All Articles by Date

April, 2014

My Favorite Bookstore: Tommy Zurhellen on Paperback Exchange

Paperback Exchange, Via delle Oche 4R, Florence, Italy Walking though Florence can feel like drowning. Just navigating the constant undertow of tourists that ebb and flow every day between the towering Duomo and Piazza della Repubblica can be exhausting. But next time, do this: halfway down Via Roma, just as the painted horses of the Repubblica’s carousel come into view, turn left onto a wire-thin alley named Via delle Oche (literally, Street of the Geese) and you will suddenly find yourself…...

International Books & Roses Day: April 26

what: Literary crawl through Brooklyn’s DUMBO community in celebration of La Diada de Sant Jordi, also known as “International Books & Roses Day” and UNESCO’s “World Book Day.” The event, which will highlight literature in translation, will take place in partnership with four local bookshops. There will be short bilingual readings at each bookshop, in Polish, Czech, Armenian, Portuguese, Spanish and Catalan. when: Saturday, April 26 where: Stop 1: 1:00-1:30pm Melville…...

The Week in Translation

what: "Spring into Poetry" when: April 16-29 where: various locations in NYC more info: http://ow.ly/vdLpu what: Guatemalan Writers: Journeys Toward Daylight: New Narratives when: Tuesday, April 22, 7pm where: Americas Society, 680 Park Avenue, New York, NY more info: http://ow.ly/vLYX7 what: A Conversation with Juan Gabriel Vásquez and Jess Row when: Thursday, April 24, 7pm where: Americas Society, 680 Park Avenue, New York, NY more info: http://ow.ly/vLZih…...

The Un-X-able Y-ness of Z-ing (Q): A List with Notes

the unbearable lightness of being the unbearable lite-ness of being the unbearable blightness of being the unbearable nice™ness of being the unbearable “like”ness of being Milan Kundera opposed using "the unbearable lightness of being" to title the English translation of his Nesnesitelná lehkost bytí, even though it is relatively close to the Czech original. “I realize that for you Americans the title will be a bit hard-going," Kundera states in Michael Heim's…...

Where the Sidewalk Bends: Interview with Luciana Hidalgo

It should come as no surprise that walking and yoga—one of which propels her outside, letting her feet and thoughts wander her current city, the other which forces her to slow down, turn inward, and put her “constant circulation of ideas” on hold—are of equal importance to Luciana Hidalgo’s creative process. The Brazilian writer, journalist, and essayist frequently explores opposing forces in her work.  A two-time winner of Brazil’s most prestigious writing…...

Texts Written without the Author’s Knowledge

The screech of streetcars falls silent. Juice trickles from a windfall pomegranate branching— as though a monster had grown through the rails or lung tissue rotted and the bronchi and vessels of a woolly and leathery body were bared. Vladimir goes to Crimea. He is seduced by Alimeh. Alexey marries Venus. Saturn isn't eating. Deported adolescents become integrated into society. Pulpy prejudice follows, then yummy nebulae, translucent excesses, affinities bitten off. How is this shirt different…...

Notes on Writing and Translating in Korea Today

With Korea being this year’s Market Focus at the London Book Fair, there was a multitude of events exploring the publishing potential around this country, revealing a whole universe of literature to be read, and of course, translated. The “Writing and Translating in Korea Today” seminar at the Literary Translation Centre gave a succinct overview of the Korean literary landscape. The panelists were all translators as well as authors. Krys Lee, author of Drifting House, was born in…...

Literary Translation Centre: The Makers of World Literature at the London Book Fair

With a full program of seminars over three days, each packed with dozens of extremely enthusiastic translators, to say that the buzz was palpable at Literary Translation Centre would be an understatement. From what I hear, this has been the biggest space allocated to the LTC yet, which has been growing steadily over the past five years. Sponsored by AmazonCrossing, funded by Arts Council England and the Foyle Foundation, and with partners such as the BCLT, English PEN, British Council, Free Word,…...

Xu Zechen’s “Running through Beijing”

To the average Westerner, reared on crisp autumn breezes and revitalizing spring air, Beijing’s tianqi, its weather, is a surreal departure. Everything is coated in a fine coating of toxic particulate matter, and visibility is sometimes limited to the tip of one’s nose. The plumes of yellow dust that greet Dunhuang—the narrator of Xu Zechen’s novel Running through Beijing—as he is released from prison are only one example of the angry meteorological revolt against the…...

The Week in Translation

what: An Evening with Amanda Michalopoulou and Karen Emmerich when: Friday, April 18, 6pm-7pm where: The Book Club of California, 312 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94108 more info: http://ow.ly/vvLx6 what: "Spring into Poetry" when: April 16-29 where: various locations in NYC more info: http://ow.ly/vdLpu what: Guatemalan Writers: Journeys Toward Daylight: New Narratives when: Tuesday, April 22, 7pm where: Americas Society, 680 Park Avenue, New York, NY more info: http://ow.ly/vLYX7…...

The Women in Translation: Right Here

The Literary Translation Centre at the London Book Fair was packed Tuesday for Where Are the Women in Translation? Readers will recognize the title from Alison Anderson's May 2013 piece about the gender disparity in translated literature. Alison found a huge majority of books published in translation were male writers in translation, which in turn meant that men dominated prizes; this was confirmed by the announcement of the shortlist for the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize,…...

Poetry at the Periphery: the Slam Poetry Scene in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil

On Sunday, March 23, I attended a sarau, somewhere between a salon and a poetry slam, hosted by Sarau da Onça and Grupo Ágape in Sussuarana. Sussuarana is a “peripheral neighborhood” (the literal translation of the Brazilian euphemism for ghetto) of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil’s colonial capital, which has enduring ties to its African heritage. The event was held in a small amphitheater located on an unassuming residential street in the neighborhood’s Afro Pastoral…...

The City and the Writer: In Reykjavik with Mazen Maarouf

Special Series / Iceland 2014 If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains. —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Reykjavik as you feel/see it? Reykjavik is a small city of big spaces. It is a place of visibility. A magnified visibility. Iceland achieved her independence through cultural means not violence. This is the third strand…...

The Week in Translation

what: Book Party Virginia Zaharieva (Nine Rabbits, trans. Angela Rodel) and Albena Stambolova (Everything Happens as It Does, trans. Olga Nikolova) celebrate the launch of their US Book tour.  when: Tuesday, April 8, 7pm where: 192 Books,192 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY 10011 more info: http://ow.ly/vvH0y what: The London Book Fair when: April 8-10 where: Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London, UK, SW5 9TA more info:http://ow.ly/vvDGo what: An Evening with…...

Where the Sidewalk Bends: Interview with Pacha Urbano

Brazilian writer, illustrator, and screenwriter Pacha Urbano describes his brain as “an ideas factory that never stops.” His genre-defying projects include the aphoristic book Livro Ao Acaso (Book of Serendipity), the comic strip Filho do Freud (Freud’s Son), a compilation of that series called As TRAUMÁTICAS Aventuras do Filho do Freud (The TRAUMATIC Adventures of Freud’s Son), and, most recently, a book of short stories, Vidas Despercebidas (Unnoticed Lives). Based…...

New in Spanish: Germán Sierra’s “Standards”

When Pálido Fuego, the publisher that has worked to bring such voices as Mark Leyner and Lars Iyers to audiences in Spain, decided to publish its first book from within that country’s borders, Germán Sierra’s fourth novel Standards was a fitting choice. Sierra is a representative of the “Nocilla Generation,” which introduced stylistic traits associated with late twentieth and early twenty-first-century English and American fiction into Spain’s literary…...

From the Translators: On “Regeneration”

In “Regeneration,” it’s said that Juan, the chief protagonist, “feared the loneliness of his apartment more than he did the tedium of the bar.” Like most writers, we translators revel in the loneliness of our apartments: we choose to work alone, in a darkened room, with no one to talk to or interact with. We like to develop our ideas in the comfort of our solitude, where our hopeless first attempts go unseen and our naïve blunders go unshared. We like to present…...

Say Ah, Pelican

Boat People Yawn. Yawning always makes me sleepy. There are still two boats out on the water, but I lie down anyway. There’d be trouble if the boss saw me. It would be so great if the polar ice caps melted right now. No one would care about a ticket-taker asleep at an amusement park if there were a flood, would they? Slowly melting, melting . . . so tired. I lie down and close my eyes like a dying rat. I’m a rat. Dying. Four o’clock in the afternoon. I can tell, even with my eyes…...

from “I’ll Be Right There”

Dahn sent me the first letter a year after he joined the military and was selected for the special forces. It was more than five pages long. He didn’t mention anywhere in it that he was in a special forces unit. I unfolded the letter and put it on my desk. From GI Dahn to Civilian Yoon . . . I stared at those words for a long time. It pained me to realize that I had never written him back. I filled a fountain pen with ink, took out a new notebook, and wrote his name at the top of…...

Injeolmi Rice Cakes

Once Maternal Grandmother set off, a basin of injeolmi rice-cakes on her head, to sell in this neighborhood and that, I would pull out scraps of glass, bottle tops, a broken pocketknife, medicine bottles, a handle-less fruit knife, burst beanbags, all hidden on the sunny side of the old wattle fence behind the privy, and play with them. Bored of even that after half a day, I would chase the innocent chickens from the house behind, then end up being scolded by my youngest aunt for scuffling my shoes…...

The Vegetarian

Before my wife turned vegetarian, I’d always thought of her as completely unremarkable in every way. To be frank, the first time I met her I wasn’t even attracted to her. Middling height; bobbed hair neither long nor short; jaundiced, sickly-looking skin; somewhat prominent cheekbones; her timid, sallow aspect told me all I needed to know. As she came up to the table where I was waiting, I couldn’t help but notice her shoes—the plainest black shoes imaginable. And that walk…...

Lament

He was fifty-four years old with a sound mind and a body that was rotting away. He died. He wasn’t young enough to have required a specific cause of death, or young enough to cause great sadness. Only a vague sadness existed about death itself. He died at fifty-four years of age, and he had no one who would be sad about his death. There was no one who would remember him. Because he had already died he couldn’t even claim ownership over such people. Death meant losing all things, people,…...

The Suit

My friend F’s call came in the middle of December, when the snow would not stop coming down and Manhattan was all but paralyzed. He said he had to get to New York right away but couldn’t find a hotel room since it was Christmas, and he asked if he could stay with us for a few days. My wife and I were living in a one-bedroom apartment so all we had to offer was a loveseat in the living room, but we told him he could come if he was OK with that. I wouldn’t say that F and I were close.…...

Ascending Scales

The first thing I learned in piano class was how to press Do. Since it’s the first note, you use your first finger. When I pressed the key, Do let out a weak doooooh. I pressed it again so I wouldn’t forget the same Do. Caught off guard, Do stammered out another doooooh and watched the trajectory of its name as it floated by. I sat in that spot where a single note had disappeared so neatly, my pinky finger sticking up. The afternoon sunlight trickled faintly through the cracks in the…...

Gamak Valley

During wartime the men die, the women survive. Cockerels have their necks twisted and die, hens sit on eggs. Gamak Valley in Yeonsan, north of Nonsan in South Chungcheong is where sharp hills approach the ridges of Mount Gyeryong. Fifty men died there, once, while two men twisted their hair into topknots and revered Kim Il-Bu’s esoteric “Jeongyeok.” The small room, the door of which is never opened was pitch dark even at midday. Yeonsan’s Gamak Valley. Some forty women survived:…...

Page 1 of 132 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›