Today, I’d like to talk to you about The Bridesmaid. No, not Bridesmaids. Not Revenge of the Bridesmaids. La demoiselle d’honneur. Of course, I’m referring to two versions of a story here: The original suspense novel in English by British author Ruth Rendell and its 2004 film adaptation by French New Wave director Claude Chabrol. For a certain period, Chabrol’s […]


During a recent search for public domain art to spruce up this blog, it came to my attention that there are a lot of fantastic portrayals of women and girls reading—or at least holding books while being interrupted or drifting—out there. In a different kind of article, I might theorize as to why it is […]


Patricia Highsmith is a literary wildcard. Her work may be considered amateurish by book snobs whose primary concern is high art, and too fully-formed for genre fans whose primary concern is entertainment. But I’ve gotten the impression that neither of these phenomena is the norm. Rather, it seems like readers generally love her for having […]


I discovered manga author Inio Asano years ago through one of the inter-language accidents of fate I love: I picked up Volume One of What a Wonderful World! in a used bookstore, translated from Japanese into French, in an edition that I can today not even find on At the time, I didn’t know anything about […]

boy shoes

Last year at the Milwaukee Festival of Films in French, I saw Tom à la ferme (Tom on the Farm), the new Xavier Dolan flick at the time. I enjoy the sharp visual appeal and colorful, intimate light of Dolan’s directorial style, and this was no exception. The previews made the movie look like something akin to Louis […]


Writing a novel is easy. That’s not my opinion. In fact, it goes against my own now-educated opinion, but it’s the impression you might come away with after reading Her Father’s Daughter by Marie Sizun. To be precise, I’m talking about the translation of Sizun’s novel by Adriana Hunter (who I’ve figured to the best of my […]

big book

Whatever your opinion of Paul Auster, he’s an interesting guy. His translations, his autobiographical writings (like the endearingly funny Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure) and his novels (including The New York Trilogy, a surrealistic take on noir thrillers) all offer different pieces of what may not even be a single puzzle. While I […]

ukraine rainy window

Recently, I had a dream that I believe was brought on, at least in part, by the recent English-language release of the novel Voroshilovgrad by Ukrainian lit superstar Serhiy Zhadan, translated by Riley-Costigan Humes and Isaac Wheeler for Deep Vellum Publishing. In this dream, I was working at a job I had years ago, only it wasn’t years ago, […]


You may have heard that a lot of English words come from French. That’s interesting in theory, but what would it actually look like if you could see it? What if you could see linguistic influences in colors, like an etymologist with synaesthesia? I started to wonder about this and also wondered what would happen […]


Every so often, an interesting book comes out of nowhere. In much the same way, the two main characters in PTG Man’s A Very Human Place are apt—or perhaps more accurately, doomed—to appear unannounced in town after town and sow their own weird brand of destruction. Samil and Lilit (otherwise known as Sam and Lil) […]