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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  • Favorite Reads of 2014Favorite Reads of 2014

    Lila by Marilynne Robinson This isn't my favorite Marilynne Robinson book by a long shot, but even not-the-best Marilynne... »
  • Michael Hofmann on Richard FlanaganMichael Hofmann on Richard Flanagan

    The NYRB should really get this guy to review Jonathan Franzen's Purity. The Narrow Road to the Deep North has the scope... »
  • Coetzee’s Short StoriesCoetzee’s Short Stories

    Just published by Text Publishing. J.M. Coetzee swims strongly against the ebbing tide. Not only has Text Publishing... »
  • The first PerecThe first Perec

    In the TLS, Lauren Elkin reviews Portrait of a Man Known as Il Condottiere, aka Geroges Perec's lost first novel. In... »
  • 20 Books at 3820 Books at 38

    I'm surprised to learn Andres Newman is so young. Also, great overview of his books in English. Andrés Neuman is... »
  • The Future ModianoThe Future Modiano

    The Complete Review has the details of the future Englishing of our most recent Nobel laureate. And also, sales figures. For... »
  • Quarterly Conversationi Issue 38Quarterly Conversationi Issue 38

    Issue 38 right here. or TOC after the jump. Features Readings, Fragments,... »
  • On KafkaOn Kafka

    Rivka Galchen on the new Kafka bio by Reiner Stach. I have come to the conclusion that anyone who thinks about Kafka for... »
  • Me on ModianoMe on Modiano

    My review of Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano. The most focused of the book’s three diffuse novellas is... »
  • Elena Ferrante InterviewedElena Ferrante Interviewed

    At the NY TImes. I'm currently reading Book 1. Q. You insist on anonymity and yet are developing a cult following,... »

You Say

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

Shop though these links = Support this site


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 […]

Editors’ Picks for 2013: La Tempestad

Daniel Medin, Senior Editor of The Quarterly Conversation, has compiled favorite reads of 2013 from a number of international literary magazines. To read all the picks in this series, click here.

LA TEMPESTAD

Mexico City

Click here for information about the latest issue

Nicolás Cabral, Edi­to­r-in-Chief

Kingdom Tetralogy by Gonçalo M. Tavares

One of the greatest achievements of 21st century narrative: Um Homem: Klaus Klump (2003), Joseph Walser’s Machine (2004), Jerusalem (2004), and Learning to Pray in the Age of Technique (2007). The last three were published in English by Dalkey Archive Press.

After the Future by Franco Berardi Bifo

A lucid exploration of the century-long obsession with “the future” by the indispensable Italian thinker. Published in English by AK Press (2011).

Der Briefwechsel Thomas Bernhard/Siegfried Unseld [Correspondence]

Originally published in German in 2009, the letters of Bernhard and his editor, written between 1961 and 1988, are a great testimony of a peculiar relationship. A selection was published in Spanish by Cómplices Editorial as Correspondencia (2012). [English rights for this title have been sold to Seagull.]

No tendrás rostro by David Miklos

A post-apocalyptic novel by one of the finest prose writers of Mexican contemporary literature. Published in Spanish by Tusquets Editores (2013).

Palas by Ricardo Cázares

Cázares is a creative reader of the American tradition that includes Pound, Williams or Olson. This innovative long poem was published by Aldus in 2013, in Spanish.

La fila india by Antonio Ortuño

Precise and sharp, this novel portrays the brutality of Mexico’s southern border. Ortuño at his highest moment. Published in Spanish by Océano (2013).

Guillermo Núñez Jáuregui, Editor

Ladrilleros by Selva Almada

The second book by Almada focuses on the interwoven lives of a couple of brick-makers, Elvio Miranda and Oscar Tamai, and the small war that they–and their families–are in. Almada’s style may seem, at first, realistic, traditional; however, there is a slight and disconcerting movement in its atomic form.

Una belleza vulgar by Damián Tabarovksy

A leaf in the wind: it is, as the title implies, a vulgar kind of beauty. The leaf falls to the ground. The wind lifts is over the streets of a middle-class neighborhood in Buenos Aires, taking the narration from convenience stores to restaurants and the small lives of people inhabiting cramped apartments, until the leaf is finally carried away. This is an unaffected novel, utterly unconcerned with the way it will be read. Tabarovksy, the editor of Mardulce, is also the author of the essay Literatura de izquierda.

Gallinas de madera by Mario Bellatin

The work of Alain Robbe-Grillet and Bohumil Hrabal is “read” by Bellatin in this book, composed by two novellas (just as he “read” Kafka’s aphorisms in his previous book, El libro uruguayo de los muertos). Neither psychological nor autobiographical motivations are discernible in this book. Its anecdotes are impoverished, and we are confronted solely by procedure.

Qué hacer by Pablo Katchadjian

This brief novella was published in 2010 by the Argentinian small press Bajo la luna. It evokes the curious narratives of dreams–or of the narrator who tries to relate a series of dreams. Like the recent works of Aira or Bellatin, Qué hacer focuses particularly on the process of writing.

Tu materia son los huesos by Andrés Téllez Parra

Narco-literature (where the spirit of journalism and realism is well and alive) is not the only way writers have approached the violent climate of contemporary Mexico. Others, like David Miklos and his No tendrás rostro or Yuri Herrera, have been more inventive and imaginative, with a closer attention to the historical continuity of violence (it’s no wonder that biblical language–lyrical and ambiguous–is recurrent in many such titles). Andrés Téllez Parra’s first novel takes us to a place that resembles that space, where the language of violence is familiar and, at the same time, distant yet haunting, like a specter.

More from Conversational Reading:

  1. Editors’ Picks for 2013: Schreibheft Daniel Medin, Senior Editor of The Quarterly Conversation, has compiled favorite reads of 2013 from a number of international literary magazines. To read all the...
  2. Editors’ Picks for 2013: The White Review Daniel Medin, Senior Editor of The Quarterly Conversation, has compiled favorite reads of 2013 from a number of international literary magazines. To read all the...
  3. Editors’ Picks for 2013: Vagant Daniel Medin, Senior Editor of The Quarterly Conversation, has compiled favorite reads of 2013 from a number of international literary magazines. To read all the...
  4. Los enamoramientos in English in 2013 Looks the the latest Javier Marias novel, Los enamoramientos, will be available in English in 2013: An odd piece of work at IberoSphere, where Nick...
  5. TQC Favorite Reads of 2013: Colin Marshall We are running down favorite reads of 2013 from Quarterly Conversation contributors. This list comes from Colin Marshall, whose most recent contribution to The Quarterly...

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