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OC TOBER/NOVEMBER 2019

READ G LO BA L Books In Trans·la·tion

WHAT TO READ NEXT IN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING


OUR STORY

S H E LF

U N B O U N D

M A G A Z I N E All we wanted was a really good magazine. About books. That was full of the really great stuff. So we made it. And we really like it. And we hope you do, too. Because we’re just getting started.

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Lamb to the

Slaughter by Pete Delohery A novel about love and cour age, sin and redemption “Iron” Mike McGann is facing the twilight of his prizefighting career. Desperate for his future, he has refused to honor his promise to his wife to quit the ring and start a family. Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard is the most menacing presence in prizefighting. But behind his menacing ring presence lives a man nobody knows, a complex man who despises his own image. Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard vs. “Iron” Mike McGann, just another fight shown on The Continuous Sports Network, but by the time it is over the lives of these and many others will be forever different.

“This heartfelt tale makes a powerful emotional impact.” —Blue Ink Starred Review Also in Spanish: El Cordero al matadero Available in print and e-book at Amazon, xlibris, and Barnes & Noble.

w w w. p e t e d e l o h e r y. c o m

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Shelf Unbound Staff. PRESIDENT, EDITOR IN CHIEF Sarah Kloth PARTNER, PUBLISHER Debra Pandak CREATIVE DIRECTOR Anna Trokan COPY EDITOR Molly Niklasch CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Megan Lord Sara Grochowski Lynn Russo Christian Brown D.L. Graser

WHAT TO R EAD NEXT ?

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ON THE COVER: India, Andreas H. Bitesnich, published by teNeues Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich. 4

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 @ SHELFMEDIAGROUP


THE EMERGENCE OF HIV A NOVEL

DAVID CORNISH MD

Dr. Arthur Noble is a brilliant first-year medical resident in San Francisco, who has a stellar career ahead of him. However, all of Noble’s skills are put to the test when he encounters a strange new illness.  The ailment seemingly appears out of nowhere, and serves its victims a most horrible and brutal death.   Noble struggles to find answers to the medical mystery, even as many researchers and society refuse to believe it is a serious threat, or that it even exists.1980 is an authentic medical story about a disease that will eventually have an unimaginable impact on the entire world.

1980 is a fascinating read written with the medical professional in mind. It paints a complete picture of the early days of the crisis. …one of the most frightening mysteries of modern medicine. Medical professionals will find it fascinating and the general public, compelling.” - A&U Magazine, America’s AIDS Magazine

Available at

Print ISBN: 978-1-54392-803-7 eBook ISBN: 978-1-54392-804-4

Check out David Cornish’s first novel, 1918, about the influenza pandemic that killed 100 million people.

Print ISBN: 9780692334805 eBook ISBN: 9780692334812

WWW.DAVIDCORNISHBOOKS.COM

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OCTOBER / NOVEMBER CONTENTS FEATURES

I N TH IS

ISSUE

08 On The Cover

India by Andreas H. Bitesnich

12 Translated Literature: A Golden Era By Chad Post, Open Letter Books

18 Freedom Does Not Ring Everywhere By Lynn Russo

SECTIONS

22 Women In Translation Meytal Radzinski

25 Bookstagram

59 10 Works of Translated Literature

34 Recommended Reading 66 Book Shelf

71 Fiction In Translation By Sarah Kloth

90 Indie Bookstore

89 READ Global

103 On Our Shelf

ON PG 71

That Might Surprise You By Sara Grochowski

By Sara Grochowski

I NTRO D U C I N G AU TH O RS F RO M A RO U N D TH E WO R LD. C H E C K O U T TR A N S L ATI O N S O F F O R E I G N L A N G UAG E B O O KS F RO M AC RO S S TH E G LO B E

BOOK REVIEWS

COLUMNS

21 People In The Room

63 Girl Plus Book

30 Empty Words 95 The Wall 96 From The Shadows 99 Bowie: An Illustrated Life 100 Tentacle 112 The Long Ride Home 6

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Sara Grochowski

91 Book Mom

Megan Verway

93 Fit Lit

Christian Brown

109 From Within D.L. Graser

113 Small Press Reviews By Shannon Ishizaki


A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER

Read Global. BY SARAH KLOTH, PUBLISHER

"Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away f rom home, but more important, it f inds homes for us everywhere." —Jean Rhys

When I first started putting together this issue, I was uneducated on the topic. It was a huge surprise to me to learn that less than 3 percent of all the books published in English were originally written in another language. It started to raise a lot of questions in my mind about how broad and deep American book culture really is. How many great stories, rich with culture are out there that we don’t have any way of reading? In fact, the average number of translations published every year since 2008 is only 421 new titles. To put that into perspective, major publishing houses publish over 2,000 titles annually. That means we are missing out on thousands of really great works of fiction every single year that go untranslated.

I really hope you enjoy this issue. I found a lot of great new titles from across the globe – The Wall from South Africa, People in the Room from Argentina, Empty Words from Uruguay, From The Shadows from Spain, The Polyglot Lovers from Sweden, and Tentacle from Cuba – that I hope you enjoy as much as I did. This issue also features great photography, as seen on the cover, from Andreas H. Bitesnich's collection from India which shows Indian culture, food, faith, heritage, cities, and much more. I’d like to challenge our readers to Read Global. Select one of our featured translated books to read this month. After you are finished, tweet @Shelfmagazine with #ReadGlobal and share your experience for a chance to win some swag.

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BEHIND THE COVER

On The Cover: Andreas H. Bitesnich. INDIA BY ANDREAS H. BITESNICH, PUBLISHED BY TENEUES

INDIA

A new edition of Andreas H. Bitesnich’s classic portrait of India, a timeless photographic masterpiece capturing the breathtaking beauty and complexity of the world’s largest democracy.

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India is constantly on the move. It moves sideways, backwards, upwards, and forwards. It is a nation of both past and future, where time seems to pass by its own laws, and extraordinary tradition coexists with hyper modernity and ever-booming construction. For many, India is as much a state of mind as a country. Through this photographic journey of discovery, Andreas H. Bitesnich creates a fascinating book about India, revealing many facets of this intricate, populous country. In color, black-and-white, and sepia, his stunning photographs show Indian culture, food, faith, heritage, landmarks, cities, and wildlife, as well as its daily interactions and centuries-old monuments. The images do not shy away from the complexity and raw hardship of Indian life. With honesty and respect, Bitesnich documents the country’s ongoing struggles as much as its vibrancy and growth. We see India’s temples and mosques, its wild Indian elephants, its extraordinary architecture, and its deep spirituality. And we see its urban sprawl, its squalor, its street poverty, and suffering. The result is a photo book immersed in the Indian present and complexity, while steeped in the texture and gravitas of a bygone travel album. 8

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TAKE A LOOK INSIDE!

Kolkata, 2008, Courtyard, Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich.

Varanasi, 2007, Portrait Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich.

Delhi, 2007, Jama Masjid. Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich.

Agra, 2006, Portrait Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich.

Jaipur 2006, Barber shop in Pushkar, near Jaipur Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vienna-based photographer Andreas H. Bitesnich specializes in travel, portrait, and nude photography. His works have been exhibited in leading galleries worldwide and published in numerous illustrated books. India is his eighth book with teNeues. 9


The story is about Digit, the Robot dog, who helps to stop bullying at the Zipper Elementary School. Digit is a special dog because he teaches children not to bully each other in school. Digit carries a red toolbox kit that teaches children about positive behavior, positive role models, positive rules, being kind to one another, being helpful to each other, and teaches children how to deal with problems about bullying in school. Digit teaches the children how to be friendly, to share, to say please and thank you but most of all he teaches them to have positive behavior. Digit says, “Bullying Hurts! It hurts us all. Stop Bullying now!

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Through the story of mean and obnoxious bees that fly around in Mrs. Busy’s classroom,

like a double-shot versus disrespect and aggression. Being a bully is not the correct in ofbehavior Irisheither whiskey”

young minds will begin to understand the contrast between a kind and loving attitude school or outside of school or anywhere. Mrs. Busy tells the children to do their best in

school and play together nicely as bullying hurts the feelings of others. Mrs. Busy lets the children know they should use only kind words and their indoor voices, they should be good listeners, and they should not punch, kick, shove, hit, spit, and grab one another. Bullying hurts others. The ten bees were wrong to hurt one another. No More bullying! Bullying Books By others is not an acceptable behavior. Bullying hurts!

Colm Herron 11


F E AT U R E D A R T I C L E

Translated Literature: A Golden Era. BY CHAD POST, OPEN LETTER BOOKS

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Back in 2007, when Open Letter Books was being established at the University of Rochester, we talked quite a bit about what the press’s mission would be. As part of the university’s developing translation programs for undergraduate and grad students, the primary goal was pretty straightforward: publish good books in translation from as many parts of the world as possible. But that’s more of a mandate than a mission . . . To back up for one second, I should explain that I had come over from Dalkey Archive Press to establish Open Letter. I had started at Dalkey in 2000 as a sort of “fellow” or “apprentice” who wanted to learn the nonprofit publishing trade. This was supposed to be a year-long program after which the “fellow” would be prepared to get a job somewhere else in the industry. Instead, I stayed and stayed, moving from the director of marketing to associate director for the press. And along the way, I developed certain ideas about what value a publishing house could have in today’s literary culture—value that’s more than simply printing and selling books. Like most presses, Open Letter’s official mission statement is simultaneously wordy and vague, pointed and diffuse, exacting and hard to pin down. Given the benefit of time, I think I can finally state what we want to do in a clear, meaningful way, possibly for the first time ever: Open Letter wants to improve all aspects of the literary translation field for all of

the involved players. Full stop. We want to give authors the opportunity to reach as wide an international audience as possible—especially authors whose works should be read decades from now. (AKA the authors who aren’t being hyped as the Next Big Thing.) We want translators to be paid fairly, appreciated for their work, and given the space to work on their translation skills and theories. We want to learn about language and culture through nuanced editing that leads to a much deeper understanding of the work. We want to provide booksellers and reviewers with necessary information about what books have been translated—and not just by Open Letter—so that they can get excited and help bring more of these titles to the attention of readers eager to experience new places, new literary styles. (The Translation Database that is hosted by Publishers Weekly and the Best Translated Book Award, both of which we established in 2008, are examples of this.) We want readers to disabuse themselves of the “lost in translation” fallacy and instead embrace the richness and diversity of reading interesting, entertaining, intellectually satisfying books—no matter what language they were originally written in. Even at the expense of being pulled in several

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directions at once—evaluating manuscripts, writing articles for the Three Percent website, producing the Two Month Review podcast to help readers approach “difficult” books published by other presses, entering data into the Translation Database and running tricky data analysis for various institutions, teaching classes to help train the next generation of readers and translators—I’m fully committed to our mission. You can’t change the world simply by publishing a translation that wins a prize; it takes a complete cultural sea change to reverse the dismissal and ghettoization of international literature that was dominant when Open Letter was founded. At that time, back in 2007, the most prominent point of discussion when it came to translations was the “3% problem.” The fact that less than 3% of the books published in the United States were originally written in a language other than English was a rallying cry to get funders, presses, and tastemakers to pay more attention to international books. If we could produce more titles every year, then there would be more work for translators, more books that might appeal to reviewers/ booksellers/readers, a greater likelihood that a few would become megahits, and a belief that a few megahits would erode/destroy the general antipathy to “foreign” books. Although Open Letter is one of the smallest organizations involved in this fight (and

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to be honest, all it would take is a Silicon Valley donor to put up $10 million a year to transform the entire field and make it sustainable), I want to believe that we played an outsized role in drawing attention to this and shifting the cultural needle . . . a bit. I can say with certainty—as the manager of the Translation Database, the only public source in the world presenting data about how many books are being translated, from where, by whom—that the number of international texts available to American readers on an annual basis has increased substantially. We’ve gone from 360 new works of fiction and poetry in 2008 to well over 600 over the past few years. And that doesn’t even include the expansion of nonfiction and children’s books. Translated literature might be entering into a new Golden Era. Not only are there more independent presses than ever focused on world voices (Transit, Deep Vellum, Restless, New Vessel, are all new entrants into this field), but the big corporate presses are getting more involved (such as HarperVia’s intent to do twenty-four translations a year). The National Book Award for Translated Literature is in its second year and creating a great deal of buzz for international voices. There are more university programs than ever where you can study translation—creating not just a new group of emerging translators, but


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a new set of savvy readers who want to devour books from all corners of the globe. The American Literary Translators Association conference is larger than ever; Translation Bread Loaf receives more and more applications every year. Booksellers regularly display international literature, instead of simply putting one copy of a translated book back in a dusty corner. Instead, they do staff picks, they stack their favorite Argentina author at the counter to handsell it to everyone, they start reading series to feature international authors and their translators.

So, what’s next? Here are my predictions: a coming together of all these various components in a more closely networked way similar to what happens in the UK; more books by women in translation; more funding for translations leading to more money for translators; the birth of new review outlets covering just as many translations as books written in English; and a world in which a reader stumbles upon a Croatian book and simply reads it—because their friends are, because it sounds interesting— and instead of questioning what they’re “missing” by reading a translation, they’re excited to have access the chance to read this book.

ABOUT OPEN LETTER BOOKS Open Letter—the University of Rochester's nonprofit, literary translation press—is one of only a handful of publishing houses dedicated to increasing access to world literature for English readers. Publishing ten titles in translation each year and running an online literary website called Three Percent, Open Letter searches for works that are extraordinary and influential, works that we hope will become the classics of tomorrow. Making world literature available in English is crucial to opening our cultural borders, and its availability plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy and vibrant book culture. Open Letter strives to cultivate an audience for these works by helping readers discover imaginative, stunning works of fiction and poetry and by creating a constellation of international writing that is engaging, stimulating, and enduring.

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Who is Titus? A chicken farmer at 12 years of age, US Army Paratrooper in Japan at 17, All-Scholastic Football player, Football Coach, Biology Teacher, Professional Photographer, Bank Incorporator, Presidential Confidant, Chiropractor and a critic’s quote,  

“TITUS OUT GUMPS FORREST!!” The story of a young mill town sports hero. Grit, focus and an ability to weave through all obstacles dominated his life game on the field .......... and off !!!!! Ensuing years finds the sports hero hanging up the cleats and one day dining with a US president and going on to professional brilliance and international acclaim. Never far from hometown yet lightyears from his humble beginnings. This engaging tale will inspire others in pursuit of their own distant personal goal posts!!!! Available at 16

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Titus & Senator Marco Rubio, exchanging books, two great examples of the “American Dream”


Reimer’s book is true to its title, offering clear how-to tips on everything from mixing colors and stretching canvases, to experimenting with new methods and finding inspiration. —ForeWord Clarion Review

This is a book about art, but it’s far from abstract in its approach to creating your own masterpiece. —Hollywood Book Festival Critique An educational, eye-catching primer on how to look at art and “see as an artist. —Kirkus Review

W

hile many art how-to books offer explicit step-by-step instructions, Abstract Painting: A Practical Approach uses a less stringent strategy to teach you how to paint, which not only leaves ample room for your own creativity but also frees you to have plenty of fun with the process.

Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist 2012 New York Book Festival Honorable Mention 2012 Hollywood Book Festival Honorable Mention 2012 San Francisco Book Festival Honorable Mention 2012

Priming the canvas with a brief philosophy of art and overview of colors and the ways they relate, author and lifelong artist Hennie Reimer then invites you on a journey of observation and experimentation. As she presents different techniques and styles that are available, she shares examples from her own work to illustrate how a certain idea paired with a particular approach may appear in its final painted form. But this is only one possibility and rather than just copy it, she encourages you to discover your unique version.

Are you ready to sidestep formulas and search the depths of your own creativity?

www.henniereimerwebsite.com

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F E AT U R E D A R T I C L E 03

Freedom Does Not Ring Everywhere. BY LYNN RUSSO WHYLLY

In America, our freedoms are often taken for granted. We can go wherever we want, whenever we want, by ourselves, without a chaperone. We can speak our mind about the government without fear of persecution. We can participate in any religion of our choosing, go to college, vote, and drive. We live in a democracy that allows us to be free. But even in today’s modern age, that is not the case for people in many other countries. Consider, for example, Afghanistan, where girls fight for the right to go to school; Cuba, where people can’t leave voluntarily; Iran, where women can’t get divorced unless they have special circumstances; China, where speech is censored; and North Korea, where you can get arrested for taking a photograph of a government official or property, among others. Argentina is one country that well knows the heartache associated with the loss of freedom and what it’s like to live under a dictatorship, having once been under a dictator’s rule. And, thankfully, its people also know the appreciation that comes from gaining their freedom back. After President Juan Perón—who was popular among the working class—died in 1976, his second wife, Isabel Perón took over as

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president. (Eva, of Evita fame, was Perón’s first wife. She died in 1952.) Isabel was overthrown a year later by a contingency of forces backing Army commander Jorge Rafael Videla. Videla ruled as dictator of Argentina from 1976 to 1981. Meanwhile, Perón’s followers spawned small factions of leftist guerilla groups (called Perónists) who fought for freedom and attempted to overthrow the existing government. But Videla ordered the “policía” to eliminate anyone and everyone who might be even remotely against him and loyal to the opposition. As a result, teachers, students, artists, singers, songwriters, priests, and parents, sons and daughters were stopped, frisked, beaten, kidnapped, tortured, incarcerated and killed without provocation, proof or a trial. Some were left for dead right on the sidewalks. Others just disappeared, never to return again. During Videla’s rein, as many as 30,000 innocent people disappeared or were killed. You can get a real sense of what went on during that dark period in the fiction novel 77. Based on true events, 77 allows the reader to look at life in Buenos Aires through the lens of a single year, 1977, when it was utter chaos, and the very air people breathed reeked of fear and terror. 77 is written by acclaimed Argentine author Guillermo Saccomanno and translated into English by Andrea G. Labinger, who has a Ph.D. in Latin American Literature from Harvard University.

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In 77, you will follow along as Professor Gómez, a high school literature teacher, lives each day looking over his shoulder, wondering if, or when, he’s going to be next. A closet gay at a time when it was illegal to be a homosexual, Gómez walks the streets of Buenos Aires looking for a quick sexual fix, and even hooks up with a homophobic policeman whom he fears will turn on him at any moment. Gómez tells his story primarily as a flashback 30 years later. Each character, in his or her own way, is searching for answers to problems in their troubled lives. Gómez, in addition to hiding his fears and concerns behind short-lived sexual satisfaction, seeks answers to questions such as whether his favorite student Esteban, who is taken from the classroom by the police, is still alive, and whether Diana, a young resistance fighter he hid in his apartment and was responsible for keeping safe, will ever come back. De Franco, who has reconnected with his former lover Arucena, is trying to find the passion he once felt for her. Martin is trying to find Mara, a fellow resistance fighter he has feelings for, while Diana, despite being pregnant with Martin’s child, has actually united with Mara, and unbeknownst to Martin, has turned to her for love and comfort. For those of us who are fortunate to live behind the safety shield that democracy affords, 77 provides a window into the fear and oppression that a dictatorship creates. 

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ABOUT

THE BOOK

77. Buenos Aires, 1977. In the darkest days of the Videla dictatorship, Gómez, a gay high-school literature teacher, tries to keep a low profile as, one-by-one, his friends and students begin to disappear. When Esteban, one of Gómez’s favorite students, is taken away in a classroom raid, Gómez realizes that no one is safe anymore, and that asking too many questions can have lethal consequences. His life gradually becomes a paranoid, insomniac nightmare that not even his nightly forays into bars and bathhouses in search of anonymous sex can relieve. Things get even more complicated when he takes in two dissidents, putting his life at risk—especially since he’s been having an affair with a homophobic, sadistic cop with ties to the military government. Told mostly in flashbacks thirty years later, 77 is rich in descriptive detail, dream sequences, and even elements of the occult, which build into a haunting novel about absence and the clash between morality and survival when living under a dictatorship. https://www.openletterbooks.org

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BOOK REVIEW

People in the Room. People in the Room is a story of a teenage girl who spies out her window at three older women across from her home one night. She quickly becomes obsessed with the neighbors and their activities as she watches them night-after-night. Readers will get lost in a shadowy world where they will find themselves unsure if the three older women are real or if the young girl is imagining them. Lange explorers how we invent the lives of others. She unmasks how we look at other’s live from the outside, filling in the gaps of what we don’t know about their stories and essentially making assumptions, good or bad, to explain their behavior to ourselves.

PEOPLE IN THE ROOM BY NORAH LANGE (AUTHOR), CHARLOTTE WHITTLE (TRANSLATOR)

"Everything, in their presence, acquired gravity, a sense of parting, of bitter oblivion, of mysterious, ineffable ways"

About The Book A young woman in Buenos Aires spies three women in the house across the street from her family’s home. Intrigued, she begins to watch them. She imagines them as accomplices to an unknown crime, as troubled spinsters contemplating suicide, or as players in an affair with dark and mysterious consequences. Lange’s imaginative excesses and almost hallucinatory images make this uncanny exploration of desire, domestic space, voyeurism and female isolation a twentieth century masterpiece. Too long viewed as Borges’s muse, Lange is today recognized in the Spanish-speaking world as a great writer and is here translated into English for the first time, to be read alongside Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector and Marguerite Duras. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Norah Lange was an Argentine author, associated with the Buenos Aires avant garde of the 1920s and 1930s. A member of the Florida group, which also included figures such as Oliverio Girondo and Jorge Luis Borges, she published in the "ultraist" magazines Prisma, Proa, and Martín Fierro.

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Meytal Radzinski. FOUNDER OF WOMEN IN TRANSLATION MONTH

Meytal Radzinski is best known for founding the Women in Translation project. She began Women in Translation after her disappointment with the lack of translated titles by women. WITMonth is held every August. As the 2019 WITMonth came to an end, Meytal shared her thoughts on everything that WITMonth has brought.

MR: "I love seeing how WITMonth has grown. I love seeing how WITMonth is constantly changing. I

love every single blogger, Instagrammer, Booktuber, critic, publisher, translator, or whatever who takes part in WITMonth, who creates new avenues for promoting women writers in translation, who takes steps to move our cause forward. I am grateful to all of you and all of the work you all do. Another year has passed us by, and as always, from the bottom of my heart: Thank you." This year Meytal spear-headed a "100 Best Books by Women Writers in Translation" List.

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MR: "For the past almost-two months, readers

from around the world have been sending in their nominations and votes for this list: The 100 Best Books by Women in Translation. Inspired in part by Catherine Taylor's excellent review of Boyd Tonkin's 100 Best Novels in Translation and subsequent conversations, the idea was to create a new canon of sorts. Every reader could send up to 10 nominations of books written by women, trans, or nonbinary authors, originally written in any language other than English. Ultimately, almost 800 unique books were nominated. Most of the titles only ever had a single vote, but it speaks to the passion and love that readers have for women writers from around the world that we reached such a number. Many people sought to promote books that they felt didn't get enough attention, or books that they hoped

might someday be translated, regardless whether they expected that book to make it to the top 100. The whole list - and specifically the one comprised of untranslated-into-English books - is also a worthy one, but I'll talk about it at a later time." You can checkout the Top 100 List on her blog: b i b l i b i o . b l o g s p o t . com/2019/08/witmonthday-26-100-best-books-bywomen.html

About Women in Translation Month Women in Translation, or WIT, is a global collaborative project to help remedy the discrepancy between the amount of works by women published in English translation, and how they are critically received. Women in Translation Month is held held every August, to help promote women writers from around the world who write in languages other than English. WITMonth, started in August 2014, was founded by Meytal Radzinski on her blog, biblibio. blogspot.com, and was inspired by another book blogger. Approximately 25% of new translations of literary fiction into English are of books by women writers. Given how few books are translated into English to begin with, this means that women are a minority

within a minority. The problem then filters down to how books by women writers in translation are reviewed/covered in the media, recognized by award committees, promoted in bookstores, sent out to reviews, and ultimately reach readers themselves. Women in Translation Month gives publishers the chance to promote their titles written by women in translation. It also gives readers an organized means of finding these great books authored by women that already exist. Read more about Women in Translation Month, and what you can do to contribute, at womenintranslation.com.


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Here is the book that so many early readers are going crazy over. It is the TRUE story of the REAL American hero who risked his life in 1947 to fly the X-1 rocket plane through the sound barrier and take the world of aviation into the modern age. The risks were great with some scary ups and downs, but Chuck Yeager was steady and determined and he did it. What is the sound barrier? This book gives a careful explanation. You and your children will never forget this story. See the movie at www.supersonicflyer.com.


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@melannrosenthal TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BOOKSTAGRAM ACCOUNT? @melannrosenthal: I am a Connecticut native and longtime NYC commuter. I've made the city a home away from home and have become a regular at literary events at all my favorite bookstores. I am constantly reading and I usually juggle at least one print book, one audiobook and one ebook so that whenever I have a spare moment to read, I can, even if I'm doing the dishes or standing and packed tight in a subway car. Some of my favorites books are about New York and I'm almost done writing my own. I have a photography background but a few years into working in photography/advertising I felt burnt out and stopped using my Instagram. I slowly started to use more of my free time to read, and a couple friends mentioned I should look into #bookstagram. I made some friends and followed other accounts and soon fell in love with the community! I like to post reviews and promote independent presses and bookstores.

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BOOKSTAGRAM

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE TRANSLATED AUTHOR AND WHY?

Each issue we feature a new bookstagrammer highlighting some of their amazing work.

@melannrosenthal: Karl Ove Knausgaard. I was in a horrible reading slump in early 2015. I was interning for an author the previous fall and she'd recommended My Struggle but I didn't pick it up until several months later. Thank goodness I did! His writing and the often mundane humanity it portrays was exactly what I needed to shake me up. I have since read through book 5 as well as 3 of the 4 books in his seasonal quartet. He's one of my favorite authors of all-time and I had the pleasure of telling him how much his work meant to me at a signing last year.

NAME: @MELANNROSENTHAL FAVORITE CHARACTER:

LARA JEAN SONG COVEY OF JENNY HAN'S TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE SERIES FAVORITE GENRE:

LITERARY FICTION, THOUGH MEMOIR IS A CLOSE SECOND.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TRANSLATED BOOK AND WHY? @melannrosenthal: Tentacle by Rita Indiana. It took me on quite a journey which was super impressive for such a tiny book. It creeped me out and made me question everything as the main character jumped through time. I adore when books really make me think. Also, my best friend read it in the original Spanish and came away with a slightly different read so we got to have a long conversation debating it! 25


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“AN ABSORBING BOOK... “AN ABSORBING BOOK... - one sure to appeal to a broad audience of readers interested in cold war history, aircraft, defense, and the sacrifices of unsung heros.”

_ Blueink Reviews

Willy Victor and 25 Knothole is about the vital cog of airborne defense against the real threat of a sneak attack on the American mainland... It provides a history lesson that the American public is unaware of.

www.codenamearcangelbrucejarvis.com


a g cowbo n i m o c y e B can’t be that hard,

can it?

It certainly looks easy to Franklyn “Frank” Ellington Seton IV. Smothered by both his overbearing mother and stuffy Maryland Society, Frank escapes to the vistas of his childhood. He will soon learn, however, that the one thing the movies left out was the smell. And the dirt. And the horses. As Frank makes his way through mid-twentieth century America, he searches for a place he truly belongs. And if being an actual cowboy is too difficult, why not try Hollywood?

“With a mixture of nostalgia, melancholy, and heaps of humor, The True Life of a Singing Cowboy will lasso you from the first note.”

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CRIME’S AN UGLY CONSTANT IN THE BIG CITIES. L.A. CHICAGO. NEW YORK. BUT WHEN A SAVAGE MURDER BRUTALIZES A SMALL TOWN AND NEIGHBOR TURNS ON NEIGHBOR, A TOUGH-AS-NAILS COP IS ESSENTIAL TO RESTORING ORDER. BLOOD LAND IS A GRITTY, EMOTIONAL SAGA SET IN THE CONTEMPORARY WYOMING BADLANDS WITH BOTH GREED AND VENGEANCE AT ITS CORE. ABOUT THE AUTHOR

END OF SUMMER SPECIAL: BOX-SET ON SALE FOR ONLY $9.99 GET YOUR COPY Author R.S. Guthrie himself has been voted by The Author Show as one of “Fifty Great Writers You Should Be Reading”. Guthrie is a fresh voice in a cacophony of writers; a welcome talent who creates complex, engaging characters; heroes with fierce pride and unflinching bravery meshed with real, flawed selves; real men and women facing the challenges of all humans. 29


BOOK REVIEW

Empty Words. Empty Words is such a unique concept – write not for a story, but to simply help improve your handwriting- and well, something great came out. Empty Words is a nice, light, relaxing read… of nothing really, but also everything. Empty Words is like having a nice chat with friends around the bonfire. Every reader will find some little piece of this book to relate and self-reflect to in a big way. Empty Words is a book you didn’t know you needed.

EMPTY WORDS BY MARIO LEVRERO (AUTHOR), ANNIE MCDERMOTT (TRANSLATOR)

“I'm trying, then, to go back to my old handwriting work as a way or recovering my lost self more fully.”

There is this recurring mini storyline involving the author’s doghow he gives him freedom by open a hole in the fence, how the dog goes missing, almost loses an eye, and how a stray cat turns up to torment the dog. There is so much self-reflection in this continued topic he keeps finding himself thinking about while doing these writing exercises. An eccentric novelist begins to keep a notebook of handwriting exercises, hoping that if he’s able to improve his penmanship, his personal character will also improve. What begins as a mere physical exercise becomes involuntarily colored by humorous reflections and tender anecdotes about living, writing, and the sense - or nonsense of existence. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mario Levrero was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1940 and died there in 2004. Levrero was a photographer, bookseller, comics script writer, humorist, crossword author, creator of brain games. In his later years, he directed a literary workshop. Empty Words is his first novel translated and published in English.

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A VIETNAM JOURNEY AND LOVE STORY An American soldier (Richie) and a Vietnamese woman (Linh) fall in love and have a baby during the war in Vietnam. He attempts to marry Linh but fails to get permission from the Army and is then pulled out of Vietnam. Linh and her son make an incredible journey to potential safety and security in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Richie builds his career and raises a family in the United States. They meet again in Hong Kong two decades later and achieve their ultimate destiny.

Available in Hardcover, Paperback & Ebook at: www.tomwascoe.com


E N TER YO U R B O O K ! SHELF UNBOUND

BEST

INDIE BOOK

COMPETITION Shelf Media hosts the annual Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book Competition for best selfpublished or independently published book, receiving entries from May 1 to October 1 each year. In addition to prizes, the winner, finalists, and more than 100 notable books from the competition are featured in the December/January issue of Shelf Unbound.

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OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019


Call For Entries. Shelf Unbound book review magazine announces the Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for Best Self-Published Book. Any self-published book in any genre is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $100 per book. The winning entry will be selected by the editors of Shelf Unbound magazine. To submit an entry, Apply Online or email a PDF of your entire book, including the cover, to contest@ shelfmediagroup.com, subject line Contest Entry, and send a check for $100 made out to Shelf Media Group to Sarah Kloth, Shelf Media Group, 2234 Patrick Lane, Waukesha, WI 53188. All entries received (and entry fee paid) will be considered. THE TOP FIVE BOOKS, as determined by the editors of Shelf Media Group, will receive editorial coverage in the December / January issue of Shelf Unbound. The author of the book named as the Best Self-Published book will receive editorial coverage as well as a year’s worth of full-page ads in the magazine.

The deadline for entry is midnight on October 1, 2019.

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RECOMMENDED READING

EXCERPTS

SHELF UNBOUND’S RECOMMENDED READING Take a bite from your next favorite book.

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OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019


ABOUT THE BOOK

People In The Room. A young woman in Buenos Aires spies three women in the house across the street from her family's home. Intrigued, she begins to watch them. She imagines them as accomplices to an unknown crime, as troubled spinsters contemplating suicide, or as players in an affair with dark and mysterious consequences. Lange's imaginative excesses and almost hallucinatory images make this uncanny exploration of desire, domestic space, voyeurism and female isolation a twentieth century masterpiece. Too long viewed as Borges's muse, Lange is today recognized in the Spanish-speaking world as a great writer and is here translated into English for the first time, to be read alongside Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector and Marguerite Duras.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

NORAH LANGE Norah Lange was an Argentine author, associated with the Buenos Aires avant garde of the 1920s and 1930s. A member of the Florida group, which also included figures such as Oliverio Girondo and Jorge Luis Borges, she published in the "ultraist" magazines Prisma, Proa, and MartĂ­n Fierro

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RECOMMENDED READING

People in the Room. BY NORAH LANGE, CHARLOTTE WHITTLE (TRANSLATOR) READ AN EXCERPT Despite their excuses, I tried many times to convince them of how easy and convenient it would be for them to communicate, and even call for help, if they had a telephone. “The afternoon I saw you at the post office, it was reassuring to know I could call home and ask someone to come and get me. What if one of you happened to be alone one night, and needed something? . . . You need only call me, or call someone else...” “None of us is ever alone,” they would answer, but when I noticed the second showing enough interest to persuade the others, I persisted. Except for the lack of calls, and perhaps its dubious usefulness since few families in that part of Belgrano had a telephone, I hardly suspected the reason behind their resistance and misgivings. Since no one ever visited them, the chances of anyone calling were so slim that perhaps they preferred to shield themselves from this new way of being forgotten. Someone might, on seeing their names in the directory, discard what was left of an old memory, and return, puzzled, to the habit of forgetting them. I knew my efforts came only from wanting to telephone them myself, to get closer to them, to force them to be precise and at least say who they were; but so as to hide my intentions, I offered my own experience, explained how for us the telephone had been a novelty, and described how keenly we’d tried to guess at the owner of the still-courteous voice uttering the words in a careful tone, as if fearing, as it passed through houses, courtyards, and side streets, that a stranger might listen in on what it didn’t quite dare say. I also told them that at first the telephone 36

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019

was so entertaining that one of us would call our house from a local store, to make sure the crucial voice was still in its place at the other end of the line, traversing wires, accepting its movement through the air, grazing the treetops, saying, “Who is it?” It was almost like opening a letter, except the voice would disappear, and afterward one was left with the pleasure of the voice and the way it changed. Perhaps my eagerness made her reflect on remembered streets, where her first call might ring out, and return her to familiar places, even if she only asked to be put through, and didn’t say a word. That afternoon, though, the second made up her mind, and, with a serious look, as if I were experienced in the matter and could give her advice, she asked, “Will our last name have to be in the directory?” I don’t know why it occurred to me that I should take this chance to provoke her, to compel her, for once, to be precise. “You could give your maiden name,” I suggested, hoping any answer she gave might bring me closer to her past, explain her stubborn, unchanging evenings. “I can’t,” she murmured quickly. “I can’t,” she said again, as if she had to live in hiding, or hesitated to use her name, because in fact she was married, or because some burning resentment or some strange sense of shame prevented her from confessing her widowhood. The eldest turned toward her, unsurprised. I thought I’d been left with another chance in ruins, confronting another mystery I’d never be able to solve, but I didn’t dare persist. I also thought her

answer couldn’t have been meant for me, since she never told me anything about her life. Unwilling to write a name on the usual applications, she seemed to me to be looking, through a half-open door, at a house she used to visit in company, since she was loved by many, sure she would return to its long table, where on Sunday nights they played cards, promising, as they said their goodbyes, that there would be other such Sundays, as she felt the hand of a man on her arm for the walk home, waiting for him to open the front door, and she, later, would turn on the bedroom light, perhaps pulling aside the mosquito net from the wide bed, her eyes falling briefly on the cushions with white covers— she had always been fond of those square, slightly stiff cushions—with their halting conversations in the safe and peaceful bedroom, where she might lie awake a while longer, since she liked to hear his breath so close before turning over in the dark, and not to pray, since it was late, and she loved him, and she couldn’t pray that she loved him. 


RECOMMENDED READING

The Polyglot Lovers. BY LINA WOLFF, SASKIA VOGEL (TRANSLATOR) READ AN EXCERPT When trying to find the one, I’d never thought the internet would be my thing. There was something commercial about it, not to mention I’d never written a personal ad, or any-thing else for that matter, and had no idea how to sell myself in writing. My boyfriends had always been regular guys from my village. The first one, for instance, was called “Johnny” and there was nothing special about him at all, at least not on the surface, at least not until it became clear that he was in fact sick. We were in the same class at school and it started with him saying: “Is there anything you’ve always dreamed a man would do for you?” I guess he’d heard it in a movie and, in all seriousness, already actually thought he was a man. And I suppose he wasn’t expecting the answer I gave him, but something more like: “Yes, I’ve always wished for a man who could make me lose my mind in bed.” Or a concrete wish that would help him along. But I said: “I’ve always wanted to be taught

how to fight.” And when he didn’t look as surprised as I’d thought he would, I added: “Fight like a motherfucker.” Johnny nodded slowly, spat on the ground, and said: “If that’s what you want, doll.” That very night he took me to what he called his fight club. It was a bunch of people who’d seen and been inspired by the movie, but unlike the people in the film, they actu-ally practiced various martial arts and met up three times a week to fight. Everyone went up against everyone else. You had to go into a basement beneath a school. It had tiles that faded from brown to orange; a strange matte tile that didn’t behave as tile usually does, but seemed to absorb every sound. From there, you went deep inside a series of corridors. Everyone was dead silent, barefoot, and had bags full of gym clothes slung over their shoulders. Only the fans made a noise. Then you entered the room and there they were, the people from our village who wanted to fight. A temporary captain was

appointed, and we all warmed up together. Everyone was flexible, even the guys, and no one was ashamed of showing that they could do forward or side splits. People farted loudly, stretched out like that, but not laughing was an unwritten rule. Then we fought. I was the only beginner and had one thing going for me: I was scared to death. Being scared to death gives you an edge, Johnny said. Being really fucking afraid had some hidden benefits—the body was smarter than you thought, and when you let it run on autopilot, it was capable of almost anything. But then you had to take control.  37


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Polyglot Lovers. ‘Do you have to stare like that?’ I asked. ‘Think about the actors in porn. They’ve got no problem showing themselves off.’ ‘Think about when I broke your nose,’ I replied. Ellinor is thirty-six. She wears soft black sweatpants and a Michelin Man jacket. She fights. Smart and unsentimental, she tries her hand at online dating, only to be stranded by a snowstorm with a literary critic. Cut to Max Lamas, an author who dreams of a polyglot lover, a woman who will understand him—in every tongue. His search takes him to Italy, where he befriends a marchesa whose old Roman family is on the brink of ruin. At the heart of this literary intrigue is a handwritten manuscript that leaves no one unaffected. The Polyglot Lovers is a fiercely witty and nuanced contribution to feminism in the #metoo era. Pleasure is an elusive thing, love even more so.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SASKIA VOGE(TRANSLATOR) Saskia Vogel is a writer and literary translator from Los Angeles. She has written on the themes of gender, power, and sexuality for publications such as Granta, The White Review, The Offing, and The Quietus. Her translations include work by leading Swedish female authors, such as Katrine Marçal, Karolina Ramqvist and the modernist eroticist Rut Hillarp. Previously, she worked in London as Granta magazine's global publicist and in Los Angeles as an editor at the AVN Media Network. 38

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019


RECOMMENDED READING

Slave Old Man.

BY PATRICK CHAMOISEAU, LINDA COVERDALE (TRANSLATOR) READ AN EXCERPT

The old man ran. He quickly lost his hat, his staff. He ran. Ran without haste. A steady pace that took him surefooted through the back-of-beyond zayonn undergrowth. He sent his body across dead stumps, laid low the kneeling branches with his heels, hurtled down reclusive ravines devoted to pure silences. Around him, everything shivered shapeless, vulva dark, carnal opacity, odors of weary eternity and famished life. The forest interior was still in the grip of a millenary night. Like a cocoon of aspirating spittle. Another world. Another reality. The old man could have run with his eyes closed: nothing could orient him. Sometimes he bumped into unseen little branches, his toes, ankles, face—whipped! He had to run behind his bent forearm to protect his open gaze. Then, as he went on, the trees drew closer together in the thickest of

pacts. The boughs fastened themselves to the roots. The raziés-underbrush gave lavishly of its irritating prickles. The Great Woods loomed. His pace slowed. At times he had to crawl. The enveloping vegetation stuck to him, sucking, elastic. With bleeding elbows, step by step, he made his way. It went up. It went down. It montadescendre : up-and-downed. Sometimes, the ground disappeared. He tumbled then into sheets of cold water that gurgled with emotion. The old man felt close to the sky. The stars diffused a blissful radiance etching the forms of the ferns. But the darkness—so intense— sent that pallor to him in a starry dust: it dissolved all forms. Often he headed down again, he had the impression of descending endlessly, of reaching even the fondocfundament of the earth. There he thought to find

the vomiting of lava or the fires said to flame from the foufoune-pudenda of femmeszombis. The torn rachées of his heart throbbed within him, stirring liquid, glowing embers that shattered his body to rejoin the sky. Such incandescence summoned up wild earthy fumes in his bones. Leaves, roots, trunks, took on the odor of ashes graced with those of green corn and newborn buds. 

39


ABOUT THE BOOK

Slave Old Man. We follow them into a lush rain forest where nature is beyond all human control: sinister, yet entrancing and even exhilarating, because the old man’s flight to freedom will transform them all in truly astonishing—even otherworldly—ways, as the overwhelming physical presence of the forest reshapes reality and time itself. Chamoiseau’s exquisitely rendered new novel is an adventure for all time, one that fearlessly portrays the demonic cruelties of the slave trade and its human costs in vivid, sometimes hallucinatory prose. Offering a loving and mischievous tribute to the Creole culture of Martinique and brilliantly translated by Linda Coverdale, this novel takes us on a unique and moving journey into the heart of Caribbean history.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

PATRICK CHAMOISEAU Patrick Chamoiseau is the author of Texaco, which won the Prix Goncourt and was a New York Times Notable Book, as well as Creole Folktales and Slave Old Man (The New Press), among other works. He lives in Martinique.

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RECOMMENDED READING

Öræfi: The Wasteland. BY ÓFEIGUR SIGURÐSSON, LYTTON SMITH (TRANSLATOR) READ AN EXCERPT

Flosi from Svínafell came back from his vehicle; the angle grinder leapt to life and the hotel splattered with red gore; people felt the mountains dim and the glacier cracking and the sands moaning. Dr. Lassi was dexterous with the angle grinder, taking the leg off at the asshole and scrotum with swift hacks. It saved the tourist’s life, Dr. Lassi writes a little further on in her report, and it was necessary — because of the acute abscesses, infections, deep freezing and frost and fleshrot and coldburn — to entirely sever one of his ass cheeks, and also his penis; the tourist was then sewn back together with twine sterilized in Brennivín; his asshole was saved, although it would have been safer to take that, too, Dr. Lassi writes in her report, before proceeding to provide a literary survey of

the local region... In 1623, three weeks before Christmas, a water-serpent was seen in the Hvítá two evenings in a row after sunset; the first evening he rose up as two curves across the river, breaking up the ice, so the river flowed on land, the second night the worm rose up in a coil near the middle of Hestfjall; that year a man hanged himself at Hliðarenda, Gísli Jónsson by name; in 1624, a woman hanged herself at Eyjafjall; 1626 at Hliðarenda a boy was whipped and branded, he went and hanged himself; in the winter of 1630 a woman killed herself in StærraÁrskógur, she was granted burial within the churchyard because her daughter was so mournful; that year a man stabbed himself in Stokkseyri; in 1631, a woman lost her husband in Svarfaðardal, she grieved him

angrily, stabbed herself in the neck with a knife until dead, returned to haunt her sisterin-law taking care of her son, ruined everything she had, her specter caused great misery and terror… 

41


ABOUT THE BOOK

Öræfi: The Wasteland. After a grueling solo expedition on the Vatnajökull Glacier, Austrian toponymist Bernhardt Fingerberg returns to civilization, barely alive, and into the care of Dr. Lassi. The doctor, suspicious of his story, attempts to discover his real motives for venturing into the treacherous wastelands of Iceland — but the secrets she unravels may be more dangerous than they’re worth.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ÓFEIGUR SIGURÐSSON Ófeigur Sigurðsson was born in Reykjavík in 1975. He is a graduate of the University of Iceland with a degree in philosophy. He made his poetry debut in 2001 with Skál fyrir skammdeginu (Cheers to the Winter Darkness), and published his first novel, Áferð (Texture), in 2005. Since then, he has published six books of poetry and three novels, in addition to his work as an accomplished translator.

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RECOMMENDED READING

Bride and Groom.

BY ALISA GANIEVA, CAROL APOLLONIO (TRANSLATOR) READ AN EXCERPT

The Shakhovs lived in a whitewashed six-story apartment building on the central city square, nestled behind a disorderly clutter of shacks and garages. Under a pitted acacia tree, whose branches occasionally dropped little pods rattling with seeds onto the ground, children in bright-colored T-shirts were playing Nine Stones. They had chalked a square on the asphalt, had divided it into parts — as for Tic-Tac-Toe — and were raucously erecting a little tower out of pebbles in the centre square. As he walked past the cluster of little players squatting on their haunches, Marat tried to recall the rules, but he could only remember shreds: Rusik-the-Nail is standing by the rubble of a toppled tower aiming a ball at Marat, and Marat is hastily trying to set out the stones in each sector before his opponent can “tag” him. Marat and his mother proceeded up a set of neat, gently rising steps through the entryway. Some of the doors had old-fashioned labels nailed to them: Prof.

Omarov G, Engineer Isaev M A… Marat’s mother, who had put on a long, openwork shawl for the somber occasion — they were calling on the Shakhovs, as they had agreed, to convey their condolences upon the death of their uncle — followed him up the stairs, clutching onto the railings and voicing a never-ending litany of instructions: “Remember, the girl’s name is Sabrina, don’t get it mixed up.” The door opened and Shakhov’s wife, a withered woman with short hair, appeared. She assessed Marat quickly with her sharp eyes and nodded a greeting, then kissed his mother, who was whispering words of sympathy, and indicated a couple pairs of slippers for them to put on. The walls of the small entryway were lined with wooden shelves, laden with medical reference books; above them hung some black-and-white photographs. From one of them a large bearded man wearing a hat and a natty

suit with a boutonniere frowned suspiciously out at Marat. This was Shakhov’s late father, a musical theater director, folk song collector, Don Juan, and great carnivore. He had gone on numerous expeditions in quest of unknown melodies, traveling far and wide with phonograph cylinders, audio recording devices, sheaves of notebooks, and bundles of dried mountain sausage. Every day, rumour had it, Shakhov Senior would eat an entire ram’s head, and after a successful premiere he would also down a hefty...

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Bride and Groom. From one of the most exciting voices in modern Russian literature, Alisa Ganieva, comes Bride and Groom, the tumultuous love story of two young city-dwellers who meet when they return home to their families in rural Dagestan. When traditional family expectations and increasing religious and cultural tension threaten to shatter their bond, Marat and Patya struggle to overcome obstacles determined to keep them apart, while fate seems destined to keep them together—until the very end.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ALISA GANIEVA Alisa Ganieva, born in 1985, grew up in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, and currently lives in Moscow. Her literary debut, the novella Salaam, Dalgat!, published under a male pseudonym, provoked contradictory reactions in Russia: astonishment, especially among young Russians, at this unknown part of their country; and anger among radical Islamists at this negative portrayal of their homeland by one of their own.

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RECOMMENDED READING BRIDE AND GROOM CONTINUED...

serving of boiled tripe, which they would prepare for him in a special kitchenette installed in the theatre for that purpose. Shakhov Junior vehemently denied these tall tales and claimed that throughout his life his father had suffered from gastritis and that there was no way he could have digested that many rams’ heads, even if he had wanted to. “And plus, how could we have gotten hold of so many sheep? We didn’t have that kind of money anyway!” It was hard to say whether he was telling the truth. Shakhov had worked at one time in the military industry and had retired with medals for some top-secret heroism; all he could do was talk about the former privileges he’d had and lost. The moment he sat down with Marat at the sparsely set table, he started in complaining about the workers at the torpedo factory who had dismantled and sold everything down to the last bolt. “Asses! Embezzlers!” he wailed, rolling his eyes. “Traitors to the motherland!” “You’re just asking for

trouble, talking like that!” His dried-up wife shrugged wearily as she trudged back and forth from threshold to table. Marat’s mother would go along with anything. She added fuel to the fire: “You’re so right, they’re just plain criminals! That’s what I tell Aselder all the time. He really wanted to come to see you, but there’s some kind of bedlam going on in the Institute over that damned Khalilbek.” “Khalilbek? So you think he’s guilty too?” “Absolutely, completely guilty of everything. You don’t think so?” Marat’s mother was getting worked up. “What about you?” Shakhov addressed Marat. “No, I don’t. The case is too complicated, and the prosecution has its facts wrong. It’s mostly rumors, malicious gossip.” “You’re so right, let me shake your hand!” Shakhov squeezed Marat’s palm tightly. “Don’t let those women convict the man prematurely!” “Where’s Sabrinochka?” Marat’s mother changed the subject.

“She’s here, Khadizha,” Shakhov’s wife responded from the kitchen. “She’s in her room studying. Probably didn’t hear you come in. Sabrina! Sabrina!” “Enough! Stop calling her,” muttered Shakhov. “She’s not a princess, she ought to understand that we have guests.” The living room also had an array of dark photographs on the walls. Again the theatre director, this time in jodhpurs and riding boots, with a silver belt around his ample waist. He stood proudly against a background of seven or eight smiling, tambourine-bearing chorus girls in bright-colored, floorlength scarves. Next to that one hung a portrait of Shakhov’s deceased uncle, captured in his younger years astride a muscular black mare. He was a passionate equestrian, an expert on Akhal-Tekes — tall, hardy, long-legged horses with no manes. At the time of the photo, his career had just started to take off, but then everything came crashing down because of one careless phrase.  45


RECOMMENDED READING

Soviet Milk.

BY NORA IKSTENA, MARGITA GAILITIS (TRANSLATOR) READ AN EXCERPT

I don’t remember 15 October 1969. There are people who swear they remember their birth. I don’t. It’s likely that I was well positioned in my mother’s womb, because the birth was normal. Not particularly long, or particularly short, with the last contractions coming every five minutes. My mother was twenty-five, young and healthy. Her mental state, though, was not so healthy, as I learned later. I do remember, or at least I can picture, the golden, tender calm of October, alternating with forebodings of a long period of darkness. It’s a kind of boundary month, at least in the climate of this latitude, where seasons change slowly and autumn only gradually gives way to winter. Probably leaves were falling, and our bad-tempered concierge raked them up in the courtyard. She had come from Kyrgyzstan with her

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OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019

family and been allocated a flat in our building at 20 Mičurina Street. Her slanteyed little girl sat on the windowsill, slurping borscht and cheerfully inviting everyone into their home. The pre-war grandeur of the flat had been modified to reflect the Kyrgyz woman’s idea of beauty. The previous inhabitants, a Jewish family, had abandoned the flat in 1941, when deportation to Siberia saved them from having to wear yellow stars on their backs a few months later, in Nazi-occupied Riga. Now heavy rugs covered the parquet, the porcelain dishes were filled with sunflower seeds and spittoons stood on the piano lid. Times and religions had commingled. And that’s how it was in the entire building, when I was carried up to the thirteenth flat, carefully swaddled like a chrysalis, as was the custom in those times. Now and then I have a dream

from which I awake feeling sick. I’m clinging to my mother’s breast and trying to suck on it. The breast is large, full of milk, but I can’t get any out. I don’t see my mother, she doesn’t help me, and I’m left to struggle with her breast on my own. Then suddenly I succeed and a bitter, repulsive liquid spurts into my mouth. I gag and wake with a start. My mother was a young doctor. Perhaps she knew that her milk would have caused more harm than good to her child... 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Soviet Milk. The literary bestseller that took the Baltics by storm now published for the first time in English. This novel considers the effects of Soviet rule on a single individual. The central character in the story tries to follow her calling as a doctor. But then the state steps in. She is deprived first of her professional future, then of her identity and finally of her relationship with her daughter. Banished to a village in the Latvian countryside, her sense of isolation increases. Will she and her daughter be able to return to Riga when political change begins to stir?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

NORA IKSTENA Nora Ikstena was born in 1969 in Riga, Latvia. She studied at the University of Latvia before moving to New York. On her return to the Baltics she helped establish the Latvian Literature Centre. She published her first novel, Celebration of Life, in 1998 and has written over twenty books since. She has won numerous awards, such as the Order of the Three Stars for Services to Literature and the Baltic Assembly Prize. Soviet Milk, her most recent novel, won the 2015 Annual Latvian Literature Award (LALIGABA) for Best Prose. 47

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019


RECOMMENDED READING

Children of The Cave.

BY VIRVE SAMMALKORPI, EMILY AND FLEUR JEREMIAH (TRANSLATOR) READ AN EXCERPT

Iax Agolasky was born in Russia in 1795, the only child of Marushka and Vladimir Agolasky. Vladimir, his father, was a scholar and a polyglot. In addition to his native Russian, Iax learned French from his father. Iax gradually became interested in France, that distant land, seeing its language as his second mother tongue. He emigrated there as a young man. In Paris, the young Iax managed to secure a position as an assistant at the Académie des Sciences. At the age of twenty-two, he was asked to act as assistant and interpreter to one Professor Moltique on an expedition to north-west Russia. Professor Jean Moltique was a proponent of an early branch of anthropology that researched ancient peoples by means of folklore and legends. He was rumoured to have discovered the footprints of a yeti, possibly even an actual yeti, though

none could prove this achievement. The journey undertaken by Professor Moltique and Agolasky lasted from 1819 to 1823, at least. Partly because of defective documentation, partly because of missing notes, no one knows exactly where Agolasky and Moltique travelled. A letter written by Moltique to the Académie des Sciences reveals that he and Agolasky discovered a small tribe of forest dwellers in the wilderness. Moltique dubbed the members of this tribe les enfants des ombres, the children of shadows. He had at first taken these forest dwellers to be descendants of the ancient Anatolian people of Paphlagonia, but he changed his mind in the course of the expedition. In the words of the professor, his new theory was ‘audacious and unprecedented’. The letter in which these words appear was filed in the academy’s archives without

any associated reports or memoranda. No one knows, therefore, what sentiments or proposals for action it may have prompted among academicians. Much of the expedition remains shrouded in mystery. The first and only news reports concerning it date back to 1823, when Professor Moltique and Iax Agolasky returned from their Expedition of All Times, as the press referred to the trip. The fuss soon subsided. 

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Children of The Cave. ‘It’s dangerous to be different where everyone else is alike. Have you noticed?’ 1819, Iax Agolasky, a young assistant to a notable French explorer, sets off on a journey to the Russian wildnerness. The travellers discover a group of creatures living in a cave: children with animal traits. But are they animals, or are they human? Faced with questions of faith, science and the fundamentals of truth, tensions rise in the camp. Soon the children's safety becomes threatened and Agolasky needs to act.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VIRVE SAMMALKORPI We celebrate Virve Sammalkorpi as one of the most powerful voices to emerge in Finnish literature for a generation. She published her first novel in 1999 and has written seven novels in total. Sammalkorpi’s most recent novel, Children of The Cave, won both the 2017 Savonia Literature Prize and the Kuvastaja prize for the best Finnish Fantasy Novel. This is the first time one of her books has been translated into English. 49

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RECOMMENDED READING

You Would Have Missed Me. BY BIRGIT VANDERBEKE, JAMIE BULLOCH (TRANSLATOR) READ AN EXCERPT

We have our best ideas between the ages of five and ten. Some people have only a few ideas after that, maybe until they’re twenty-five or thirty, depending on whether they’re still talking to anyone then, but after thirty most of them no longer want to talk to anyone, they’ve given up, so obviously that puts an end to any more ideas. I had my best idea when I was seven, because at the time I urgently needed to talk to someone, and when it occurred to me how I might go about that I sensed too that it was a really good idea, although I didn’t realize quite how good until much later. To be precise, it happened on my seventh birthday. We were standing in our two-bedroom flat in the Promised Land and once again it was clear that I wouldn’t be getting a cat for my birthday. I’d been wanting a kitten

ever since we left the refugee camp. I was five back then. This was the third birthday in a row I wouldn’t be getting one. You get used to disappointments, but in the long term they make you feel cold and empty inside, and you begin to lose heart. It wasn’t true that pets were banned in the new housing development. The Egners in 24C had a dachshund in their first-floor flat, and Gisela’s mother bred chinchillas in the basement. Everybody knew, and nobody had yet raised any objections to the Egners’ dachshund or Gisela’s mother’s chinchillas. The chinchillas lived in cages like the rabbits at Grandma’s, but Grandma was in the East. Sometimes she’d kill one of her rabbits, usually on a Friday before her sons came to visit.

On the Saturday they’d be skinned and would then appear on the table on Sunday and be eaten. Now we were in the West and things were done differently. 

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ABOUT THE BOOK

You Would Have Missed Me. ‘I can’t remember what it was like being born, but f rom what they used to tell me it seemed almost as if everything had been f ine up to that point.’ Standing in her family’s two-bedroom flat in the Promised Land, a little girl realizes that once again she won’t be getting a cat for her birthday. She’s been wanting one ever since she was f ive – all the way back to when they were living in the refugee camp. In the East, her Grandma made cakes and kept rabbits; now there is no baking, no pets and certainly no Grandma. West Germany in the early 1960s is a diff icult place for a seven-year-old East German refugee, particularly when no one will listen to you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BIRGIT VANDERBEKE One of Germany’s most successful authors, Birgit Vanderbeke was born in Dahme, East Germany, in 1956. When she was six her family fled to the West and she grew up in Frankfurt. She has written twenty-one novels and won five prestigious literary awards, including the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize and the Kranichstein Literary Prize.

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RECOMMENDED READING

Faces on the Tip of My Tongue. BY EMMANUELLE PAGANO READ AN EXCERPT

I went to the lake every summer when I was a little girl. I lived on an arc of beach bordered by wooden fences and a forest so thick that we didn’t make dens in the trees but dug them in the undergrowth instead. My uncle had built a house on this strip of shore, then a hut for tools and the pedalo, and some wonky terraces where the land sloped down to the rippling water. Near the reeds, right up close to their rustling song and their birds’ nests, he had marked out a meadow where we went in search of sunshine and games. Away from these games, he had coaxed a garden into life, and my aunt picked fresh carrots there as snacks for me, the cosseted little niece. One evening, for a surprise, my uncle set a ladder against the tallest tree and hung a swing from it, but I’d always hated swings – the speed frightened me. Of the chill,

taciturn lake I had no fear. I usually felt the cold, but with the lake it was different: I used to swim across it and cycle around it, and felt at home there. Swollen by the weir, its dark mass came right up to the little room whose French windows framed my nights each summer. I slept in a narrow alcove that could be closed off from the rest of the house, with sliding panels between it and the living room. We would eat there when it was too cold for noisy, openair meals, and it was also the place for board games, homework, drawing, topping and tailing beans, and writing postcards. We did lots of things in that corner of the house, because we could sit there all crammed in together, with the spectacle of the lake before us. My aunt used to claim that there wasn’t enough room in the bedrooms so I had to sleep in

the alcove, and although she never said so, I know she was giving me the best holiday spot, the sofa in that recess, a nook looking almost directly on to the water. I was the lake’s favourite. I loved my life by the lake so much that it was worth going away for a while, if only for the pleasure of coming back.

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Faces on the Tip of My Tongue. Meetings, partings, loves and losses in rural France are dissected with compassion. The late wedding guest isn’t your cousin but a drunken chancer. The driver who gives you a lift isn’t going anywhere but off the road. Snow settles on your car in summer and the sequins found between the pages of a borrowed novel will make your fortune. Pagano’s stories weave together the mad, the mysterious and the dispossessed of a rural French community with honesty and humour. A superb, cumulative collection f rom a unique French voice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

EMMANUELLE PAGANO Emmanuelle Pagano was born in Rodez (Aveyron) in 1969. Her novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and she has won multiple awards for her writing, including the EU Prize for Literature and most recently the French Ecology Novel Prize. This is her second book published in English, the first Trysting was published by And Other Stories in 2016.

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RECOMMENDED READING

Accommodations.

BY WIOLETTA GREG, JENNIFER CROFT (TRANSLATOR) READ AN EXCERPT

At six twenty p.m. Moscow time, Russian aircrafts attack Grozny. The bombs damage four power stations and a television tower. The halls of the Vega are exceptionally quiet. Not even the TV in the common room is on. The potted palm curls up its leaves from the cold. Slowly the trail of muddy tracks that stretches from Natka’s office to the front doors of the Vega—which wobble on their hinges like they serve in a saloon—dries. Everyone but Sergey—who keeps reading books in his room on the second floor, playing songs every so often on his harmonica, playing himself in chess, packaging his jute bags for market—is sitting around the space heater, their eyes never wandering from its orange spirals. “When we were living in Siberia,” Alex interrupts the silence, “there was this one cow named Apryelka.”

“Apryelka . . .” I repeat, because it strikes me as a nice name. “Because she was born in April,” Alex explains. “That cow really made an impression on me. When she sensed we were about to sell her, she completely changed her behavior. She just wandered around mooing, with these tears pouring down her face like peas. Eventually my parents went to this struggling sovkhoz, where they bought Mayka. Mayka had been brought up under deep communism, getting her ears pierced, with this little number put in there. So then we went and took her home with us and started to just hang around a little where she was, started cleaning her, giving her different types of tasty treats, and it was like she could tell, I mean that we were really taking care of her, that we cared about her, and she became more similar to a dog

or something. We never had to worry about her. We knew that if she went somewhere she’d always come right back.” “How’d you land in Siberia?” Waldek asks. “My dad was in the military, they transferred him there. Meanwhile my grandpa got his electrician’s degree, and everybody told him not to enlist, because there had to be a man left in the village, but he wouldn’t hear of it. 

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Accommodations. Accommodations follows Wiola after she leaves her childhood village, a close-knit agricultural community in Poland where the Catholic calendar and local gossip punctuate daily life. Her new independence in the nearby city of Czestochowa is far f rom a f resh start, as she moves between a hostel and a convent brimming with secrets, taking in the stories of those around her. In the same striking prose that drew readers to her critically acclaimed debut, Accommodations navigates Wiola’s winding path to selfdiscovery.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

WIOLETTA GREG Wioletta Grzegorzewska, or Wioletta Greg is a Polish poet and writer, born in a small village RzeniszĂłw in Jurassic Highland in Poland. In 2006, she left her country and moved to the Isle of Wight. She lives in Essex.

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RECOMMENDED READING

The Taiga Syndrome.

BY CRISTINA RIVERA GARZA, SUZANNE JILL LEVINE (TRANSLATOR) READ AN EXCERPT

That they had lived there, they told me. In that house, there. And they pointed it out with an apprehension that could easily be mistaken for respect or fear. Their fingers barely peeked out from the cuffs of their heavy black coats. The smell of ash under their arms. Dirty nails. Dry lips. Their eyes, having discreetly moved toward where they were pointing, quickly returned to their original position, gazing straight ahead. “What are you really looking for?”—they asked without daring to say so. And I, who didn’t exactly know, followed their steps like a shadow, back to the village over snow-covered trails. It wasn’t really a house, I should say first. I would have described what I saw on that morning, at the beginning of autumn, as a shack, maybe not even. A hovel. In any case, it was a habitable structure made from wood, card-board, and lots of dry branches. It did have a roof,

a ridged roof, and a pair of windows covered in thick transparent plastic instead of glass. It had the air of a last refuge. It gave the impression that beyond was only open space, the law of the wilderness, and the sky, so blue, so high, above the wild. I remember the cold. Above all, I remember the cold. I remember my clenched jaw, fists deep in my coat pockets.They had arrived there, according to my information, at the beginning of winter. I had come to that conclusion because their last communication came from a telegram office in a border town about two hundred kilometers away. The telegram, addressed to the man who had hired me to investigate the case, said briefly and somewhat obliquely that they were never coming back: “wha tarewelettinginwhenwesay goodbye?”I took the case because I have always had an all-consuming weakness

for forms of writing no longer in use: radiograms, stenography, telegrams. As soon as I placed my hands on the faded paper, I began to dream. The tips of my fingers skimmed the creases of the paper; the stale smell of age. Something hidden. Who would set out on such a journey? That couple, of course. Out of everyone, only those two. From what place, so far away in space, so far away in time, had this fistful of capital letters been sent? And what were the two of them hoping for? 

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ABOUT THE BOOK

The Taiga Syndrome. A fairy tale run amok, The Taiga Syndrome follows an unnamed Ex-Detective as she searches for a couple that has fled to the far reaches of the Earth. A betrayed husband is convinced by a brief telegram that his second ex-wife wants him to track her down – that she wants to be found. He hires the Ex-Detective, who sets out with a translator into a snowy, hostile forest where strange things happen and translation serves to betray both sense and the senses. The stories of Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood haunt the Ex-Detective’s quest into a territory overrun with the primitive excesses of capitalism – accumulation and expulsion, corruption and cruelty – although the lessons of her journey are more experiential than moral: just as love can fly away, sometimes unloving flies away too. ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CRISTINA RIVERA GARZA Cristina Rivera-Garza is the award-winning author of six novels, three collections of short stories, five collections of poetry and three non-fiction books. Originally written in Spanish, these works have been translated into multiple languages, including English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Korean.

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HOLD YOUR BREATH!

HIGH FLYING IS HERE! “

High Flying is a fast-paced, suspenseful, psychological thriller. Readers will find themselves with their hearts pounding while they read this!” - Paige Lovitt for Reader Views

www.kaylinmcfarren.com

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F E AT U R E D A R T I C L E 04

10 Works of Translated Literature That Might Surprise You. BY SARA GROCHOWSKI

For some, the label “translated literature” sounds intimidating or too like the tired classics assigned in high schools across the U.S. We’ve rounded up 10 titles that you may already have on your tobe read list that offer an accessible entry to the world of translated fiction.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson This international publishing sensation, which follows crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist and pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander investigating the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, a daughter of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, who has been missing for over 40 years, was originally published in Swedish. It’s original title: Män som hatar kvinnor, which translates to Men Who Hate Women.

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04

F E AT U R E

CONTINUED

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque Originally published in German, this novel written by German veteran of World War I is perhaps best known by its movie adaptation. The volume depicts the German soldiers’ extreme physical and mental stress during the first World War, and the detachment from civilian life felt by many soldiers upon returning home. The sequel, The Road Back, was among the books banned and burned in Nazi Germany.

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani Inspired by the real-life 2012 murder of children by their nanny in New York, Slimani’s novel was originally published in French as The Lullaby. Nominated for an Edgar Award in the U.S., the novel is a story of a couple and their seemingly perfect nanny as jealousy, resentment, and suspicions mount.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke A children’s fantasy favorite, this first in a trilogy from Funke follows 12year old Meggie, an avid reader, and her father Mo, who both have the magical ability to read characters to life, bringing them into the real world. Originally published in German, the book was adapted for the screen in 2008 in the UK and 2009 in the US.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon This story of murder, magic, madness, and doomed love is set in 1945 Barcelona, where a boy is initiated into the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as repository for books forgotten by the world, spurring an epic and mysterious adventure. The beloved novel by Zafon was originally written in his native Spanish. 60


04

F E AT U R E

CONTINUED

on the titular dinner, at which narrator Paul Lohman, a former history teacher; his wife Claire; his elder brother Serge, a prominent politician and Dutch Prime Minister contender; and Serge’s wife Babette, discuss how to handle a violent crime committed by their teenage sons.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lundgren A children’s classic, the iconic Pippi is a redhaired, freckled, and completely unpredictable dynamo who the author said represents her own “longing for a person who has power but does not abuse it.” First printed in Swedish, the 9-year old has fans worldwide and, as of 2009, has been translated into 64 languages.

The Dinner by Herman Koch Making its debut in Dutch, The Dinner went on to be an international bestseller and has been adapted into three films. The novel centers

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Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi This graphic autobiography by Satrapi depicts her childhood through early adult years in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution. Originally published in French, the title is a reference to the ancient capital of the Persian Empire, Persepolis. In the U.S., controversy surrounding the novel’s graphic language and images has landed it on the American Library Association’s most challenged books list.


CONTINUED

04

F E AT U R E

The Neverending Story by

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Four years before being published in English, this cult favorite was published in German. The story follows a boy whose discovery and theft of a book called The Neverending Story, a magical tome in which he finds himself the hero. In the early 2000s, German publishing house AVAinternational published six novels by different authors in a series called Legends of Fantastica, each using parts of the original plot and characters to compose an entirely new storyline.

This story about a curmudgeonly old man whose cranky exterior hides a story and a sadness and whose life is turned upside down when a chatty young couple and their chatty young daughters move in next door. Originally published in Swedish, this book club favorite spent 42 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. î –

Michael Ende

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NEW TO SHELF UNBOUND!

Introducing Shelf Media Group's digital young adult community designed to connect readers with YA authors and books.

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OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019


The Bookworm Crush. BY LISA BROWN ROBERTS

Romance enthusiast Amy McIntyre is a quiet introvert, in the background while her best friend and co-book blogger Vivian Galdi stars in their videos and social media. With Vivian distracted by her new boyfriend Dallas, Amy is forced to enter the limelight if she hopes to win a publisher sponsored contest for a chance to interview her favorite romance novelist. Worried about her ability to win the contest on her own, Amy enlists the help of Toff Nichols, surf champion, incorrigible flirt, and Vivian’s soon-to-be stepbrother. If anyone knows how to win, she thinks, it’s Toff. Of course, she’ll need to ignore her pesky, long-standing crush. Toff is drawn to the fiery, bookish redhead and is intrigued by her ask. He knows nothing about the world of romance books, ships, and OTPs, but he does understand competition and, when an injury and upheaval in his personal life leave him on the sidelines, he finds himself pleasantly distracted by Amy and the contest.

WHAT TO READ IN YA FICTION BY SARA GROCHOWSKI

Young adult fiction continues to become one of the most popular genres – mostly for adults. Join us each issue to find your next YA read.

Amy and Toff ’s obvious attraction and quick banter will quickly hook readers, who will stay for Amy’s passion, Toff ’s sometimes misguided, but stalwart support of our heroine, and her adorably pesky little brother.

THE BOOKWORM CRUSH BY LISA BROWN ROBERTS

Romance readers, especially those immersed in fandoms and the online book community, will love Roberts’ frequent references to classic and pop culture romance and identify deeply with Amy’s love for the genre and community. There is a certain comfort in reading a romance by an author that truly knows and understands her readers’ needs. And who writes books about bookish leads meeting supportive, swoony, and plausible love interests, no doubt bringing to life many a reader daydream. Readers can easily start with The Bookworm Crush but should note that Vivian and her boyfriend Dallas’s equally fun story is told in The Replacement Crush.

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G+B RECOMMENDED READ

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RECOMMENDED AS YOU R N EX T

YA R E A D

THE BOOKWORM CRUSH ABOUT THE BOOK:

Shy bookworm Amy McIntyre is about to compete for the chance to interview her favorite author, who hasn't spoken to the press in years. The only way to win is to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight, but that level of confidence has never come easy. The solution? A competition coach. The problem? The best person for the job is the guy she's secretly crushing on…local surfer celebrity Toff Nichols. He’s a player. He’s a heartthrob. He makes her forget basic things, like how to breathe. How can she feel any confidence around him? To her surprise, Toff agrees to help. And he’s an excellent teacher. Amy feels braver―maybe even brave enough to admit her feelings for him. When their late night practices become less about coaching and more about making out, Amy’s newfound confidence wavers. But does Toff really like her or is this just another lesson? 65

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019


BOOK SHELF BS

SHELF UNBOUND’S

Book Shelf What to read next in independent publishing

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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BOOK SHELF

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Moustache & Macintosh BY D.L. GRASER

The night was calm as we floated across the ocean. “Land's not too far away,” I heard the captain tell Short Leg Louie after dinner. I had not heard anymore cries from the princess in the last couple of nights. I wondered why. I just have a gut feeling that tonight is the night I take her off this ship with me. I have to leave because Short Leg Louie said he will make sure there are no witnesses and I am the only witness aboard this vessel. www.pagepublishing.com Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Last Train

BY MICHAEL PRONKO

Detective Hiroshi Shimizu investigates white collar crime in Tokyo. When an American businessman turns up dead, his mentor Takamatsu calls him out to the site of a grisly murder. A glimpse from a security camera video suggests the killer might be a woman. Hiroshi quickly learns how close homicide and suicide can appear in a city full of highspeed trains just a step—or a push—away. Takamatsu drags Hiroshi out to the hostess clubs and skyscraper offices of Tokyo in search of the killer. Hiroshi goes deeper and deeper into Tokyo’s intricate, perilous market for buying and selling the most expensive land in the world. He teams up with ex-sumo wrestler Sakaguchi to scour Tokyo’s sacred temples, corporate offices and industrial wastelands to find out why one woman was driven to murder. www.michaelpronko.com Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 67

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019

The Life of Levi

BY WILLIAM D. MCEACHERN

From the award-winning and critically acclaimed author, William D. McEachern, comes his new novel, The Life of Levi. When an itinerant preacher arrives in Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, the lives of the tax collector, Levi, his wife, Miriam, and his brother, James, completely unravel. Will Miriam run off with Levi’s best friend, a Greek merchant? Will James leave his fishing business and follow the preacher? Will Levi lose everything? And why is Pontius Pilate coming to Capernaum?

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Blood Master Book 1 of The G.O.D.s Series BY KIRSTEN CAMPBELL

It’s 2052 and Earth has lost two thirds of its population to the Great War. Many more lives were lost to earthquakes, the Clover Virus, and the Death Plague. Years later, survivors were clumped into factions. Two of the factions, the Guild and the Brotherhood, have fought over medical supplies and food for years. The fight is coming to a head as manpower dwindles and the struggle becomes one to gain numbers, even if said numbers are children… Griffin is the only survivor of the Guild’s deadly experiments and they hunt for him because his survival will have dynamic consequences on the world. Will he save the children of the Underground from their tragic life? Only time will tell… www.kcampbell-gods.com Available on Amazon


BOOK SHELF

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Two Tickets to Dubrovnik BY ANGUS KENNEDY

A View From The Languedoc BY ANGUS KENNEDY

Australian wine writer, Andrew Johnston, goes to Dubrovnik to prepare an article for his editor on the wines and wineries of southern Rhône. He meets up with an old Bordelaise wine making acquaintance, Lucien Delasalles, and his step-sister, Niki Menčetić. He becomes embroiled in the murky affairs of Niki and her family and the local police, which leads to his sad departure from the ancient city.

Australian wine writer, Andrew Johnston, is again staying in Europe, this time with his brother, Adrian, for both work and a holiday. During an extensive new wine project from his publisher, he meets up again with a number of his old acquaintances from both France and Dubrovnik, including Niki Menčetić. Whether he can resolve his difficulties with Niki’s life is uncertain.

www.anguskennedybooks.com Available at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble.

www.anguskennedybooks.com Available at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble.

To The East

The Final Programme

The book gives a composite picture of what heaven is like based on the eyewitness testimony of nineteen separate accounts. As a result it gives a more complete picture than any other single book does. All of Scripture’s testimony about heaven is confirmed and many more details God never revealed in His Word. Many readers say it’s a great blessing and have bought extra copies to give away.

In this final novel of the Out of Solitude tetralogy, Australian wine writer, Andrew Johnston, is comatose in a hospital in Sydney, Australia after the events of Međjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina. His Croatian lover, Niki Menčetić, believes him gone, the victim of a cruel deception by Andrew’s brother, Adrian, and has returned to Dubrovnik. Andrew now has to try to re-establish the rest of his life.

www.anguskennedybooks.com Available at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble.

www.anguskennedybooks.com Available at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble.

BY ANGUS KENNEDY

BY ANGUS KENNEDY

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Undermining the U.S. Constitution

SHADOWS FALLING

BY DIANE S. VANN

BY CARMEN

As a nurse I have been in situations where patients learned very bad news about the state of their health, news that was not received well by them, their families, or even their medical team. When preparing this book, my feelings were much the same as when I was in those situations.

Elena, a Jewish orphan, is subjected to invasive acts of pedophilia as a youth and later by her father. One night she invites Ernst, a friend and member of the Nazi Youth Corps, into her bedroom. Acting upon her imprinted bizarre lifestyle, she teaches him all of the intimate and invasive actions she is now addicted to. Thus, their spirits bind in a manner that soon transcends into their next lifetime. Elena is sent to the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp for women. Ernst, now an SS officer, transfers there, where they both meet their demise and thrust into this present world. Upon meeting, she says. “I know you. You’ve come back to me again, and just in time.” www.outskirtspress.com Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The bad news about the health of our nation is, like cancer in a patient's body, communism (also known as "Marxism" and extremist socialism) has grown in the United States. Like cancer, it started with an unnoticed seed and grew insidiously with little sign or symptom. Now like cancer, communism is on the brink of overwhelming us. Available at Amazon and LitFire

Feast of Fates

A SUMMER OF GOOD-BYES

BY CHRISTIAN A. BROWN

BY FRED MISURELLA

Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her—visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land.

Passion in Provence: Ben and Lee Alto follow Van Gogh's 19th century path to Provence, hoping to find inspiration for their own lives and give their adopted son, Misha, insight into a world completely different from their own. They find art, of course, and a world of beautiful landscapes, warm temperatures, and, yes, wonderful food. But they also find a ghost from the past, and it's not Vincent Van Gogh, but a woman Ben once loved and a man, Zach, a well-known jazz musician, who teaches them hard lessons about art and life, as well as the art of life. A Summer of Good-Byes is a vital, romantic story, filled with the tensions of love and marriage, sexual longing and family loyalty, and the struggle to live in the face of impending death and loss.

www.christianadrianbrown.com Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 69

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019

Available at Amazon or www.fredmisurella.com.


OK COULD BE H O B ER UR E! O Y Promote your book in Shelf Unbound in our Special Advertising Section for Authors.

Each issue of Shelf Unbound is distributed to more than 125,000 people in the U.S. and 62 countries around the globe. Our introductory ad rate for this section is $350/quarter page as seen here. Contact publisher Sarah Kloth to reserve your space. sarah@shelfmediagroup.com

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F I C T I O N I N T R A N S L AT I O N 05

Fiction In Translation. INTRODUCING AUTHORS FROM AROUND THE WORLD. CHECK OUT THESE TRANSLATIONS OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE BOOKS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE.

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OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019


RAIN: AND OTHER STORIES BY MIA COUTO, ERIC M. B. BECKER (TRANSLATOR)

Published in the aftermath of Mozambique’s bloody civil war, Mia Couto’s third collection seeks out the places violence could not reach, the places where, the author writes, “every man is the same: pretending he’s here, dreaming of going away, and plotting his return.” Shifting masterfully between forms - creation tale to meditation, playful comedy to magical twist - these stories grapple with questions of what’s been lost and what can be reclaimed, what future exists for a country that broke the yoke of colonialism only to descend into internecine war, what is Mozambican and

what is Mozambique. Following fishermen and fortune-tellers, widows and drunks, and one errant hippopotamus, this new translation of stories by the Man Booker-listed author of Confession of the Lioness rediscovers possibility and what it means to be reborn.

MOZAMBIQUE

BOOKS FROM

AFRICA

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MIA COUTO Mia Couto was born in 1955 in Mozambique and is the most prominent writer in Portuguese-speaking Africa. He has been active as a journalist and for several years headed the AIM news agency in Maputo. He now lives in Maputo where he works as an environmental biologist. 72


DISORIENTAL BY NÉGAR DJAVADI (AUTHOR), TINA KOVER (TRANSLATOR)

Kimiâ Sadr fled Iran at the age of ten in the company of her mother and sisters to join her father in France. Now twentyfive and facing the future she has built for herself as well as the prospect of a new generation, Kimiâ is inundated by her own memories and the stories of her ancestors, which come to her in unstoppable, uncontainable waves. In the waiting room of a Parisian fertility clinic, generations of flamboyant Sadrs return to her, including her formidable great-grandfather Montazemolmolk, with his harem of fiftytwo wives, and her parents, Darius and Sara, stalwart opponents of each regime that befalls

them. It is Kimiâ herself––punk-rock aficionado, storyteller extraordinaire, a Scheherazade of our time, and above all a modern woman divided between family traditions and her own “disorientalization”––who forms the heart of this bestselling and beloved novel.

FRANCE

BOOKS FROM

EUROPE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR NÉGAR DJAVADI was born in Iran in 1969 to a family of intellectuals opposed to the regimes both of the Shah, then of Khomeini. She arrived in France at the age of eleven, having crossed the mountains of Kurdistan on horseback with her mother and sister. She is a screenwriter and lives in Paris. Disoriental is her first novel. 73

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019


LOVE BY HANNE ØRSTAVIK, MARTIN AITKEN (TRANSLATOR)

A single mother, Vibeke, and her son Jon, have just moved to a small, remote town in the north of Norway. It is the day before Jon’s birthday, but Vibeke, preoccupied with concerns of her own, has forgotten this. With a man on her mind, she ventures to the local library and then a fairground, while Jon goes out to sell lottery tickets for his sports club. We follow the two characters on their separate journeys through a cold winter’s night. As Ørstavik weaves together their two separate worlds, a sense of uneasiness grows.

An acknowledged masterpiece of Norwegian literature, And Other Stories’ edition brings the total number of international publishers to twenty-eight, so far. Masterfully rendered into English by translator Martin Aitken, this novel was one of five shortlisted for the 2019 US National Book Award in the Translated Literature category and won the 2019 PEN America Translation Prize.

NORWAY

BOOKS FROM

EUROPE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR HANNE ØRSTAVIK With the publication of the novel CUT in 1994, Hanne Ørstavik (b. 1969) embarked on a career that would make her one of the most remarkable and admired authors in Norwegian contemporary literature. Her literary breakthrough came three years later with the publication of LOVE (Kjærlighet), which in 2006 was voted the 6th best Norwegian book of the last 25 years in a prestigious contest in Dagbladet. 74


MADE IN SATURN BY RITA INDIANA, SYDNEY HUTCHINSON (TRANSLATOR)

This is the story of the children of the revolution, of many revolutions. This is life on an island, in fact: on two Caribbean islands, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. A vivid evocation of contemporary life on these particular islands, the novel’s passion and contradictory characters will strike a chord with readers everywhere, as will the portrayal of justice abandoned in the pursuit of riches. Argenis Luna, the protagonist of this novel, is an artist who no longer paints, a recovering heroin addict, and an innocent trying to make sense of communist Cuba and the Dominican

Republic where his once revolutionary father is now part of the ruling elite. After the nightmare-ish hallucination of Tentacle, Rita Indiana’s new novel strikes a mellower note as it conjures up today’s world with all its beauty, love and corruption.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

BOOKS FROM

N O R T H

AMERICA

ABOUT THE AUTHOR RITA INDIANA Rita Indiana Hernández Sánchez is a Dominican writer, and singer-songwriter. In 2011, she was selected by the newspaper El País as one of the 100 most influential Latino personalities.

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WHY, WHY, WHY? BY QUIM MONZÓ, PETER BUSH (TRANSLATOR)

A man tries to teach a stone to speak through sheer force of will. An engaged couple makes a pact to never lie, and their union dissolves immediately. Over the course of a phone call, a man learns that his girlfriend died months ago, and that he’s been unknowingly seeing her twin sister. Prince Charming marries Cinderella, but then has an affair with the evil stepsisters. A psychopath's liver explodes after a night of heavy drinking, but instead of killing him, it allows him to be a better drinker. These, and many more, strange and twisted

characters populate the pages of Why, Why, Why?, a delectable brew of dark humor and biting satire on human relationships. In these stories, the characters don’t start falling until they know they’re off the cliff. By then, rock bottom isn’t a long way off. Another stunning entry from Catalan’s greatest contemporary writer, Monzó’s stories dust themselves off and speed on to their next catastrophe.

SPAIN

BOOKS FROM

EUROPE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

QUIM MONZÓ Quim Monzó was born in Barcelona in 1952. He has been awarded the National Award, the City of Barcelona Award, the Prudenci Bertrana Award, the El Temps Award, the Lletra d’Or Prize for the best book of the year, and the Catalan Writers’ Award, and he has been awarded Serra d’Or magazine’s prestigious Critics’ Award four times. He has also translated numerous authors into Catalan,

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SONNETS TO ORPHEUS BY RAINER MARIA RILKE, CHRISTIANE MARKS (TRANSLATOR)

Rainer Maria Rilke’s fiftyfive Sonnets to Orpheus were written over a few days in an astonishing burst of inspiration. Described by Rilke himself as “a spontaneous inner dictation,” the sequence is among the most famous works of modernist literature, and Christiane Marks’s fresh new translations succeed in evoking Rilke’s music—often sacrificed in translation—opening a new window on these poems, for old and new Rilke lovers alike. The result of nearly two decades of memorization, research, and fine-tuning,

Marks’s translations, only the second by a woman and the first by a native German speaker, recapture Rilke’s astonishingly contemporary, often colloquial style.

GERMANY

BOOKS FROM

EUROPE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR RAINER MARIA RILKE Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague in 1875 and traveled throughout Europe for much of his adult life, returning frequently to Paris. His last years were spent in Switzerland, where he completed his two poetic masterworks, the Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus. He died of leukemia in December 1926. 77

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THE DREAMED PART BY RODRIGO FRESÁN, WILL VANDERHYDEN (TRANSLATOR)

Following his failure to break into the Hadron Collider and merge with the socalled “God particle,” The Writer from The Invented Part can no longer write or sleep. Instead, he lies awake, imagining and reimagining key moments of his life, spinning out a series of insomniac visions every bit as thoughtprovoking as they are dreamlike. A mysterious foundation dedicated to preserving dreams, suddenly invaluable in the wake of the dream-eradicating White Plague; a psycholyrical-photophobic terrorist; an electric and mercurial lullaby; three lunatic sisters (and an

eclipsed brother) who write from the darkest side of the most wuthering lunar heights; a hallucinating prisoner and a hallucinatory family; a genius addicted to butterflies and an FBI agent addicted to that genius; a looney and lysergic uncle and parents who model but are not model parents; a revolutionary staging of Shakespeare for the children of chic guerrillas; a city of sleepless bookshops; and a writer who might be 100 years old. Or not.

ARGENTINA

BOOKS FROM

SOUTH

AMERICA

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

RODRIGO FRESÁN Rodrigo Fresán is the author of ten works of fiction, including Kensington Gardens, Mantra, and The Invented Part, winner of the 2018 Best Translated Book Award. A self-professed “referential maniac,” his works incorporate many elements from science fiction (Philip K. Dick in particular) alongside pop culture and literary references. 78


CELESTIAL BODIES BY JOKHA ALHARTHI, MARILYN BOOTH (TRANSLATOR)

In the village of al-Awafi in Oman, we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla, who chooses to refuse all offers and await a reunion with the man she loves, who has emigrated to Canada. These three women and their families, their losses and loves, unspool beautifully against a backdrop of a rapidly changing Oman, a country evolving from a traditional, slaveowning society into its complex present. Through the sisters, we glimpse a society in all

its degrees, from the very poorest of the local slave families to those making money through the advent of new wealth. The first novel originally written in Arabic to ever win the Man Booker International Prize, and the first book by a female Omani author to be translated into English, Celestial Bodies marks the arrival in the United States of a major international writer.

OMAN

BOOKS FROM

MIDDLE E A S T

ABOUT THE AUTHOR JOKHA ALHARTHI Jokha al-Harthi is an Omani writer and academic. She was educated in Oman and in the United Kingdom. She obtained her PhD in classical Arabic literature from Edinburgh University. She is currently an associate professor in the Arabic department at Sultan Qaboos University. 79

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019


THE COURT DANCER: A NOVEL BY KYUNG-SOOK SHIN, ANTON HUR (TRANSLATOR)

When a novice French diplomat arrives for an audience with the Emperor, he is enraptured by the Joseon Dynasty’s magnificent culture, then at its zenith. But all fades away when he sees Yi Jin perform the delicate traditional Dance of the Spring Oriole. Though well aware that women of the court belong to the palace, the young diplomat confesses his love to the Emperor, and gains permission for Yi Jin to accompany him back to France. A world away in Belle Epoque Paris, Yi Jin lives a free, independent life, away from the

gilded cage of the court, and begins translating and publishing Joseon literature into French with another Korean student. But even in this new world, great sorrow awaits her. Yi Jin’s grieving and suffering is only amplified by homesickness and a longing for her oldest friend. But her homecoming was not a happy one. Betrayal, jealousy, and intrigue abound, culminating with the tragic assassination of the last Joseon empress-and the poisoned pages of a book.

SOUTH KOREA

BOOKS FROM

E A S T A S I A

ABOUT THE AUTHOR KYUNG-SOOK SHIN Kyung-Sook Shin is the author of numerous works of fiction and is one of South Korea’s most widely read and acclaimed novelists. She was the first woman to be awarded the Man Asian Literary Prize (for Please Look After Mom), and she has also been honored with the Manhae Literature Prize, the Dongin Literature Prize, and the Yi Sang Literary Prize, as well as France’s Pirx de l’Inaperçu. 80


DIVING FOR SEAHORSES: THE SCIENCE AND SECRETS OF MEMORY BY HILDE ØSTBY AND YLVA ØSTBY, MARIANNE LINDVALL (TRANSLATOR)

What makes us remember? Why do we forget? And what, exactly, is a memory? Diving for Seahorses answers these questions and more, offering an illuminating look at one of our most fascinating faculties: our memory. Sisters Hilde and Ylva Østby – one an acclaimed writer the other a neuropsychologist—skilfully interweave history, research and personal stories in this fascinating exploration of the evolving science

of memory from its Renaissance beginnings to the present day. They interview top neuroscientists, famous novelists, taxi drivers and quizmasters to help explain how memory works, why it sometimes fails and what we can do to improve it.

NORWAY

BOOKS FROM

EUROPE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR HILDE AND YLVA ØSTBY Hilde Østby is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Encyclopedia of Love and Longing, which was called “one of the best books of the year” by three of Norway’s most esteemed newspapers. Ylva Østby is a clinical neuropsychologist who devotes her research to the study of memory. 81

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THE SEVENTH CROSS BY ANNA SEGHERS, MARGOT BETTAUER DEMBO (TRANSLATOR

The Seventh Cross is one of the most powerful, popular, and influential novels of the twentieth century, a hair raising thriller that helped to alert the world to the grim realities of Nazi Germany and that is no less exciting today than when it was first published in 1942. Seven political prisoners escape from a Nazi prison camp; in response, the camp commandant has seven trees harshly pruned to resemble seven crosses: they will serve as posts to torture each recaptured prisoner, and capture, of course, is certain. Meanwhile, the

escapees split up and flee across Germany, looking for such help and shelter as they can find along the way, determined to reach the border. Anna Seghers’s novel is not only a supremely suspenseful story of flight and pursuit but also a detailed portrait of a nation in the grip and thrall of totalitarianism.

GERMANY

BOOKS FROM

ERUPE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR ANNA SEGHERS Anna Seghers (née Netty Reiling; 1900–1983) was born in Mainz, Germany, into an upper-middle-class Jewish family. She was a sickly and introverted child by her own account, but became an intellectually curious student, eventually earning a doctorate in art history at the University of Heidelberg in 1924; her first story, written under the name Antje Seghers, was published in the same year. 82


THE BAGHDAD CLOCK BY SHAHAD AL RAWI, LUKE LEAFGREN (TRANSLATOR)

In the midst of the first Gulf War, a young Iraqi girl huddles with her neighbours in an air raid shelter. There, she meets Nadia. The two girls quickly become best friends and together they imagine a world not torn apart by civil war, sharing their dreams, their hopes and their desires, and their first loves. But as they grow older and the bombs continue to fall, the international sanctions bite and friends begin to flee the country, the girls must face the fact that their lives will never be the same again. This poignant debut novel will spirit readers away to a world

they know only from the television, revealing just what it is like to grow up in a city that is slowly disappearing in front of your eyes, and showing how in the toughest times, children can build up the greatest resilience.

IRAQ

BOOKS FROM

MIDDLE E A S T

ABOUT THE AUTHOR SHAHAD AL RAWI Shahad Al Rawi was born in Baghdad in 1986. She is a writer and novelist. The Baghdad Clock is her first novel, and it went through three printings in the first months of publication. She is currently completing a PhD in Anthropology in Dubai.

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HAPPY DREAMS BY JIA PINGWA, NICKY HARMAN (TRANSLATOR)

After a disastrous end to a relationship, Hawa “Happy” Liu embarks on a quest to find the recipient of his donated kidney and a life that lives up to his self-given moniker. Traveling from his rural home in Freshwind to the city of Xi’an, Happy brings only an eternally positive attitude, his devoted best friend Wufu, and a pair of high-heeled women’s shoes he hopes to fill with the love of his life. In Xi’an, Happy and Wufu find jobs as trash pickers sorting through the city’s filth, but Happy refuses to be deterred by inauspicious

beginnings. In his eyes, dusty birds become phoenixes, the streets become rivers, and life is what you make of it. When he meets the beautiful Yichun, he imagines she is the one to fill the shoes and his Cinderella-esque dream. But when the harsh city conditions and the crush of societal inequalities take the life of his friend and shake Happy to his soul, he’ll need more than just his unrelenting optimism to hold on to the belief that something better is possible.

CHINA

BOOKS FROM

A S I A

ABOUT THE AUTHOR JIA PINGWA Born in 1952 in Dihua Village, Danfeng County, Shaanxi Province, Jia Pingwa went on to graduate from Northwestern University’s Chinese department in 1975. He is deputy chair of the China Writers’ Association Presidium and chair of Writers’ Association Shaanxi branch. Among his best-known works are the novels Shaanxi Opera (QinQiang), Ruined City, Turbulence. He is also the author of several short story collections and novellas. 84


THE SHELF LIFE OF HAPPINESS BY DAVID MACHADO, HILLARY LOCKE (TRANSLATOR)

Ripped apart by Portugal’s financial crisis, Daniel’s family is struggling to adjust to circumstances beyond their control. His wife and children move out to live with family hours away, but Daniel believes against all odds that he will find a job and everything will return to normal. Even as he loses his home, suffers severe damage to his car, and finds himself living in his old, abandoned office building, Daniel fights the realization that things have changed. He’s unable to see what remains among the

rubble—friendship, his family’s love, and people’s deep desire to connect. If Daniel can let go of the past and find his true self, he just might save not only himself but also everyone that really matters to him.onfession of the Lioness rediscovers possibility and what it means to be reborn.

PORTUGAL

BOOKS FROM

EUROPE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR DAVID MACHADO David Machado hails from Lisbon, Portugal, and writes fiction for both adults and children. His books are popular in Portugal and have been awarded literary prizes, including the European Union Prize for Literature for the Portuguese version of this novel, Índice médio de felicidade (The Shelf Life of Happiness), which he adapted into a screenplay in 2016. 85

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THE GREAT PASSAGE BY SHION MIURA, JULIET WINTERS CARPENTER (TRANSLATOR)

Kohei Araki believes that a dictionary is a boat to carry us across the sea of words. But after thirtyseven years of creating dictionaries, it’s time for him to retire and find his

Along with an energetic, if reluctant, new recruit and an elder linguistics scholar, Majime is tasked with a career-defining accomplishment: completing The Great Passage, a comprehensive 2,900-page tome of the Japanese language. On his journey, Majime discovers friendship, romance, and an incredible dedication to his work, inspired by the words that connect us all.

JAPAN

replacement. He discovers a kindred spirit in Mitsuya Majime—a young, disheveled square peg with a penchant for collecting antiquarian books and a background in linguistics—whom he swipes from his company’s sales department.

BOOKS FROM

E A S T A S I A

ABOUT THE AUTHOR SHION MIURA Shion Miura, the daughter of a well-known Japanese classics scholar, started an online book-review column before she graduated from Waseda University. In 2000, she made her fiction debut with Kakuto suru mono ni mar (A Passing Grade for Those Who Fight), a novel based in part on her own experiences during her job hunt. 86


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F E AT U R E D I N D I E B OO K S TO R E

Word On The Water The London Bookbarge A 100 year old Dutch barge, selling quality second hand and new books. We have classics, cult, contemporary fiction, a large range of children's books and art and photography, plus some quirky stuff that you would never think to look for but may be very pleased to find. Also a wood-burning stove, Poetry Slams, readings and live acoustic music on our roof stage.

Find Us on Facebook! 88


F E AT U R E

READ Global. BY SARA GROCHOWSKI

06

THE NON-PROFIT THAT’S FOSTERING SUSTAINABLE ACCESS TO BOOKS AND EDUCATION IN RURAL ASIA

Today, READ has global headquarters in San Francisco, local country offices in Bhutan, India and Nepal. More than 2 million people have access to READ Centers and their trainings. 89

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READ Global’s impact boasts 2.5 million rural villagers with access to community library and resource centers, 107 centers established to date, 184 for-profit enterprises launched to sustain those centers, and 418 villages served by centers – and it’s likely you still haven’t heard of this non-profit organization working in rural Asia and headquartered in San Francisco. The organization was “inspired by a simple wish from a Nepalese trekking guide: to have a library for his village.” Dr. Antonia “Toni” Neubauer, a former language teacher and education researcher, founded the Rural Education and Development (READ) Global in Nepal in 1991 after traveling throughout Asia for decades with her adventure travel company Myths and Mountains. In 2006, READ Nepal won the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Access to Learning Award and, the next year, received a Replication Grant from the Foundation to expand its reach to Bhutan and India. Today, READ Global is headquartered in California with local offices in Bhutan, India, and Nepal. READ Global has four programs: Education, Women’s Empowerment, Technology, and Economic Empowerment. READ Centers provide “holistic education for villagers of all ages and backgrounds,” including adult literacy courses, information about preventative health, children’s programming, youth support through the loaning of textbooks, materials, and support. The centers offer women and girls “a safe space

to gather, learn, and advocate,” providing leadership development, women’s and family health, gender sensitization training and discussions, and women’s groups from book groups to saving cooperatives. In addition to functioning as a community space, the centers provide free access to “computers and the internet, where possible, as well as trainings in information communications technology.” And, finally, the centers provide “educational resources and training programs focused on creating livelihoods and building financial literacy.” All READ centers are owned and operated by the local community and has a library, computer room, women’s section, children’s room, and training hall. Local partners offer training in each of the four programs and each center includes a for-profit “sustaining enterprise,” a small business that creates local jobs and generates profit to support the ongoing costs of the center. This savvy four-pronged approach provides equitable access to knowledge, helping isolated rural communities sustainably break the cycle of poverty by empowering individuals within the community, including women, children, and the elderly. READ Centers are libraries that change lives. READ Global offers numerous ways to get involved at readglobal.org 

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WHEN A BOOK LOVER BECOMES A PARENT BY MEGAN LORD

BOOK MOM A little bit of everything from a scatter-brained, book-loving Mom.

ABOUT THE COLUMNIST

I am the mother of an adventurous and exhausting but amazing toddler boy that runs my life. I spend a ridiculous amount of time reading mind numbing children’s books over and over again because he has his select favorites… But when I do get time to read (or listen) I love reading and listening to a variety of genres. I get the most time to indulge in books of my choice during what I like to call “wind-down baths” once a week.

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Hobbies? Oh yeah, I used to have some of those… especially reading! I could keep up with the best of them, reading at minimum a book a month, but usually 2 if I had a read book and an audio book. Then I had my son, and everything changed. I first want to shout out my neighbor and friend, Annie, for suggesting I write about the book lovers shift after beginning parenthood – it’s a real thing. We connected and fully understood each other and the longing for more time to read like we used to. It’s a major shift from getting lost in your personal likes, interests and hobbies in your free time to you questioning what free time is and losing sight of those things in a sea of diaper changes, playdates, activities, and ABC and 123 books. Your child’s bookshelf becomes the only reading you have the time and/or energy for. And you’re not complaining, you wouldn’t change it, but man you miss reading YOUR books! Don’t get me wrong, reading to my son is a beautiful and fun thing. I love that he loves books as well and always wants me to read to him… you also have to understand though the monotony of reading “Hop on Pop” or “Elmo Uses the Potty” for the 184th time. I do have a little hope that baby #2 coming early 2020 will bring some variety to the “favorite daily kid reads” and she will not choose the exact same books as her brother to love on repeat. Obviously, you still see me reviewing books and writing about books here, so the book lover in me was not totally lost for good, but she was lost for the first year of my baby boy’s life. Now he is 2, and I’ve finally kind of put some structure and semblance back to my life, and I’d like to hope


that since I will be “seasoned” this time around, #2 won’t take me as long to get back into my skin and reading books for me again. My attempt at advice for those parents out there struggling to read more than just children’s books and bedtime stories:

- Don’t get too upset if you can’t read much the first year, that’s pretty normal… be honest with your expectations after that, you likely will not read as many books and as quickly as you did pre-child for a long time. - Audio Books – you can listen in the car during errand runs, while doing chores or making dinner, and at night without needing any lights on. If you have Audible and Alexa – you can tell her to play your book anytime your doing something you can listen while doing pretty conveniently. - Remember that you lead by example, so if your children Do see you reading and/or observe you listening to audiobooks whenever you can vs. binge watching TV or scrolling your phone, they will be more likely to mimic those activities in their lives. - It's important not to completely lose yourself in parenting. If you love books and reading, don’t lose that passion… even if you go months without picking up a book, you can always come back to it. Don’t give up hope or efforts! You’re not alone in the struggle – it is possible.

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Haruki on the Shore. BY CHRISTIAN ADRIAN BROWN

FIT LIT Body, Mind and Quill

ABOUT THE COLUMNIST

Quadragenarian fitness model, lifestyle coach and bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Feast of Fates, Christian A. Brown received a Kirkus star in 2014 for the first novel in his genrechanging Four Feasts till Darkness series. He has appeared on Newstalk 1010, AM640, Daytime Rogers, and Get Bold Today with LeGrande Green. He actively writes and speaks about his mother’s journey with cancer and on gender issues in the media.

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As this issue revolves around international literary treasures, I wanted to dedicate my article to a man as near and dear to my heart and interests that I would idealize us—metaphorically, not in terms of professional achievements—as soul brothers: Haruki Murakami. He is a man as driven by discipline and restrained, concentrated emotion as I am. An admirable icon with a tattered, war-torn family crest that has endured, and been remade, sturdier through the threads of love, learning, and compassion. Haruki is a global visionary, arguably one of the greatest living authors. His works have been translated into around fifty languages. His themes range from the ethereal and beautiful to the dark and dire. The loneliness and, by contrast, the strength of self that we can discover in isolation are commonly examined by this master wordsmith. Haruki’s words and experiences have been shaped by war trauma (his father’s), globalization, and—later in life—a passion for fitness. Like us all, he is a composite of experiences and ideas, though he has managed to crystallize his life into parables of meaning, actualization, and achievement. I find his literature as introspective as it is engaging, each book a psychological delve into and reexamination of the mirror in which I view myself and my values. I’ve been moved and changed even by reading his books. I can think of few other authors who have had that metaphysical, psychoactive effect on my being. While there are clear influences of Russian and Western


thinkers and artists to be found in Murakami’s pages, the amalgam is wholly his own, wholly Murakami, and not a bastardized Frankenstein or mimicry of parts. In Japan, his work has often been critiqued as being “too Western” or “not Japanese enough.” Strange-seeming sentiments to those of us who celebrate unique viewpoints and the accompanying contrasts and discussions those artists bring with their work. But isn’t that the point of art? To challenge us? To break down perceptions and misconceptions and to guide us to a version of universal truth? I believe it is. I equally believe that Haruki is one of the few who can so shrewdly and effectively navigate us toward that epiphany through the magic of his words. I think, too, that his greatness proves that the tool of language may be used to unify humanity and not divide us. If you haven’t read Murakami, go grab Kafka on the Shore—my personal recommendation. However, make sure you finish reading this rather brilliant issue of Shelf first. —C  SCHEMING IMMORTAL KINGS AND ANTEDILUVIAN HORRORS MEET THEIR MATCH IN A HANDMAIDEN.

Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her— visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land. With Morigan growing more powerful each day, the leaders of the realm soon realize that this young woman could hold the key to their destruction. Suddenly, Morigan finds herself beset by enemies, and she must master her mysterious gifts if she is to survive. www.christianadrianbrown.com 94


BOOK REVIEW

The Wall. Set in Africa, The Wall takes off in a sprint when a young man goes searching for help in the wrong place at the wrong time and finds himself stuck on the inside of a gated community running from a crime he didn’t commit. The story takes place over just two short hours – filled with twists and turns and non-stop chases along the way. The Wall is an intense thriller, with second-by-second near misses. The Wall is an exploration of racial profiling, class, exclusion, and chance.

THE WALL MAX ANNAS (AUTHOR), RACHEL HILDEBRANDT REYNOLDS (TRANSLATOR)

About The Book Moses wants one thing: to get home, where his girlfriend and a cold beer are waiting for him. But his car breaks down on an empty street, not a single human being in sight. Moses slips into The Pines, a gated community, in hopes to find help from a university classmate who lives there. Over there, in the “white” world, everything seems calm, orderly, safe. But once inside, he feels like more of an outsider than ever. And he makes a terrible mistake.

Mistaken identities, racial profiling, and class politics form the backdrop of this intense thriller. The Wall tackles the issues of gun violence, racism, and exclusion in contemporary South Africa problems that are equally relevant in the United States.  ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Max Annas is the author of fictional and non-fictional books. Before writing novels he was working as a journalist and published on food production, right wing youth culture and philosophy. A renowned film critic, his first novel, The Farm, is currently under film production in South Africa.

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From The Shadows

BOOK REVIEW

From The Shadows is incredibly strange, truly bizarre - one of the most original stories. Written in the form of a talk show makes it a nice light, simple read whose story flows from one chapter to the next making it impossible to put down. After a petty theft of a tie clip, a man finds himself hiding in an antique wardrobe to avoid the police looking for him. As the store closes, the wardrobe is delivered to a family with the man still inside. Rather quietly leave their house when the opportunity arises, the man ends up living in their house, unseen and unnoticed, hiding in the wardrobe at night and acting as a butler cleaning and fixing things around the house during the day.

About The Book Laid off from his job, Damián Lobo obsessively imagines himself as a celebrity being interviewed on TV. After committing an act of petty theft at an antiques market, he finds himself trapped inside a wardrobe and delivered to the seemingly idyllic home of a husband, wife, and their internet-addicted teenage daughter. There, he sneaks from the shadows to serve as an invisible butler, becoming deeply and disastrously involved with his unknowing host family. 

FROM THE SHADOWS

BY JUAN JOSÉ MILLÁS (AUTHOR), THOMAS BUNSTEAD (TRANSLATOR), DANIEL HAHN (TRANSLATOR)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan José Millás is the recipient of Spain’s most prestigious literary prizes: the Premio Nadal, Premio Planeta, and Premio Nacional de Narrativa. A regular contributor to El País, Millás has also won many awards for his journalism. He is the author of several short story collections and works of nonfiction as well as over a dozen novels, including From the Shadows, the first of his novels to be published in North America. He lives in Madrid.

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“2015 Best YA Blogs And Book Reviewers” - URBAN EPICS, 2015 BLOGGER AWARDS

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“The awesome Girl+Book YA book review blog.....I smiled to see Blue Karma recommended for "tom-boys, tree climbers, adventure seekers, and backyard-campers" because I have answered (or still do) to all of these descriptions....The Girl+Book blog continues to make my day.” - J.K. ULLRICH, AUTHOR OF BLUE KARMA

“I Just Read Girl Plus Book’s Review Of Revelation, And It Made My Night!” - ELLERY KANE, AUTHOR OF LEGACY SERIES

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BOOK REVIEW

Bowie: An Illustrated Life I grew up knowing Bowie's music. I remember Bowie as an alien from space; his movie: "the last man on earth"; his gender fluidity (ahead of his time), and his always dilated pupil that added to his distinctive style and persona. So when I saw this book it grabbed my curiosity -

his musical progressions, romantic interludes and family riffs.

About The Book David Bowie was a master of artifice and reinvention. In that same spirit, illustrator María Hesse and writer Fran Ruiz have

who was David Bowie?

created a vivid retelling of the life

This translated from Spanish

working-class childhood to glam

book, with colorful and interpretive snapshots, provides an entertaining and informative glimpse of Bowie’s public and private life, music and disappearance from this earth. From his childhood to the end of life, the book captures the essence of Bowie’s inner “alien”. The real Bowie is revealed. The authors and illustration artists take you on a journey through

of David Robert Jones, from his rock success to superstardom, concluding with the final recording sessions after his cancer diagnosis. Narrated from the rock star’s point of view, Bowie colorfully renders both the personal and the professional turning points in a life marked by evolution and innovation. We see Bowie facing the sorrow of his brother’s

BOWIE: AN ILLUSTRATED LIFE BY MARIA HESSE AND FRANK RUIZ. TRANSLATED BY NED SUBLETTE

mental illness, kicking a cocaine habit while other musicians succumbed to deadly overdoses, contending with a tumultuous love life, and radiating joy as a father. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

An illustrator and graphic designer, María Hesse is the author of Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Life. Fran Ruiz is a professor of geography and history, and his writing regularly appears in the magazine Cultural Use Manual. Ned Sublette is a musicologist and the author of four previous books.

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BOOK REVIEW

Tentacle Rita Indiana's Tentacle is brilliant, from beginning to end. Tentacle is a strange, beautiful book that brings a unique Caribbean spin on climate fiction. It's easy, fast-paced rhythm combined with its multiple narrative cli-fi story featuring time travel and sea anemone enchantment will leave you saying "Man, that was a wild ride." Tentacle is a small book with a big punch. A literary sci-fi thriller unlike anything else.

TENTACLE BY RITA INDIANA (AUTHOR), ACHY OBEJAS (TRANSLATOR)

“she would receive the Chosen One in her own home, and that she would meet her death at his hands.”

About The Book Plucked from her life on the streets of post-apocalyptic Santo Domingo, young maid Acilde Figueroa finds herself at the heart of a voodoo prophecy: only she can travel back in time and save the ocean – and humanity – from disaster. But first she must become the man she always was – with the help of a sacred anemone. Tentacle is an electric novel with a big appetite and a brave vision, plunging headfirst into questions of climate change, technology, Yoruba ritual, queer politics, poverty, sex, colonialism and contemporary art. Bursting with punk energy and lyricism, it’s a restless, addictive trip: The Tempest meets the telenovela. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rita Indiana is a Dominican music composer, producer and key figure in contemporary Caribbean literature; Tentacle won the Grand Prize of the Association of Caribbean Writers in 2017, the first Spanish-language book to do so. She is the author of three collections of stories and four novels, and is a driving force in experimental Dominican popular music along with her band, Rita Indiana y los Misterios. Achy Obejas is a writer, journalist and translator. She is the author of five books of fiction and has translated Junot Díaz and Wendy Guerra, among many others. She is from Cuba and lives in California.

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Podster is a magazine for podcast listeners and serves as a curator for the best of known and unknown podcasts.

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ON OUR SHELF BS

CHECK OUT

What's On Our Shelf Nobody loves books more than us. We're a team of readers with broad interests and strong feelings about the books on our shelves.

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ON OUR SHELF

FROM THE SHADOWS

THE MEMORY POLICE: A NOVEL

MAC'S PROBLEM

by Juan José Millás (Author), Thomas Bunstead (Translator), Daniel Hahn (Translator)

by Yoko Ogawa (Author), Stephen Snyder (Translator)

by Enrique Vila-Matas (Author), Margaret Jull Costa (Translator), Sophie Hughes (Translator)

Laid off from his job, Damián Lobo obsessively imagines himself as a celebrity being interviewed on TV. After committing an act of petty theft at an antiques market, he finds himself trapped inside a wardrobe and delivered to the seemingly idyllic home of a husband, wife, and their internetaddicted teenage daughter. There, he sneaks from the shadows to serve as an invisible butler, becoming deeply and disastrously involved with his unknowing host family. Every thread of the plot is ingeniously tied together, creating a potent admixture of parable, love story, and thriller.

On an unnamed island off an unnamed coast, objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses—until things become much more serious. Most of the island's inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few imbued with the power to recall the lost objects live in fear of the draconian Memory Police, who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten. When a young woman who is struggling to maintain her career as a novelist discovers that her editor is in danger from the Memory Police, she concocts a plan to hide him beneath her floorboards.

Mac is currently unemployed and lives on his wife’s earnings. An avid reader, he decides at the age of sixty to keep a diary. Mac’s wife, a dyslexic, thinks he is simply wasting his time and risking sliding further into depression- but Mac persists, and is determined that this diary won't turn into a novel. However, one day, he has a chance encounter with a neighbor, a successful author of a collection of enigmatic, willfully obscure stories. Mac decides that he will read, revise, and improve his neighbor’s stories, which are mostly narrated by a ventriloquist who has lost the ability to speak in different voices. As Mac embarks on this task, he finds that the stories have a strange way of imitating life. 104


ON OUR SHELF

DRIVE YOUR PLOW OVER THE BONES OF THE DEAD: A NOVEL by Olga Tokarczuk (Author), Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Translator)

In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit. If only anyone would pay her mind . . . 105

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019

CHAOS, A FABLE by Rey Rosa, Rodrigo (Author), Jeffrey Gray (Translator)

Mexican author Rubirosa is attending a book fair in Tangier when he reconnects with an old acquaintance, a Moroccan artist who asks one favor of his visiting friend: to access the puzzling files on a memory card. It could help fulfill the destiny of his son Abdelkrim. It could also unwittingly draw both men into irreversible events already in motion on distant shores. In America, Abdelkrim, a brilliant aspiring astronaut deemed “too Muslim” for citizenship, has teamed up with an equally gifted young prodigy, a witness to the plight of Syrian refugees. Together, the foreign students share a vision of altering the world’s geopolitical landscape to end human suffering with a nearly inconceivable blueprint.

HUMAN MATTER: A FICTION by Rey Rosa, Rodrigo (Author), Eduardo Aparicio (Translator)

More than a decade ago, novelist Rodrigo Rey Rosa made his first visit to the Historical Archive of the Guatemala National Police, where millions of previously hidden records were being cataloged, scanned, and eventually published online. Bringing to light detailed evidence of crimes against humanity, the Archive Recovery Project inspired Rey Rosa to craft a meta-novel that weaves the language of arrest records and surveillance reports with the contemporary journal entries of a novelist (named Rodrigo) who is attempting to synthesize the stories of political activists, indigenous people, and other women and men who became ensnared in a deadly web of state-sponsored terrorism.


ON OUR SHELF

THE MURMUR OF BEES

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ALL MY GOODBYES

by Sofía Segovia (Author), Simon Bruni (Translator)

by Guillermo Saccomanno (Author), Andrea Labinger (Translator)

by Mariana Dimópulos (Author), Alice Whitmore (Translator)

From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can— visions of all that’s yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous. Followed by his protective swarm of bees and living to deliver his adoptive family from threats— both human and those of nature—Simonopio’s purpose in Linares will, in time, be divined.

Buenos Aires, 1977. In the darkest days of the Videla dictatorship, Gómez, a gay highschool literature teacher, tries to keep a low profile as one-by-one, his friends and students begin to disappear. When Esteban, one of Gómez’s favorite students, is taken away in a classroom raid, Gómez realizes that no one is safe anymore, and that asking too many questions can have lethal consequences. His life gradually becomes a paranoid, insomniac nightmare that not even his nightly forays into bars and bathhouses in search of anonymous sex can relieve. Things get even more complicated when he takes in two dissidents, putting his life at risk—especially since he’s been having an affair with a homophobic, sadistic cop with ties to the military government.

A young Argentinian woman feels her identity is in pieces. Diffident, self-critical, wary of commitment, she is condemned, or condemns herself, to repeated acts of departure, from places, parents, and lovers. Then, arriving in the southernmost region of Patagonia, she convinces herself she has found happiness, until she’s caught up in the horrific murders that haunt her story. “All My Goodbyes is a virtuoso performance. A love story told in razor sharp fragments, the novel lies at the intersection of memory, violence and trauma.”

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ON OUR SHELF

THE WALL

TOKYO UENO STATION

THE PINE ISLANDS

by Max Annas (Author), Rachel Hildebrandt Reynolds (Translator)

by Yu Miri (Author), Morgan Giles (Translator)

by Marion Poschmann (Author), Jen Calleja (Translator)

Kazu is dead. Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Emperor, his life is tied by a series of coincidences to the Imperial family and has been shaped at every turn by modern Japanese history. But his life story is also marked by bad luck, and now, in death, he is unable to rest easily, haunting the park near Ueno Station. It is here that Kazu s life in Tokyo began and ended, having arrived there to work as a labourer in the run up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics before ending his days living in the vast homeless villages in the park, traumatised by the destruction of the 2011 tsunami and enraged by the announcement of the 2020 Olympics.

When Gilbert wakes one day from a dream that his wife has cheated on him, he flees immediately and inexplicably - for Tokyo, where he meets a fellow lost soul: Yosa, a young Japanese student clutching a copy of The Complete Manual of Suicide. Together, Gilbert and Yosa set off on a pilgrimage to see the pine islands of Matsushima, one looking for the perfect end to his life, the other for a fresh start.

Moses wants one thing: to get home, where his girlfriend and a cold beer are waiting for him. But his car breaks down on an empty street, not a single human being in sight. Moses slips into The Pines, a gated community, in hopes to find help from a university classmate who lives there. Over there, in the “white� world, everything seems calm, orderly, safe. But once inside, he feels like more of an outsider than ever. And he makes a terrible mistake.

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Playful and profound, The Pine Islands is a beautiful tale of friendship, transformation and acceptance in modern Japan.


ON OUR SHELF

DYING IN A MOTHER TONGUE by Roja Chamankar (Author), Blake Atwood (Translator)

This collection of poetry by the celebrated southern Iranian poet and filmmaker Roja Chamankar (b. 1981) introduces Englishspeaking readers to one of the most accomplished and wellloved poets of her generation. Chamankar’s work blends surrealism and the southern coastal landscape of the poet’s upbringing with everyday experiences in rapidly urbanizing Tehran. Seascapes, love and eroticism, the disconnection of modern life, and myths and fairytales figure prominently in these vivid, lyrical poems.

AWU'S STORY: A NOVEL by Justine Mintsa (Author), Cheryl Toman (Translator)

At the dawn of the twentyfirst century, villages in the Fang region of northern Gabon must grapple with the clash of tradition and the evolution of customs throughout modern Africa. With this tension in the background, the passionate, deft, and creative seamstress Awu marries Obame, after he and his beloved wife, Bella, have been unable to conceive. Because all three are reluctant participants in this arrangement, theirs is an emotionally fraught existence. Through heartbreaking and disastrous events, Awu grapples with long-standing Fang customs that counter her desire to take full control of her life and home.

STEALING CINDERELLA: HOW I BECAME AN INTERNATIONAL FUGITIVE FOR LOVE by Mark D Diehl

I showed up in South Korea with $20 and a dubious offer to teach English. Jennifer was the wickedly smart, fiercely independent second daughter of one of Korea's most influential families. We fell in love in a country where even sitting together brought angry stares, taunts, and threats. Our employer forbade us from seeing each other, but we continued in secret. Eventually, her family became suspicious and had her followed. Their efforts to separate us in the days after that were relentless and violent. We were forced to abandon everything and flee to Hong Kong, where our situation only became more dire. 108


MISSION TRIPS

BY D.L. GRASER

Spending time in many countries with medical mission teams, I have met amazing people. I learn about their culture, food, the region and see their struggles.

FROM WITHIN Life lessons from a firsttime children's book author.

ABOUT THE COLUMNIST

D.L. Graser, was born and raised in the Midwest and has traveled worldwide with medical missions volunteering her time and talents for over twenty years. D.L. Graser has always dreamed of writing a fun book.

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Health is a big issue for the poor of our world. Can you imagine not getting treated for a simple cut the evolves into a mass infection you could lose a limb over, or a boil the size of a grapefruit on your back or even a worm that burrowed into your leg muscle that began doing terrible things to your leg and you had no means to get it out. These are just a couple cases I have seen over the years. So, you hear a medical team will be in your country and you need to get to the doctors; finally there is hope that you can be healed. Some people travel many, many miles just to get to the city we are in. Most of the time they walk or grab a ride on an already overstuffed (I hope I make it) bus/car/wagon. This could take several days to arrive at our makeshift clinic. Now that I think about it, I remember one fella said it took him almost a week to reach us! I witnessed many adults and children healed from infection, parasites,disease, etc... I am so thankful for the doctors and nurses who give of their time and resources to meet the need. On every trip we lived outside our comfort/safety zone. I help people with vision problems to see clearly again. Adults are especially happy because they can resume their handy work and then sell their goods in the village which allows then to provide food for their family. The students do better in school because they can read the chalk board. Some students get headaches because of eye strain. They couldn’t read what was written on paper or on the chalk board by their teacher. Glasses were the answer in most cases.


The little children touch my heart the most. They are so innocent and loving. I watched the kids in Africa take bits and pieces of nothing and make toys to entertain themselves. Some children sit and draw in the dirt. So, I did too. I watched boys twist thin reeds together to make a truck and securing a stick on it so he could stand and drive it about the village, then all of a sudden, an old tire comes flying through the village with a child running alongside of it trying to control its path! They have a blast doing this stuff using their imagination and creativity. I hope one day to fill my suitcase with art supplies and head to an isolated place in Africa for a couple of weeks to encourage young people to let their creative juices flow. Can you imagine a child experiencing clay,crayons, markers or paint for the first time? Who knows by tapping into their creative side what maybe unleash within them? There is one I know personally; He is the greatest of all. God made all creation. He made you and me, carefully knitting us in the womb of our mothers. Being blessed as a creative person with a crazy imagination, I have a hundredth of a speck, of a speck, of a speck, of His great creativity within me. I think everyone has been given creative specks within and those specks are just waiting to be discovered and used. Creativity is good, wake yours up if you are not using it and get to know it, you will have fun and you really will see the world differently. î –

MOUSTACHE & MACINTOSH The night was calm as we floated across the ocean. "Lands not too far away," I heard the captain tell Short Leg Louie. I had not heard anymore cries from the princess in the last couple of nights. I wondered why. I just have a gut feeling that tonight is the night I take her off this ship with me..... 110


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BOOK REVIEW

The Long Ride Home. A good, heartfelt, very real story. This story is a heart tugging one. Harley, the narrator of the story, loses her mom and then goes on a journey to try to find closure. There are very real situations, thoughts, and feelings you experience with her along the way. And then it comes to an end, and it’s NOT the ending you expect. I still don’t quite know how I feel about the way it ended. It’s a real life ending I suppose. You usually expect either the best outcome or the worst outcome when it comes to book endings – this one doesn’t really fall into either typical expectation. That’s about as much as I can say about the ending without ruining it in case you give it a whirl.

THE LONG RIDE HOME BY TAWNI WATERS

And then there is the boyfriend Dean. Every YA book has to have a love interest. There was a lot of detail given on Dean’s personality, but I still had a hard time picturing him. I almost always get a visual in my mind of a main character in a book, and this is the first book in a long time I actually couldn’t picture the characters. But even without a mental image, I still felt for his character. I think at times I felt for him more than the main character. In the chapters where he wasn’t present, I found myself wondering about him more than one would expect. 

“I don’t understand life and death. How could I? I’m a tiny speck of a human on a minuscule dot of a planet in a universe bigger than my ability to comprehend. How could my pea-brain possibly grasp the meaning of existence? Still, when I listen to my heart it knows a soul as beautiful as hers couldn’t just up and vanish.” ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tawni Waters is a writer, actor, college teacher, and gypsy. Her debut novel, Beauty of the Broken, was released by Simon & Schuster in 2014. In addition to winning the prestigious. Her YA novel, The Long Ride Home, published by Sourcebooks Fire, launched in September, 2017. She teaches workshops and retreats at various universities and conferences throughout the U.S and Mexico. In her spare time she talks to angels, humanely evicts spiders from her floorboards, and plays Magdalene to a minor rock god.

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The Gnat & Corky Series. Â A child who may go blind. A big sister who is a light catcher for her brother with special needs. A boy from the Philippines who started the Happy Animals Club. These are a few of the stories in the Gnat & Corky series that celebrates the spirit of children: all colors, all creeds, all abilities.

SMALL PRESS REVIEWS ORANGE HAT PUBLISHING Orange Hat is an independent, Wisconsin-based publisher that's all about the dreamers and go-getters. Shannon Ishizaki started Orange Hat in 2011 because she loved the work - reading, amplifying inspiring voices, and helping dreams come true.. WWW.ORANGEHATPUBLISHING.COM

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Gnat & Corky are an illustrator and author duo who interview real kids and, from those interviews, create stories reflecting the spirits of those kids. Each story is filled with whimsical watercolor illustrations and real characters with messages that teach, inspire, and spread acceptance, laughter, and understanding. The second book in the series, Ken the Keeper, is about Ken, a real kid in the Philippines who started his own no-kill animal shelter, the Happy Animals Club, when he was only nine years old. Now, with help from supporters around the globe, Ken continues to save animals and give them care until they are adopted and wants to share love for all creatures great and small. Gnat & Corky have published four books in their series so far. All of Gnat & Corky books have been translated into Spanish and are available as audiobooks, and Will It is available in braille. You can find their books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and orangehatpublishing.com. î –


ADDISON THE LIGHT CATCHER Listen to Addison tell the story of her super-duper light catcher, which she made when her brother with special needs was born so she could catch his light and share it with the world. This story about love, admiration, and the special bond between siblings sheds light on the power of advocacy and the magic inside of everyone.

KEN THE KEEPER Ken is a real kid that loves animals so much he started The Happy Animals Club, a no-kill animal shelter that cares for all living creatures until they are ready to be set free. With donations from people all around the world, Ken rescues thousands of animals each year. Ken the Keeper shines a light on the power of helping the helpless. Be a Keeper!

WILL IT This is a story of bravery, courage, and the power we all have within us to overcome our greatest fears and doubts. Will has Bardet-Biedl syndrome, which causes retinal degeneration and may eventually render him blind. This doesn’t define Will or prevent him from doing anything he dreams. We can all learn a lesson from him to face the world as we are, with a brave heart, bold spirit, and wicked sense of humor.

FROM MALENA WITH LOVE What would the world be like without love? Birds couldn’t fly. A dark gray would take over and all the creatures and people would lose their color. This is what happens one day when Malena wakes up. She discovers that love has left the world, and as sadness takes her over, she starts to lose her color. Malena makes a choice to try to bring love back. Will she save the world? 114


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DISCOVERIES

IF YOU

LIKE

THESE... YOU’RE SURE TO LIKE... TENTACLE BY RITA INDIANA

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DISCOVERIES

IF YOU

LIKE

THESE... YOU’RE SURE TO LIKE... THE WALL BY MAX ANNAS

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DISCOVERIES

IF YOU

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THESE... YOU’RE SURE TO LIKE... FLIGHTS BY OLGA TOKARCZUK

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Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.” —

ANTHONY BURGESS, AUTHOR OF A

CLOCKWORK ORANGE

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AUGUS T / SEPTEMBER 2019

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Read Global: October/November 2019 | Shelf Unbound Magazine  

The average number of translations published every year since 2008 is only 421 new titles. To put that into perspective, major publishing ho...

Read Global: October/November 2019 | Shelf Unbound Magazine  

The average number of translations published every year since 2008 is only 421 new titles. To put that into perspective, major publishing ho...