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Agnes

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

All Days Are Night

As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of destruction. Gillian’s and Hubert’s struggles to ...

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

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

The Cold Song

Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the forest and cloaked in mist, belongs to the past; it has been the summer home of the Brodal ...

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 ...

The Four Corners of Palermo

The Sicilian Mafia has always been a rich subject for sensational crime fiction. The Godfather, Goodfellas, and The Sopranos worked the mob’s bloody corpses and family feuds to both entertainment and artistic value. Giuseppe di Piazza’s debut novel attempts this, though with less success. The Four Corners of Palermo is ...

Jeff Waxman's Rep Nights, Kramerbooks, and the Necessity of Face-to-Face Meetings

I’ve been incredibly discouraged over the past few weeks about the place of Open Letter in book culture. Part of this discouragement comes from traveling for twenty of the past twenty-four days (to Sharjah, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, L.A., and DC), but also, Open Letter didn’t get a single book on this Flavorwire ...