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TMR 15.4: “Marxist Hells Angel” [VERNON SUBUTEX]

Translator Katie Whittemore (Four by Four, The Communist's Daughter, World's Best Mother, Last Words on Earth) joins Chad and Brian to talk about the horrible actions of Patrice, and whether he could be redeemed, about childbirth, about Aïcha and Hyena, and about Disney. Funny and cutting, this episode explores the book's ...

TMR 15.3: “Vodka Satana” [VERNON SUBUTEX]

Caitlin Luce Baker of Island Books joins Chad and Brian to talk about a very nicely framed section of Vernon Subutex. We get introduced to Aïcha, who has, through Pamela Kant, just found out that her mom was a porn star before her death. (And had a fling with Alex Bleach.) We also get to see how the Hyena works (kind of), ...

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 ...

Two Month Review: #4.09: The Physics of Sorrow (Part VIII: “An Elementary Physics of Sorrow”)

This week, Chad and Brian are joined by Stiliana Milkova from Oberlin College to talk about the final sections of The Physics of Sorrow: “An Elementary Physics of Sorrow,” “Endings,” and “Epilogue.” They talk about the structure of the novel as a whole, about Chad’s favorite page in the book, about aging and ...

Two Month Review: #4.08: The Physics of Sorrow (Part VII: “Global Autumn”)

This week, Rachel Cordasco from Speculative Fiction in Translation and the Wisconsin Historical Society Press joined Chad and Brian for a fun conversation about part VII of Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow. They talked about how this book invokes a variety of memories, hotel rooms, Eastern European self-deprecating ...