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George Braziller (1916-2017)

George Braziller -- publisher, under the eponymous imprint -- has passed away; see, for example Robert D. McFadden's obituary in The New York Times. Quite a few titles published by George Braziller are under review at the complete review, and his (swirling) logo was certainly always one to look out for.

The Name of the Game is a Kidnapping review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Higashino Keigo's The Name of the Game is a Kidnapping, recently out from Vertical. As I've often noted, Higashino is the mystery star in the Far East -- incredibly popular...Show More Summary

Derek Walcott in The New Yorker

Derek Walcott, whose poetry about the landscapes, cultures, and history of the Caribbean earned him the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature, died this morning, at the age of eighty-seven, in his home on St. Lucia. Walcott was a singular figure:...Show More Summary

The Loneliness of the Solitary Job

New York City is full of jobs that place people in public isolation: M.T.A. employees sit inside Plexiglas cases next to underground turnstiles, street venders grill meat while confined in fifty-square-foot trucks, liquor-store attendants push bottles through slots in walls of shatterproof glass. Show More Summary

The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge

When I heard, a few months ago, that Paul La Farge's new novel would be about H.P. Lovecraft, I groaned. For one thing, I don't care about Lovecraft (no, more than that: I actively dislike Lovecraft's writing, life, everything); for another, there's a boom in people writing about Lovecraft these days. Show More Summary

NBCC Awards

The announced the (US) National Book Critics Circle Awards yesterday, with LaRose, by Louise Erdrich, taking the fiction prize. None of the winning titles are under review at the complete review -- but see, for example, the Harper publicity page for the much-praised LaRose, or get your copy at or

Albertine Prize

They launched the Albertine Prize yesterday, longlisting ten translated-from-the-French titles, with internet-users able to vote for the winner. It'll be interesting to see how that goes..... Good to see another prize encouraging translation-into-English...Show More Summary

Copyright ABCs – John Melish’s ‘Travels’

This week Ethan reports on an item discovered by the Lighting the Past team from within the ‘E’ and ‘F’ sections of the Copyright Deposit Collection. You can see the […]

On Derrick Austin

Last night here at the college, we hosted Derrick Austin, who gave a marvelous reading and conducted one of the best Q&A sessions I’ve ever seen. He encouraged our students… Continue reading ?

Designing Women on Writing (and Teaching)

Growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, I sort of thought that I would be a preacher, a plastic surgeon, or a Supreme Court Justice. All of these were concessions, though, after… Continue reading ?

Memoirs of Addiction and Ambition by Cat Marnell and Julia Phillips

In Julia Phillips’s recently reissued memoir, “You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again,” from 1991, the late movie producer offers the following reflection: “In L.A., there are only three things to do: work, drugs, and have a nervous breakdown. Show More Summary

Man Booker International Prize longlist

They've announced the longlist for this year's Man Booker International Prize. The thirteen novels left in the running (out of 126 books they considered -- though god forbid they'd let us know what those were...) are: Black Moses, Alain Mabanckou, tr. Show More Summary

New Swedish Book Review

The 2017:1 Issue of the Swedish Book Review is now (partially) available online, including Ian Giles' interview with translator, and former SBR editor, Sarah Death, A Career in Swedish Literary Translation (warning ! dreaded pdf format...Show More Summary

Slow Boat review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A Slow Boat to China RMX by Furukawa Hideo, Slow Boat, just about out, apparently, from Pushkin Press in their new Japanese novella series. This is the third Furukawa to...Show More Summary

My Long, Unfinished Path to Becoming an American Citizen

Like most young artists, I was full of pompous idealism when I moved to New York City, in the summer of 1995. I had just graduated from Bennington College, and I was in the process of falling in love with American culture and people, especially the artistic community I discovered in Brooklyn. Show More Summary

The Show – Episode 2 of 3

I had a notebook beside my bed where I sometimes wrote (I was beginning to think I should be a poet). I would scoop bed bugs onto this, and crush… Continue reading ?

Ottaway Award

Words without Borders has announced that Archipelago Books-founder and publisher Jill Schoolman will receive this year's Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature (on 1 November). Certainly a deserving and good choice...Show More Summary

Wellcome Book Prize shortlist

They've announced the shortlist for this year's Wellcome Book Prize -- celebrating: "exceptional works of fiction and non-fiction that engage with the topics of health and medicine and the many ways they touch our lives". Two works of...Show More Summary

Publishing in ... Morocco

A nice profile by Alice Kaplan in The Nation, of Algeria's New Imprint, explaining 'How Éditions Barzakh publishes books for Algerians who think and dream for themselves'. (The name is: "inspired by the title of a French translationShow More Summary

Galatea review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of James M. Cain's 1953 novel Galatea. Yeah, I'm filling in the gaps in my Cain-coverage -- this is the ninth Cain under review at the complete review -- but I kind of get how I snagged this first edition for a mere US$1.00.....

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