Editor’s Dream / Editor’s Nightmare

Our Editor at Large Sophie Lewis reports from Paraty, Brazil

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Brazilian author José Luiz Passos (Zé) - photo courtesy of Kate Griffin.

I was excited to be asked to attend the bcltuea’s latest translation school. These are week-long affairs, held all over the world, that bring together translators working with English and at least one language associated with wherever they are. BCLT invites one select group of translators to work from English into the other language(s) and another equally select to work from the other language(s) into English. Often people working in the field show up to observe and comment, perhaps to help, perhaps to complicate. These include academics, more experienced translators, publishers, editors. Always in attendance are the writers of the texts that are being worked on.

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The SMALL WONDER Short Story Festival: from 25th September to 1st October, the Charleston Trust hosts this celebration of all things short fiction. This year’s bash features a bumper crop of top-drawer writers, including the likes of Margaret Atwood. WordTheatre’s tribute to Marquez (28th) promises to bring his stories to life, while this Brazilian focus, featuring commapress's Book of Rio, showcases some of the country’s most exciting storytellers. 
The COSTA Short Story Award: entries for this year’s prize close at 4pm Friday 1st August - best of luck to all you hopefuls! Our own Angela Readman walked away with the top prize last year - we’ll be publishing her deliciously dark collection Don’t Try This At Home next May, but if you subscribe by 5th Aug you’ll be able to receive an advance copy! For now, you can read and listen (scroll down on the link) to her winning story “The Keeper of the Jackalopes”. 

The SMALL WONDER Short Story Festival: from 25th September to 1st October, the Charleston Trust hosts this celebration of all things short fiction. This year’s bash features a bumper crop of top-drawer writers, including the likes of Margaret Atwood. WordTheatre’s tribute to Marquez (28th) promises to bring his stories to life, while this Brazilian focus, featuring commapress's Book of Rio, showcases some of the country’s most exciting storytellers. 

The COSTA Short Story Award: entries for this year’s prize close at 4pm Friday 1st August - best of luck to all you hopefuls! Our own Angela Readman walked away with the top prize last year - we’ll be publishing her deliciously dark collection Don’t Try This At Home next May, but if you subscribe by 5th Aug you’ll be able to receive an advance copy! For now, you can read and listen (scroll down on the link) to her winning story “The Keeper of the Jackalopes”. 

nyrbclassics:

For the first time in years I’m actually taking a substantial vacation, one that involves airplanes and oceans and everything. Which also means that for the first time in years I can read travel books without experiencing crippling jealousy … Continued

At Book Riot, James Crossley of Island Books in Mercer Island, Washington pays tribute to two complementary masters of the travelogue, Rebecca West (her novel The Fountain Overflows is an NYRB Classic) and Patrick Leigh Fermor.

Oh, Rebecca West. One of those writers whose patent wondrousness leads to periodic self-recrimination that, whisper it, we’ve never actually read her. *dreams of packing it all in for a languorous Balkan summer with Black Lamb and Grey Falcon…*

Summer Reads from the And Other Stories team! 
Sophie: I mean to catch up on a few wayward English-language hits, including our own Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai vintagebooksdesign and Steven Hall’s The Raw Shark Texts (canongatebooks). I’ll also be reading Hamid Ismailov’s The Underground (restlessbooks trans. Carol Ermakova), having loved The Railway (Vintage) a while back, in Robert Chandler’s excellent translation. I’ll be attempting to read all these while at the bcltuea Translation Winter School and then at FLIP literary festival in Paraty, on the Costa Verde between Rio and São Paulo - as it’s ‘winter’ here.
Nicci: I’m planning on reading Live Bait by Fabio Genovesi, translated by Michael Moore otherpress and Pleasures and Landscapes by Sybille Bedford (Daunt Books). Both, of course, bought from my local, @OwlBookshop :) 
I’ll be taking them with me to Cape Town, South Africa, in September when I go for my youngest cousin’s wedding. She’s the first of the three cousins to get married and it’s likely to be a stressful family affair so I’m taking what I consider to be ‘escapist’ lit to help me imagine that I am actually on holiday, somewhere else.
Stefan: This summer I’m looking forward to catching up on some of the poetry and stories in The White Review, A Public Space, PN Review and mptmagazine and will revisit the Lakes from my armchair with Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes and his Poetical Works.
Deborah: I’m unlikely to squeeze in any non-Korean fiction during the fortnight in Seoul I’ve booked for October, but before that I’m going to make time for All Decent Animals by Oonya Kempadoo, one of the writers I met at Norwich’s amazing Worlds Literature Festival (I was there with Korean writer Bae Suah). I’m also desperate to get my hands on Faber’s uber-stylish reissues of Amos Tutuola after spying them in the new Foyles, and bbcradio4's Open Book podcast recommends My Life in the Bush of Ghosts as a follow-up to The Palm-Wine Drinkard, which I read earlier this year. My plane read will be the latest by one of my all-time favourite authors, David Mitchell - The Bone Clocks (Sceptre) - providing someone lends me the hardback in time! 

Summer Reads from the And Other Stories team! 

SophieI mean to catch up on a few wayward English-language hits, including our own Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai vintagebooksdesign and Steven Hall’s The Raw Shark Texts (canongatebooks). I’ll also be reading Hamid Ismailov’s The Underground (restlessbooks trans. Carol Ermakova), having loved The Railway (Vintage) a while back, in Robert Chandler’s excellent translation. I’ll be attempting to read all these while at the bcltuea Translation Winter School and then at FLIP literary festival in Paraty, on the Costa Verde between Rio and São Paulo - as it’s ‘winter’ here.

NicciI’m planning on reading Live Bait by Fabio Genovesi, translated by Michael Moore otherpress and Pleasures and Landscapes by Sybille Bedford (Daunt Books). Both, of course, bought from my local, @OwlBookshop :) 

I’ll be taking them with me to Cape Town, South Africa, in September when I go for my youngest cousin’s wedding. She’s the first of the three cousins to get married and it’s likely to be a stressful family affair so I’m taking what I consider to be ‘escapist’ lit to help me imagine that I am actually on holiday, somewhere else.

StefanThis summer I’m looking forward to catching up on some of the poetry and stories in The White Review, A Public Space, PN Review and mptmagazine and will revisit the Lakes from my armchair with Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes and his Poetical Works.

Deborah: I’m unlikely to squeeze in any non-Korean fiction during the fortnight in Seoul I’ve booked for October, but before that I’m going to make time for All Decent Animals by Oonya Kempadoo, one of the writers I met at Norwich’s amazing Worlds Literature Festival (I was there with Korean writer Bae Suah). I’m also desperate to get my hands on Faber’s uber-stylish reissues of Amos Tutuola after spying them in the new Foyles, and bbcradio4's Open Book podcast recommends My Life in the Bush of Ghosts as a follow-up to The Palm-Wine Drinkard, which I read earlier this year. My plane read will be the latest by one of my all-time favourite authors, David Mitchell - The Bone Clocks (Sceptre) - providing someone lends me the hardback in time! 

A great piece about the importance of our roots and a celebration of South American culture, something we appreciate here at And Other Stories.

How do we teach literary translation? Katy Derbyshire on the BCLT summit

Katy Derbyshire is the translator of All the Lights by our very own Clemens Meyer. She’s currently working on a 927-page(!!) novel by Jan Brandt, while her most recent project weighs in at the other end of the scale - David Wagner’s Berlin Triptych, available from Readux Books.

For obscure reasons, literary translation is officially hot – to riff on Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit, it is badly paid but sexy. It’s a thing people want to learn. Over the past three or four years I’ve been asked to lead several workshops on literary translation, at various levels and in various places. Every time I do it I die a thousand deaths, never knowing whether I’m doing it right. And then along came bcltuea’s Summer School Summit, which, we were told, would “bring together experienced literary translators from the UK and around the world who are interested in translation workshops and teaching methodologies.” 

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'The greatest ever short stories in English'? 
John Clegg from the London Review Bookshop has posted this list of his all-time top ten (with a cheating no.11) from the likes of nyrbclassics, penguinclassics, faberbook & melvillehouse. He admits it’s contentious, and that he has certain specific criteria (he’s not a fan of open-endedness, or minimalism, or anything whose page count means it’s in danger of straying into novella territory). Purely as a jumping-off point, then, we think it’s pretty terrific - and we’re eager to know which gems would make your cut. Anything from our two short story collections, Black Vodka by Deborah Levy (we’d put our money on the 2nd-person tour de force ‘Placing a Call’) and All the Lights by Clemens Meyer, in Katy Derbyshire’s wonderful translation? The former was shortlisted for the BBC International Short Story Award 2012, while the latter was, according to the folks at guardian, one of 2011’s best short stories. 
Do you have anything specific you look for in short fiction, and is it different from what you expect to get from (or are willing to permit in) a novel? 

'The greatest ever short stories in English'? 

John Clegg from the London Review Bookshop has posted this list of his all-time top ten (with a cheating no.11) from the likes of nyrbclassics, penguinclassics, faberbook & melvillehouse. He admits it’s contentious, and that he has certain specific criteria (he’s not a fan of open-endedness, or minimalism, or anything whose page count means it’s in danger of straying into novella territory). Purely as a jumping-off point, then, we think it’s pretty terrific - and we’re eager to know which gems would make your cut. Anything from our two short story collections, Black Vodka by Deborah Levy (we’d put our money on the 2nd-person tour de force ‘Placing a Call’) and All the Lights by Clemens Meyer, in Katy Derbyshire’s wonderful translation? The former was shortlisted for the BBC International Short Story Award 2012, while the latter was, according to the folks at guardian, one of 2011’s best short stories

Do you have anything specific you look for in short fiction, and is it different from what you expect to get from (or are willing to permit in) a novel? 

ICYMI: our new weekly round-up of literary goings-on! 
Not the Booker Prize: giving power to readers is absolutely what we’re about, with our reading groups and other initiatives, so we’re thrilled to see ‘probably the world’s most democratic literary prize’ back for another year. You’ve got until 27th July to get your nominations in, and three of our wonderful titles are eligible - Double Negative and The Restless Supermarket by Ivan Vladislavic, and A Map of Tulsa by Benjamin Lytal. So if you’ve read them and loved them, don’t keep it yourself - tell the (Guardian-reading) world about it! 
Sophie Lewis in Asymptote Journal: the latest issue from asymptotejournal really is an embarrassment of riches, and especially for us - not only do they have this fab essay by Daniel Hahn about translating our next title, Nowhere People, there’s also this excerpt from Violette Leduc’s Therese and Isabelle, translated from the French by our very own editor-at-large Sophie Lewis! Having beautiful baby Xul (who you can read all about in our latest newsletter - sign up here!) clearly hasn’t slowed Sophie down :-) 

Okwiri Oduor wins the Caine Prize: now in its fifteenth year, the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing was awarded to Kenyan Okwiri Oduor, whose winning story ‘My Father’s Head’ was described by the judges as “Joycean in its reach”. You can read the story in full here, and listen to Okwiri and judge Jackie Kay discussing the win on bbcradio4 Front Row. For an in-depth look at this year’s five shortlisted entries we recommend Ainehi Edoro’s Brittle Paper blog - indispensable for keeping your finger on the pulse of the African literary scene.   
Thriving Indie Publishers - in praise of Text: over on the Foyles blog, expat Aussie Marion Rankine spreads some much-deserved love for the press that’s won Australia’s Small Publisher of the Year Award for the past three years running(!!) - Text Publishing. Their vibrant yellow classics (bah, humbug, gloomy Penguins) are currently brightening up the shiny new Charing Cross branch of Foyles, and we wholeheartedly recommend you try them out. Marion’s top three are a great place to start, and our social media guru @londonkoreanist is a fan of Elizabeth Harrower’s The Watch Tower. Also, though she read the latest Classic, Janet Frame’s Owls Do Cry, in a second-hand ed from another publisher, it was so stunningly good the fact that it ever went out of print is simply mind-boggling, and speaks volumes re: the indispensable work that publishers like Text are doing. Up the Aussies! 

RIP Nadine Gordimer: most of you will have heard by now of the death of Nadine Gordimer, Nobel laureate and anti-apartheid activist. This piece by Margaret Atwood in guardian is a moving introduction to Gordimer’s life and work, for those of you who aren’t already familiar, while openculture is collecting stories available for free online here. 

ICYMI: our new weekly round-up of literary goings-on! 

Not the Booker Prize: giving power to readers is absolutely what we’re about, with our reading groups and other initiatives, so we’re thrilled to see ‘probably the world’s most democratic literary prize’ back for another year. You’ve got until 27th July to get your nominations in, and three of our wonderful titles are eligible - Double Negative and The Restless Supermarket by Ivan Vladislavic, and A Map of Tulsa by Benjamin Lytal. So if you’ve read them and loved them, don’t keep it yourself - tell the (Guardian-reading) world about it! 

Sophie Lewis in Asymptote Journal: the latest issue from asymptotejournal really is an embarrassment of riches, and especially for us - not only do they have this fab essay by Daniel Hahn about translating our next title, Nowhere People, there’s also this excerpt from Violette Leduc’s Therese and Isabelle, translated from the French by our very own editor-at-large Sophie Lewis! Having beautiful baby Xul (who you can read all about in our latest newsletter - sign up here!) clearly hasn’t slowed Sophie down :-) 

Okwiri Oduor wins the Caine Prize: now in its fifteenth year, the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing was awarded to Kenyan Okwiri Oduor, whose winning story ‘My Father’s Head’ was described by the judges as “Joycean in its reach”. You can read the story in full here, and listen to Okwiri and judge Jackie Kay discussing the win on bbcradio4 Front Row. For an in-depth look at this year’s five shortlisted entries we recommend Ainehi Edoro’s Brittle Paper blog - indispensable for keeping your finger on the pulse of the African literary scene.   

Thriving Indie Publishers - in praise of Text: over on the Foyles blog, expat Aussie Marion Rankine spreads some much-deserved love for the press that’s won Australia’s Small Publisher of the Year Award for the past three years running(!!) - Text Publishing. Their vibrant yellow classics (bah, humbug, gloomy Penguins) are currently brightening up the shiny new Charing Cross branch of Foyles, and we wholeheartedly recommend you try them out. Marion’s top three are a great place to start, and our social media guru @londonkoreanist is a fan of Elizabeth Harrower’s The Watch Tower. Also, though she read the latest Classic, Janet Frame’s Owls Do Cry, in a second-hand ed from another publisher, it was so stunningly good the fact that it ever went out of print is simply mind-boggling, and speaks volumes re: the indispensable work that publishers like Text are doing. Up the Aussies! 

RIP Nadine Gordimer: most of you will have heard by now of the death of Nadine Gordimer, Nobel laureate and anti-apartheid activist. This piece by Margaret Atwood in guardian is a moving introduction to Gordimer’s life and work, for those of you who aren’t already familiar, while openculture is collecting stories available for free online here

Daniel Hahn in Asymptote Journal: writer, translator, bcltuea wizard, chair of more literature-related panels than we’ve had hot dinners, Danny Hahn isn’t a man, he’s a phenomenon. His recent gig for us has been translating a book we’re incredibly excited to be publishing next month in the UK (sorry US, you guys have to wait an extra month) - Nowhere People by Paulo Scott. Danny’s essay in the always-incredible (seriously, check out the whole issue - and every issue, ever) asymptotejournal is a fascinating, unfailingly modest account of how this intense, surprising story - of a privileged Sao Paulo law student who happens across a young Guarani girl by the highway - came to us at And Other Stories, and how Habitante irreal by Paulo Scott became Nowhere People by Paulo Scott and Daniel Hahn. Because that’s how important translators are - and that’s why, starting with this book (the first in our new range of cover designs), our translators’ names will appear on the front cover. 
Subscribers have already been lapping up Nowhere People for a good few weeks now, annoying their friends by banging on about how great it is, and oh yes what a shame you didn’t subscribe and will just have to wait like everyone else. Now, we’d like to think we could rise above the smugness and Be The Bigger Person, but alas, we’re painfully aware of our own limitations. So: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! By subscribing. Here. You know you want to. 
You can also watch/listen to Danny talk about Nowhere People in this podcast of mptmagazine's launch of their Brazilian-themed Twisted Angels issue, at brightonfestivals. 

Daniel Hahn in Asymptote Journal: writer, translator, bcltuea wizard, chair of more literature-related panels than we’ve had hot dinners, Danny Hahn isn’t a man, he’s a phenomenon. His recent gig for us has been translating a book we’re incredibly excited to be publishing next month in the UK (sorry US, you guys have to wait an extra month) - Nowhere People by Paulo Scott. Danny’s essay in the always-incredible (seriously, check out the whole issue - and every issue, ever) asymptotejournal is a fascinating, unfailingly modest account of how this intense, surprising story - of a privileged Sao Paulo law student who happens across a young Guarani girl by the highway - came to us at And Other Stories, and how Habitante irreal by Paulo Scott became Nowhere People by Paulo Scott and Daniel Hahn. Because that’s how important translators are - and that’s why, starting with this book (the first in our new range of cover designs), our translators’ names will appear on the front cover. 

Subscribers have already been lapping up Nowhere People for a good few weeks now, annoying their friends by banging on about how great it is, and oh yes what a shame you didn’t subscribe and will just have to wait like everyone else. Now, we’d like to think we could rise above the smugness and Be The Bigger Person, but alas, we’re painfully aware of our own limitations. So: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! By subscribing. Here. You know you want to. 

You can also watch/listen to Danny talk about Nowhere People in this podcast of mptmagazine's launch of their Brazilian-themed Twisted Angels issue, at brightonfestivals

The Deafening Roar of Silence - new fiction by Montague Kobbe

Brand new short fiction by Montague Kobbe, inspired by Brazil’s loss to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup final. As well as translating from Spanish (fans of futbol-related fiction should check out The Football Cronicas), Montague’s first novel The Night of the Rambler, is published by akashicbooks, and reviewed here by Jethro Soutar. 

El Negro sat on the far corner of the half-empty bar, sipping unperturbed from his bottle of Brahma Chopp, quietly going over the details of what had just happened. He was almost unrecognisable in his grey suit and pressed white shirt, short hair gelled back in the style of the other Negro, Andrade, twenty years before him. Four times. Four times, Negro. Qué barbaridad. He shook his head lightly as he contemplated the magnitude of the achievement. The frost on the bottle of beer soon turned into a dew that flowed, like tears, down the face of the green glass. And we’re but a little country, che, a tiny little country. Four times champions of the world, Negro. Can you believe it? And he couldn’t.

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