By Jennifer Boum Make You immortalize all the whores of Grand Rue, taken away by this thing. Makenzy Orcel, The Immortals Makenzy Orcel. Nathan Dize. Two writers who have tasked themselves to transform the stories of others as they create language that allows the rendering and relaying of the voices of those who are too […]
GETTING INSIDE THE OUTSIDE: ANDRÉ DU BOUCHET’S “OUTSIDE,” TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH BY ERIC FISHMAN AND HOYT ROGERS
By John Taylor Following upon Hoyt Rogers and Paul Auster’s translation of André du Bouchet’s Openwork (Yale University Press, 2014), this fascinating new translation, Outside—by Rogers and Eric Fishman—draws attention once again to a seminal figure in postwar French poetry. Thematically and philosophically, if not from a stylistic perspective, du Bouchet (1924-2001) can be associated […]
Before the story begins, Bosco alludes to a number of pages omitted from the novel and reserved for that moment when “someone truly qualified” might gain access. And so Malicroix puzzles and conceals even after it is closed.
The novel falls within the greater readiness in French culture to reckon with the nation’s anti-Semitic past than its colonialism.
A Life of Ruptures: Frédéric Pajak’s “Uncertain Manifesto,” Translated from French by Donald Nicholson-Smith
A novel that traverses generic as well as geographic and historical boundaries, Uncertain Manifesto switches, from chapter to chapter, between autobiography, essay, illustrated novel, history, literary analysis and fable-like fiction.
On Sex and Death: Vicente Huidobro’s “Skyquake: Tremor of Heaven,” co-translated from Spanish by Ignacio Infante and Michael Leong
Composed as twin originals in Spanish and French between 1928 and 1931, this roving long prose poem witnesses the perpetual, agonized yearning of separated lovers seeking one another across eternity and infinity, where they collide—gloriously—on occasion, before scattering through the universe once again.
In Search of the Weeping Woman: Brigitte Benkemoun’s “Finding Dora Maar,” Translated from French by Jody Gladding
By Mark Polizzotti Engaging with the life of a person you’ve never met can be an odd and disorienting business, and few know this better than biographers. What would push an otherwise sane adult to devote months, years, even decades to ferreting out the minutiae of someone else’s existence? And what is the strange alchemy […]
“Gaza is Mayotte, Mayotte is France”: Natacha Appanah’s “Tropic of Violence” translated from French by Geoffrey Strachan
By Nathan Dize Gaza is a name capable of conjuring many ideas: statelessness, precarity, violence, tenuous and embargoed freedom, occupation, colonialism, and the list goes on. The name has also become synonymous with contested sovereignty in an era of postcolonial globalization, where, despite their supposed ephemerality, words like “settlements” and “camps” are imbued with a […]
A Most Intimate Fantasy: Marion Fayolle’s “The Tenderness of Stones,” Translated from French by Geoffrey Brock
By Neal Baker Across several graphic novels and two collections of wordless comics, Marion Fayolle has demonstrated her surreal imagination and her inclination toward visual comedy and metaphor. In The Tenderness of Stones, translated in English by Geoffrey Brock, she brings her practice to the personal. Written during and about the decline of her father’s […]
Envoicing the Unheard: “Faces on the Tip of My Tongue” by Emmanuelle Pagano, Translated from French by Sophie Lewis and Jennifer Higgins
By Nataliya Deleva Faces on the Tip of My Tongue is a book difficult to describe in one sentence. It caught my attention at its launch event in London when my thoughts dissolved into a conversation with the co-translators Sophie Lewis and Jennifer Higgins. It was presented as a book about people on the fringe […]
Content Warning: Ableism By Julia Peterson When I decided to read Not A Clue, I was hopeful – perhaps naïvely – that it would offer a new take on a frustrating and overdone premise. The story is set in a psychiatric hospital in Paris, where a doctor has been murdered and six patients are suspected […]
By Preea Leelah Every day, Charlesia walks to the ocean and fixedly gazes in the direction of her homeland, the island of Diego Garcia, the place she may never see again. Shenaz Patel’s novel Silence of the Chagos is the haunting, still unfolding story of the people of Diego Garcia, one of the 56 islands that form the Chagos Archipelago, situated in the Indian […]
By Laura Marris Some of us, if we are lucky enough, have witnessed it—the moment when a passing line of clouds tangles with the trees of a ridge, blurring the distinctions between branches and vapor, between landscape and sky. This thoughtful, sensitive volume offers the poetic equivalent of that process, a brush between two imaginative […]
Haitian Sacred Arts as Public Education: Antoine Innocent’s “Mimola, or the Story of a Casket,” translated from French and Haitian Creole by Susan Kalter
By Nathan Dize Mimola, or the Story of a Casket begins with an obituary, an homage to the family matriarch who survived the Middle Passage and who built and sustained a family, now two generations in the making. Antoine Innocent’s novel blends the urbane journalistic qualities of Port-au-Prince with the rich folk tradition of the […]
Me, She, I, Too: Adélaïde Bon’s “The Little Girl on the Ice Floe,” Translated from French by Tina Kover
Content Warning: Sexual Violence, Rape By Alec Joyner Over the last few years, more and more novels, memoirs, and books of poetry have begun to plumb the depths—the intricate, historically entrenched structures of sexual violence—that extend far beneath the #MeToo hashtag. These books are making a case, implicitly, for the ongoing value of literature, a […]