Spotted in the Wild: Serge Brussolo at The Source

October 9th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Brussolo Source

C.M. Muller, Minnesota-based scrivener and editor of things weird and darkly wondrous, informs me that Serge Brussolo’s The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome has been featured as a staff pick at the Source Comics and Games in Roseville: “Ten Thousand Square Feet of Pure Awesome”! He sent me these photos of the book, right between Karen Russell’s Swamplandia and the late Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love. The tag says “Deliciously mind bending” and “Translated wonderfully from the French.” All my thanks to Mr. Muller and the Source!

Brussolo Source 2

NOW OUT!! Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s Naked

October 8th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Naked Toussaint

Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s Naked, the final book (so far) in his “Marie” tetralogy, is now available from Dalkey Archive Press. I had a wonderful time on residency at Belgium’s Chateau de Seneffe with eight other translators from different countries all working on the novel, and the author himself. I am grateful to them all for their curiosity, inspiration, and assistance.

Earlier over the summer, part of the book’s prologue was excerpted in Tin House‘s Summer Reading issue as “The Dress of Honey.”

“To write of her that which has never been written of any other woman.” And with these words from Dante, Jean-Philippe Toussaint sets out once more to deepen and broaden his depiction of one of contemporary fiction’s most fully realized female characters: haute couturière Marie Madeleine Marguerite de Montalte. Having traced the ups, downs, ins, and outs of Marie’s relationship with the unnamed narrator through three previous novels, Toussaint brings his customary nuanced rumination and nimble wit to this concluding volume, which takes us back to the Tokyo of Making Love and the Elba of The Truth About Marie, through jealousy and comedy, irony and tenderness, and the meticulous accretion of details that engross and distract us even as life’s larger changes shift the assumptions by which we live.

Jean-Philippe Toussaint is the author of nine novels and the winner of numerous literary prizes, including the Prix Décembre for The Truth about Marie, which is available from Dalkey Archive Press. His writing has been compared to the works of Samuel Beckett, Jacques Tati, Jim Jarmusch, and even Charlie Chaplin.

TODAY!! I am reading at the Oakland Marriott!!

October 7th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink


As part of the Curated Readings series at the 39th annual American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) conference, Friday at 2pm in Junior Ballroom 3 I’ll be previewing a chapter from Charif Majdalani’s novel Moving the Palace, forthcoming in my translation next April from New Vessel Press. Thanks much to my publishers Ross Ufberg and Michael Wise for arranging this reading and deciding I was the right translator for the book in the first place!

In the course of the novel, a Lebanese professor’s fictionalization of his grandfather’s WWI escapades, the titular dwelling is teamstered piecemeal camelback through Northern Africa and a war-torn Middle East. Originally titled Caravansérail, the novel, the second of a family-history based trilogy published by Éditions du Seuil, won the 2008 Francois-Mauriac Prize from the Académie Francaise as well as the Prix Tropiques.

Coincidentally, I’ll soon be enjoying a residency in the Parc National des Landes at the former summer home of Nobel prizewinner Francois Mauriac’s family, thanks to ECLA Aquitaine.

TONIGHT!! Literary DEATH MATCH Oakland!!

October 6th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink


I will be reading TONIGHT in the Literary Death Match, Oakland edition, as the long-running series hits the Bay Area. The Death Match is one of many fun after hours events sweeping into town along with the 2016 American Literary Translators Association conference, which begins today. It’s a good night to die, I guess.

You may be asking yourself:

What is Literary Death Match? Well, it will feature four translators who read their work for seven minutes or less. They’re then judged by three all-star judges, who select two finalists to compete in the Literary Death Match finale, a vaguely literary game to decide the ultimate winner.

Here’s the link to the Facebook event. Add them on Twitter: @litdeathmatch(And they’re on Instagram now!) For more info, watch LDM Book Report — their new weekly web show!

Tonight’s readers will include:

Round 1:
Bae Suah
, multi-award winning South Korean author of A Greater Music and Nowhere to Be Found (with Deborah Smith)
Katherine Silver, translator and co-director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre
Round 2:
Edward Gauvin
, writer, award-winning translator and two-time Eisner Award nominee
Becka McKay, translator, poet and author of A Meteorologist in the Promised Land

Hosted by LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga. Produced by Brittany Penzer Chad Post.

Literary Merit: 
Andrew Lam, PEN Open Book Award-winning author of Perfume Dreams and Birds of Paradise Lost
Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, comedian, winner of Liz Carpenter Political Humor Award (recent winners: Samantha Bee & Wanda Sykes)
Intangibles: Lydia Popovich, comedian, named SF Weekly’s #1 Artist to Watch in 2016 

Where: Ultra Shadow Lounge, 341 13th St, Oakland (map) 
When: show at 7:30pm sharp, doors at 6:30pm (afterdrinks after!)
Cost: $5 (click to preorder now!)



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.