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José Eduardo Agualusa wins the 2021 Portuguese PEN Prize for The Living and the Rest

 

We are delighted to announce that José Eduardo Agualusa has won the 2021 Portuguese PEN Prize for his novel, Os Vivos e os Outros (The Living and the Rest)! Archipelago is slated to publish the English translation of The Living and the Rest in the coming years.

Agualusa is an Angolan journalist and author of Portuguese and Brazilian descent who writes primarily in his native Portuguese. His books have been translated into over 30 languages. Archipelago has had the privilege of publishing two of Agualusa’s books, A General Theory of Oblivion (2015) and The Society of Reluctant Dreamers (2020), both of which were masterfully translated into English by Daniel Hahn.

Agualusa’s 1997 novel, Creole was awarded the Portuguese Grand Prize for Literature, and he received the U.K.’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Book of Chameleons in 2007. A General Theory of Oblivion was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize and later won the 2017 Dublin Literary Award. In 2019, Agualusa received Angola’s most prestigious literary prize, the National Prize for Culture and Arts.

Malcolm Forbes calls A General Theory of Oblivion “a powerful examination of personal recollection and public upheaval, and a penetrating study of isolation and the cost of freedom.”

Of The Society of Reluctant Dreamers, Publishers Weekly writes, “False memories and clairvoyant dreams combine in Agualusa’s sweeping, intricately plotted tale of personal and political history in Angola . . . While the dense and tangled story, rife with diary entries, recounted personal histories, and thinly drawn tertiary characters, is almost too short for its own good, Agualusa manages to pull off a deeply satisfying ending . . . (a) populous, multilayered commentary on the fogs of love and war.”

Read more here.

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Andrea Bajani and Nick Flynn at Prairie Lights

 

On Friday, April 16 at 8:00PM EST, Prairie Lights hosted a virtual conversation with Andrea Bajani and Nick Flynn. They discussed Bajani’s novel, If You Kept a Record of Sins, translated from the Italian by Elizabeth Harris. You can watch a recording of the event here!

Andrea Bajani is the author of four novels and two collections of poems. His novel, If You Kept a Record of Sins, has brought him a great deal of attention. In just a few months, the book won the Super Mondello Prize, the Brancati Prize, the Recanati Prize and the Lo Straniero Prize. He lives in Houston and teaches at Rice University.

Nick Flynn is a formidable contemporary American poet, playwright, and memoirist. His work is often praised for its swift, lyrical expression and fractured narrative structures. Flynn has been published in fifteen languages, and has won two PEN prizes for his memoir and poetry writing. He has also received fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation; The Fine Arts Works Center; and the Library of Congress, among others. He now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and his daughter, Maeve.

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Andrea Bajani, Elizabeth Harris, and Stuart Dybek at Pilsen Community Books

On Thursday, April 8th at 7PM CST / 8 PM EST, Andrea BajaniElizabeth Harris, and Stuart Dybek celebrated If You Kept a Record of Sins, hosted by Pilsen Community Books!

A recording of the event is available here.

A sly, prismatic novel that Jhumpa Lahiri says “accumulates with the quiet urgency of a snowstorm,” Bajani’s If You Kept a Record of Sins, translated by Elizabeth Harris, records the indelible marks a mother leaves on her son after she abandons their home in Italy for a business she’s building in Romania.

Andrea Bajani is one of the most respected and award-winning novelists and poets of contemporary Italian literature. He is the author of four novels and two collections of poems. His novel, If You Kept a Record of Sins, has brought him a great deal of attention. In just a few months, the book won the Super Mondello Prize, the Brancati Prize, the Recanati Prize and the Lo Straniero Prize. His works have been translated into many languages. He now lives in Houston and teaches at Rice University.

Elizabeth Harris translates contemporary Italian fiction, including novels and story collections by Mario Rigoni Stern, Giulio Mozzi, Antonio Tabucchi, and Claudia Durastanti. For her  translations of Antonio Tabucchi’s For Isabel: A Mandala and Tristano Dies: A Life, she has received the PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, an NEA Translation Fellowship, The Italian Prose in Translation Award, and the National Translation Award for Prose.

Stuart Dybek was born and raised in Pilsen and Little Village. Dybek is a writer of place and those neighborhoods are central to his fiction and poetry. He is the author of 6 books of fiction including Childhood and Other NeighborhoodsThe Coast of Chicago, and I Sailed With Magellan, all set in Pilsen, as well as the poetry collections, Brass Knuckles and Streets in the Own Ink. His work has received many awards including a Macarthur “genius award.” He is currently the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern University.

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Andrea Bajani and Jhumpa Lahiri at Point Reyes Books

 

On Tuesday, April 1 at 9:00PM EST, Andrea Bajani joined Jhumpa Lahiri to celebrate and discuss his novel, If You Kept a Record of Sins, which was translated to English by Elizabeth Harris. Point Reyes Books hosted the conversation in a virtual stream on Crowdcast. Watch a recording of the event here!

Andrea Bajani is the author of four novels and two collections of poems. His novel, If You Kept a Record of Sins, has brought him a great deal of attention. In just a few months, the book won the Super Mondello Prize, the Brancati Prize, the Recanati Prize and the Lo Straniero Prize. He lives in Houston and teaches at Rice University.

Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of four works of fiction: Interpreter of MaladiesThe NamesakeUnaccustomed Earth, and The Lowland; and a work of nonfiction, In Other Words. She has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize; the PEN/Hemingway Award; the PEN/Malamud Award; the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award; the Premio Gregor von Rezzori; the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature; a 2014 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama; and the Premio Internazionale Viareggio-Versilia, for In altre parole. Lahiri’s new novel, Whereabouts, will be published on April 27th.

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A conversation between Andrea Bajani and Edmund White, hosted by 192 Books / PCG Studio

 

On March 30th at 6PM EST, 192 Books hosted an online conversation between Andrea Bajani and Edmund White about Bajani’s novel, If You Kept a Record of Sins, published March 23rd.  A recording of the event is available here!

Andrea Bajani is one of the most respected novelists of contemporary Italian literature. His novel, Ogni promess (Every Promise), won the prestigious Bagutta Prize. Se consideri le colpe (If You Kept a Record of Sins) won the Super Mondello Prize, the Brancati Prize, the Recanati Prize, and the Lo Straniero Prize. His latest novel, Un bene al mondo, is currently being turned into a film. Bajani is also a journalist, and he published his first book of poetry, Promemoria, in 2017. He teaches at Rice University in the Department of Classical and European studies.

Edmund White is the author of many novels, including  A Boy’s Own StoryThe Beautiful Room Is EmptyThe Farewell Symphony, and Our Young Man. His non-fiction includes City BoyInside a Pearl, and other memoirs; The Flâneur, about Paris; and literary biographies and essays. He was named the winner of the 2018 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction and is the recipient of the honorary National Book Award for 2019. White lives in New York.

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Pierre Joris, Geoffrey Brock, and Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody in conversation, moderated by Mary Ann Caws

 

On Tuesday, December 1st at 6:00pm EST, Pierre Joris, Geoffrey Brock, and Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody joined moderator Mary Ann Caws for a conversation hosted by 192 Books and Paula Cooper Gallery. They discussed their recent translations of Paul Celan’s Memory Rose into Threshold Speech, Guiseppe Ungaretti’s Allegria, and Paul Valéry’s The Idea of Perfection, respectively.

A recording of the event is available here.

Mary Ann Caws is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature, English, and French at the Graduate School of the City University of New York. Her many areas of interest in twentieth-century avant-garde literature and art include Surrealism, poets René Char and André Breton, Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury group, and artists Robert Motherwell, Joseph Cornell, and Pablo Picasso. Conceptually, one of her primary themes has been the relationship between image and text.

Pierre Joris has written, edited, and translated more than sixty books, including poetry, essays, and anthologies, including Fox-trails, -tails, & -trots (Poems & Proses); Paul Celan: Microliths They Are, Little Stones (Posthumous prose); Arabia (not so) Deserta and, with Adonis, Conversations in the Pyrenees. Joris is the editor and translator of Breathturn into Timestead: The Collected Later Poetry of Paul Celan. In 2005 he received the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for his translation of Celan’s Lichtzwang/Lightduress.

Geoffrey Brock is an American poet and translator. Brock has edited three anthologies on Italian poetry and translated the work of Italo Calvino, Roberto Calasso, Umberto Eco, and others. Brock’s poetry has been featured in several anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2007 , and his books, Weighing Light (2005) and Voices Bright Flags: Poems (2014) have received the New Criterion Poetry Prize and Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, respectively. His translations have appeared in magazines such as Poetry, The Paris Review, and The New Yorker, and he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Antiquarian Society, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Florida Arts Council, the Guggenheim Foundation, and Stanford University.

Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody was born in Columbus, Ohio. He has translated the work of French and Belgian poets, including Benjamin Fondane, for which he was awarded the Susan Sontag Prize for Translation. He is the author of two volumes of poetry in French and one in English, and has worked as a typesetter, a programmer, and a private tutor.

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Andrea Bajani on Brad Listi’s OTHERPPL

Brad Listi hosted Andrea Bajani on his podcast Otherppl! Their conversation is available now.

On the program, they discuss Bajani’s novel If You Kept a Record of Sins, recently published by Archipelago Books, in a striking translation by Elizabeth Harris. Bajani and Listi talk about Bajani’s inspirations for the novel, the writing process, and more. You can listen to the interview on Otherppl’s website, here, or on LitHub Radio, here.

Andrea Bajani (Rome, 1975) is the author of four novels and two collections of poems. His novel, If You Kept a Record of Sins, has brought him a great deal of attention. In just a few months, the book won the Super Mondello Prize, the Brancati Prize, the Recanati Prize and the Lo Straniero Prize. He lives in Houston and teaches at Rice University.

Otherppl is a podcast hosted by Brad Listi, author of the novel Attention. Deficit. Disorder. and founder of The Nervous Breakdown, an online culture magazine and literary community.

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Announcing the Radical Books Collective

Our friends at Decolonize That! have launched the Radical Books Collective. The initiative “responds to the need for an alternative, inclusive and non-commercial approach to books and reading.” Archipelago’s Jill Schoolman will be serving on the board of directors.

A community of readers from around the world will discuss books that are unapologetically political and that envision transformative futures. Corporatized, profit-oriented publishing structures makes it harder to find books and writers that don’t fit the mainstream awards, praise, and review criteria. RBC will curate an alternative canon through a collective that includes publishers, bookstores, authors, booklovers and bookworms everywhere. Let’s change how books are read, circulated, reviewed and talked about.
Book clubs meet online to discuss a recently published radical book and chat with the writer.

You can find the line up of books, the schedule, and the various subscriber packages on their Eventbrite page. And you can also view their site here: http://decolonizethat.com/#section-radical.

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Daniel Handler discusses I Wish at the DC Public Library

On Tuesday, April 6th at 1:30 PM EST, Daniel Handler (best known as Lemony Snicket) will host a virtual discussion with Turning the Page DC about Elsewhere EditionsI Wish, written by Toon Tellegen and illustrated by Ingrid Godon, translated from the Dutch by David Colmer. Daniel Handler will share his reflections on I Wish and on the work of Takoma Park Education Campus’s fifth graders, who created poems and drawings inspired by the story. The event is co-hosted by the DC Public Library and sponsored in part by the Dutch Culture USA Never Grow Up! Program, a part of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the United States.

The event will stream live on YouTube here.

Daniel Handler is a contemporary American novelist, best known by his pen name Lemony Snicket. He is widely known for his 13-book collection A Series of Unfortunate Events, which has also been adapted into a film and a television seriesAlongside the collection, his other major works include Adverbs, a book of short stories, and Bottle Grove, a dark comedy and the most recent of his publications. His books have sold more than 70 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages.