Join us in congratulating Chad W. Post of Open Letter Press and our publisher, Jill Schoolman, for winning this year’s Premi Internacional J. B. Cendrós!
The Premi J. B. Cendrós is awarded every year by the Òmnium Cultural in Barcelona for the international publication or broadcast in any language of works originally published in Catalan. Òmnium Cultural is a Catalan association based in Barcelona, Spain, founded in 1961 with the goal of promoting the Catalan language and culture in Spain and abroad.
Jordi Cuixart, the president of Òmnium Cultural, writes in the award memorandum that “to strengthen the universal dimension of Catalan literature is not only a way of normalizing it, but also a step towards repairing the persecution that it has suffered… Schoolman and Post have contributed towards a world that is more critical, more sensible, and more free.”
Donald Nicholson-Smith, translator of Serge Pey‘s Treasure of the Spanish Civil War, Abdellatif Laâbi‘s In Praise of Defeat, and much more, writes about translating Jean-Patrick Manchette in CrimeReads this month. He reflects on the relationship between “genre” and “literary” fiction, the market for crime writing in translation, Manchette’s influences and legacy, and more. Read the piece here.
Jean-Patrick Manchette (1942–1995) was a genre-redefining French crime novelist, screenwriter, critic, and translator. Born in Marseille to a family of relatively modest means, Manchette grew up in a southwestern suburb of Paris, where he wrote from an early age. As Nicholson-Smith writes: “Today Jean-Patrick Manchette is widely thought by the French not only to have transformed (and radicalized) the crime novel but also to have considerably blurred the dividing line between genre and properly “literary” fiction. Just recently, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of his untimely death from cancer in 1995, the publication of a sturdy volume of his correspondence has unleashed a storm of new attention to his achievement.”
Donald Nicholson-Smith was born in Manchester, England and is a longtime resident of New York City. His translations, ranging from psychoanalysis and social criticism to crime fiction, include works by Thierry Jonquet, Guy Debord, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Henri Lefebvre, Raoul Vaneigem, Antonin Artaud, Jean Laplanche, and J.B. Pontalis. His translation of Apollinaire’s Letters to Madeleine was shortlisted for the 2012 French-American Foundation Prize for Nonfiction and in 2014 he won the Foundation’s Fiction Prize for his translation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s The Mad and the Bad. His translation of In Praise of Defeat by Abdellatif Laâbi was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2017.
Jean-Patrick Manchette: Inside the Decades-Long Effort to Bring a Master of French Crime Fiction to American Readers
This week, Bomb Magazine published an interview of José Eduardo Agualusa by Bibi Deitz. They talk about Agualusa’s novel, The Society of Reluctant Dreamers, and how dreams, social movements, and photography all affect his writing. As Deitz notes in her introduction to the interview: “To read José Eduardo Agualusa is less like being transported to another world and more like getting thrown into the very real world in which we live: The colors are brighter, the sun beats a bit hotter, and people let their dreams affect them more acutely.”
You can read the interview on Bomb’s website, here.
José Eduardo Agualusa was born in Huambo, Angola in 1960. He studied agronomy and forestry in Lisbon before he began his work as a writer. His 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. He and his translator, Daniel Hahn, won the 2017 Dublin Literary Award for A General Theory of Oblivion and in 2019, he won Angola’s most prestigious literary prize, the National Prize for Culture and Arts.
Bibi Deitz lives and writes in Brooklyn, and recently finished her first novel; more at bibideitz.com.