Tag Archives: books

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 […]

Black cat in Italy

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

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 […]

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 […]

[A Read-Online Comic] Stick-figure Summary of “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley

Adapter’s note: While the following is a free adaptation of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s classic work and contains certain probably obvious elements not present in the original, it also more or less follows the actual plot of the book as put down by Ms. Shelley. This means spoilers spoilers spoilers. For your convenience and edification, any text […]