Colorful Crime: In Black and White by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

A murder mystery in which the author of a crime story gets caught up in a real-life crime. This is a fun and, for many readers, not entirely foreign premise. In Black and White, which was written in 1928 by the famous author Jun’ichirō Tanizaki but only published in English translation for the first time last … More Colorful Crime: In Black and White by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

Haunted Hemming & Hawing: My Heart Hemmed In by Marie NDiaye

I’m honestly not sure where to start with Jordan Stump’s recent English translation of French writer Marie NDiaye’s My Heart Hemmed In, because it feels like I’ve been preparing to read this book for a long time, a long time before I knew of its existence and perhaps even before it was published in its original … More Haunted Hemming & Hawing: My Heart Hemmed In by Marie NDiaye

Through the Sad Wood Our Corpses Will Hang by Ava Farmehri

You can judge a book by its cover, to an extent. You can also, maybe to an even greater extent, judge a book by its title. Debut novelist Ava Farmehri borrows this one from Dante, and subsequently presents a work that lives up to its impact. Sheyda Porrouya, a twenty-year-old Iranian born at the time … More Through the Sad Wood Our Corpses Will Hang by Ava Farmehri

Lit Bitters: Watering-hole Roundup for #WITMonth

As of today, it’s still Women in Translation Month! Yes, I know, there are months named for everything and often no one knows why they exist. But I can point you towards this one’s origins. It was founded by Meytal Radzinski, a book blogger who started collecting data on translated books and found that there were significantly … More Lit Bitters: Watering-hole Roundup for #WITMonth

Get (Sucked) In: The Hole by Hye-young Pyun

Kafka’s Metamorphosis has in part occupied such a terrifying place in the modern imagination because Gregor Samsa’s awakening in the body of a “monstrous insect” involves the change of both his appearance and perceived usefulness. The idea that a person could simply wake up one day, look different, be considered less relevant to society and therefore … More Get (Sucked) In: The Hole by Hye-young Pyun

Binary Banter: The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise, Perec-style

I read both French and English, but I’m not sure how my binary is. Normally, when it comes to French texts I’m curious about, I grab either the original or the English translation, depending on what’s most readily available. If it’s the translation, I nurse the intention of reading the original French and comparing the … More Binary Banter: The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise, Perec-style

Tap, Tap, Tap: Somebody with a Little Hammer by Mary Gaitskill

What I love about Mary Gaitskill is that she somehow managed to never be corrupted by, I mean, learn, the writer’s code of conduct. There are many things you’re not supposed to do, as a writer. For one, you’re not supposed to write a long personal essay about the grief you suffered over a runaway … More Tap, Tap, Tap: Somebody with a Little Hammer by Mary Gaitskill

Ample Book Trivia: 45+ Online Literature Quizzes to Consume Your Day

The general understanding of quizzes is that they’re supposed to be briefer and less formal than tests. Maybe at least partially because of this, while there’s no shortage of literature quizzes to be found on BuzzFeed, Sporcle and the like, many of them tend to feature the same sediment being stirred up to the surface. … More Ample Book Trivia: 45+ Online Literature Quizzes to Consume Your Day

Sasha Sokolov’s Meaty Headtrip “Between Dog and Wolf,” Translated by Alexander Boguslawski

The painting shown above is Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s The Hunters in the Snow. As you can see, it’s a work of great depth and intricacy. However, as you may have guessed, I’ve placed it here because it’s special in the context of this review. References to The Hunters appear in translator Alexander Boguslawski’s notes for the … More Sasha Sokolov’s Meaty Headtrip “Between Dog and Wolf,” Translated by Alexander Boguslawski

What’s Wrong with Victor? The Root of Frankenstein’s Isolation

Isolation, alienation and loneliness are prominent themes in Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s 1818 classic novel Frankenstein. The Internet is stuffed with resources to help high school and college students draw these themes out or just grab some relevant quotes for an essay. I recently added to these resources in my own special way with this comic … More What’s Wrong with Victor? The Root of Frankenstein’s Isolation