The End of Oulipo?

The End of Oulipo? My book (co-authored with Lauren Elkin), published by Zero Books. Available everywhere. Order it from Amazon, or find it in bookstores nationwide. The End of Oulipo

Lady Chatterley’s Brother

Lady Chatterley's Brother. The first ebook in the new TQC Long Essays series, Lady Chatterley's Brothercalled “an exciting new project” by Chad Post of Open Letter and Three Percent. Why can't Nicholson Baker write about sex? And why can Javier Marias? We investigate why porn is a dead end, and why seduction paves the way for the sex writing of the future. Read an excerpt.

Available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and direct from this site:

Translate This Book!

Ever wonder what English is missing? Called "a fascinating Life Perecread" by The New Yorker, Translate This Book! brings together over 40 of the top translators, publishers, and authors to tell us what books need to be published in English. Get it on Kindle.

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You Say

  • DCNahm: I meant to comment on this when you posted it, but the week
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  • P.T. Smith: Was Ring of Saturn nearly everyone's first Sebald? I was ass
  • l: Saturn's Moons, W.G. Sebald - A Handbook, edited by Jo Catli
  • Will: Moby-Dick all the way. Maybe Beckett's Trilogy.
  • Bruno: Plays and poems are clearly the most workable choices. One c
  • S.: Don't you feel like there's too many worthy books out there

Group Reads

The Tunnel

Fall Read: The Tunnel by William H. Gass

A group read of the book that either "engenders awe and despair" or "[goads] the reader with obscenity and bigotry," or both. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Naked Singularity

Summer Read: A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava

Fans of Gaddis, Pynchon, DeLillo: A group read of the book that went from Xlibris to the University of Chicago Press. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Life Perec

Life A User's Manual by Georges Perec

Starting March 2011, read the greatest novel from an experimental master. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Last Samurai

Fall Read: The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

A group read of one of the '00s most-lauded postmodern novels. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Tale of Genji

The Summer of Genji

Two great online lit magazines team up to read a mammoth court drama, the world's first novel.

Your Face Tomorrow

Your Face This Spring

A 3-month read of Javier Marias' mammoth book Your Face Tomorrow

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Ten Memorable Quotes from William Gaddis’ Letters

New Books
Here are ten of my favorite moments from these hugely interesting letters.

Interviews from Conversational Reading

New Books
See this page for interviews with leading authors, translators, publishers, and more.

  • [[there.]] by Lance Olsen December 15, 2014
    Lance Olsen is the author of two recent works, [[there.]] and Theories of Forgetting (FC2). The second presents three narratives in a clearly fictional mode while the first offers day-to-day thoughts on living in another country. We rightly suspect that any artist’s memoir or diary ought to be viewed as written with a prospective public in mind, no matter ho […]
  • Noir and Nihilism in True Detective December 15, 2014
    "It’s just one story. The oldest. . . . Light versus dark." Spanning 8 episodes between January and March of 2014, HBO’s runaway hit True Detective challenged the status quo of contemporary crime drama. The show has been widely celebrated for its philosophy, complexity, and visual aesthetic. Co-starring actors Matthew McConaughey as Rustin "Ru […]
  • The Colonel’s World December 15, 2014
    Mahmoud Dowlatabadi (born 1940) is considered by many the living Iranian novelist, a perennial Nobel Prize candidate. Dowlatabadi wrote The Colonel some thirty years ago, because in his own words he had been “afflicted.” The subject forced him to sit at the desk and write nonstop for two years. “Writing The Colonel I felt a strong sense of indignation and pa […]
  • Mr Gwyn and Three Times at Dawn by Alessandro Baricco December 15, 2014
    Alessandro Baricco’s well-crafted, elegant prose seems as though it should create the impression of distance, or of abstraction; instead, the reader of Mr. Gwyn and Three Times at Dawn becomes wholly implicated and immersed, drawn into a dreamy and idiosyncratic world that blurs the division between reader, character and writer. As readers, we expect that th […]
  • The Walls of Delhi by Uday Prakash December 15, 2014
    "The paan shop leads to the opening of a tunnel, full of the creatures of the city, and the tears and spit of a fakir." In a single opening line, Uday Prakash sets the scene for the politically incisive, yet intimately human stories of The Walls of Delhi (translated brilliantly from the Hindi by Jason Grunebaum). Lest the fakir suggest otherwise, t […]
  • The Man Between: Michael Henry Heim and a Life in Translation December 15, 2014
    In a speech reprinted in the book, Heim makes a self-deprecating joke about whether the life of a translator is worth reading: “What does a translator do? He sits and translates!” The Man Between serves as a book-length retort by laying bare all the things Heim did: these include persuading the academy that translation is a scholarly (in addition to a creati […]
  • The Prabda Yoon Interview December 15, 2014
    Yes, I think people are not comfortable anymore to write in this straightforward, traditional way, especially the younger, more progressive writers. So it’s interesting—you have social commentary, and you also get a little bit of structural experiment. You have themes that are very, very Thai. I’m actually very interested to see what new writers will come up […]
  • The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck December 15, 2014
    For Jenny Erpenbeck, no life is lived in an indisputable straight line. Which is why, in her new novel (new in English, though published in 2012 as Aller Tage Abend) she approaches the narrative as a series of potential emotional earthquakes, some which take place, some which might have taken place, all of which reveal something of how political turbulence p […]
  • In the Heart of the Heart of the Country by William H. Gass December 15, 2014
    Once, at a writers symposium, William Howard Gass remarked that to substitute the page for the world is a form of revenge for the recognition that "you are, in terms of the so-called world, an impotent nobody." There is inarguably no contemporary writer of American stock in whose work one might locate a more ambitious war of attrition between innov […]
  • Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli December 15, 2014
    Luiselli’s first novel, Faces in the Crowd, translated into fluid English by Christina MacSweeney, is the perfect illustration of this attitude toward fiction writing. Narrated in short sections spanning multiple storylines and the better part of one hundred years, it uses "[d]eep excavations" to expose the empty spaces in two lives, those of a you […]


So, what'd you get today, and what'd you give to your book-loving friends?

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  1. Books As Gifts Joe Queenan’s point seems to be "don’t give me any books, I’ve already selected every last one of the 2,138 I have left to read...
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  3. Sandpaper Books and More Rain Taxi has a very intereting interview with experimental author Steve McCaffery. If you’re at all interested in where fiction is headed, check it out....
  4. Top 10 Books of 2004: #4 #4 — The Octopus — Frank Norris I’ve been on a run of long novels lately, and The Octopus may very well deserve credit for...
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10 comments to Books!

  • Books I gave to Robert:
    Jung’s The Red Book (amazing!)
    The Tanners by Robert Walser
    Bolano’s The Skating Rink
    Kurt Schwitters’ Lucky Hans and Other Merz Tales
    others gave to us:
    The New York Times’ Front Pages, 1851-2009
    The Intent On by Ken Irby

  • Drew

    Gift Card which will be used directly for the new Coetzee.
    Gave Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson to a relative.

  • Matt

    My fiancee is amazing, heres my haul:
    Pornografia-Witold Gombrowicz
    Last Evenings on Earth-Roberto Bolano
    By Night In Chile-Roberto Bolano
    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo-Stieg Larsson
    The Killer Inside Me-Jim Thompson
    Butcher’s Crossing-John Williams
    Remainder-Tom McCarthy
    Pale Fire-Vladimir Nabokov
    The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll-Alvaro Mutis
    Await Your Reply-Dan Chaon
    Ice-Vladimir Sorokin
    Plus an Amazon gift certificate to pick up some more!

  • Ryan

    I got -
    The Making of Americans – Stein
    By Night in Chile – Bolano
    The Magic Mountain – Mann
    Three Novellas – Bernhard
    Collected poems of Ashbery and Plath
    them – JCO
    The Golden Bowl – James
    The Anxiety of Influence – Bloom

  • Harold Brodkey’s The Runaway Soul, Everyman editions of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and Katherine Mansfield’s The Garden Party and Other Stories, Fergus Henderson’s (one of my favourite chefs) Nose to Tail Eating and W. G. Hoskins’s The Making of The English Landscape.

  • They gave me Vicente Luis Mora’s Tiempo and Jorge Luis Borges’ El Libro de Arena (I’m not convinced enough by the edition of his Obras Completas, and they are giving each Borges book that I don’t own and even I’ve read all more than twice, I MUST have all that books in my library). In Spain we also give lots of presents at January 6th, the Three Kings Day, so we’ll see.

  • Oh, and the book I buy was Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak, a little masterpiece that now, with the movie around there, has a beautiful edition without movie tie-ins luckily.

  • Charlotte

    I almost forgot: I also gave Robert The Salt Smugglers by Gerard de Nerval, beautifully translated by Richard Sieburth.

  • I gave two collections of poetry by Raul Zurita. I will get to pick out my Xmas gift at the Strand next week while visiting NYC.

  • Paul

    Gave: Rambaud’s History of Russia from the Earliest Times to 1877.
    Received: The Paris Review Interviews, Vol. I-IV (box set).
    Vocational Christmas Reading: Maps In Those Days: Cartographic Methods Before 1850.

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