Jean-Philippe Toussaint in Tin House

June 6th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

TH 68

Tin House #68, the annual Summer Reading issue for 2016,  is now out! From the Open Bar, the Tin House blog, editor Rob Spillman writes:

In this issue we’re proud to bring you two fabulous translations: Dorthe Nors’s “By Sydvest Station,” translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra, and Jean-Phillipe Toussaint’s “The Dress of Honey,” translated from the French by Edward Gauvin. Alexis Smith’s debut novel, Glaciers, was an indie sensation, and here we feature an excerpt from her follow-up, Marrow Island. Smith is joined by other indie darlings, Deb Olin Unferth, Josh Weil, and Saša Stanišić, as well as esteemed poets Dorianne Laux and John Ashbery, who return to our pages. We’re also happy to welcome new-to-us poets Anna Journey and Sam Rivierre.

Toussaint’s piece is excerpted from his novel Naked, the fourth and final of his “Marie” tetralogy, due out in September from Dalkey Archive Press.

Out now: Agatha

May 7th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink


SelfMadeHero is pleased to announce the publication of AGATHA, the new graphic biography of Agatha Christie.

There’s no mystery about the continuing popularity of the world’s greatest crime writer, and now her life is being retold through a graphic novel.  Co-written by Anne Martinetti and Guillaume Lebeau, and illustrated by Alexandre Franc, this breezy, playful account of her life centres around her ‘disappearance’ in 1926 but also reveals her unexpected passion for flying, travelling, archaeology, and surfing.  An inventive, enjoyable celebration of this much-loved and free-spirited novelist in this 40th anniversary year of her death.                                                  AGATHA is published on 5th May by SelfMadeHero (rrp £12.99, 120pp, colour)


Anne Martinetti, editor of French crime published Editions du Masques, has previously written the Agatha Christie cookbook, Creams and Punishments.
She is attending a talk and signing session of the book at the French Institute in London on Wednesday 11th May, 7pm.

Blutch All Over the Place

April 19th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Peplum Lucas

Reviews are rolling in for Blutch’s Peplum, and they’re terrific!

At the Onion A.V. Club, comics guru Oliver Sava calls the book

a resounding success, with a bold, eye-catching trade dress and an oversized format that allows readers to savor every little detail in Blutch’s sumptuous artwork [...]

Translator Edward Gauvin does exceptional work giving the text a lyricism that matches the emotional richness of Blutch’s artwork, and Jess Johnson’s earthy lettering makes the words an organic extension of the visuals. The texture in the art is especially evocative, and Blutch gives this world a tactile quality that keeps the tone grounded as the story ventures into surreal, hallucinogenic territory [...]

Peplum is an object of both beauty and terror. The artistry on display in these pages is astounding, and hopefully it won’t be another three years until more of Blutch’s library makes its way overseas.

In Canada’s own Globe and Mail, Sean Rogers says

The 1997 sword-and-sandal epic Peplum, by the furiously inky artist known as Blutch, marks the first translation in the publisher’s catalogue – and thus serves as a gauntlet thrown down with imperious conviction. Breakneck in its pacing, allusive and rich in its classical cadences (as translated by Edward Gauvin)… [f]reely adapting passages from Shakespeare’s Caesar and Petronius’s Satyricon, Blutch draws cities like Grosz, atrocities like Goya and gardens like Matisse. Peplum’s broad strokes may thus seem familiar – the hero undergoes an odyssey where he is beset by pirates, bound by barbarians, ravaged by an Amazon and tempted away from his prize by a comely boy-servant – but the execution is all Blutch’s own, confounding and febrile, like some dream version of myth.

Douglas Rednour in The Library Journal awards Peplum a starred review:

Peplum is a visual tour de force of comics language. Blutch (aka Christian Hincker) tells a surreal adventure in the manner of Petronius’s Satyricon while using the emotional body language and panel styling of Will Eisner infused with the smooth, moving line work that powered Eric Drooker’s Flood, giving the tale a bulging musculature that would fit in well with the best films of the peplum genre. In doing so, Blutch (So Long, Silver Screen) employs the comic form to craft a story with affecting legitimacy and unexpected visual combinations that make every page a new adventure without precedent or convention.
Verdict Any reader looking for a high level of comic art will find a coliseum full of riches in Peplum.

Publisher’s Weekly says

Blutch’s art is truly exquisite, rendering battles, orgies, and conversations in dense, inky lines akin to Mattotti, but completely his own and completely haunting… The book requires rereading to grasp the scope of storytelling and linework, which is effortless enough to make the greatest American cartoonists jealous.

And in the March issue of World Literature Today, D. Eddy Emerson finds much to appreciate, ruminating thematically on form and function:

[the] dichotomy between the immediacy of the artwork and the more esoteric nature of the possible narrative mirror the two forms of love that underlie the story. The artwork is the real, tactile love that could well be lost when chasing the ideal of love, while the narratives and themes presented could just be a created fiction.


Locus Looks at Books: The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome

April 11th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink


In the latest issue of Locus (March 2016), Faren Miller has these kind words for DSDS:

Serge Brussolo has been a well-regarded, bestselling French writer for decades, but short novel The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome is the first of his books to appear in English (translation by Edward Gauvin). Though it appeared in France in 1992, this surreal and powerfully original work shows how much we’ve been missing, and I hope further translations will soon follow […]

Through a vividly surreal blend of genres, The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome transcends familiar metaphors for the creative process, making it seem new again (with a sly tip of the hat to pulp fiction).

In the latest issue of Locus (March 2016), Faren Miller writes:

Serge Brussolo has been a well-regarded, bestselling French writer for decades, but short novel The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome is the first of his books to appear in English (translation by Edward Gauvin). Though it appeared in France in 1992, this surreal and powerfully original work shows how much we’ve been missing, and I hope further translations will soon follow […]

Through a vividly surreal blend of genres, The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome transcends familiar metaphors for the creative process, making it seem new again (with a sly tip of the hat to pulp fiction).

Jérôme Ruillier at Words Without Borders

April 4th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Ruillier strange

Words Without Borders’ annual comics issue featured an excerpt from L’Étrange by Jérôme Ruillier, a deliberately eerie story of displacement and migration, done in animals, rough lines, and primary colors. It is accompanied by a preface in which I explain why I decided to render the title literally as The Strange in English. My translation of an excerpt from Ruillier’s adaptation of Les Mohameds, a famous oral history of the first wave of North African immigrants to France, featured in the same magazine a few years ago.

Saturday 4/9 in Gainesville, Florida

April 3rd, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

clic 6 pen

At 11:15 AM in Ustler Atrium, I’ll be giving one of three keynote addresses at the University of Florida’s annual Conference on Comics and Graphics Novels. The theme of this 13th  year is Transnational Comics—Crossing Gutters, Transcending Boundaries.

In the Pipeline: Peplum by Blutch

April 2nd, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Peplum Lucas

Looking forward to this spring, Zainab Akhtar of Comics and Cola has a column at The Guardian on graphic novels to look forward to. Blutch’s Peplum, due out in April, is one of the launch titles for New York Review Comics, New York Review of Books’ new comics imprint.

The man known as Blutch is one of the giants of contemporary comics, and Peplum may be his masterpiece: a grand, strange dream of ancient Rome. At the edge of the empire, a gang of bandits discovers the body of a beautiful woman in a cave; she is encased in ice but may still be alive. One of the bandits, bearing a stolen name and with the frozen maiden in tow, makes his way toward Rome—seeking power, or maybe just survival, as the world unravels.

Thrilling and hallucinatory, vast in scope yet unnervingly intimate, Peplum weaves together threads from Shakespeare and theSatyricon along with Blutch’s own distinctive vision. His hypnotic storytelling and stark, gorgeous art pull us into one of the great works of graphic literature, translated into English for the first time.

“Blutch is a master. No other cartoonist renders with such casual virtuosity. It’s long overdue for his books to be translated into English.” —Craig Thompson

“One of our greatest artists.” —L’Express“In the hands of the amazing Mr. Hincker (who uses the pseudonym Blutch), a simple pencil takes on the qualities of a magic wand.” —The New York Times

“One of the greatest living cartoonists (and if you don’t think Blutch fits this bill you really, really need to read more Blutch).”—The Comics Reporter 

“One of the most important European cartoonists of the past 20 years.”—Robot 6

Blutch (Christian Hincker) is an award-winning, highly influential French cartoonist. He has published almost two dozen books since his 1988 comic debut in the legendary avant-garde magazine Fluide Glacial, including MitchumLe Petit Christian, and So Long, Silver Screen, his only previous book to be published in English. His illustrations appear in Les InrockuptiblesLibération, and The New Yorker.

Zeina Abirached at Words Without Borders

April 1st, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Abirached piano

Words Without Borders’ annual comics issue featured an excerpt from Le piano oriental by Zeina Abirached, of A Game for Swallows fame. Serialized online in its entirety at the French newspaper Le Monde, Abirached’s work tells a playful and complex intergenerational tale of music and migration. This  excerpt tells the story of how she left home for Paris for the first time.

Tonight at The Last Bookstore: Melville House (AWP Off-Site)

March 31st, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

7:30 – 9PM

453 S Spring St – Ground Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90013

The Last Bookstore is pleased to present Melville House Night, featuring authors Christopher Boucher, Jeremy Bushnell, Catie Disabato, and Kirk Lynn, and translator Edward Gauvin. Come join us to hear them read from their latest books.

CHRISTOPHER BOUCHER teaches writing and literature at Boston College, and is the managing editor of Post Road Magazine. He is the author of How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive, and the forthcoming novel Golden Delicious.

JEREMY P. BUSHNELL is the author of The Weirdness, and the forthcoming novel The Insides. He teaches writing at Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

CATIE DISABATO is the author of The Ghost Network. She is a columnist for Full Stop and has written criticism and commentary for This Recording, The Millions, and The Rumpus.

KIRK LYNN is the head of the Playwriting and Directing Area in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin, is one of six coproducing artistic directors of Rude Mechanicals theater collective. He is the author of Rules for Werewolves.

EDWARD GAUVIN is a translator from the French. His work has won multiple prizes and has appeared in the New York Times, Tin House, Subtropics, World Literature Today, and Weird Fiction Review. The translator of more than two hundred graphic novels, Gauvin is a contributing editor for comics at Words Without Borders. His translation of Serge Brussolo’s The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome marked the first English-language publication of the French master of the fantastic.

Tomorrow at AWP 2016: Los Angeles

March 30th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

R230. The Translator as Coauthor: Collaborative Translation

Room 513, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 31, 2016
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

When translators and authors collaborate, we often assume that the translation replicates the original. Yet the results often differ not only in the obvious linguistic ways, but also in content, organization, and even plot, as writers take opportunities to revise and translators both render and rewrite the evolving text. Four translators discuss their experiences in working with their authors to bring their works into English, and the creative strategies involved in collaboration.

Moderator:Susan Harris is the editorial director of Words without Borders and the coeditor, with Ilya Kaminsky, of The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry.

Edward Gauvin’s translations have appeared in the New York TimesTin House,SubtropicsConjunctionsPEN AmericaWords Without Borders, the Southern Review, the Harvard Review, and World Literature Today. As H.V. Chao, he has published fiction in the Kenyon ReviewBirkensnake, and West Branch.

Shabnam Nadiya has an MFA from and is the 2013–14 Schulze Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is currently working on a collection of linked stories calledPariah Dog and Others.

Kareem James Abu-Zeid is a freelance writer, editor, and translator (of Arabic, German, and French). He is currently writing a history of psychedelic literature and wrapping up his PhD. His recent translations include novels and collections of poetry from Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, and Sudan.

Karen Emmerich is a translator of modern Greek poetry and prose. She has a PhD in comparative literature from Columbia University and is on the faculty of Princeton University.