A platform to get your cultural two cents out there.
Our favourite pick for July 2019.
There is no good place to begin speaking of a book cram-packed with proverbs, death, and trickery, because the end wraps around to the beginning like a snake eating its own tail, crushing you in its coils. Marlon James would tell you this himself; what you believe to be true is an illusion, and the illusion you see, well, it is a tale out for your blood.
There’s no better novel to read in the middle of winter than one in which gloom transforms itself into an emotional Spring. Guadalupe Nettel’s After the Winter cuts through the fog by splitting her narrative into intimate, alternating perspectives which cross paths as the novel progresses.
El día en que Carlos Manuel Álvarez Rodríguez presentaba en The Wild Detectives su libro La Tribu. Retratos de Cuba, Miguel Díaz Canel se convertía en el sucesor de raúl castro. Javier García del Moral, uno de los jefes de la librería, no pasó el detalle por alto: “en 60 años el gobierno cubano ha cambiado de presidente sólo 3 veces. Hoy es una de ellas”. Buen contexto, diría yo.
Latin American literature is having its day in Dallas, Texas. This weekend on September 8th The Wild Detectives is bringing a portion of the infamous Hay Festival to Oak Cliff by hosting several panels of authors chosen from the festival’s literature anthology, Bogotá 39.
Moon Woman and don’t get your hopes up is a double chapbook set to be released this year from Thoughtcrime Press. This innovative volume offers readers the opportunity to delight in each individual collection and invites them to consider the interplay between the two very different, very powerful voices of Fatima-Ayan Malika Hirsi and courtney marie. The poems in this dual collection share particular concerns: the body, desire, relationships, identity. Both voices take risks, make confessions, and raise big questions.
Most of us know the feeling of coming undone, of drifting through a sea of loneliness unanchored, unmoored. After a few cities, relationships, peregrinations, we struggle to find someone who knows our name, let alone remembers it, who can speak to us in a way that feels vaguely familiar, who knows us in a way we all desire to be known.
“La versión moderna del cuento (…) trabaja la tensión entre las dos historias sin resolverla nunca. La historia secreta se cuenta de un modo cada vez más elusivo (…) lo más importante nunca se cuenta. La historia secreta se construye con lo no dicho, con el sobreentendido y la alusión.”
La artista y escritora mexicana Verónica Gerber Bicecci escribe y dibuja un libro que se acerca a esas orillas “donde las cosas tienden a desdibujarse”.
Looking to understand a faith that has been shaped and transformed by tradition, cultural baggage, and power struggle, journalist Carla Power takes the challenge of reading the Quran with a muslim scholar living in England. In their journey, they debunk myths and find historical context for some of the most controversial verses found in the holy book.
Some of us felt something close to an existential emptiness after we finished watching The Wire’s finale. It was so rich and stimulating that it seemed almost impossible to find something slightly close to that level of entertainment.
People go to bars for different reasons: you have those who truly like bars. And you have those with other intentions in mind. The latter, by the way, are now better served by the online dating services that inundate the web these days. If you fall within the first category, there is no doubt this is your book. If you are kind of on the fence, this book may help dissipate your hesitations. But if you, sorry my friend, don’t feel particularly attached to bars, you’d probably be better off reading about the reproduction of mammals in the African savanna.
“I was raped when I was six years old. I got confined in a psychiatric hospital. I was a drug addict and an alcoholic. I tried to commit suicide five times. I lost my child custody. But I am not going to talk about that. I am going to talk about music. Because Bach saved my life. And I love to be alive.”
Reading the recommendations of established authors lets you look into the mind of an artist in a unique way; you don’t just see how they love to create, but the creations of others that they admire.
On August 4, Haruki Murakami’s first two novels were released for the first time with a proper English translation. The novels, “Hear the Wind Sing” and “Pinball, 1973,” collected together under the title “Wind/Pinball”, were previously only available through roughly translated epub torrents. The books serve as a fantastic starting point for Murakami’s bibliography of weird, ephemeral fiction.
In Happiness for Beginners Katherine Center tackles the well-trod territory of a woman on the verge, but what matters is the telling and Center turns it into a fun, entertaining read that has a lot to say about our preconceived notions of others. And of ourselves.
I’ve always liked the idea of reading and getting lost in my own imagination, though there are few books that I have enjoyed reading for the genius intricacies of structure and allure to the aesthetic use of language. There is a delightful feeling to the way that Jeet Thayil has grabbed my short attention span and slowed down time to use Narcopolis to portray a beautifully broken India.
Nobody with a minimum amount of common sense would ever consider neither one of these books Ablutions (Patrick DeWitt, 2009) and Love Me Back (Merritt Tierce, 2014) as inspirational. On the other hand, what anybody can easily see is that when it comes to writing fiction, these two know pretty damn well what they are doing. In fact, it is really hard to believe that we are talking about a couple of debut novels.
A beautiful piece of Icelandic fiction, with a darkness at its core.
Once upon a time in Texas, there was a man perturbed, even aghast, by the rarity of contemporary translations of literature in this country. Thus was born Deep Vellum Publishing. Deep Vellum, based in Dallas, released its first title last December. Woo hoo! Congratulations all around. And what a debut it is: “Texas: the Great Theft” by Carmen Boullosa, translated from the Spanish by Texan Samantha Schnee of Words Without Borders fame. Her translation from the Spanish is inspired: chatty, cleverly colloquial and full of energy.
That’s what Pedro Almodovar used to say to illustrate how rich and unpredictable reality could be. This very same expression remained firm in my head, after I read Gyorgy Faludy’s “My Happy Days in Hell”.
Here at The Wild Detectives, we usually talk about authors that have been published in English. Let’s honour our selection of Literature written in Spanish for a change by reviewing “Ya sólo habla de amor” (He Just Speaks About Love Now) from Spanish author Ray Loriga.
John Williams, an English Academic at the University of Denver, wrote “Stoner” in 1963. In a conversation with his agent in which she gave him little hope of commercial success, the author answered her with this words: “The only thing I’m sure of is that it’s a good novel; in time it may even be thought of as a substantially good one.” Time proved him right.
Dallas blogger Cinthya Salinas and first WD’ collaborator reviews García Márquez’s “Clandestine in Chile”, a report of Miguel Littín’s dangerous sneaking back into Pinochet’s Chile after the 1973 military coup. If you like what you see and you also want to collaborate with us, reach out and we’ll arrange something.
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