Wonderful news today! We’re delighted to announce that Scholastique Mukasonga’s Kibogo is a finalist for the National Book Award for Translated Literature. Kibogo is a sharp, darkly humorous account of the clash between Rwandans and the colonizers, missionaries, and academics that attempt to suppress their autonomy and cultural inheritance. In an interview with Scholastique and Mark in Words Without Borders, Mark says that Kibogo‘s narrator “never loses her grasp of human folly and self-delusion, her sense of the absurd, or her irreverent eye . . .” You can order the book here and you can read more about this year’s finalists in the New York Times. Huge congratulations to Mark and Scholastique!
A triumph . . . Biting and gloriously satirical, Mukasonga’s novel shows how stories can wield a power that is greater than the sword, resisting ownership by any one person or power. It is a rich and hilarious work.
— Declan Fry, ABC News
We’re delighted to share an interview with Scholastique Mukasonga and Mark Polizzotti published by Words Without Borders. They discuss how Kibogo, a nominee for the National Book Award for Translated Literature, came into the world, as well as the intricacies of its translation into English.
Archipelago Books will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival this Sunday, October 2 – we’d love to see you there! You can find us all day at Booth 411, where we’ll be selling many of the wonderful books on our backlist. We’ll also be at the Center for Brooklyn History at 12 pm EST, where Scholastique Mukasonga – whose novel Kibogo was just longlisted for the 2022 National Book Award – and Russian writer Vladimir Sorokin will discuss time, myth, and community in a conversation moderated by Publishers Weekly fiction editor David Varno.
More event details can be found on the Brooklyn Book Festival website, here.
Scholastique Mukasonga’s Kibogo has been longlisted for the 2022 National Book Award! We’re delighted to publish this spell-binding story about myths reimagined and the absurdities of colonialism. Full of unmatched wit and irony, Kibogo was expertly translated from French by Mark Polizzotti. You can read more about the novel, and place an order here.
Our congratulations to the fellow nominees: Mohammed Hasan Alwan’s Ibn Arabi’s Small Death, Jon Fosse’s A New Name: Septology VI-VII, Shahriar Mandanipour’s Seasons of Purgatory, Olga Ravn’s The Employees, Samanta Schweblin’s Seven Empty Houses, Saša Stanišić’s Where You Come From, Yoko Tawada’s Scattered All Over the Earth, Olga Tokarczuk’s The Books of Jacob.
We’re delighted to share a recording of a conversation between an award-winning translator Tess Lewis, and Trevor Berrett and Paul Wilson of the Mookse and the Gripes podcast, discussing some of their favorite Archipelago titles, our mission to bring world literature to English speaking readers, and the joys (and terrors) of translating another author’s work.
A big thanks to Odyssey Books for hosting the event!
We are thrilled to share an essay about Maja Haderlap’s work, written by Tess Lewis, the translator of Maja’s Angel of Oblivion and distant transit. Published by Poetry Society of America, the essay delves into Haderlap’s experience of living between two countries, two cultures, and two languages. Tess Lewis discusses how belonging to the borderline shaped the subjects and ideas of Maja’s writing. You can find Lewis’s essay, alongside excerpts from distant transit, here, and read some excerpts below:
Angel of Oblivion portrays family dynamics poisoned by war and torture and interwoven in it is an urgent reflection on storytelling: the narrator hopes to rid herself of the emotional burden of her past and to tell stories on behalf of those who cannot. She can only exorcise her community’s inherited trauma by recounting it and in doing so help resurrect their collective memory.
house of love
the house that shelters me breathes imperceptibly.
has a timbered roof that billows like a sail,
has an outer layer that is not rigid. you hear
me living inside it, you ask what i’m doing,
grumble when i remain silent and weep. in the house
of love, everyone builds their own little cottage,
one for themselves and another for a third.
i will no longer give in to persuasion. my ribs
have congealed into a fan vault
that barricades me in. you can hardly
detect me, i’m so distant from you.
at night, my old desire makes a racket
deep in the keel. I float inwards, where love
couples with the foreign, to the cape
of hope, my throat taut.
Maja Haderlap’s poems shed light on the richness of human experience. Hers is a poetry of transitions, charting the move from one country or language to another, from adolescence to adulthood, from trust and intimacy to distance, from rootedness to estrangement, but also from estrangement to a sense of community and home.
– Tess Lewis