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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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.

  • A Legacy by Sybille Bedford March 15, 2015
    Sybille Bedford had the benefit—or bad fortune, however you see it—of being born into the German aristocracy in 1911. Her father was a retired lieutenant colonel and art collector from the agrarian south, from a Roman Catholic family in fiscal decline. Her mother came from a wealthy German-Jewish family from Hamburg. A widower from his first marriage, Bedfor […]
  • Reviving Antal Szerb March 15, 2015
    Antal Szerb’s lithe, lively, and wholly endearing fiction is peopled by male dreamers on spiritual journeys of self-discovery. Each one sets out on his respective mini-mission with good intentions but knows from the outset that there are only so many harsh truths he can withstand. In this respect, all Szerb’s protagonists seem to have heeded the advice of Gr […]
  • 39 Africans Walk into a Bar March 15, 2015
    New anthologies of African fiction seem to materialize virtually every year, if not more often in recent years. When presented with the physical fact of yet another new anthology of African fiction, the immediate question, one which I was asked when I pressed the warm, bound pages of the Africa39 anthology into the even warmer hands of a new acquaintance, wa […]
  • The Country Road by Regina Ullmann March 15, 2015
    This collection of short stories, her first to appear in English, counters material poverty with a fulfilling and deeply spiritual relationship with the natural world. Ullmann herself was no stranger to hardship. A depressive, she was plagued by personal and professional crises. Financial constraints forced her to send her illegitimate children to the countr […]
  • The Fall of Language in the Age of English by Minae Mizumura March 14, 2015
    The Fall of Language in the Age of English stirred up debate upon its publication in Japan in 2008, and it’s possible it will do so in the U.S. with its arrival in Mari Yoshihara and Juliet Winters Carpenter's translation. In their introduction, Yoshihara and Winters Carpenter, point out that Japanese reviewers accused Mizumura of being a jingoist, an e […]
  • Another View: Tracing the Foreign in Literary Translation by Eduard Stoklosinski March 14, 2015
    Another View demonstrates exciting potential in translation study and praxis. It is especially significant in deconstructing assumptions about fluency and linguistic identity. The author makes some persuasive arguments for considering and even preferring non-native translation of texts, the most controversial of which is the possibility that linguistic compe […]
  • The Latest Five from Dalkey Archive’s “Library of Korea” Series March 14, 2015
    Despite South Korea having the kind of vibrant literary scene you'd expect from a country with one of the highest literacy rates in the world, we're still not exactly inundated with English translations of South Korean fiction. Given this dearth, Dalkey Archive Press's Library of Korean Literature series, twenty five titles published in collab […]
  • B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal by J.C. Hallman March 14, 2015
    here’s a conspicuous history of books that simply should not work: Books like U & I by Nicholson Baker, a book-length exercise in “memory criticism,” where Baker traces Updike’s influence on his own writing life while studiously not actually re-reading any of Updike’s books. Or books like Out of Sheer Rage, Geoff Dyer’s book that procrastinates away from […]
  • The Valerie Miles Interview March 14, 2015
    The idea was to uncover the secret life of these texts, why do their creators consider them their best work? What’s the clandestine, the underground, the surreptitious meaning or attachment? Where’s the kernel, the seed from which a body of work grew, what the driving obsession? Is it something sentimental, something technical, maybe even something spiritual […]
  • On Being Blue by William H. Gass March 14, 2015
    Look up at the sky, or down into the ocean, and what color do you see? We see blue, but not Homer—he never once employs the term throughout The Iliad and The Odyssey, famously calling the sea "wine-dark" and the heavens "bronze." Neither did the Greek philosopher Xenophanes say blue—he described the rainbow as having only three colors. Th […]


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...
  2. Christmas Books Sure to be a popular post-Christmas meme: What books did you give and receive for Christmas? ReceiveTruman Capote–In Cold Blood GiveW.G. Sebald–The EmigrantsHaruki Murakami–Norweigan WoodAlice...
  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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