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.
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.
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 Editions‘ IWish, 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.
DanielHandler 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 series. Alongside 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.
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.
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.