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TMR 15.2: “Yummy Mummy or MILF” [VERNON SUBUTEX]

Emma Ramadan—translator of Despentes's Pretty Things and Anne Garreta (among many others), and recent winner of the PEN Translation Prize—joins Brian and Chad to talk about how cool Despentes is, and how much slang she uses in her work. They also discuss the conflict that will drive the plot (Laurent Dopalet vs. ...

TMR 15.1: “Alexandre Bleach Is Dead” [VERNON SUBUTEX]

The fifteenth iteration of the Two Month Review kicks off in a big way, giving a quick overview of Virginie Despentes's life and work for Brian, and then launching into the wonderful world Despentes constructs filled with characters who are past their prime, who are flawed and don't hide their warts. The subtle ways in which ...

Season 15 of the Two Month Review: “Vernon Subutex” by Virginie Despentes

Following on the sprawling, propulsive, voice-driven masterpiece J R, we're turning to another amazing assemblage of unforgettable characters in Virginie Despentes's Vernon Subutex trilogy. Here's the description of Volume 1: From the provocative writer and filmmaker Virginie Despentes comes volume one of her acclaimed ...

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

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

Controversy & Value

I absolutely love the Virginie Despentes books that I've read, and Vernon Subutex 1—the first part of a trilogy that she concluded in 2017—is no exception. Like her other novels, the prose is direct, unadorned, and based very heavily in character. Very unlikeable characters. Offensive characters. Characters who are most ...

Pretty Things [Why This Book Should Win]

Check in daily for new Why This Book Should Win posts covering all thirty-five titles longlisted for the 2019 Best Translated Book Awards.  Giselle Robledo is a reader trying to infiltrate the book reviewer world. You can find her on Twitter at @Objetpetit_a_. Pretty Things by Virginie Despentes, translated from ...

Early Gems in the Hunt for the Best Translated Fiction of 2016! [BTBA 2017]

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