Archives

November, 2009

CLMP Spelling Bee

My agent sent me an invitation to a fundraiser. I was in town, so I had no excuse not to go. Besides that, I'm in generally in favor of fundraisers. I would happily go to a fundraiser in support of better living conditions for milk cows in the Midwest, but I would be equally...

October, 2009

From the Magazine

Before we launch the November issue, we'd like to highlight Abdourahman Waberi's wonderful piece of reportage on Rwanda, fifteen years after the genocide, "Rawanda: The Flame of Hope." Waberi was born in Djibouti and also writes fiction and poetry. He was a juror for the Lettre...

Three Kilos of Coffee

Manu Dibango is a jazz saxophonist with an international reputation. His song “Soul Makossa” is sometimes credited with being the first disco tune. Dibango was born in Cameroon in 1933. At the age of fifteen he left the country for a boarding school in France. His father...

Today in International Lit

Spain's Prince of Asturias Awards Cultural exchange continues in Europe among prestigious prize-givers, with Albanian writer Ismail Kadaré cinching the Prince of Asurias Award for literature. The awards are in eight categories, and according to Euro News they are the Spanish...

Brown Turtle Press

Recently I blogged about Bending the Bow, a surprising and engaging new anthology of African love poetry edited by Malawian poet and professor Frank Chipasula. Since then I’ve learned that Chipasula is also the founder of Brown Turtle Press, whose motto is “Slow But...

From the Magazine

This week, we're highlighting contemporary Austrian critic and essayist Karl-Markus Gauss's meditation on perception and control, "Wie das Chaos nach Salzburg kam," ("When Chaos Came to Salzburg," translated from the German by John K. Cox). The piece is from the 2004 collection...

Today in International Lit

Upcoming Events: Inca Garcilaso de la Vega's Legacy America's Society Friday, October 23 7:00 pm Free admission As a follow-up to the Fall 2009 symposium marking the 400th anniversary of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega's Royal Commentaries (part one), a group of celebrated...

The fun of de Nerval’s The Salt Smugglers

"This is not a novel," wrote Diderot repeatedly, in his Quixotic, polyphonic Jacques the Fatalist and his Master. You could say he was ripping off Sterne, who ripped off Rabelais in the grand tradition of Swift; you could even go as far back as Homer, as Gérard de Nerval suggests...

Podcasts of Kapuściński panel at NBCC

The National Book Critics Circle's blog, Critical Mass, is featuring a three-part series of podcasts and videos to cover the complete symposium held last week at NYU: After Kapuściński: The Art of Reportage in the 21st Century. Co-sponsoring the event were the NBCC, Words Without...

film icon Poeboes Podcast: Aamer Hussein

This month, Andre Naffis brings us the third installment in his Poeboes series of podcasts for the WWB blog. In his latest dispatch. Andre speaks to writer Aamir Hussein. Aamer Hussein (1955– ), was born in Karachi, Pakistan and moved to London at the age of 15. He writes short...

Chain of Voices

Although André Brink is one of South Africa’s leading Afrikaans-language writers, and although his work has appeared in English, at least one article has questioned whether we can categorize those works as African literature in translation. By his own admission Brink...

From the Magazine

This week, we are highlighting an excerpt from Towers of Stone, by Wojciech Jagielski, translated from the Polish by Soren Gauger. The book is forthcoming this month from Seven Stories Press, and is a closely-told narrative that seeks to explain the wars in Chechnya through two men....

Today in International Lit

The Nobel Prize With the announcement of Herta Müller as Nobel Prize winner for literature comes the continued sense that the Nobel committee is challenging the English-speaking world to be more aware of what is happening in Europe. Friday's Guardian piece responded...

Dispatches: African Memoirs

Dear reader: I need your help. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of African memoirs: books like Echoes of an Autobiography by Naguib Mahfouz, An African in Greenland by Tété-Michel Kpomassie, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar by Emily Ruete, and Return to Childhood...

From the Magazine

This week, we are highlighting an excerpt from journalist-cum-fiction writer Peter Fröberg Idling's Pol Pots leende (Pol Pot's Smile), translated from the Swedish by Silvester Mazzarella First published in Sweden by Atlas in 2006, Peter Fröberg Idling's debut was highly...

The Author’s Voice and the Translator’s

Recently, I traveled to Paris to assist my publisher there with the promotion of one of my novels that had been translated into French. Any excuse to visit Paris is a good excuse. It's easy to forget the hardship of the publicist. The publicist has to promote books that other...

Today in International Lit

Kafka in New York Last week, the New York M.T.A. unveiled a new quote for their Train of Thought series, with the first line from Kafka's "The Metamorphosis." The New Yorker suggests that perhaps the transit authority is moving "from the inspirational to the inspired." It is a...

Weekend Reading and Listening

Agur Schiff and Edward Gauvin, reading at a recent Words Without Borders event in Hudson, N My favorite piece of the week is a conversation between Michael Silverblatt, Álvaro Uribe and Cristina Rivera-Garza on KCRW's Bookworm program [link to podcast]. Uribe is the...

September, 2009

“The German Mujahid” by Boualem Sansal

Image of “The German Mujahid” by Boualem Sansal
It's common knowledge that, at the end of WWII, many German war criminals fled from justice via "ratlines" to South American countries. Less notorious, though, are the Nazis who, like the title character of Algerian novelist Boualem Sansal's excoriating new novel, The German...

Today in International Lit

Susan Sontag Prize for Translation Open to Submissions The prize, in its third annual iteration, includes a $5,000 grant for the proposed translation of a work of fiction or letters by anyone under the age of 30. The 2010 prize accepts proposals for work from Swedish, Norwegian,...

Dispatches: An African in Greenland

With its bookshelves organized by country, New York’s Idlewild Books is a great resource for anyone who wants to delve into a particular corner of the world. For instance, fiction from the Cape Verde islands is very tough to find, and when I was there the other day I was...

The Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as 2008 laureate J. M. G. Le Clézio,...

Today in International Lit

More than the Facts In gearing up for the coming two-day symposium on literary reportage, After Kapuściński: The Art of Reportage in the 21st Century, fellow sponsor The National Book Critics Circle has posted a thorough summary of the events and participants at Critical...

The Launch of Belletrista: Celebrating Women Writers from Around the World

A new bi-monthly magazine celebrating women writers has landed. Belletrista, carved of moonlight, aims to share the varying voices of females internationally and I couldn't be happier about it. In solidarity through our gender and our craft, this magazine is exposing readers to a galaxy...

Bolaño Mi Bolaño

Garth has started a Bolaño "syllabus" over at the Millions. It's meant to be a primer for those new to his writing, but I also think it's a good departure for discussion of how Bolaño's yet-complete oeuvre works together. Gather all ye Bolaño fans and group-think this...

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