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Archive for the 'Book Recommendations' Category

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

#WITMonth Reading, part 1

City Folk and Country Folk

August is Women in Translation Month, which honors the work of women authors in translation. To celebrate we thought we would share a few excerpts from new and notable titles from our list:

Sofia Khvoshchinskaya (1824-1865) and her writers sisters, Nadezhda and Praskovia, are often compared to their British contemporaries, the Brontë sisters. City Folk and Country Folk, translated by Nora Seligman Favorov, is the first of Sofia’s books to be translated into English. In a starred review Publishers Weekly said: “This consistently delightful satire will introduce readers to a funnier, more female-centric slant on Russian literature than they may have previously encountered.” You can read an excerpt here.

Julia Kristeva is best known for her critical work but has also written several novels. Teresa, My Love, translated by Lorna Scott Fox, mixes fiction, history, psychoanalysis, and personal fantasy, to tell the story of Sylvia Leclercq, a French psychoanalyst, who falls for the sixteenth-century Saint Teresa of Avila and becomes consumed with charting her life. You can read an excerpt here. Kristeva’s next novel, The Enchanted Clock, which blends detective mystery and historical fiction, will be published in December.

In The Fall of Language in the Age of English, translated by Mari Yoshihara and Juliet Winters, Japanese novelist Minae Mizumura lays bare the struggle to retain the brilliance of one’s own language in this period of English-language dominance. Publishers Weekly called the book: “An eye-opening call to consciousness about the role of language.” You can read the excerpt “Under the Blue Sky of Iowa: Those Who Write in Their Own Language” here.

A finalist for the 2011 Man Booker International Prize, Wang Anyi, as the New York Times Book Review noted, “is one of the most critically acclaimed writers in the Chinese-speaking world.” Her novel The Song of Everlasting Sorrow, translated by Michael Berry and Susan Chan Egan, is set in post-WWII Shanghai and follows the adventures of Wang Qiyao, a girl born of the longtong, the crowded, labyrinthine alleys of Shanghai’s working-class neighborhoods. You can read an excerpt here.

Set on the eve of the Rape of Nanjing—when Japanese troops invaded the historic capital city, massacred hundreds of thousands, and committed thousands of rapes—Ye Zhaoyan’s Nanjing 1937, also translated by Michael Berry, is a tender and humorous story of an impossible love and a lively, detailed historical portrait of a culture on the verge of rupture. You can read an excerpt here.

Like what you’ve read? Use coupon code WITMonth to save 30% when ordering these titles through our website throughout the month of August.

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Holiday Weekend Reads

Designed Leadership

Holidays are made for reading. As we head into the Fourth of July holiday weekend we thought we’d share a round-up of recent excerpts for you to dip into to help discover your next great read. Whether you’re hightailing it out of town on a train or plane, headed to the beach, relaxing at a backyard bbq, or waiting for a fireworks display, we’ve got something for you.


“When Fascist Heroes Took Over the Movies” – in a feature on fascism, Slate (http://slate.me/2t70Yyu) ran an excerpt from Thomas Doherty’s Pre-Code Hollywood.

Mark Hamm and Ramón Spaaij, the authors of The Age of Lone Wolf Terrorism, discuss the U.S.’s approach for combating lone wolf terrorism in an excerpt in Foreign Policy‘s Best Defense blog.

The June issue of Natural History has an excerpt from Mark Denny’s Making Sense of Weather and Climate on geoengineering and the modification weather. It’s not just science fiction. Denny explains the implications, the history, and the future of the practice.

Get a snapshot of 1960s New York in an excerpt form Down the Up Staircase, in which authors Bruce D. Haynes and Syma Solovitch recount the hustle and bustle of the Harlem of Haynes’s youth.

Jadaliyya, the e-zine of the Arab Studies Institute, has an excerpt from Irene Gendzier’s Dying to Forget that examines the roots of U.S. policy toward Israel and Palestine.

Robert McNally’s Crude Volatility provides an eye-opening history of the oil market. To find out why boom-bust oil prices might be here to stay, listen to an interview with the author and read the introduction to Crude Volatility on the Marketplace website.


Ch’ae Manshik was one of 20th century Korea’s most accomplished writers, known for his distinctive voice and colloquial style. His short story “Angel For A Day”, published in Lit Hub, captures city life and traveling by public transportation. The newly published anthology Sunrise: A Ch’ae Manshik Reader, edited and translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton, includes this story and collects Ch’ae’s work across different genres.

It’s hard to summarize the writer Iliazd’s Modernist novel Rapture, newly rediscovered and translated into English by Thomas Kitson. Open Letters Monthly called it “a fast-paced, mordantly funny yarn that borrows from (and subverts) the adventure genre.” The best thing you can do is check it out for yourself. For those in the Boston area, there will be an event for Rapture next Friday, July 7th, at The Center for Arts at the Armory Cafe in Somerville, MA.

Yi Mun-yol is one of Korea’s most celebrated writers. His Meeting with My Brother, translated by Heinz Insu Fenkl with Yoosup Chang, is a semi-autobiographical novella, about a divided family and the volatile relationship between the two Koreas, which the Times Literary Supplement called “a seminal and timeless work.” You can read an excerpt from the book here.

Often compared to Franz Kafka, Abe Kōbō is one of Japan’s greatest post-war writers. Abe’s early novel Beasts Head For Home, translated by Richard Calichman, follows Kuki Kyūzō, a Japanese youth, as he struggles to return home to Japan from Manchuria in the wake of World War II. You can read an excerpt in the Guardian‘s Translation Tuesday blog and can read a second excerpt here.

Like what you read? Use coupon code CUP30 to save 30% when ordering these titles through our website.