4 September 08 | Chad W. Post

The September/October/November issue of Bookforum went online yesterday, and is absolutely loaded with reviews of great books.

Of course, in a somewhat self-serving way, I’m especially excited about this issue since it has a very positive review of the first Open Letter title: Nobody’s Home by Dubravka Ugresic.

Being at home in the world, as exile and citizen, likewise defined Russian émigré Nina Berberova: “I always sympathize with one who flees his nest, even if he flees into an anthill, where it may be crowded but one can find solitude . . . that precious and intense state of being conscious of the world and of oneself.” Ugresic might agree, as she allows The Ministry of Pain to end with a reprieve for Tanja. But what happens when borders and the identities they engender cease to have meaning or, in the case of Ugresic’s Yugoslavia, cease to exist? Ugresic cites the case of Ivo Andrić. Once considered a “Yugoslav writer,” Andrić was reclassified by a Croatian lexicon in the interest of tidying up the category of domestic literature: He was defined “by blood (as a Croatian writer), by residence (as a Serbian writer), and by themes (as a Bosnian writer).” The notion that a literary text must bear the burden of identification tags is, for Ugresic, an affront; it entails tacit approval of the idea that “the field of literature is nothing more than a realm of geopolitics.”

In addition to this review though, there’s a long list of pieces I want to read:

Rick Moody on The Sacred Book of the Werewolf by Victor Pelevin;

Rivka Galchen on The Only Son by Stéphane Audeguy;

John Freeman on To Siberia by Per Petterson;

Britt Peterson on “Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya;”:

Sarah Fay on A Manuscript of Ashes by Antonio Muñoz Molina;

Tayt Harlin on Voice Over by Céline Curiol;

and, Craig Seligman on What Can I Do When Everything’s on Fire? by António Lobo Antunes.

And that’s just on the fiction side . . .

Comments are disabled for this article.
I Remember Nightfall
I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio
Reviewed by Talia Franks

I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio (trans. From the Spanish by Jeannine Marie Pitas) is a bilingual poetry volume in four parts, consisting of the poems “The History of Violets,” “Magnolia,” “The War of the Orchards,” and “The Native. . .

Read More >

Joyce y las gallinas
Joyce y las gallinas by Anna Ballbona
Reviewed by Brendan Riley

This review was originally published as a report on the book at New Spanish Books, and has been reprinted here with permission of the reviewer. The book was originally published in the Catalan by Anagrama as Joyce i les. . .

Read More >

Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders
Reviewed by Kaija Straumanis

Hello and greetings in the 2017 holiday season!

For those of you still looking for something to gift a friend or family member this winter season, or if you’re on the lookout for something to gift in the. . .

Read More >

The Size of the World
The Size of the World by Branko Anđić
Reviewed by Jaimie Lau

Three generations of men—a storyteller, his father and his son—encompass this book’s world. . . . it is a world of historical confusion, illusion, and hope of three generations of Belgraders.

The first and last sentences of the first. . .

Read More >

Island of Point Nemo
Island of Point Nemo by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès
Reviewed by Katherine Rucker

The Island of Point Nemo is a novel tour by plane, train, automobile, blimp, horse, and submarine through a world that I can only hope is what Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès’s psyche looks like, giant squids and all.

What. . .

Read More >

The Truce
The Truce by Mario Benedetti
Reviewed by Adrianne Aron

Mario Benedetti (1920-2009), Uruguay’s most beloved writer, was a man who loved to bend the rules. He gave his haikus as many syllables as fit his mood, and wrote a play divided into sections instead of acts. In his country,. . .

Read More >

I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World
I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World by Kim Kyung Ju
Reviewed by Jacob Rogers

Kim Kyung Ju’s I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World, translated from the Korean by Jake Levine, is a wonderful absurdist poetry collection. It’s a mix of verse and prose poems, or even poems in the. . .

Read More >

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. . .

Read More >

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. . .

Read More >

The next few events from our Translation Events Calendar: See More Events >