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July 2010

Sports

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.

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Book Reviews

Agop J. Hacikyan and Jean-Yves Soucy’s “A Summer Without Dawn”

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.

Alejandro Zambra’s “The Private Lives of Trees”

Reviewed by Jessica Loudis

In 2007’s The Private Lives of Trees, Zambra returns to the intersection of art, life and the botanical

Patrick Ourednik’s “Case Closed”

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?

Mauricio Segura’s “Black Alley”

Reviewed by Swetha Regunathan

Good things rarely happen in alleys. They are the sites of illicit exchange—of violence and unsavory trafficking.

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