Texas, Texas, Texas (+ Argentina & Indonesia)
October 2, 2014 § 1 Comment
Hello from ebola-stricken Dallas!
Yes, we are safe, yes, we are sound, yes, we are happy to be heading to Europe for the next two weeks while the grips of hysteria strike the city…well, things aren’t so bad. The Cowboys are playing good football (for the first time in years), so the hysterical masses’ fears have been dampened somewhat…
The Texas Book Festival schedule has been announced! Come see Carmen Boullosa talk at 4:15pm in Capitol Extension Room 2.016 with Broadus Spivey, Jesse Sublett, and Cynthia Leal Massey. Their topic: “TELLING THE TEXAS STORY: TRUTH AND FICTION IN LONE STAR HISTORY.” This is going to be good…damn good.
In other amazing news, we’ve confirmed another reading for Carmen in Dallas, this one for the International Day of the Spanish Language celebration the night of October 21 at the Mexican Consulate, presented by The Mexico Institute. Check out Deep Vellum’s EVENTS CALENDAR for up-to-date information on readings by all of our amazing authors all over the world!!
In more amazing good news for Carmen, the first review of Texas: The Great Theft is in this month’s D Magazine (for those in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, pick up a copy, it’s the “Medical Miracles” cover), written very thoughtfully by Zac Crain. “Boullosa deals with serious issues (mostly the racism on the U.S. side, but does so with humor, using a sugar cube rather than a stick to get her point across. It’s historical fiction, but it feels like current events.” Thank you Zac & to all the staff of D Magazine for being so supportive of Deep Vellum’s launch and books, I love the work they do and that they let me shamelessly borrow their operational motto: “Making Dallas even better.”
And as a buried update here under this review, I am holding in my hands (in between typing) the printed proof copy of Texas from McNaughton & Gunn, the printers we are using to print this book AND IT LOOKS AMAZING. We are submitting the order today, and will have copies in time for Carmen’s readings in Texas and New York at the end of the month. Subscribers and pre-orders will get their books by the end of the month. Thank you for your patience, we couldn’t do it without you!!
In other great news, we are announcing, just in time for Frankfurt, the signing of two new books (and hopefully a third, keep your fingers crossed…) by a couple of AMAZING authors. The first, legendary Argentine author Ricardo Piglia‘s Target in the Night (translated by Sergio Waisman).
Target in the Night is one of the most powerful novels you will ever read, and justifiably received every honor a single novel can win in the Spanish language world after it was published by Anagrama in 2010: it won the Romulo Gallegos Prize, the National Critics’ Prize, and the newspaper El País selected it as the best novel written in Spanish from anywhere in the world that year. Target in the Night is a psychological and political thriller that opens up new dimensions in what the novel can do and say as a form. The plot description from the website of Schavelzon & Associates, the wonderful agents we worked with to sign this groundbreaking novel:
“A passionate thriller in which the madness of the detective, a retired police captain, is integral to his solving mysteries. An intense and tragic family history, with echoes of King Lear, set in a small town in the Argentinean Pampas. The return of Emilio Renzi, one of the greatest characters in recent Argentinean literature, who in his maturity recalls, with a certain skeptical nostalgia, his past adventures. A profound reflection on power and justice. An exceptional novel.”
Seriously, this is an AMAZING book in an AMAZING translation, and Piglia is a VERY important author in Latin American literature who has had a couple of his books published in English already by Granta (Money to Burn), Duke University Press (Artificial Respiration), and Latin American Review Press (Assumed Name). This is the first book by Piglia to appear in English since 2000, and we could not be more proud to publish it. We would love to continue this remarkable author’s novels for years to come, and keep your fingers crossed that he wins the Cervantes Prize in April…we will publish Target in the Night in November 2015.
The second novel we signed is Homecoming, an unparalleled epic historical novel spanning Indonesia’s last fifty years written by Leila S. Chudori, one of the most powerful storytellers and important journalists in Indonesia today (translated by John H. McGlynn—one of the founders of the Lontar Foundation, which promotes Indonesian literature & culture, in part by translating and publishing English translations of Indonesian literature).
Homecoming is both a family saga and a story of exile and homecoming, set against the background of historical events in Paris and Indonesia. These events include two dark and violent periods of Indonesia’s history: the 1965 communist purge that marked the rise of the longest-serving Indonesian president Soeharto, and his fall in 1998.
The novel has been described by The Jakarta Globe as “an epic, an ambitious slab of fiction crammed with a rich and diverse cast of characters whose lives have been swept along by Indonesia’s dramatic and at times extremely tragic contemporary history.(…) A wonderful exercise in humanism. It is first and foremost a story about love, passion as well as a sensual — almost primordial — attachment to the land. (…) Chudori balances the grand and bloody national narrative with an intimate and deeply-felt evocation of how the drama and violence of those years and indeed of the subsequent Reformasi period was played out family by family, individual by individual. On a certain level, Homecoming is also an extended love letter to Indonesia, an evocation of a mood, a state of mind and a place.”
If you watched and were moved by Joshua Oppenheimer’s incredible documentary The Act of Killing last year, or have been following the election of the populist (and first non-military) President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (whom I love and have been following because he’s a metalhead like me!), this novel will help illuminate a remarkable and tragic history from a very beautiful and moving story, told through vignettes spanning Jakarta to Paris and everywhere in between. Leila spent six years researching this novel, including numerous interviews with the owners of Restaurant Indonesia in Paris, which became a home-away-from home for those exiled after the anti-Communist purge in 1965 (whose players in that mass murder, still alive and celebrated as national heroes in Indonesia today, were the central characters in The Act of Killing). We acquired this breathtaking novel from the Pontas Agency (who also represent Fiston Mwanza Mujila!), and we will publish Homecoming in October 2015, just in time for Indonesia’s turn as Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair next year!!
More information to come on both of these books in coming days, I’ll try to write out their stories of how I found out about them and acquired them (many readers of this blog enjoy such stories, and I rather like telling them, it gives credit to the nebulous web of amazing people who put publishers like me in contact with amazing books!).
I am flying off to the Netherlands tomorrow to visit with Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, we are getting together in central Leiden this weekend to talk about the translation and marketing of his Libris Literaatuur Prijs-winning novel La Superba, which we are publishing in Michele Hutchison‘s translation in February or March 2016. If you are in Holland, Pfeijffer is in the country to read at the Geen Daden Maar Worden Festival this Saturday night in Rotterdam, check it out (Ilja reads at 23:00, but get to there early [by 22:20] to hear Philip Huff read too! I met him in Amsterdam this summer and he is a bright, rising star in Dutch literature [and a totally sweet dude to boot]). I get to Frankfurt Monday afternoon. The madness begins Tuesday morning. I can’t wait to see you all there!!!!