After Six Years, Germany’s KiWi Cashes In on Infinite Jest

In Europe by Amanda DeMarco

By Amanda DeMarco COLOGNE: It was “not self-evident” that David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest would enter the German literary world, says Helge Malchow, publisher at Cologne-based Kiepenheuer & Witsch (KiWi). Buchmarkt named Malchow Publisher of the Year in 2005, the same year a Welt Online article called him “the Bismarck of German publishing, its lord and savior.” About 50% of …

Bonus Material: A Short History of Turkmen Literature

In Discussion by Daniel Kalder

By Daniel Kalder Turkmen literature began in the 18th century, thanks to Makhtumkuli (1733- 1813) who composed mournful, painful poems about injustice, the decline of morals and the general harshness of life. Then came poets such as Mollanepes and Kemine whose works remain popular among Turkmen today. Makhtumkuli’s own poetry remained totally unknown in the West until the mid-1990s, when …

The Literary Life of the French Foreign Legion

In Guest Contributors & Editorial by Guest Contributor

By Robert Girardi I was drawn to the French Foreign Legion—the subject of my new novel, Gorgeous East—for a variety of reasons. Chief among them has to do with a foolish weakness for old things: old books full of dust, old cars barely running, old chairs that you can barely sit in, old apartment buildings (hopefully without roaches) and most …

After 25 Years, Wasafiri Still Pushing Britain’s Literary Boundaries

In Feature Articles by Belinda Otas

By Belinda Otas LONDON: The Southbank is one of Europe’s largest arts centers and is celebrated worldwide for the diversity of its artistic programs. Similarly, a wide diversity of races, ethnicities and nationalities gathered in late October to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Wasafiri, the acclaimed London-based magazine of contemporary international writing. Wasafiri is a Kiswahili word and translates as …

In Praise of the Lowly Chapbook

In Guest Contributors & Editorial by Guest Contributor

Editorial by Bryce Milligan SAN ANTONIO: As a regional publisher whose books range from handmade chapbooks to 600-page works of fiction and history, I have been wondering what will become of the physical book in this brave new digital world. Already my paper-and-ink sales are declining as my ebook sales increase—except for, of all things, the lowly chapbook. I began …

Day One in The Cork-lined Room

In Feature Articles by Dennis Abrams

By Dennis Abrams Today we begin our one-year journey through the entirety of Marcel Proust’s 20th-century masterpiece In Search of Lost Time, which will be taking place on our companion website, The Cork-lined Room. We anticipate that at a pace of 10 to 15 pages per day, excepting weekends, we should be finished in a year. The first posting about …

Bolano 101: A Review of The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolano

In Book Review by Dennis Abrams

By Dennis Abrams Since the first appearance in translation of By Night in Chile in 2003, English language readers have been treated to a near constant stream of short stories, novels, and even poetry from the late Chilean-born writer Roberto Bolano.  He is that rarest of creatures: an author who has received widespread critical acclaim, as well as earning him …

Can Proust Really Change Your Life?

In Guest Contributors & Editorial by Dennis Abrams

By Dennis Abrams You know you’ve been meaning to. You’re pretty sure that you’ve got a dusty copy of Swann’s Way sitting around somewhere. You’ve probably even read the book’s famous opening line, “For a long time I would go to bed early,” and thought to yourself, well, not now, maybe some other time. That time has finally come. Next …

Bonus Material: Wasafiri’s 25 Books That Shaped World Lit

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka LONDON: Wasafiri is the Kiswahili word for “travelers.” It is also the name of the esteemed UK literary quarterly focused on international writing. Founded in 1984 by Susheila Nasta, the magazine celebrates its 25th anniversary this month with 25 writers offering their picks for the book that most shaped world literature since the magazine’s inception.  Among those …

Turkish Publisher Selçuk Altun’s Second Act

In Feature Articles by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka ISTANBUL: Selçuk Altun understands what it takes to market a novel. As the former executive chairman of YKY (Yapi Kredi Publications), one of Turkey’s largest and most prestigious publishers, he knew that if he wanted to bring his books to an audience outside Turkey, he’d have to do it on his own. So in 2007 he paid …