27 November 12 | Chad W. Post | Comments

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 Germany, Denmark, Bulgaria, Italy, Iceland, and Greece will be translated. The website features 50-70 book reviews per year; the Best Translated Book Awards; and posts on international awards, new works, opportunities for translators, the future and business of publishing, and book culture in general.

To make that a bit more specific, this grant will primarily support the publication and promotion of these five titles:

Two or Three Years Later by Ror Wolf, translated from the German by Jennifer Marquart;

This Is the Garden by Guilio Mozzi, translated from the Italian by Elizabeth Harris;

The Last Days of My Mother by Sölvi Björn Sigurðsson, translated from the Icelandic by Helga Soffía Einarsdóttir;

When We Leave Each Other by Henrik Nordbrandt, translated from the Danish by Patrick Phillips; and,

Why I Killed My Best Friend by Amanda Michalopoulou, translated from the Greek by Karen Emmerich.

We’ll be posting more information about all these titles as they become available (the Nordbrant poems will be coming out first, in April as part of National Poetry Month), and posting excerpts, etc.

So far, this has been a great week for Open Letter . . . And I recommend checking out the full list of literary organizations receiving NEA funding—it’s an absolutely stellar list of some of the best nonprofit lit orgs in the country.

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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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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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Reviewed by Jeanne Bonner

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

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Fragile Travelers
Fragile Travelers by Jovanka Živanović
Reviewed by Damian Kelleher

In Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Flaubert attempted to highlight the ordinary, tired, and often crass nature of common expressions by italicising them within the text. When Charles, Emma Bovary’s mediocre husband, expresses himself in a manner akin to that of. . .

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Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei
Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei by Eliot Weinberger
Reviewed by Russell Guilbault

Eliot Weinberger takes big strides across literary history in his genuinely breathtaking short work, 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, tracking translations of a short ancient Chinese poem from the publication of Ezra Pound’s Cathay in 1915 to Gary. . .

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