonight at 7pm. Our cheeky title for this event comes from Macedonio ...

The Greatest Event Since It and the World Began

This is still a few weeks away, but seeing that I’ll be off in Abu Dhabi for a while (see tomorrow’s post), I thought I should mention this now. On Thursday, March 11th at 7:00pm at the Americas Society (680 Park Ave, NYC) there will be a special event in honor of the first English publication of Macedonio ...

Tonight's BTBA Event!

(A glamorous shelf in my glamorous office filled with BTBA titles.) Just a reminder that after five weeks of build-up, we’ll be announcing the fiction and poetry finalists for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards tonight at 7pm tonight at Idlewild Books (12 W. 19th St.). Cressida Leyshon will be ...

BTBA Finalists Event at Idlewild Books

We still have a few (like seven) books from the fiction longlist left to profile, but to be honest, my attention is turning to next week’s announcement of the fiction and poetry finalists . . . As we did last year, we’ll be announcing 10 books from each category—truly the best of the best of the literature ...

The Most Important Television Event of the Century

Begins tonight with the season six premiere of Lost. And of course, since I lost the TV in my divorce (grr!) and have my kids tonight (yah! except for the no going over to someone’s house to watch Lost aspect), I’ll have to wait until tomorrow or Thursday to actually see tonight’s episode . . . So if anyone ...

¿Qué pasa? An NBCC Reads Event

Where: Durango Building, UT-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX The National Book Critics Circle recently polled its membership on the question: “Which work in translation has had the most effect on your reading and writing?”  Some of the responses were posted on the NBCC Web site. As a follow-up, in various cities the NBCC ...

Reading the World Conversation Series: Announcing Our Fall 2009 Events

For all those in the Rochester area, here are the events we’ve scheduled for this fall’s Reading the World Conversation Series. More information on each individual event will be posted soon, but here is the rundown, so you can mark your calendars now. These events are hosted by Open Letter and University of ...

Events To Attend

Our events calendar is a bit empty right now (if you’re hosting—or attending—any interesting events related to international literature, please e-mail us so that we can include it on that calendar to the right . . ), but there are a number of interesting events coming up that might be of ...

Some Upcoming Events at Skylight Books

Here’s a message from Monica Carter of Salonica and Skylight Books—our featured indie store of the month—about some interesting upcoming events. One of the trademarks of Skylight Books is the ability to recognize and promote the literary greats of our time. Ten years ago, Skylight Books not only ...

Did You See Our Events Calendar?

The newest addition to Three Percent is our “Translation Events Calendar,” which is over to the right, beneath the featured Indie Bookstore of the Month. The purpose of this calendar is to highlight translation related events (readings from international authors, roundtables featuring translators, etc.) from ...

Death in Spring: Review and Event

Death in Spring by Merce Rodoreda is probably our biggest book of the spring. I was planning on giving away a few copies of the galley, but the response from reviewers was so overwhelming that we quite literally ran out (we don’t even have a copy in our archive) and even had to send out a few unbound copies. This ...

Event: The Politics of Translation

Next Monday (March 23), we’re hosting a roundtable discussion at the University of Rochester with several highly distinguished guests—and, also, Chad will be there. Here are the basics: “The Politics of Translation: What Gets Translated and Why” March 23, 5:00 P.M. Plutzik Library (in Special ...

Harvard "Select Seventy" and Other Open Letter Publicity

I just found out last week that the Harvard Book Store selected The Conqueror by Jan Kjaerstad as part of its Select Seventy program. As implied by the name, this program consists of seventy books selected by booksellers and buyers—all of which are sold at a 20% discount for the month. Seeing any of our books on a ...

The Philoctetes Center Event on Translation

A couple weeks ago, the Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of the Imagination (one of the best names I’ve ever come across), hosted an interesting event on translation: Borges once noted that nothing was more central to the “modest mystery” of literature than translation. Across centuries and ...

BOMB's Americas Issue Event

Just a reminder that BOMB’s special event for the 10th anniversary of its “Americas Issue” is taking place tonight at the King Juan Carlos Center at NYU (53 Washington Square South). The event starts at 6:30 and includes readings from two great Chilean poets—Raul Zurita and Nicanor Parra—and ...

Upcoming Events Pt. II: Has the US Lost Touch with World Literature?

If only teleporting was cheap, and, you know, possible . . . Friday, January 23, 2009 7:00pm – 9:00pm Housing Works Bookstore Café 126 Crosby Street New York, NY Panelists Esther Allen, translator, former co-director of PEN World Voices, author of International PEN report on Translation and Globalization; ...

Upcoming Events Pt. I: BOMB's "Americas Issue" Party

Just so happens I’m going to be in New York for this, and will definitely be attending: Thursday, January 29 Reading & Launch Party Reception 6:30–8:30pm Co-sponsored by NYU’s MFA Program in Creative Writing in Spanish Contributors to BOMB 106 read in both Spanish and English. Featuring the work ...

This Week's Events

This week is probably going to be another slow one for Three Percent, but for good reason. Bragi Olafsson is in town and we’ve stacked up a number of events and readings, beginning tonight. Here’s his official schedule: Reading and Discussion on Monday, October 6th, 8pm Karpeles Manuscript Library 220 North St. ...

New York Lit Crawl and the CLMP Event

Tomorrow evening, the first ever New York City Lit Crawl will take place. Essentially a bar crawl + literature, the Lit Crawl will feature five events taking place in the Lower East Side at 6 pm, followed by another six events in the East Village at 7:15, and then six more in Williamsburg at 8:30, with a final after-party at ...

Cool Idea for a Book Event

Over at The Valve there’s an interesting reading event taking place that could be a really cool model for future online book clubs. The book at the center of this event is Douglas Wolk’s very interesting Reading Comics. But it’s the structure of this “event” that got me intrigued. ...

The Best PEN World Voice Event Ever

In my opinion at least, was the “Tribute to Robert Walser,” the audiofile of which is now available online A number of audiofiles from this year’s festival—including the Town Hall Readings, the Mia Farrow and Bernard-Henri Levy discussion on Darfur, and the Celebration of New Voices from China now ...

Center for the Art of Translation Event

We don’t usually post event info here, but based on the nature of (and Three Percent/Open Letter connection to) this event, I think it’s definitely worth highlighting. All this info is repeated below, but as part of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference (a.k.a. AWP), the Center for the Art of ...

Open Letter Article, Fall List, and Upcoming Event

This is a pretty loaded post, but this morning the new issue of UR’s Currents was released (which explains the above picture) and includes a long overview on Open Letter, including descriptions of our inaugural list of titles. The books don’t come out until Fall 2008 (the first will have a September 26th pub ...

Sunflower event in NYC

Sara, at NYRB’s weblog, is inviting you to their ‘launch’ event for Sunflower. If you’re in NYC tomorrow you should go check it out. The Hungarian Cultural Center presents John Lukacs in conversation with John Bátki. They will be discussing Gyúla Krúdy’s Sunflower. This fantasia of a book ...

Brooklyn Book Festival and Other Events

The Brooklyn Book Festival is on Sunday, and has a host of interesting events scheduled. (I’d include the link, but the website doesn’t allow it.) One that I’m definitely going to attend is “Brooklyn Bridges to Europe,” 3pm on Sunday at St. Francis College (180 Remsen St.): Brooklyn ...

Another Interesting New York Event

Also taking place in New York is a reading and discussion of Mexico: A Traveler’s Literary Companion, which is an anthology of Mexican fiction. The event is Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 6 pm, at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at NYU and will feature editor CM Mayo, writers Pedro Angel Palou and Monica ...

“Un Amor” by Sara Mesa and Katie Whittemore [Excerpt]

Today's #WITMonth post is an except from Un Amor by Sara Mesa and Katie Whittemore, coming out in October. This was the "book of the year" in Spain when it came out in 2o20, and was praised to the skies by all the major Spanish newspapers and media outlets. There's even a film version coming out this fall directed by Isabel ...

Revisiting “Monsterhuman” by Kjersti Skomsvold

As part of Women in Translation Month—and to shine a spotlight on some of our best Two Month Review seasons—I thought I would repost information about a few relevant TMR seasons that might be of interest. First up is Monsterhuman by Kjersti Skomsvold, translated from the Norwegian by B. L. Crook. Here's the jacket ...

Four Books for Women in Translation Month

Given that the posts over the past week plus have been very heavy on Open Letter and Dalkey Archive titles (*cough* and or exclusively about OL and DAP titles *cough*),, I thought I'd take a minute to point out a handful of Women in Translation books that I recently found out about and am adding to my "to read" ...

TMR 19.12: “Fill Up with Karmas” [THE REMEMBERED PART]

Brian returns to help breakdown the ending to Rodrigo Fresán's "Part Triptych." Is it earned? Is it sincere?? Is this all a Jacob's Ladder scenario??? Chad and Brian debate that along with concepts of time in fiction, the Karmas, the wetness of Latvian meat, Melvill and Mulligan Stew. Fun is had as this long, amazing ...

The Visual Success of Women in Translation Month [Translation Database]

Women in Translation Month is EVERYWHERE. Whenever I open Twitter (or X?), my feed is wall-to-wall WIT Month. Tweets with pictures of books to read for WIT Month, links to articles about WIT Month and various sub-genre lists of books to read during WIT Month, general celebratory tweets in praise of Meytal Radzinski for ...

“Year After Year” by Hwang Jungeun and Janet Hong [Excerpt]

To celebrate Women in Translation Month, we will be posting excerpts, readings, summaries from the Translation Database, former Two Month Review seasons, and various special offers—so stay tuned! Today's excerpt is from Year After Year by Hwang Jungeun, translated by Janet Hong as part of her Translator Triptych. ...

TMR 19.11 “Exit and No Return and Gone Forever” [THE REMEMBERED PART]

Kaija Straumanis guest stars on this episode in which we discuss brain tumors, memory loss, the true story behind the story of The Impossible Story sending the exwriter into exile, whether of not Saint George is a saint (and dragons), paternity, and the next Fresán book to come out from Open Letter, Melvill. This ...

Re-Reading David Markson’s “Wittgenstein’s Mistress”

This piece by Philip Coleman first appeared in CONTEXT #23. To celebrate the recent release of Wittgenstein's Mistress as part of the Dalkey Archive Essentials series, it seems like the perfect time to revisit this re-reading of David Markson's classic novel about language, memory, grief, and possibly the end of the ...

“Not Even the Dead” by Juan Gómez Bárcena [Excerpt]

Officially out last Tuesday, Not Even the Dead is a throwback—an ambitious, philosophical, grand novel taking on nothing less than the history of progress over the past four hundred years. In it, Juan—at the bequest of the Spanish government—pursues "Juan the Indian" across time and Mexico, almost catching up to him ...

TMR 19.10: “The Fine Art of Leaving Something Out” [THE REMEMBERED PART]

For the first time in the history of the Two Month Review, Chad had to go it alone. He stuck in there, didn't get too crazy, and covered the last chunk of Part II of The Remembered Part. Illness, heartbreak, mental anguish, suicide, Ella, and a mission. It's all in this episode. This week's music is "Bloodletting (The ...

TMR 19.9: “The Dream of the Invention of the Memory, Etc.” [THE REMEMBERED PART]

Veeeeekingdor!!!!! This week's episode is pretty wild, with stories of Riga FC, stoic faces, Fresán's visit to the University of Rochester, Kurt Vonnegut, Andrei The Untranslated (follow his blog!, support his Patreon!), the purpose of book readings and the most uncomfortable ones, time and fiction, and much more! And ...

“Europeana” by Patrik Ouredník [Excerpt]

Forthcoming in a new "Dalkey Essentials" edition, Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century is an "eccentric overview of all the horrors, contradictions, and absurdities of the past century." It's a book that is mesmerizing in its curious patterns, which at times can sound like Snapple Fun Facts—but tend to be ...

The Book of Jokes [Reading the Dalkey Archive]

  The Book of Jokes Momus   Original publication: 2009 Original publisher: Dalkey Archive   The Book of Jokes is first original Dalkey Archive  title to be part of this series, and woo-boy is it a doozy. If you're playing “Offensive Dalkey Archive Content Bingo," you're all set! There are ...

TMR 19.8: “Notes for a Theory of the Fabric of Memory” [THE REMEMBERED PART]

Brian is back and Chad flubs the intro, so things are basically as they should be . . . They talk about fragmentation, big flawed double albums (and why they're so intriguing), how comedy works, Hey Uncle Walrus vs. Uncle Hey Walrus, memory and the losing of it, and much more. This week's music is "1979"  and 'Tonight, ...

Ryder [Reading the Dalkey Archive]

  Ryder Djuna Barnes   Original Publication: 1928 Original Publisher: Boni & Liveright First Dalkey Archive Edition: 1990   This is a baggy novel of excess, and as someone who finds it nearly impossible to keep the thread—or develop a coherent thesis (any and all AI grading systems ...

“Diary of a Blood Donor” by Mati Unt [Excerpt]

  Diary of a Blood Donor by Mati Unt translated from Estonian by Ants Eert (Dalkey Archive Press)   AN UNEXPECTED INVITATION A crow was riding the wind that came in low over the beach. Sand blew through the window, landed on my papers, entered my mouth. A yellowish light tainted the room, even my ...

TMR 19.7: “The Good Rememberer (A How-To Guide)” [THE REMEMBERED PART]

Former TMR guest Patrick Smith returns to discuss his reread of the first two volumes of the trilogy, how Fresán's writing inspires him, hanging on to flights of prose, all of the wind in this book, what it means to fall, dogs, and much much more. It's a comprehensive, deep look into what it takes to be a good reader, ...

TMR 19.6: “The Impossibility of Painting with Watercolors in the Rain” [THE REMEMBERED PART]

Chad and Kaija break down the final bit of the first part of the third volume in Fresán's trilogy (phew), revisit the "is this difficult to read?" discussion, and talk about the articles about Fresán in the new issue of Latin American Literature Today. And at the very, very end, Chad makes a startling admission. This ...

Perfect Lives [Reading the Dalkey Archive]

  Perfect Lives Robert Ashley   Original Publication: 1991 Original Publisher: Archer Fields Press First Dalkey Archive Edition: 2011   Let’s start with the cover. When this first arrived in the mail, I was certain that Ingram had sent it to me on accident. It looks nothing like ...

TMR 19.5: “The Burning Gaze of Vladimir Nabokov” [THE REMEMBERED PART]

Separated by 10 hours—like podcasting jet lag?—Chad and Brian work through some observations and rants (specifically about a shitty NY Times list of the best American books between 1981 and 2006, which consists almost entirely of Philip Roth and John Updike and only two books by women), about this section of The ...

TMR 19.4: “Read like Dracula and write like Frankenstein!” [THE REMEMBERED PART]

From Nobel Prize favorites to Proust to competitive cliques on the mountain, this week's episodes is almost as sprawling as the ex-writer's airplane thoughts. Bit more plot dropped into this section of Fresán/Vanderhyden's book, but there's also a lot about IKEA, his death and rebirth, his insincerity, and his loathsome ...

TMR 19.3: “DREAM + MEMORY = INVENTION” [THE REMEMBERED PART]

Kaija Straumanis pinch hits this week for a discussion about Lost, airplanes, the past and nostalgia, writers vs. narrators, autofiction, how hard it is to sustain a rant, ghosts, pop culture references, where we are in Fresán's trilogy, and much more. The Remembered Part keeps gathering steam, and you'll want to catch up ...

TMR 19.2: “Now That Everything That Has To Happen Has Happened” [THE REMEMBERED PART]

And they're off! Brian and Chad start remembering all that they're supposed to remember about the first two volumes of the trilogy (green cows!) and get oriented with the ex-Writer on the plane (and in the desert reading and burning Ada, or Ardor), fall right back into Fresan's humor, cynicism, bits on love, and everything ...

TMR 19.1: Where Are We At? [THE REMEMBERED PART]

Maybe not the most informative of recaps, but Brian and Chad discuss what the love about Fresán's writing, things they recall from the first two volumes of the trilogy, ideas about what to maybe expect (Dracula + Proust), peppered with the usual amount of jokes and antics. This week's music is "Pontius Pilate's Home ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 22: “The Dream Ends” [THE DREAMED PART]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 21: “IKEA” [THE DREAMED PART]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 20: “Living in Pandemica” [THE DREAMED PART]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 19: “This Is a Bullshot” [THE DREAMED PART]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 18: “The Past Is a Broken Toy That Everyone Fixes in His Own Way” [THE DREAMED PART]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 17: “Adaptations” [THE DREAMED PART]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 16: “Wuthering Heights Is Weird” [THE DREAMED PART]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 15: “Tulpas” [THE DREAMED PART]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 14: “What We Talk About When We Talk About Dreaming” [THE DREAMED PART]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 13: “Who Dreams the Dreamer” [THE DREAMED PART]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 12: “We Remember Everything” [THE DREAMED PART]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 11: The Author Himself!

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 10: THE INVENTED PART [Pgs. 441-552]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 9: THE INVENTED PART [Pgs. 405-440]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 8: THE INVENTED PART [Pgs. 361-404]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 7: THE INVENTED PART [Pgs. 301-360]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 6: THE INVENTED PART [Pgs. 231-300]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 5: THE INVENTED PART [Pgs. 208-230]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 4: THE INVENTED PART [Pgs. 99-207]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 3: THE INVENTED PART [Pgs. 46-98]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 2: THE INVENTED PART [Pgs. 1-45]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. Here are the ...

TMR Fresán Relisten Ep. 1: THE INVENTED PART [Introduction]

Welcome to the Great Fresan Relisten of 2023! Over the next four weeks, we'll be reissuing an episode a day from the The Invented Part and The Dreamed Part seasons of TMR so that you can catch-up, refresh your memory, have a few laughs, etc., before the May 10th launch of Season 19 on The Remembered Part. This was our ...

To All the Posts I Didn’t Write Last Year

If I could control space-time (a resolution for 2023 that's about as likely as the others I've made), I would have put in an additional 10 hours of research and data entry into the Translation Database before posting this. But knowing that I'll surely be crunched for time all this week, and next, and the week after, I figure ...

Season 17 of the Two Month Review Brings the Fire

It's been a minute, but we're coming back on May 4th with the all new, all fire season of the Two Month Review. Before getting into the books for this season, we have a couple of announcements. First off, we now have a twitter account just for Two Month Review, so please please follow us. Also, following the trend of ...

Edith Bruck: Recounting the Holocaust Until She Can’t

Il Pane Perduto by Edith Bruck (La Nave di Teseo, 2021) Review by Jeanne Bonner When Edith Bruck was 12 years old, she was deported to Auschwitz, and was immediately separated from her mother in a brutal scene. In her new memoir, Bruck writes that later, after being yanked away, another prisoner who had been at the camp ...

“Last Words on Earth” by Javier Serena and Katie Whittemore [Excerpt]

Last Words on Earth by Javier Serena, translated from the Spanish by Katie Whittemore (September 21, 2022) Eventually, the professor redirected the conversation toward more exotic subjects: he asked Funes to tell me about negacionismo, a poetic movement Funes had apparently founded as an adolescent in Mexico, where he ...

Three Percent #185: More Granta!

Veronica Esposito joined Chad and Valerie Miles to continue talking about Granta's second list of "Best Young Spanish-language Novelists." They talk about some of the recent Spanish reviews—and criticisms—of the list, about writing the periphery, about science-fiction and the differences between the 2010 list and the ...

The Predictive Success of Listmaking [Granta]

Let's start by saying what really shouldn't need to be said: Being included in one of Granta's "Best Young XXX Novelists" special issues is an incredible honor. These come out once a decade, with four iterations of "best young" British novelists, three for American writers, and, as of this month, two for Spanish-language ...

Three Percent #184: Valerie Miles on Granta’s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists 2

To kick off a month of features on the new Granta "Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists" issue, Chad talked with editor/translator Valerie Miles about the process of selecting these 25 authors amid a pandemic, about the shifts in demographics between the first list (from 2010) and this one, about voice and the ...

“The Adventures and Misadventures of the Extraordinary and Admirable Joan Orpí, Conquistador and Founder of New Catalonia” by Max Besora and Mara Faye Lethem

In honor of the Catalan Fellowship organized by the Institut Ramon Lllul and taking place virtually this week, I thought I would share the opening of next Catalan title to come out from Open Letter: The Adventures and Misadventures of the Extraordinary and Admirable Joan Orpí, Conquistador and Founder of New Catalonia by Max ...

Let’s Try This Instead

Now that I've taught a few hybrid sessions of my "Intro to Literary Publishing" class, I can confirm that teaching during COVID is WEIRD. So weird. (And not just because I couldn't figure out the technology on day one, or because I can't hear the students very well without being able to see their faces. Although both of those ...

TMR Season Thirteen: “Ada, or Ardor” by Vladimir Nabokov

The public has spoken, and the next book to be featured in the Two Month Review is Ada, or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov! Which is kind of perfect. We follow the thread of Anna Karenina from The Book of Anna by Carmen Boullosa to this novel, originally written in 1969, which opens: "All happy families are more or less ...

“The Discomfort of Evening” by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld [#WITMonth]

In an amazing coincidence, we were already planning on running this excerpt from The Discomfort of Evening today as part of our Women in Translation Month coverage, and lo and behold, the book just happened to win the International Man Booker this morning! Congrats to Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and Michele Hutchison, and to ...

Spanish-Language Speculative Fiction by Women in Translation. [#WITMonth]

Today's post is by Rachel Cordasco, founder and curator of Speculative Fiction in Translation, co-translator of Creative Surgery by Clelia Farris, and is working on a book about speculative fiction from around the world.  Despite 2020 being a downright awful year, it has given us several excellent works of ...

A SINGLE SWALLOW by Zhang Ling [#WITMonth]

A Single Swallow by Zhang Ling, translated from the Chinese by Shelly Bryant (AmazonCrossing) Forthcoming on October 1st from AmazonCrossing, A Single Swallow by Zhang Ling, the award-winning author of nine novels along with several short story collections. Here's the jacket copy: On the day of the historic 1945 ...

New Spanish Literature: 10 of 30 [#WITMonth]

As part of the buildup to being Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2021, the Spanish government launched a program last year under the (possibly confusing) name of "10 of 30." The plan is that each year, a new anthology featuring ten authors in their 30s will be released—all of which are translated by Katie ...

Open Letter Sale [#WITMonth]

This post is a bit of a cheat so that I can get caught back up tomorrow with my "post a day" promise, but I want to make sure that everyone knows that for all of August we're offering 40% off on all Open Letter books written by women OR translated by women. All you need to do is use WITMONTH at checkout. Here's a complete ...

Polish Reportage [#WITMonth]

Starting in 2021, Open Letter will be launching a "Polish Reportage" series. This came out of a trip I made to Krakow back in 2017 (when the Astros cheated their way to a World Series, which, remember when that mattered?) to attend the Conrad Festival and meet with a variety of authors, editors, and the like. I've always been ...

Baudrillard in the Time of COVID / Baseball Is Back!

There are two types of people who read these posts: people into international literature who like baseball, and those who don’t. What follows is an experiment—one that might not work at all. Before you get started, you have a choice: 1) if you hate genuine writing about baseball, then click here, where I’ve edited ...

Baudrillard in the Time of COVID

There’s never been a better time to read Baudrillard. There’s also never been a worse. Thanks to quarantine, the unprecedented nature of this situation, Trump, government response to the protests—everything feels like an illusion. Not an illusion in the sense that “nothing is physically realm,” although one could ...

Baseball Is Back!

The other day, the Major League Baseball season—or, rather, “season,” given that it’s 60 games; given that instead of ten teams making the playoffs, sixteen will, which is more than half the league; that every extra inning starts with a runner on 2nd base, which is very weird; and, obviously, COVID protocols and a ...

TMR 12.6: “A Substitute’s Diary, Part II” [FOUR BY FOUR]

ALTA executive director and Arabic translator (Minor Detail), Lissie Jaquette joined Chad and Brian to talk about Bedragare's breakdown and all the events in the second half of his journal. They also wonder what the "mystery" of the novel is, and talk about various (possibly nutty) theories about who killed Lux and Ledesma. ...

Propose a Session or Reading for ALTA 43

Proposal Deadline: July 6 Click here to submit a proposal. The ALTA Conference Committee invites proposals for readings and sessions for ALTA's 43rd annual conference. ALTA43: "In Between" will take place virtually in fall 2020, and we’ve moved back our proposal deadline to give us all time to adapt to our new ...

Nothing Adds Up Until You Overthrow the System

It's weird trying to write this today, May 31st, with all that's going on across the country—and around the world—right now. The images of our overly-militarized, super aggro, disgusting police officers running unarmed people over, throwing women to the ground, shooting teenagers with pepper balls and rubber bullets (that ...

“The Wind That Lays Waste” by Selva Almada [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.  Pierce Alquist has an MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College and currently works in publishing in Boston. She is a freelance book critic and writer. She is also the ...

BTBA 2020 Readings!

For the first time in the thirteen (!!) year history of the Best Translated Book Awards, we were able to host a reading for all fifteen of the finalists. With translators, authors, and editors participating, this event was incredibly fun and entertaining, and a perfect way to familiarize yourself with all of these ...

“Beyond Babylon” by Igiaba Scego [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.  Barbara Halla is an Assistant Editor for Asymptote Journal. She works as a translator and independent researcher, focusing in particular on discovering and promoting the works of ...

“Aviva-No” by Shimon Adaf [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.  Adriana X. Jacobs is the author of Strange Cocktail: Translation and the Making of Modern Hebrew Literature (University of Michigan, 2018) and associate professor of modern Hebrew ...

“Space Invaders” by Nona Fernández [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.  Chris Clarke grew up in Western Canada and currently lives in Philadelphia. His translations include books by Ryad Girod, Pierre Mac Orlan, and François Caradec. His translation of ...

. . . At the End of the World

All below quotes are from The End of the World Might Not Have Taken Place by Patrik Ouredník, translated from the Czech by Alexander Hertich (Dalkey Archive Press) THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD The future isn’t what it used to be. You must have noticed this yourself: the future isn’t what it used to be. In the past, ...

We’re Still Here . . .

"We live in a world of randomness." —William Poundstone, The Doomsday Calculation It probably goes without saying, but publishing international literature is a precarious business in the best of times. On average, sales for translated works of fiction tend to be about one-third of the average sales for a mid-list author ...

“Territory of Light” by Yuko Tsushima [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.  Kári Tulinius is an Icelandic poet and novelist. He and his family move back and forth between Iceland and Finland like a flock of migratory birds confused about the whole “warmer ...

“The Book of Collateral Damage” by Sinan Antoon [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.  Tara Cheesman is a freelance book critic, National Book Critics Circle member & 2018-2019 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Judge. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review ...

“Vernon Subutex 1” by Virginie Despentes [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.  Dorian Stuber teaches at Hendrix College and blogs about books at www.eigermonchjungfrau.blog. His work has appeared in Numéro Cinq, Open Letters Monthly, and Words without ...

“Camouflage” by Lupe Gómez [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.  Kelsi Vanada is a poet and translator from Spanish and sometimes Swedish. Her translations include Into Muteness (Veliz Books, 2020) and The Eligible Age (Song Bridge Press, 2018), ...

“Animalia” by Jean-Baptiste del Amo [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.  Jeffrey Zuckerman is an editor at Music & Literature and a translator from French, most recently of Jean Genet's The Criminal Child (NYRB, 2020). A finalist for the ...

There Are Worse Timelines [An April 2020—Is It Still 2020?—Reading Journal]

Following the [Chernobyl] accident, physicists calculated that there was a ten percent risk that a nuclear explosion on an unimaginable scale would take pace within a fortnight. Such an explosion [. . .] would have been equivalent to forty Hiroshima bombs going off at the same time, and would have rendered Europe ...

“Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” by Olga Tokarczuk [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.  Louisa Ermelino is the author of three novels; Joey Dee Gets Wise; The Black Madonna (Simon and Schuster); The Sisters Mallone (St. Martin’s Press) and a story collection, ...

Lola Rogers on “The Colonel’s Wife” by Rosa Liksom [The Book That Never Was, Pt. 2]

You can find part one here. Finnish Literature LR: As you know, Finnish literature is just like the language. It's different. It's more different from English literature than, say, German literature is. CWP: What kind of things mark Finnish literature as “different”? LR: Well, I think The Colonel’s Wife is a ...

Lola Rogers on “The Colonel’s Wife” by Rosa Liksom [The Book That Never Was, Pt. 1]

The Colonel's Wife by Rosa Liksom, translated from the Finnish by Lola Rogers (Graywolf Press) BookMarks Reviews: Five total—Four Positive, One Mixed Awards: None Number of Finnish Works of Fiction Published in Translation from 2008-2019: 65 (5.42/year) Number of Those Translations Written by Women: 40 of the ...

“Labyrinth” by Burhan Sönmez [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.  Tim Gutteridge is a Scottish literary translator, working from Spanish into English. His translation of Miserere de cocodrilos(Mercedes Rosende) will be published later this year by ...

“Tentacle” by Rita Indiana [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.  Tobias Carroll is the author of the books Reel, Transitory, and the forthcoming Political Sign.   Tentacle by Rita Indiana, translated from the Spanish by Achy ...

Jewels in Your Pocket [BTBA 2020]

This week's Best Translated Book Award post is from Christopher Phipps, a manager at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. We’ve all been warned repeatedly to never judge a book by its cover, a caution easily and often extended towards judgments based on size. Size matters not, counseled Yoda. Big things come in small ...

Is It Real? [A January 2020 Reading Diary with Charts & Observations]

It's been sooooo long since I actually wrote something for here . . . I'm not entirely sure how to start! Chad 1.0 would open with something like "$%*# agents" and then go off on a couple individuals who are currently driving me INSANE. Chad 2.0 would come up with some wacky premise that blends ideas behind sabermetrics ...

“Reading Christine Montalbetti” by Warren Motte

As part of a larger series of initiatives involving Open Letter and Dalkey Archive Press, over the next few months, we'll be running a number of articles from CONTEXT magazine, a tabloid-style magazine started by John O'Brien and Dalkey Archive in 2000 as a way of introducing booksellers and readers to innovative writers ...

“Italian Short Stories” ed. by Jhumpa Lahiri

Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories ed. Jhumpa Lahiri Translated from the Italian by Various 528 pgs. | hc | 9780241299838 | $30.00 Penguin Random House Review by Jeanne Bonner   Novels and memoirs often become labors of love for the authors who birth them. But what about an anthology? How often do we imagine ...

“Ghachar Ghochar” by Vivek Shanbhag

Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag Translated from the Kannada by Srinath Perur 117 pgs. | pb | 9789352775057 | $15.00 Penguin Random House Review by Kira Baran   What purpose does a book serve if its content can be neatly condensed onto, and thereby extracted from, its book jacket? Intentionally or not, author ...

“The Book of Disappearance: A Novel” by Ibtisam Azem

The Book of Disappearance: A Novel by Ibtisam Azem Translated from the Arabic by Sinan Antoon 256 pgs. | pb | 9780815611110 | $19.95 Syracuse University Press Review by Grant Barber   This wonderful, important second novel by Ibtisam Azem in English translation came out just in time for the observance of Women ...

Dark, Strange Books by Women in Translation [BTBA 2020]

This week's Best Translated Book Award post is from Pierce Alquist, who has a MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College and currently works in publishing in Boston. She is a freelance book critic, writer, and Book Riot contributor. She is also the Communications Coordinator for the Transnational Literature Series ...

Book 6 [The No Context Project]

If you want the context for the "no context project," check out this post, which lays everything out and applies a 20-80 grading scale to "Book 7." Since I really want to get through these mystery books sooner rather than later--so that I can find out what they are and grade myself--I put aside my Charco reading for a bit ...

“Beasts Head for Home” by Abe Kōbō

Beasts Head for Home by Abe Kōbō Translated from the Japanese by Richard F. Calichman 191 pgs.| pb | 9780231177054 | $25 Columbia University Press Review by Brendan Riley   Crisp, stark, pristine scenes of gaunt settlements, vast wilderness, and tense human encounters fill this 1957 novel by Abe Kōbō, the ...

Three Percent #172: ALTA 42 Preview

A bit of a disorienting podcast for anyone not attending ALTA, but in this episode, Chad addresses the recent ALTA book fair controversy, and then they go over the general schedule, highlighting a number of interesting-sounding panels, previewing some off-site events, and recommending non-ALTA bars for attendees to hang out ...

“Garden by the Sea” by Mercè Rodoreda

  Garden by the Sea by Mercè Rodoreda Translated from the Catalan by Maruxa Relaño and Martha Tennent 230 pgs. | pb | 9781948830089   | $15.95 Open Letter Books Review by Kira Baran   Originally published in 1967 in the Catalan, Garden by the Sea is just one of several works that has earned ...

Available Now: THE INCOMPLETES by Sergio Chejfec and Heather Cleary

“A masterfully nested narrative where writing—its presence on the page, its course through time, its prismatic dispersion of meaning—is the true protagonist.” —Hernan Diaz, author of In the Distance “Now I am going to tell the story of something that happened one night years ago, and the events of the ...

10 Anecdotes About the 2019 National Book Award Translated Literature Longlist

As you likely know already, the National Book Foundation announced the longlist for the 2019 National Book Award for Translated Literature yesterday. It's always hard for me to figure out what to say about something like this—it's exactly the sort of thing we should be presenting here on Three Percent, as part of our ...

Smelling Books [BTBA 2020]

This week's BTBA post if from Justin Walls, a bookseller with Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon who can be found on Twitter @jaawlfins. The conceptual artist Anicka Yi's olfactory-based installation Washing Away of Wrongs (2014, created in conjunction with French perfumer Christophe Laudamiel) consists of two ...

Flash Sale on Open Letter Preorders!

For a few different reasons—mainly that I wasn't able to get the new excerpt from Sara Mesa's Four by Four online until the WITMonth discount code had expired, but also to celebrate The Dreamed Part being on Kirkus's list of "30 Most Anticipated Fiction Books"—we've decided to have a flash sale on all of our ...

Thirty-One Books by Women in Translation [BTBA 2020]

This week's BTBA post is from Pierce Alquist, who has a MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College and currently works in publishing in Boston. She is also a freelance book critic, writer, and Book Riot contributor. She can be found on Twitter @PierceAlquist and on Book Riot. Women in Translation Month is nearing ...

“Cars on Fire” by Mónica Ramón Ríos [Excerpt]

Now you're really getting to preview our books . . . Although Cars on Fire by Mónica Ramón Ríos, translated from the Spanish by Robin Myers, is available for preorder from various online retailers, we don't even have this book up on our website yet and, as of yesterday, on our website as well. We haven't even presented ...

“The Teacher” by Michal Ben-Naftali [Excerpt]

There are three more forthcoming Open Letter titles by women that I want to share for Women in Translation Month. First up is The Teacher by Michel Ben-Naftali, translated from the Hebrew by Daniella Zamir. Here's the jacket copy: No one knew the story of Elsa Weiss. She was a respected English teacher at a Tel Aviv high ...

TMR 9.04: Monsterhuman by Kjersti Skomsvold (pgs 144-180)

Even though the first few seconds ("On today's Two Month Review we'll be talking about . . . ") got cut off, Chad gives his most professional podcast introduction to date, before he and Brian talk about the Nansen Academy, the cyclical nature of chronic illness, the idea of plot points vs. events, and reasons their respective ...

Women in Translation for BTBA 2020

It's time for weekly BTBA posts! First up is one by Louisa Ermelino, who is the author of three novels; Joey Dee Gets Wise; The Black Madonna (Simon and Schuster); The Sisters Mallone (St. Martin’s Press) and a story collection, Malafemmina (Sarabande). She has worked ...

40% Off All Open Letter Books Written or Translated by Women

Women in Translation Month is always an exciting time to discover, read, discuss, and celebrate books by women from around the world. It was created by Meytal Radzinski back in 2014 (who we're hoping to have on a podcast this month), and has since spawned numerous articles, events, and even the Warwick Prize for Women in ...

Embrace the Chaos

So, for the first time in, probably ever, when I didn't have an idea for this week's post, I didn't steal one of Sam Miller's ideas from the Effectively Wild podcast. Instead, in a real reversal, I went back to the podcasts I recorded last week and came up with two completely unrelated concepts that I'm going to jam ...

Publishers: Come to ALTA 42 in Rochester!

For all editors and publishers out there, we wanted to put make sure you knew about  the American Literary Translators Association conference in Rochester on November 7-10 and some of the opportunities available to publishers. Nowadays the ALTA conference attracts ~450 literary translators to a conference featuring ...

The All or Nothing of Book Conversation

In theory, this is a post about Norwegian female writers in translation. I know it's going to end up in a very different space, though, so let's kick this off with some legit stats that can be shared, commented on, and used to further the discussion about women in translation. Back in the first post of July—Norwegian ...

Season 9 of the Two Month Review: Monsterhuman by Kjersti Skomsvold

Now that I'm back from a week-long self-imposed retreat, it's time to overwhelm this site with posts about Norwegian literature. There are two special audio interviews in the works, a post about a few female Norwegian writers (and Shirley Jackson) that will go up on Monday, and the kick off of the new season of the Two Month ...

Jan Kjærstad [Sort of the Open Letter Author of the Month]

Prior to the start of July, my plan was to highlight Jan Kjæstad, author of the "Jonas Wergeland Trilogy" about a famous TV director who is jailed for murdering his wife. The three books present three different histories of Wergeland's life, which is interesting enough, but what's really great is how each one employs a ...

Three Percent #163: What Do You Want

Chad and Tom talk about a number of interrelated issues related to the costs of bookstore ownership and being a bookseller. They talk about the recent letter from Chris Doeblin at Book Culture, The Book Diaries, Human Rights for Translators,  the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Internet and Book Culture, and the ...

“The Book of Collateral Damage” by Sinan Antoon

The Book of Collateral Damage by Sinan Antoon Translated from the Arabic by James Richardson 312 pgs. | hc | 9780300228946 | $24.00 Yale Margellos Press Review by Grant Barber   Author Sinan Antoon is an Assoc. Professor at the Gallatin School of Individual Study of NYU. His undergraduate degree was in 1990 from ...

The Five Tools, Part I: Authors [Let’s Praise My Friends]

One of the most entertaining parts of my past three weeks of travel was the discovery that Norwegians refer to first-time authors as “debutants.” Which, OK, at first, is weird. The first time someone said it aloud, “she’s a debutant author,” I too had the urge to correct them. But then, like any great joke that's ...

Four Attempts at Approaches [Drawn & Quarterly]

This post comes to you thanks to a few different starting points: a box of translated graphic novels that Drawn & Quarterly sent me a couple of weeks ago, the fact that Janet Hong translated one of them (see last week’s interview), the fact that I don’t have time this month to read a ton of novels for these weekly ...

“Melville: A Novel” by Jean Giono

Melville by Jean Giono Translated from the French by Paul Eprile 108 pgs. | pb | 9781681371375 | $14.00 NYRB Review by Brendan Riley   In The Books in My Life (1952), Henry Miller, devoting an entire chapter to French writer Jean Giono (1895-1970), boasts about spending “several years. . . . preaching the ...

Interview with Janet Hong [Graphic Novels in Translation]

Off to a bit of a slow start here, but this month's focus on Three Percent is going to be graphic novels in translation. I'll have a post up on Monday about some Drawn & Quarterly titles I've been reading, then one on NYRB Comics later in the month. Also hoping to have another interview or two, but I'll keep those to ...

Carlos Labbé [Author of the Month]

In celebration of the release of Carlos Labbé's Spiritual Choreographies later this month--and because of a little surprise we'll unveil soon enough--we decided to make Carlos our "Author of the Month." From now until June 1st, you can use the code LABBE at checkout to get 30% off any and all of his books. (Including ePub ...

Bride and Groom [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2019 Best Translated Book Awards.  Ruchama Johnston-Bloom, who writes about modern Jewish thought and Orientalism. She has a PhD in the History of Judaism from the University of Chicago and is the Associate Director of ...

People in the Room [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2019 Best Translated Book Awards.  Tom Flynn is the manager/buyer for Volumes Bookcafe (@volumesbooks on all social sites) in Chicago. He can often be found interrupting others' work in order to make them read a ...

A Guesstimation of a Booklist Review-type Post

I alluded to this in an earlier post, but the main reason Three Percent has been light on this sort of content (and heavy on BTBA content, which is all stellar and worth checking out) isn't due to a lack of desire or interest, but a confluence of other events: deadlines for two pieces (one that should be available shortly, ...

“Dark Constellations” by Pola Oloixarac

Dark Constellations by Pola Oloixarac Translated from the Spanish by Roy Kesey 216 pgs. | pb | 9781616959234 | $22.00 Soho Press Reviewed by Grant Barber     Dark Constellations, the second novel in translation by the author of Savage Theories, continues the intriguing, complex narratives of science, ...

After the Winter [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2019 Best Translated Book Awards.  Rebecca Hussey is a community college English professor, a book reviewer, and a Book Riot contributor, where she writes a monthly round-up of indie press books, including many books ...

Interview with Damion Searls about Anniversaries [Part II]

I'm on a self-imposed hiatus from writing posts for this site until I finish two other articles for other publications (almost done!), but I am lifting this restriction for one post to share the next set of answers from Damion Searls in my (probably never-ending) interview with him about Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries.  To ...

The Man Between [Genre of the Month]

I've been very lax in writing about the Open Letter author/genre of the month for April: nonfiction. But, there are still a couple of weeks left to share some info about our previously published and forthcoming works of nonfiction. And, as always, you can get 30% any of these books by using NONFICTION at ...

CoDex 1962 [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2019 Best Translated Book Awards.  George Carroll is a former bookseller and a West Coast representative for numerous publishers of translated literature. He is currently the curator ...

Meet the BTBA Judges!

Tomorrow morning at 10am the 2019 Best Translated Book Award longlists will be revealed over at The Millions. As a bit of a preview, the judges wanted to introduce themselves . . . Keaton Patterson, a lifelong Texan, has an MA in Literature from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. For the past five years, he has been ...

Interview with Damion Searls about Anniversaries [Part I]

Assuming that I'll be reading Anniversaries slowly but surely over the next four months, I thought it would be fun to talk to translator Damion Searls about the book along the way. If all goes according to plan, these monthly installments will develop into a rich conversation about the book, translation issues, and much ...

Blogging Like It’s 1967 [Anniversaries, Volume 1]

Tomorrow afternoon we'll run the first of several interviews with Damion Searls, translator of the first complete version of Anniversaries to appear in English. If things go according to plan, each month we'll dig deeper and deeper into this massive book, a twentieth-century masterpiece that weighs something ...

BTBA-Eligible Books from Japan [BTBA 2019]

We're exactly 24 days away from finding out which titles are on the 2019 BTBA longlist! (It will be announced at The Millions, and I [Chad] won't know what's on it until everyone else finds out. I'm so excited! I love being completely in the dark about this.) If you're interested in joining the conversation about which books ...

“Ergo” by Jakov Lind [Excerpt]

Slowly and heavily, a hippopotamus rising from the Nile, he rose from the paper mountain, beat the nightmare of virginal lewdness out of his clothes and stood there, a squat man of sixty with short gray hair and swollen lips, crossing his hands over his forehead, and looked around him darkly. Have you been watching me again ...

Joshua Cohen on Jakov Lind [Author of the Month]

Our featured author of the month is Jakov Lind, an author whose biography, as you'll read below, is absolutely fascinating. To celebrate his work, we're offering 30% off on Landscape in Concrete and Ergo all month—just use the code LIND at checkout.  Joshua Cohen (The Book of Numbers, Witz) wrote an amazing ...

Which Living Writers Are Sure-Thing Hall of Famers?

Last Thursday, I must've sent two dozen people a variation on that question above, usually in the form "Name me ten living 'Hall of Fame' writers." No explanation, no context, nothing. I was curious as to who people would name, what biases would come through, which authors would start debates. And I figured I could get a ...

“The Faerie Devouring” by Catherine Lalond [Quebec Literature from P.T. Smith]

Before starting this month's focus on Quebec literature, I asked P.T. Smith to recommend a few books for me to read, since he's one of the few Americans I know who has read a lot of Quebec literature. But rather than hoard these recommendations or write silly things about them, we decided it would be best if P.T. wrote weekly ...

“Next Episode” by Hubert Aquin [Quebec Literature from P.T. Smith]

Before starting this month's focus on Quebec literature, I asked P.T. Smith to recommend a few books for me to read, since he's one of the few Americans I know who has read a lot of Quebec literature. But rather than hoard these recommendations or write silly things about them, we decided it would be best if P.T. wrote weekly ...

Interview with Dimitri Nasrallah of Esplanade Books

Continuing our month-long series of Quebec literature, below you'll find an interview with Dimitri Nasrallah, writer, translator, and editor of Esplanade Books, the fiction imprint of Véhicule Press. Later this afternoon we'll be running an excerpt from one of their forthcoming titles.  Chad W. Post: I want to ask you ...

Véhicule Press/Esplanade Fiction & BookThug/Book*Hug [P.T. Smith Redux]

This really is the P. T. Smith-inspired post. As you likely know, Patrick has been writing weekly posts for Three Percent this month about some of his favorite works of Quebec literature. (See this post and this one.) He's one of the few Americans I know (maybe the only one?) who is deep into Quebec lit, so deep in fact that ...

New Release! 77 by Guillermo Saccomanno

We're a few days late announcing this here, but Tuesday, February 12th was the official pub date for Guillermo Saccomanno's 77, translated from the Spanish by Andrea G. Labinger. And today, it was featured in Vanity Fair as one of "6 Must-Read Books from Around the World." Here's the full press release that Anthony put ...

Biblioasis [Catherine Leroux Redux]

Last December, when I was working on this post about Quebec fiction, I came up with the idea of having themed months running throughout 2019. Which is why January was all about Spain, February about Quebec, and March about Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries. (Which might kill me and/or lead me into an insane rabbit-hole of ...

“Gesell Dome” by Guillermo Saccomanno [Excerpt]

As we posted about last week, Guillermo Saccomanno is our featured author of the month. Throughout February, you can get 30% off both of his books by using the code SACCOMANNO at checkout.  To entice you, below you'll find a excerpt from the first Saccomanno book we published, Gesell Dome. Like True Detective through ...

“Go Figure” by Réjean Ducharme [Quebec Literature from P.T.]

Before starting this month's focus on Quebec literature, I asked P.T. Smith to recommend a few books for me to read, since he's one of the few Americans I know who has read a lot of Quebec literature. But rather than hoard these recommendations or write silly things about this, we decided it would be best if P.T. wrote a ...

Interview with Peter McCambridge of QC Fiction

Following up on Monday's post, here's an interview with the founder of QC Fiction, Peter McCambridge. Since he goes into most of his bio below, I'm not going to preface this all that much, except to congratulate him on being a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Translation and the Giller Prize for Songs for the ...

Guillermo Saccomanno [Open Letter Author of the Month]

In celebration of the release of 77 on Tuesday, February 12, we’ve decided to make Guillermo Saccomanno this month’s featured author. Like what we did for Volodine last month, we’re offering 30% all orders for Gesell Dome and 77 (use SACCOMANNO at checkout), and will be running a series of excerpts from his books. ...

Interview with Amaia Gabantxo

To finish off this month of Spanish literature, I talked to Amaia Gabantxo, translator of Twist and Blade of Light by Harkaitz Cano along with a half-dozen other Basque authors, including Bernardo Atxaga, Unai Elorriaga, and Kirmen Uribe, among others. She also moonlights as a flamenco singer and recently released an ...

Why Are Patreon [Time for a Basque Rundown]

I promise I’ll be back on schedule soon—this computer situation is really taking it’s toll . . . I’m currently writing on my iPad, using a Bluetooth keyboard and feeling like a gross millennial working out of a third-wave coffee shop, saying NO! to Large Computer, and proving that Jobs is Genius and that 2019 is about ...

“Tell Them of Battles, Kings, & Elephants” by Mathias Énard

Tell Them of Battles, Kings, & Elephants Translated from the French by Charlotte Mandell 144 pgs. | pb |9780811227049 | $19.95 New Directions Publishing Reviewed by Grant Barber Énard is a Very Important Author indeed. He belongs on the stage with Pamuk, T Morrison, Morante, Okri, Delillo, J. Marías, ...

“Radiant Terminus” Two Month Review Reading Schedule

It's almost time for the next season of the Two Month Review—our seventh season. (That's a solid number.) This season we're returning to do an Open Letter title, Antoine Volodine's Radiant Terminus, translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman. The most patently sci-fi work of Antoine Volodine’s to be ...

“The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland” by Nicolai Houm

The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland by Nicolai Houm Translated from Norwegian by Anna Paterson 228 pgs. | pb | 9781947793064 | $15.95 Tin House Books Review by David DeGusta   Nicolai Houm’s novel “The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland,” translated from the Norwegian by Anna Paterson, opens with ...

“Gustave and Maxime in Egypt (Or: The Metaphysics of Happening)” by Zsófia Bán

“. . . but an enormous part of our lives is taken up with everything that doesn’t happen.” —Péter Nádas   Gustave and Maxime are traveling. “Et le petit chat,” dit Hélène, “partira-t-il aussi?” Maxime is taking pictures and Gustave is reading. Maxime is running around and Gustave is sitting ...

Pub Date for “Night School: A Reader for Grownups” by Zsófia Bán!

To celebrate today's release of Night School: A Reader for Grownups by Zsófia Bán we're giving away five copies. You can enter by emailing Anthony Blake with "Night School" in the subject line. But hurry! This contest ends tonight at midnight Eastern time. Now, onto the book itself! We'll be posting a excerpt ...

Post-Exoticism in Ten Lessons, Lesson Eleven [Excerpt]

In support of Antoine Volodine as our featured "Author of the Month," throughout the day we'll be posting excerpts from the three books of his Open Letter has already published. (Next week we'll run excerpts from forthcoming ones . . . )  First up is Post-Exoticism in Ten Lessons, Lesson Eleven, translated from the ...

Landmarks [BTBA 2019]

This week's Best Translated Book Award post is from Tara Cheesman of Reader at Large and BookRiot.  This is my second year as a BTBA fiction judge and (please don’t @ me) the pages are all starting to run together. I’ve discovered that when reading books in rapid succession it helps to identify landmarks on the ...

“Four by Four” by Sara Mesa

Below is an excerpt from Four by Four by Sara Mesa, translated by Katie Whittemore. To give you a bit of context, I'm including the synopsis that Katie sent us with her original sample: The novel is composed of three sections, each written in a distinct narrative voice and style. In Part One, we are introduced to ...

Interview with Katie Whittemore

We're starting out this month's focus on Spanish literature with a look at a couple Castilian authors, especially Sara Mesa, whose works Open Letter will be publishing in 2020. Because I'm a bit impatient, I thought I'd introduce her to you now, via a sample of Four by Four (available on 1/9), a short piece on her ...

All the Cameras in Japan

As December rolled around and I started plotting out the end of this year-long series, I had a bunch of ideas for what the final few posts could be about. Knowing that 2019 will bring about some changes to Three Percent (has it ever really remained the same? over eleven-plus years, the one thing that's remained constant is my ...

Adam’s Sexy Post [BTBA 2019]

This week's Best Translated Book Post is from Adam Hetherington, a reader from Tulsa who also served on last year's jury. “Do you want to do it again?” he asks. Shit. He is my friend, P.T. Smith. We were both BTBA judges last year; this year he’s invented some sort of easy supervisory role for himself, and invited ...

Women in Translation [BTBA 2019]

This week's Best Translated Book Award post is from Pierce Alquist of Book Riot. After a record-breakingly frigid Thanksgiving here in the northeast, I’m dreaming wistfully of August. BBQs, beaches, and bikinis are all good but I mostly just miss being able to go outside without wrapping multiple scarves around my face. ...

In the Borderlands [BTBA 2019]

Today's BTBA post is from Sofia Samatar, author of A Stranger in Olondria and Assistant Professor at James Madison University.  We agreed to spend several months in the borderlands. Every few weeks, each of us would send off a dispatch describing our experiences there, a report that might take any form we liked, we were ...

So Many Books [BTBA 2019]

Today's BTBA post is from Keaton Patterson of Brazos Bookstore.  As a first-time judge for the BTBA or any literary award for that matter, the question that pops into my mind as the books come flooding in is this—where to start? I’ve been the buyer for an Brazos for over six year now. I’m no stranger to sifting ...

My Struggle, Part II: The 60% Post

Over the past two weeks I've been in NYC for the Words Without Borders gala (THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THE OTTAWAY!), then to LA for the PEN Gala (amazing time with Jessica St. Clair and Dan O'Brien and you too, Ross, I suppose), to Seattle (Amazon Spheres are a thing!), and Minneapolis (sales conference isn't sales conference ...

A Rat, a Labyrinth, “Ah Library TNT”?

What makes an Oulipian book Oulipian? Because my outline for this Deep Vellum post is approximate 17,000 words long, I'm going to condense my planned opening into eight bullet points. If you're not familiar with the Oulipo or their literary program, here's a quick-hitting introduction: Read this book by Warren ...

My Struggle, Part I: Confusion and Value

As part of my "Deep Vellum Month" experiment, I decided to move from the toponymy—and topography—of Iceland to geography. Or rather, "geography," as in the Geography of Rebels by Maria Gabriela Llansol. Like with most of the books I've been reading of late, I knew basically nothing about this book before picking it ...

A Frozen Imagination

Over the course of the eleven years that Three Percent has existed, we've published approximately 300 posts about Iceland. We even held a special "Icelandic Week" when Iceland was Guest of Honor at the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair. In addition to highlighting a ton of authors and musicians, we tried to record a Brennivín ...

Season Six of the Two Month Review is Coming and It’s Pessoa [UPDATED]

UPDATE: I'm reposting this with the amended dates. We had to move everything back a week to ensure that our opening conversations are of the quality that you've come to expect from the Two Month Review. The first YouTube broadcast will be Wednesday, October 3 at 10am Eastern Time. The podcast version will be available here, ...

Missed Opportunities (Here’s the NBA Translation Post I Promised)

Per usual when I'm writing these posts, I'm standing in front of my TV with the St. Louis Cardinals game on in the background, dwelling on what this season could've been. Sure, as I type, they have a .5 game lead for the final wild-card slot, but their odds of making the playoffs are only at 68.1%—far from a ...

Publishing Strategies of Rediscovery

A few years ago, New Directions reissued three Clarice Lispector books (and one never-before translated one) with covers that combined into one giant portrait. Although it was preceded by the publication of a new translation of The Hour of the Star—by Ben Moser, who had recently written an all-encompassing biography of ...

Three Percent #143: The Cocky Pod

This week, Chad and Tom return to basics--more book talk than industry talk, a promise to release a new episode every other Wednesday--but start off with something that's very, very Three Percent: #Cockygate. Although the #Cockygate lawsuit is interesting in its own right, it's the breakdown of the seedy underworld of gaming ...

Dubravka Ugresic’s Complete U.S. Tour

For anyone who isn't a subscriber to our newsletter (you can sign up here), but is interested in seeing Dubravka Ugresic during her North American tour this fall, here's a complete list of all of her events:      Saturday, September 15, 7pm (Long Island City) Reading with Nina Herzog Book Culture on Long Island ...

BTBA 2019: Juries, Dates, Request for Your Books

Earlier this week, Patrick Smith sent out the email below to as many publishers as possible, letting them know about this year's Best Translated Book Award juries. In case you didn't get this--or, if you're a translator or author who wants to make sure your book is submitted--I'm reposting it all here. (And, we will have a ...

“The Bottom of the Jar” by Abdellatif Laâbi

The Bottom of the Jar by Abdellatif Laâbi translated from the French by André Naffis-Sahely 220 pgs. | pb |9781935744603 | $17.00  Archipelago Books Reviewed by Brendan Riley   For English language readers, like this reviewer, whose literary sense of North Africa is delimited by periodic forays into the ...

Two Month Review: #5.06: FOX by Dubravka Ugresic (“The Devil’s Garden”)

Pete Mitchell—who wrote this great review of Fox for Asymptote—joined Chad and Brian this week to talk about the heartbreaking (and semi-profane) ending to "The Devil's Garden," the third part of Dubrakva Ugresic's latest novel. From the idea of a small ping singling one's eventual crack-up to peeing on the side of the ...

August 2018 Newsletter

Celebrate Women in Translation Month with 40% Off All Open Letter Books Written by Women OR Translated by Women Women in Translation Month is always an exciting time to discover, read, discuss, and celebrate books by women from around the world. It was created by Meytal Radzinski back in 2014, and has since spawned ...

The Very Pleasant Post

Usually I try and make the first post of the month one that's based around some sort of statistical analysis of what's going on with literature in translation. Since this is Women in Translation Month (#WIT2018), it would make a great deal of sense to run a bunch of data about women writers in translation, women translators, ...

A Balance of Plot and Place (Two Month Review: #5.03-5.04: FOX by Dubravka Ugresic – Blog Post)

Last week, Chad and Brian were joined by Ellen Elias-Bursác, one of the Fox translators, for an incredible discussion on the second half of “A Balancing Art.” Ellen was enamored with the dynamics between the Widow and Ugresic’s narrator, the former finding success managing the works of her late husband and the latter ...

A Whole Lot of Blather

I'm back from Ireland! I was there for the past two weeks as part of a University of Rochester Travel Club trip for which I served as the "academic host" and gave four different lectures--two on Ulysses, one on Irish humor, and one on the relationship between contemporary Irish literature and language. I think they all went ...

The Best Female Chinese Novelist You’ve Never Heard Of

To say that Xiao Hong's life was rough is a serious understatement. She was born in 1911, during one of China's most turbulent periods, all leading up to the Second Sino-Japanese War. In addition to the cultural turmoil, Xiao's mother passed away when she was nine, leaving her to be raised by an abusive father whom ...

“Katalin Street” by Magda Szabó

Katalin Street by Magda Szabó translated from the Hungarian by Len Rix 248 pgs. | pb | 9781681371528 | $15.95  NYRB Classics Reviewed by Jason Newport     What is a woman, or her ghost, to do for herself? This is the question that haunts Hungarian author Magda Szabó in her three novels ...

Is this All Fox-y Enough? (Two Month Review: #5.02: FOX by Dubravka Ugresic – Blog Post)

Last week, Chad, Brian, and returning special guest Tom Flynn of Volumes Bookcafe broke down some of the bigger elements of the introductory section of Dubravka Ugresic’s Fox, including the all-important question: is Ugresic’s fox metaphor fox-y enough? We’ll take our own look at some segments of this opening section ...

Two Month Review: #5.02: FOX by Ugresic (“A Story about How Stories Come to Be Written”)

This week's podcast is pretty fast and loose, with Fortnite disruptions, embarrassing pronunciations, lots of ribbing, and a deep dive into the various games going on in Part I of Dubravka Ugresic's Fox, "A Story about How Stories Come to Be Written." Starting from Pilnyak's story of the same name, this section revolves ...

9 Books Likely to Win the 2019 Best Translated Book Award

I'm just back from a poetry reading that's part of Rochester's The Ladder literary conference . . . actually, it was a poetry reading PLUS short stories (which are the poetry of novel writing), which is neither here nor there, except that a few of us played a sort of drinking game? Actually, we just straight up played a ...

New Two Month Review Season Starts 6/11!

After a bit of a hiatus, we're back! Starting tonight (Monday, June 11th) at 9pm, Brian and I are going to tackle Dubravka Ugresic's latest novel--Fox. Here's what Kirkus Reviews had to say about it in their STARRED review: Another tricky treasure from an internationally renowned author. Ugresic has been in exile from ...

9 Comp Authors for Dag Solstad, Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Listicle

So much has happened over the past two weeks! Given all that I want to say about Dag Solstad's books and the people who review them, I'm going to rush through a few general comments about recent publishing events. First off: the New York Rights Fair and BookExpo. This year marked the first ever NYRF and the "newly ...

“Snatching Bodies” by Rodrigo Fresán [New Fiction]

To celebrate the release of The Bottom of the Sky (which happens to be Open Letter's 100th title!), we wanted to share this "bonus track" to the novel. He initially wrote this story as a sort of explanation for one paragraph in The Bottom of the Sky, and then had it anthologized in collection of “dysfunctional family” ...

May Is a Month of Grading

The Best Translated Book Award Finalists were announced earlier this week, and following up on my earlier post looking at the representation of various languages on the BTBA longlists, I thought I'd take a second to highlight the publishing houses (#NameThePublisher) that have historically done the best on the BTBA ...

“The Magician of Vienna” by Sergio Pitol [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from P.T. Smith. A full-time writer of WTBSW entries. The Magician of Vienna by Sergio Pitol, translated from the Spanish by George Henson (Mexico, Deep Vellum) Books that are part of a series have a tough time getting the recognition they deserve, in general and ...

“Spiral Staircase” by Hirato Renkichi [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from poet, translator, and Asymptote editor Aditi Machado. Spiral Staircase: Collected Poems of Hirato Renkichi, translated from the Japanese by Sho Sugita (Japan, Ugly Duckling Presse) The seventh statement in Hirato Renkichi’s “Manifesto of the Japanese ...

“Savage Theories” by Pola Oloixarac [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from George Carroll, former and future BTBA judge, soccer fanatic, world literature correspondent for Shelf Awareness, and curator of litintranslation.com. Savage Theories by Pola Oloixarac, translated from the Spanish by Roy Kesey (Argentina, Soho Press) I would ...

“Suzanne” by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette [Why This Book Should Win]

The Why This Book Should Win entry for today is from literary translator Peter McCambridge, fiction editor at QC Fiction (a new imprint of the best of contemporary Quebec fiction in translation) and founding editor of Québec Reads. Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, translated from the French (Québec) by Rhonda ...

“Bergeners” by Tomas Espedal [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This book Should Win series is from BTBA judge Patrick Smith, who is scrambling to finish covering all the books in this series. If you want to write about one of the remaining few, please get in touch! Bergeners by Tomas Espedal, translated from the Norwegian by James Anderson (Norway, Seagull ...

“Third-Millennium Heart” by Ursula Andkjær Olsen [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from poet, translator, editor, and BTBA judge, Aditi Machado.  Third-Millennium Heart by Ursula Andkjær Olsen, translated from the Danish by Katrine Øgaard Jensen (Denmark, Broken Dimanche Press/Action Books) What’s a translated book got to do to ...

“Compass” by Mathias Énard [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from former BTBA judge and founder of the Literary License blog, Gwendolyn Dawson, who lives in Houston, TX and is a practicing lawyer. She is a longtime supporter of literature in translation and all literary arts. Compass by Mathias Énard, translated from the ...

Day of Giving at the University of Rochester

Today is the official “Day of Giving” at the University of Rochester—a 24-hour push to support any school, program, or area across the University and its Medical Center. It’s directed at the entire Rochester community including alumni, parents, patients, friends, faculty, staff, and students. ...

Tickets to Open Letter’s Ten-Year Celebration in NYC Are Going Fast!

On Thursday, May 10th, at 7pm, Open Letter will be hosting its first celebration in New York City in ten years. Some of you might remember our initial launch party at the German Consulate in New York way, way back in 2008. Well, ten years and one hundred books later, we’re coming back! A week from Thursday ...

“Chasing the King of Hearts” by Hanna Krall [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from Ruchama Johnston-Bloom, who writes about modern Jewish thought and Orientalism. She has a PhD in the History of Judaism from the University of Chicago and is the Associate Director of Academic Affairs at the London center of CAPA: The Global Education ...

“Return to the Dark Valley” by Santiago Gamboa [Why This Book Should Win]

Final entry today in the Why This Book Should Win series is from BTBA judge and curator of “Reader-at-Large,” Tara Cheesman. Return to the Dark Valley by Santiago Gamboa, translated from the Spanish by Howard Curtis (Colombia, Europa Editions) One of the characters in Return to the Dark Valley is a “crazy and ...

“Remains of Life” by Wu He [Why This Book Should Win]

This afternoon’s entry in the “Why This Book Should Win” series is from BTBA judge Adam Hetherington. Remains of Life by Wu He, translated from the Chinese by Michael Berry (China, Columbia University Press) I’m not sure how to define historical fiction. How true does regular fiction need to be to become ...

“The Invented Part” by Rodrigo Fresán [Why This Book Should Win]

Between now and the announcement of the BTBA finalists on May 15th, we’ll be highlighting all 37 longlisted books in a series we call “Why This Book Should Win.” The first post is from BTBA judge and Ebenezer Books bookseller P.T. Smith. The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán, translated from the Spanish by Will ...

“Odyssey” by Homer

The Odyssey by Homer Translated from the Greek by Emily Wilson 592 pgs. | hc | 9780393089059 | $39.95 W. W. Norton Reviewed by Peter Constantine                                   Now goddess, child of Zeus, tell the old story for our modern ...

Open Letter is Hiring a Marketing Assistant

As mentioned on the most recent podcast, we are searching for a Marketing Assistant to help out with promoting our books to reviewers, booksellers, and individuals. The complete ad is posted below, and available here. And you have to apply through that link. Open Letter is part of the University of Rochester, so the ...

A Quantum Spiral by Another Name (Part VII, Pgs 201-236)

Last week, Chad and Brian were joined by Rachel S. Cordasco of Speculative Fiction in Translation as they discussed Part VII, “Global Autumn,” of Georgi Gospodinov’s Physics of Sorrow. This section hits us from too many angles, from the relatable hilarity of having a phobia of being asked “how are you?” to trying ...

Best Translated Book Award 2018: The Longlists!

April 10, 2018—Celebrating its eleventh consecutive year of honoring literature in translation, the Best Translated Book Awards is pleased to announce the 2018 longlists for both fiction and poetry. Announced at The Millions, the lists include a diverse range of authors, languages, countries, and publishers. On the ...

Catching up on Season Four of the Two Month Review

As you hopefully noticed, earlier this morning the eighth episode of the current season of the Two Month Review went live. This was the seventh straight week of talking about Georgi Gospodinov’s incredible novel, The Physics of Sorrow, which was translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel. And the eighth write-up by ...

Thinking About Book Reviews

Clarice Lispector is undoubtedly one of the great writers of the past century. Her recent rediscovery—sparked off by the reissuing of The Hour of the Star in Ben Moser’s new translation—is definitely merited, and will hopefully usher in a time in which any number of very deserving female authors from the ...

A Myth with a Twist (Part V, Pgs 151-178)

Last week, Chad, Brian, and special guest Tom Flynn had a particularly boisterous discussion of Part V of The Physics of Sorrow that was as insightful towards the literature at hand as much as it was to learn sick burns for your friends with weak March Madness brackets. But between the trash talk and discussion of oysters, ...

This Headline’ll Make You MAD, MAD!

It’s fitting that I’m writing this post about a book called Trick as Stormy Daniels is on 60 Minutes? This is one of the daily reminders that life is not books, and that books aren’t as important as I make them out to be in my mind. Nothing matters, nothing makes sense. Guns and corruption are way more important than ...

Two Month Review: #4.06: The Physics of Sorrow (Part V: “The Green House”)

In addition to ripping on Chad and the poor showing by the Michigan State Spartans in the NCAA Tournament, Brian Wood and Tom Flynn (from Volumes Bookcafe) discuss the morality of animals, how this section of The Physics of Sorrow focuses more on the “animal” side of the minotaur, the mixture of lightness and sorrow in ...

Ties that Confine [BTBA 2018]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Lori Feathers, co-owner of Interabang Books in Dallas, TX. She’s also a freelance book critic and member of the National Book Critics Circle. Her recent reviews can be found at Words Without Borders, Full Stop, World Literature Today, Three Percent, Rain Taxi, and on ...

Gospodinov, the Curator; “The Physics of Sorrow,” the Time Capsule (Part IV, Pgs 119-150)

Last week, Chad, Brian, special guest Patrick Smith, and an insightful YouTube commentator discussed part IV of Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow. This section, in many ways, brought us full circle to the nature of Gospodinov’s work by introducing us to the cultural phenomena of the time capsule, and the ...

9 Moments That Make “Tomb Song” the Frontrunner for the National Book Award in Translation

  Tomb Song by Julián Herbert, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney (Graywolf Press) Moment Number One “Technique, my boy,” says a voice in my head. “Shuffle the technique.” To hell with it: in her youth, Mamá was a beautiful half-breed Indian who had five husbands: a fabled pimp, a ...

Context Is Everything

Given the length of yesterday’s post, I’m just going to jump right into things, starting with this handmade Excel spreadsheet showing the three-year rolling average of the total number of translations published in the first quarter (January-March) of every year since 2008.   That’s not the most illuminating ...

We are Minotaur, or: Eat your Darlings (Part II)

This week we’re following up from Chad, Brian, special guest Caitlin Baker (University Book Store in Seattle), and their discussion of Part II of Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow, “Against an Abandonment: The Case of M.” Here, Gospodinov throws us for another loop, as we move from the halls of memory ...

Sorrow-Maker Gospodinov (Part 1, Pgs 1-58)

This week we will be looking at the opening section of Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow. If you didn’t already, you can catch the conversation between Chad Post, Tom Roberge, and Brian Wood on this section of the book at Three Percent or on YouTube for the unedited, behind the scenes full audio-visual experience ...

Less Than Deadly Serious

Every spring, I teach a class on “World Literature & Translation” in which we read ~10 new translations, talk to as many of the translators as possible, and then the students have to choose one of the books to win their imaginary “Best Translated Book Award.” It’s a great exercise—trying to explain why they ...

Georgi Gospodinov and The Physics of Sorrow (Introduction)

Throughout this season of the Two Month Review, Santiago Morrice will be writing weekly pieces about the section of the book discussed on the previous week’s podcast. These will likely go a bit more in depth into the style and content of the novel itself, nicely complementing the podcasts. On last week’s podcast, Chad ...

Noble Expectations

When I first decided to undertake this project of writing about one 2018 translation a week, I knew that there would come a week in which I didn’t finish the book that I had planned to write about. This might be due to time constraints, or simply because I didn’t feel like finishing the book in question. Well, it took ...

Making the List [BTBA 2018]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Tara Cheesman, a freelance book critic and National Book Critics Circle member whose recent reviews can be found at The Rumpus, Book Riot, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Quarterly Conversation. Since 2009 she’s written the blog Reader At Large (formerly BookSexy ...

An Imaginary Sabermetrics for Publishing

  Empty Set by Verónica Gerber Bicecci, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney (Coffee House) Although five books is most definitely a small sample size of throwaway proportions, out of the books that I’ve written about for this weekly “column,” Empty Set by Verónica Gerber Bicecci and ...

The Translation Industry Is Frozen

Before getting into the February translations, data on what’s being published (or not being published), and all the random stuff, I wanted to point out a few modifications to the Translation Database at Publishers Weekly that were recently implemented. First off, when you’re entering a title, you can now ...

Never Fact-Check a Listicle

Back when I kicked off my 2018 Translations series I chose to include Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi as the fourth book from January I would read and review. And why not? It won the 2014 International Prize for Arabic Fiction1 and came with pretty high praise. “A haunting allegory of man’s savagery against man ...

I Remember Nightfall

I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio (trans. From the Spanish by Jeannine Marie Pitas) is a bilingual poetry volume in four parts, consisting of the poems “The History of Violets,” “Magnolia,” “The War of the Orchards,” and “The Native Garden is in Flames.” Each of these prose poems is divided into ...

A Best-seller Should Be Divisive

When I came up with my plan of reading (and writing about) a new translation every week, I wanted to try and force myself to read books that I would normally just skip over. There are definitely going to be months filled with books by New Directions, Coffee House, Dalkey Archive, etc., but to write about just those titles ...

Tabucchi in Portugal: On Tabucchi’s “Viaggi e altri viaggi” [an essay by Jeanne Bonner]

Jeanne Bonner is a writer, editor and journalist, and translator from the Italian now based in Connecticut. In the fall, she began teaching Italian at the University of Connecticut where she is also working on several translation projects. You can find out more about Jeanne and her work at her website here. It’s a travel ...

Why Continue [BTBA 2018]

“Why am I reading this?” I ask myself this almost constantly. Sometimes the answer is obvious: when the book is a masterpiece, when the pleasure is so deep or constant that there’s little else I want. I treasure those books, but if it was the only reason I read a book, I wouldn’t read much. There are novels where the ...

It’s 2018 and Where Have the Translations Gone?

Now that the Translation Database is over at Publishers Weekly, and in a format that makes it both possible to update in real time1 and much easier to query, I want to use it as the basis of a couple new regular columns here at Three Percent. First off, I want to get back to running monthly previews of translations. But, ...

The Size of the World

The Size of the World by Branko Anđić translated from the Serbian by Elizabeth Salmore 208 pages | pb | 9788661452154 | $10.99 Reviewed by Jaimie Lau   Three generations of men—a storyteller, his father and his son—encompass this book’s world. . . . it is a world of historical confusion, illusion, ...

BTBA Gift Guide [BTBA 2018]

This post was compiled by BTBA judge P.T. Smith. From now until the announcement of the long list, we’ll be running one post a week from a BTBA judge, cycling through the nine of us. To launch those posts, just in time for the holidays (just in time, yes), here’s a gift guide. These are books that have stood out to ...

Two Month Review LIVE at McNally Jackson Next Tuesday (12/12/17)

For our final episode of the Rodoreda season, Brian and I will be taking the early morning train to NYC (seriously, it leaves at 5:41am, which is a time that exists) so that we can talk about Death in Spring in front of a live audience. At 7pm at McNally Jackson (52 Prince St.) we’ll be joined by María Cristina ...

Myths, Rituals, Fears in Death in Spring [Two Month Review]

Coming up on this Thursday’s Two Month Review podcast I join Brian Wood, Meg Berkobien, and Anastasia Nikolis to talk about the opening section of Death in Spring, the first Rodoreda novel that Open Letter ever published. To preface that conversation (which is a lot of gushing over her prose and ideas, along with some ...

Two Month Review #3.6: Selected Stories (pgs. 208-255)

After yelling at Skype a bunch, Chad, Brian, and special guest Tom Flynn of Volumes Bookcafe discuss the merits of some of Rodoreda’s final stories, especially “The Thousand Franc Bill,” “Paralysis,” and “The Salamander.” Then they manage to slightly diss groups upon groups of ...

"Red, Yellow, Green": Alejandro Saravia and María José Giménez

Bolivian-Canadian writer Alejandro Saravia and poet and translator María José Giménez discuss his new novel, Red, Yellow, Green, the first to be translated into English, as well as the tumultuous existence of the exile, the crossings of language, and Latino-Canadian literature. When: Thursday, November 16 @ ...

Dominique Fabre at Green Apple Books

Join Green Apple Books when we welcome Dominique Fabre, French author and the latest participant in the French Consulate of San Francisco’s new “Room With A View” writer’s residency, discusses his work and his stay in S.F. When: Monday, October 30 @ 7:30pm Where: Green Apple Books at 9th ...

Three Observations and One Story [Two Month Review]

Coming up on this Thursday’s Two Month Review podcast Brian and I talk about the first six stories in Mercè Rodoreda’s Selected Stories : “Blood,” “Threaded Needle,” “Summer,” “Guinea Fowls,” “The Mirror,” and “Happiness.” Which is only the ...

"A Working Woman" Happy Hour with the CAT

Have a drink on us and learn about the newest release from Two Lines Press. Join us for happy hour at the CAT and Two Lines offices to celebrate the release of A Working Woman. Stop by after work for wine and tapas and hear readings from the book by Two Lines staff. A Working Woman by Elvira Navarro, translated by ...

“I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World” by Kim Kyung-Ju

I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World by Kim Kyung-Ju translated from the Korean by Jake Levine 144 pgs. | pb |9781939568144 | $14.95 Black Ocean Reviewed by Jacob Rogers   Kim Kyung Ju’s I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World, translated from the Korean by Jake Levine, is a wonderful ...

Dominique Fabre & David Ulin in Conversation

The Last Bookstore is pleased to present French writer Dominique Fabre, author of Guys Like Me and The Waitress Was New, in conversation with noted book critic and author David Ulin. Join us to hear Ulin and Fabre talk about Paris lonelier than you’ve ever experienced it, and to hear Fabre read from his latest ...

Children’s Literature in Translation: Celebrating Elsewhere Editions with Roger Mello and Daniel Hahn

Translated by children’s literature guru Daniel Hahn, You Can’t Be Too Careful! explores an idea that author and illustrator Mello had as a child: that one small action can have marvelous consequences. Through wordplay, dreamlike images, and a playful lightness of touch, You Can’t Be Too Careful! expresses serious ...

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Three Percent #134: The Books We Read and Why We Read Them

After an impassioned pitch for why you should support Open Letter’s annual campaign, Chad and Tom talk about ALTA, about how best to promote international literature to common readers, about the moral argument for reading translations, about Tim Parks and this article on Han Kang’s Human Acts, and about how ...

Wojciech Nowicki Tour!

This evening, at Volumes Bookcafe in Chicago, Wojciech Nowicki’s U.S. tour for Salki kicks off. A four-city tour spanning the next ten days, this is your one opportunity in 2017 to meet the author of the book about which Andrzej Stasiuk said, “Your skin will crawl with pleasure from ...

Two Month Review LIVE!!!

Over the next couple weeks, you’re going to hear me mess up this announcement on podcast after podcast, but on Saturday, September 30th at 3:30pm Lytton and I will be recording the final episode of the second season of the Two Month Review LIVE at Spoonbill & Sugartown in Brooklyn. This will be part of the ...

“Kingdom Cons” by Yuri Herrera

Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman 220 pgs. | pb | 9781908276926 | $13.95  And Other Stories Reviewed by Sarah Booker   Yuri Herrera is overwhelming in the way that he sucks readers into his worlds, transporting them to a borderland that is at once mythical in its ...

Perceived Humiliations, The Board, and the Dangers of Desire [Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller]

On this week’s Two Month Review podcast, we’ll be discussing the fifth composition book and VI (pages 69-139) from Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller. As a bit of preparation, below you’ll find some initial thoughts, observations, and quotes. You can also download this post as a PDF document. As always, ...

Best Translated Book Awards 2018: Judges, Dates, and More!

It’s that time again! Listed below are all the details for this year’s Best Translated Book Award juries! Award Dates In terms of dates, this is subject to change, but currently we’re planning on announcing the longlists for fiction and poetry on Tuesday, April 10th, the finalists on Tuesday, May ...

A Simple Story: The Last Malambo

Leila Guerriero’s A Simple Story: The Last Malambo chronicles the unique ferocity of a national dance competition in Argentina. The dance, called the malambo, pushes the physical and mental limits of male competitors striving to become champions of not only the historical craft of the dance, but for their families and ...

Interview with Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès

To celebrate the official pub date for Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès’s Island of Point Nemo, you’ll find an interview below between the translator, Hannah Chute (who received a Banff Translation Fellowship to work on this book) and the author himself. You can get the book now either through our website, or from ...

"Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller" Reading Schedule [Two Month Review]

The first episode in the new season of the Two Month Review will release on Thursday, and in case you haven’t already heard, for the next ten weeks we’ll be discussing Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller by Guðbergur Bergsson. We have a Goodreads group set up to talk about about this, so feel free to join in and ...

Agnes

The narrator of Peter Stamm’s first novel, Agnes, originally published in 1998 and now available in the U.S. in an able translation by Michael Hofmann, is a young Swiss writer who has come to Chicago to research a book on American luxury trains. In the reading room of the Public Library he meets Agnes, a graduate student in ...

Interview with Rodrigo Fresán (Part V)

If you’d rather read this podcast in one document, just dowload this PDF. Otherwise, click here to find all four of the earlier pieces along with a bunch of other Two Month Review posts about The Invented Part. Special thanks to Will Vanderhyden for conducting—and translating—this ...

Class

The thing about Class is that I don’t know what the hell to think about it, yet I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ll begin by dispensing with the usual info that one may want to know when considering adding the book to their “to read” list. Written by Francesco Pacifico. Translated by Francesco Pacifico. Published ...

Airplanes, Hyphellipses, and What's Next? [The Invented Part]

On this week’s Two Month Review podcast, we’ll be discussing the seventh, and final, part of The Invented Part (“The Imaginary Person,” pages 441-552). As a bit of preparation, below you’ll find some initial thoughts, observations, and quotes. You can also download this post as a PDF ...

I See You [The Invented Part]

On this week’s Two Month Review podcast, we’ll be discussing the sixth part of The Invented Part (“Meanwhile, Once Again, Beside the Museum Stairway, Under a Big Day,” pages 405-440). As a bit of preparation, below you’ll find some initial thoughts, observations, and quotes. You can also ...

"Tomás Jónsson, Bestseller" Release Day!

Fans of challenging, cerebral, modernist epics, rejoice! Today marks the official release date of Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller by Guðbergur Bergsson, a masterpiece of twentieth-century Icelandic literature, the fifth Icelandic work Open Letter has published to date. This is a book that is sure to launch a thousand ...

Structure, Time, Memory, and the Sadness of a Disillusioned Writer [The Invented Part]

On this week’s Two Month Review podcast, we’ll be discussing the fifth part of The Invented Part (“Life After People, or Notes for a Brief History of Progressive Rock and Science Fiction,” pages 361-404). As a bit of preparation, below you’ll find some initial thoughts, observations, and ...

The Inverted Part [Two Month Review: The Invented Part]

On this week’s Two Month Review podcast, we’ll be discussing the fourth part of The Invented Part (“Many Fêtes, or Study for a Group Portrait with Broken Decalogues,” pagest 301-360). As a bit of preparation, below you’ll find some initial thoughts, observations, and quotes. You can also ...

The Dispossessed

To be, or not to be? Hamlet’s enduring question is one that Szilárd Borbély, acclaimed Hungarian poet, verse-playwright, librettist, essayist, literary critic, short-story writer, and, finally, novelist, answered sadly in the negative, through his suicide in 2014, at the age of fifty. Loss of life, voluntary or ...

Let's Get Weird [Two Month Review: The Invented Part]

On last Thursday’s Two Month Review podcast we covered the opening to the second section of The Invented Part, and coming up later this week we’ll be covering pages 99-207—the second section of “The Place Where the Sea Ends So the Forest Can Begin.” As a bit of preparation, below you’ll ...

Interview with Rodrigo Fresán (Part II)

You can read the first part of this interview here, and you can click here for all Two Month Review posts. Special thanks to Will Vanderhyden for conducting—and translating—this interview. Will Vanderhyden: Now, this is a question that, in a way, the book takes as its point of departure—so it might make ...

Reflections and Mirrors [Two Month Review: The Invented Part]

On last Thursday’s Two Month Review podcast we covered the first forty-five pages of The Invented Part, and coming up later this week we’ll be covering pages 46-98—the first section of “The Place Where the Sea Ends So the Forest Can Begin.” As a bit of preparation, below you’ll find some ...

Interview with Rodrigo Fresán (Part I)

As you hopefully already know, for the next two months we’ll be producing a weekly podcast and a series of posts all about Rodrigo Fresán’s The Invented Part. All grouped under the title “Two Month Review,” this initiative is part book club, part exercise in slow reading, and part opportunity to ...

Some Notes on "The Real Character" [Two Month Review: The Invented Part]

The first Two Month Review podcast went up just over a week ago, and the next one—covering the first section of the book, “The Real Character” (pages 1-45)—will be posted next Thursday, June 1st. Prior to each week’s podcast, we hope to have at least some sort of overview post that offers some ...

The Worlds of João Gilberto Noll: Adam Morris in discussion with Scott Esposito

Join us at City Lights Booksellers on May 18 for a reading from Atlantic Hotel, along with an intriguing conversation delving into modern-day Brazil, Noll’s influences (including Clarice Lispector), his mysterious protagonists, and the challenges of translating his labyrinthine, twisty sentences into English. When: May ...

Win a Copy of "Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller" by Gudbergur Bergsson from GoodReads!

As you may already know, Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller, translated by Lytton Smith, is going to be the second Two Month Review title. This “season” will take place in August and September, but you can get a head start by winning a copy of the book through GoodReads. If you’re a GoodReads user, all you have to ...

"Bardo or Not Bardo" Wins the Inaugural Albertine Prize!

Antoine Volodine’s Bardo or Not Bardo, translated by J. T. Mahany has won the first ever Albertine Prize—a reader’s choice award celebrating contemporary French fiction. The book had to go through two rounds of public voting, moving from a longlist of ten titles, to a three title shortlist before eventually ...

Two Voices Salon: Translator Simon Wickhamsmith on Mongolian Poet Tseveendorjin Oidov

Join us for a conversation with Mongolian translator Simon Wickhamsmith and Scott Esposito about Wickhamsmith’s translation of Tseveendorjin Oidov’s The End of the Dark Era. Wickhamsmith was awarded a PEN/Heim Translation grant for his work on the book, and he’ll talk about how he became interested in Mongolian ...

Dick Cluster @ Oakland Public Library

Hear translator Dick Cluster read from Kill the Ámpaya! The Best Latin American Baseball Fiction. When: May 6, 2017, 2:30 pm Where: Oakland Public Library, Temescal branch, 5205 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609 For more information on the event, go ...

Auto-Fiction @ PEN World Voices

Each of these three authors has written work that falls on the spectrum of memoir – some is more fictionalized, and some stays truer to their authors’ lives and experiences. Each author will be reading from and speaking about their work. With Bae Suah, Marcelino Truong, and Oddný Eir. For more information on this ...

2017 BTBA Winners Announced

The winners of the 2017 BTBA for Fiction and Poetry will be announced on Thursday, May 4th at 7 p.m., simultaneously on The Millions and at a live event at The Folly (92 W. Houston Street, New York City). The event is free and open to the ...

Literary Quest: Westbeth Edition @ PEN World Voices

Residents open their homes for readings by authors and a party in their legendary gallery. With Moustafa Bayoumi, Rita Mae Brown (US), Farah Jasmine Griffin (US), Abeer Hoque (Nigeria/Bangladesh/American), Thomas Meinecke (Germany/US), Haroon Moghul, Tanwi Nandini Islam, Karolina Ramqvist, Idra Novey, Igor Stiks (UK), Han ...

Bae Suah @ East City Bookshop

Join us for a reading and signing by author Bae Suah. RSVP on Facebook or email rsvp@eastcitybookshop.com. RSVPs are appreciated but not required. When: Wednesday, May 3, 2017 – 6:30pm to 8:00pm Where: East City Bookshop 645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE Washington, DC 20003 For more information, go ...

Bae Suah @ Penn Book Center

Join us for a reading and discussion with South Korean poet and novelist Bae Suah! Ms. Bae is on tour around the United States in advance of her participation in the PEN World Voices Festival in New York, and will be stopping in Philadelphia to present her newly-translated novel “A Greater Music” and her new ...

Dick Cluster and Norman Zelaya @ San Fran Public Library

Dick Cluster and Norman Zelaya read from Kill the Ámpaya! The Best Latin American Baseball Fiction. When: May 2, 2017, 6:30 PM Where: San Francisco Public Library, Main Library, 100 Larkin St, SF CA 94102 For more information on the event, go ...

Reading the World Conversation Series: Bae Suah @ Nox

May 01, 2017 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM NOX Cocktail Lounge (302 N. Goodman, Rochester, NY) One of South Korea’s most highly acclaimed contemporary novelists, Bae Suah is the author of more than a dozen works, including A Greater Music, Recitation, Nowhere to Be Found, and North Station. Additionally, she has ...

2017 PEN World Voices Festival

For more information on the festival, including event schedules, please go

Andrés Barba @ Green Apple Books

Join Green Apple Books and Andres Barba as he discusses his new novel, Such Small Hands, with Yiyun Li, followed by a party sponsored by Transit Books. When: April 25, 7:00pm Where: Green Apple Books on the Park, 1231 9th Avenue, SF CA 94122 For more information on the event, go ...

Why These Fiction Finalists Should Win [BTBA 2017]

We’re just over a week away from the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award winners1, so it’s a good time to start ramping up the speculation. Tomorrow I’ll post about the poetry finalists, and give updated odds on the entire shortlist on Thursday, but for today, I thought it would be worthwhile to ...

An Evening of Catalan Poetry with Maria Cabrera @ El Born in NYC

Join us for an evening of Catalan poetry and the US debut of an exciting literary talent. Poet Maria Cabrera’s original and unconventional poems from La ciutat cansada (Tired City) earned her the prestigious Carles Riba Poetry Prize in 2016. At this special New York appearance, Cabrera and translator Mary Ann Newman will ...

2017 Best Translated Book Award Finalists [BTBA 2017]

April 18, 2017—Ten works of fiction and five poetry collections remain in the running for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards following the announcement of the two shortlists at The Millions website this morning. A wide range of languages and writing styles are represented on these shortlists, from the more ...

Two Lost Souls: on "Revulsion" and "Cabo De Gata"

The dislocation of individuals from the countries of their birth has long been a common theme in contemporary literature. These two short novels recently translated into English appear firmly rooted in this tradition of ex-pat literature, but their authors eschew the romanticism found in earlier works. In Revulsion, Eguardo ...

Reading the World Conversation Series with Bae Suah

On May 1st, South Korean author Bae Suah (Recitation, A Greater Music, Nowhere to Be Found, and the forthcoming North Station) will be in Rochester, NY for TWO Reading the World Conversation Series events. The first will take place in the Humanities Center at Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester’s ...

“Zama” by Antonio Di Benedetto [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Oblivion” by Sergi Lebedev [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Angel of Oblivion” by Maja Haderlap [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Among Strange Victims” by Daniel Saldaña París [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

Day of Translation @ George Mason

The Center for the Art of Translation is pleased to present our inaugural “Day of Translation” with the Alan Cheuse International Writers Center. All panels and events will take place on the George Mason University campus in Fairfax, VA. Writers and translators appearing include: Kareem Abdulrahman, Karen Emmerich, ...

“Night Prayers” by Santiago Gamboa [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“On the Edge” by Rafael Chirbes [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Last Wolf and Herman” by László Krasznahorkai [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“The Queue” by Basma Abdel Aziz [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Super Extra Grande” by Yoss [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Ladivine” by Marie NDiaye [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

Tenth Annual Best Translated Book Awards Longlists [BTBA 2017]

March 28, 2017—Celebrating its tenth iteration, the Best Translated Book Awards announced its longlists for fiction and poetry this morning, highlighting the best international works of literature published in the past year. Announced at The Millions, the lists include a diverse range of authors, from authors who have ...

The Hatred of Music

Pascal Quignard’s __The Hatred of Music_ is the densest, most arcane, most complex book I’ve read in ages. It’s also a book that covers a topic so basic, so universal—almost primordial—that just about any reader will be perversely thrilled by the intersections Quignard unearths between the mind and the world of ...

Two Voices Salon: Publisher Chad Post on Chinese Author Can Xue

The Center’s Scott Esposito will talk with publisher Chad Post via Skype about the latest book in translation from Chinese writer Can Xue, Frontier, “one of the most raved-about works of translated fiction this year.” Light snacks and drinks will be provided. Come prepared to join the conversation! When: 6 p.m. ...

Likes of the Future Are Shaped by Likes of the Past

As in past weeks here’s a PDF version of this post, which might be a lot easier to read. Two years ago, Yale University Press released The Dirty Dust, Alan Titley’s translation of Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s Cré na Cille, a supposedly “untranslatable” masterpiece of Irish literature. This past ...

BTBA 2017, This Issue: The Body

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Lori Feathers, an Assistant Managing Editor at Asymptote, freelance book critic and member of the National Book Critics Circle. Follow her online @LoriFeathers. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here ...

"Moonstone" by Sjón [BTBA 2017]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Mark Haber of Brazos Bookstore. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. Small in size and epic in scale, Moonstone is Sjón’s fourth ...

Tim Parks, Style, and Europanto

As in past weeks, here’s a PDF version of this post, which might be a lot easier to read. For a few years now, on the first day of my “Translation & World Literature” class, I give my students an impossible task—translating the first few paragraphs of Diego Marani’s Las Adventures des ...

Reader Selection and Market Acceleration: Are We Living in a Backward World?

Given the insane length of this post, I would recommend downloading the PDF version. Besides, it’s easier to read the footnotes that way. Some of which are pretty fun, I think. Much in the same way it’s impossible for me to choose a single part of Franco Moretti’s Distant Reading that I like the best, I ...

Recent Open Letter Publicity [Justine, Gessel Dome, Ugresic, and More]

I don’t post on social media all that often—unless I’ve been drinking—but do generally try and share all of the reviews and publicity pieces that come up about Open Letter. And as with anything else, this tends to come in waves, including the onslaught of pieces from the past few days that I’ve ...

Open Letter in 2016

Sure, the start of a new year is a good time to look to the future, make resolutions you’ll definitely break, and all of that, but it’s also a nice moment to reflect on the past twelve months. Rather than include all the things that happened with Open Letter last year—from the success of our 2nd Annual ...

Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lucio Cardoso [Biographical Note]

The pub date for Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lúcio Cardoso, which is translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson, with a biographical note from Ben Moser officially came out on Tuesday, December 13th. To celebrate the release of this Brazilian masterpiece, we’ll be running a series ...

Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lucio Cardoso [Press Release]

The pub date for Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lúcio Cardoso, which is translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson, with a biographical note from Ben Moser officially came out on Tuesday, December 13th. To celebrate the release of this Brazilian masterpiece, we’ll be running a series ...

Two Voices Salon with translator Chris Andrews

Presented by the Center for the Art of Translation Chris Andrews joins us to talk about his newest translation, Ema, the Captive, from the prolific Argentine writer César Aira. This event is free and open to the public. When: December 8, 2016; doors open at 5:30, event starts at 6:00 Where: Center for the Art of ...

Keeping the Foreign in Translated Literature: a Dispatch from the Oklahoma Prairie George Henson

George Henson is a translator of contemporary Latin American and Spanish prose, a contributing editor for World Literature Today and Asymptote, and a lecturer at the University of Oklahoma. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a ...

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Three Percent #120: Crime and Concept Stores

It’s been a few weeks since the last podcast, but Chad and Tom are back with a over-stuffed episode that starts with a recap of recent events before turning to Barnes & Noble’s plans for their concept stores followed by a lengthy discussion about international crime authors. Here’s a complete list of ...

Two Voices Salon with translator Donald Nicholson-Smith

Presented by the Center for the Art of Translation Join us at a special Two Voices Salon to celebrate the release of prize-winning Moroccan poet Abdellatif Laabi’s latest book, In Praise of Defeat, translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith. This event is free and open to the public. When: November 10, ...

Handicapping Margaret Jull Costa's Odds at Winning the BTBA [BTBA 2017]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Jeremy Garber, events coordinator for Powells and freelance reviewer. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. Esteemed translator Margaret Jull ...

Andrés Neuman & Eduardo Rabasa @ Brazos Bookstore

Join the gang at Brazos Bookstore for a reading and chat with Andres Neuman on his How to Travel without Seeing and Eduardo Rabasa on his A Zero-Sum Game. When: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 – 7:00pm Where: 2421 Bissonnet StreetHouston, TX 77005 For more information, go ...

SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2016: Japanese Children's Literature in English

A day of presentations, critiques, and conversation for published and pre-published translators of Japanese children’s literature into English, including prose literature and manga. When: October 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Where: at Yokohama International School, 258 Yamate-cho, Naka-ku – Yokohama, Kanagawa ...

Bae Suah @ Brazos Bookstore

Join Bae Suah in conversation with Deborah Smith at Brazos Bookstore. More information is available here. The event is open and free to the public. When: Thursday, October 13th, 7:00 pm Where Brazos Bookstore (2421 Bissonnet Street, Houston, TX ...

Celebration of Julio Cortázar @ Green Apple Books

Presented by the Center for the Art of Translation As part of our ongoing partnership with the annual Litquake literary festival and City Lights Books, the Center is delighted to be hosting a celebration of Julio Cortázar with our favorite Bay Area translators. Join Stephen Kessler, translator of the forthcoming Save ...

Bae Suah @ Volumes Bookcafe

Volumes is thrilled to announce have Bae Suah, one of the most lauded contemporary South Korean writers, along with her translator, Deborah Smith, in conversation about Bae Suah’s newly translated book, A Greater Music. Deborah Smith most recently translated the 2015 Man Booker Winning novel, The Vegetarian, by Han ...

Bae Suah @ Elliott Bay Book Company

Join Korean author Bae Suah in conversation with translator Deborah Smith. Bae Suah’s A Greater Music (Open Letter) is a heart-wrenching story of the two love affairs a young Korean writer experiences while living in Germany. A novel of memories and wandering, A Greater Music blends riffs on music, language, and ...

"Books that Make Demands of the Reader" w/ Can Xue

“Books that Make Demands of the Reader” Best Translated Book Award winner Can Xue (The Last Lover, Vertical Motion, Frontier) writes books that blend elements of the Western literary translation with those from Eastern philosophy. As a result, her books are less about the things that happen and more about the ...

Bae Suah @ Powell's Books

Join Korean author Bae Suah in conversation with translator Deborah Smith. Bae Suah’s A Greater Music (Open Letter) is a heart-wrenching story of the two love affairs a young Korean writer experiences while living in Germany. A novel of memories and wandering, A Greater Music blends riffs on music, language, and ...

Bae Suah @ Green Apple Books on the Park

Join translator Deborah Smith in conversation with South Korean writer Bae Suah about her novel, A Greater Music. More information is available here. The event is free and open to the public. When: Friday, October 7, 2016 @ 7:30pm Where: Green Apple Books on the Park, 1231 9th Avenue, SF CA ...

Josefine Klougart @ Green Apple Books

Danish writer Josefine Klougart reads from One of Us is Sleeping, the first of her novels translated into English. More information is available here. The event is free and open to the public. When: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 – 7:30pm Where: Green Apple Books on the Park, 1231 9th Avenue, SF CA ...

Buy Your Tickets for the Second Annual Celebration of Open Letter and Rochester

Last October, we put on our first ever celebration (or gala) here in Rochester. It was centered around the release of Rochester Knockings, which was translated from the French by local poet-translator Jennifer Grotz (who also runs the translation program at the University of Rochester). The local band The Fox Sisters played, ...

Josefine Klougart @ UC Berkley

Join the Department of Scandinavian and ScanGrads for a talk by Danish author Josefine Klougart. More information available here. When: Monday 3 October, 4:30 pm-6:00 pm Where: University of Berkley, Department of Scandinavian, 201 Moses ...

"One of Us Is Sleeping" by Josefine Klougart [An Open Letter Book to Read]

This is the third entry in a series that will eventually feature all of the titles Open Letter has published to date. Catch up on past entries by clicking here. Last week’s entry was a pretty solid Chad rant involving the incredible Maidenhair by Mikhail Shishkin. Definitely check that one out. By contrast, this ...

Josefine Klougart @ Powell's Books

Join Danish author Josefine Klougart and Powell’s books for a conversation and reading about her first novel to be translated into English, One of Us Is Sleeping. The event is free and open to the public. When: Thursday, September 29 @ 7:30 PM Where: Powell’s Books, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR ...

Josefine Klougart @ Deep Vellum Books

Join Danish author Josefine Klougart at Deep Vellum Bookstore for a conversation and reading from her One of Us Is Sleeping. More information available here: http://deepvellum.org/event/josefine-klougart-u-s-tour-deep-vellum-books-dallas-texas/. The event is free and open to the public. When: Tuesday September 27 @ ...

"Neo-Noir, Violence, and Argentine Resort Towns" w/ Andrea G. Labinger

“Neo-Noir, Violence, and Argentine Resort Towns” Translator Andrea G. Labinger (recipient of a PEN Heim award for Gesell Dome) and Kaija Straumanis (editor, Open Letter Books) discuss the Dashiell Hammett Award-winning novel Gesell Dome, a neo-noir set in an Argentine resort town during the off-season. When the ...

Josefine Klougart @ Brazos Bookstore

Join Brazos Bookstore for a conversation and reading with Danish author Josefine Klougart. More information available here. When: Monday, September 26, 2016 – 7:00pm Where: Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet StreetHouston, TX ...

Josefine Klougart @ 57th Street Books

Join author Josefine Klougart in conversation with Susan Harris of Words Without Borders. More information available here. The event is free and open to the public. When: Saturday, September 24, 2016 – 3:00pm Where: 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th Street, Chicago, IL ...

Maidenhair by Mikhail Shishkin [An Open Letter Book to Read]

This is the second entry in a series that will eventually feature all of the titles Open Letter has published to date. Catch up on past entries by clicking here. Last week’s entry was about Gesell Dome by Guillermo Saccomanno. Maidenhair by Mikhail Shishkin, translated from the Russian by Marian ...

Josefine Klougart @ Community Bookstore

Join author Josefine Klougart in conversation with Sarah Gerard. More information available here. The event is free and open to the public. When: Wednesday, September 21st, 7:00 pm Where: Community Bookstore (143 7th Ave, Brooklyn, ...

Interview with Rein Raud

Officially pubbing last Tuesday, The Brother by Rein Raud, translated from the Estonian by Adam Cullen, is a spaghetti western and “philosophical gem” (West Camel). It’s also Raud’s first novel to appear in English, following an appearance in the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology. The book has ...

Josefine Klougart @ Scandinavia House

Join Josefine Klougart in a reading and conversation with Maria Margvard Jensen at the Scandinavia House. More information on the event is here. The event is free and open to the public. When: Monday, September 19th, 7:00 pm Where: Scandinavia House (58 Park Ave, New York, ...

“Death by Water” by Kenzaburo Oe

Death by Water by Kenzaburu Oe translated from the Japanese by Deborah Boliver Boehm 432 pgs. | pb | 9781101911914 | $16.00 Grove Atlantic Reviewed by Will Eells   Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The ...

Bae Suah and Deborah Smith on Tour!

This fall, two Open Letter authors will be on tour: Josefine Klougart (whose tour we announced a few weeks ago) will be going cross-country starting next week to promote One of Us Is Sleeping. And then, just as her tour is wrapping up, Bae Suah will be arriving in San Francisco (along with her translator, Man Booker Prize ...

“Twenty-One Cardinals” by Jocelyne Saucier

Twenty-One Cardinals by Jocelyne Saucier translated from the French by Rhonda Mullins 176 pgs. | pb |9781552453070 | $19.95 Coach House Books Reviewed by Natalya Tausanovitch   Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in ...

Latest Review: "Twenty-One Cardinals" by Jocelyne Saucier

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Natalya Tausanovitch on Twenty-One Cardinals by Jocelyne Saucier, published by Coach House Books. Natalya was a student of Chad’s last school year, and is in her final year of studies at the university. This summer, she did an internship with the press and ...

Best Translated Book Award 2017: The Judges

Running a little bit late with the BTBA announcments for this year, but over the next week, expect to see the official page updated and an updated to the translation database. In the meantime, this post will give publishers, translators, and interested readers all the necessary information about who’s on the committee ...

Josefine Klougart's Fall Tour

Summer is on its way out and August is coming to an end, which means, for me, back to school (aka papers and not always reading for fun). With some time left, however, I plan on finishing off and enjoying a few books from my ever growing ‘To Read’ stack. A book that should be on everyone’s end of summer ...

Alejandro Zambra & The White Review

Author Alejandro Zambra will be speaking at New York’s Center for Fiction with Sophie Seita on Thursday, May 26 at 7pm. This event is in celebration of the launch of The White Review No. 16. When: Thursday, May 26 at 6 p.m. Where: Center for Fiction, 17 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017 For more information and to RSVP, go ...

2016 Best Translated Book Award Winners: "Signs Preceding the End of the World" and "Rilke Shake"

May 4, 2016—The ninth annual Best Translated Book Awards were announced this evening at The Folly in New York City, and at The Millions with Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman, winning for fiction, and Angélica Freitas’s Rilke Shake, translated from the ...

2016 Best Translated Book Award Finalists!

Ten works of fiction and six poetry collections remain in the running for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards following the announcement of the two shortlists at The Millions website this morning. These sixteen finalists represent an incredible array of writing styles and reputation, and include the likes of ...

2016 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Finalists

As announced “earlier this morning at The Millions,”: these are the ten fiction finalists for this year’s Best Translated Book Award: A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn (Angola, Archipelago Books) Arvida by Samuel Archibald, ...

2016 Best Translated Book Award Poetry Finalists

As announced “earlier this morning at The Millions,”: these are the six poetry finalists for this year’s Best Translated Book Award: Rilke Shake by Angélica Freitas, translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan (Brazil, Phoneme Media) Empty Chairs: Selected Poems by Liu Xia, translated from ...

“The Body Where I Was Born” by Guadalupe Nettel [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Charlotte Whittle, translator, and editor at Cardboard House Press. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Body Where I Was Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from the ...

“The Big Green Tent” by Ludmila Ulitskaya [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Stacey Knecht, BTBA judge and translator from the Czech and Dutch. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Big Green Tent by Ludmila Ulitskaya, translated from the Russian by ...

The BTBA Celebrations

To celebrate this year’s Best Translated Book Awards, we’re going to have two separate parties. The first is on Wednesday, May 4th at 6:30pm at The Folly (92 W Houston, NYC). That’s where we’ll announce the two winning titles. (For those of you who can’t make it in person, be sure and tune into ...

“The Story of My Teeth” by Valeria Luiselli [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Amanda Bullock, BTBA judge and director of public programs at Literary Arts, Portland. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, translated ...

“The Sleep of the Righteous” by Wolfgang Hilbig [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Hal Hlavinka, bookseller at Community Bookstore. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Sleep of the Righteous by Wolfgang Hilbig, translated from the German by Isabel Fargo ...

“A General Theory of Oblivion” by Jose Eduardo Agualusa [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by George Carroll, former BTBA judge, sales rep, and international literature editor for Shelf Awareness. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   A General Theory of Oblivion by José ...

The Seven Good Years

It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret is in a hospital waiting for the birth of his first child while nurses, in what seems a blasé manner, talk about how much they hate terrorist attacks. “They put a damper on ...

“I Refuse” by Per Petterson [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Joseph Schreiber, who runs the website Rough Ghosts, and is a contributor at Numéro Cinq. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   I Refuse by Per Petterson, translated from the ...

“The Meursault Investigation” by Kamel Daoud [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Gwen Dawson, founder of Literary License. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud, translated from the French by John Cullen (Algeria, ...

“The Story of the Lost Child” by Elena Ferrante [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Betty Scott from Books & Whatnot. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Italy, ...

“Berlin” by Aleš Šteger [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by P.T. Smith, BTBA judge, writer, and reader. We will be running two of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Berlin by Aleš Šteger, translated from the Slovene by Brian Henry, Forrest Gander, and Aljaž Kovac ...

Human Acts

Last year, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was an unexpected critical hit. Now, it’s just been published in the U.S. and has already received a great deal of positive critical attention. The Vegetarian was a bold book to attempt as an author’s first translation into English, yet Han’s surreal story and the skillful ...

Latest Review: "Human Acts" by Han Kang

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by J. C. Sutcliffe on Han Kang’s Human Acts, published by Portobello Books. Here’s the beginning of the review: Last year, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was an unexpected critical hit. Now, it’s just been published in the U.S. and has already received a ...

“Murder Most Serene” by Gabriell Wittkop [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Ben Carter Olcott, who is a writer, editor of the KGB Bar Lit Magazine, and a bookseller at 192 Books. We will be running two of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Murder Most Serene by Gabrielle Wittkop, ...

2016 BTBA Longlist Announcement!

This entry is the general press release about this year’s awards. If you want to skip ahead, you can find the poetry list here, and the fiction one here. Check back in later today—we’ll be kicking off the “Why This Book Should Win” series in the afternoon. March 29, 2016—Clarice ...

Two Weeks to the BTBA Longlists!

In just a couple of weeks—on Tuesday, March 29th at 10am to be precise—we’re going to announce the longlist for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards for fiction and poetry. Between now and then, I want to put up a few posts about the award, the titles that might make the list, other trends, etc. But ...

Introducing "The Vegetarian" by Han Kang [RTWBC]

As previously announced, the fiction book we’re reading for this month’s Reading the World Book Club is The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith. Since I already read this one—taught it in my class last year, more on that below—I thought I’d start out this ...

Lina Wolff @ ButaPub [RTWCS]

This first RTWCS of 2016 welcomes Swedish author Lina Wolff to discuss her new novel, Bret Easton Ellis and The Other Dogs, with Brian Wood, local author and fiction editor at POST magazine. When: Wednesday, March 2nd at 6:30 p.m. Where: ButaPub, 315 Gregory Street, Rochester NY This event is free and open to the ...

Lina Wolff in Rochester [Spring 2016 RTWCS]

Next Wednesday, March 2nd, at 6:30 pm, the amazing and local Rochester restaurant ButaPub will be hosting the first Reading the World Conversation Series (RTWCS) event for Spring 2016. This first RTWCS of 2016 welcomes Swedish author Lina Wolff to discuss her new novel, Bret Easton Ellis and The Other Dogs, with Brian ...

Alvaro Enrigue @ Green Apple Books

An event with Mexican author Alvaro Enrigue, whose novel Sudden Death (his first in English, translated by Natasha Wimmer), was just released by Riverhead Books. Enrigue will talk about the book with Two Lines’ Scott Esposito at Green Apple Books on the Park. When: Friday, February 19, 2016 Where: Green Apple Books ...

Toni Sala @ Malvern Books

Join us for an evening with award-winning writer Toni Sala, who will be reading from The Boys, an “altogether brilliant” novel that centers around the sudden deaths of two young men in a provincial town in the Catalonian countryside. Where: Malvern Books, 613 West 29th Street, Austin, TX 78705 When: Friday, Feb. 19 at 7 ...

Toni Sala @ Brazos Bookstore

Long known as one of Spain’s most powerful authors, Toni Sala is at his mischievous best here, delivering a sinister, fast-moving tale laced with intricate meditations on everything from social networks to Spain’s economic collapse to the mysterious end that awaits us all. THE BOYS is a startlingly honest vision of the ...

Variations on a Theme: Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s "Tram 83" [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Heather Cleary, translator of Sergio Chejfec, Oliverio Girondo, professor at Sarah Lawrence, and co-founder of the Buenos Aires Review. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a ...

Carlos Labbé @ Community Bookstore

Join the folk of Community Bookstore for a conversation with Carlos Labbé, as he discusses his novel Loquela. When: Wednesday, February 3rd at 7:30pm Where: Community Bookstore, 143 7th Ave., Brooklyn, NY For more information, go ...

Updated 2014, 2015, & 2016 Translation Databases

I just uploaded new versions of 2014, 2015, and 2016 translation databases to our master translation database part of the website. There are two big updates worth noting here, before getting into some of the breakdowns: 1) I added over 150 titles to the 2016 database, so this is starting to look a little bit more robust ...

On Spoiling "The Weight of Things" [RTWBC]

I’m struggling with what to write about The Weight of Things for this week. Initially, I thought we’d have an interview with the translator ready by this point, but I suck at time management . . . Besides, what could I possible add after this interview between Adrian Nathan West and Kate Zambreno? BLVR: ...

Carlos Labbé @ 57th Street Books

Join the folk of 57th Street Books for an evening with Carlos Labbé to discuss his novel Loquela. Carlos will be joined in conversation by Victoria Saramago, assistant professor at the Department of Romance Languaes and Literature at the University of Chicago. For more information on the event, go here. When: Tuesday, ...

Why Are We Ignoring "Apocalypse Baby"'s Most Important Twist? [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Kate Garber, bookseller at 192 Books. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. I have yet to find a review of Apocalypse Baby by Virginie ...

"Loquela" Is the Book You Should Be Reading

This is another one of those posts. One in which I wrote a long-ass essay/diatribe that I decided to delete so as to “focus on the positive.” In this case, I was on a roll about how sick I am of the literary field anointing four-five international authors a year and writing endless articles/listicles about ...

Valeria Luiselli and the Transformative Power of Translated Storytelling [BTBA]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from judge Kevin Elliott, bookseller at 57th Street Books in Chicago. As a reminder, you can stay up to date with all BTBA goings on by liking our Facebook page and by following us on Twitter. And by checking in regularly here at Three Percent. The Story Of My Teeth is ...

A Quote from "Twelve Stations" [RTWBC]

I was hoping to send Bill Johnston a bunch of questions about Tomasz Różycki’s Twelve Stations over the weekend, but the general exhaustion from MLA, Greyhound bus rides, and doing three events in three days won out. With a little luck I’ll have something from him to post next Thursday. In the meantime, I ...

Danielle Dutton on "The Weight of Things" [RTWBC]

As you probably know, this month’s Reading the World Book Club prose selection is The Weight of Things by Marianne Fritz, which is translated from the German by Adrian Nathan West and published by Dorothy. Danielle Dutton—a highly regarded author and founder of Dorothy, a publishing project—offered to ...

Book Club Breakdown for "The Weight of Things" [RTWBC]

Before getting to the main part of this post—which is admittedly a bit silly, but hopefully a good way to kick things off—I have a few quick notes. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make it easy for people to share their thoughts and opinions about these books—to make this really a book club and ...

Carlos Labbé on Tour!

If you happened to read Laird Hunt’s “great review of Carlos Labbe’s Loquela in the LA Times”:http://www.latimes.com/books/la-ca-jc-carlos-labbe-20151220-story.html you’ll probably be interested in meeting the man behind this wild and wonderful book. Well, if you live in Dallas, Portland, ...

Six University Press Books [My Year in Lists]

I was hoping to have more time to write about the books on this list today, but after having technical problems recording the podcast, I’m going to have to rush through this so that I have enough time at the end of the day to mail out Loquela to all of our subscribers. Considering how many translations are coming out ...

Let's Talk about Lists

If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a few months, you’ve probably come across one rant or another about listicles and lists in general. Aside from the ones on the ROC in Your Mouth blog I think most of these things are pretty stupid. Actually, let me refine that a bit: “Best of” lists can ...

The Room

If you’ve ever worked in a corporate office, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “Perception is reality.” To Björn, the office worker who narrates Jonas Karlsson’s novel The Room, the reality is simple: there’s a door near the bathroom that leads to a tidy little room with a desk. Inside this room, he feels a ...

Latest Review: "On the Edge" by Rafael Chirbes

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Jeremy Garber on On the Edge by Rafael Chirbes, translated by Margaret Jull Costa, and coming out from New Directions next January. Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. He is also currently serving on the BTBA judging ...

"A Raskolnikoff" by Emmanuel Bove [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Jason Grunebaum, senior lecturer at the University of Chicago, and translator from the Hindi. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. When ...

Translation Database Updates: AmazonCrossing Is the Story

The other day, I posted about the Translation Databases, pointing out that the 2014, 2015, and 2016 databases have all be substantially updated. That post was a bit bleak, talking about a 15% reduction in the number of works of fiction and poetry published in 2015 when compared to 2014.1 Since that went live, a lot of ...

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Three Percent #107: The Lost Episode

A couple weeks ago, Chad and Tom recorded a podcast about a slew of recent events, including ALTA 38, the Albertine Festival, the “New Literature from Europe Festival, Wordstock, and the Texas Book Festival. Unfortunately, that podcast—one of the best ever recorded—had to be tossed because of technical ...

Submission [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Tom Roberge from New Directions, Albertine Books, and the Three Percent Podcast. He’s not actually a BTBA judge, but since he’s helping run the whole process, he thought he’d weigh in and post as well. For more information on the BTBA, ...

Vermont Studio Center: Visiting Writer Jody Gladding

Reading with visiting author and translator Jody Gladding. Where: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, VT 05656 When: Monday, November 16th, from 8-9pm For more information on the event, go ...

New Literature from Europe Festival

The New Literature from Europe Festival is an annual celebration of writing from across the European continent. Featuring readings and discussions between leading and emerging literary voices from Europe, and some of America’s foremost writers and critics, the Festival celebrates important new European literature in ...

Help Open Letter By Buying the Books for My Spring Class

As you probably know already, Open Letter Books is a non-profit publishing house. Which means that a) I go out of my way to help the field of translation/publishing as a whole (see: Best Translated Book Award, this blog, the translation database, and a dozen other things that don’t benefit us financially, but which I ...

LiT Forum: Translator Esther Allen with José Manuel Prieto

Reading with translator Esther Allen and author José Manuel Prieto. Where: Vermont Studio Center, 80 Pearl Street, Johnson, VT 05656 When: Friday, October 30th, from 8-9pm For more information on the event, go ...

Another Really "Important" Book We Publish: Guillermo Saccomanno's "Gesell Dome"

Last night I got a bunch of people excited on Twitter (my feed is a bit more . . . schizoid than the official Open Letter feed, although you should follow that one too!) about Guillermo Saccomanno’s Gesell Dome, so I thought I’d share a bit more about this book. We signed this on a while back, shortly after ...

Naja Marie Aidt @ Brazos Bookstore

Naja Marie Aidt’s long-awaited first novel is a breathtaking page-turner and complex portrait of a man whose life slowly devolves into one of violence and jealousy. Join the awesome folk at Brazos for a reading by Naja Marie Aidt. Where: Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet StreetHouston, TX 77005 For more information, go ...

Reminder: Our First Gala is Only Ten Days Away

Next Friday (October 23rd), we’ll be hosting our first annual Celebration of Open Letter and Rochester. It’s our one and only fundraising event of the year, and is centered around _Rochester Knockings: A Novel of the Fox Sisters by Hubert Haddad and translated from the French by Jennifer Grotz. The gala will ...

Naja Marie Aidt @ The Wild Detectives

Join the good folk at The Wild Detectives for a reading with Naja Marie Aidt. Where: The Wild Detectives, 314 W. Eighth St., Dallas, TX Free and open to the public. More information forthcoming ...

Private Life

In Josep Maria de Sagarra’s Private Life, a man harangues his friend about literature while walking through Barcelona at night: When a novel states a fact that ties into another fact and another and another, as the chain goes on the events begin to seem more and more extraordinary, and the characters take on a ...

Naja Marie Aidt: A Reading and Conversation with CJ Evans at Litquake

Naja Marie Aidt’s Rock, Paper, Scissors (Open Letter Books), her long-awaited first novel, is a complex portrait of a man whose life slowly devolves into violence and jealousy. One of Denmark’s most decorated and beloved authors, Aidt will read from the newly released novel and share her thoughts on writing, being ...

Jennifer Grotz @ Barnes & Noble College Town

Join Jennifer Grotz who will lead a reading and discussion of her latest translation of Hubert Haddad’s book “Rochester Knockings: A Novel of the Fox Sisters”. An intriguing account of a house possesed, a clairvoyant and the emergence of the Spiritualist Movement. Sponsored by Open Letter Press. Don’t ...

Naja Marie Aidt @ Magers & Quinn

Naja Marie Aidt reads from Rock, Paper, Scissors Naja Marie Aidt’s long-awaited first novel is a breathtaking page-turner and complex portrait of a man whose life slowly devolves into one of violence and jealousy. Rock, Paper, Scissors opens shortly after the death of Thomas and Jenny’s criminal father. While trying ...

Svetlana Alexievich for the Nobel!

For the past few years, every time the Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded, a certain number of journalists contact me about the winner, asking for information since, for the most part, they’ve never read or heard of these authors. Patrick Modiano. Herta Mueller. Mo Yan. Surprisingly, or maybe not so, I knew a ...

Words Without Borders & Naja Marie Aidt

Open Letter Books and Seminary Co-op Bookstores Present Danish author Naja Marie Aidt, reading from her long-awaited debut novel Rock, Paper, Scissors. Aidt will be joined in conversation by Susan Harris, editorial director of Words without Borders. Where: 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th St., Chicago, IL RSVP ...

Still Hating on DraftKings [3 Books]

Rather than reinvent the ranting wheel (I don’t know what that is, but it sounds fun), I’m going to preface this preview of three new books with a couple of updates from last week’s post. First off, DraftKings. I spend way too much of my mental time hating all over this stupid company. I should just stop. ...

Reading with Naja Marie Aidt & Valeria Luiselli

Join the folk at the Community Bookstore for a reading with authors Naja Marie Aidt and Valeria Luiselli. Where: Community Bookstore, 143 7th Ave., Brooklyn, NY Free and open to the public. For more information, go ...

We're Not Here to Disappear

Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli and comes out from Otis Books/Seismicity Editions next week. John ...

Latest Review: "We're Not Here to Disappear" by Olivia Rosenthal

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Megan C. Ferguson on We’re Not Here to Disappear by Olivia Rosenthal, translated by Béatrice Mousli and published by Otis/Seismicity Editions. The books we get from Otis/Seismicity are always this beautiful matte black, with a simple title heading and author listing. ...

"One of Us Is Sleeping" by Josefine Klougart [Short Teaser]

I started reading Martin Aitken’s translation from the Danish of Josefine Klougart’s One of Us Is Sleeping yesterday and came across this passage that I wanted to share. I know I need to post a more comprehensive overview of our forthcoming books—both for the winter and next spring—but for now, ...

The Queen's Caprice

Even though the latest from Jean Echenoz is only a thin volume containing seven of what he calls “little literary objects,” it is packed with surprises. In these pieces, things happen below the surface, sometimes both literally and figuratively. As a result, his characters, as well as his readers, are faced with the ...

Latest Review: "The Queen's Caprice" by Jean Echenoz

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Christopher Iacono on The Queen’s Caprice by Jean Echenoz, translated by Linda Coverdale and published by The New Press. What I particularly liked about this review is the last paragraph. I’m one of those people who has a lot of peeves over readers ...

The Lasting Impact of Bolaño's Quotes [3 Books]

After a couple weeks of touring and hosting events, I finally have time to get back to my “weekly” write-ups of new and forthcoming books. Last time I talked about a couple Indonesian titles one of which, Home by Leila Chudori, I’m greatly enjoying. I also complained about school starting before Labor Day, ...

Georgi Gospodinov @ Community Bookstore

Join the cool cats of Community Bookstore for a reading and conversation with Georgi Gospodinov and Alberto Manguel. Where: Community Bookstore, 143 7th Ave., Brooklyn, NY For more information, go ...

BTBA 2016 Poetry: The Jury Is Out [BTBA 2016]

It’s taken longer than it should to announce this—blame my disorganization, all the other events that have been going on, etc.—but we’re finally ready to unveil this year’s jury for the Best Translated Book Award prize for poetry. Before listing the judges, I just want to remind you to check ...

Literature on Location: Part II [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Stacey Knecht and is basically a follow-up to her first post. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. I translate Hrabal. We work as a team. We ...

Andrés Neuman @ McNally Jackson

Join the radsters at McNally Jackson for a reading and conversation with Andrés Neuman and Heather Cleary. Where: McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St., New York, NY Free and open to the public. More information forthcoming ...

Open Letter Review Roundup!

Over the past few weeks, our books have received a bunch of great reviews. Each time this happens, I plan on posting about it on the blog, then I start answering emails, or teaching a class, or doing some mundane publishing related task (sales reports! metadata!) and don’t get around to it. So, here’s a huge ...

Brooklyn Book Festival

The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City, presenting an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors. One of America’s premier book festivals, this hip, smart diverse gathering attracts thousands of book lovers of all ages to enjoy authors and the festival’s ...

Georgi Gospodinov @ Seminary Co-op

Open Letter Books and Seminary Co-op Bookstores Present Bulgarian author Georgi Gospodinov, reading from his “quirky, compulsively readable” (New York Times) novel The Physics of Sorrow, with Angelina Ilieva (University of Chicago, Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures). Co-sponsored by The Center for East ...

Andrés Neuman @ Brazos Bookstore

With a variety of forms and styles, Neuman opens up the possibilities for fiction, calling to mind other greats of Latin American letters, such as Cortazar, Bolano, and Bioy Casares. Intellectually stimulating and told with a voice that is wry, questioning, sometimes mordantly funny, yet always generously humane, THE THINGS ...

Andrés Neuman @ 57th Street Books

Join the groovy folks at 57th Street Books for a reading and conversation with Andrés Neuman and Chad W. Post. Where: 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th Street, Chicago, IL For more information, go ...

RTWCS with Andrés Neuman & Chad W. Post

Come for the food, stay for the reading! The University of Rochester and Open Letter Books present a Reading the World Conversation Series event with author Andrés Neuman, in discussion with Chad W. Post. Where: Buta Pub, 315 Gregory St., Rochester, NY Free and open to the ...

French Concession

Who is this woman? This is the question that opens Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a novel of colonial-era Shanghai’s spies and revolutionaries, police and smugglers, who scoot between doorways, walk nonchalantly down avenues, smoke cigars in police bureaus, and lounge in expensive European hotels. The woman is Therese ...

Latest Review: "French Concession" by Xiao Bai

The latest addition to our Reviews section by Emily Goedde on French Concession by Xiao Bai, translated by Chenxin Jiang and published by Harper Collins. Emily Goedde received an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa. She is now a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University ...

National Book Festival: Presentation with Andrés Neuman

Andrés Neuman discusses “Talking to Ourselves: A Novel” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). For more information, go ...

Three Articles on Three Great Indie Presses: Graywolf, Coffee House, Europa

Yesterday I posted a little summary on two great translators, so it’s only appropriate that today I post about three great pieces that have come out about three of my favorite presses over the past few days. First up was this Vulture piece by Three Percent favorite Boris Kachka (BORIS!!) on Graywolf Press. ...

Complete Brooklyn Book Fair Schedule

I mentioned a few Brooklyn Book Fair Events in my post about all forthcoming Open Letter events (which I just updated), but the full schedule went up yesterday and, damn. If I were going, and if these were all taking place at different times, here are the panels I would attend: Twisted Fables. Fiction has come a long way ...

Anna Karenina

For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love. Even though it’s a very Russian novel that occasionally addresses problems in that country during ...

Latest Review: "Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Christopher Iacono on one of the great Russian classics, Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, translated by Marian Schwartz and published by Yale University Press. I recently had a brief correspondence with Marian about [epic] classic literature and the mediums in which one can ...

Two Great Translators: K. E. Semmel & Amanda DeMarco

I guess both of these articles are a couple of weeks old now—but do things really count if they happen in August while all of Europe is on vacation?—but I still want to share them since both are really interesting and feature two great translators and friends. First up, Asymptote has a nice profile of Danish ...

First Annual Celebration of Open Letter Books & Rochester

This has been in the works for a number of months now, but we’re finally ready to unveil some of the details about the first annual celebration of Open Letter and Rochester, including how you can buy tickets and support all of our programs. (Spoiler alert: Buy the tickets here.) The celebration is set to take place at ...

A Dilemma

In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the shell of a tortoise. The tortoise, of course, is ...

Latest Review: "A Dilemma" by Joris-Karl Hyusmans

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Christopher Iacono on A Dilemma by Joris-Karl Hyusmans, translated by Justin Vicari, and out from Wakefield Press. (We love you, Wakefield!!!) Here’s the beginning of Chris’s piece: In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature ...

Latest Review: "The Nightwatches of Bonaventura" by Bonaventura

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by J. T. Mahany on The Nightwatches of Bonaventura by Bonaventura, translated by Gerald Gillespie, and published by University of Chicago Press. J. T. is a graduate of the University of Rochester’s MALTS program, and is currently in the MFA program at Arkansas. He’s ...

The Nightwatches of Bonaventura

Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt soliloquies in miasmic graveyards, a pregnant nun is entombed alive for ...

Pavane for a Dead Princess

In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a pavane (a slow procession) that a princess would have danced to in the ...

Latest Review: "Pavane for a Dead Princess" by Park Min-Gyu

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Christopher Iacono on Pavane for a Dead Princess by Park Min-Gyu, translated by Amber Hyun Jung Kim, and published by Dalkey Archive Press. Here’s the beginning of Chris’s review: In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane ...

Asymptote Summer 2015 Issue

This post is from current intern, soon to be Literary Translation grad student, Daniel Stächelin. From Mexican poet José Eugenio Sánchez and Danish poet Naja Marie Aidt, to Albanian author Ismail Kadare, among others, Asymptote’s Summer 2015 issue features some mind-bendingly vivid nuggets of literary and existential ...

Literature on Location: Part I [BTBA 2016]

As with past years, every week one of the Best Translated Book Award judges will be posting their thoughts and observations on some of the books that they’re reading for this year’s award. Stacey Knecht agreed to kick things off today with this post. Yes, I live in the Netherlands. No, I don’t live in ...

Best Translated Book Award 2016: The Fiction Judges

It’s only been a a month and a half since Can Xue’s The Last Lover and Rocio Ceron’s Diorama won the 2015 Best Translated Book Award, but given the number of eligible titles (over 550 last year), we’re getting the process started as early as possible this year, which is why, today, we’re ready to ...

Canada vs. Germany [Women's World Cup of Literature: CHAMPIONSHIP]

OK, here we are, at the final match of the first ever Women’s World Cup of Literature. If you missed any of the earlier games, or just want to read about all the incredible books that were included in this tournament, just click here. The Championship pits two very different books against one another. On one side ...

4 Dangerous & Immigrant Books: A Fundraising Party

Carlos Labbé, author of the excellent novels Navidad & Matanza (available now) and Loquela (forthcoming), sent me this information about a fundraising event he’s putting on this Saturday for Sangría Legibilities, a nonprofit publisher that he helped found. Since Sangría is the sort of press a lot of Three Percent ...

Australia vs. Cameroon [Women's World Cup of Literature: Quarterfinals]

From here on out, multiple judges will be voting on each of the matches and the “score” will be an accumulation of these votes. Just to recap, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Australia) got here by first beating Sweden and Camilla Läckberg’s The Stranger and then upending Nigeria and Chimamanda Ngozi ...

Spain vs. Costa Rica [Women's World Cup of Literature: Second Round]

This match was judged by Katrine Øgaard Jensen, blog editor at Asymptote. You can follow her on Twitter at @kojensen. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. And check back here daily! This match ...

Germany vs. Côte d'Ivoire [Women's World Cup of Literature: Second Round]

This match was judged by Kalah McCaffrey, a Young Adult literary scout at Franklin & Siegal. You can follow her on Twitter at @moheganscout. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. And check back ...

Canada vs. New Zealand [Women's World Cup of Literature: Second Round]

This match was judged by Lizzy Siddal. You can keep up with her literary adventures at Lizzy’s Literary Life or on Twitter at @LizzySiddal. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. And check back ...

Translator Ginny Tapley Takemori: On Whales, Blue Glass, War and Young People

Translator Ginny Tapley Takemori will discuss two children’s books she translated from Japanese into English, both of which are due out from Pushkin Children’s Books this year: The Whale That Fell In Love With a Submarine by Akiyuki Nosaka and The Secret of the Blue Glass by Tomiko Inui. Both titles explore ...

Germany vs. Thailand [Women's World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match was judged by Emily Ballaine from Green Apple Books in San Francisco. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. And check back here daily! In a David and Goliath style match up, these two ...

South Korea vs. Spain [Women's World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match was judged by Mythili Rao, producer for The Takeaway at WNYC. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. And check back here daily! What a brutal match. These two novels hold nothing back. Read ...

USA vs. Nigeria [Women's World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match was judged by Sal Robinson, a graduate student in library science and co-founder of the Bridge Series. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. And check back here daily! It seems hardly fair ...

Brazil vs. Costa Rica [Women's World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match was judged by Meredith Miller, a Foreign Rights Agent at Trident Media Group. You can follow her on Twitter at @merofthemillers. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. And check back here ...

England vs. Colombia [Women's World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match was judged by Rhea Lyons, a scout at Franklin & Seigal. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. And check back here daily! Judging this match up between Life After Life and Delirium was ...

Canada vs. Netherlands [Women's World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match was judged by Hannah Chute, recent recipient of her MA in literary translation from the University of Rochester. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. And check back here daily! Oryx & ...

Australia vs. Sweden [Women's World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match was judged by Rachel Crawford, graduate of the University of Rochester and former Open Letter intern. You can follow her rants online at @loveyourrac. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. ...

Energize Your Happy [Or: Why It's Important for Literary Translators to Go Do Stuff]

This is a bit of a risk, posting something among all the commotion surrounding the Women’s World Cup of Literature, but I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and wanted to finally write about it. I’m writing this post from Venstpils, Latvia, where I’ve had the pleasure to spend these first two ...

Côte d'Ivoire vs. Norway [Women's World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match was judged by Hal Hlavinka, bookseller and events coordinator at Community Bookstore in Park Slope. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. And check back here daily! I’ll be up front and ...

My Best BEA Moment [Some June Translations]

Every May, 20,000 or so publishing professionals gather at BookExpo America to a) try and create buzz for their fall books, b) court booksellers and librarians, c) attend panels of minimal import, and d) bitch and moan. Mostly it’s just d, to be honest. Publishing people love to complain about everything. The Javitz ...

France vs. Mexico [Women's World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match, the first of the tournament, was judged by P.T. Smith, a freelance critic. You can follow him on Twitter at @PTSmith_Vt. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page. And check back here ...

Switzerland vs. Cameroon [Women's World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match, the first of the tournament, was judged by Lori Feathers, a freelance critic and Vice President of the Board of Deep Vellum Publishing. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriFeathers. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter ...

Translation Breadloaf and My Copyright Talk

As if three trips to New York and one to Torino weren’t enough, I just a few minutes ago arrived in Ripton, VT, where I have the honor of being able to participate in (and generally witness) the first ever Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference. (A.K.A. Translation Loaf.) Since this was organized by Jen ...

BEA Translation "Buzz" Panels: Adult Fiction

So, this year, for the first time ever, BookExpo America is sponsoring two panels highlighting forthcoming works of fiction: one featuring general fiction, the other focusing on crime and thrillers. (Naturally, I’m moderating the first one and Tom Roberge is doing the other.) The one on general adult fiction will ...

"Chasing Lost Time" and "The Man Between" at Albertine

This Thursday, May 21st at 7pm, I’ll be moderating a conversation at Albertine Book Store (972 Fifth Ave., NYC) with Jean Findlay and Esther Allen about the life and work of two celebrated translators: C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Michael Henry Heim. You should come! While C. K. Scott Moncrieff’s work has shaped ...

What Makes a Reader Good at Reading? [Some May Translations]

In a couple weeks, the IDPF Digital Book Conference will take place in New York under the theme of “Putting Readers First.” As part of this Ed Nawokta (Publishing Perspectives founder and international publishing guru of sorts), Boris Kachka (Hothouse author and former BEA frond-waver [sorry, inside joke]), Andrew ...

Life Embitters

Last year, NYRB Classics introduced English-language readers to Catalan writer Josep Pla with Peter Bush’s translation of The Gray Notebook. In that book, Pla wrote about life in Spain during an influenza outbreak soon after World War I, when he was a young law student and aspiring writer. Readers got to meet many of the ...

The Physics of Sorrow

“Your bile is stagnant, you see sorrow in everything, you are drenched in melancholy,” my friend the doctor said. bq. “Isn’t melancholy something from previous centuries? Isn’t some vaccine against it yet, hasn’t medicine taken care of it yet?” I ask. Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow was an ...

Who We Talk About When We Talk About Translation: The Bloggers

Who We Talk About When We Talk About Translation: The Bloggers* Bloggers increasingly lead in reviewing international literature, as column inches for book reviews in traditional outlets have shrunk. Prominent bloggers discuss their role and how it’s evolving. Where: Albertine Books, 972 Fifth Avenue (at 79th ...

Who We Talk About When We Talk About Translation: Women's Voices

Who We Talk About When We Talk About Translation: Women’s Voices Where are the women authors in translation? A panel of experts—writers, translators, editors—will consider the gender bias in literary translations published in the United States. Where: Albertine Books, 972 Fifth Avenue (at 79th Street), New ...

Translation Slam

What happens when a poem migrates into another language, not just once but twice? Find out when poets, translators, and audience square off in a smart and spirited exchange over meaning, choice, and freedom at this perennial Festival favorite. Where: Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 East 3rd Street, New York When: Friday, May 8, ...

Vano and Niko

What to make of Vano and Niko, the English translation of Erlom Akhvlediani’s work of the same name, as well as the two other short books that comprise a sort of trilogy? Quick searches will inform the curious reader that these short pieces (what contemporary writers would call flash fiction) resemble fables and that ...

Why This Book Should Win – "Paris" by Guest Critic Chad W. Post

Paris – Marcos Giralt Torrente, Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa, Spain, Hispabooks 1. Marcos Giralt Torrente is a literary descendent of Javier Marías. Similar to a Marías novel, the plot of Paris advances by one step forward, two steps sideways. The prose is interior, probing, less concerned ...

Why this Book Should Win – The Author and Me by BTBA Judge Michael Orthofer

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. The Author and Me – Éric Chevillard, translated from the French by Jordan Stump, France Dalkey Archive Press Obviously, two-time, back-to-back winner László ...

Why This Book Should Win: Q&A with Annelise Finegan Wasmoen about The Last Lover

Annelise Finegan Wasmoen is an editor and a literary translator. She is pursuing a PhD in Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis. Daniel Medin teaches at the American University of Paris, where he helps direct the Center for Writers and Translators and is Associate Series Editor of The Cahiers ...

ASIA Publishers celebrating 110 Korean Classics

ASIA Publishers celebrating 110 Korean Classics in Bilingual Editions: “빨간 책 어디까지 읽었니?” This panel will present the triumphs of the previous two years, plans for ASIA Publishing, Authors, and Translators to keep this sort of project going strong in the future. When: Apr 25, 2015, 4pm to ...

Why This Book Should Win – Things Look Different in the Light by BTBA Judge Madeleine LaRue

Madeleine LaRue is Associate Editor and Director of Publicity of Music & Literature. Things Look Different in the Light and Other Stories – Merdardo Fraile, Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa, Spain Pushkin Press For most of us, Things Look Different in the Light arrived late in the game. My ...

Why This Book Should Win – Faces in the Crowd by Guest Critic Tom Roberge

Tom Roberge is the Deputy Director of Albertine Books and Bookstore Liaison for New Directions. Faces in the Crowd – Valeria Luiselli, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney, Mexico Coffee House Press Early in Valeria Luiselli’s Faces in the Crowd, she offers an explanation — of sorts — for ...

RTWCS: Jón Gnarr with Lytton Smith

Come join Open Letter Books for another Reading the World Conversation Series event, featuring Jón Gnarr and translator Lytton Smith! Jón Gnarr is an actor, punk rocker, comedian, and author who created the satirical Best Party in Iceland and, against all odds, rose to became major of Reykjavík. He is one of the ...

Latest Review: "The Indian" by Jón Gnarr

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by P. T. Smith on Jón Gnarr’s The Indian, translated by Lytton Smith and out this month from Deep Vellum. Jón Gnarr is an actor, punk rocker, comedian, and author who created the satirical “Best Party” in Iceland and, against all odds, rose to become major of ...

The Indian

The opening of Jón Gnarr’s novel/memoir The Indian is a playful bit of extravagant ego, telling the traditional story of creation, where the “Let there be light!” moment is also the moment of his birth on January 2nd, 1967. Then comes sly awareness of the flow from preconsciousness to consciousness, “Murmuring ...

Why This Book Should Win – Talking to Ourselves by BTBA Judge Jeremy Garber

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. Talking to Ourselves – Andrés Neuman, Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia, Argentina Farrar, Straus and Giroux Perhaps the question shouldn’t be why Andrés Neuman’s Talking to Ourselves ...

Latest Review: "Mother of 1084," "Old Women," and "Breast Stories" by Mahasweta Devi

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Christopher Iacono on three works by Mahasweta Devi, and published by Seagull Books: Mother of 1084 (trans. by Samik Bandyopadhyay), Old Women (trans. by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak), and Breast Stories (trans. by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak). Is everyone back on two feet after ...

Mother of 1084; Old Women; Breast Stories

Mahasweta Devi is not only one of the most prolific Bengali authors, but she’s also an important activist. In fact, for Devi, the two seem to go together. As you can probably tell from the titles, she writes about women and their place in Indian society. Some of the characters in her stories are old women living in poverty, ...

Why This Book Should Win – Pushkin Hills by BTBA Judge James Crossley

James Crossley is a bookseller at Island Books. He writes regularly for the store’s Message in a Bottle blog and for the website of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Pushkin Hills – Sergei Dovlatov, Translated from the Russian by Katherine Dovlatov, Russia Counterpoint Press Pushkin Hills is ...

Why This Book Should Win – Adam Buenosayres by BTBA Judge Michael Orthofer

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. Adam Buenosayres – Leopoldo Marechal, Translated from the Spanish by Norman Cheadle and Sheila Ethier McGill-Queen’s University Press Leopoldo Marechal’s Adam ...

Why This Book Should Win – Monastery by BTBA Judge Jeremy Garber

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. Monastery – Eduardo Halfon, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn Bellevue Literary Press One of three titles on this year’s Best Translated Book Award longlist to feature more than one translator ...

2015 Best Translated Book Award Poetry Longlist

The 2015 Best Translated Book Award festivities kick off today with the announcement below of the seventeen titles that made this year’s Poetry Longlist. The finalists will be announced the morning of Tuesday, May 5th, and the winner will be announced at a panel during BEA on Wednesday, May 27th. As always, thanks to ...

Best Translated Book Award 2015: Clues to the Fiction Longlist [Part One]

On Tuesday, April 7th, one week from tomorrow, we’ll be announcing this year’s Best Translated Book Award longlists for both Fiction and Poetry. I’m going to unveil the poetry longlist at 10am, and the fiction one precisely at noon. (Eastern time. Because as much as I dislike East Coast Bias, our time zone ...

ALTA 2015 Travel Fellowships

OK, now that we have the ALTA 2015 location set (Tucson), the dates (October 28-31), hotel (Marriott University Park), and keynote speakers (Stephen Snyder and Jerome Rothenberg), it’s time to send out the call for Travel Fellowships. Each year, between four and six $1,000 fellowships are awarded to emerging ...

The History of Silence

Pedro Zarraluki’s The History of Silence (trans. Nick Caistor and Lorenza García) begins with the narrator and his wife, Irene, setting out to write a book about silence, itself called The History of Silence: “This is the story of how a book that should have been called The History of Silence never came to be written. ...

Latest Review: "The History of Silence" by Pedro Zarraluki

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by P. T. Smith on The History of Silence by Pedro Zarraluki, translated by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia, and published by Hispabooks Publishing. Here’s the beginning of Patrick’s review: Pedro Zarraluki’s The History of Silence (trans. Nick Caistor and ...

Flesh-Coloured Dominoes

There are plenty of reasons you can fail to find the rhythm of a book. Sometimes it’s a matter of discarding initial assumptions or impressions, sometimes of resetting oneself. Zigmunds Skujiņš’s Flesh-Coloured Dominoes was a defining experience in the necessity of attempting the latter. It has quite possibly the most ...

The Fringe Elements by BTBA Judge Monica Carter

Monica Carter is a freelance critic. Discerning how one should approach a written work for translation is a challenging task. The approach of some publishers is to accept the writer’s work as is, with no editorial input, which means the translation is as close to the original text as it can be, disregarding cultural, ...

Things I'm Over, Things That Are Interesting [Some March Translations]

For the handful of people who read these posts every month (I hope there are at least three of you), unfortunately, this one is going to be pretty short. I’m really strapped for time right now, with four trips (to New York, Bennington, Toronto, Seattle-Portland) and at least seven different events scheduled for the next ...

Adventures in Literary Translation on Saturday, March 14th

I’m going to be in NY most of this week for a number of events—a special seminar for publishing professionals on “Publishing Spanish Writers in English,” the National Book Critics Circle Awards—including the NY Circle of Translators Adventures in Literary Translation conference on Saturday, March ...

The Little Horse

The last five days of the eleventh-century Icelandic politician, writer of sagas, and famous murder victim Snorri Sturleleson (the Norwegian spelling, Snorre, is preserved in the book) make up Thorvald Steen’s most recently translated historical fiction, The Little Horse. Murdered on his own property for overdue political ...

Latest Review: "The Little Horse" by Torvald Steen

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by P. T. Smith on Torvald Steen’s The Little Horse, translated by James Anderson and published by Seagull Books. Here’s the beginning of Patrick’s review: The last five days of the eleventh-century Icelandic politician, writer of sagas, and famous murder ...

Best Translated Book Award Winners to Be Announced at BookExpo America

So, this has been percolating for some time, but yesterday BookExpo America sent out the official press release (copied below) about how this year’s Best Translated Book Award winners will be announced on Wednesday, May 27 at 2:30 as part of BEA’s programming: Norwalk, CT, February 25, 2015: BookExpo America ...

Bookselling in Carolina [Some February Translations]

Last week, the tenth version of the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute took place in Asheville, NC, at a resort straight out of The Shining. I know! You should’ve seen the main lobby with it’s 40’ ceilings, giant fireplaces, and hidden passages. It was like something out of ...

Festival Neue Literatur 2015

This year’s edition of the Festival Neue Literatur, which features new writing from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the U.S., will take place this upcoming weekend (February 19-22) and is loaded with interesting events. Here’s a video overview of the festival itself: You can find the complete schedule ...

Q&A with Hannah Johnson

This month, Wilkins Farago is publishing the translation of an award-winning children’s book, One Red Shoe by Karin Gruss with illustrations by Tobias Krejtschi, in the US (the book can be purchased both at the publisher’s website, and at Amazon.com). The story is a look at the impact of conflict on children who ...

The Frontrunners, Part Two by BTBA Judge Jeremy Garber

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. Monastery (Bellevue Literary Press) Eduardo Halfon, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn Like a companion volume or literary reverberation, Eduardo Halfon’s Monastery continues the itinerant ...

The Frontrunners, Part One by BTBA Judge Jeremy Garber

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. With the start of spring (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, that is) less than six weeks away, the BTBA longlist announcement draws ever closer (early April!) – and, as such, we judges continue our evaluation of the ...

Birth of a Bridge

One hundred pages into Birth of a Bridge, the prize-winning novel from French writer Maylis de Kerangal, the narrator describes how starting in November, birds come to nest in the wetlands of the fictional city of Coca, California, for three weeks. While this may seem insignificant in a novel about the construction of a ...

Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia

Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia (narrated by Julio Cortázar) is, not disappointingly, as wild a book as its title suggests. It is a half-novella half-graphic novel story about . . . what, exactly? A European tribunal, Latin American literary figures, a comic book superhero, international ...

Daniel Medin on The White Review and BTBAs Past, Present and Future

Daniel Medin teaches at the American University of Paris, where he helps direct the Center for Writers and Translators and is Associate Series Editor of The Cahiers Series. The January 2015 Translation Issue that I edited for The White Review recently went live. Nearly a year in the making, it gathers various kinds of ...

Let Me Watch Crap! [Some January 2015 Translations]

This past weekend, my kids and I finally watched The Incredible Hulk—the final Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that we had to see to be all caught up before Avengers 2 comes out in May. After the ultimately disappointing Hulk ended, my son wanted to binge on the new season of Doctor Who, which is available through ...

FIVE NOIR NOVELS by BTBA Judge George Carroll

George Carroll is the World Literature Editor of Shelf Awareness and an independent publishers’ representative based in the Pacific Northwest. My day job is publishers’ representative, which is a snottier way of saying “traveling book salesman.” I present thousands (low thousands) of books twice a year to book ...

The Madmen of Benghazi

Reading a genre book—whether fantasy, science fiction, crime, thriller, etc.—which begins to seem excessively, stereotypically bad, I have to make sure to ask myself: is this parodying the flaws of the genre? Usually, this questioning takes its time coming. In Gerard de Villiers The Madmen of Benghazi, it happened on the ...

In Translation But Off the List by BTBA Judge Jeremy Garber

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. As the calendar draws to a close, annual lists of the year’s best books begin to proliferate. However subjective these literary lineups may be, it should come as no surprise to readers of translated fiction that titles originating ...

New Literature from Europe 2014 [Weekend Work Getaways and then Some]

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of heading down to NYC for the 2014 New Literature from Europe festival, which primarily took place at the slightly Escherian, but beautiful Austrian Cultural Forum NY building. Even if you don’t read beyond this point, let me just say that this was a great festival, short and ...

Crossing Borders: Europe Through the Lens of Time

Join us for a celebration of the most exciting voices in European Literature today, guided by some of America’s top writers and critics. New Literature from Europe 2014 Crossing Borders: Europe Through the Lens of Time Austrian Cultural Forum New York 11 E 52nd St, New York More information and the event schedule is ...

CHILDREN OR SOVIETS OR BOTH: THE BOOKS THAT HAVE MADE ME LAUGH By Madeleine LaRue

Madeleine LaRue is Associate Editor and Director of Publicity of Music & Literature. The news has been worse than usual this year, so I’ve been particularly thankful for books that make me laugh. Here are some of the funniest contenders – in what I’m sure is just a coincidence, they all take place in the 1980s ...

Jeff Waxman's Rep Nights, Kramerbooks, and the Necessity of Face-to-Face Meetings

I’ve been incredibly discouraged over the past few weeks about the place of Open Letter in book culture. Part of this discouragement comes from traveling for twenty of the past twenty-four days (to Sharjah, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, L.A., and DC), but also, Open Letter didn’t get a single book on this Flavorwire ...

The Wild Detectives: Valerie Miles, in discussion with Prof. George Henson

Join us for readings and a discussion with Valerie Miles, editor of “A Thousand Forests in One Acorn,” a collection featuring twenty-eight of the greatest Spanish-language writers – with George Henson, Senior Lecturer of Spanish at UTD, this Wednesday at 7:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public. ...

Malvern Books: A Thousand Forests in One Acorn

Join us for readings and a discussion with Valerie Miles, editor of A Thousand Forests in One Acorn, a collection featuring twenty-eight of the greatest Spanish-language writers. And we’ll start the night in fine style with live Flamenco music from guitarist David Córdoba. This event is free and open to the public. For ...

Acorns in Texas

For those of you in the Austin and Dallas, Texas, areas, you’re in for a literary treat this week. Valerie Miles will be in Austin tonight (Tuesday), November 18th, at Malvern Books, and in Dallas tomorrow (Wednesday), November 29th, at The Wild Detectives to chat about A Thousand Forests in One Acorn. More ...

Bigger than the Burj Khalifa [Some November Translations]

This post is being written under extreme jet lag. Last Saturday I flew out to attend the Sharjah International Book Fair (the slogan for which is “A Book for Every Person,” which is not to be confused with Dubai’s Film Festival slogan, “A Movie for Every Person”) and then, yesterday, flew for ...

FEAR OF THE LONGLIST by George Carroll

George Carroll is the World Literature Editor of Shelf Awareness and an independent publishers’ representative based in the Pacific Northwest. None of the San Francisco Giants spoke with pitcher Madison Bumgartner in the dugout before he took the mound in the ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series except for ...

DANIEL MEDIN’S BTBA FAVORITES: FALL 2014

Daniel Medin teaches at the American University of Paris, where he helps direct the Center for Writers and Translators and is Associate Series Editor of The Cahiers Series. Can Xue: The Last Lover, trans. from Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen, Yale/Margellos The strangest and by far most original work I read this ...

The Best Translated Books So Far

James Crossley is a bookseller at Island Books. He writes regularly for the store’s Message in a Bottle blog and for the website of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Having talked about books that I think other people will probably like, it seems like I should talk at least a bit about the ones I ...

Miruna, a Tale

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 “Niculae Berca”). The Evil Vale is located in the region of Wallachia (southern ...

Latest Review: "Miruna, a Tale" by Bogdan Suceavă

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Alta Ifland on Miruna, a Tale by Bogdan Suceavă, translated by Alistair Ian Blyth and out from Twisted Spoon Press. Fun fact! Bogdan and Chad were at MSU during the same time, where they became friends. Here’s the beginning of Alta’s review: Miruna is a ...

A Corner of the World: Interview with Author Mylene Fernández Pintado [Part I]

Mylene Fernández Pintado has been writing and publishing in Cuba, winning prizes and readers, since 1994. Her latest novel, La esquina del mundo, has just been published by City Lights as A Corner of the World, translated by Dick Cluster. Cluster’s other new Cuban translation is Pedro de Jesús’s Vital Signs, released ...

SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014

SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014: Japanese Literature in English for Young Adults A day of presentations, critiques, and conversation for published and pre-published translators of Japanese children’s literature into English, with a focus on young adult (YA) literature. The event will take place Saturday, October 18, ...

Part Two of BTBA Judge Jeremy Garber's Faves for 2015

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. Valeria Luiselli ~ Faces in the Crowd As sinuous and singular a novel as Valeria Luiselli’s Faces in the Crowd (los ingrávidos) is (translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney), it is all the more remarkable on ...

Judge Jeremy Garber Shares Two of His Favorites So Far of BTBA 2015

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. With so much reading left to do (as submissions continue to fill our mailboxes daily), a handful of books already stand out as some of the year’s finest original translations. Although it remains to be seen whether any of the ...

Judge Jeremy Garber Sums Up His Thoughts for BTBA 2015

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. It is quite an honor (to say nothing of a responsibility) to be invited to adjudicate the creative output of others. In merely thinking of the myriad ways one might go about arbitrating the many facets that comprise a finished work ...

Kamal Jann

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 contemplates what it means to accept your past. It is 2010. Kamal Jann, a ...

Latest Review: "Kamal Jann" by Dominique Eddé

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a by Lori Feathers on Kamal Jann by Dominique Eddé, translated by Ros Schwartz and published by Seagull Books. Lori helped us out in the World Cup of Literature round for the U.S. vs. Belgium, and is also a member of the Board of Dallas-based Deep Vellum ...

Abilio Estévez and His Exile from Cuba [Month of a Thousand Forests]

Abilio Estévez is next up in the Month of a Thousand Forests series. Arcade brought out a couple of his books a decade ago, but the piece he chose as his “aesthetic highpoint” (excerpted below) has never appeared in English translation. Just a reminder, you can buy A Thousand Forests in One Acorn for only $15 ...

Alfredo Bryce Echenique and a Microcosm of Peru [Month of a Thousand Forests]

Up next in the Month of a Thousand Forests series is Alfredo Bryce Echenique, whose entry in A Thousand Forests includes a bit from his novel A World for Julius and a previously untranslated story, “Manzanas.” One of the most intriguing things about Echenique’s life is the plagiarism case that he was ...

Kafka dreaming: Two contemporary fabulists

Madeleine LaRue is Associate Editor and Director of Publicity of Music & Literature. My strategy for BTBA reading is very simple and very biased: I read the books by women first, and if there are no books by women, then I read the shortest ones first. I start with the women because there are fewer of them, and with ...

Simply Put, Marian Schwartz Is Bad Ass

Our love for Marian Schwartz—translator from the Russian of Mikhail Shishkin’s Maidenhair along with Mikhail Bulgakov’s The White Guard and all the Andrei Gelasimov books that AmazonCrossing has been bringing out, and dozens of other works—runs deep, which is why we’re all really excited that she ...