Date Archives October 2018

October Reading Roundup

Did you read any good books in October? I had a decent reading month, starting with a dud but progressing to some fascinating reads, including one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Here’s a rundown. The Mimic Men by V.S. Naipaul I really don’t get why this novel is so celebrated. It’s the life story of a fictional West Indian politician, and it reads like a political memoir, a dull enough genre even when the politician in question really existed. I had no interest in the… Read More

New Opportunity to Get Started in Fiction Translation

I’ve always wondered how you get started in fiction translation. I mean, translating a novel seems like such a huge endeavour, and how do you get commissioned to do that? I guess you could translate short stories or something, but how many of those get published? So becoming a literary translator seems like one of those Catch-22 situations in which you need a body of work to secure a publisher, but you can’t build up a body of work because you don’t have a publisher. I wonder how many people… Read More

Eye by Marianne Micros: Greek Mythology With a Contemporary Twist

As a long-time English professor at the University of Guelph, Marianne Micros taught folktales among other things, and this influence is clear in her short story collection Eye, recently published by Guernica Editions. Also evident is the influence of her Greek mother, to whom the book is dedicated. For these are short stories that weave folktales and mythology together with contemporary life. We start with a young boy seeing visions of the future after discovering the head of Orpheus on a beach, and in later stories we meet Ariadne in a… Read More

September Reading Roundup

Last month, I started a series of monthly reading roundups. This month, to my astonishment, I am continuing it for the second straight month. So here’s a quick summary of the books I read in September. Life Begins on Friday by Ioana Pârvulescu I was travelling in Romania for most of September, so I decided to read this novel by a contemporary Romanian writer that I bought at a bookshop in Iasi (which I wrote a bit about—the town, not the bookshop—back in August). Life Begins on Friday was a fresh, slightly bizarre… Read More