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International Literary News

By David Varno

Pierre Michon's latest book, Les onze (The Eleven), due this month from Editions Verdier, is a historical novel set at the end of the Reign of Terror. In a listing for a reading that will coincide with the book's release at Librairie Le square in Grenoble, France, Initiales wrote this of Michon's writing: "La langue sans pareille d'un des plus grands écrivains français d'aujourd'hui" (The language without equal of one of the great French writers of today).

Hopefully we'll see this soon in English. Last year, Archipelago brought out his wonderful first novel, Small Lives.

In June 2006, we published two of Michon's stories, translated from the French by Robert Bononno: íThe Sorrow of Columbkill,ë which converts a warrior to a monk, and íThe Madness of Suibhne,ë which transforms a madman to a beast of prey.


Here are some responses to Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez's cancellation of his scheduled debate with Mario Vargas Llosa this past Saturday. The Guardian is less right-wing than the others, but still pokes fun, including Chávez's explanation to Llosa, that he'll agree to talk when Llosa becomes president of Peru: "Buddy, I'm in the major leagues and you're in double-A."

The Latin American Herald Tribune explained that Chávez altered the original agreement to speak with Llosa one on one, and so in the end Llosa declined the invitation to the telethon.


Lots of stuff in the new edition The Quarterly Conversation, up yesterday, including an interview with Greek author Amanda Michalopoulou, whose story "Light" we published in May of last year, translated by Karen Emmerich.


From Words Without Borders contributor Nicolle Elizabeth:

Candlelit Vigils in the US on June 3 for Detained Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee

After having lived in Hawaii, I had offered to write web-copy for the watch-dog group in conjunction with P.A.S.S the Pacific Alliance To Stop Slavery. On the night of March 18, I received a call from Founder, Organizer and Journalist Kathryn Xian at midnight east coast time from Hawaii bringing the tragic news and asking for any help from journalists to get the word out that two American (Current TV) journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee who were on assignment filming at the Chinese N. Korean border had been detained by the North Korean government. We were then told that because of National Security, there was a "shush" order to not yet report until more word had come in from the State Department. Three months later, on June 4, the women will stand trial charged as spies in N. Korea. Yesterday, their families were allowed to go public on various television units. There will be candle-lit vigils across the States on June 3 in support. If you can make it out, please support these American women who are detained amidst a very difficult situation. The vigils will be held in the following places. There are travesties like this in veritably every country the world over, and giving a voice to at least one helps on some small level.

In Solidarity,

Nicolle Elizabeth

Vigil Locations:

Washington, D.C.

Freedom Plaza

14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

New York, N.Y.

Washington Square Park (The Fountain)

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Chicago, Ill.

Chinatown Square Plaza

Cermack and Wentworth Streets

7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Birmingham, Ala.

Linn Park (tentatively)

223 Carrington Lane

7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Portland, Ore.

South Park Blocks

SW Park Avenue from Salmon Street to Jackson Street

6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

San Francisco, Calif.

Front Steps of San Francisco City Hall

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Santa Monica, Calif.


1413 5th Street

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Published Jun 2, 2009   Copyright 2009 David Varno

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