You can read the first chapter of Dance on the Volcano by Marie Vieux-Chauvet and translated from the French by Kaiama L. Glover thanks to our friends at The Culture Trip. You can read the whole chapter here.
“On that June day, all of Port-au-Prince was at the harbor, joyously anticipating the arrival of the new Governor.
For the past two hours, armed soldiers had been keeping order among an immense crowd of men, women, and children of all sorts. The mulatto and Negro women were gathered a certain distance away, as was the custom; they had pulled out all the stops to rival the elegance of the white Creole and European ladies…”
Both Cockroaches by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated from the French by Jordan Stump, and The Child Poet by Homero Aridjis and translated from the Spanish by Chloe Aridjis, have been named to a Best of 2016 list by The Irish Times.
Literary correspondent Eileen Battersby writes about Cockroaches that it’s “[b]eautifully written in graceful, lilting prose” but is also “harrowing reading, made all the more shocking by the way life later went on, as if the genocide had never happened. Mukasonga’s life remains dominated by her ghosts.”
Of The Child Poet, she writes that it is a “[g]lorious memoir explaining how a childhood accident created a major Mexican writer.”
You can read the rest of the list here.
Translator Donald Nicholson-Smith, who just translated In Praise of Defeat by Abdellatif Laâbi from the French, recently gave a presentation on Laâbi and his work in San Francisco and was in conversation with Scott Esposito of Two Lines Press.
Listen to the entire audio here.
Three of our titles have been longlisted for the 2017 PEN Translation Award for two different categories. Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap and translated from the German by Tess Lewis is longlisted for the PEN Translation Award for a book length work of translated prose. Absolute Solitude by Dulce María Loynaz and translated from the Spanish by James O’Connor, as well as In Praise of Defeat by Abdellatif Laâbi and translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith, are both nominated for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.
You can take a look at the full list here.
Our friends at Europe Now have published an extract from Scholastique Mukasonga’s recently released Cockroaches, translated from the French by Jordan Stump.
“I was born in the southwest of Rwanda, in Gikongoro province, at the edge of Nyungwe forest, a large high-altitude rainforest, supposedly home—but has anyone ever seen them?—to the last African forest elephants. My parents’ enclosure was in Cyanika, by the river Rukarara.
Of my birthplace I have no memory but the homesick stories my mother told all through our exile in Nyamata. She missed the wheat she could grow at that altitude, and the gruel she could make with it. She told us of her battles with the aggressive monkeys that ravaged the fields she farmed with her mattock. ‘Sometimes, when I was young,” she would say, “I joined the little shepherds tending the cows at the edge of the forest. Often the monkeys attacked us. They walked on two feet, just like men. They wouldn’t put up with my little friends’ insolence. They attacked them. They wanted to show them that monkeys are stronger than men.'”
You can read the full excerpt here.
Our friends at Menage Magazine have published two poems from Mahmoud Darwish‘s A River Dies of Thirst: Journals, translated from the Arabic by Catherine Cobham as part of their “Pair of the Week” feature.
You can read the poems here.
The British magazine New Statesman has included Something Will Happen, You’ll See by Christos Ikonomou and translated from the Greek by Karen Emmerich as one of its favorite books of 2016. The book was selected by Columbia Professor of History Mark Mazower. He praised Emmerich’s “fine translation,” and compared Ikonomou’s writing to William Faulkner.
You can check out the entire list here.
Konundrum: Selected Prose of Franz Kafka, translated from the German by Peter Wortsman, is featured in the Los Angeles Review of Books. The article, called “Kafka: An End or a Beginning?” by Morten Høi Jensen praises Konundrum and Wortsman’s accomplishment in the translation.
Jensen writes that “The translator Peter Wortsman’s excellent and bracing new selection of Kafka’s stories, Konundrum: Selected Prose of Franz Kafka (published by Archipelago Books), brings the author’s peculiar rhetoric to glorious life. ”
You can read the full article here.
Homero Aridjis, poet, environmentalist, and author of The Child Poet, has penned a letter to Donald Trump on behalf of Mexico, discussing the great unease with which Mexico views the future given Trump’s penchant for racist and xenophobic rhetoric throughout his presidential campaign. Aridjis calls on Trump to work towards the success of both nations, citing our shared history and the interweaving of our cultures. Aridjis also urges Trump to reconsider his position on the myriad of environmental issues which affect us all, regardless of nation.
You can read the entire article on the Huffington Post website here.
Scholastique Mukasonga, author of the award-winning Our Lady of the Nile and the freshly released memoir Cockroaches, joined Laurent Dubois, Maboula Soumahoro, Darryl Pinckney, and Chris Jackson for a panel discussion titled “Europe and America in the Black Literary Imagination” as part of the Festival Albertine 2016 this past weekend.
If you missed the event, or would just like to watch it again, Festival Albertine has made a livestream video recording of the event, which you can watch here.