Book Review: Open City by Teju Cole (Nigeria)

In Book Review by Gwendolyn Dawson

By Gwendolyn Dawson From the very first paragraph, Teju Cole’s debut novel announces itself as the tale of a wanderer: “And so when I began to go on evening walks last fall, I found Morningside Heights an easy place from which to set out into the city … These walks, a counterpoint to my busy days at the hospital, steadily …

BOOK REVIEW: Solo by Rana Dasgupta (UK/Bulgaria)

In Book Review by Gwendolyn Dawson

By Gwendolyn Dawson Solo by Rana Dasgupta is a diptych of a novel composed of two related but independent halves. In the first half, a blind, 100-year-old Bulgarian man named Ulrich reminiscences about his life from the vantage point of his squalid apartment overlooking a train station in Sofia, the Bulgarian town in which Ulrich spent the vast majority of …

Book Review: Agaat by Marlene Van Niekerk (South Africa)

In Book Review by Gwendolyn Dawson

By Gwendolyn Dawson At the beginning of this epic novel, seventy-year-old Milla de Wet is confined to her bed. Once the strong and competent owner of a successful farm inherited from her mother, Milla suffers from A.L.S. and now is left with only the ability to blink her eyes and, after a while, not even that. Milla is entirely dependent on …

Book Review: On Elegance While Sleeping by Viscount Emilio Tegui

In Book Review by Gwendolyn Dawson

By Gwendolyn Dawson Emilio Lascano Tegui (1887-1966) was, at various times during his eventful life, an Argentinean, a Parisian, a self-labeled viscount, a translator, a journalist, a curator, a painter, a decorator, a diplomat, a mechanic, an orator, a dentist, and, fortunately for us, a writer. Tegui’s 1925 novel On Elegance While Sleeping, a cult classic in Argentina, Tegui’s home country, …

Which Transmedia Practices are Best Suited to Traditional Publishing?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Transmedia is more than a fad and is becoming an popular storytelling option for content creators. Many believe that book publishing can no longer operate in a silo and must conceive of new stories with transmedia practices in mind right from scratch. At SXSW Interactive several panels offered ideas of how publishers can extension of traditional storytelling …

Book Review: Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

In Book Review by Gwendolyn Dawson

By Gwendolyn Dawson As might be guessed from its title, one of the primary characters (14-year-old Skippy) dies within this novel’s first few pages. After that unexpected death, which interrupts a doughnut-eating contest between roommates, the narrative jumps backwards in time to cover the events leading up to that fateful event. Along the way, Skippy Dies touches on every imaginable component of …

Myth and Memory in South Africa: David Schmahmann’s Ivory from Paradise

In Author Interview by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka The year 2011 marks the end of a busy decade for Boston-based novelist David Schmahmann. It was a period that he spent thinking, exploring and writing a great deal about his birthplace…South Africa. The decade was bookended by the publication of two seminal books about the country: 2001’s John Gardner Book Award-winning Empire Settings, a drama about the relationship …