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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 ...

Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lucio Cardoso [Early Reviews]

  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 ...

A Few Good Reviews

Over the past few days, a few great reviews for Open Letter authors popped up online, all of which are worth sharing and reading. First up is P.T. Smith’s review for Full Stop of Sölvi Björn Sigurðsson’s The Last Days of My Mother, translated from the Icelandic by Helga Soffía Einarsdóttir: As a ...

Reviews in Translation

This post is courtesy of BTBA judge, Scott Esposito. Scott Esposito blogs at Conversational Reading and tweets. So here are some things that I’ve reviewed, will review, or will do something with in some way at some point that I think are strong contenders for the 2013 BTBA. First up: The Ingenious Gentleman and Poet ...

Quarterly Conversation #30 [The Reviews]

The reviews are one of the standard features in every issue of Quarterly Conversation. and there’s a ton of great pieces in this new issue. These are just a few of the highlights. Taylor Davis-Van Atta on Stig Sæterbakken’s Siamese, translated from the Norwegian by Sean Kinsella and Self-Control, translated ...

Six Words: More. Reviews. Of. Open. Letter. Books.

NPR is going all nationalist and public and polling their listeners on what they’d like to hear in terms of book reviews and book coverage: What makes a book review worth reading? What type of books should NPR cover more? What do we write about too much? Who are you people, and what do you want? As editors ...

Summer/Fall Previews

One of the best literary blogs out there has be The Millions. Consistently good features. Excellent writing. Interesting aesthetic taste. Et cetera. As proof, here’s a link to their Great 2010 Book Preview column that highlights a lot of interesting books coming out this summer and beyond. And although these ...

Kirkus Reviews, Out!

As was announced yesterday, Kirkus Reviews (and Editor & Publisher) is shutting down. Which kind of has people a bit worked up. It’s not every day that you see such a palpable sign of your industry’s troubles as when one of the few pure trade publications just ceases to be. When I was at Dalkey, a Kirkus ...

A Few Good Reviews for Open Letter Titles

This was a great week for Open Letter books, with three of our recent releases getting some nice coverage: First up was Hannah Manshel’s review of Death in Spring for The Front Table: In English for the first time in Martha Tennent’s translation, Death in Spring is about a society that finds highly elaborate ...

Recent Reviews of The Pets

Bragi Olafsson’s The Pets came out a few months ago, but with Iceland and its overturned government in the news these days, it’s a pretty good time for reviews to be appearing . . . Just this week two new reviews came out, the first being Lara Tupper’s piece in The Believer, which puts Olafsson’s novel ...

Two More Taker Reviews

Rubem Fonseca’s The Taker and Other Stories continues to get some really good coverage, including two recent reviews at The Front Table and The National. The Front Table is Seminary Co-op’s online newsletter/review magazine. It’s been around in one form or another for almost two decades, and the current ...

More Nobody's Home Reviews

As Dubravka Ugresic’s reading tour winds down—her final event is a conversation with Brigid Hughes on Tuesday at 7pm at Melville House Press—her review coverage continues to expand. Most recently Booklit gave the book a long, thoughtful, positive review, my favorite part of which is the ...

Recent Reviews of Literature in Translation

There are a couple of decent reviews of works in translation from the Sunday papers that are worth mentioning. The first is a review of Carlos Fuentes’s Happy Families that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle: In his latest short-story collection, “Happy Families,” Mexican author Carlos Fuentes ...

Early Reviews of Dubravka Ugresic and Her Tour

A couple of the early reviews for Dubravka Ugresic’s i>Nobody’s Home came out recently, with Library Journal stating that she “leaves no stone unturned and no thought contained, doing what she does best: writing about the human condition through her own experience” and Kirkus calling this collection ...

Early Titlepage.tv Reviews, Um, Not So Good

We announced the first Titlepage.tv episode yesterday and then watched about 15 minutes before leaving it paused on a goofy Charles Bock grimace for the rest of the day. That’s approximately 10 minutes, 33 seconds more than Jessa from Bookslut watched. And Sarah Weinman has a list of ten ways to improve the show, ...

Two New Reviews

This week we posted two new reviews, both of titles published by Archipelago. The first is a review by E.J. of The Waitress Was New by Dominique Fabre. (Fabre will be touring throughout the U.S. starting later this month. All the current dates can be found at Archipelago’s site.) Jeff Waxman gives Yalo by Elias ...

Danny Yee reviews The Melancholy of Resistance

In the face of unbridled lust for power, withdrawal from the world will fail, whether to the bourgeois’ fortified home, the philosopher’s intellectual retreat, or the dreamer’s imaginative world. Krasznahorkai doesn’t offer this as a political or moral lesson, however, but rather explores the ...

Reviewing Reviews of Translations

As touched upon in the roundup post I did about the Reviewing Translations panel at the Miami Book Fair International, there are a lot of issues involved when reviewing a translation. Especially related to the hows and whys of commenting on the quality of the translation. To many, one of the big problems is the ...

PW Reviews — More about Priorities

Publishers Weekly is one of my favorite review sources, providing a slew of brief, intelligent reviews every week. I especially like the fact that they cover a higher percentage of independent, small press, and university presses than most newspapers or magazines. In this week’s reviews there’s a nice write-up ...

This Week's PW Reviews

Couple interesting books reviewed in this week’s “Publishers Weekly,” including the latest Lydie Salvayre book, Power of Flies. Salvayre’s fifth novel to be translated into English is a tightly introspective series of first-person confessions by an arrogant murder convict whose life was transformed by ...

This Week's PW Reviews

The August 6th set of Publisher Weekly fiction reviews are now online and feature a couple of interesting books in translation. The first is Cries in the Drizzle (which sounds like a translated title) by Yu Hua “depicts a family’s life in the Zhejiang province of Maoist China during the 1970s.” According ...

Long Books and Quick Hits [BTBA 2019]

This week's Best Translated Book Award post is from Elijah Watson. If you're a publisher and haven't submitted your titles for BTBA consideration, there's still time! All the info can be found here. I’m between working at bookstores right now, having left the great A Room of One’s Own in Madison, Wisconsin only a ...

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 ...

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 ...

The Simple Pleasures of Reading

My initial plan for this post was to do a huge data dump for Women in Translation Month, but Meytal Radzinski already went and totally crushed it. She has all the best graphs, pie charts, breakdowns, overviews, recommendations, and more. Go click on that link and spend a day reading everything she has to say. I looked over ...

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 ...

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 ...

Selection Bias, Best Translations, and Where Are the Women in Translation From?

A couple weeks ago, Boyd Tonkin, the excellent critic and founder of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize--the inspiration for the Best Translated Book Award, and now the Man Booker International--released a rather unattractive looking book called The 100 Best Novels in Translation.  It's pretty obvious what's ...

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 ...

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 ...

Video of Two Month Review, Season Five, Episode One: Introducing Dubravka Ugresic

For those of you who missed it live! Bunch of new stuff this season, like, being prepared, and a contest involving the best Amazon reviews. Listen below for all the details. . . . . . . . . . For whatever reason, I can't get this video to embed. Either I'm an idiot (ding! ding! ding!) or the new website is ...

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 ...

The Crime in the Data

A couple weeks ago, writer Kári Tulinius asked me for some information on how prevalent crime novels are in what gets translated. As with most statistics related to literature in translation (and/or the book industry in general), the correct answer was, "uh . . . no idea. Maybe a lot? Sure seems like it . . . So, yeah." I ...

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 Last Bell” by Johannes Urzidil [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series (almost done!) is from Abe Nemon who writes essays and reviews of old and out-of-print books at OldBookAppreciator.com, as well as daily bios of obscure authors on their birthdays on Twitter at the handle @bookappreciator. The Last Bell by Johannes Urzidil, translated ...

Death by Poetry and The Lies about Me

I have a litany of reasons for why I’m combining a few posts here and writing a shorter, more condensed, straightforward post than most of the others. Baby (always an excuse), other obligations—such as the Best Translated Book Award longlists announcement and a bachelor party in which “what happens in Boiceville, stays ...

About

Three Percent launched in the summer of 2007 with the lofty goal of becoming a destination for readers, editors, and translators interested in finding out about modern and contemporary international literature. The motivating force behind the website is the view that reading literature from other countries is vital to ...

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 ...

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 ...

Everyone Needs an Editor

Before I get into the meat of this post—which is basically just a bunch of quotes and a handful of observations—I wanted to check back in on something from an earlier essay. Back in January, I wrote about Leïla Slimani’s The Perfect Nanny and basically assumed that it would be a best-seller. (There was also a lot of ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...

Introducing Mercè Rodoreda [Two Month Review]

If you prefer, you can also download this post as a PDF document. As you hopefully already know, the third season of the Two Month Review podcast will be dedicated to Mercè Rodoreda. Since most of her books are relatively slim (a.k.a., of readable length unlike the beasts that we’ve worked through in seasons one and ...

Help Support Open Letter!

If you’re friends with us on Facebook (either me personally, or the press itself), or visit the Twitter on a regular basis, you’re hopefully aware that Open Letter just launched an annual fundraising campaign to support our 10-year anniversary. And if you’re not already familiar with this, that’s ...

Publisher Profile: Nordisk Books

Summer intern David M. Smith, translator from the Norwegian, 2017 ALTA Fellow, future guest on the Two Month Review, conducted this interview with Duncan Lewis of Nordisk Books. Proving there’s more to Scandinavia than macabre crime fiction (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and—hygge (always hygge), ...

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 ...

Women in Translation Month [Throwback No.2]

As many of you may have noticed already, August is widely considered Women in Translation Month (look for the #WITMonth hashtag basically anywhere). Since Open Letter has published its fair share of baller women authors over the past ten years, we thought we’d take a few posts to highlight a handful of our all-time favorite ...

Women in Translation Month [Throwback No.1]

As many of you may have noticed already, August is widely considered Women in Translation Month (look for the #WITMonth hashtag basically anywhere). Since Open Letter has published its fair share of baller women authors over the past ten years, we thought we’d take a few posts to highlight a handful of our all-time ...

Portraits of Rage and Mortality [Two Month Review: The Invented Part]

On this week’s Two Month Review podcast, we’ll be discussing the third part (“A Few Things You Happen to Think About When All You Want Is to Think About Nothing”) of The Invented Part . As a bit of preparation, below you’ll find some initial thoughts, observations, and quotes. You can also ...

“The Invented Part” by Rodrigo Fresán

The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán translated from the Spanish by Will Vanderhyden 552 pgs. | pb | 9781940953564 | $18.95 Open Letter Books Reviewed by Chad W. Post   Given all the Two Month Review posts and everything else, hopefully you’ll have heard of Rodrigo Fresán’s The Invented Part by now. But ...

Chad's Very Unscientific BTBA Odds [BTBA 2017]

When I started posting the “Why This Book Should Win”: entries for this year’s longlisted BTBA titles, I decided to include mostly random, totally unscientific odds for each book both to be shortlisted and to win the whole award. Taken in the aggregate, these odds made no sense. Combined, the ten fiction ...

“A Spare Life” by Lidija Dimkovska [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 ...

“Moshi Moshi” by Banana Yoshimoto [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 ...

“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 ...

Some Recent Open Letter Publicity

We don’t post these updates near as frequently as we should, but here’s a rundown of some interesting recent publicity pieces for our books. Frontier by Can Xue, translated from the Chinese by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping Interview between Can Xue and Porochista Khakpour (Words Without ...

“In the Café of Lost Youth” by Patrick Modiano [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 ...

“My Marriage” by Jakob Wassermann [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 ...

“Wicked Weeds” by Pedro Cabiya [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 ...

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 ...

“Frontier” Receives a Starred Review in Kirkus!

It’s always fun to share really positive reviews of our books, such as this starred review from Kirkus for Frontier by Can Xue: Things are strange out there on the fringes, as the always adventurous Xue’s latest novel illustrates. There is magical realism aplenty in the pages of Xue’s beguiling story, but magical ...

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 [Interview]

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 [Excerpt]

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 ...

An Education in World Literature [BTBA 2017]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Steph Opitz, who reviews books for _Marie Claire, while also working with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), Kirkus Reviews, the Brooklyn Book Festival, and the Twin Cities Book Festival. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our ...

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 ...

The Architecture of Time, Space and Imagination by Monica Carter

Monica Carter is a freelance critic whose nonfiction has appeared in publications including Black Clock, World Literature Today, and Foreword Reviews. She curates Salonica World Lit, which is a virtual journal dedicated to international literature and culture. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our ...

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Three Percent #118: Our Titles Are No Better

This week’s podcast kicks off with a list of corrections from episode 117, from a mix-up of Sophies to an explanation of which Basque Country soccer team only fields Basque players. Then Chad and Tom move on to talk about the recent NEIBA conference and some fall titles they left out of their mini-previews before ...

"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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

Gesell Dome by Guillermo Saccomanno [An Open Letter Book to Read]

This is a new, hopefully weekly, feature highlighting a different book from our catalog in each post. Even though this book is pretty recent (official pub date just a few weeks ago August), I plan on going deep into our backlist in the near future. Gesell Dome by Guillermo Saccomanno, translated from the Spanish by ...

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 ...

Latest Review: "One of Us Is Sleeping" by Josefine Klougart

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Jeremy Garber on Josefine Klougart’s One of Us Is Sleeping, out from Open Letter last month. What can be said about a book like this? It’s one of those books that can make you feel like you’re reading it for the first time in the middle of winter, ...

Latest Review: "Bye Bye Blondie" by Virginie Despentes

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a by Emma Ramadan on Virginie Despentes’s Bye Bye Blondie, published by The Feminist Press. In addition to being a translator from the French (you may recognize her name from Anne F. Garréta’s Sphinx), Emma is one of two co-founders (along with Tom Roberge) of the ...

Latest Review: "La Superba" by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Anna Alden on La Superba by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, published this March by Deep Vellum Publishing. Summer is in full hazy swing here in Rochester, but luckily we have a handful of great interns at Open Letter/Three Percent this summer, who are going to be helping ...

Latest Review: "Intervenir/Intervene" by Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Vincent Francone on Intervenir/Intervene by Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez, published by Ugly Duckling Presse. It’s been slow on the review and post end this summer, while we’ve been busy around the offices here and elsewhere, but we hope ...

Latest Review: "All Days Are Night" by Peter Stamm

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Lori Feathers on Peter Stamm’s All Days are Night, published last year by Other Press. Here’s the beginning of Lori’s review: As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a ...

“The Four Books” by Yan Lianke [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Monica Carter, former BTBA judge and writer whose fiction has appeared in The Rattling Wall, Black Clock, Writers Tribe Review, and other publications. She is a freelance critic whose work has appeared in World Literature Today, Black Clock and Foreword Reviews. She is ...

Latest Review: "The Seven Good Years" by Etgar Keret

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Vincent Francone on The Seven Good Years by Etgar Kerert, on the edition published by Granta Books. Here’s the beginning of Vince’s review: It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The ...

“Beauty Is a Wound” by Eka Kurniawan [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Kevin Elliott, BTBA judge and bookseller at 57th Street Books. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan, translated from the Indonesian by Annie ...

“Wild Words: Four Tamil Poets” edited by Lakshmi Holmström [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Deborah Smith, BTBA judge, translator from the Korean, and founder of Tilted Axis Press. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Wild Words: Four Tamil Poets, edited and translated ...

Contribute to the “Why This Book Should Win” Series

As you’ve probably noticed, the Why This Book Should Win series has basically taken over the website. Our plan is to highlight all 35 titles longlisted for the Best Translated Book Awards before the announcement of the finalists on Tuesday, April 19th. Most of these posts are written by BTBA judges, although a number of ...

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 ...

“The Physics of Sorrow” by Georgi Gospodinov [Why This Book Should Win]

This is the first entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, which will highlight each of the 35 “longlisted”: titles for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards. Tom Roberge of Albertine Books wrote this piece.   The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov, translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel ...

Latest Review: "Nowhere to Be Found" by Bae Suah

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Pierce Alquist on Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah, published in 2014 by AmazonCrossing. Just a side note, that if you’ve been itching for more from Bae Suah since this one came out, there are THREE more forthcoming titles of hers making their way into English: A Greater ...

Latest review: "La paz de los vencidos" by Jorge Eduardo Benavides

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Brendan Riley on La paz de los vencidos by Jorge Eduardo Benavides, published in 2014 by Nocturna Ediciones. Here’s the beginning of Brendan’s review—which is long overdue in being posted, for which I apologize—and which can be seen over at New Spanish Books ...

Latest Review: "Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics" ed. by Olivia C. Harrison and Teresa Villa-Ignacio

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Emma Ramadan on Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics, ed. by Olivia C. Harrison and Teresa Villa-Ignacio. Emma herself is a literary translator from French. She has a BA in Comparative Literature and Literary Translation from ...

Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology

Anyone with any interest at all in contemporary Moroccan writing must start with Souffles. A cultural and political journal, Souffles (the French word for “breaths”) was founded in 1966 by Abdellatif Laâbi and Mostafa Nissabouri. Run by a group of artists and intellectuals, Souffles was a written fight for democratic ...

Introducing Rafael Chirbes [RTWBC]

For anyone who missed this in my earlier posts, the fiction book for February’s Reading the World Book Club is On the Edge by Rafael Chirbes, which is translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa and published by New Directions. As a way of introducing Chirbes, I thought I’d post this bio and interview ...

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 ...

Latest Review: "Berlin" by Aleš Šteger

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Vincent Francone on Berlin by Aleš Šteger, translated by Brian Henry, Forrest Gander & Aljaž Kovac and published by Counterpath Press. Vince has brought up a lot of interesting points in this “review,” and questions the relationship of the reader’s ...

Berlin

Randall Jarrell once argued a point that I will now paraphrase and, in doing so, over-simplify: As a culture, we need book criticism, not book reviews. I sort of agree, but let’s not get into all of that. Having finished Berlin by Aleš Šteger, I am reminded of Jarrell’s idea because I am supposed to be writing a review ...

Latest Review: "The Gun" by Fuminori Nakamura

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Will Eells on The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura, translated by Allison Markin Powell and out from Soho Crime. Here’s the beginning of Will’s review: Like any good potboiler worth its salt, Fuminori Nakamura’s The Gun wastes no time setting up its premise: ...

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 ...

Announcing the Reading the World Book Clubs!

I floated the idea of starting some sort of monthly book club in my year-end poetry list[1], and after Tom and I talked about it on the latest podcast, I convinced myself that this would be a fun and interesting idea to try and implement. My general idea is that every month we would feature two Reading the World Book Club ...

Latest Review: "This Place Holds No Fear" by Monika Held

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Lori Feathers on Monika Held’s This Place Holds No Fear, translated by Anne Posten and published by Haus Publishing. Lori Feathers is a freelance book critic. Follow her on Twitter @LoriFeathers. (And Anne, if you’re reading this, THIS is why I gave you a ...

Four Books From Underrepresented Countries [My Year in Lists]

Yesterday I posted a bit of a screed against lists, followed immediately by a list of the six translations everyone’s talking about. My hope is to produce a bunch of lists featuring literature in translation from 2015, all organized by various rubrics that can allow you to find a handful of recommendations with a ...

The Six Water-Cooler Fiction Translations of 2015 [My Year in Lists]

Following on my last post, here’s the first entry in my manic series of year-end lists. To kick this off, I thought I’d start with the list of the six books in translation that were the most talked about this year. I did some really heady numerical analysis to determine this—searching Facebook mentions, ...

Latest Review: "The Room" by Jonas Karlsson

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Peter Biello on The Room by Jonas Karlsson, translated by Neil Smith and out from Hogarth. Peter Biello is the host of All Things Considered at New Hampshire Public Radio. He has served as a producer/announcer/host of Weekend Edition Saturday at Vermont Public Radio ...

This Was Going to Be a Hater’s Guide [3 Books]

After reading this excellent Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog yesterday (for a typical highlight, scroll down the “cookie press”) I really wished we could do something this for publishing. Like, make ignorant, funny jokes about the finalists for the National Book Awards. Or the Hater’s Guide to Literary ...

Thérèse and Isabelle

I recently listened to Three Percent Podcast #99, which had guest speaker Julia Berner-Tobin from Feminist Press. In addition to the usual amusement of finally hearing both sides of the podcast (normally I just hear parts of Chad’s side of the conversation through my office door, and never know what Tom’s ...

Latest Review: "Thérèse and Isabelle" by Violette Leduc

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Kaija Straumanis on Thérèse and Isabelle by Violette Leduc, translated by Sophie Lewis and published by Feminist Press. Here’s the beginning of the review: I recently listened to Three Percent Podcast #99, which had guest speaker Julia Berner-Tobin from Feminist ...

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 ...

Latest Review: "Rambling Jack" by Micheál Ó Conghaile

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Vincent Francone on Rambling Jack by Micheál Ó Conghaile, translated by Katherine Duffy, and published by Dalkey Archive Press. Vince went for a non-standard review format for this bilingual edition, favoring a flowing dialogue-style, and it’s pretty awesome. ...

Latest Review: "The Things We Don't Do" by Andrés Neuman

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Tiffany Nichols on The Things We Don’t Do by Andrés Neuman, translated by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia, and published by Open Letter Books. Here’s a part of of Tiffany’s review: Many authors are compared to Roberto Bolaño. However, very few authors ...

Quebecois Translations [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by reader, writer, and BTBA judge P. T. Smith. 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. For my first BTBA post, I wrote about sci-fi in translation, ...

Latest Review: "Private Life" by Josep Maria de Sagarra

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Chris Iacono on Private Life by Josep Maria de Sagarra, translated by Mary Ann Newman and published by Archipelago Books. Here’s a part of of Chris’s review: In Private Life, Sagarra follows the footsteps of the speaker and his associates, and he certainly ...

Latest Review: "Dinner" by César Aira

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Lori Feathers on Dinner by César Aira, translated by Katherine Silver and out from New Directions. The first time I read César Aira was four years ago: Ghosts and The Literary Conference. At the time I had my opinions about both, but in retrospect—and this surprises ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Anne Garréta and William Burroughs [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, ...

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 ...

Places I’ve Never Visited [3 Books and a Rant]

So for the past few months I’ve been too busy to actually write the really long monthly translation previews that I’ve been doing for the past year or two. I really do like writing those though, and highlighting upcoming books, but what with school starting up again, our first ever gala looming on the horizon, and all the ...

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 ...

Latest Review: "The Cold Song" by Linn Ullmann

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by David Richardson on The Cold Song by Linn Ullmann, translated by Barbara J. Haveland and published by Other Press. David Richardson is a writer, editor, and teacher based in New York. Here’s the beginning of his review: Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her ...

Latest Review: "This Life" by Karel Schoeman

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by P. T. Smith on Karel Schoeman’s This Life, translated by Else Silke, and out from Archipelago Books. Here’s the beginning of Patrick’s review: Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed ...

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: "Walker on Water" by Kristiina Ehin

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by P. T. Smith on Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water, translated by lmar Lehtpere and out from Unnamed Press. Here’s the beginning of Patrick’s review: There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know ...

Science Fiction in Translation [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by reader, writer, and BTBA judge P. T. Smith. 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. Up until college, I didn’t put much, if any, thought into ...

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 ...

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 ...

Latest Review: "Tram 83" by Fiston Mwanza Mujila

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Caitlin Thomas on Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, translated by Robert Glasser, and published by Deep Vellum. Caitlin is one of our interns at Open Letter this summer—which, effectively, is the first summer in a long time that 2/3 of our interns haven’t been named ...

Latest Review: "Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic" by Octave Mirbeau

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Lori Feathers on Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic by Octave Mirbeau, translated by Justin Vicari and published by Dalkey Archive Press. Now that the Women’s World Cup of Literature is nearing the final results, we’re resuming a less competitive path for reviews. ...

Latest Review: "Sphinx" by Anne Garréta

The latest addition to our reviews section, is a piece by BTBA judge Monica Carter on Anne Garréta’s Sphinx, the first novel by a female Oulipian to appear in English translation. This book just came out from Deep Vellum and has been getting a lot of good praise, in part because no female Oulipian has appeared in ...

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. ...

Latest Review: "Morse, My Deaf Friend" by Miloš Djurdjević

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Vincent Francone on Miloš Djurdjević’s Morse, My Deaf Friend, translated by the author and published by Ugly Duckling Presse. The chapbook itself is short—clocking in at 32 pages—and is yet another beautiful work of print done by Ugly Duckling. ...

Latest Review: "The Crimson Thread of Abandon" by Terayama Shūji

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Robert Anthony Siegel on Terayama Shūji’s The Crimson Thread of Abandon, translated by Elizabeth L. Armstrong and published by the University of Hawai’i Press. Robert Anthony Siegel is the author of two novels, All Will Be Revealed and All the Money in ...

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 ...

Latest Review: "Life Embitters" by Josep Pla

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Christopher Iacono on Life Embitters by Josep Pla, translated by Peter Bush and published by Archipelago Books. Here’s the beginning of Chris’s review: Last year, NYRB Classics introduced English-language readers to Catalan writer Josep Pla with Peter ...

Latest Review: "The Physics of Sorrow" by Georgi Gospodinov

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Izidora Angel on The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov, translated by Angela Rodel and out last month from Open Letter Books. This book—and call it a shameless plug all you want—is by far one of the best books I’ve read in the last year, and has been on ...

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 ...

Latest Review: "Vano and Niko" by Erlom Akhvlediani

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Vincent Francone on Vano and Niko by Erlom Akhvlediani, translated by Mikheil Kakabadze and published by Dalkey Archive earlier this year. I know everyone is still reeling from not being able to correctly guess all the finalists for the 2015 BTBA fiction and poetry shortlists ...

Why This Book Should Win – Snow and Shadow by Guest Critic Christine Palau

Christine Zoe Palau is the speechwriter at the Korean Consulate in Los Angeles. She plays accordion, writes theatre reviews for the Noho Arts District, and has recently completed her first novel. Snow and Shadow – Dorothy Tse, Translated from the Chinese by Nicky Harman, Hong Kong Muse Magazine Project Dorothy ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

The Books I Thought Would Make the BTBA Longlist . . . But Didn't

Over the past week, I’ve given you a bunch of clues about the fiction and poetry longlists and received a few guesses from readers. I think the closest anyone came was 13 right out of 25, which, to be fair, isn’t that bad. Well, since the announcements will be here tomorrow—the poetry list will be ...

Latest Review: "Tristana" by Benito Pérez Galdós

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Lori Feathers on Tristana by Benito Pérez Galdós, translated by Margaret Jull Costa, and published by New York Review Books. Here’s the beginning of Lori’s review: The prolific Spanish author Benito Pérez Galdós wrote his short novel, Tristana, during the ...

I Am a Sore Loser [Some April Translations]

Back when I was in junior high, my best friend and I would spend hours and hours playing Double Dribble on his Nintendo. (Fun fact! This game was called “Exciting Basket” in Japan.) I might be 100% wrong, but I’m pretty sure this was the first basketball game for the Nintendo. And man, was it ever low rent. ...

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 ...

Latest Review: "Flesh-Coloured Dominoes" by Zigmunds Skujiņš

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by P. T. Smith on Flesh-Coloured Dominoes by Zigmunds Skujiņš, translated by Kaija Straumanis and published by Arcadia Books. Patrick has been a powerhouse of reviews this past month—and this isn’t even the last from him! Here’s the beginning of his ...

Iraqi Nights

In a culture that privileges prose, reviewing poetry is fairly pointless. And I’ve long since stopped caring about what the world reads and dropped the crusade to get Americans to read more poems. Part of the fault, as I’ve suggested in past reviews, rests with poets who seem hell-bent on insulating their art from the ...

Latest Review: "Iraqi Nights" by Dunya Mikhail

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Vincent Francone on Iraqi Nights by Dunya Mikhail, translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid and published by New Directions. Here’s the beginning of Vince’s review: In a culture that privileges prose, reviewing poetry is fairly pointless. And I’ve long since ...

Latest Review: "Three-Light Years" by Andrea Canobbio

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Tiffany Nichols on Andrea Cannobio’s Three Light-Years, translated by Anne Milano Appel and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Friday the 13th! Go catch some black cats before the weekend! Here’s the beginning of Tiffany’s review: I would like to ...

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 ...

Latest Review: "Guys Like Me" by Dominique Fabre

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Peter Biello on Guys Like Me by Dominique Fabre, translated by Howard Curtis and out from New Vessel Press. Here’s the beginning of Peter’s review: We all know Paris, or at least we think we know it. The Eiffel Tower. The Latin Quarter. The ...

Latest Review: "Birth of a Bridge" by Maylis de Kerangal

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Christopher Iacono on Birth of a Bridge by Maylis de Kerangal, translated by Jessica Moore and published by Talonbooks. Snow day! We’re still recovering, mentally as much as with street parking. Hope everyone’s staying warm. Here’s the beginning of ...

Latest Review: "Faces in the Crowd" by Valeria Luiselli

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a by Valerie Miles on Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli, translated by Christina MacSweeney and published by Coffee House Press. (For those who don’t remember, Faces in the Crowd was the runner-up to the 2014 World Cup of Literature Championship Game, beat out only by ...

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Three Percent #89: Don't Laugh So Loud

This week’s podcast is all about Denis Johnson’s The Laughing Monsters, which came out last year and is “a high-suspense tale of kaleidoscoping loyalties in the post-9/11 world that shows one of our great novelists at the top of his game.” Writer, critic, and Johnson fan Patrick Smith (here’s a ...

Latest Review: "Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia"

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Cameron Rowe on Julio Cortázar’s Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia, translated by David Kurnick and published by Semiotext(e). Cameron (some of you may have met her at ALTA last fall) is a current student in the MA in Literary ...

Latest Review: "Self-Portrait in Green" by Marie NDiaye

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Lori Feathers on Marie NDiaye’s Self-Portrait in Green, translated by Jordan Stump, and out from Two Lines Press. Lori is an attorney who lives in Dallas, Texas, and is a member of the Board of Deep Vellum Publishing in Dallas. Hope everyone is having a great ...

Prize Winners 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. Some five-hundred-odd translated titles are in contention – well, at least get considered – for a book prize, the Best Translated Book Award. Not surprisingly, a number of them have ...

Latest Review: "The Madmen of Benghazi" by Gerard de Villiers

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by P.T. Smith on The Madmen of Benghazi by Gerard de Villiers, translated by William Rodarmor and out from Vintage/Black Lizard. Sometimes you want a book to be good. You want it to be amazing, mind-blowing, and one of the best things you’ll have read in months. ...

Latest Review: "The Four Corners of Palermo" by Giuseppe Di Piazza

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Patience Haggin on Giuseppe Di Piazza’s The Four Corners of Palermo, translated by Antony Shugaar and published by Other Press. Patience is a graduate of Princeton University, where she majored in comparative literature, focusing on translation. As her senior ...

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 ...

Slim Pickings? 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 size of a book shouldn’t really matter, not when judging whether or not it’s Best Translated Book Award-worthy, but one of the things that has struck me about this year’s batch ...

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 ...

Latest Review: "Writers" by Antoine Volodine

The latest addition. to our Reviews section is a piece by P. T. Smith on Antoine Volodine’s Writers, translated by Katina Rogers and published earlier this year by Dalkey Archive Press. For those who don’t know, it was announced this week that Volodine had been awarded the Prix Médicis for his latest book, ...

My Brilliant Friend

It hasn’t quite neared the pitch of the waiting-in-line-at-midnight Harry Potter days, but in small bookstores and reading circles of New York City, an aura has attended the novelist Elena Ferrante and her works. One part curiosity (Who is she?), one part eager devotion (Where is she, I want to be her best friend!), ...

Latest Review: "My Brilliant Friend" by Elena Ferrante

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Acacia O’Connor on Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, translated by Ann Goldstein and published by Europa Editions. This book was published in English in 2012, but considering the attention Ferrante has been getting for her work since then, this is a ...

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 ...

Latest Review: "Stealth" by Sonallah Ibrahim

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Christopher Iacono on Stealth by Sonallah Ibrahim, translated by Hosam Aboul-Ela and published by New Directions. Chris is a regular reviewer for Three Percent, and happens to be taking the next month off to participate in NaNoWriMo. We wish him endurance and good writing ...

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 ...

40% Reading Comprehension, and Dropping Fast! [Some October Translations]

A couple weeks ago I had a dream that I was dropping my daughter off at a “Reading Tutor” to study for some sort of standardized “Reading Comprehension” test for fifth graders. When I got to the shopping mall for tutors (dream!), I found out that, not only had her tutor quit, but that “Reading ...

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 ...

My Books and How They Got There

Madeleine LaRue is Associate Editor and Director of Publicity of Music & Literature. I live in Berlin, in a neighborhood with a chronically understaffed post office, so books on their way to me from the United States are usually in for an adventure. A package from Archipelago Books, example, arrived dripping wet, ...

Latest Review: "I Called Him Necktie" by Milena Michiko Flašar

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a by Christopher Iacono on Milena Michiko Flašar’s I Called Him Necktie, translated by Sheila Dickie and published by New Vessel Press. Here’s the beginning of Chris’s review: While looking back at an episode in his life, twenty-year-old Taguchi Hiro ...

Latest Review: "Return to Killybegs" by Sorj Chalandon

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Vincent Francone on Return to Killybegs by Sorj Chalandon, translated by Ursula Meany Scott and published by The Lilliput Press. All I have to say before we get to Vince’s review is that “Killybegs” sounds like something one might yell after a pint too many ...

Latest Review: "Last Days" by Laurent Seksik

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a by Peter Biello on Laurent Seksik’s The Last Days translated by Andre Naffis-Sahely and published by Pushkin Press. Peter is a producer and announcer at Vermont Public Radio, and is the organizer of the Burlington Writers Workshop. He’s also going to be helping us ...

Latest Review: "Selected Stories" by Kjell Askildsen

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by P. T. Smith on Kjell Askildsen’s Selected Stories translated by Seán Kinsella and out from Dalkey Archive Press. Welcome back from the weekend, everyone! Kjell Askildsen has a neato name. That is all. Here’s the beginning of Patrick’s ...

BTBA Blog Returns with Judge Michael Orthofer

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. Getting started There’s no real official start date for the judging of the Best Translated Book Award – though maybe the announcement finalizing who the judges actually are is a ...

Latest Review: "Letter from an Unknown Woman and Other Stories" by Stefan Zweig

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Christopher Iacono on Letter from an Unknown Woman by Stefan Zweig, translated by Anthea Bell and published by Pushkin Press. In case you’ve forgotten, Chris is a writer, copy editor, and proofreader from Methuen, MA; he’s also a regular reviewer for Three ...

Latest Review: "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage" by Haruki Murakami

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Will Eells on Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami, translated by Philip Gabriel and published by Knopf. While I can’t claim to know whether I may be the editor Will refers to in the opening to his review (which: HAHA OH SO FUNNY WILL ...

The End of Half-Day Fridays [Some September Translations]

And just like that, school’s back in session. Having students back on campus brings up so many complicated feelings. Annoyance being the first and more obvious. It’s super irritating that from one day to the next it becomes infinitely more difficult to find a parking place for you bike, that you have to wait in ...

Latest Review: "The Matiushin Case" by Oleg Pavlov

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Brandy Harrison on Oleg Pavlov’s The Matiushin Case, translated by Andrew Bromfield, and published by And Other Stories. A lover of foreign literature (particularly from Eastern Europe and Russia) Brandy—a new addition to our reviewer pool—recently finished a BA in ...

Latest Review: "Fear: A Novel of World War I" by Gabriel Chevallier

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Paul Doyle on Gabriel Chevallier’s Fear: A Novel on World War I, translated by Malcolm Imrie, and published by New York Review Books. Here’s the beginning of Paul’s review: One hundred years have passed since the start of World War I and it is ...

Latest Review: "Little Grey Lies" by Hédi Kaddour

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by P. T. Smith on Little Grey Lies by Hédi Kaddour, translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan, and published by Seagull Books. Here’s the beginning of Patrick’s review: In the London of Hédi Kaddour’s Little Grey Lies, translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan, ...

A 14-Hour Zen Koan Shoved Though My Soul [Some August Translations]

Another month, another preview that’s late. This month caught me a bit by surprise though—how is it possible that the new academic year starts in three weeks? It just doesn’t seem right. So in the spirit of “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” essays, I thought I’d kick off this ...

Buenos Aires Review #2

The new issue of the Buenos Aires Review is now online, and features the following: BAR#2 features new fiction by Liliana Colanzi (Bolivia) and Thibault de Montaigu (France), as well as poetry by PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award-winning Ishion Hutchinson (Jamaica). Reviews and essays by Sam Rutter, Ernesto Hernández Busto and ...

Latest Review: "Autobiography of a Corpse" by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Simon Collinson on Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, translated by Joanne Turnbull and Nikolai Formozov), and published by New York Review Books. Simon is a bookseller and freelance reviewer based in Adelaide, Australia, and has written reviews ...

Latest Review: "A Musical Hell" by Alejandra Pizarnik

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Vincent Francone on A Musical Hell by Alejandra Pizarnik, translated by Yvette Siegert and published by New Directions as part of their Poetry Pamphlet series. Here’s the beginning of Vince’s review: The best way to review Alejandra Pizarnik’s slim ...

Latest Review: "Astragal" by Albertine Sarrazin

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Tiffany Nichols on Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin, translated by Patsy Southgate, published by New Directions. There’s some kind of summer flu-plague bug going around at the office here, so we’re short on humor and personal anecdotes. Also, Rochester is a city of ...

Latest Review: "Live Bait" by Fabio Genovesi

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Megan Berkobien on Live Bait by Fabio Genovesi, translated by Michael Moore and out from Other Press. Meg is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, a writer, and a translator from Spanish. Her translations have appeared on Words without Borders ...

Latest Review: "The Skin" by Curzio Malaparte

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Peter Biello on The Skin by Curzio Malaparte, translated by David Moore and out last year from New York Review Books. If you’re looking for some post-WWII-themed, summer reading with disturbing imagery that would blow Jane Yolen and her time-traveling YA hit out ...

Latest Review: "Love Sonnets & Elegies" by Louise Labé

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Brandy Harrison on Love Sonnets & Elegies by Louise Labé, translated by Richard Sieburth and published by New York Review Books. Brandy is a new contributor to our band of reviewers, and is currently finishing an Honors BA degree in English Language and ...

Le Translation Preview [Some July Translations]

Now that the World Cup of Literature is officially over, with Roberto Bolaño’s By Night in Chile taking home the prize, it’s time to get back to writing normal blog posts, starting with this much overdue “preview” of forthcoming July translations. My initial plan with this post was to write it ...

Latest Review: "Conversations" by César Aira

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Tiffany Nichols on César Aira’s Conversations, translated by Katherine Silver and out from New Directions. After a wild World Cup of Literature ride, what better way to wind down or frustrations or victorious cries than to talk about them (or bite each other over ...

Latest Review: "Nothing Ever Happens" by José Ovejero

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Juan Carlos Postigo on Nothing Ever Happens by José Ovejero, translated by Philip H. D. Smith and Graziella de Luis, and published by Hispabooks Publishing. If you’re still not familiar with Hispabooks, they were founded in 2011 and brought their first books to light ...

Latest Review: "The Pendragon Legend" by Antal Szerb

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by P.T. Smith on The Pendragon Legend by Antal Szerb, translated by Len Rix, and published by Pushkin Press. If there’s one thing you should know immediately about Pushkin Press, it’s that their latest Pushkin Series covers are some of the coolest things I’ve ...

Belgium vs. South Korea [World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match was judged by Scott Esposito. For more info on the World Cup of Literature, read this, and download the bracket. Everybody knows you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, and I’m trying damn hard to resist doing just that, but the fact remains that the cover of the St. Martin’s edition of The ...

Latest Review: "Mr. Gwyn" by Alessandro Baricco

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Paul Doyle on Mr. Gwyn, translated by Ann Goldstein, out next month from McSweeny’s. Paul Doyle is a writer, teacher, and web developer based in Seattle. In addition to writing reviews for Three Percent, he also writes about literature and film—especially Spanish and ...

Portugal vs. USA [World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match was judged by Will Evans. For more info on the World Cup of Literature, read this, and download the bracket. The result came to me as a shock, more of a shock to me even than to you: the US pulled out a 3-2 stunner of a victory over Portugal in the 2014 World Cup of Literature: David Foster Wallace’s final, ...

Latest Review: "Bombay Stories" by Saadat Hasan Manto

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Will Eells on Bombay Stories, translated by Matt Reeck and Aftab Ahmad, and out from Vintage International. For those of you who are regulars, you may remember Will’s name—he’s a former student of Chad’s at the University of Rochester, budding translator ...

Latest Review: "The Gray Notebook" by Joseph Pla

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Christopher Iacono on The Gray Notebook translated by Peter Bush, and out from New York Review Books. This is another 600+ page book that screams to be read—Pla’s tome describes life and observations in Barcelona, entries written by his twenty-year-old self in the ...

Baltic Adventures [Some June 2014 Translations]

June started a few days ago, which means that my rambling monthly overview of forthcoming translations is overdue. It also means that World Cup 2014 is about to start, which means that for the next month my brain will be as filled with soccer tactics and outcomes as literary ideas . . . But sticking with the now: For the ...

Latest Review: "I am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan"

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Grant Barber on I am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan translated by Eliza Griswold, and out last month from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Because I don’t know much about the tradition of Afghan landays, though I do find it both fascinating ...

Latest Review: "The Guest Cat" by Takashi Hiraide

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Robyn Kaufman on The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide, translated by Eric Selland, out earlier this year from New Directions. Robyn was one of Chad’s interns this past semester, and helped us out greatly in terms of proofing and editing texts, as well as evaluating ...

Latest Review: "The Oasis of Now: Selected Poems" by Sohrab Sepehri

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Heath Mayhew on The Oasis of Now: Selected Poems by Sohrab Sepehri, translated by Kazim Ali and Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, published by BOA Editions. Heath is not only a loyal Open Letter subscriber, but has also previously reviewed for Three Percent. And to tote Open Letter ...

Retranslations in 2064 [Some May 2014 Translations]

Welcome back to my monthly ramble about forthcoming works of literature in translations, which, as always, is punctuated by jokes, rants, and whatever else comes to mind. Even more so than usual, I’m really excited about this month’s offerings—and I actually have some things to say about the books ...

Latest Review: "Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose For Fiction" by Mario Bellatin

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Christopher Iacono on Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose for Fiction by Mario Bellatin, translated by David Shook, and out from Phoneme Media. Most people can appreciate high-quality writing with a good (literary) prank, and most people can appreciate a finely cultivated mustache. And ...

Latest Review: "Masters and Servants" by Pierre Michon

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Tiffany Nichols on Masters and Servants by Pierre Michon, translated (illustrated, and with an introduction) by Wyatt Mason, and out from Yale University Press. When’s the last time you read a book, and were so moved or inspired by what you read that you immediately ...

Latest Review: "Towards the One & Only Metaphor" by Miklós Szentkuthy

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by P.T. Smith on Towards the One & Only Metaphor by Miklós Szentkuthy, translated by Tim Wilkinson, and out from Contra Mundum Press. Patrick is a regular reviewer of ours by now, and a huge, massive, supportive fan of all literature in translation. Here’s ...

Latest Review: "In Times of Fading Light" by Eugen Ruge

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Phillip Koyoumjian on In Times of Fading Light by Eugen Ruge, from Graywolf Press. Because I’m setting this post up while on a moderate amount (one tablet, just one for beginners) of pain relievers for a sore neck, there is no clever intro for this piece of ...

Latest Review: "The Antiquarian" by Gustavo Faverón Patriau

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by P.T. Smith on The Antiquarian by Gustavo Faverón Patriau, forthcoming from Black Cat/Grove Press in June of this year. All I can think about after reading this review is all the books that, to me, are scary enough that I get the thrill I want out of them—but aren’t ...

Latest Review: "Elsewhere" by Eliot Weinberger (ed.)

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Grant Barber on Elsewhere, an anthology of poetry edited by Eliot Weinberger, and out from Open Letter Books and co-published by the Poetry Foundation. If you’re a fan of Eliot’s essays and commentary (such as 19 Ways), a fan of poetry, or both, this is a slim ...

Latest Review: "The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly" by Sun-mi Hwang

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Chris Iacono on Sun-mi Hwang’s The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly, translated by Chi-Young Kim, and out last fall from Penguin. This is a review I’ve been sitting on a while and I apologize for that—but after a quick trip to NYC for a fantastic evening with Bulgarian ...

Latest Review: "Sankya" by Zakhar Prilepin

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Kseniya Melnik on Zakhar Prilepin’s Sankya, translated by Mariya Gusev and Jeff Parker, out from Dzanc Books. In addition to being a new name in our reviewer pool, Kseniya was one of Granta’s “New Voices” ...

“Sandalwood Death” by Mo Yan, Trans. by Howard Goldblatt [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Today’s entry in the “Why This Book Should Win” series is from Jonathan Stalling, an Associate Professor of English at Oklahoma University specializing in Modern-Contemporary American and East-West Poetics, Comparative Literature, and Translation Studies. He is also the co-founder and deputy editor-in-chief of Chinese ...

How to Become a Pessimist [Some April 2014 Translations]

Every semester I tell my publishing students about the time I was walking around BEA with Jerome Kramer and he pointed out how the whole fair was “filled with failure.” Mostly I want to shock and break them—every good professor needs to upend his/her student’s expectations and their latent belief that ...

Latest Review: "Stalin is Dead" by Rachel Shihor

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Tiffany Nichols on Rachel Shihor’s Stalin is Dead, translated by Ornan Rotem, and out from Sylph Editions. If you’re into short, sweet, and messed up crazy-type flash fiction bits, this book would be right up your alley. The jacket copy alone is a great hook, ...

Latest Review: "Paradises" by Iosi Havilio

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Andrea Reece on Iosi Havilio’s Paradises, translated by Beth Fowler, and out from And Other Stories. Here’s the beginning of Andrea’s review: Paradises by cult Argentinian author Iosi Havilio is the continuation of his earlier novel, Open Door, and ...

The African Shore by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, Trans. by Jeffrey Gray – Why This Book Should Win

Christopher Schaefer’s reviews and interviews have appeared in World Literature Today and The Quarterly Conversation. He lives in Paris. Like many American readers, I stumbled upon Rodrigo Rey Rosa thanks to Bolaño. How could you not be willing to check out a previously unheard-of Guatemalan author after encountering ...

Latest Review: "Two Crocodiles" by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Felisberto Hernández

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Sara Shuman on Two Crocodiles by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Felisberto Hernández, translated (respectively) by Constance Garnett and Esther Allen, and out from New Directions. Two Crocodiles, as the review also explains, is a short book comprised of two stories—one from ...

Latest Review: "Navidad & Matanza" by Carlos Labbé

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by J.T. Mahany on Navidad & Matanza by Carlos Labbé, translated by Will Vanderhyden, and out next month from Open Letter. Carlos Labbé was one of Granta’s The Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists, and has quickly become a Name to Know in the world ...

Why This Book Should Win: Leg Over Leg Vol. 1, Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, translated by Humphrey Davies

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. Why should Humphrey Davies’ translation of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq Leg Over Leg (Vol. 1) win this year’s Best Translated Book Award? Well, simply put: because it is ...

Latest Review: "Zbinden's Progress" by Christoph Simon

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Emily Davis on Zbinden’s Progress by Christoph Simon, translated by Donal McLaughlin (and with an introduction by Barbara Trapido), recently out from And Other Stories. Due to some schedule hiccups (prep for AWP, AWP, post-AWP) and other interference (Scranton, PA, ...

Latest Review: "Commentary" by Marcelle Sauvageot

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Peter Biello on Commentary by Marcelle Sauvageot, translated by Anna Moschovakis (and introduction from Jennifer Moxley), published by Ugly Duckling Presse. Peter not only runs the Burlington Writers Workshop, but is also a friend to Open Letter—we had the pleasure of ...

The Infatuations – Why This Book Should Win

This post is courtesy of Best Translated Book Award judge, the inimitable George Carroll. Not only is he one hell of a West Coast sales rep for publishing companies large and small, he has an inexhaustible knowledge of translated literature. The Infatuations by Javier Marias rolled into its publication date with more ...

The AWP of Bubbles, Balloons, and Lonely Hipsters [Some March 2014 Translations]

Last weekend, over 14,000 writers, publishers, agents, translators, reviewers, professors, and readers swarmed the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle for the annual Associated Writing Programs conference—four days of heavy drinking, pot-chocolate (it’s legal in Washington!), endless craft panels, a ...

Latest Review: "My Fathers' Ghost Is Climbing in the Rain" by Patricio Pron

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by P. T. Smith on My Fathers’ Ghost Is Climbing in the Rain by Patricio Pron, translated by Mara Faye Lethem, and forthcoming from Knopf. Pron was one of Granta’s Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists, and has already made an impression with this, his American debut. And ...

Latest Review: "Flowers & Mishima’s Illustrated Biography" by Mario Bellatin

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Vincent Francone on Flower & Mishima’s Illustrated Biography by Mario Bellatin, translated by Kolin Jordan, and out from 7Vientos. Since the site is about a week behind in posting reviews, I thought we’d start back in with a short and sweet one by Vince. We were ...

Michael Orthofer's Final Selections

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. Final selections The deadlines approach – well, that one first, big deadline: with the Best Translated Book Award longlist due to be announced March 11 we judges have to decide what ...

Daniel Medin’s BTBA Favorites: Winter Reading

Daniel Medin teaches at the American University of Paris, where he helps direct the Center for Writers and Translators, is an editor of The Cahiers Series ,and co-hosts the podcast entitled That Other Word. He has authored a study of Franz Kafka in the work of three international writers (Northwestern University Press, 2010) ...

Latest Review: "To the Spring, by Night" by Seyhmus Dagtekin

This latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Allison Charette on Seyhmus Dagtekin’s To the Spring, by Night, translated by Donald Winkler, and from McGill-Queen’s University Press. Allison is another of the students at the University of Rochester in our lovely MA in Literary Translation Studies program, and ...

Latest Review: "Ten White Geese" by Gerbrand Bakker

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Christopher Iacono on Ten White Geese by Gerbrand Bakker, translated by David Colmer, and out from Penguin Books. Chris is a writer, copy editor, and proofreader from Methuen, MA; he also runs the Good Coffee Book Blog. Here’s an excerpt from his review: Before ...

Latest Review: "A Handbook for the Perfect Adventurer" by Pierre Mac Orlan

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Kaija Straumanis on A Handbook for the Perfect Adventurer by Pierre Mac Orlan, translated by Napoleon Jeffries, and out from Wakefield Press. Based on the above paragraph and all the awesome that it contains, this book really shouldn’t need much more introduction: ...

Latest Review: "Shantytown" by César Aira

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is the continuation of a larger piece by Owen Rowe, today on César Aira’s Shantytown, translated by Chris Andrews, out from New Directions. Owen (Matt) Rowe is a writer, editor, and translator (from Portuguese and Italian) based in Port Townsend, Washington. Stay tuned for ...

Latest Review: "The Mongolian Conspiracy" by Rafael Bernal

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Owen Rowe on The Mongolian Conspiracy by Rafael Bernai, translated by Katherine Silver, and out from New Directions. Owen (Matt) Rowe is a writer, editor, and translator (from Portuguese and Italian) based in Port Townsend, Washington. Stay tuned for his upcoming ...

Latest Review: "The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra" by Pedro Mairal

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Katherine Rucker on The Missing Years of Juan Salvatierra by Pedro Mairal, translated by Nick Caistor, from New Vessel Press. Katherine is another of the students in the University of Rochester’s MA in Literary Translation Studies program, whose name you may ...

Latest Review: "Kopenhaga" by Grzegorz Wróblewski

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Vincent Francone on Kopenhaga by Grzegorz Wróblewski, translated by Piotr Gwiazda, from Zephyr Press. Chad had previously mentioned this book of poetry in a Poland-Love post; his enthusiasm wasn’t misplaced. Wróblewski has a delightfully and “casually ...

Latest Review: "Talking to Ourselves" by Andrés Neuman

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Jeremy Garber on Talking to Ourselves by Andrés Neuman, translated by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia, out from FSG. Andrés Neuman has quickly become an in-house name here at Open Letter/Three Percent, and, as Jeremy hints at in his review, everyone either ...

Latest Review: "A Fairy Tale" by Jonas T. Bengtsson

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Tiffany Nichols on A Fairy Tale by Jonas T. Bengtsson, translated by Charlotte Barslund and out from Other Press. This is Bengtsson’s third novel, though his first published in English—the book is actually already available from House of Anansi Press in ...

Relocations: 3 Contemporary Russian Women Poets

Two women dominate the history of Russian poetry: Anna Akhmatova and Marina Tsvetaeva. Both authors transcended the label of “woman poet” and live in the realm of the eternal untouchable legends of Russian poetry. To wit, I remember a Russian professor in college correcting a short essay I wrote on an Akhmatova poem ...

Latest Review: "Relocations: 3 Contemporary Russian Women Poets" by Polina Barskova, Anna Glazova, and Maria Stepanova

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Will Evans on Relocations: 3 Contemporary Russian Women Poets, a collection of poems from Zephyr Press by Polina Barskova, Anna Glazova, and Maria Stepanova, translated by Catherine Ciepiela, Anna Khasin, and Sibelan Forrester. For those who don’t know, Will is the face ...

Latest Review: "Passionate Nomads" by María Rosa Lojo

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Jan Pytalski on María Rosa Lojo’s Passionate Nomads, translated by Brett Alan Sanders, published by Aliform Publishing. Jan (a.k.a. Janek) is a current student in the MA in Literary Translation Studies at the University of Rochester, and hails from Great Poland (where ...

Latest Review: "fungus skull eye wing" by Alfonso D’Aquino

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Grant Barber on Alfonso D’Aquino’s fungus skull eye wing, translated by Forrest Gander and out from Copper Canyon Press. One cool factoid and product from the process of this bilingual volume of poetry coming to be, as Grant points out, is that D’Aquino ...

Latest Review: "All My Friends" by Marie NDiaye

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Andrea Reece on Marie NDiaye’s All My Friends, translated by Jordan Stump and out from Two Lines Press. Andrea has worked as a professional translator for many years and recently completed an MA in literary translation at the University of Exeter. Here’s a part of ...

Latest Review: "The Black Spider" by Jeremias Gotthelf

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is SUPER EFFING CREEPY, and is by Phillip Koyoumjian on Jeremias Gotthelf’s The Black Spider, newly translated by Susan Bernofsky, who god only knows how didn’t need therapy after translating this, and out from New York Review Books, who will be responsible for my ...

Tom's Anti-List Rant

This is Tom Roberge’s contribution to our “Best Books of 2013” podcast. As you can see below, he’s calling bullshit on this whole “best books” thing. Do we mind if I rant a bit? About lists and “Best of” things? I have a theory about “best of” lists, especially for things like ...

Latest Review: "The Thaw" by Ólafur Gunnarsson

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by P.T. Smith on Ólafur Gunnarsson’s The Thaw, translated by the author, and out from New American Press. Patrick is one of our regular reviewers, fellow literature enthusiast, and a patient person to boot (I’ve had this review in-hand since before ...

Latest Review: "On Leave" by Daniel Anselme

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Paul Doyle on Daniel Anselme’s On Leave, translated by David Bellos, from Faber & Faber. Here’s the beginning of Paul’s review: In 1957, Daniel Anselme published On Leave, a novel about three soldiers on leave from the Algerian War. At that point ...

Latest Review: "Pierre Reverdy" by Pierre Reverdy

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Catherine Partin on Pierre Reverdy’s Pierre Reverdy, a collection of the poet’s works translated by various authors, edited by Mary Ann Caws, and out from New York Review Books. Catherine is an avid reader with interests in French and Francophone literature, ...

What Is a Zola?

I’m not entirely sure what a Zola is—an ebook only store! a social network for readers! a discovery engine! something made in Manhattan!—but apparently it’s important enough to acquire (and thankfully dismantle) Bookish. From Publishers Weekly: Bookish, the struggling social network funded by ...

The Snow Day Edition [Some January Translations]

Along with about, well, everyone else in the northeast, I’m snowed into my apartment today, so instead of answering the phones at Open Letter (HA! no one ever calls us), I’m at home, working on our forthcoming anthology of Spanish literature, A Thousand Forests in One Acorn, and, as a break of sorts, I thought ...

Latest Review: "The Faint-hearted Bolshevik" by Lorenzo Silva

Because we love books and love to talk about them SO MUCH (and because we fell behind a bit over the holidays AND because we’re all snowed in today after last nights semi-blizzard), here’s another review for all y’all before the weekend hits. This latest addition to our “Reviews”: section in a ...

Latest Review: "The Expedition to the Baobab Tree" by Wilma Stockenström

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Christopher Iacono on Wilma Stockenström’s The Expedition to the Baobab Tree, forthcoming in April from Archipelago Books. Chris is a writer, copy editor, and proofreader from Methuen, MA; he also runs the Good Coffee Book Blog, and has a new coffee mug that aptly ...

The Genre Heap

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. A common complaint leveled against the Man Booker Prize is that it ignores genre fiction – for a couple of years there was the obligatory Ian Rankin denunciation of how unfair it was ...

Latest Review: "The Hare" by César Aira

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Emily Davis on César Aira’s The Hare, from New Directions. Emily is a graduate of the University of Rochester’s MA in Literary Translation Studies program, and now lives in India, rubbing elbows with other awesome translators, and is also one of the contributing ...

Dutch Treats

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. One of the many interesting things about judging the Best Translated Book Award is the sense it gives you of what (and how much) is actually being translated into English (and ...

Daniel Medin’s BTBA favorites: Autumn reading

Daniel Medin teaches at the American University of Paris, where he helps direct the Center for Writers and Translators, is an editor of The Cahiers Series ,and co-hosts the podcast entitled That Other Word. He has authored a study of Franz Kafka in the work of three international writers (Northwestern University Press, 2010) ...

Latest Review: "My Poems Won't Change the World" by Patrizia Cavalli

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Vincent Francone on Patrizia Cavalli’s My Poems Won’t Change the World, out from FSG. Vincent is a regular contributor here, and I can guarantee that his review will give you some great poet-poetry insight and a few laughs for this chilly Monday morning ...

Latest Review: "The Bridge of Beyond" by Simone Schwarz-Bart

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Christopher Iacono on Simone Schwarz-Bart’s The Bridge of Beyond, out from New York Review Books. Chris is a new addition to our reviewers, and is a writer, copy editor, and proofreader from Methuen, MA; he also runs the Good Coffee Book Blog. Here’s ...

Latest Review: "A Burnt Child" by Stig Dagerman

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Phillip Koyoumjian on Stig Dagerman’s A Burnt Child, from Zephyr Press. Phillip is a Rochester native with a background in European history and literature. He has an MS In Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois and is looking forward to ...

The Big Books of the BTBA

This post is courtesy of BTBA judge, Scott Esposito. Scott Esposito blogs at Conversational Reading and you can find his tweets here. I like the fact that the BTBA has a strong track record for picking not only the massive, monumental doorstoppers that tend to garner the lion’s share of award attention but also the slim, ...

Latest Review: "Paul Klee's Boat" by Anzhelina Polonskaya

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Evans on Anzhelina Polonskaya’s Paul Klee’s Boat, Zephyr Press. Formerly an Open Letter apprentice and now his Own Man, Will is the mustache director behind Deep Vellum Publishing, a soon-to-be year-old literature in translation house based in Dallas ...

Latest Review: "Seiobo There Below" by László Krasznahorkai

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a review by P.T. Smith on László Krasznahorkai’s Seiobo There Below, from New Directions. Here’s the beginning of Patrick’s review: In Seiobo There Below, Lázló Krasznahorkai is able to succeed at a task at which many writers fail: to dedicate an ...

Latest Review: "Blood Curse" and "I Will Have Vengeance" by Maurizio de Giovanni

The latest addition to our reviews section is a piece by George Carroll on two Maurizio de Giovanni books that Europa Editions recently released: Blood Curse and I Will Have Vengeance. I’ve been hoping to cover more crime books on the site—mainly because there are so many, lots of people, including Tom Roberge, ...

Latest Review: Every Good Heart is a Telescope

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Tiffany Nichols on Victor Rodríguez Núñez’s Every Heart is a Telescope, from Toad Press. Here’s a bit about Toad Press from their blog site: “The Toad Press International Chapbook Series publishes contemporary, exciting, beautiful, odd, and avant-garde ...

A Cautionary Tale

Here’s an open letter from Jonathan Wright about some shit that went down with Knopf and Dr. Alaa Al Aswany, the author of The Yacoubian Building. If nothing else, you MUST check out this set of corrections from Al Aswany. It is things. And something I’m using in my classes from now until forever . . . Anyway, the ...

Latest Review: "Our Lady of the Flowers, Echoic" by Chris Tysh

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by J.T. Mahany on Chris Tysh’s Our Lady of the Flowers, Echoic, which is available from Les Figues Press. This is a strange book to review, since it’s less a “translation” and more of a “transformation,” but it’s also incredibly ...

CONTENDERS FOR DANIEL MEDIN’S SHORTLIST (SUMMER READS)

Daniel Medin teaches at the American University of Paris, where he helps direct the Center for Writers and Translators, is an editor of The Cahiers Series ,and co-hosts the podcast entitled That Other Word. He has authored a study of Franz Kafka in the work of three international writers (Northwestern University Press, 2010) ...

Nobel Considerations

BTBA blog post – Michael Orthofer Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. This Thursday or next the Swedish Academy will likely announce who will receive the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature – still considered the ultimate ...

Latest Review: "Under this Terrible Sun" by Carlos Busqued

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Will Evans on Carlos Busqued’s Under This Terrible Sun, from e-book publisher Frisch & Co. Will Evans—known to many as The Apprentice of Summer 2012 here at Open Letter—is the publisher behind the still-relatively-new Deep Vellum, a translated literature press ...

Latest Review: "Wigrum" by Daniel Canty

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by P. T. Smith on Daniel Canty’s Wigrum, from Talonbooks. Patrick, who is one of our regular reviewers, not only has a heightened interest in) and geographical proximity to) Montreal and its literature scene, but also shares the amusement and probable giggles at ...

Latest Review: "Between Friends" by Amos Oz

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Dan Vitale on Amos Oz’s Between Friends, from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and which incidentally comes out today. Dan is a contributing reviewer of ours who is making his first appearance in a while on Three Percent—and with a piece on an author I understand to be one ...

Latest Review: "The Corpse Washer" by Sinan Antoon

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is from Grant Barber on Sinan Antoon’s The Corpse Washer, from Yale University Press. Grant is not only a keen bibliophile, and an Episcopal priest living on the south shore of Boston, but has reviewed for Three Percent for forever, basically, and sometimes also performs as ...

Latest Review: "Starlite Terrace" by Patrick Roth

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is from Tiffany Nichols on Patrick Roth’s Starlite Terrace, from Seagull Books. Tiffany also reviews literature in translation for the San Francisco and Sacramento Book Reviews and runs the mouthwatering food porn and book-geeking Tumblr blog tiffany ist. Here’s the ...

Latest Review: "The Bridge Over the Neroch & Other Works" by Leonid Tsypkin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is from Vincent Francone on Leonid Tsypkin’s The Bridge Over the Neroch & Other Works, from New Directions. My apologies to Vincent for posting this so late—he had it ready for us almost a month ago—but it’s never too late for a Russian classic. Great Russian ...

Latest Review: "What Darkness Was" by Inka Parei

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is from P. T. Smith on Inka Parei’s What Darkness Was, from Seagull Books. This book was another one several of our reviewers jumped at, and yet another strong and insanely fascinating sounding piece of German literature, and German literature in translation. That, and Inka ...

Latest Review: "The Infatuations" by Javier Marías

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece from Jeremy Garber on Javier Marías’s The Infatuations, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa and available from Knopf. I could take a year off of work just to read, and at the end of that year, my “to read” bookshelves would still be ...

Words Without Borders is Looking for a New ED

For the right person, this is such a great opportunity, which is why I thought I’d just post the whole listing: Executive Director, Words Without Borders Full time, From Home (May change in future) Reports to: Board of Directors Words without Borders (wordswithoutborders.org) promotes cultural understanding ...

Latest Review: "Dark Company: A Novel in Ten Rainy Nights" by Gert Loschütz

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Rachael Daum on Dark Company: A Novel in Ten Rainy Nights by Gert Loschütz, from Seagull Books. Rachael (with an “A-E”, thankyouverymuch) I believe it’s been mentioned before, is a former intern-student of Open Letter, and a great friend to and advocate for ...

Latest Review: "A True Novel" by Minae Mizumura

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Hannah Vose on A True Novel by Minae Mizumura, from Other Press. To go against the grain of prologues and intros (more on that from This Hannah in a bit), here’s the beginning of her review: If you’re one of those people who habitually skim the prologue to a ...

Latest Review: "The Art of Joy" by Goliarda Sapienza

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Vincent Francone on The Art of Joy by Goliarda Sapienza, from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. This book is by definition and appearances a tome. At just over 700 pages (and hardcover) it’s a doorstop for a doorstop. But I will be one of the first people in line to champion ...

Preview of Brazilian Literature at Frankfurt

You may have already read this, but last week, Publishing Perspectives ran a piece I wrote about Brazil being the Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair this fall. Below is that article in full with extra links to all the books mentioned. (And as a sidenote, in addition to the review of João Almino’s The Book of ...

Latest Review: "The Book of Emotions" by João Almino

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Chad W. Post on The Book of Emotions by João Almino, from Dalkey Archive Press. Here’s the beginning of the review: João Almino’s The Book of Emotions is the prototypical Dalkey Archive book. Not that all of Dalkey’s books are the same, but there is a certain ...

Latest Review: "Amsterdam Stories" by Nescio

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Hannah Chute on Amsterdam Stories by Nescio, from New York Review Books. Hannah is one of two Hannahs interning at Open Letter this summer. We’re still working on a good nickname for her—for now, depending on the situation, we (read: I) have been referring to the ...

Latest Review: "Trafalgar" by Angélica Gorodischer

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Chad W. Post on Trafalgar by Angélica Gorodischer, from Small Beer Press. Here’s the beginning of Chad’s review: The author of more than twenty works of science fiction—both story collections and novels—Angélica Gorodischer was first introduced to ...

Latest Review: "The Goddess Chronicle" by Natsuo Kirino

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Hannah Vose on The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino, from Grove Atlantic. The interns have been getting marginally scandalous book assignments to review: Hannah had this one, with the nudie woman on the cover, while another of our interns is working on a review of a ...

Kafka's Hat

Quebecois author Patrice Martin’s first book, translated into English by Chantal Bilodeau as Kafka’s Hat and published by Talon, is strongly influenced by Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, and Paul Auster. I’m putting this up front because it is something Martin really, really wants you to know. These authors are named ...

Latest Review: "Kafka's Hat" by Patrice Martin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by P.T. Smith on Kafka’s Hat by Patrice Martin, from Talon. Patrick is pumping out these book reviews for us, and has much to say about Kafka’s Hat, the title of which, I’ll admit, makes me want to giggle. As does Wigrum. I don’t think I can explain why. ...

Latest Review: "For a Song and a Hundred Songs: A Poet's Journey through a Chinese Prison"

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by P. T. Smith on For a Song and a Hundred Songs by Liao Yiwu, from New Harvest. Straying for a moment from fiction and poetry reviews, we asked Patrick to contribute re this translated memoir from poet Liao Yiwu, who—let’s just keep it simple—has been through a hell ...

Interview with Harold Goldblatt

Last semester, one of my favorite class periods was the one in which we talked with Harold Goldblatt about his translation, especially his translation of Mo Yan’s Pow!. One of the great moments was when I asked him how many books he had translated and he honestly wasn’t sure. “Something around 50-55, I ...

Latest Review: "The Neighborhood" by Gonçalo Tavares

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Hannah Vose on The Neighborhood by Gonçalo Tavares, from Texas Tech University Press. Hannah is one of our Open Letter interns this summer (and a recent student of Chad’s), and in addition to helping copy edit manuscripts, keeping the mail situation in check, reading ...

Latest Review: "And the Hippies Came (Llegaron los Hippies)" by Manuel Abreu Adorno

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Vincent Francone on And the Hippies Came (Llegaron los Hippies) by Manuel Abreu Adorno, from 7Vientos. Vincent is a frequent reviewer for Three Percent, and recently discovered and fell in love with 7Vientos, a brand-new press based in Chicago specializing in Latin-American ...

A Second Review of "Traveler of the Century"

I’ve been meaning to read Andrés Neuman’s Traveler of the Century ever since we ran Jeremy Garber’s review back in April 2012. And then it made the Best Translated Book Award longlist, which further peaked my interest. But man, it’s a 500+ page book—something that’s never easy to fit into ...

New New Books in German

The new issue of New Books in German has been out for a little while, but it’s pretty loaded and deserving of a mention for anyone who might have missed it. I am delighted to introduce issue 33 of New Books in German: spring is finally springing here in London and our bright yellow plumage captures the vernal ...

Latest Review: "Anatomy of a Night" by Anna Kim

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Jennifer Marquart on Anatomy of a Night by Anna Kim, from Frisch & Co. Jen is a former University of Rochester student, and a translator from German. Her first book-length translation, Ror Wolf’s Two or Three Years Later (Open Letter Books), comes out next ...

Latest Review: "Les aigles puent" by Lutz Bassmann

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by John Thomas Mahany on Les aigles puent by Lutz Bassman, from Éditions Verdier. JT—as we know him—is an MA in Literary Translation Studies student at the University of Rochester, and a recent addition to the superfandom of Volodine’s work. He’s also working on ...

Latest Review: "Red Spectres" by V. Bryusov/M. Bulgakov/S. Krzhizhanovsky et al.

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Aleksandra Fazlipour on Red Spectres, a kind-of-creepy collection of Russian short stories by authors including Valery Bryusov, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Aleksandr Grin, from Angel Classics. Aleksandra is a former independent-study student of Chad’s, and contributes pretty ...

Latest Review: "El arte de la resurrección" ("The Art of Resurrection")

The latest piece in our Reviews Section comes to us from Jeremy Osner, and is on Hernán Rivera Letelier’s El arte de la resurrección (The Art of Resurrection) from Alfaguara. Jeremy Osner blogs about reading and translation at READIN. He is currently working on a translation of El arte de la resurrecctión (and the ...

Latest Review: "There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories" by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Brendan Riley on There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, from Penguin. Brendan has written reviews for Three Percent in the past, and has worked for many years as a teacher, translator, ...

Latest Review: "Basti" by Intizar Husain

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Rachael Daum on Intizar Husain’s Basti, which is available from New York Review Books. Each semester, Chad has students in both his Introduction to Publishing course and the World Literature in Translation course write book reviews as part of an ...

Latest Review: "The Whispering Muse" by Sjón

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Vincent Francone on The Whispering Muse by Sjón, from Farrar Straus and Giroux. The first time I saw The Whispering Muse was in a bookstore in Riga, Latvia, misplaced somewhere on the D-F shelf. Taking this as a sign of meant-to-be, I bought it, and promptly placed it on my ...

Latest Review: "Mundo Cruel" by Luis Negrón

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Camila Santos on Mundo Cruel by Luis Negrón, from Seven Stories Press. Camila is a Brazilian translator, and has written for Three Percent before—way back in 2010. Here’s a bit of her review: Luis Negrón’s debut collection Mundo Cruel is a journey through ...

Latest Review: "Selected Translations" by W. S. Merwin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Grant Barber on Selected Translations by W. S. Merwin, from Copper Canyon Press. Selected Translations is a collection of Merwin’s greatest translations, representing authors from all over the world and languages from almost every corner. Grant Barber is a regular ...

LoveStar

When Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason first published LoveStar, his darkly comic parable of corporate power and media influence run amok, the world was in a very different place. (This was back before both Facebook and Twitter, if you can recall such a time.) He noted as much himself in a recent interview with The ...

Latest Review: "LoveStar" by Andri Snær Magnason

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Larissa Kyzer on LoveStar by Andri Snær Magnason, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb and published by Seven Stories Press. Larissa is a regular contributor to Three Percent, and with this continues her streak of Nordic lit reviews. LoveStar is a book I’ve ...

Latest review: "Hi, This Is Conchita and Other Stories" by Santiago Roncagliolo

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Tiffany Nichols on Hi, This Is Conchita and Other Stories by Santiago Roncagliolo, translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman and published by Two Lines Press. Tiffany, who is relatively new to the Three Percent contributors’ club, is an avid reader of literature in ...

Latest Review: "City of Angels, or, The Overcoat of Dr. Freud" by Christa Wolf

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is by Josh Billings on City of Angels, or, The Overcoat of Dr. Freud by Christa Wolf, translated from the German by Damion Searls and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Josh Billings has reviewed for The Literary Review in the past, and is also a writer and a translator from ...

Latest Review: "Where Tigers Are at Home" by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Grant Barber on the mammoth Where Tigers Are at Home by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès, which is translated from the French by Mike Mitchell and published by Other Press. Grant Barber is a regular reviewer for Three Percent, a keen bibliophile, and an Episcopal priest ...

Why This Book Should Win: "The Island of Second Sight" by Albert Vigoleis Thelen [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Latest Review: "Lenin's Kisses" by Yan Lianke

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Brendan Riley on Yan Lianke’s Lenin’s Kisses, translated from the Chinese by Carlos Rojas and published by Grove Press. This is Yan Lianke’s third book to come out in English translation, the first two being Serve the People! and Dream of Ding ...

Latest Review: "The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira" by César Aira

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Emily Davis on The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira, the most recent Aira book to come out from New Directions, and which is translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver. Emily is a graduate of the University of Rochester’s Master of Arts in Literary Translation, ...

Why This Book Should Win: "My Struggle: Book One" by Karl Ove Knausgaard [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Latest Review: "The Diesel" by Thani Al-Suwaidi

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Lili Sarayrah on Thani Al-Suwaidi’s The Diesel, which is translated from the Arabic by William Maynard Hutchins and available from ANTIBOOKCLUB. Lili was in my publishing class last semester, studies at the Eastman School, and is working towards her certificate ...

Latest Review: "It's No Good" by Kirill Medvedev

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Evans (aka Bromance Will) on Kirill Medvedev’s It’s No Good, which is translated from the Russian by Keith Gessen, Mark Krotov, Corry Merrill, and Bela Shayevich and published by n+1/Ugly Duckling Presse. By now, most of you know who Bromance Will is, ...

Latest Review: "Mama Leone" by Miljenko Jergović

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Josh Billings on Miljenko Jergović’s Mama Leone, translated from the Croatian by David Williams and published by Archipelago Books. Josh Billings has reviewed for The Literary Review in the past, and is also a writer and a translator from Russian. His two ...

Latest Review: "Blindly" by Claudio Magris

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Vincent Francone on Claudio Magris’s Blindly, which is translated from the Italian by Anne Milano Appel and published by Yale University Press as part of their Margellos World Republic of Letters Series. Yale’s World Republic of Letters Series deserves a ...

Latest Review: "How Literature Saved My Life" by David Shields

The latest addition to our Reviews Section isn’t a translation. It’s a review I wrote for GoodReads about David Shields’s new book, How Literature Saved My Life, which dropped last week. It’s also a book that I love and that I’ve been talking about on “the podcast”: and elsewhere for ...

Latest Review: "Revenge" by Yoko Ogawa

This is the week of Will Eells reviews. In addition to writing about Persona on Tuesday, today he has a piece on Yoko Ogawa’s Revenge, translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder and published by Picador. Here’s a bit from his review: One of the most pleasant surprises of the literary world in the past ...

Bookish: What it Isn't [Weekly Rant #1]

OK, so first off, for anyone who saw my little Facebook hissy fit last night about Bookish, I apologize. I may have overstated things a bit (yeah, I know that totally doesn’t sound like me), and jumped the gun a bit on some of my insults. That said, and before I get more fully into the Bookish conundrum, a few of the ...

Latest Review: "Persona" by Naoki Inose with Hiroaki Sato

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Eells on Persona, a biography of Yukio Mishima available from Stone Bridge Press. Mishima is a huge figure in Japanese literature, and this is a huge biography, so let’s just let Will get into it: ukio Mishima is about as famous as he is infamous. The ...

Sin

Zakhar Prilepin is one hell of a writer, and an interesting figure to boot. Sin is an exciting debut in English for one of one of Russia’s most popular and critically-acclaimed writers. Though this is his first novel published in English, Prilepin has written a lot: four novels, three books of short stories, plus a ...

Latest Review: "Sin" by Zakhar Prilepin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Evans (aka Bromance Will) on Zakhar Prilepin’s Sin, translated from the Russian by Simon Patterson and Nina Chordas and published by the quasi-mysterious Glagoslav Publications. This has been an angry week at Three Percent. First, I dissed Alejandro ...

Latest Review: "Ways of Going Home" by Alejandro Zambra

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a book that I talk about on our yet-unpublished “2013 Preview Podcast.” Which hopefully will be up in a few days, once our podcasting computer is fixed. So when you hear me talk about Ways of Going Home by Alejandro Zambra, translated from the Spanish by Megan ...

Latest Review: "The Weight of Temptation" by Ana Maria Shua

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Allie Levick on Ana Maria Shua’s The Weight of Temptation, translated from the Spanish by Andrea Labinger and available from University of Nebraska Press. Allie is another of my students from last semester. Few more of these to run over the next couple weeks . . ...

Man Booker International Prize 2013 Finalists

This morning, the finalists for the 2013 Man Booker International Prize were announced, and it’s a pretty fantastic list: U R Ananthamurthy (India) Aharon Appelfeld (Israel) Lydia Davis (USA) Intizar Husain (Pakistan) Yan Lianke (China) Marie NDiaye (France) Josip Novakovich (Canada) Marilynne Robinson ...

Latest Review: "The Story of My Purity" by Francesco Pacifico

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Vincent Francone on the forthcoming novel The Story of My Purity, written by Francesco Pacifico, translated from the Italian by Stephen Twilley, and published by FSG. The Story of My Purity is the first of Pacifico’s books to make its way into English. ...

Latest Review: "The Camera Killer" by Thomas Glavinic

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Lisa Boscov-Ellen on Thomas Glavinic’s The Camera Killer, which is translated from the German by John Brownjohn and published by AmazonCrossing. Lisa Boscov-Ellen is another MA student here at the University of Rochester, and translates from Spanish. She was ...

Latest Review: "Firefly" by Severo Sarduy

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Vanderhyden on Severo Sarduy’s Firefly, which is translated from the Spanish by Mark Fried, and published by Archipelago Books. Will Vanderhyden (aka “Willsconsin,” which separates him from “Bromance Will” and “Will ...

Latest Review: We Monks & Soldiers

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by J.T. Mahany—a grad student here in the University of Rochester literary translation program—on Lutz Bassmann’s, or rather, “Lutz Bassmann’s” We Monks & Soldiers, which is translated from the French by Jordan Stump, and available ...

Latest Review: "Amerika: The Missing Person" by Franz Kafka

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is something I wrote about Mark Harman’s translation of Amerika by Franz Kafka, which is the book we’re discussion at the first ever Writers & Books/Plüb Book Club. (Which my iPhone autocorrected to “Book Clüb,” so fuck and yes.) Anyway, I’m not ...

2013 Resolutions!

One of my favorite 2012 posts to write was this one in which I got to ramble unchecked about stuff I wanted to do in the New Year. Since that was so fun, I’m going to keep up the tradition with some looking back, some new resoluting, and some stupid jokes. So here goes! Resolution #1: Drink More Mimosas Seriously. ...

Latest Review: "Pow!" by Mo Yan

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece I wrote (after a very long travel experience, so forgive me) about Mo Yan’s Pow!, which is coming out from Seagull in Howard Goldblatt’s translation. Here’s the opening: The first book by recent Nobel Laureate, Mo Yan, to come out in English ...

Latest Review: "Raised from the Ground" by José Saramago

The lastest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by frequent contributor Jeremy Garber on José Saramago’s Raised from the Ground, which just recently came out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Margaret Jull Costa’s translation from the Portuguese. I assume that Saramago needs no introduction, but in case ...

A Special Appeal from Open Letter

As the year comes to a close, we thought we’d take a minute to look back at what we’ve done over the past twelve months. It’s also that time of year when we thank you for your continued support, and ask for your help in the year to come by participating in our Annual Campaign. You probably already know that Three ...

Canvas.

Over at Full Stop, Scott Cheshire has a lot of love for Benjamin Stein’s The Canvas, including this review: The Canvas is loosely based on the account of Binjamin Wilkomirski, author of Fragments (1995), a tremendously popular Holocaust memoir; like Minksy’s story it was proven to be a fabrication. But when I say ...

Thursday Is Fun Day!

The number one question I’m asked by people interested in Open Letter/publishing is how we find our books. We do a lot of reading of catalogs and reviews online, talking to people, getting recommendations, and, most importantly, receiving submissions over the interwebs. Well, like this one: Subject: QUERY Its All ...

Thank You, National Endowment for the Arts!

The first set of Art Works grants from the NEA were announced this morning, and I’m incredibly giddy about the fact that Open Letter was awarded $45,000 for the following: To support the publication and promotion of books in translation and the continuation of the translation website Three Percent. Works from ...

Kirkus's Best Fiction of 2012 List Featuring TWO Open Letter Titles

Now that Cyber Monday is underway, it’s about time for the “Best of Everything!!!” lists to start coming out. (Or, as documented at Largehearted Boy, continue coming out.) Personally, I fricking love these sorts of lists, to find books/albums that I need to check out, and to serve as fodder for my anger . . ...

Latest Review: "Brenner and God" by Wolf Haas

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece that I wrote about Wolf Haas’s Brenner and God, which is translated from the German by Annie Janusch and available from Melville House. This is the first Brenner book to come out in English, but actually the seventh in the series. I believe that Melville House has ...

Latest Review: "The Poems of Octavio Paz"

The latest addition to our “Reviews Section”: is a piece by Grant Barber on The Poems of Octavio Paz, edited and mostly translated by Eliot Weinberger, and available from New Directions. Grant’s review is really solid, so I’m just going to jump right to it and give you a sample: One critical ...

Latest Review: "Down the Rabbit Hole" by Juan Pablo Villalobos

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Vincent Francone on Juan Pablo Villalobos’s Down the Rabbit Hole, which is translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey and available from FSG. This is a book I first heard about a while back when the innovative and amazing And Other Stories announced that ...

New Review: "The Book of Emotions" by João Almino

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece written by Camila Santos on The Book of Emotions, by João Almino, translated from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Jackson and published by Dalkey Archive Press. The Book of Emotions is Almino’s second novel translated into English, the first being The Five Seasons of ...

Latest Review: "It's Fine By Me" by Per Petterson

The latest addition to our Review Section is a piece by Larissa Kyzer on Per Petterson’s It’s Fine By Me, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and published by Graywolf Press. This is the fifth book of Petterson’s to be published in English translation, the most famous being Out Stealing Horses, ...

Latest Review: "Seven Houses in France" by Bernardo Atxaga

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a thing I wrote about Bernardo Atxaga’s Seven Houses in France, which just came out from Graywolf Press in Margaret Jull Costa’s translation. This is the third Atxaga book that Graywolf has published, the other two being Obabakoak and The Accordionist’s Son. ...

Latest Review: "We're Flying" by Peter Stamm

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Quantum Sarah on Peter Stamm’s new collection of stories, We’re Flying, which came out from Other Press in Michael Hofmann’s translation earlier this year. Peter Stamm has a number of books available in English translation, including Seven Years, ...

Reading in Reverse [Part I of III]

As you may have noticed I’m a big fan of Daniel Levin Becker’s Many Subtle Channels a book about the Oulipo and potential literature. Which is why I asked Matt Rowe to review this for us. Well, he did. But in epic, multi-part style. (Matt Rowe is a true Three Percenter in that regard.) Today I’m posting Part ...

John Locke Paid People to Buy His Books [Last Laughs Laugh Best]

Hardcore Three Percent fans may remember some of my issues and troubles with the hack writer, John Locke (in comparison to the talented philosopher John Locke and the John Locke who featured prominently on Lost), who is the author of hundreds1 of Donovan Creed mystery novels, which feature midgets, pseudo-thriller plot-lines, ...

Latest Review: "A Muslim Suicide" by Bensalem Himmich

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Sarah Two, on Bensalem Himmich’s A Muslim Suicide, which is translated from the Arabic by Roger Allen and is available from Syracuse University Press. Here is part of her review: It is a well-known phenomenon that widespread condemnation of a book will only ...

PEN Center USA Translation Award to Suzanne Jill Levine

The 2012 winners of the PEN Center USA Literary Awards were announced Wednesday, and I’m extremely glad to see that Suzanne Jill Levine won in the translation category for her work on José Donoso’s The Lizard’s Tale, which came out late last year from Northwestern University Press. Unfortunately, we ...

Latest Review: "Doña Barbara" by Rómulo Gallegos

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Pierce Alquist on Rómulo Gallegos’s Doña Barbara, which is translated from the Spanish by Robert Malloy and is available from The University of Chicago Press Books. Any author who has been both nominated for a Nobel Prize in literature and exiled from his ...

Latest Review: "Life is Short and Desire Endless" by Peter Lapeyre

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by me— Aleksandra Fazlipour — on Peter Lapeyre’s Life is Short and Desire Endless, which is available from Random House. Here’s a bit of my review: The endearingly (and intentionally) peculiar tone of Patrick Lapeyre’s Life is Short and ...

Latest Review: "As Though She Were Sleeping" by Elias Khoury

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Quantum Sarah on Elias Khoury’s As Though She Were Sleeping, which is translated from the Arabic by Marilyn Booth and is available from Archipelago Books. Here is part of her review: Elias Khoury’s As Though She Were Sleeping (Archipelago, 2012) is a love ...

Latest Review: "The Elephant Keepers' Children" by Peter Hoeg

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Hilary Wermers on Peter Hoeg’s The Elephant Keepers’ Children, which is translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken. The Elephant Keepers’ Children will be released from Other Press on October 23, 2012. Hilary Wermers is a senior at the University of ...

Latest Review: "Maidenhair" by Mikhail Shishkin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Evans on Mikhail Shishkin’s Maidenhair, which is translated from the Russian by Marian Schwartz. Maidenhair will be available to purchase from our very own Open Letter Books on October 23, 2012. Here’s part of Will’s review: Contemporary ...

Latest Review: "Daughter of Silence" by Manuela Fingueret

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Pierce Alquist on Manuela Fingueret’s Daughter of Silence, which is translated from the Spanish by Darrell B. Lockhart and is available from Texas Tech University Press. This is Pierce’s first review for threepercent. Pierce is a student at the University ...

Latest Review: "Confusion" by Stefan Zweig

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Rachel Crawford-Fisher on Stefan Zweig’s Confusion, which is translated from the German by Anthea Bell and is available from New York Review Books. Rachel is a student at the University of Rochester majoring in English Literature, minoring in Philosophy and ...

Latest Review: "The Lives of Things" by José Saramago

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by me— Aleksandra Fazlipour — on José Saramago’s The Lives of Things, which is available from Verso Books. Here’s a bit of my review: Imagine a world where objects, utensils, machines, or installations (OUMIs) take on lives of their own, ...

Satantango

Susan Sontag called László Krasznahorkai the “Hungarian master of the apocalypse,” which would make Satantango his magnum opus of the apocalypse. The end of the world is coming in a deluge of rain that is turning the world into a muddy wasteland that mirrors the spiritual condition of its inhabitants. Satantango ...

Latest Review: "Satantango" by László Krasznahorkai

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Evans on László Krasznahorkai’s Satantango, which is translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes and is available from New Directions. Here’s part of his review: Susan Sontag called László Krasznahorkai the “Hungarian master of the ...

Latest Review: "Near to the Wild Heart" by Clarice Lispector

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Quantum Sarah on Clarice Lispector’s Near to the Wild Heart, which is translated from the Portuguese by Alison Entrekin and is available from New Directions. Here is part of her review: “He was alone. He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of ...

Inventing the Enemy

Umberto Eco introduces Inventing the Enemy as a compilation of “occasional writings” (xi); indeed, the essays in this collection were written intermittently throughout the past decade and expound upon a vast array of subject matters. Several of the essays were originally presented as lectures at various gatherings ...

Latest Review: "Inventing the Enemy" by Umberto Eco

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Kathryn Longenbach on Umberto Eco’s Inventing the Enemy, which is translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon and is available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kathryn Longenbach is a rising senior at Hamilton College. She is pursuing a double major in English ...

Latest Review: "Emmaus" by Alessandro Baricco

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is joint review by Sarah Two and Quantum Sarah on Alessandro Baricco’s Emmaus, which is translated from the Italian by Mitch Ginsburg and is available from McSweeney’s. Here is an excerpt from their review: Alessandro Baricco’s latest novel, Emmaus, centers on ...

Latest Review: "Second Person Singular" by Sayed Kashua

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Sarah Young, aka Sarah Two, on Sayed Kashua’s Second Person Singular, which is translated from the Hebrew by Mitch Ginsburg and is available from Grove Press. This is Sarah Two’s first review for threepercent. Her introduction can be found here. Later this ...

Another Intern Introduction

My name is Sarah Young, but Chad calls me Sarah Two because I was the second intern named Sarah to start at Open Letter this summer. I know my nickname is not as cool as “Quantum Sarah” or “Paranoid Sarah” (whose name is actually Rachel), but I’m just grateful my parents didn’t give me a weird, hyphenated last ...

Latest Review: "The End of the Story" by Liliana Heker

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Sarah Winstein-Hibbs on Liliana Heker’s The End of the Story, which is translated from the Spanish by Andrea G. Labinger and is available from Biblioasis. As Sarah states in her introduction, this is her first book review for threepercent! Here is part of her ...

The Deleted World

Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer’s winning the Nobel Prize brought to light a rare bit of translation gossip: that there’s bad blood between a few of his translators. And as there should be—a lot of people suddenly want to buy Tranströmer’s poetry; of the five plus out there, which book are you going to get? The ...

Latest Review: "The Deleted World" by Tomas Tranströmer

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by Tim Nassau on Tomas Tranströmer’s The Deleted World, which is available from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. This book promises to be an interesting read. Take a look at Tim’s review to see why: Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer’s winning the Nobel Prize ...

Latest Review: "True" by Riikka Pulkkinen

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by Aleksandra Fazlipour on Riikka Pulkkinen’s True, which is available from Other Press. Riikka Pulkkinen studied literature and philosophy at the University of Helsinki. Her debut novel, The Border, sparked international interest when it was published in 2006. Her ...

(Re-)Introducing Alek!

Hi there! I’m Aleksandra Fazlipour, although I typically go by Alek. Chad introduced me before, but I finally got registered as a contributor to the site, so it’s my turn to do it again! I started doing an independent study at Open Letter in January in an attempt to fill out a Creative Writing minor that I took ...

Latest Review: "The Zafarani Files" by Gamal al-Ghitani

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by Rachael Daum on Gamal al-Ghitani’s The Zafarani Files, which Farouk Abdel Wahab translated from the Arabic and is available from The American University in Cairo Press. Gamal Al-Ghitani was born in 1945 and educated in Cairo. He has written 13 novels and 6 ...

Latest Review: "Dublinesque" by Enrique Vila-Matas

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by Jeremy Garber on Enrique Vila-Matas’s Dublinesque, which Anne McLean and Rosalind Harvey translated from the Spanish and is available from New Directions. Enrique Vila-Matas was born in Barcelona in 1948. His novels have been translated into eleven languages and ...

Latest Review: "The Letter Killers Club" by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by Aleksandra Fazlipour on Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky’s The Letter Killers Club, which is available from NYRB Classics. Here is part of her review: The Letter Killers Club, by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, follows the meetings of a secret society of men who believe ...

The Long Term Is the Only Race Worth Winning

Right now I should be getting on a plane in Cape Town to head back home after the 29th International Publishers Congress. UNFORTUNATELY, the jags employees at Delta’s ticket counter in Atlanta refused to let me board the plane since my passport doesn’t contain a complete blank page. OK, I get it, I get in, ...

Latvian Publishing Controversy

Our Latvian publishing correspondent Kaija Straumanis (no, not Janis Stirna, he’s restricted to Eurovision) came across an interesting controversy that just took place in Latvia. I think the translated letters/articles pretty much speak for themselves, but I’ll try and contextualize this as it goes along . . . ...

Yingelishi: Sinophonic English Poetry and Poetics

If poets are, as P. B. Shelley wrote, “the unacknowledged legislators of the world,” then translation must be one of the unacknowledged legislators of poetry. Certainly translation of Chinese poetry has been essential to modern American writing: Ezra Pound’s Cathay didn’t just invent, as T. S. Eliot put it, “Chinese ...

Latest Review: "Yingelishi: Sinophonic English Poetry and Poetics" by Jonathan Stalling

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by Lucas Klein on Jonathan Stalling’s Yingelishi: Sinophonic English Poetry and Poetics, which is available from Counterpath Press. Jonathan Stalling is an Assistant Professor of English Literature at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of Poetics of ...

Latest Review: "The Russian Affair" by Michael Wallner

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by Brian Libgober on Michael Wallner’s The Russian Affair, which John Cullen translated from German and is available from Nan A. Talese Books. Here is part of his review: Michael Wallner’s second novel opens with its female protagonist watching as a ...

Latest Review: "The Legend of Pradeep Mathew" by Shehan Karunatilaka

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by Aleksandra Fazlipour on Shehan Karunatilaka’s The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, which is available from Graywolf Press. Here is part of the review: WG (Wije) Karunasena is a Sri Lankan sportswriter who has been forced into retirement because he is a drunk. He is ...

Latest Review: "HHhH" by Laurent Binet

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by Vincent Francone on Laurent Binet’s HHhH, which Sam Taylor translated from the French and is available from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Laurent Binet was born in Paris, France, in 1972. He is the author of La Vie professionnelle de Laurent B., a memoir of his ...

Latest Review: "From the Mouth of the Whale" by Sjón

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by Brian Libgober on Sjón’s From the Mouth of the Whale, which Victoria Cribb translated from the Icelandic and is available from Telegram Books. Sjón was born in Reykjavik in 1962. He won the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize (the equivalent of the Man Booker ...

Latest Review: "Children in Reindeer Woods" by Kristín Ómarsdóttir

The latest review to our Reviews Section is a piece by Aleksandra Fazlipour on Kristín Ómarsdóttir’s Children in Reindeer Woods, which Lytton Smith translated from the Icelandic and is available from Open Letter. This is the first book of Kristín Ómarsdóttir’s to be translated into English, and it received ...

Russian Big Book Prize Shortlist Announced

Friend of Three Percent, Lisa Hayden Espenschade, who runs the incredible Russian literature blog Lizok’s Bookshelf posted the shortlist for the über-prestigious Big Book (Bol’shaya Kniga) Prize. Big Book is one of the “big three” Russian literary prizes, along with the Russian Booker and the National ...

Latest Review: "The Walk" by Robert Walser

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Phillip Witte on Robert Walser’s The Walk, which comes out from New Directions next week, and was translated from the German by Christopher Middleton and Susan Bernofsky. (The joint translation set-up is explained in Phil’s review.) Phil was an intern ...

Latest Review: "The Brummstein" by Peter Adolphsen

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Larissa Kyzer on Peter Adolphsen’s The Brummstein, which is translated from the Danish by Charlotte Barslund and available from AmazonCrossing. Apparently, this is the week of Larissa and AmazonCrossing books . . . As with her review of The Hitman’s Guide ...

Latest Review: "The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning" by Hallgrímur Helgason

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Larissa Kyzer on Hallgrímur Helgason’s The Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning, which AmazonCrossing brought out this past January. It may be due to my Icelandic Crush, but of all the books AmazonCrossing has brought out so far, this is the one that most ...

Latest Review: "An Open Secret" by Carlos Gamerro

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Aleksandra Fazlipour on Carlos Gamerro’s An Open Secret, which is translated from the Spanish by Ian Barnett and available from Pushkin Press. Aleksandra Fazlipour is the student I introduced last week who just completed a semester long independent study on ...

Latest Review: "My Little War" by Louis Paul Boon

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Jacob M. Appel on Louis Paul Boon’s My Little War, which is translated from the Dutch by Paul Vincent and available from Dalkey Archive Press. Jacob M. Appel is a physician in New York City and the author of more than two hundred published short stories. His ...

Latest Review: "The Secret of Evil" by Roberto Bolaño

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Jeremy Garber on Roberto Bolaño’s The Secret of Evil, which is translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews and Natasha Wimmer, and was recently released by New Directions. Jeremy Garber is a used book buyer for a large independent bookstore. (And a GoodReads ...

Latest Review: "Purgatory" by Tomás Eloy Martínez

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Aleksandra Fazlipour on Tomás Eloy Martínez’s Purgatory, which is translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne and available from Bloomsbury USA. Aleksandra did an independent study with me last semester to learn about writing book reviewing. She read a bunch of ...

Latest Review: "Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex" by Oksana Zabuzhko

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by regular reviewer Vincent Francone on Oksana Zabuzhko’s Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex, which is translated from the Ukrainian by Halyna Hryn and available from Amazon Crossings. Here’s the opening of Vince’s not-entirely-positive review: Reading ...

Latest Review: "Copenhagen Noir" edited by Bo Tao Michaelis

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by regular reviewer Larissa Kyzer on Copenhagen Noir, edited by Bo Tao Michaelis and translated by Mark Kline (with one lone translation from the Swedish by Lone Thygesen) and published by Akashic Books. As Larissa notes at the start of her review, this is one of the ...

"False Friends" by Uljana Wolf [5 Days of Poetry]

With the Best Translated Book Award announcements taking place Friday, May 4th at 6pm at McNally Jackson Books it’s time to highlight all six poetry finalists. Over the course of the week we’ll run short pieces by all of the poetry judges on their list of finalists. Click here for all past and future posts in ...

Latest Review: Why Is the Child Cooking in the Polenta

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Heather Simon on Aglaja Veteranyi’s Why the Child Is Cooking in the Polenta, which is translated from the German by Vincent Kling and published by Dalkey Archive Press. Heather Simon is another of Susan Bernofsky’s students who kindly offered to write a ...

Latest Review: "Traveler of the Century" by Andres Neuman

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Jeremy Garber on Andres Neuman’s Traveler of the Century, which is just coming out from FSG in Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia’s translation. Jeremy Garber is a used book buyer for a large independent bookstore. (And one of my GoodReads friends, where I ...

Latest Review: "The Truth about Marie" by Jean-Philippe Toussaint

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Katie Assef on Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s The Truth about Marie, translated from the French by Matthew B. Smith and available from Dalkey Archive Press. Katie Assef is another of Susan Bernofsky’s students who very kindly offered to write reviews for Three ...

Latest Review: "Dukla" by Andrej Stasiuk

The lastest addition to our Review Section is a piece by Claire Van Winkle on Andrej Stasiuk’s Dukla, which is translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston and available from Dalkey Archive Press. Claire is the first of three students (so far) of Susan Bernofsky’s who have written reviews for Three Percent. ...

Quarterly Conversation #27: Saer, Lispector, Rodoreda, and More . . .

OK, granted, this came out a couple weeks ago, which is basically a million eons in Internet time, but the new(est) issue of the Quarterly Conversation is now online and is loaded with great translation-centric material. (And great reviews of Open Letter titles, and Open Letter favorites . . .) Here are short highlights of ...

Margaret Carson at The Mookse and the Gripes

Over at The Mookse and the Gripes, Trevor Berrett posted a really interesting interview with Margaret Carson, the translator of Sergio Chejfec’s My Two Worlds (among other books): A “walking” book, when I finished My Two Worlds I wrote, “It’s meandering (obviously), sometimes feels pointless (deliberately), ...

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Three Percent #34: "These Creatures I Must Woo"

This week Tom and I welcomed Jeff Waxman of University of Chicago Press and 57th Street Books to the podcast to talk about different approaches to marketing different “types” of translations, such as contemporary translations vs. classic works vs. new translations vs. reprints vs. . . . It’s an interesting ...

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Three Percent #33: The Spaz and the Straight Man

In this week’s podcast, we talk about the future of book reviewing, focusing on a few central questions: who reads book reviews? (A: definitely not my students), what is the function of the book review in today’s world?, is there a website/app that would be the ideal book review platform? We also digress into ...

Latest Review: "Dream of Ding Village" by Yan Lianke

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Sharon Rhodes on Yan Lianke’s Dream of Ding Village, which is translated from the Chinese by Cindy Carter, and available from Grove Press. Sharon Rhodes is a Ph.D. candidate here at the University of Rochester who wrote this as part of an assignment so far back ...

"Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?" by Johan Harstad [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next two weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

Latest Review: "Of Flies and Monkeys" by Jacques Dupin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Vincent Francone on Jacques Dupin’s Of Flies and Monkeys, which is translated from the French by John Taylor and available from Bitter Oleander Press. (Probably easiest to order this directly from SPD.) “Vincent Francone” is one of our regular ...

Latest Review: "So You May See" by Mona Prince

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Elizabeth “Six” Mullins on Mona Prince’s So You May See, which is translated from the Arabic by Raphael Cohen and available from the American University in Cairo Press. For those of you interested in knowing more about the novel and its translation, ...

"The Truth about Marie" by Jean-Philippe Toussaint [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next four weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Watchword" Review and Interview with Forrest Gander

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is an extremely well-written and well-crafted piece by Grant Barber on Watchword by Pura López Colomé, which is translated from the Spanish by Forrest Gander and available from Wesleyan Press. In addition to writing such a fantastic review, Grant decided to interview Forrest ...

Latest Review: "Kamchatka" by Marcelo Figueras

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Lian Law on Marcelo Figueras’s Kamchatka that came out from Black Cat/Grove Press back last year. Lian Law was an intern and in my “Intro to Literary Publishing” class last semester, which is when she wrote this review. (And yes, we are that far ...

You Too Can Be a Three Percent Writer

So, as you probably know, for the next four+ weeks, we’re going to be featuring a book a day from the BTBA Fiction Longlist. These posts aren’t reviews per se, but more like little intros designed to both intrigue new readers and make a case for why that particular book deserves to win the whole thing. ...

"My Two Worlds" by Sergio Chejfec [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next five weeks highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, entertaining, and ...

Latest Review: "In Spite of the Dark Silence" by Jorge Volpi

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Kaitlyn Brady on Jorge Volpi’s In Spite of the Dark Silence, which is translated from the Spanish by Olivia Maciel and available from Swan Isle Press. Kaitlyn was in my “Introduction to Literary Publishing/Open Letter Internship” class last ...

Latest Review: "The Prague Cemetery" by Umberto Eco

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Monica Carter on Umberto Eco’s latest novel, The Prague Cemetery, which is translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon and available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Monica is one of our contributing reviewers, is a writer in her own right, and runs Salonica ...

Latest Review: "Me and You" by Niccolo Ammaniti

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Carley Parsons on Niccolo Ammaniti’s Me and You, which is translated from the Italian by Kylee Doust and available from Black Cat. Carley Parsons was one of my interns last semester, and has previously interned at Syracuse University Press and Random House. ...

Latest Review: "The Roving Shadows" by Pascal Quignard

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Brian Libgober on Pascal Quignard’s The Roving Shadows, which is coming out this month from Seagull Books in Chris Turner’s translation from the French. Brian Ligboer is a new reviewer for us. (Jeff Waxman made the introduction.) In his own words, he ...

Latest Review: "Mister Blue" by Jacques Poulin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by contributing reviewer Larissa Kyzer on Jacques Poulin’s Mister Blue, which just came out from Archipelago Books in Sheila Fischman’s translation. Larissa Kyzer is a regular reviewer for us who has a great interest in all things Scandinavian and Icelandic. ...

Criticism Is Where It's At [NBCC Awards]

This weekend, the National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists for its books wards for publishing 2011 and—not to bury the lede—including Dubravka Ugresic’s Karaoke Culture as one of the five finalists in the Criticism category. This is the first major book award that one of our titles has been ...

Latest Review: "Empire of Dreams" by Giannini Braschi

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Vincent Francone on Giannini Braschi’s Empire of Dreams, which is available from AmazonCrossing in Tess O’Dwyer’s translation. Vincent Francone is one of our regular reviewers, and a writer, and a reader for TriQuarterly Online. AmazonCrossing ...

Latest Review: "Leeches" by David Albahari

The latest addition to our “Reviews Section”: is a piece by contributing reviewer Monica Carter on David Albahari’s Leeches, which came out last year from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt1 in Ellen Elias-Bursac’s translation. Monica Carter is a regular reviewer for Three Percent. She also runs Salonica ...

Latest Review: "The Shadow-Boxing Woman" by Inka Parei

The latest addition to our Book Reviews section is a piece by Monica Carter on Inka Parei’s The Shadow-Boxing Woman, which is available from Seagull Books and translated from the German by Katy Derbyshire. Monica Carter is a regular reviewer for Three Percent. She also runs Salonica World Lit and, as part of her ...

Latest Review: "The Perpetual Motion Machine" by Paul Scheerbart

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by regular contributor Will Eells on Paul Scheerbart’s The Perpetual Motion Machine, which is translated from the German by Andrew Joron and available from Wakefield Press. Speaking of Wakefield Press, I truly believe that it is one of—if not the—most ...

Great Publishing Jobs

Over the break, I heard about two great publishing jobs that might interest some of you (and many of my students, former students, and colleagues). First up, the phenomenal Melville House is hiring a publicist. Duties include performing all aspects of book publicity, including: designing campaigns; writing press ...

It's 2012–Time for Some Resoluting!

Back when I was a kid, I used to love the start of every New Year. A fresh calendar, new journal to write in every day for a week before forgetting it in the back corner of a desk, dedicated routines (read for an hour a day! only watch TV once a week!), promises of better health and finally talking to that girl I’d been ...

Latest Review: "The Secret of Wilhelm Storitz" by Jules Verne

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Kaija Straumanis on Jules Verne’s The Secret of Wilhelm Storitz, which came out earlier this year from the University of Nebraska Press in Peter Schulman’s translation. Kaija is an about-to-graduate MA student in Literary Translation here at the ...

Latest Review: "Thirst" by Andrei Gelasimov

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is Fr. Grant Barber’s piece on Thirst by Andrei Gelasimov, which is translated from the Russian by Marian Schwartz and published by AmazonCrossing. Grant Barber is a regular reviewer for us, as well as being a keen bibliophile, and an Episcopal priest living on the south ...

Farhad Manjoo, Amazon, and Independent Bookstores [Controversies]

Following on my post from yesterday, which was following on Richard Russo’s op-ed piece, which was following on Amazon’s “Price Check special,” today Slate’s tech guy, Farhad Manjoo, has his own piece about Amazon and indie bookstores—one that has seemingly pissed off everyone I know. If ...

1Q84

Like many an English-speaking Murakami fan, I have been waiting to read 1Q84 for almost three years. That’s right, three years, since around January 2009, when news reports from Japan were just announcing that Murakami had finished his latest novel, one still without a title and rumored to be twice as long as Kafka on the ...

Latest Review: "IQ84" by Haruki Murakami

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by contributing reviewer Will Eells on 1Q84, Haruki Murakami’s “total novel” that is pretty much the only work of international literature making its way onto the year-end lists at the “big” review outlets. It’s a huge book, and in order ...

Year End Lists & Books You Should Read [Hearts for Scott Esposito]

OK, so I don’t really heart Scott Esposito—as well all know, he’s shit at riding a mechanical bull and that is a NECESSARY in my book—but he has been doing a lot of great work lately, and has prompted me to write an appreciation of his recent reviews and round-up of some year end lists that I’ve ...

A Special Appeal from Three Percent & Open Letter

As the year comes to a close, we thought we’d take a minute to look back at what we’ve done over the past twelve months. It’s also that magical time of year when we thank you all for your continued support, and ask for your help in the year to come by participating in our Annual Campaign. Most of you ...

Latest Review: "The Hall of the Singing Caryatids" by Victor Pelevin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Vincent Francone on Victor Pelevin’s The Hall of the Singing Caryatids, which is just out from New Directions in Andrew Bromfield’s translation. Coincidentally, I just finished reading this last night. And I completely agree with Vince’s review: ...

Latest Review: "The Greenhouse" by Audur Ava Olafsdottir

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Larissa Kyzer on Audur Ava Olafsdottir’s The Greenhouse, which is available from AmazonCrossing in Brian FitzGibbon’s translation from the Icelandic. As Larissa—one of our excellent contributing reviewers, who loves the Scandinavian and is starting ...

Dubravka Ugresic and Jessa Crispin

Kirkus just posted a longish interview by Jessa Crispin (founder/editor of Bookslut) with Dubravka Ugresic about her new collection, Karaoke Culture. (Which, not to give too much away, is one of the books on my “Best of 2011” list that Tom and I will be discussing on this week’s podcast.) You should go ...

Latest Review: "Zeina" by Nawal El Saadawi

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Monica Carter on Nawal El Saadawi’s Zeina, which is available from Saqi Books in Amira Nowaira’s translation. Monica is one of our contributing reviewers, and runs the wonderful Saloncia World Literature. She lives in L.A., and you can read all of her ...

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 ...

Making the Translator Visible: Jason Grunebaum

Simply put, Jason Grunebaum is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. Super energetic, witty as all get out, he should have his own reality show. (Or something.) At least a podcast. Or a regular guest spot on someone else’s podcast. (Jason: you going to be at MLA? If so, let’s talk.) He’s also ...

Latest Review: "I Am a Japanese Writer" by Dany LaFerrière

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Eells on Dany LaFerrière’s I Am a Japanese Writer, which is translated from the French by David Hormel and available from Douglas & MacIntyre. Will—who got a certificate in literary translation from the U of R and focuses on Japanese ...

Latest Review: "Until the Dawn's Light" by Aharon Appelfeld

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Dan Vitale on Aharon Appelfeld’s Until the Dawn’s Light, which is translated from the Hebrew by Jeffrey M. Green, and available from Schocken Books. Dan is one of our contributing reviewers, and has written a ton of great pieces for us. Most recently, he ...

Latest Review: "Death as a Side Effect" by Ana Maria Shua

The latest addition to our Book Review section is a piece by Emily Davis on Ana Maria Shua’s Death as a Side Effect, which is translated from the Spanish by Andrea G. Labinger and available from the University of Nebraska Press. Emily Davis a MALTS student here, and translates from Spanish. As you might be able to ...

CONTEXT #23 [Back!]

After an absurdly extended hiatus, Dalkey Archive Press’s tri-ennial quarterly occasional tabloid magazine, CONTEXT is back! For anyone familiar with it, this is great news . . . CONTEXT is consistently interesting, and one of the best ways to discover and learn about “experimental,” “strange,” ...

Latest Review: "Fame" by Daniel Kehlmann

The latest addition to our Book Review section is a piece by Monica Carter on Daniel Kehlmann’s latest novel, Fame, which is available from Pantheon in Carol Brown Janeway’s translation from the German. Monica Carter is a regular contributor to Three Percent, and a member of the Best Translated Book Award ...

One Interesting Translation Person Talking About Another

Last Sunday’s New York Times Book Review had a few interesting pieces, including Adam Thirlwell’s review of David Bellos’s new book Is That a Fish in Your Ear?, which is, by far, one of the best reviews I’ve read about this title. That’s not all that surprising, since Thirlwell is such an ...

Balls of Gold

Over at Salon, Kevin Canfield has a nice piece about the challenges of translation and the way translators are underappreciated: Gavin Bowd, the English translator for Michel Houellebecq, was working on the controversial French novelist’s “The Map and the Territory” — Knopf will publish the first American edition ...

Latest Review: "Three Messages and a Warning"

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Sara Cohen about Three Messages and a Warning, an anthology of Mexican short stories of the fantastic, edited by Eduardo Jimenez Mayo and Chris Brown and forthcoming from Small Beer Press. Sara “Number Four” Cohen was one of our summer interns, who ...

Latest Review: "Scenes from Village Life" by Amos Oz

The latest addition to our “Book Reviews” section is a piece by Dan Vitale on Amos Oz’s Scenes from Village Life, which is translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange and just came out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Dan Vitale is one of our contributing reviewers, and as such, has written a number of ...

One Last, Final Last, Icelandic Post [Icelandic Sports]

So I’m suffering the head cold of a decade, but I should be back tomorrow with normal posts, book reviews, etc., etc. In the meantime, I thought I’d leave you with a post about Stjarnan, my favorite Icelandic soccer club. To be honest, although I love me some football (especially Barcelona, especially the ...

"The Ambassador" by Bragi Olafsson [Icelandic Literature]

Since we publish two of his novels, and since we featured his band yesterday, I thought today would be a perfect day to excerpt Bragi Olafsson’s The Ambassador, which is translated by Lytton Smith. (FYI: Lytton is the one responsible for providing me with the bottle of Brennivin featured in my upcoming “Black ...

Book Sluts [Icelandic Culture]

This is a guest article by Amanda DeMarco, editor of Readux: Reading in Berlin and contributor to Publishing Perspectives. Just so happens that Amanda is in Iceland right now, and totally wanted in on this Icelandic Week project. In addition to this piece, she’s working on at least one more for us, which will run later ...

The Iowa Review Forum on Literature and Translation

The Iowa Review is up to a lot of cool things . . . First off, as you can see in the ad below, they’re sponsoring a writing contest for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, with the winners each receiving $1,500 and the first runners-up getting $750. That’s pretty solid. But more to the point of this website, ...

Is That a Fish in Your Ear?

It makes a strange sort of sense that the man who translated Life A User’s Manual would subtitle his new book “Translation and the Meaning of Everything.” Clearly, David Bellos isn’t lacking in ambition, and without giving away too much too soon, that’s for the best. Maybe it’s because of ...

Quarterly Conversation #25

I mentioned the new issue of Quarterly Conversation a couple weeks back in relation to the long piece I have in there about Antonio Lobo Antunes, but never got around to making a post about all the other great stuff in this issue . . . So, here’s a list of excellent articles that are definitely worth checking ...

The Bridge: Sergio Chejfec + Margaret Carson + E.J. Van Lanen

The next event in The Bridge Series will take place this Thursday, September 15th at 7pm at McNally Jackson, and will consist of a discussion about the writing, translation, and editing of Sergio Chejfec’s My Two Worlds. We just brought out My Two Worlds, the first of three Chejfec books that we’re planning on ...

Introducing "The Three Percent Problem" [Update on Kindle Apps]

In a variety of podcasts and other posts, I’ve made reference to a “best of Three Percent” book that we were putting together. One that would sell for $2.99 with all the proceeds going to benefit translators . . . Well, at long last, after forcing Taylor McCabe (Intern #1) to read and sort some thousands ...

"Penguin Lost" by Andrey Kurkov [Read This Next]

Prelude Apology: Sorry for being a bit behind—I’m home sick with a nasty cold . . . More posting and podcasting next week. This week’s featured Read This Next title is Penguin Lost, the second book in Andrey Kurkov’s detective series that, yes, includes a penguin (and is translated from the Russian ...

Latest Review: "Lunar Savings Time" by Alex Epstein

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Daniela Hurezanu about Alex Epstein’s Lunar Savings Time, which is translated from the Hebrew by Becka Mara McKay and available from Clockroot Books. Daniela Hurezanu has reviewed for us several times in the past, and here’s her official bio, courtesy of ...

Why Read Antonio Lobo Antunes?

That’s the title of the extremely long article I wrote about Antonio Lobo Antunes for the new issue of Quarterly Conversation. (More on that issue later.) If you’ve read this blog at all, you’ve probably come across one or more posts in which I wax poetic about the awesomeness of Antunes’s writing. ...

Edith Grossman Tells it Like it Is [We Are So Small]

Over at Publishing Perspectives, there’s a profile piece by Hernán Iglesias Illa on Edith Grossman, translator extraordinaire and author of Why Translation Matters. (Which I wrote about at length for Quarterly Conversation back when it came out.) Let’s start with an interesting part about Grossman’s ...

Latest Review: "Lives Other Than My Own" by Emmanuel Carrere

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Monica Carter on this week’s Read This Next title, Lives Other Than My Own by Emmanuel Carrere, which is translated from the French by Linda Coverdale and forthcoming from Metropolitan Books. Monica Carter is a contributing reviewer to Three Percent, and a ...

Latest Review: "Daniel Stein, Interpreter" by Ludmila Ulitskaya

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Julianna Romanazzi on Ludmila Ulitskaya’s Daniel Stein, Interpreter, translated from the Russian by Arch Tait and available from Overlook Press. Ludmila Ulitskaya is one of a handful of contemporary Russian writers to have a number of their works translated ...

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Three Percent #13: Literary Journals, Why We Don't Read Short Stories, and the $%#@ing Brewers

For this week’s podcast, Tom and I answered our first mailbag question about literary journals, discussed the old adage that “short stories don’t sell,” and complained about the unbeatable Milwaukee Brewers. (We also talk a bit about my son’s obsession with all 19 seasons of the Mighty Morphin ...

Latest Review: "My Two Worlds" by Sergio Chejfec

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a short review by Julianna Romanazzi of Sergio Chejfec’s My Two Worlds, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Carson and coming out this month from Open Letter. My Two Worlds was a Read This Next selection a couple months back, so please click here to read an extended ...

Matthew Battles on Tove Jansson

Over at the B&N Review, Matthew Battles (Harvard University’s rare books librarian and author of Library: An Unquiet History, Widener: Biography of a Library, along with other articles) has a long, interesting piece on Tove Jansson. He talks a bit about the recently released Fair Play, but I really like this bit ...

Latest Review: "Learning to Pray in the Age of Technique" by Goncalo Tavares

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Lily Ye on this week’s Read This Next title, Learning to Pray in the Age of Technique by Goncalo Tavares, which is translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn and forthcoming from Dalkey Archive Press. Here’s the opening of Lily’s review: In ...

Cain

I keep coming back to that basic question, “Why do people tell stories, and others pay attention?” Answers range from creating entertainment (Patterson or Siddons), to engaging in reflections of human nature by a writer such as Conrad or Greene, to intellectual play in novels by Barbary or Murdoch. Some novels can ...

Latest Review: "Cain" by Jose Saramago

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Fr. Grant Barber on Cain, the latest Jose Saramago novel, available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Margaret Jull Costa’s translation. Grant Barber is a regular reviewer for Three Percent, a keen bibliophile, and an Episcopal priest living on the south shore ...

Latest Review: "Kafka's Leopards" by Moacyr Scliar

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Lily Ye on Moacyr Scliar’s Kafka’s Leopards forthcoming from Texas Tech University Press in Thomas Beebee’s translation from the Brazilian Portuguese. As Lily recommends in her review, you should definitely read this piece by Thomas Beebee and then ...

Henrich Böll: My New Favorite Author

Although I tend to write these quite often, I somewhat hate doing the effusive “this author is so great!” thing. Not that the authors don’t deserve it, in fact, quite the opposite, but there’s something much more intellectually satisfying about writing a harsh diss. Virulent criticism, which is usually ...

Latest Review: "The Fish Child" by Lucia Puenzo

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Sara Cohen on Lucia Puenzo’s The Fish Child, which is translated from the Spanish by David William Foster and available from Texas Tech as part of The Americas series. We’ve written about The Americas series before, but if you’re not already ...

Latest Review: "Vertical Motion" by Can Xue

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is Lily Ye’s review of Vertical Motion, this week’s Read This Next title. Vertical Motion is coming out next month from Open Letter, and is translated from the Chinese by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping. For an “experimental” Chinese writer, Can Xue has ...

Latest Review: "The Demon at Agi Bridge and Other Japanese Tales" Edited by Hauro Shirane

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Sasha Miller on The Demon at Agi Bridge and Other Japanese Tales, a collection edited by Hauro Shirane, translated by Burton Watson, and available from Columbia University Press. This book is part of Columbia’s Translations from the Asian Classics series, which ...

"There Are Things I Want You to Know" About Stieg Larsson and Me

I will admit, right off the bat, that I have never read anything by Stieg Larsson. Not a word, not a page, not even the back of a book cover. Yes, I am aware of the existence of the Millennium Trilogy, with the movies and the books and the commercials and whatnot, and I have perhaps eavesdropped on a few hushed, excited ...

Latest Review: "'There Are Things I Want You to Know' About Stieg and Me" by Eva Gabrielsson

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Julianna Romanazzi on the punctuation-confused “There Are Things I Want You to Know” About Stieg and Me by Eva Gabrielsson, translated by Linda Coverdale and published by Seven Stories. Julianna’s been posting here for the past few months during her ...

Latest Review: "The Ermine in Czernopol" by Gregor Von Rezzori

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Lily Ye on this week’s Read This Next book, The Ermine in Czernopol by Gregor Von Rezzori. This novel is translated by Philip Boehm and forthcoming from New York Review Books. This is the first book in the Von Rezzori trilogy, which also includes The Snows of ...

An Interview with Gregor Von Rezzori [Read This Next]

As part of this week’s Read This Next focus on Gregor Von Rezzori’s An Ermine in Czernopol, we dug up this interview with Von Rezzori that appeared in BOMB magazine way back in 1988. Bruce Wolmer: I’m tempted to begin by asking the question interviewers on French TV like to pose: “Gregor von Rezzori, _qui ...

Interns–They Grow Up Too Fast

Back in the tumultuous summer of 2009, Timothy Nassau was an intern here at Open Letter. He read some manuscripts, he packed some orders, he listened to a variety of rants, wrote a few blog posts and reviews, and returned to Brown University a bit wiser and with ambition in his heart. Fast-forward two years, and young ...

Latest Review: Job by Joseph Roth

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Brady Evan Walker on Joseph Roth’s Job, which was recently retranslated by Ross Benjamin and published by Archipelago Books. Brady Evan Walker is a writer who splits his time unequally between New Orleans and Brooklyn, constantly on the run from the horrors of ...

Latest Review: "The Last Brother" by Nathacha Appanah

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Taylor McCabe on The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah, which is translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan and available from Graywolf Press. Taylor McCabe (aka “Intern #1”) is a student here at the University of Rochester where she’s majoring ...

Latest Review: "The Days of the King" by Filip Florian

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Lily Ye on this week’s RTN title The Days of the King by Filip Florian. This was translated from the Romanian by Alistair Ian Blyth and will be coming out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt next month. See this post for more info on Florian, and click here for an ...

The Days of the King by Filip Florian [Read This Next]

This week’s Read This Next title is Filip Florian’s The Days of the King, translated from the Romanian by Alistair Ian Blyth and coming out on August 16th from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Florian’s first translated title—Little Fingers—got a lot of great attention (Michael Orthofer gave it a ...

Latest Review: "Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?" by Johan Harstad

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Kelsey Burritt on Johan Harstad’s Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?, which is translated from the Norwegian by Deborah Dawkin and published by Seven Stories Press. Johan Harstad is a pretty prolific young Norwegian writer. Buzz Aldrin, ...

Latest Review: "In Red" by Magdalena Tulli

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Lily Ye on Magdalena Tulli’s In Red, this week’s Read This Next book, which is translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston and coming out in September from Archipelago Books. Lily comes to us from the University of Chicago by way of Jeff Waxman’s ...

Latest Review: "The Last Reader" by David Toscana

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Sara Cohen on David Toscana’s The Last Reader, which is translated from the Spanish by Asa Zatz and available from Texas Tech University Press. Sara—a summer intern and student here at the University of Rochester—is working on reviews of a few books ...

Latest Review: "From the Observatory" by Julio Cortazar

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece I wrote about Julio Cortazar’s From the Observatory, which is translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean and forthcoming from Archipelago Books. It also happens to be this week’s Read This Next title. Here’s the opening of the review: It’s ...

From the Observatory by Julio Cortazar [Read This Next]

This week’s Read This Next book is From the Observatory by Julio Cortazar. Wonderfully translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean, this will be available from Archipelago Books in early August. In the words of Complete Review’s Michael Orthofer, this book is “striking, odd,” which is just about ...

Latest Review: "The Land at the End of the World" by António Lobo Antunes

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Grant Barber on António Lobo Antunes’s The Land at the End of the World, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa and available from W.W. Norton. Antunes is a long-time favorite of mine. I really love his novel Act of the Damned. And Fado ...

Latest Review: "The Lake" by Banana Yoshimoto

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Eells on Banana Yoshimoto’s The Lake, translated from the Japanese by Michael Emmerich and available from Melville House Publishing. This is Will’s second review in a row, so I’m not sure how much of an introduction he really needs . . . ...

Latest Review: "An Empty Room: Stories" by Mu Xin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Eells on An Empty Room: Stories by Mu Xin, translated from the Chinese by Toming Jun Liu, and available from New Directions. Will has become a regular contributor for Three Percent, and is likely to be reviewing even more for us now that he’s graduated with ...

Latest Review: "Lightning" by Jean Echenoz

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is my review of this week’s Read This Next book, Lightning by Jean Echneoz, which is translated from the French by Linda Coverdale and coming out from The New Press. Lightning is the third of Echenoz’s “Eccentric Genius Suite,” which also includes the ...

Latest Review: "Stone Upon Stone" by Wiesław Myśliwski

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Kaija Straumanis on Wiesław Myśliwski’s Stone Upon Stone, translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston, and available from Archipelago Books. Kaija Straumanis is a grad student in the MA translation program (MALTS for short) here at the University of ...

Latest Review: "Tyrant Memory" by Horacio Castellanos Moya

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Julia Haav on Horacio Castellanos Moya’s Tyrant Memory, which is translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver, and will be available later this month from New Directions. It’s also this week’s Read This Next title. Julia is is a publicist for ...

Introducing Julianna Romanazzi

In 17 minutes, Julianna Romanazzi will become the newest Three Percent blogger. Julianna is here all summer gaining invaluable publishing experience, such as “how to mail review copies,” “why we don’t edit Chad’s reviews,” and “why snarky blog titles are popular.” She goes to ...

Latest Review: "A Life on Paper: Stories" by Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Catherine Bailey on A Life on Paper: Stories by Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, translated from the French by Edward Gauvin, and available from Small Beer Press. Catherine Bailey is an English grad student here at the University of Rochester. (Or maybe was . . . I ...

Summer Issue of Bookforum

The new issue of Bookforum arrived in the mail yesterday. Traditionally, the summer issue (covering June/July/Aug) has a significant special section—last year it was “Utopia/Dystopia” and the year before was “Fiction Forward,” with a focus on six new writers. This year’s special section ...

Read This Next

As previewed on last week’s Three Percent podcast, today is the launch of Read This Next a new Three Percent project where we’ll be previewing a new work of international literature every week. Read This Next is modeled in part on the “album previews” available through KCRW and NPR, and the belief ...

Latest Review: "Manazuru" by Hiromi Kawakami

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Tananaugh Espinoza on Hiromi Kawakami’s Manazuru, which is translated from the Japanese by Michael Emmerich and available from Counterpoint. Tananaugh Espinoza was a student in my “World Literature & Translation” class this past spring. She ...

Latest Review: "Ice Trilogy" by Vladimir Sorokin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is an insane piece that I wrote about Vladimir Sorokin’s Ice Trilogy, which is translated from the Russian by Jamey Gambrell and available from New York Review Books. I am aware of how crazily self-indulgent and odd this review is, but after writing about Sorokin so many ...

Latest Review: "The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine" by Alina Bronsky

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Adelaide Kuehn on Alina Bronsky’s The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine, which is translated from the German by Tim Mohr and available from Europa Editions. Adelaide is a former intern and translation student, who has written for Three Percent a couple times ...

Latest Review: "In the Train" by Christian Oster

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Emily Davis on Christian Oster’s In the Train, which is translated from the French by Adriana Hunter and available from the stylish Object Press. Emily Davis is a grad student in Literary Translation here at the University of Rochester, and is currently working ...

Latest Review: "Simon Wiesenthal: Life and Legends" by Tom Segev

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Jessica LeTourneur on Tom Segev’s Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends, which is available from Doubleday. We don’t review a ton of nonfiction or biographies or untranslated titles here, but Jessica (who is one of our regular reviewers) was interested in ...

Latest Review: "Hocus Bogus" by Romain Gary (writing as Emile Ajar)

The latest addition to our Book Reviews section is a piece by Stephen Weiner (who runs the Suspicious Humanist newsletter) about Emile Ajar/Romain Gary’s Hocus Bogus, translated from the French by David Bellos and published by Yale University Press. Hocus Bogus was one of my favorite books from the 2011 BTBA ...

Latest Review: "With Dance Shoes in Siberian Snows" by Sandra Kalniete

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Jessica LeTourneur on Sandra Kalniete’s With Dance Shoes in Siberian Snows, translated from the Latvian by Margita Gailitis and available from Dalkey Archive Press. This book is part of Dalkey’s “Baltic Literature Series,” and is one of the ...

Latest Review: "Funeral for a Dog" by Thomas Pletzinger

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is Jennifer Bratovich’s piece on Thomas Pletzinger’s Funeral for a Dog, available from W. W. Norton in Ross Benjamin’s translation. I’ve been holding onto this review for months, waiting first for the book to come out, then for Ross and Thomas to come here, ...

Latest Review: "Never Any End to Paris" by Enrique Vila-Matas

Following on yesterday’s podcast (after the posting of which, the Cardinals pounded the Cubs 9-1), the latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Jeremy Garber on the forthcoming Enrique Vila-Matas novel, Never Any End to Paris, which New Directions is bringing out later this month in Anne McLean’s ...

Latest Review: "Adonis Selected Poems"

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Vincent Francone on Adonis’ Selected Poems, which Yale brought out not too long ago in Khaled Mattawa’s translation. Vincent Francone has written for us a few times in the past and is a reader for TriQuarterly Online, a site that should probably be on our ...

The Future of Book Reviewing?

Hopefully (probably) not. But because no one ever seems to believe me when I mention this, attached below is an email I just received, one that brings up a lot of questions for me. (More after the letter.) From: Editors at ForeWord Reviews <editors@forewordreviews.com> Subject: You’ve Been Approved for a Digital ...

Can S&S, Penguin, and Hachette Recommend the Best Books?

As mentioned before, I’m obsessed interested in the ways in which readers find books—especially in the New Digital Reality of Facebook comments and whatnot. The idea of a “Pandora for Books” (or maybe better, a “Last.fm for Books”) has been batted around for sometime now, and apparently a ...

Latest Review: "Stigmata" by Lorenzo Mattotti and Claudio Piersanti

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Grant Barber on Stigmata, a new graphic novel from Fantagraphics by Lorenzo Mattotti and Claudio Piersanti, translated from the Italian by Kim Thompson. Unless I’m totally forgetting something, this is the first review of a translated graphic novel that ...

Latest Review: "Day of the Oprichnik" by Vladimir Sorokin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece that I wrote on Vladimir Sorokin’s Day of the Oprichnik, which just came out from FSG in Jamey Gambrell’s translation. Since this is a day of Sorokin (the event write-up, the discussion in the podcast), I’m going to skip all the normal author and ...

Vladimir Sorokin's Coming Out Party

As mentioned on last week’s podcast, and further elaborated on in this week’s one (BTW, you can subscribe to the Three Percent podcast at iTunes), Vladimir Sorokin was one of the authors I was most interested in seeing at the PEN World Voices Festival. Way back when, I read his short, early novel The Queue in a ...

PEN: The Next Decade in Book Culture

Where: Greenwich House Music School, Renee Weiler Concert Hall, 46 Barrow St., New York City The critic’s voice indelibly shapes the works we read. But in an age when readers are rapidly migrating to Twitter book clubs, literary web sites, and Amazon reader reviews, how will the critic continue to lead literary ...

Latest Review: "Flash Cards" by Yu Jian

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Tim Nassau on Yu Jian’s Flash Cards, translated from the Chinese by Wang Ping and Ron Padgett, and published by Zephyr Press last year. Most notably, Flash Cards is a finalist for this year’s BTBA for poetry. I’ll try to handicap the poetry titles ...

Latest Review: "In Europe" by Geert Mak

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Jessica LeTourneur on Geert Mak’s In Europe, which came out a few years back in Sam Garrett’s translation from the Dutch. In Europe is a book that’s been on my “to read” pile since 2007 or so. As Jessica mentions, it’s a huge book, ...

Latest Review: "We, the Drowned" by Carsten Jensen

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by K.E. Semmel on Carsten Jensen’s We, the Drowned, now available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Charlotte Barslund and Emma Ryder’s translation from the Danish. Jensen’s book has been getting a lot of good attention—especially from ...

A Life on Paper [BTBA Finalists]

With the announcement of the BTBA winners just a mere 15 days and 5-1/2 hours away, it seems like a good time to start reviewing the finalists. First up is Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s A Life on Paper, which just received a very enthusiastic write-up over at The Mookse and the Gripes. Before the Best ...

Latest Review: "The Leg of Lamb: Its Life and Works" by Benjamin Péret

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Andrew Barrett on Benjamin Péret’s The Leg of Lamb: Its Life and Works, translated from the French by Marc Lowenthal and published by Wakefield Press. If we haven’t sang the praises of Wakefield Press yet, it’s because I’m a forgetful idiot. ...

Latest Review: "The Chukchi Bible" by Yuri Rytkheu

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Kaija Straumanis on Yuri Rytkheu’s The Chukchi Bible, translated from the Russian by Ilona Yazhbin Chavasse and soon to be available from Archipelago Books. Rytkheu is one of the only (if not the only) Chukchi writers to be translated into English. His A Dream ...

The Bridge: Christopher Middleton & Susan Bernofsky

Where: The Swiss Institute, 495 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY renowned translators of Swiss author Robert Walser read & discuss their work moderated by Edwin Frank Editor, NYRB Classics 212-925-2035 Lunch-time comestibles will be available for purchase. Organized by The Bridge Series and the Swiss Institute ...

The Life of Irene Nemirovsky

Since 2004, the name Irene Nemirovsky has been primarily associated with her bestselling and haunting novel, Suite Francaise. Entrusted to her daughters in a suitcase in 1942, the manuscript remained untouched until 1998 when Nemirovsky’s daughter, Denise, resolved to type out the handwritten novel with the aid of a ...

Latest Review: "The Life of Irene Nemirovsky"

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Jessica LeTourneur on The Life of Irene Nemirovsky, a relatively new biography on the author of Suite Francaise by Olivier Philipponnat and Patrick Lienhardt. This originally came out in France a few years back, but is now available from Knopf in Euan Cameron’s ...

Readux

Seeing that we already referenced Amanda DeMarco once today, it seems like the perfect time to mention Readux the new Berlin-based online literary magazine that she’s running. Here’s how they describe the magazine on their about page: Readux is a Berlin-based literary website with reviews, interviews, ...

Latest Review: "An Answer from the Silence" by Max Frisch

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Grant Barber on Max Frisch’s An Answer from the Silence: A Story from the Mountains, an early work of Frisch’s just now translated into English for the first time by Mike Mitchell, and published this month by Seagull Books. Along with Robert Walser, Max ...

PEN World Voices 2011: Quick Overview

This morning, PEN updated their World Voices page with info about this year’s festival, including a list of participants and a daily schedule listing all the planned events. We’ll give this more coverage as the time grows closer, but for now, here are a few of the highlights from each of the days of the ...

Remote Control

I’m just going to fess up right now: I’m a bit of a culture snob. I can’t help it. I don’t know what happened in my upbringing that led me to be this way – that I can’t check out a summer blockbuster without reading the reviews first, that I prefer listening to the local college or independent radio station to ...

Latest Review: "Remote Control" by Kotaro Isaka

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Eells on Kotaro Isaka’s Remote Control, translated from the Japanese and published by Kodansha International. (Quick side-note: the closing of Kodansha International sucks. That’s all I have to say about that. I’m out of witty attacks for ...

Latest Review: "Between Parentheses" by Roberto Bolaño

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a review by Jeremy Garber on Roberto Bolaño’s forthcoming collection of non-fiction pieces entitled Between Parentheses. This is translated by Natasha Wimmer, and will be available from New Directions in late May. I’m 99.9% there’s no need to explain who ...

Latest Review: "Pornografia" by Witold Gombrowicz

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a review by Jennifer Marquart of Witold Gombrowicz’s Pornografia in Danuta Borchardt’s new translation, which is available from Grove Press. Jennifer Marquart has contributed to Three Percent in the past and is an aspiring German translator and recent University of ...

Georg Letham: Physician and Murderer [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

Quarterly Conversation 23 [What to Read This Weekend]

The new issue of the Quarterly Conversation went live recently and is definitely worth checking out. Every issue of the QC is great, but holy crap is this issue STUFFED with interesting pieces. Here’s a list of some of the essays and reviews that worth checking out: Notes Toward an Understanding of Thomas ...

Latest Review: "Zift" by Vladislav Todorov

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Stiliana Milkova on Vladislav Todorov’s Zift, which was translated from the Bulgarian by Joseph Benatov and published last year by Paul Dry Books. Zift1 is Todorov’s debut novel, which was actually made into a movie that was praised by Variety as ...

The Blindness of the Heart [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

Latest Review: "Fair Play" by Tove Jansson

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Larissa Kyzer on Tove Jansson’s Fair Play, which was translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal and officially comes out from NYRB Classics next Tuesday. (Or in NCAA time: The day of the “first” round of the tournament, which for once, could be cool. ...

It's Good to Be Here [Excuses & Bits]

Admittedly, things have been a bit slow around here lately. I’ve been in NY for the Festival of New French Writing (more below), and hard at work on a grant for the National Endowment for the Arts. It’s due next week, but, I have to finish tomorrow (along with review for Bookforum) or suffer the bureaucratic wrath ...

In the Age of Screens (Part V)

Over the course of this week, we’ll be serializing an essay I wrote for the recent Non-Fiction Conference that took place in Amsterdam a couple weeks ago. If you’d rather not wait until Friday to read the whole thing, then click here and download a PDF version of the whole thing. Or you can click here to see all ...

In the Age of Screens (Part IV)

Over the course of this week, we’ll be serializing an essay I wrote for the recent Non-Fiction Conference that took place in Amsterdam a couple weeks ago. If you’d rather not wait until Friday to read the whole thing, then click here and download a PDF version of the whole thing. Or you can click here to see all ...

In the Age of Screens (Part III)

Over the course of this week, we’ll be serializing an essay I wrote for the recent Non-Fiction Conference that took place in Amsterdam a couple weeks ago. If you’d rather not wait until Friday to read the whole thing, then click here and download a PDF version of the whole thing. Or you can click here to see all ...

In the Age of Screens (Part II)

Over the course of this week, we’ll be serializing an essay I wrote for the recent Non-Fiction Conference that took place in Amsterdam a couple weeks ago. If you’d rather not wait until Friday to read the whole thing, then click here and download a PDF version of the whole thing. Or you can click here to see all ...

Touch [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

In the Age of Screens (Part I)

So, following up the last post about the Non-fiction Conference . . . When I was invited to talk at this, I decided that I really wanted to write something new, something that I haven’t exactly written about, or talked about before. (It’s way easier just going back to the tried-and-true, but that does start to ...

Latest Review: "engulf–enkindle" by Anja Utler

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Erica Mena on Anja Utler’s engulf—enkindle, which is translated by Kurt Beals and came out in December from the admirable Burning Deck. The best source for info on German poet Anja Utler seems to be this site (which, for those of you into poetry of the ...

Prefacing a New Series of Posts [We Are Not Muckrakers]

Before posting Mima Simić‘s story of the offensive edits done to the story/translation of hers that appeared in this year’s Best European Fiction volume from Dalkey Archive Press, feel like I should provide a sort of frame and preface that explains my professional interests and personal concerns about running ...

Latest Review: "One Hundred Bottles" by Ena Lucia Portela

The latest addition to our Review Section is a piece by Julia Haav on Ena Lucia Portela’s One Hundred Bottles. Julia Haav is a publicist for Europa Editions and is completing a master’s degree in the humanities, with a focus on contemporary Latin American literature, at NYU. I also believe she’s one of my ...

Asymptote Journal

Announcing the launch of ASYMPTOTE, a new international literary journal dedicated to the art and practice of translation. Founded out of Singapore, with editors scattered across the globe, ASYMPTOTE offers a well-calibrated window on world literature, in all its forms. Issue Jan 2011 features original essays by ...

Latest Review: "Vita Nuova" by Bohumil Hrabal

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Dan Vitale on Bohumil Hrabal’s Vita Nuova, which is translated from the Czech by Tony Liman and available from Northwestern University Press. Dan Vitale is a regular contributor to Three Percent—a program sponsored in party through a grant from ...

Six Questions with Charlotte Mandell

Zone has been getting a lot of attention recently, such as this review in the New York Times and in the recent issue of N+1. (I also found a copy on display at the Bay City Public Library—my hometown library—and someone had actually checked it out!) One of the first reviews of Zone actually appeared in the ...

Latest Review: "The Book of Things" by Ales Steger

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Tim Nassau on Ales Steger’s The Book of Things, which is available from BOA Editions in Brian Henry’s translation from the Slovenian. If you don’t know BOA Editions, they’re one of the premiere publishers of poetry in the U.S. and do a number ...

Absinthe 14 [New Issues II]

Absinthe 14 arrived in yesterday’s mail, and is loaded with interesting authors and pieces, including: An excerpt from Wieslaw Mysliwski’s Stone Upon Stone, which was translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston and recently published by Archipelago books. (Actually using this in the “Translation & ...

Latest Review: "The Insufferable Gaucho" by Roberto Bolano

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Eells on Roberto Bolano’s The Insufferable Gaucho, translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews and available from New Directions. Will is one of our “contributing editors” (which are sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts) and a ...

Latest Review: "The Sixty-Five Years of Washington" by Juan Jose Saer

The latest addition to our “Reviews Section”: is a piece by Emily Davis on Juan Jose Saer’s The Sixty-Five Years of Washington, which is translated from the Spanish by Steve Dolph and was published by Open Letter earlier this year. As noted in the past, we don’t run a lot of reviews of our own books ...

Latest Review: "Hotel Europa" by Dumitru Tsepeneag

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Monica Carter on Dumitru Tsepeneag’s Hotel Europa, which was recently published by Dalkey Archive Press in Patrick Camiller’s translation from the Romanian. Dalkey has published several Tsepeneag novels, including the wonderfully complex Vain Art of the ...

Welcome to the Latest Year to Look Weird on Checks . . .

Ever since the year 2000, every year seems less believable to me . . . When I was a kid, I never thought I’d see the year 2000, much less the year 2010, after which, 2011 seems sort of anti-climactic. Sure, this technically marks the start of a new decade, but since we never named the last one, it feels pretty ...

Latest Review: "For Grace Received" by Valeria Parrella

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Acacia O’Connor on Valeria Parrella’s For Grace Received, which was published by Europa Editions last fall (which is approximately 7 catalogs in “Publishing Time”) in Antony Shugaar’s translation. Acacia is one of the MALTS (Masters in ...

Javier Montes [Granta's Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists]

As we mentioned a couple Fridays ago, we’re going to spend the next 5 days highlighting all of the authors selected for Granta’s _“Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists” special issue. All past and future posts related to this issue can be found by clicking here. Today’s featured Granta ...

Latest Review: "Birds for a Demolition" by Manoel de Barros

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by BTBA judge Erica Mena on fellow BTBA judge Idra Novey’s translation from the Portuguese of Manoel de Barros’s Birds for a Demolition, which came out from Carnegie Mellon University Press earlier this year. Erica Mena is a poet, a translator, and visible. ...

Latest Review: "Visitation" by Jenny Erpenbeck

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Phillip Witte on Jenny Erpenbeck’s Visitation, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky and published earlier this year by New Directions. Phillip Witte was an intern for Open Letter way back in the day, and also had a summer internship at New Directions. ...

Latest Review: "The Museum of Eterna's Novel (The First Good Novel)" by Macedonio Fernandez

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Heath Mayhew on Macedonio Fernandez’s The Museum of Eterna’s Novel (The First Good Novel), which came out from Open Letter earlier this year in Margaret Schwartz’s translation. As you may or may not know, we generally don’t run reviews of our ...

Latest Review: "The Princess, the King, and the Anarchist" by Robert Pagani

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a sharp critique by Adelaide Kuehn of Robert Pagani’s The Princess, the King, and the Anarchist, which was translated from the French by Helen Marx and published by Helen Marx Books. Adelaide Kuehn is one of our interns this semester (and will be next semester as well, so ...

Santiago Roncagliolo [Granta's Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists]

As we mentioned last Friday, we’re going to spend the next 21 days highlighting all of the authors selected for Granta’s _“Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists” special issue. All past and future posts related to this issue can be found by clicking here. Up today: Peruvian author Santiago ...

Latest Review: "The Jokers" by Albert Cossery

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is something I wrote on Albert Cossery’s The Jokers, which was translated from the French by Anna Moschovakis and published by NYRB earlier this year. For a long time I was planning a post called “Albert Cossery is $%^&ing Amazing,” after reading A Splendid ...

Andres Barba [Granta's Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists]

As we mentioned last Friday, we’re going to spend the next 22 days highlighting all of the authors selected for Granta’s _“Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists” special issue. All past and future posts related to this issue can be found by clicking here. First up: Spanish author Andres Barba, ...

Latest Review: "The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry" edited by Ilya Kaminsky and Susan Harris

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Tim Nassau on the Ecco Anthology of International Poetry that was edited by Ilya Kaminsky and Susan Harris and came out earlier this year. (Most probably around April, seeing that April is National Poetry Month, which leads to a huge number of poetry collections coming ...

International IMPAC Dublin Award 2011 Longlist [International Prizes, Take One]

So the 2011 longlist for the IMPAC Award was announced this morning, and includes 162 books from 43 countries. According to the press release 42 are titles in translation, covering 14 different languages. This is where I usually complain about the IMPAC’s website, the absurdity of a 162 book longlist, of the name of ...

Latest Review: "Am I a Redundant Human Being?" by Mela Hartwig

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Dan Vitale on Mela Hartwig’s Am I a Redundant Human Being?, which was translated from the German by Kerri A. Pierce and published earlier this year by Dalkey Archive Press. I remember first hearing about this book while on an editorial trip with John ...

Latest Review: "The Wrong Blood" by Manuel de Lope

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Erika Howard on Manuel de Lope’s The Wrong Blood, which was translated from the Spanish by John Cullen and available from Other Press. Manuel de Lope has published fourteen books in his native Spain, but this is the first of his works to be translated into ...

Latest Review: "Homesick" by Eshkol Nevo

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Monica Carter on Eshkol Nevo’s Homesick, translated from the Hebrew by Sondra Silverston and published earlier this year by Dalkey Archive. Monica is a regular contributor to Three Percent, and runs her own excellent website, Salonica. Eshkol Nevo’s ...

Latest Review: "Popular Hits of the Showa Era" by Ryu Murakami

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Will Eells on Ryu Murakami’s Popular Hits of the Showa Era, which is forthcoming from Norton in Ralph McCarthy’s translation. As Will points out, in America, Ryu is the “other Murakami,” but he’s quite popular in Japan, and a good number ...

Latest Review: "Song for His Disappeared Love" by Raul Zurita

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Vincent Francone on Raul Zurita’s collection Song for His Disappeared Love, which was translated from the Spanish by Daniel Borzutzky and published by Action Books. I don’t read much poetry, so I wasn’t familiar with Zurita until Vincent Francone ...

AmazonCrossing at Frankfurt

OK, with a little luck I’ll be able to post a lot of new content later this week during the American Literary Translators Conference. This is one of my favorite conferences of the year, in part because of all the cool people there, in part because the panels tend to be pretty interesting. I’ll post more about this ...

Latest Review: "Broken Glass Park" by Alina Bronsky

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Catherine Bailey on Alina Bronsky’s Broken Glass Park, which was published by Europa Editions in Tim Mohr’s translation. Catherine Bailey is a new reviewer for us—she’s a writer, artist, and activist from Seattle, WA who is currently pursuing a ...

Latest Review: A Novel Bookstore

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Larissa Kyzer on Laurence Cosse’s A Novel Bookstore, which is available from Europa Editions in Alison Anderson’s translation. Larissa reviews for us on a regular basis, when she’s not learning various languages, writing for L Magazine, or reading ...

Quarterly Conversation: Issue 21

Running a bit behind with the news here, but the Fall 2010 issue of the Quarterly Conversation is now available online. As always, there’s a lot of great content here, including an essay on Nicholson Baker as the missing link between Updike and DFW, a piece on Helene Cixous’s So Close, and tons of interesting book ...

Latest Review: "The Year 3000: A Dream" by Paolo Mantegazza

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by Acacia O’Connor on Paolo Mantegazza’s The Year 3000: A Dream, translated from the Italian by David Jacobson and published by the University of Nebraska Press. Acacia O’Connor is one of the first group of students to enroll in the University of ...

Latest Review: "Comedy in a Minor Key" and "The Death of the Adversary" by Hans Keilson

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Dan Vitale on both Hans Keilson books that FSG recently brought out: The Death of the Adversary (translated by Ivo Jarosy and originally published in 1962) and Comedy in a Minor Key (translated into English for the first time ever by Damion Searls). This rediscovery ...

PW's Indie Sleepers . . . Including "Zone"

I feel like this is a week of individual themed days . . . Yesterday was all Japanese literature and Michael Emmerich, today is all Zone . . . Publishers Weekly‘s Indie Press Sleepers list for the fall came out yesterday, featuring twenty titles from independent presses that may be slightly less hyped than ...

Latest Review: "The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P." by Rieko Matsuura

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Monica Carter on Rieko Matsuura’s The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P., which was translated from the Japanese by Michael Emmerich and published by Kodansha International. We’ve already mentioned this book on Three Percent several times, including in this ...

Latest Review: "The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris" by Leïla Marouane

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Erin O’Rourke on Leïla Marouane’s The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris, which was translated from the French by Alison Anderson and published by Europa Editions earlier this year. Erin O’Rourke has been interning with us all summer, reading a ...

Latest Review: "The Homecoming Party" by Carmine Abate

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Grant Barber on Carmine Abate’s The Homecoming Party, translated from the Italian by Antony Shugaar and published by Europa Editions. In his own words, Grant Barber is “an Episcopal priest living on the south shore of Boston and a keen bibliophile. Maybe by ...

Latest Review: "The Rest Is Jungle and Other Stories" by Mario Benedetti

I’m sort of on vacation this week (and will literally be out of town on Thursday and Friday), so instead of writing a lot of new posts, I’m instead going to run a bunch of reviews that I’ve been storing up. First in the queue is David Krinick’s piece on Mario Benedetti’s The Rest Is Jungle and ...

Latest Review: "Prose" by Thomas Bernhard

The most recent addition to our Reviews Section is a review by Stephen Sparks of Thomas Bernhard’s Prose, translated from the German by Martin Chalmers and published by Seagull Books. Stephen Sparks is currently on his second go-round as a bookseller at Green Apple Books in San Francisco, after having spent a year as ...

Latest Review: "The Autobiography of Fidel Castro" by Noberto Fuentes

I know, I know, it’s been a while, but the latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Erik Sean Estep on Noberto Fuentes’s The Autobiography of Fidel Castro, translated from the Spanish by Anna Kushner and published late last year by W. W. Norton. (FYI, the paperback edition will be available in ...

New York Review Books Has an Amazing Forthcoming List

I’ve been a huge fan of NYRB for years. I think I even have copies of the first twelve/thirteen books in those very unfortunately designed covers. Every season I drool when their catalog arrives. I’ve been planning a post for weeks entitled “Albert Cossery is Effing Awesome,” which is due in part to ...

Translation Preview: September 2010

Following up on last week’s post about the various summer/fall 2010 previews that came out from The Millions and elsewhere, I thought that over the next few days, we’d highlight some forthcoming titles that sound pretty interesting to me. Sure I’m missing things and whatnot, so feel free to overload the ...

Translation Preview: August 2010

Following up on last week’s post about the various summer/fall 2010 previews that came out from The Millions and elsewhere, I thought that over the next few days, we’d highlight some forthcoming titles that sound pretty interesting to me. Sure I’m missing things and whatnot, so feel free to overload the ...

Translation Preview: July 2010

Following up on last week’s post about the various summer/fall 2010 previews that came out from The Millions and elsewhere, I thought that over the next few days, we’d highlight some forthcoming titles that sound pretty interesting to me. Sure I’m missing things and whatnot, so feel free to overload the ...

The Critical Flame on Mabanckou's "Broken Glass"

The new issue of The Critical Flame is now available online, complete with a piece by editor/founder Dan Pritchard on Internet Book Reviews (through the lens of an internet review of the Open Letters Monthly anthology of internet book reviews), and an interesting piece by Katherine Evans on Alain Mabanckou’s Broken ...

Latest Review: "Self-Portrait Abroad" by Jean-Philippe Toussaint

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Matthew Weiss on Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s Self-Portrait Abroad, which is translated from the French by John Lambert and was published by Dalkey Archive Press earlier this year. On a random note, assuming I finish writing my review of Patrik Ourednik’s ...

Latest Review: "The Passport" by Herta Müller

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Monica Carter on Herta Müller’s The Passport, which was translated from the German by Martin Chalmers and rapidly reprinted by Serpent’s Tail last fall when she won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Monica Carter is one of our top reviewers and a great ...

Where People Talk about Books

The other week, the first Future of Reading conference took place at the Rochester Institute of Technology. It was a fantastic few days, very interesting, with a range of great speakers. Rather than summarize each panel or person, I want to try and explore a few of the topics that came up. A lot of these posts will be simply ...

Latest Review: "The Collaborators" by Pierre Siniac

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is Tim Nassau’s piece on Pierre Siniac’s The Collaborators, which is translated from the French by Jordan Stump and came out earlier this year from Dalkey Archive Press. This is kicking off a few weeks of Dalkey reviews . . . We already have a piece on Toussaint’s ...

Tim Parks on Literature in Translation

Really interesting article called “America First?” in the new issues of the New York Review of Books. In this piece, Tim Parks looks at four recent books: Best European Fiction 2010 edited by Aleksandar Hemon, Why Translation Matters by Edith Grossman, The Novel: An Alternative History, Beginnings to 1600 by ...

Latest Review: "Heartbreak Tango" by Manuel Puig

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Larissa Kyzer on Manuel Puig’s Heartbreak Tango, translated from the Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine and reissued by Dalkey Archive Press earlier this year with a new introduction by Francisco Goldman. Puig’s an all-time favorite of mine, and in my opinion, ...

Latest Review: "Selected Prose of Heinrich von Kleist"

The latest addition to our Review Section is a piece by Monica Carter on the Selected Prose of Heinrich von Kleist, which was translated from the German by Peter Wortsman and published by Archipelago Books. Monica Carter is a very steady reviewer for us, who also serves on the fiction panel for the Best Translated Book ...

"Amateur Thursdays"

Earlier this week, Ed Nawotka wrote a great piece at Publishing Perspectives on “Amateur Thursdays” a new webcast project that’s the brainchild of Fabrice Rozie (book critic) and Giovanna Calvino (Italo’s daughter): Entitled “Amateur Thursdays” the concept is to present five-minute, edited ...

Latest Review: "Purge" by Sofi Oksanen

The latest addition to our Review Section is a piece by Larissa Kyzer on Sofi Oksanen’s Purge, which was translated from the Finnish by Lola Rogers and published earlier this year by Grove/Black Cat. Since this was one of the books I recommended on “Here on Earth,” I’ll save my comments for another ...

The Year in Translations (So Far): "The Literary Conference" by Cesar Aira

Last week I was on the Wisconsin Public Radio show Here On Earth to make some international literature summer reading recommendations. We weren’t able to cover the full list of books I came up with, so I thought I’d post about them one-by-one over the next couple weeks with additional info, why these titles sound ...

Contemporary Bulgarian Writers

It would be hard to overstate all the amazing things the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation for Creative Writing (and Elizabeth herself) has done for contemporary Bulgarian writers. Sure, there’s the Sozopol Fiction Seminars, but they also organized a special day of panels on Literary Diplomacy to take place in Sofia, helped ...

Latest Review: "The Misadventures of the New Satan" by A. H. Tammsaare

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Dan Vitale on A. H. Tammsaare’s The Misadventures of the New Satan, which was translated by Olga Shartze, revised by Christopher Moseley and published by Norvik/Dufour. Although the title would be well suited to a mediocre sit-com, this novel sounds pretty ...

Let's Talk about Amazon for a Minute

I’ve been meaning to write about The AmazonCrossing announcement all week, but it’s taken a few days of Torino detox to partially regain my ability to put words into some sort of meaningful order. (Emphasis on “partially” . . . my mind is still unfurling, but hopefully by the time I’m drowning in ...