New fiction


Paasilinna, Arto. The year of the hare: a novel. Trans. Herbert Lomas. New York: Penguin Books, 2010. (Publisher’s description)

Evans, Danielle. Before you suffocate your own fool self. New York: Riverhead Books, 2010. (Publisher’s description)

Literature in translation


Bi, Feiyu. Three sisters. Trans. Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. (Publisher’s description)

Jón Kalman Stefánsson.* Heaven and hell.Trans. Philip Roughton. London: MacLehose Press, Quercus, 2010. (Publisher’s description)

Ōe, Kenzaburō. The changeling. Trans. Deborah Boliver Boehm. New York: Grove Press, 2010. (Publisher’s description)

*Jón Kalman Stefánsson is an Icelandic author, and Icelandic names are (usually) patronymics. That means that “Stefánsson” is not his last name. According to most style guides, Icelandic names are not written in the form of “last name, first name”; instead, they are written in direct order. Even the Reykjavik phone book is alphabetized this way. It’s something to keep in mind, if you’re ever browsing the shelves in a library by author’s last name. One of my favorite authors, Arnaldur Indriðason, should be filed under “A”, not under “I”. However, since this is not commonly known, sometimes libraries file him under “I”, because that’s where the public expects to find him. If you’re ever browsing the shelves, you’ll want to check in both places.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Borges, Llosa, Mahfouz


Borges, Jorge Luis. On mysticism. New York: Penguin Books, 2010. (Publisher’s description)

Llosa, Mario Vargas. The time of the hero. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1986. (Publisher’s description)

Mahfouz, Naguib. The seventh heaven: stories of the supernatural. Trans. Raymond Stock. New York: Anchor Books, 2006. (Publisher’s description)

Fiction in translation


El-Bisatie, Mohamed. Drumbeat. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010. (Publisher’s description)

Bengtsson, Frans G. The long ships. Trans. Michael Meyer. New York: New York Review of Books, 2010.(Publisher’s description)

Verne, Jules. The castle in Transylvania. Trans. Charlotte Mandell. Brooklyn: Melville House, 2010. (Publisher’s description)

World literature


Barakat. Hoda. The stone of laughter. Trans. Sophie Bennett. Northampton, Mass.: Interlink Books, 2006.(Publisher’s description)

Keilson, Hans. Comedy in a minor key. Trans. Damion Searls. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010.(Publisher’s description)

Alsanea, Rajaa. Girls of Riyadh. Trans. Rajaa Alsanea and Marilyn Booth. New York: Penguin Books, 2008. (Publisher’s description)

World literature


Némirovsky, Irène. Dimanche and other stories. Trans. Bridget Patterson. New York: Vintage Books, 2010. (Publisher’s description)

Grossi, Pietro. Fists. Trans. Howard Curtis. London: Pushkin Press, 2009. (Publisher’s description)

Kureishi, Hanif. Collected stories. London: Faber and Faber, 2010. (Publisher’s description)

World literature


Wilkins, Damien. Somebody loves us all. Wellington, N.Z.: Victoria University Press, 2009. (Publisher’s description)

Bakker, Gerbrand. The twin. Trans. David Colmer. Brooklyn, NY: Archipelago Books, 2009. (Publisher’s description) – An NPR pick for Best Foreign Fiction of 2009

Lu, Xun. The real story of Ah-Q and other tales of China: the complete fiction of Lu Xun. Trans. Julia Lovell. New York: Penguin, 2009. (Publisher’s description)

Publisher spotlight: Two Dollar Radio


Two Dollar Radio‘s tagline is “Books too loud to ignore”.

I had never heard of this publisher until this book crossed my desk:

Xiao, Xiaoda. The cave man: a novel. Minneapolis: Two Dollar Radio, 2009. (Publisher’s description)

From the back cover:

The cave man is an extraordinary and moving portrait of a man brutalized in Mao’s China.

Ja Feng is contained within a three-foot by four-and-one-half foot solitary confinement cell in a prison camp.  He has survived this punishment for nine months, a period of time that has forced him to question his most basic human faculties.

The cave man follows Ja Feng once he is released from solitary confinement, as he tried to integrate with fellow prisoners who view his skeletal figure and erratic screaming fits as freakish, and his heartbreaking attempts to assimilate into Chinese culture, to reestablish familial bonds and to see out an ordinary human experience.

The opening page is an author’s note that makes you want to scream at the sky.  That’s as far as I’ve gotten in reading this book, but it makes me want to read everything Two Dollar Radio has ever published.

Their website says:

Two Dollar Radio is a family-run outfit founded in 2005 with the mission to reaffirm the cultural and artistic spirit of the publishing industry.

We aim to do this by presenting bold works of literary merit, each book, individually and collectively providing a sonic progression that we believe to be too loud to ignore.

Their website,, is worth a look.

World literature


Vámos , Miklós. The book of fathers: a novel. Trans. Peter Sherwood. New York: Other Press, 2009. (Publisher’s description)

Allende, Isabel. Island beneath the sea: a novel. Trans. Margaret Sayers Peden. New York: Harper, 2010. (Publisher’s description)

Abidi, Ashar. The house of Bilqis. New York: Penguin Books, 2010. (Publisher’s description)



Mengiste, Maaza. Beneath the lion’s gaze: a novel. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2010. (Publisher’s description)

McKinney-Whetstone, Diane. Trading dreams at midnight: a novel. New York: Harper, 2008. (Publisher’s description)

Rahimi, Atiq. The patience stone: sang-e saboor. New York: Other Press, 2009. (Publisher’s description)


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