Staff Picks by Tag

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Days at the Morisaki Bookshop: A Novel By Satoshi Yagisawa, Eric Ozawa (Translated by) Cover Image
By Satoshi Yagisawa, Eric Ozawa (Translated by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780063278677
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Perennial - July 4th, 2023

Utterly charming and simply sweet. A wonderful tale of the joy of reading and the community found among the shelves of well-loved and oft neglected books.  


Review by Sofia

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Getting Lost By Annie Ernaux, Alison L. Strayer (Translated by) Cover Image
By Annie Ernaux, Alison L. Strayer (Translated by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781644212196
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Seven Stories Press - October 4th, 2022

In her journal turned memoir, Ernaux reminds us of the love that lingers and the bittersweetness of being lost and continuously coming into oneself. In classic Annie fashion, Getting Lost is unflinchingly vulnerable and if you're anything like me, you'll devour it in less than 24 hours because you simply know from the first page that she'll punch you in the gut with the last page, and she sure did, so thank you, Annie. She's a goddamned writer, she's a lover, she's a mess like all of us — she's Annie!!!


Review by Sofia

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The Houseguest: And Other Stories By Amparo Dávila, Matthew Gleeson (Translated by), Audrey Harris (Translated by) Cover Image
By Amparo Dávila, Matthew Gleeson (Translated by), Audrey Harris (Translated by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811228213
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: New Directions - November 27th, 2018

I hate scary things. I don't get why one would choose to feel fear. But this little book got me. I was mesmerized by the discomfort these stories brought me, in small doses and somehow overwhelmingly. She leans into the eeriness of the everyday and the miniscule uncanniness that lingers in her juicy and transfixing prose. Dávila may have made me less fearful and hesitant of being afraid. 


Review by Sofia

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Chilean Poet: A Novel By Alejandro Zambra, Megan McDowell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Alejandro Zambra, Megan McDowell (Translated by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143109204
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - February 14th, 2023

Zambra's novels can be cheeky and experimental, but there's always substance. Chilean Poet is an exquisite book about bad juvenilia (in the funniest ways), unconventional fatherhood, and how the most obscure realms of literature and bookstores can connect generations. His characters can be jerks who love books, but boy, aren't we all?


Review by Spencer R.

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Yesterday By Juan Emar, Megan McDowell (Translated by), Alejandro Zambra (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Juan Emar, Megan McDowell (Translated by), Alejandro Zambra (Introduction by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811231572
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: New Directions - April 5th, 2022

The Chilean writer, painter, art critic, and avant-garde surrealist Juan Emar has never been translated into English… but if Megan McDowell’s brilliant translation is any indication, we’ll all be Emar fanatics soon. (Many of your favorite Chilean writers probably grew up reading him.) In Yesterday’s most notable scene, an ostrich defecates a lion. I couldn’t tell you what else it’s about, but I found it all wonderful.


Review by Spencer R.

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Swallowed By Madeleine Stratford, PhD (Translated by), Réjean Ducharme Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781550655537
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Esplanade Books - April 1st, 2021

This novel, like a certain Canadian punk band’s debut studio album, is all killer, no filler. Rejean Ducharme, a virtual unknown in this country, was a reclusive Quebecois author known for his fluvial cynicism. Ducharme's Berenice is an over-intelligent and cantankerous 9-year-old, the sum of her environment and the whole cruel human ecosystem, and yet she delights in the first snow of winter, and experiences 'some kind of miracle' while hunting for bugs. Madeleine Stratford has translated Ducharme in a strange and most meaningful way—with conviction, with clarity, with a bit of finger-pointing in every sentence. A book that will endure, even if I'm the only one who reads it.


Review by Spencer R.

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The Other Name: Septology I-II By Jon Fosse, Damion Searls (Translator) Cover Image
By Jon Fosse, Damion Searls (Translator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781945492402
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Transit Books - April 4th, 2020

Jon Fosse's Septology cycle has been one of my most meaningful encounters of the pandemic. Hypnotic, soothing, intellectually reverent. Damion Searls is the perfect translator for Fosse's unending sentences, that repeat and circle back on themselves with mathematical beauty, creating some of the most significant literature I've read on alcoholism, faith, and artmaking I can remember. Septology could fill a hundred volumes, and I would read forever.


Review by Spencer R.

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The Interim By Wolfgang Hilbig, Isabel Fargo Cole (Translator) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781949641424
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Two Lines Press - April 19th, 2022

It's incredible what the Germans can do—disgust you, isolate you, toss you—the reader—to the curb and expect devotion in return. (Unfortunately, it works.) Wolfgang Hilbig's The Interim is the revered German writer's most complete and erudite of his works translated into English. Isabel Fargo Cole doesn't miss a beat of Hilbig's humor and disorientation. The Interim reads like literature crawling out of the drain; the novel's narrator, known only as C., is both loveable and inescapable in his singular history of two Germany's: East and West. As C. has it: "Literature that refused to serve the purpose of distraction was punished by being passed over on the market. . . the best distraction was what sold the best." The Interim is the opposite of such distraction; it also happens to be a damn good book.


Review by Spencer R.

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An Ideal Presence By Eduardo Berti, Daniel Levin Becker (Translator) Cover Image
$18.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781735297309
Published: Fern Books - September 7th, 2021

The inaugural publication from Fern Books, AN IDEAL PRESENCE is a book about death, dying, care, and the cold logistics of it all. A work of fiction by an OuLiPian with the fatal energy of Alice Oswald's Memorial, I was as amazed by this polyphonic novel as I was humbled by its reverence for the profession of caregiving in our often unremarkable final hours. An instant favorite.


Review by Spencer R.

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Out of the Cage By Fernanda García Lao, Will Vanderhyden (Translator) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781646050451
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - March 9th, 2021

Our ill-fated narrator is Aurora Berro, who dies in the novel’s opening pages when a vinyl record, screaming across the sky like a “demented boomerang,” slices her jugular in unspectacular fashion. What ensues is a nightmare of vaudevillian overtones and magnificent solitude (think Carmen Boullosa meets Jon Fosse meets Marx Brothers). Out of the Cage made me feel uneasy in my skin, uneasy about the fact of my birth, and suddenly unsure of how my mother really felt about me.


Review by Spencer R.

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