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Independent bookstores need us!

“The big lesson from this virus is that we are all connected. We need each other. We are a global community – hopefully out of this mess can come a renewed appreciation of our shared humanity.” —Chris Morrow, Northshire Books

Our independent booksellers need us all right now. One way to support booksellers is by donating to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC), here or by phone 866-733-9064. In many cases, buying gift cards for your future book needs is the most supportive action you can take, aside from donations. To support specific shops, we’ve laid out the policies and requests of the stores themselves below with links. As this is an evolving situation, please note that things may change in the coming days.

192 Books For general inquiries, special orders, gift certificates, and signed editions: You can follow 192 on Instagram for future updates at @192books.

Aeon Bookstore You can buy books through the Aeon instagram (@aeonbooks), through ebay at this link, or through Aeon’s website Aeon is selling hand painted totes for $20 as well as gift certificates.  To purchase a gift certificate you can Venmo @aeonbookstore with “gift certificate” in the subject line. You can also support Aeon by donating through paypal ( or Venmo (@aeonbookstore).

Blue Stockings You can support Blue Stockings by signing up to be a sustaining member here or buying a gift certificate here. You can follow them on instagram at @bluestockingsnyc for updates.

Book Culture To place an order or to request a gift card for future purchases, please call Book Culture at (212) 865-1588.You can follow them on instagram at @bookculture for updates.

Better Read Than Dead / Book Row The booksellers of Better Read Than Dead are posting stock on Instagram daily, and are always open to requests or recommendations. They’re hoping to have more comprehensive inventory online soon and have an ebay account here. They ship books for free in the US. You can follow their instagram at @better_read_than_dead_bk. Sign up for their weekly catalogues of notable and special material by emailing To purchase a gift certificate, you can send money to their PayPal (same email as above) or Venmo them @book-row with your name and the subject line “GIFT CERTIFICATE.”

Books Are Magic  You can get a gift card here and they will ship books everywhere if you place an order on their online shop, here. You can follow their instagram at @booksaremagicbk for updates.

Books of Wonder  You can purchase both both online gift cards and in store gift cards available via their website. As of now, they’re still doing direct shipping from the shop. Between 12-6pm, customers in NYC are welcome to call their preferred location (contact list is here) and ask for assistance from a bookseller. They’re happy to make recommendations, help facilitate a phone or web transaction, and then hand off the order at the shop door. You can follow them on social media at @booksofwonder. They’re boosting tons of virtual readings, drawing demos, IG live convos, and resources. They will also be broadcasting their weekly storytimes live. For virtual launches, you can check their events page, here. They’re teaming up with authors they had on the schedule to bring their events live online.

The Center for Fiction You can donate to the Center for Fiction here and shop for books on their site here. For updates, follow them on Instagram at @center4fiction.

Codex To support Codex, you can purchase gift certificates (redeemable forever) via Venmo. Their account is “codexbooks” (last four digits of their phone number associated with the account are “4255”). They are not currently taking orders as a precaution. For updates, you can follow their instagram at @codexbooks.

Community Bookstore / Terrace Books You can purchase a gift certificate here. And you can order from Community and Terrrace by phone (718-783-3075) and online on their website. They are offering free delivery of books ordered on their website by media mail.

Greenlight You can still order books from Greenlight at their online shop, here, and they are still shipping anywhere in the US with free shipping for orders over $100. Some of Greenlight’s book groups will be moved to Zoom! If you would like to join a meeting you can reach out to individual book group hosts by email. Information on that is here. You can follow them on Instagram at @greenlightbklyn.

Mast Books Gift certificates and donations are available on Mast’s website, here. They are auctioning off some great material on ebay, here, and will be adding daily updates to their ABE account, here, which was just launched. Mast Books is very happy to accommodate direct shipping from the shop via email ( or phone (646-370-1114) and as of now, on a case by case basis, they are willing to coordinate pick up from the shop. Many other interesting and exciting things are in the works, the best place for updates is their Instagram account which is @mastbooks.

McNally Jackson To support McNally Jackson’s booksellers, who are currently out of work due to the crisis, you can donate to a fund that will be divided equally among them, here. Orders are still available at McNally Jackson, here, and gift cards are available here. Free economy shipping will be provided for gift cards, reader rewards cards, and order over $50.

Molasses Books To support Molasses, you can Venmo any amount to the account @molassesbooks with the words “FUTUREBEER” to have that money put towards drinks at their eventual !!Reopening party!! You can also Venmo @molassesbooks with the word “EMPLOYEE TIPS,” and all money collected will be divided up amongst the four employees who are now out of work. The third way to help out Molasses’s jobless staff, if you want to just offset the cost of this chaos but don’t want a beer, is to Venmo “BLESSING” to @molassesbooks to simply donate to the store to go to rent, bills, etc. You can follow Molasses for updates on Instagram at @molassesbooks.

Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab Restocking will become trickier in the coming weeks, so if you’d like to place an order, you can pay special attention to the “Stories Can Change the World” Letterpress Print made by @waspprint Nick Hurd, using never before seen art by his iconic grandfather, Clement Hurd. These were originally created for Stories’s Kickstarter backers who first allowed Stories to open; and their cute Stories logo tote which can serve very nicely as a school supply sack for kids learning from home. Both can be found on their webshop, here, in the merch section. You can follow them on Instagram at @storiesbk.

The Strand You can support the strand by ordering online, here, and by purchasing gift cards, here.

Three Lives Per the governor’s directions, Three Lives will be closing and sending their staff home on the afternoon of Sunday, 3/22. To purchase a gift card from Three Lives, you can email them at or call them at 212-741-2069.

Topos Everything that they post on Instagram (@toposbookstore) will be available to ship via USPS. Their Instagram is also full of reading recommendations. You can purchase a gift certificate here. You can donate to their staff, who are out of work due to closing their doors during the public health crisis, at this link. Or please feel free to venmo @Topos-Bookstore, phone number ending in x5990. Any little bit helps <3

Unnameable Books The best way to support Unnameable at this time is to buy a gift card, which you can do by sending money to them through Paypal with this email address,, or calling them at 718 789 1534. At this time, they are also still accepting orders, which you can also place by calling or emailing them. You can follow their Instagram at @unnameablebooks.

Word Bookstores You can shop by phone during store hours 11AM-6PM (Brooklyn 718-383-0096, Jersey City 201-763-6611) or you can order online anytime, here. You can follow their Instagram at @wordbookstores.Word Up Community Bookshop At this time, you can order books from Word Up online here or donate here. You can follow them for updates on Instagram at @wordupbooks.

You can also always shop at Indie Bound, here, to support independently owned shops from across the country. We are so grateful for our devoted New York booksellers and their commitment to our reading habit!  Take good care.
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Newcomers in the Wall Street Journal

In a book review published by the Wall Street Journal this week, Sam Sacks considers the second installment of Lojze Kovačič’s Newcomers translated by Michael Biggins. The review can be found here in full. The following is excerpted from the piece:

The second volume of Lojze Kovacic’s absorbing wartime chronicle “Newcomers” (Archipelago, 384 pages, $22) now arrives, continuing the remembrances of the autobiographical narrator, Bubi. Book One, published in 1984 (and in English in 2016), recounted Bubi’s family’s expulsion from Switzerland to the Slovene territory of Yugoslavia at the outbreak of World War II. The second installment, again translated from the Slovenian by Michael Biggins, follows the young man’s adolescence in Ljubljana during the war years. As before, the piquant particularities of childhood are set before a backdrop of global confrontation. Bubi tells of his schooldays, his troublemaking with friends and his sexual awakening while, all around him, running battles between Yugoslav partisans and Nazi occupiers are waged in the streets.
Book Two deepens one’s appreciation for Kovacic’s major stylistic gambit, his prolific use of the ellipsis. Recalling his first visit to the opera house, Bubi is awestruck by “the tiers of balconies . . . all the way up to the ceiling . . . the white, bulging loges like cells of a beehive with gilt ornamentation. And the gigantic crowns of the chandeliers suspended in air . . . But most of all the silence . . .” The punctuation has the twofold effect of reflecting gaps in memory while conveying a feeling of constant anticipation for whatever might appear next.
Ultimately, “Newcomers” crystallizes into a classic artist’s coming-of-age story, as Bubi is drawn to painting and then writing, where, as in this rich and fascinating novel, he will search for a way to synthesize the enchantments of youth with the hard realities of the war.
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In Memoriam: Krishna Baldev Vaid, Hindi Fiction Writer and Playwright

Krishna Baldev Vaid, the celebrated author of novels such as The Broken Mirror and Steps in Darkness, as well as numerous short stories, plays, diaries, works of literary criticism, and translations, died February 6, 2020. Throughout his life, Vaid wrote and taught at a variety of universities in both India and the United States. His novels and stories have been translated into many languages, Vaid himself having translated some of his own works, such as Steps in Darkness, into English. His prose was known for its experimental and distinctive narrative style. As Vaid said, his stories were not “mere stories” but created “an alternative reality … a universe of words and sounds and suggestions.”

Please read more about Vaid’s life and legacy here and in LitHub’s remembrance of Krishna Baldev Vaid, at this link.

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Katherine Silver interviewed in the Believer

Katherine Silver’s translation of Juan Carlos Onetti’s short stories came out in November of this year.

“An elusive puppeteer, a wizard behind a curtain, someone heard but not seen.” Katherine Silver thus describes her work as a translator in a recent interview with The Believer. Silver translated Juan Carlos Onetti’s A Dream Come True which Archipelago published this fall.

“Language-based artistic activity is not self-expression, even if it does start with that as a spark, an initial impulse, but…it then must dive deeply into the only true commons we have, language, and from there craft something beyond the self.” Read more at the link below!

An Interview with Katherine Silver

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José Eduardo Agualusa wins Angolan National Prize for Culture and Arts

We are delighted to announce that José Eduardo Agualusa has been awarded the Angolan National Prize for Culture and Arts in the category of literature!

The jury calls Agualusa’s career “extensive and vital”: according to the jury-members, Agualusa “approaches the fundamental social and political issues of this time in a reflective and controversial way. Hence, his work has contributed both to the emancipation of his readers as well as the strengthening of citizenship and freedom of expression”. More information can be found here.

Angel Gurría-Quintana writes in The Financial Times: [If] a man with a good story is practically a king, then Agualusa can count himself among the continent’s new royals”. 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”.

You can pre-order Agualusa’s new book, The Society of Reluctant Dreamers, here. It will be out on March 10th, 2020.

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The Barefoot Woman Shortlisted for the National Book Award


We are so pleased to announce that The Barefoot Woman is a finalist for the National Book Award in Translated Literature! We are so proud of Scholastique Mukasonga and Jordan Stump, who translated the book from the original French.

The National Book Award judges have selected The Barefoot Woman alongside four other beautiful works of translation. You can see the full list of finalists at the National Book Foundation’s website.

Zadie Smith calls The Barefoot Woman “a powerful work of witness and memorial, a loving act of reconstruction, and an unflinching reckoning with the Rwandan Civil War.” Julian Lucas writes in the New York Times, that Mukasonga “turns everything over restlessly: In her prose, poignant reminiscences sharpen into bitter ironies, or laments reveal flashes of comedy, determination, defiance.”

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LOVE Wins at PEN Literary Awards

LOVE banner image from PEN Awards

We are delighted to announce that Martin Aitken’s translation of Hanne Ørstavik’s Love won the 2019 PEN Translation Prize last night!

We’re enormously grateful to PEN America and the Translation Prize judges, Ezra Fitz, Barbara Harshav, Vincent Kling, Marian Schwartz, and Ron Slate, who wrote, “What we have, in the end, with Love, is an extraordinary translation of an uncannily singular novel, one which the judges will be savoring for many years to come.”

We’d also like to send our warmest congratulations to all of last night’s winners and finalists.

Love is available at major retailers and your local independent bookstore. You can also order Love directly from us. Use discount code LOVE30 at checkout for 30% off before Sunday, March 9.

As Aitken said in his acceptance speech, “Here’s to Love!”



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Archipelago received a 2019 NEA grant!



We’re proud to share the news that Archipelago Books has been awarded a generous Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This critical funding will support the translation, publication, and promotion of international literature, including titles from Elsewhere Editions, our children’s imprint.

In these times, when xenophobic ideas are on the rise and new borders are being constructed, it is essential to hear from artists and writers whose ideas question our assumptions and expose us to new cultures, communities, and literary traditions. Archipelago Books is grateful to be among the many vital nonprofits benefiting from over $25 million in grants from the NEA this year, and we’re also thankful to have received funding from the NEA for over a decade.  (Do visit the NEA’s website to learn more about the organizations they’re funding this year.) We thank you, NEA!

We rely on grants and the generosity of our community to help us carry out our mission. If you’d like to support Archipelago Books, please make a donation today or email us for details about book sponsorships.

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LOVE is a Finalist for the PEN Translation Prize

Covers of the Finalists for the 2019 PEN Awards

We’re delighted to announce that Love by Hanne Ørstavik and translated by Martin Aitken has been selected as a finalist for the 2019 PEN Translation Prize!

Love coverWe’re grateful to be recognized by PEN, and we’re honored to see Love included among many other wondrous and deserving books! The Translation Prize is awarded each year to “a book-length translation of prose from any language into English published in 2018.” You can learn more about the PEN Literary Awards and see the full list of Finalists at PEN’s website.

Love, which was also a finalist for the National Book Award, has been hailed as an “electrifying novel” (The New York Times Book Review) and a “haunting masterpiece” (Publishers Weekly). Order your copy from our bookstore today!

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Antonio Tabucchi’s “For Isabel” awarded the 2018 Italian Prose in Translation Award

We’re thrilled to share the news that Elizabeth Harris’s translation of For Isabel by Antonio Tabucchi has won the 2018 Italian Prose in Translation Award. The Italian Prose in Translation Award (IPTA) recognizes the importance of contemporary Italian prose and promotes the translation of Italian works into English.

On For Isabel judges Geoffrey Brock, Peter Constantine, and Sarah Stickney wrote:

“Tabucchi creates an intricate web that connects past to present, dream-life to waking. The book is filled with evocative images that seem to float free of mere plot constraints…Harris carries the delicate magic of consciousness from Italian into English with deceptive ease. She works with admirable precision to capture the voices of the different speakers and the details of the shifting context, yet she never sacrifices the dreamy texture of the writing.”

Elizabeth Harris’s translations from Italian include Mario Rigoni Stern’s novel Giacomo’s Seasons (Autumn Hill Books), Giulio Mozzi’s story collection This Is the Garden (Open Letter Books), and Antonio Tabucchi’s novel Tristano Dies (also with Archipelago Books). Her awards include a 2013 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant and the 2016 National Translation Award for Prose, both for Tabucchi’s Tristano Dies. She lives with her family in a small town in Wisconsin, along the Mississippi.