Posts Tagged ‘Publishers Weekly’

If not here, then where? and other news

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

We’ve been a bit quiet on this blog. As an excuse, let me offer that I’ve been blogging over at the Kenyon Review Online: the KR blog here, and me blogging on it here.

But in the meantime there’s been lots of news! A quick recap: Sunetra Gupta’s So Good in Black has been reviewed in Publishers Weekly, the Washington Times (“Sunetra Gupta writes of ambiguities brilliantly”), and most recently and at length in the Common (Amherst College’s new literary magazine, and so an exciting new addition to our local scene).

Alex Epstein’s newest, Lunar Savings Time, translated by Becka Mara McKay, has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly (“Consistently provocative”… “Best read first in gulps, and then in savory sips”), and by Bill Marx over at Arts Fuse, as well as here at the Complete Review.

Also have a look at this interview I had a lot of fun doing with Alex at the Kenyon Review.

Since we’ve been a little slow here, I’d suggest you might like to “like” us on Facebook, which will keep you updated with all things Clockroot when we’re slow on the blog.

“The handsome, slim-hipped, tortured & violent son of God”

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Publishers Weekly reviews The Sleepwalker:

Reading the late Karapanou’s (1946–2008) dizzying novel, which won the French prize for best foreign novel, is like sleepwalking, as the title suggests. The story takes place on a small, unnamed Greek island steeped in intrigue, sexuality, deception, mysticism, and crawling with cheeky expatriate artists. Manolis is the police officer who governs the town but more than that, he is the handsome, slim-hipped, tortured, and violent son of God. Each chapter, told from the perspective of Manolis and the various ex-pats, is a short story of its own, ranging in style from magic realism to horror. The sum of these parts is an engrossing novel that entrances readers, enabling them to understand its cast of motley characters’ incomprehensible actions–many played out in dreams. The tenor of Karapanou’s (Kassandra and the Wolf) final novel is best summed up by Manolis himself, as he observes the group of characters who come and go from his island: “The others just drank and cried and used art to disguise their hopelessness; for them art was the last stop, their final excuse to live a little longer.”

*(Her second novel, not her final, but that’s fine—)

Publishers Weekly on Dr. Pi: “Delightfully oblique,” “tantalizing vignettes”

Monday, November 1st, 2010

The Life & Memoirs of Dr. PiThis week Publishers Weekly reviews The Life & Memoirs of Dr. Pi:

The Life & Memoirs of Dr. Pi and Other Stories
Edgar Bayley, trans. from the Spanish by Emily Toder, Interlink/Clockroot, $13 trade paper (86p) ISBN 978-1-56656-837-1
The late Argentinean avant-gardist Bayley brings a poetic precision to the short-shorts of his first English translation. Most stories feature the urbane title character, a professor, would-be ladies’ man, and sometime foil, whose philosophy is best summed up in the 110-word story, “The Charmer,” which opens with “I say nothing, I think nothing…” and closes with “There is nothing but moments, a few small moments.” An intellectual everyman brimming with curiosity, the doctor is frequently given to pearls of wisdom, as in “The Return”: “There is no innocence where there is not love.” Stories find him under waterfalls, boarding trains with highly watchable passengers, or descending mountains on his way to a date. Observations are often delightfully oblique, and the best escapades arrive unsaddled by a tidy message or punch-line surprise. Only a few stories run longer than a page; Bayley’s fictions are tantalizing vignettes, amusing and often absurd, and readers will likely feel a pleasant nostalgia for the elegant humor of a bygone age.

Publishers Weekly on Blue Has No South

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

In the past few weeks, a gap has truly opened between blog posts I’ve intended to write and those I’ve accomplished.  But for now, let’s note simply that last week’s Publishers Weekly brought a review of Blue Has No South:

… With more than 100 short-short stories (many no longer than a few lines), there’s a frenetic buzz of activity, with recurring themes including chess, mythology, rain, angels, suicide, animals, muses, time machines, tragic love, aging, and painting, all sewn together in a Borges-meets-Kafka style. Some pieces slip into metanarrative, as with “Gibraltar, a Love Story,” a brief bit in which the author comments on the flaws in his tale about an elephant escaped from a zoo. Other pieces don’t tell stories at all, such as “The Flawed Symmetry of Romeo and Juliet,” which offers a critique of “the only lovers who see each other dead.” Often it isn’t the scraps of story that make the pieces work as much as the poetic language, as in a story involving the murder of a chess-playing writer. These deceptively simple snapshots certainly can deliver on a fast reading, but slow, close attention reveals layers of thought and complexity.

“An exquisite, powerful novella”: two new reviews of Touch

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

This week brings a starred Publishers Weekly review of Adania Shibli’s Touch:

Adania Shibli, trans. from the Arabic by Paula Haydar, Interlink/Clockroot, $13 paper (72p) ISBN 9781566568074
Celebrated young Palestinian writer Shibli—a playwright, author and essayist now located in the UK—makes her American debut with an exquisite, powerful novella that transports readers to her West Bank homeland. In spare prose, Shibli follows an unnamed little girl, the youngest in a large Palestinian family, as she examines her world and tries to understand her place in it. Though focused on the finest details—flakes of rust against skin, the softness of grass—Shibli takes readers to the center of a family and a culture, using the same careful, dispassionate observation to report everyday events like the father’s shaving as she does to depict the death of a sibling in area violence. Like a great volume of poetry, Shibli’s first novel (her second is forthcoming from Clockroot) has rhythm and unexpected momentum, and cries for re-reading.

… And a wonderful review at the Electronic Intifada (in full here):

Whatever it is—a dream, memory fragments, poems folded into sun and grass—Touch is both remarkable and difficult, beautifully lucid and yet also mysterious. The book is divided into sections entitled “Colors,” “Silence,” “Movement,” “Language” and “The Wall” …. Within this framework the little girl comes of age, her ordinary experiences of first love, school mishaps and sibling rivalries rendered extraordinary by the sensuous prose, and intensified by the heartbreaking backdrop against which they occur, a death whose impact tears apart the fabric of her family’s life. …

This is not a book to be shelved once finished. It calls to you softly, insistently, until you pick it up again and allow yourself to be tugged back in… [P]erhaps this is what Touch can be called, a question, rather than a novel — that place from where all searches begin.

Touch featured in Publishers Weekly

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

If you’ve got a copy of the January 25th Publishers Weekly: Touch by Adania Shibli is featured as one of ten “first fiction” titles to be excited about this spring.  We agree!