Natalie Bakopoulos, author of the debut novel The Green Shore talks about domesticity in the face of fear, the importance of what you don’t see, the fighting spirit of art, and a marriage proposal in a taxi.
An invented language, off-stage heroes, searing political comedy. Katarina Matsson sits down with award-winning Swedish playwright and novelist Jonas Hassen Khemiri to discuss translation, the power-struggle of words, rats, germs, leaving home to write about it, and why hearing voices doesn’t necessarily mean you’re crazy.
A shoebox full of the mementos of a Parisian woman Sparked Elena Mauli Shapiro’s debut novel, 13, rue Thérèse. The objects fall into the hands of a fictional researcher, and through the sifting of photographs, letters and souvenirs a life emerges. Steven Wingate and Shapiro discuss research, happy accidents, and the power of what we save.
Despite the boycott, Preeta Samarasan travels to Sri Lanka for the Galle Literary Festival and finds friends, eager young writers, and a love for a country that reminds her powerfully of her native Malaysia. She reflects on the power of free speech in a country recovering from many years of civil war.
Where do film noir, post-communist Bulgarian fiction, and black comedy intersect? In Vladislav Todorov’s searing noir-meets-social-commentary novel, Zift. Contributing Editor Steven Wingate and Todorov discuss poisonings, the resurgence of narrative fiction in post-communist Eastern Europe, the idea that “many people enjoyed spying on their neighbors” for the state, and much more.
Jaunary 12, 2011 marked the 1-year anniversary of the 7.0 earthquake that rocked Haiti. The news this past week has been filled with scenes of the temporary camps set up to house the one million Haitians left homeless by the quake – largely unchanged a year later. Just yesterday, police arrested Jean-Claude Duvalier – the controversial Haitian politician who fled Haiti in 1986 – from a Port-Au-Prince hotel. Duvalier has lived in self-imposed exile for nearly a quarter century, after a popular uprising overthrew his regime. Haitian Literature Is a Living Art: Jeffrey Brown of the PBS NewsHour and Thomas […]
Over at MelvilleHouse Publishing there’s an interesting blog post, In Support of Translation, along with responses, about the Best Translated Book Award being funded by Amazon. Editor Dennis Loy Johnson writes: As the winner of the most recent Best Translated Book (BTB) prize for fiction — for our book, The Confessions of Noa Weber, by Gail Hareven — we here at Melville House were particularly proud to win an award that had been voted upon by a judging panel made up of representatives from some of the country’s best independent booksellers, not to mention some great indie bloggers and critics. […]
“Writers can almost be defined as professional outsiders. It’s part of the job. You often have to step outside of a situation to observe it—to choose the right details—to reshape a mess of events into a narrative.”
What is it about the European cultures, tucked like bats into their tiny cubbies, that seems so much more specific than our own? How do Belgium or Luxembourg achieve “culture” in little more space we might use to construct a Wal-Mart megastore? What is it about confinement that breeds a more tribal than national identity? What are we doing when we sit down to read a collection of fiction culled from a continent?