Image: Lee Walton, 2004 ALCS Yankees vs. Red Sox Game 1 of 7 (detail), Ink on Paper
This month we’re putting down our books and heading outdoors with an issue devoted to sports. As the World Cup wraps up in South Africa, we catch soccer fever with Algeria's Prix Ragid laureate Anouar Benmalek and Russia's young Andrei Sen-Senkov. Dutch crime writer René Appel takes us on a road race with an unexpected course, while Germany's Burkhard Spinnen tracks an Olympic mystery. On the Italian team, Fabio Stassi, winner of the CONI Prize for Sports Fiction, captures a king of chess, while the veteran Carmine Abate dives into an unorthodox swimming lesson. Noted English-to-Japanese translator Motoyuki Shibata takes his American author out to the ball game. And Spain's Sergi Pàmies delivers the play-by-play on a game gone wrong.
Elsewhere this month, Spain's antic Quim Monzó leans toward Pisa, Germany's Thomas Brasch makes a wish, and Poland's Adam Wiedemann surveys the landscape.
Drawings on a Soccer Ball
the last name of the player on the german team translates into russian as pig crawling up a blond graceful creature
from “The Revenge of Capablanca”
The match was held in an arena, semicircular in shape, behind the town hall.
Walking the Keihin Factory Belt with Stuart Dybek
As usual, the boy missed the fly ball that anyone else would have caught with his eyes closed, and it rolled into a thicket of reeds by the river.
from “The All-Rounder”
At about three Farwick leaves the office building at one end of the market place. Just outside the door he stops. Is it warm or isn’t it?
Actually the thought of any kind of sport filled him with violent distaste
from “The Homecoming Party”
After lunch, my grandmother always insisted we go take a nap.
It’s the son’s idea: he’ll hide in an armoire and, when his father walks by, he’ll jump out and scare him.
Reviewed by Debra L. Schultz
This sweeping work of historical fiction begins in moral anguish. The novel’s protagonist, Vartan Balian, cannot decide whether to flee with his family on the eve of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.
Reviewed by Jessica Loudis
In 2007’s The Private Lives of Trees, Zambra returns to the intersection of art, life and the botanical
Reviewed by Anderson Tepper
What do you think is the biggest-selling Czech book of all time? Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being? The Good Soldier Svejk, by Jaroslav Hasek? Something by Havel, Hrabal, Klima, or Skvorecky?
Reviewed by Swetha Regunathan
Good things rarely happen in alleys. They are the sites of illicit exchange—of violence and unsavory trafficking.