Happy birthday And Other stories book giveaway

Well I can’t believe its over three years since I got a email from Stefan the head man at and other stories, about them starting and how they choose the books via there reading groups. But it is true today Saturday Marks  three years since the first book came out they grown and had a book on the booker list and still doing great translations .I ve been given the chance to share some love for this and give away three titles by them .I ve been chosen  to give these titles

And-other-stories-Down-the-Rabbit-Hole-cover

Down the rabbit hole by Jaun Pablo Villalobos

The Islands Carlos Gamerro

The Islands by Carlos Gamerro

black vodka Levy

and BLack Vodka by Deborah Levy

Simply choose your book and I ll draw them and let and other stories know the winners

C90 memories

Well today is the first national Cassette store day .I still have a few cassettes about and both the hifi’s in my house can play them ,so its a shame we haven’t a record shop here to join in .So I decide to share a few cassette memories .I got my first cassette player when I was about 12 a toshiba twin deck in red with four band radio it led me into a world of buying albums but also recording tracks I loved on John Peel at night .So I will share some fond memories of five songs from that time .

19 – paul hardcastle- This was my first album the album was called Paul Hardcastle it had a number of dancer track than this one but it was this song that made me buy this Album .This song was so big that summer and one of the first big purely from sample hits .This song maybe also made me wonder about poltics and life given it subject people dying young due to war .

Some people -The Farm .Before there huge change in direction with Alll together now and the baggy influence on them the farm where a left leaning  indie band and thanks to my friend Jamie I got into them and there live tape I brought from their fan club was one of my favourites in the summer of 1987 .I loved the tone of these early songs they had a bittersweet quality that they never quite matched later on .

Suedehead – Morrissey well anyone that new me in 1988 would have known me as a huge Smiths fan even down to a trade mark Quiff ,Levis and specs I never really needed  .So when I heard  John peel played this weeks before its release on single and I got it down that night I was listening to it till it wore out .Also my favourite video by Morrissey as I like him had a huge James Dean fan thing going so him wandering round  Dean’s home town was great .For me his music gave a shy boy a world to fall into ,one that felt he knew me and I knew him .

Mercy seat – Nick Cave and the bad seeds – This was maybe the first time I ventured outside what my group of friends listen to after hearing this the first single from the album on the radio .I went to Beatroute in Congleton( my all time favourite record shop a mecca for a budding indie fan ) where I lived and brought this album on tape .for the next two years it was probably my most played tape .by this time I had been given a brand new my second Walkman this was a tiny one from boots not much bigger than my tapes with auto reverse and a graphic equalizer so seemed the bees knees to the 16yr old stu .

The way the world is by Pale saints

1990 and this album was that summer favourite a warm and memorable summer ,maybe one of the lesser known bands from the shoegazing movement .I always found this album The comfort of madness near prefect album for drifting on sunny days .That Christmas saw my first CD player arrive so even thou I still had tapes brought tapes they became less important barring old mixes of songs II had made featuring most of the songs mention here .

What are your tape memories ?

 

Thomas Bernhard Reading Week July 1-7

20130529-164953.jpg
Well I ve been in a lull post IFFP I love projects so the fact his books have recently been reissued Faber finds means they are readily available to us all .I’ve old masters on my tbr pile and will be adding a couple to my kindle .Thomas Bernhard is a writers writer ,his books are challenging full of ideas in arts people and society in general he has long been a favourite with me so I hope if you join in you too will grow to love his words .

Image

Best of the world under 40 in English translation

Best writers under 40 2013 list

~(not British but from round the world )

Well as one would expect the chance of the best of British under forty list coming out today from Granta in the new magazine has been eagerly awaited and discussed .So I decide I try to do a list of writers from round the world that have been published or shortly due to be published in English.This is actually quite a task ,because usually you have to be a acclaimed or won a prize to catch the eye of a editor commissioning  translations ,this means the writers I consider newish to use in english say Santiago Gamboa ,Christoph Simon or Mickhail Shishkin all fall out side the under forty classification .But in the end I have found some wonderful writers from round the world myself and a few suggested by Tony as well .

Winstonsdad rest of the world best writer under 40

faces in the crowd

Valeria Luiselli

reviewed he début in English Faces in the crowd and have read a follow-up collection of non fiction pieces sidewalks ,she is my new writer crush for sure she loves wandering round like myself .She is definitely one to watch .An interview with her 

traveller of the century

Andres Neuman

well short-listed for both  the IFFP and BTBA this year with this novel .Is one thing but the other he is actually considered a great short story writer as well ,we have a lot to come from Andres here is my review and Gary’s interview with him.

pron

Patrico Pron

I first mention Pron when he was one of the writers and other stories was working with in the first year .but he was taken up by Faber who are publishing his first novel in English later this year -“my fathers ghost is climbing in the rain “a writer returns home as  his father is dying .here is a piece he wrote for paris review .

7ways

 

Matias Nespolo

He is a another talented Argentinian writer ,his book Seven ways to kill a cat was translated by the wonderful Frank Wynne .Here is a piece from Granta about him 

Daniel Kehlmann measuring the world

Daniel Kehlman

Now this is one that shocked me I have yet to read him but his books been on my radar for a good while and shocked he was eligible ,here is a piece he wrote praising  his translator Carol brown Janeway .

how the soldier repairs the gramophone

Sasa Stansic

Is one of the new breed of German writer to have come to Germany from Eastern Europe in his case Bosnia and start writing in German .Both Rob and Lisa loved this book ,Here is an interview with him from rumpus

Juli Zeh dark matter

Juli Zeh

Juli is another German writer I had on my radar for a while she is among a group of talented female German writers Judith Herrmann and Jenny erphenbeck being other they both just fell outside the under 40 ,here is a review and interview with her tanslator  from Lizzie

Helene-Hegemann

Helene Hegemann

Now this is a controversial choice as by this piece in the new york times shows  ,I did like the book it has a strange arc and is quite unique and she is so young here is my review of Axoltl roadkill.

HATE A ROMANCE

Tristan Garcia

I think we all admired the style and subject of  hate a romance on last year IFFP prize ,Tristan is not just a writer but also a philosopher as this piece shows and here is a review of hate from my blog .

hhhh laurent binet

Laurent Binet

Well he missed our IFFP shortlist but this début from him HHhH has set people talking about what makes a novel and also set many heads turning with its stunning cover .here is my review and interview from the new statesman

beauty and the inferno

Roberto Saviano

Yes he is under 40  ,I know Gomorrah his debut has been round for quite a long time ,the best non fiction writer from Italy at the moment here is my review of beauty and the inferno from last year ,and an interview from huff post .

superman is an arab

Joumana Hadda

A lebanese poet and writer I first read about online via arablit via this profile  I think ,but n=known for poems and essays on the arab experience I hope to review her soon rather than later .oh and she is just over 40 but want to add a female arabic writer .

Dreams from the endz.326x500

Faiza Guene

Another young writer of French Algerian origin she has had two books translated so far to English ,I hope to read her later this year as she has been on wishlist for a good while .she writes about growing up poor in paris her is a piece from the guardian about her 

the tobacco keeper

Ali Bader

Another writer I had on radar since I read a piece on the wonderful Arab lit again(if you’re not following this blog you are missing the chance to find the Arab lit world opened up ).two of his books have been translated in to English .The last was published in 2011 .

risa wataya

Risa Watya

IS a female Japanese writer ,she has women the Kenzaburo Oe prize with her most recent book isn’t it a pity ,which will be coming to us in English soon .I ll thank Tony for this one I not to sure but a nice piece from the official j lit site her about her 

auto fiction

Hitomi Kanehera

A high school drop out  from Japan published her first book age 21 ,best known for Autofiction which I have had from library but never got to ,this is another from Tony .a profile from a few years ago that isn’t behind paywall of ny times .

The-White-Trail

FFlur Dafydd

A Welsh language writer and singer ,she is best known for a piece for the Seren collection of tales from Mabinogion series from the famous Welsh myth  her is a profile of her from Seren .Thanks again to Tony for this one .

Well there you go I given you a few alternatives from Wales to Japan ,from Algeria to Argentina also I link to three list .

Granta spanish writers list 

Granta best brazilian link

Beirut 39

Though some of these writers haven’t had a full novel published in English it is worth noting them for the future .

 

The fall of the stone city by Ismail Kadare

the fall of the stone city

The Fall of the Stone city by Ismail Kadare

Albanian fiction

Original title – Darka e gabuar

Translator – John Hodgson

Source Library

Well when this was named on the longlist for this years Independent foreign fiction prize longlist I was please ,not being a big fan of reading completely the works of writers ,I was pleased to have a chance to revisit Ismail Kadare ,this is the fourth book by Him I will have read ,I have also under review the pyramid .The big difference between that book and this one is the fact this one has been translated directly from Albanian not French like a number of the earlier novels were as secondary translations .Ismail Kadare is probably the best known Albanian writer (there are others dalkey archive have published one I know off ),his books have opened the lid on Albanian life for more than fifty years .He was born in Gjirokastër which happens to be the setting for this novel .

And what happened was this :on the afternoon that preceded the dinner ,after the tanks and armoured vehicles had rumbled and rattled their way into town ,there stepped out from one of the military cars onto the city square Colonel Fritz Von Schwabe ,commander of the German division and bearer of the Iron cross his legs still stiff ,he stood surveying the scene and announced “Gjirokastër I have a friend here .”

The colonel arrives and remembers his friend the doctor

This book starts in the second world war and just as the Germany army is heading in Albanians direction as they look to grab land and recourse .They arrive in Gjirokastër. A troop of soldiers is sent to the town they are led by a Colonel Von Schwabe .This Nazis officer is happy to be coming to Gjirokastër as he has a very old friend that lives in the town ,the town doctor ,with whom he studied when younger .So he is invited to the Doctor Gurmante for dinner .The next day we see the troops move out of the town the doctor is called a hero by the people in the town ,are these two events connected ? what will happen after the war to the doctor when the communist take over the country .The facts are clear the Germans were bad ,but then the authoritarian regime that followed the war was also very brutal .This book shows war and the aftermath in one place ,on one man and what repercussions happen due to friendship he had with a german officer .We see one man go from Hero to villain over the course of this book .

As evening fell ,another man was listening carefully to the tumult from the upper floor .The unhinged Remzi Kadare ,the former owner of the house ,huddled in army blankets added his own expletives to the bedlam above .”you tart ! You whore !” he shouted ,addressing the house that had been his own house before he lost it at poker .

Is this a member of Ismail Kadare’s family ?is kadare a popular name in Albania .

Well this one shocked me I have found in the past Kadare uses a lot of imagery like in the pyramid where the building of a pyramid in egypt echoes events in communist Albania .But, no this felt a much more personnel book from Kadare than pother by him I have read ,I think because it is set in his home town of Gjirokastër ,there is a character with the same surname as him in the book makes me think this is Kadare want to talk about his childhood ,he seven when the Germans invade his home town .In some ways the way the story is worked is like a child remembering what happen ,there is truth and there is lies ,the germans came but didn’t leave as in the book .Was there a doctor ? well to me it doesn’t matter at the heart of this book is a discourse on extreme regimes and their effect on the public whether right-wing or lef wing it is the way they treat the people who is remembered .I felt Kadare’s writing follows better in this book sure that is due the nature of it being a direct translation .But part of me thing that fact this is published after the Albanian regime has fallen Kadare is free to speak about past events than before .

Have you read Kadare ?

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