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A Man: Klaus Klump review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Gonçalo M. Tavares' A Man: Klaus Klump -- the first in his 'Kingdom'-tetralogy, but the last to make it into English. Joseph Walser's Machine still seems to me the highpoint...Show More Summary

All Hail Augustus

Daniel Mendelsohn’s introduction to the NYRB Classics’ reissue of Augustus is now available online as part of the Aug 14 issue of the New York Review. If you’re a fan of Williams, this book will seem different in some interesting ways. Show More Summary

South Asian translations (not) in the US

At the Asymptote blog Mahmud Rahman continues his survey of the odd situation, On the Dearth of South Asian Translations in the U.S. (Part II), this time getting reactions from translators about placing South Asian (Indian-language,Show More Summary

Moving Words

Moving Words -- what a great idea: Reflecting New Zealand's multi-ethnic and multilingual society, our competition aims to celebrate literature, languages and cultures [...] and to inspire and reward excellence in literary translation The...Show More Summary

The Sarashina Diary review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A Woman's Life in Eleventh-Century Japan, Sugawara no Takasue no Musume's The Sarashina Diary, out in a new translation/edition from Columbia University Press. It's been...Show More Summary

Ferguson, Missouri, USA

Let America be America again.Let it be the dream it used to be.Let it be the pioneer on the plainSeeking a home where he himself is free. (America never was America to me.) Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—Let it be that great strong land of loveWhere never kings connive nor tyrants schemeThat any man be crushed by one above. Show More Summary

52 Weeks of Historical How-To’s, Week 41: Drawing with a Camera Lucida

Back before the days of photography, society relied on the ‘artist’s impression’ to see people they would never meet or places they would never go. Artists used drawing aids such […]

German Book Prize longlist

They've announced the twenty-title-strong longlist for this year's German Book Prize, the Man Booker-like (right down to the outrageous practice of not revealing the names of the 176 titles submitted and considered for the prize...)Show More Summary

Writers review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Antoine Volodine's Writers, just out in English from Dalkey Archive Press.


I don’t expect The New York Times to have mastered the minutia of every single topic on earth, but it would be nice if the paper of record managed to correct the most glaring errors in this profile. Here’s a hint of where to start: That is not to say that Mr. Show More Summary

A Million Windows

A nice review at Music & Literature of the latest book from Gerald Murnane, A Million Windows. For those of you who have been enjoying Murnane’s late style, as seen in Barley Patch and A History of Reading, this is very much of a piece with that project. Show More Summary

Simon Leys

Writer Pierre Ryckmans, aka Simon Leys, died earlier this week. So, perhaps the kind memorial messages that are appearing will induce you to pick up some of his work. He was an extraordinary (and often combative) literary critic, as well as someone who wrote eloquently on translation. Show More Summary

NEA Literary Translation Fellowships

The American National Endowment for the Arts has announced their fiscal year 2015 Literary Translation Fellowships -- US$300,000 shared by 20 translators. The recipients -- and descriptions of their projects -- can be found here -- alas,...Show More Summary

Three-Card Monte review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the second of Marco Malvaldi's 'Bar Lume Mysteries', Three-Card Monte, now out in English. Alas, another title where translation copyright is not in the name of the translator (Howard Curtis) but rather the publisher (Europa editions). Not okay. Not at all.

Robin Williams, What a Concept

“His bearing is intensely Zen and almost mournful, and when he’s not putting on voices he speaks in a low, tremulous baritone—as if on the verge of tears—that would work very well if he were delivering a funeral eulogy. He… Continue reading ?

Character appearances

Book-cover designer Peter Mendelsund's What We See When We Read (see the Vintage publicity page, or get your copy at or has been getting a lot of pre-publication attention, including Q & As at The Los Angeles...Show More Summary

Moon in a Dead Eye review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of another Pascal Garnier novel (with more to follow -- he's my author-discovery of 2014, so far), Moon in a Dead Eye. If you've enjoyed the Herman Koch books (like SummerShow More Summary

Liberal Arts, Literature, and the Dope New Pope

Recently when I was walking across the campus where I teach with a student who is an atheist, she said, “The new pope is pretty dope.” (That’s a good thing, by the way.) Her name is Sofia Knutson; she responds… Continue reading ?

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