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 […]

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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