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Today in International Lit

By David Varno

NPR Acknowledges Foreign Fiction with Year-End List

With the season of best-of lists upon us, it's refreshing to see NPR publish its first list of Best Foreign Fiction. Writer Jessa Crispin, founding editor of Bookslut, takes a cosmopolitan approach to the five novels, with the claim that "sampling world culture is an essential and powerfully enriching experience." Well, sampling is better than not reading books in translation at all, and this list of five novels is a good place to start.

NPR also features substantial excerpts from each of the five: Jorge Volpi's Season of Ash, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya's There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby, The Armies, by Evelio Rosero, The Confessions of Noa Weber, by Gail Hareven, and The Twin, by Gerbrand Bakker.


Reading Tonight: Madmen, Exiles, and Savage Detectives

Laura Healy, translator of Roberto Bolaño's poetry collections The Romantic Dogs and Tres, will participate in the reading and discussion "Madmen, Exiles, and Savage Detectives: Latin American Poetry from Arenas to Bolaño," along with writer and translator Jaime Manrique.

Healy and Manrique will read poems by five Latin American poets and discuss the art of translation. Healy will read from her translations of work by Mario Santiago Papasquiaro and Roberto Bolaño, cofounders of the poetic movement Infrarealism, which was immortalized in Bolaño's Savage Detectives. Like the fictional characters Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, Bolaño and Papasquiaro tried to infuse their poetry with life as much as they infused their lives with poetry. The evening will serve as an introduction to the work of Latin American poets who spent their lives at the margins, whether by choice or as a matter of circumstance.

12/8: Philoctetes Center, 247 E. 82nd St., NYC, 7pm; events at Philoctetes are free and open to the public.


Web Exclusive at Center for the Art of Literary Translation

Following the Center for the Art of Literary Translation’s most recent print anthology, Wherever I Lie Is Your Bed, which gathers an all-star lineup of writers championed by some of today’s leading translators, among them Fady Joudah, Susan Bernofsky, Breon Mitchell, and Karen Emmerich, comes a web exclusive featuring work from twelve authors, including Kirmen Uribe, Amelia Rosselli, Anna T. Szabó, and Ghassan Zaqtan.

Also see the Center's blog

Two Words for a two-week run of commentary on works from the web exclusive companion to the anthology, from Scott Esposito.


Poetry in Translation" podcast="" s="">The free poetry archive Poetry in Translation just posted its first full-length podcast, featuring the poems of Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi from Sudan. The recording includes seven different poems
read first in the English translation by Sarah Maguire and then in Arabic by Saddiq.

Published Dec 9, 2009   Copyright 2009 David Varno

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