17 October 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

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

One other note: The next season of the Two Month Review will kick off on Thursday, October 26th with an episode introducing Mercè Rodoreda and the two books of hers that will be featured this season: Selected Stories and Death in Spring. Both are avaialble for 20% off by using the code 2MONTH at checkout. The full schedule of episodes is available here.

This week’s music is Two Thousand and Seventeen (the same number of minutes in game five of the the Cubs-Nationals series) by Four Tet.

As always, feel free to send any and all comments or questions to: threepercentpodcast@gmail.com. Also, if there are articles you’d like us to read and analyze (or just make fun of), send those along as well.

And if you like the podcast, tell a friend and rate us or leave a review on iTunes!

If you don’t already subscribe to the Three Percent Podcast you can find us on iTunes, Stitcher, and other places. Or you can always subscribe by adding our feed directly into your favorite podcast app: http://threepercent.libsyn.com/rss



17 October 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

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 fine!, that’s exactly what this post is for.

Open Letter is a nonprofit literary organization dedicated to producing and promoting international literature in translation. It’s always been our belief that a publisher needs to do more than simply print books. A publisher needs to create a community around books and literature, while helping foster an appreciation and understanding of the literary arts. And in the case of Open Letter and our dedication to international literature, we take this one step further and work toward increasing the appreciation of translators as well—an essential part of this community.

To accomplish our mission, we use a three-pronged approach: we disseminate great works of literature that would otherwise be unavailable to English readers due to language barriers and/or the marketplace; we connect members of the international literary community, including writers, readers, translators, and booksellers; and, we educate readers to the art and craft of translation, while helping expand their literary horizons.

The only way to do all of this is with your help. Open Letter does receive some funding from the University of Rochester, but to balance our budget and accomplish all of the activities listed below, we have to raise a significant amount of money (almost two-thirds of our total budget) from sales, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and some international literary centers, and with the support of individuals like you.

Your contribution helps us do the following:

* Bring ten works of international fiction into English every year. In 2018, we will publish books by Dubravka Ugresic, Rodrigo Fresán, Madame Nielsen, Xiao Hong, Bragi Ólafsson, Mercè Rodoreda, Asta Olivia Nordenhof, Oliverio Girondo, and more.

* Summer internships for students from around the world. We host between four and six students every summer—some undergrads, some who are much more advanced—who are interested in learning the ins-and-outs of literary publishing and translations. They are given the opportunity to write reader’s reports, do sample translations, craft jacket copy, promote books to booksellers and reviewers, get involved with Three Percent, and other publishing activities to ultimately help get their start in the publishing world and become future ambassadors for world literature.

* Maintain the Three Percent website, which includes the Three Percent and Two Month Review podcasts, the Translation Database, the Best Translated Book Awards, dozens of book reviews from up-and-coming reviewers, articles about the international literary world, and a variety of other features.

* The Reading the World Conversation Series allows for authors and translators to discuss their work in front of audiences who rarely have the opportunity to meet with internationally beloved authors. This series also enables us to bring a number of our authors to various cities across the U.S., introducing their works and viewpoints to as wide an audience as possible.

There are subsets within subsets for each one of these major categories. And over the next three weeks, I’ll write some additional posts about what we’re trying to accomplish with all the various parts of Open Letter, what we’d like to do (and continue to do) in the future, how we could expand, and more.

But for now, I want to ask once more for you to consider joining our campaign. Gifts of every size are welcome and appreciated, and fully tax-deductible.

Since our first book was published on September 26, 2008 (Nobody’s Home by the incredible Dubravka Ugresic), we’re treating 2018 as our 10-year anniversary. We have a lot of exciting things in store for next year, but we really need your help in order to be able to implement these plans as effectively as possible.

Thanks again for your time and support!

12 October 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Here it is—the infamous LIVE recording of the Two Month Review! Chad and Lytton travelled all the way to Brooklyn to record this episode as part of the “Taste of Iceland Festivities.” As a result, they recap the book as a whole and reflect on the speech from Iceland’s First Lady that prefaced the recording (and which you don’t get to hear) before diving into the particulars of the final section of Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller. They also take questions from the audience about WWII and Kafka, and spend some time pondering the final line of the book: “i call the northern lights night rainbows.” And Chad works in multiple references to Twin Peaks: The Return.

As previously noted, the next season of the Two Month Review will feature two books by Mercè Rodoreda: Selected Stories and Death in Spring. Click here to get the full schedule, and use the 2MONTH code at our website to get 20% off. (That discount code also works for “Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller”: and “The Invented Part.”: And if you’d rather support your local bookstore, do it! They should have all of these titles. If not, shame them. Preferably in a very public way. Kidding, totally kidding. Obviously every store carries all of our books.)

Feel free to comment on this episode—or on the book in general—either on this post, or at the official GoodReads Group.

And please rate us on iTunes and tell your friends to listen. We really appreciate your support of the podcast and want to reach as many listeners as possible.

Follow Open Letter, Chad Post, Lytton Smith, and for more thoughts and information about upcoming guests.

And you can find all the Two Month Review posts by clicking here. Please rate us on iTunes and/or leave a review!

The music for this season of Two Month Review is Long Year by The Anchoress.



5 October 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Icelandic novelist and poet Kári Tulinius joins Chad and Lytton this week to talk about three of the darkest sections of Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller and the history of this novel’s reception in Iceland. They also talk about the recent scandal that brought down the Icelandic government—and how it ties into Tómas Jónsson—about why the book was out of print in Iceland for a couple of decades after its initial release, the way this book is scarily prescient, and much more.

Feel free to comment on this episode—or on the book in general—either on this post, or at the official GoodReads Group.

Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller is available at better bookstores everywhere, and you can also order it directly from Open Letter, where you can get 20% off by entering 2MONTH in the discount field at checkout.

Follow Open Letter, Chad Post, Lytton Smith, and for more thoughts and information about upcoming guests.

You can read an excerpt from Kári’s latest novel (translated by Larissa Kyzer) at Words and Worlds and can find his archived Grapevine articles here.

And you can find all the Two Month Review posts by clicking here. Please rate us on iTunes and/or leave a review!

The music for this season of Two Month Review is Long Year by The Anchoress.



4 October 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

The voting is in and . . . Well, The Physics of Sorrow and Maidenhair ended up with the most votes. That said, we’re not going to do those books next. Instead, since we haven’t featured any books by women yet—and since Catalan is undergoing some serious shit right now—we’re going to start by doing two books by Mercè Rodoreda: Selected Stories and then Death in Spring. And then we’ll do Physics of Sorrow. In fact, for the Physics season, we’ll do a live recording in New York with Georgi Gospodinov himself! So, stay tuned.



Here’s the schedule for the third season of the Two Month Review, the “Rodoreda and Catalan Independence” season:

October 26: Introduction to Mercè Rodoreda

November 2: Selected Stories: “Blood,” “Threaded Needle,” “Summer,” “Guinea Fowls,” “The Mirror,” and “Happiness” (pages 1-50)

November 9: Selected Stories: “Afternoon at the Cinema,” “Ice Cream,” “Carnival,” “Engaged,” “In a Whisper,” “Departure,” “Friday, June 8” (51-102)

November 16: Selected Stories: “The Beginning,” “Nocturnal,” “The Red Blouse,” “The Fate of Lisa Sperling,” “The Bath,” and “On the Train” (103-143)

November 23: Selected Stories: “Before I Die,” “Ada Liz,” “On a Dark Night,” “Night and Fog,” and “Orléans, Three Kilometers” (144-207)

November 30: Selected Stories: “The Thousand Franc Bill,” “Paralysis,” “It Seemed Like Silk,” “The Salamander,” “Love,” and “White Geranium” (208-255)

December 7: Death in Spring Part One (1-27)

December 14: Death in Spring Part Two (28-68)

December 21: Death in Spring Part Three (69-118)

December 28: Death in Spring Part Four (119-150)

And then we’ll kick off 2018 with Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow and will follow up with Mikhail Shiskin’s Maidenhair, Dubravka Ugresic’s Fox, and Rodrigo Fresán’s The Bottom of the Sky.

Get the books now and join the Goodreads group to join in the discussion! And, of course, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts.

4 October 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

After a bit of a hiatus, Chad and Tom are back to talk about Riffraff’s new location, break down Catalonian politics and the recent editorial gathering the Ramon Llull Institute put on in Barcelona, and somewhat pick apart this article about Deborah Smith’s translation of The Vegetarian.

This week’s music is Day I Die by The National.

As always, feel free to send any and all comments or questions to: threepercentpodcast@gmail.com. Also, if there are articles you’d like us to read and analyze (or just make fun of), send those along as well.

And if you like the podcast, tell a friend and rate us or leave a review on iTunes!

If you don’t already subscribe to the Three Percent Podcast you can find us on iTunes, Stitcher, and other places. Or you can always subscribe by adding our feed directly into your favorite podcast app: http://threepercent.libsyn.com/rss



3 October 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

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



          Tuesday, October 3rd, 7pm
In Conversation: Wojciech Nowicki & Jan Pytalski w/ Susan Harris

Volumes Bookcafe
1474 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

*

          Thursday, October 5th, 7:30pm
Reading and Conversation: Wojciech Nowicki & Jan Pytalski

Kosciuszko Foundation
2025 O St. NW
Washington, DC 20036

*

          Tuesday, October 10th, 7:30pm
Memory and Fiction: Wojciech Nowicki’s Salki

University of Rochester
Sloan Auditorium
Goergen Hall
Rochester, NY 14627

*

          Wednesday, October 11th, 7pm
Reading and Conversation: Wojciech Nowicki and Nicole Rudick of The Paris Review

Aēsop
138 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

*

And here’s a bit more info about the book itself:

Lying in bed in Gotland after a writer’s conference, thinking about his compulsive desire to travel—and the uncomfortable tensions this desire creates—the narrator of Salki starts recounting tragic stories of his family’s past, detailing their lives, struggles, and fears in twentieth-century Eastern Europe. In these pieces, he investigates various “salkis”—attic rooms where memories and memorabilia are stored—real and metaphorical, investigating old documents to better understand the violence of recent times.

Winner of the prestigious Gdynia Literary Award for Essay, Salki is in the tradition of the works of W. G. Sebald and Ryszard Kapuściński, utilizing techniques of Polish reportage in creating a landscape of memory that is moving and historically powerful.

28 September 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

CORRECTION: Throughout this podcast, we joke about having recorded the final episode of the season live at Spoonbill & Sugartown last weekend. This is a lie! The live event will take place THIS SATURDAY (September 30, 2017) as part of the Taste of Iceland events. Eliza Reid, Iceland’s First Lady, will start things off at 2pm, and Lytton and I will follow her. So please ignore all our childish banter and please come out on Saturday for this live recording!

This week, Tom Flynn of Volumes Bookcafe returns to the Two Month Review to talk about three of the more difficult bits of Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller: one section that’s a dream, one about mediums and resurrection, and one that’s a poem for going to bed and for death. Thanks to Tom’s perceptive insights and Lytton’s genius, they’re able to puzzle out all three sections and provide some solid guidance for everyone reading along.

Feel free to comment on this episode—or on the book in general—either on this post, or at the official GoodReads Group.

Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller is available at better bookstores everywhere, and you can also order it directly from Open Letter, where you can get 20% off by entering 2MONTH in the discount field at checkout.

Follow Open Letter, Chad Post, Lytton Smith, and for more thoughts and information about upcoming guests. And be sure to follow Volumes Bookstore and Tom Flynn and visit the store when you’re in Chicago.

And you can find all the Two Month Review posts by clicking here. Please rate us on iTunes and/or leave a review!

The music for this season of Two Month Review is Long Year by The Anchoress.



25 September 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

21 September 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

This week Patrick Smith (Best Translated Book Award judge, The Scofield) joins Chad and Lytton to talk about this incredibly powerful section of the book, which raises all sorts of topical ideas about adhering to national myths and the problems of masculinity. This is also the section where Hitler shows up, and where a character literally eats himself out of house and home. And this podcast is a crucial one in helping frame the way this novel simultaneously holds up and undermines a variety of dangerous, unpleasant ideas. After listening to this, we hope you will have an even broader and more nuanced understanding—and appreciation—of this great novel.

Reminder! On September 30th, we will be recording the final episode of this season of the Two Month Review at Spoonville & Sugartown in Brooklyn as part of Taste of Iceland. The First Lady of Iceland, Eliza Reid, will kick things off at 2pm with a lecture and reading, then at 3pm, Lytton and Chad will discuss the final section of Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller (and take audience questions), followed by a recpetion at 4pm. It’s free to attend, so come on out and see us do this live!

Feel free to comment on this episode—or on the book in general—either on this post, or at the official GoodReads Group.

Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller is available at better bookstores everywhere, and you can also order it directly from Open Letter, where you can get 20% off by entering 2MONTH in the discount field at checkout.

Follow Open Letter, Chad Post, Lytton Smith, and for more thoughts and information about upcoming guests. And follow Patrick Smith for a variety of literary insights and other commentary.

And you can find all the Two Month Review posts by clicking here. Please rate us on iTunes and/or leave a review!

The music for this season of Two Month Review is Long Year by The Anchoress.



Kingdom Cons
Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera
Reviewed by Sarah Booker

Yuri Herrera is overwhelming in the way that he sucks readers into his worlds, transporting them to a borderland that is at once mythical in its construction and powerfully recognizable as a reflection of its modern-day counterpart. Kingdom Cons, originally. . .

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The Invented Part
The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Imagine reading a work that suddenly and very accurately calls out you, the reader, for not providing your full attention to the act of reading. Imagine how embarrassing it is when you, the reader, believe that you are engrossed in. . .

Read More >

A Simple Story: The Last Malambo
A Simple Story: The Last Malambo by Leila Guerriero
Reviewed by Emilee Brecht

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

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The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof
The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof by Cesar Aira
Reviewed by Will Eells

Aira continues to surprise and delight in his latest release from New Directions, which collects two novellas: the first, The Little Buddhist Monk, a fairly recent work from 2005, and The Proof, an earlier work from 1989. There are a. . .

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Agnes
Agnes by Peter Stamm
Reviewed by Dorian Stuber

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. . .

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Class
Class by Francesco Pacifico
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

The thing about Class is that I don’t know what the hell to think about it, yet I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ll begin by dispensing with the usual info that one may want to know when considering adding. . .

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The Dispossessed
The Dispossessed by Szilárd Borbély
Reviewed by Jason Newport

To be, or not to be?

Hamlet’s enduring question is one that Szilárd Borbély, acclaimed Hungarian poet, verse-playwright, librettist, essayist, literary critic, short-story writer, and, finally, novelist, answered sadly in the negative, through his suicide in 2014, at the. . .

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A Greater Music
A Greater Music by Bae Suah
Reviewed by Pierce Alquist

A Greater Music is the first in a line of steady and much-anticipated releases by Bae Suah from key indie presses (this one published by Open Letter). Building off of the interest of 2016 Best Translated Book Award longlist nominee. . .

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Two Lost Souls: on "Revulsion" and "Cabo De Gata"
Two Lost Souls: on "Revulsion" and "Cabo De Gata" by Horacio Castellanos Moya; Eugen Ruge
Reviewed by Tim Lebeau

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

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Melancholy
Melancholy by László Földényi
Reviewed by Jason Newport

In Melancholy, Hungarian author, critic, and art theorist László Földényi presents a panorama of more than two thousand years of Western historical and cultural perspectives on the human condition known as melancholia. In nine chapters, Földényi contrasts the hero worship. . .

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