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Kojo Laing (1946-2017)

Ghanaian author Kojo Laing passed away over two weeks ago; word spread quickly on social media but I held back from reporting on it in the expectation of newspaper or other online media reports to link to. Amazingly, his death apparently...Show More Summary

Why We Chose It

“A Philosophy of Stones” by Gretchen E. Henderson appears in the May/June 2017 issue of the Kenyon Review A good game for the bookish is to think of a single… Continue reading ?

Links & Reviews

Apologies for the radio silence; it's been a busy month. As I mentioned previously, I traveled to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair two weekends ago and to the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair last weekend; both were excellent events...Show More Summary

This Week in Fiction: Etgar Keret on the Necessity of Humor in the Face of Tragedy.

You mentioned to me that you wrote the story in this week’s issue, “Fly Already,” as a way of dealing with a car accident that you were in. Can you tell us about that?

Penance review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Minato Kanae's creepy thriller, Penance, just out in English.

Translations from the ... Malayalam

At live mint Elizabeth Kuruvilla reports on how they're Powering Malayalam through translation -- specifically Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University's mandate to; "promote the study and research of the Malayalam language, literature...Show More Summary

Notes of a Crocodile review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Qiu Miaojin's Notes of a Crocodile, just out from New York Review Books. (It's also reviewed in today's issue of The New York Times Book Review !) This Taiwanese author,...Show More Summary


As I recently mentioned, Granta has just published its latest decennial Best of Young American Novelists issue/list. There's also a Latin American variation, the Bogotá39 -- "a selection of the most promising 39 writers under 40", as...Show More Summary


At €50,000 the Joseph-Breitbach-Preis is a pretty big German author prize, and it has a decent list of previous winners: last year, Kafka-biographer Reiner Stach won, and Jenny Erpenbeck won in 2013, for example. They've now announced...Show More Summary

The Faculty of Arts Feast, 6th May

In the liturgical calendar, the 6th of May is the Feast of St John the Evangelist before the Latin Gate. This feast commemorated the tradition that the Apostle John was […]

A Splinter of Success: Writers and Jealousy

I was at a bar with some fellow writers when I shared my latest acceptance, one that I considered a turning point in my writing career. Most of those in… Continue reading ?

Best Translated Book Awards

They've announced this year's (American) Best Translated Book Awards (though not yet at the official site, last I checked...), with Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson's translation of Lúcio Cardoso's Chronicle of the Murdered House...Show More Summary

The Seventh Function of Language review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Laurent Binet's The Seventh Function of Language, re-imagining Roland Barthes' 1980 death as a murder-mystery, with lots of international (and academic) intrigue. It's just out in the UK, from Harvill Secker, with the US edition due out from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in August.

The Russian Window by Dragan Velikic: Review

When I was in Belgrade a while back, I bought four novels in a wonderful bookshop on the main street, Knez Mihailova. They were all literary novels by Serbian writers, translated into English. One thing they[...]

Sami Rohr Prize

The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature is a US$100,000 prize -- that's a lot, by US prize standards -- awarded for a work of fiction or non, alternating year by year. This year it was the fiction turn, and they've announced (though not yet at the official site, last I checked... Show More Summary

New Vessel Press profile

In Crain's Peter Green reports on How a small publishing company 'spun gold out of nothing', profiling translation-focused publisher New Vessel Press. See also the New Vessel titles under review at the complete review.

Margaret Atwood and The Speculative in Poetry

Online and in person, it feels like everyone’s talking about The Handmaid’s Tale, the ten-episode television series based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel of the same name, first published in 1985.… Continue reading ?

6 Questions for Laura Raicovich on At the Lightning Field

A couple of weeks ago I recommended the book-length essay At the Lightning Field by Laura Raicovich, recently published by Coffee House Press. It is a beautiful example of a long essay that responds to a work of art in a uniquely linguistic manner, the sort of thing that I myself enjoy writing, and which Continue Reading

Karel Schoeman (1939-2017)

South African author Karel Schoeman has died, an apparent suicide; see, for example, Renowned author Karel Schoeman described how he took his own life in The Times (South Africa). Archipelago published his novel, This Life, not too long ago; see their publicity page, or get your copy at or

Melville House profile

At The verge Kaitlyn Tiffany profiles publisher Melville House (and their Twitter feed), in How the Scrappiest Social Media Team in Publishing is Holding the Industry's Feet to the Fire.

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