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  • You are here: Home | News | December 2008

"No civilization is born of nothing; it takes something from the previous one and gives to the successive one."

Two Recent interviews with Amara Lakhous, author of Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio, have caught our attention. Both appear on the Italian/American Digital Project. Interview 1. Interview 2.

And Amara's video interview with Flyp Media

In other recent CLASH news...

"What's memorable about Lakhous' novel is what he shows us of an often inward-looking nation confronting the teeming vibrancy of multicultural life." NPR-Fresh Air's John Powers. Listen to full program

Read Suzanne Ruta's interview with author Amara Lakhous from the current issue of World Literature Today. And a second extraordinary interview appearing this month in Words Without Borders.

Brooklyn Rail: "
A satirical, enigmatic take on the racial tensions that afflict present-day Europe."

And, Amara Lakhous reads from his novel on CBC. (reading begins at 13:00 minutes, part 1)

December 10 2008
"One of the most life-affirming and, well, elegant books I've read in a long time." (Debra Bruno, Chicago Sun-Times)

The bestselling Elegance of the Hedgehog appeared on a number of 2008 year-end "best of" lists. Here are some of them:

The Washington Post's
five best books of 2008. More >>

The Christian Science Monitor's Best Novels of 2008. More >>

3%'s Best Translated Fiction 2008 List. More >>

Barnes & Noble Ten Best Books of the Year 2008. More >>

Chicago Sun-Times Favorite Books of 2008. More >>

Eagle Tribune's Hot Books of 2008. More >>

December 09 2008

Preview of Europa's winter 2009 list

(January--TOKYO FIANCEE) We begin the year with Belgian-born one-time enfant terrible and now bona fide literary phenomenon Amélie Nothomb. Since her debut in 1992 with Hygiène de l’assassin, Ms. Nothomb has published roughly a novel a year and is now one of Europe's most acclaimed and commercially successful authors. Her numerous awards include the French Academy’s 1999 Grand Prix for the Novel, the René-Fallet prize, the Alain-Fournier prize, and most recently the Grand Prix Giono for her entire oeuvre.

Tokyo Fiancée, a book Publishers Weekly said “depicts perfectly a nontraditional romance,” foregoes conventions to create a compelling image of love for the contemporary woman, an anti-Prince-Charming story that is an antidote to traditional romantic fables. This is a new kind of love story that pits a woman’s desire for companionship against her strong sense of individual identity.

Amélie Nothomb will be on tour in north America promoting Tokyo Fiancée in early Febraury 2009. Cities include: Boston, Toronto, Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York. Dates, times and venues will be announced shortly.

(February--THE JERUSALEM FILE) Joel Stone's The Jerusalem File is a gripping noir set in a land seething with conflict. Retired from the Israeli secutiry services, Levin agrees to follow a friend’s wife in order to discover her secret lover. But as he watches the woman, he begins to assess her as a potential lover might. And when the man her husband believes to be her paramour is murdered and in desperation the woman turns to Levin with an unexpected request, his own moral universe becomes as conflicted as the struggle between Arab and Jew for the fate of the fabled city.

Joel Stone died in 2007 after having written only two novels. The Jerusalem File testifies to the loss of a great literary talent.

(March--FIRST EXECUTION) "Why callest thou me good? None is good but one, that is God." (Mark 10:17–18) Central to First Execution is one of history’s most enduring philosophical dilemmas: to what extent do we bear the responsibility for actions taken or not taken? Stepping into his own fictional world and transforming First Execution into an exhilirating voyage to that murky terrain where fiction and real life mix, Starnone will discover through an encounter with his novel's protagonist that even a lifetime of commitment to firm principles cannot provide an unassailable answer to this question. Indeed, in this electrifying literary novel, only one thing appears certain: no one is innocent.

(April--THE DARK HOLDS NO TERRORS). A classic of contemporary Indian literature, Shashi Desphande's The Dark Holds No Terrors is a provocative novel about womanhood, motherhood and the preservation of self. It is a powerful portrayal of one woman’s fight to survive in a world that offers no easy outs.

Shashi Deshpande was born in southern India and educated in Bombay (now Mumbai) and Bangalore. She published her first collection of short stories in 1978 and received the Sahitya Akademi Award for her novel That Long Silence. Today, author of four children’s books, six novels, and numerous influential essays, she is a renowned voice in Indian literature.

Dowloand a pdf (1mb) of the complete Winter 2009 catalog below

December 06 2008
Hedgehog Makes NY Mag Taste Matrix

This week NY Magazine rated The Elegance of the Hedgehog close to highbrow and almost brilliant.

December 04 2008
Hedgehog on 3%'s 2008 best translated fiction longlist

"A destination for readers, editors, and translators interested in finding out about modern and contemporary international literature," 3% hopes to change the current situation in America concerning the number of titles published in translation each year. "By bringing readers information about goings-on in the world of international literature, and by providing reviews and samples of books in translation and those that have yet to be translated, we hope to serve as a resource for readers, students, translators, and editors interested in international literature."

Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog has made 3%'s Best Translated Fiction 2008 longlist. The jury included Monica Carter, bookseller at Skylight Books and editor of Salonica ; Steve Dolph, editor of CALQUE ; Scott Esposito, editor of Conversational Reading and The Quarterly Conversation ; Brandon Kennedy, bookseller at Spoonbill & Sugartown ; Michael Orthofer, editor of the Literary Saloon and Complete Review ; Chad W. Post, director of Open Letter Books and this blog ; E.J. Van Lanen, senior editor of Open Letter Books and Three Percent; and Jeff Waxman, bookseller at the Seminary Co-op Bookstores and editor of The Front Table.

December 04 2008
Hedgehog chosen as one of the best reads of 2008

The Washington Post, following up on Michael Dirda's great early review back in September in which he described the novel as "gently satirical, exceptionally winning and inevitably bittersweet," has chosen The Elegance of the Hedgehog as one of the five best books of 2008. According to editors at the Post's Book World, Hedgehog comes in at #2. See the complete list >>

The Christian Science Monitor has also named Hedgehog one of 2008's best novels, comparing it to Elizabeth Taylor's Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, "with its sense of renewal near the end of a life and a celebration of the beauty of small moments." See the complete list >>

December 01 2008
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