Author Archives: lschell

Jodorowsky-Albina and the Dog-Men

Magic Formula: Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Albina and the Dog-Men, Translated by Alfred MacAdam

Reviewed by Jenny Buckland Alejandro Jodorowsky’s latest novel Albina and the Dog-Men is a sensual, surreal romp through the magical landscapes of Peru and the author’s native Chile. Employing a motley cast of absurd, technicolor and often overtly symbolic characters, Jodorowsky administers an exuberant dose of allegorical organized chaos in order to reveal truths about […]

Jung Young Moon-Vaseline Buddha

Wandering Words: Jung Young Moon’s Vaseline Buddha, Translated by Yewon Jung

Review by Kalau Almony Jung Young Moon’s Vaseline Buddha, translated by Yewon Jung, is a strange and wonderful novel. First and foremost, it is a page-turner, but in a way entirely different from what the phrase “page-turner” usually evokes. It is not a tightly plotted novel. In fact, attempting to map out the bits of […]

João Gilberto Noll-Quiet Creature on the Corner

The Refracted Existence: João Gilberto Noll’s Quiet Creature on the Corner, Translated by Adam Morris

Reviewed by Amanda Sarasien Perhaps the self is light refracted through a prism: Multiple. Bent by every twist of fate. And ultimately hovering just beyond our reach. Or so Brazilian author João Gilberto Noll’s Quiet Creature on the Corner, recently released in a stirring translation by Adam Morris, provokes us to consider. This slim volume […]

Ann Goldstein

Ann Goldstein on Ferrante Fever and what makes it into translation from the Italian

As Diana Thow and I were planning a session on Italian literature for the American Literary Translators Association conference, I happened to see translator of Elena Ferrante fame and New Yorker editor Ann Goldstein at the Turin Salone del Libro, where she was presenting a book of essays on Primo Levi and translation. [i] Goldstein, since she was […]

Lacombe Lucien

Creating Dangerously: Louis Malle and Patrick Modiano’s Lacombe Lucien: The Screenplay, Translated by Sabine Destrée

Reviewed by Alex Andriesse It’s easy to be cynical about Patrick Modiano’s recent explosion into English. Since winning the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, Modiano has rocketed overnight from relative obscurity to anglophone-literary-world fame. Before the award was announced, fewer than a dozen of his thirty-odd books had been published in English. In the roughly […]

Ladivine-Marie NDiaye

Modern ghosts: Marie NDiaye’s Ladivine, Translated by Jordan Stump

Reviewed by Lara Vergnaud Tense, horrified, apprehensive–the reader is anything but indifferent to Ladivine, the latest offering from French author Marie NDiaye. The novel, translated by Jordan Stump, and nominated for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, follows three generations of women from one family through mysterious and tragic circumstances. From the first encounter with […]

Recounting the Past: Michèle Audin’s One Hundred Twenty-One Days, Translated by Christiana Hills

Reviewed by Amanda Sarasien How to tell the unspeakable story…Perhaps numbers tell what words cannot? Our instinct is to rebel against this notion. We think of numbers, cold stats, as faceless, even violent. The Nazis were obsessive counters, tattooing concentration-camp prisoners with numbers to strip them of identity, performing experiments which transformed human beings into […]

Jean-Paul Clébert-Paris Vagabond

Paris on Zero Dollars a Day: Jean-Paul Clébert’s Paris Vagabond, Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith

Reviewed by Alex Andriesse Legend has it that Jean-Paul Clébert composed Paris Insolite (translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith as Paris Vagabond) from “a hopeless conglomeration of used envelopes, newsprint edges, unfolded Gauloises packets, and multicolored and multifarious scraps of paper” (3). He hoarded this conglomeration in a paper bag and, most impressively, held onto it through […]

Dissonant Anthem: Han Kang’s Human Acts, Translated by Deborah Smith

Reviewed by Kalau Almony The Korea of Han Kang’s Human Acts is not the Korea of the war or the vivid neon country of K-Pop. It is a vision of the Korea that existed somewhere between the two, where years of military dictatorship are coming to a head. It’s also a vision of the Korea […]

Death in Veracruz-Héctor Aguilar Camín

Mexican Noir: Death in Veracruz by Héctor Aguilar Camín, Translated by Chandler Thompson

Reviewed by Charlotte Whittle In the 1970s, foreign debt, inflation, and political crises plagued Mexico’s previously strong economy, and the discovery of extensive oil reserves in the country’s rural Gulf Coast region seemed to many to offer a panacea for the nation’s ills. The resulting oil boom ushered in a period of speculation and prosperity […]

Piglia-Target in the Night

Negative Illumination: Ricardo Piglia’s Target in the Night, Translated by Sergio Waisman

Reviewed by Lucina Schell, Editor In November, 2015, Mauricio Macri won Argentina’s presidency in a run-off election, ending twelve years of Peronist-party rule by the Kirchners. Ricardo Piglia’s Target in the Night takes place before the fractured optimism of Perón’s brief return to power in the 1970s, but was published in 2010, the year President […]

Poems-Ramón López Velarde

Subverted Eden: Poems by Ramón López Velarde, Translated by M.W. Jacobs

Reviewed by Charlotte Whittle Ramón López Velarde enjoys the status of a national poet in Mexico, where his best-known work, “Suave patria” (Gentle Homeland), is recited in classrooms across the country. Yet López Velarde’s work is all but unknown to English-language readers. López Velarde, who was active around the time of the Mexican Revolution, came […]

Valeria Luiselli-The Story of My Teeth

A Catalog of Reviews of The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, Translated by Christina MacSweeney

or, a hyperbolic meditation on the ways in which literary reviews manipulate value and affect sales HYPERBOLIC LOT NO. 1: “The Story of My Teeth” Starred Review WRITER: PW Staff PROVENANCE: Publishers Weekly LISTING: 10M The coveted starred review in Publisher’s Weekly, a steadier buzz-generator than an electric toothbrush, set a high valuation bar for […]

Georgi Gospodinov-The Physics of Sorrow

In Defense of the Minotaur: Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow, Translated by Angela Rodel

Reviewed by Stiliana Milkova “I imagine a book containing every kind and genre,” declares the first-person narrator of Georgi Gospodinov’s novel The Physics of Sorrow. And then he elaborates, “From monologue through Socratic dialogue to epos in hexameter, from fairy tales through treatises to lists. From high antiquity to slaughter house instructions. Everything can be […]

Jessica Powell

Passing in Translation: Jessica Powell on Antonio Benítez-Rojo’s Woman in Battle Dress

Interview by Lucina Schell, Editor Woman in Battle Dress, the last published work by renowned Cuban writer Antonio Benítez-Rojo, is just out in translation by Jessica Powell from City Lights Books. The sweeping epic imagines the remarkable life of 19th-Century historical figure Henriette Faber, who lived as a man in order to study medicine and […]