1. Summer Sale Happening Now

    Books new! Books old! Books for you! Books for your kids!

    Lampedusa • Pavese • Manchette • Gallant • Balzac • Stafford • Baker • Wedgwood • Renoir • Wescott • Kundhardt • Chatterjee • Amis • Horne & more…

  2. "Why is it more fun to translate poetry?"

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    You can be a bit freer—no, why is it more fun to translate? I feel like with poetry you can … I spend longer on each word. I spend a lot more time per word on poetry than in a novel. You can’t pore over a novel in quite the same way you can with a book of poetry. And I do feel that translating poetry, there’s a little bit more room for “freedom” in the translation process. The emphasis is at least as much on sound and rhythm as it is on meaning. It’s not that that isn’t there in novels, but the balance of power is a little bit more on meaning in a novel. Very concrete and specific things are happening and those things need to be conveyed, relatively accurately, so that the reader isn’t confused, or else the novel is no longer effective. It’s more just about that balance of where the energy is going.

    —Kareem James Abu-Zeid in an interview with Three Percent, on translating Najwan Darwish’s Nothing More To Lose

    To read the rest of the interview, visit Three Percent's website.

  3. explore-blog:

Best news ever: Beloved Finnish artist Tove Jansson, creator of the iconic Moomin series, will be gracing a new Euro coin.
To celebrate, here are Jansson’s enchanting vintage illustrations for Alice in Wonderland and The Hobbit.

Our new collection of Jansson’s short stories (none before available in the US), The Woman Who Borrowed Memories, with an introduction by Lauren Groff, comes out this fall.

    explore-blog:

    Best news ever: Beloved Finnish artist Tove Jansson, creator of the iconic Moomin series, will be gracing a new Euro coin.

    To celebrate, here are Jansson’s enchanting vintage illustrations for Alice in Wonderland and The Hobbit.

    Our new collection of Jansson’s short stories (none before available in the US), The Woman Who Borrowed Memories, with an introduction by Lauren Groff, comes out this fall.

  4. Neil Gaiman answered readers’ questions about James Thurber’s The 13 Clocks for the Wall Street Journal's Book Club. Here is his response to the submission: “Was James Thurber thinking of pleasing the reader when he wrote this story, or was he writing for pure joy, to please himself?.”  In the answer, Gaiman describes his Stardust as being the most similar to The 13 Clocks of all his books, touches on issues of genre, and shouts out Sylvia Townsend Warner.

    You can watch the full conversation here.

  5. 10 Crime Writers to Read Now →

    Jane Ciabattari’s picks, including Leonardo Sciascia, “one of the first writers who dared to reveal how the mafia controlled small towns in his native Sicily.”

  6. “The author’s charming and useful tendency to lose track of his destination became a serious real-life problem in the case of the books about the walk across Europe—the most beloved of his works, which have achieved the status of cult classics particularly among adventure-bent youth…. However many the detours, Leigh Fermor’s youthful journey did have a destination, which the author finally reached: he got to ‘Constantinople’ on New Year’s Eve, 1935, a little shy of his twenty-first birthday.”

    — In case you missed it: Daniel Mendelsohn wrote about the concluding volume of Patrick Leigh Fermor's legendary trilogy, as well as PLF's “helpless penchant for digressions literal and figurative” in the June 19, 2014 issue of The New York Review of Books

  7. NYRB Classics that will take you to the sea—or at least to the pool—this weekend:

    A High Wind in Jamaica, by Richard Hughes

    In the words of one reviewer, this is a “tiny, crazy” novel about kids on a pirate ship.

    Afloat, by Guy de Maupassant

    A logbook kept by Guy de Maupassant while cruising the French Mediterranean coast that’s also a passionate argument against war.

    The Wine-Dark Sea, by Leonardo Sciascia

    Spend a little time on the Sicilian coast with Sciascia’s tormented wives, romantic commuters, and accidentally murdered Cardinals.

    The Professor and the Siren, by Giuseppe di Tomasi Lampedusa

    In this slim story collection, Lampedusa sends a young professor on a swim in the Mediterranean that changes his life—mainly his love life—forever.

    The Long Ships, by Frans G. Bengtsson

    Vikings! Specifically, Red Orm the Viking—the best Viking that never was.

    Agostino, by Alberto Moravia

    Get your Oedipal complex and your tan on with Moravia’s confused young hero, his mother, and some tough Tuscan seasiders.

    A Way of Life, Like Any Other, by Darcy O’Brien

    By the son of movie stars George O’Brien and Marguerite Churchill, this novel will bring you to the palatial Hollywood Hills estate, Casa Fiesta, where relaxation and manipulation go hand in hand.

    The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson

    In the summer, Finns take to tiny islands in the Gulf of Finland to enjoy the season—and now you can, too, with Jansson’s dreamy novel.

    In Hazard, by Richard Hughes

    If chilling out isn’t your thing, board the overloaded merchant ship, the Archimedes: it’s most definitely heading off course and into danger.

  8. Valerie Miles (who wrote about Josep Pla for The Paris Review blog)  recently visited Palafrugell, Spain. There she saw some stunning views of the Mediterranean and spent time with Pla’s original manuscript pages of the Gray Notebook at the Fundació Josep Pla.

    18 July 1918

    In the late afternoon I went to our farmhouse. They were threshing with the mares. The sun has scorched everyone. The mix of dust, chaff, and sweat adds a claylike crust to eyes, already a ghostly white, that now turn the hue of a fly’s wing at twilight. The animals shine with sweat and froth white at the mouth. The laborers unyoke them and sit on the ground, exhausted.

    I walk home in a luminously white, pale pink twilight under the arching sky’s deep, sterile blue.

    A young woman walks past the café terrace, that disturbing, constrained, opaque allure of adolescence, her short skirt ballooning out over taut flesh, rear, thighs, and full legs. A man at the next table winks at me.

    If I remember correctly, his hair fell messily over his forehead and his eyes were large, blank, and deep-set—adrift in a haze—his pink cheek tinged with crimson.

    The girl has gone and what remains hanging in the air is my neighbor’s sinister wink.

    If our souls represent our capacity for hope—our hopes—that has to be why so many of us are such empty vessels.

    I wouldn’t know how to choose between those who never say no and those who never say yes. They are the two most frequent stances adopted by our country’s extremists.

    —Josep Pla, The Gray Notebook, translated by Peter Bush

  9. 
I asked one of the monks how he could sum up, in a couple of words, his way of life. He paused a moment and said, “Have you ever been in love?” I said, “Yes.” A large Fernandel smile spread across his face. “Eh bien,” he said, “c’est exactement pareil …”
—Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time to Keep Silence

As always: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock and lend NYRB Classics.

    I asked one of the monks how he could sum up, in a couple of words, his way of life. He paused a moment and said, “Have you ever been in love?” I said, “Yes.” A large Fernandel smile spread across his face. “Eh bien,” he said, “c’est exactement pareil …”

    —Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time to Keep Silence

    As always: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock and lend NYRB Classics.

  10. The Mad and the Bad by Jean-Patrick Manchette

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    Mothers were shielding their children by covering them with their bodies. The whole mass was shrieking. Thompson was doubled over with laughter.

    —Jean-Patrick Manchette, The Mad and the Bad, translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith

    The Mad and the Bad goes on sale today.

  11. 
He liked his cake sweeter. And he usually drank his coffee with whipped cream and a dash of vanilla. The waiter would have none of it.
—Georges Simenon, The Man Who Watched Trains Go By

Barista privilege, c. 1938
Got a shot of a cup of coffee and an NYRB Classic? Send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

    He liked his cake sweeter. And he usually drank his coffee with whipped cream and a dash of vanilla. The waiter would have none of it.

    —Georges Simenon, The Man Who Watched Trains Go By

    Barista privilege, c. 1938

    Got a shot of a cup of coffee and an NYRB Classic? Send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

  12. “In that court I could hear…the schools [that] were started so as to teach us how to say ‘Yes’ in their language.”

    — 

    Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North

    Sudanese writer Tayeb Salih would have turned 85 on July 12th. The Arabic LIterature blog has two posts in celebration:

    On Tayeb Salih’s 85th Birthday
    Translator Denys Johnson-Davies on How Tayeb Salih Got His Start

  13. 
Bartók was what he played, Bartók and Telemann. But what moved him was Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville. What lifted his spirits one season was I’ve Got a Pair of Brand New Roller Skates, You’ve Got a Brand New Key.
—Renata Adler, Pitch Dark

Purchased at Strand Bookstore in New York City.
As always: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

    Bartók was what he played, Bartók and Telemann. But what moved him was Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville. What lifted his spirits one season was I’ve Got a Pair of Brand New Roller Skates, You’ve Got a Brand New Key.

    —Renata Adler, Pitch Dark

    Purchased at Strand Bookstore in New York City.

    As always: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

  14. 
Maine, Caribou and Moosehead, awesome, rare creatures. In midsummer, ruthless, weedy wildflowers, berries hanging from the boughs of mountains ash, starlings in the alders, the spidery brambles of old blackberry bushes. A rush of heat enters the town like the roar of motorcycles on Sunday. Sunset nevertheless will bring a cool wind that rattles the windows. The islands are filled with well-to-do frosty American specimens, summering. Someone water-skis on the bay and the sight is almost indecorous. If the heat continues then the wilderness will be threatened with drought and fire. It is not possible to have a true summer without excess up here in the north; the excess that is summer threatens the natural damp, windy woods which, even if you have never seen them, are always present in your mind.
—Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights

And as always: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

    Maine, Caribou and Moosehead, awesome, rare creatures. In midsummer, ruthless, weedy wildflowers, berries hanging from the boughs of mountains ash, starlings in the alders, the spidery brambles of old blackberry bushes. A rush of heat enters the town like the roar of motorcycles on Sunday. Sunset nevertheless will bring a cool wind that rattles the windows. The islands are filled with well-to-do frosty American specimens, summering. Someone water-skis on the bay and the sight is almost indecorous. If the heat continues then the wilderness will be threatened with drought and fire. It is not possible to have a true summer without excess up here in the north; the excess that is summer threatens the natural damp, windy woods which, even if you have never seen them, are always present in your mind.

    —Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights

    And as always: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

  15. Bon anniversaire, Monsieur Proust!

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    …the only place where you can regain lost paradises, Céleste, is in yourself.

    —Marcel Proust, to Céleste Albaret, his housekeeper and the author of Monsieur Proust.

    (Image: Marcel Proust (right) and his brother Robert / Collection of Céleste Albaret)