I’ve recently fallen in love with the New York-based nonprofit indie press, Archipelago Books. I love their satisfyingly minimalist book designs. I especially love their mission to publish beautiful translations of classic and contemporary world literature. This includes literature written originally in Arabic, Spanish, Norwegian, Dutch, Tamil, Russian, Slovenian, Greek, and more. According to the press’s website, “less than three percent of new literature published in the United States originates outside the Anglosphere.” This is why Archipelago’s work is so important—to find illuminating international writers that American readers might not otherwise encounter.
So far, I’ve only read Love by Hanne Ørstavik (winner of the PEN Translation Prize and a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for Translated Literature), which was hauntingly outstanding. Now, I can’t wait to go back and read the entire Archipelago catalogue.
Can you name all 14 Archipelago Books titles featured in these slivers?
Last Friday, our publishing class had the great opportunity to Skype with Jynne Dilling Martin of Riverhead Books. We chatted all about the history of Riverhead, the changes that social media has made for the industry, and tips on how to break into the NYC publishing scene.
One thing that particularly stuck with me from Jynne’s talk was how the design team at Riverhead strives to craft a unique “visual identity” for each title. Essentially, this means that if you eliminated the text from each cover, you’d still be able to identify the books based on the graphics alone.(Remember this Buzzfeed quiz on classic book covers?)
So in order to test this, I created a fun collaged scavenger hunt, in which I have tucked 18 of Riverhead’s stunning book covers inside. Some are more subtle than others. Can you find them all? Leave your guesses in the comments below!
A pile of pink glitter will appear. It may or may not be in the shape of your name. You’ve been telling yourself you’d better come to terms with it all. Don’t waste any more time standing still.
Week of Feb. 17:
There will be health there will be flowers there will be money there will be strawberries. The only thing missing may be a song. Can you go into the past and find it. Probably you will have to go into the future.
(I have gone into the future and found my missing songs. Here they are below:)
Let me know in the comments: which missing songs are YOU bringing back from the future?
I am excited and humbled and incredibly nervous to share my newest piece of nonfiction, “The Fly,” which was recently published online as part of Entropy‘s “Health and Wellness” series.
The fly has become a deep symbol in my life for a kind of never-ending state of recovery, and the insect’s incessant nature sparks the question: Is there such a thing as recovery? Can physical and mental recoveries align, and if so, how long does that alignment take?
Historically, this has been an extremely difficult topic for me to discuss, and I have only recently been able to put it into words. I don’t know if I will ever say all that I want to say on this particular topic, or if I will ever say it HOW I want to say it, but this is me now, attempting just that.
I hope that my piece allows someone to realize they’re not alone and gives them inspiration to tell their own stories.
And when it does and asks for shelter, I’ll surely offer up my body as host to that buzzing fly, because now that there’s enough of me to protect the two of us at once, the least I can do is be hospitable.
A huge thanks to Ian Riggins at Entropy for publishing it and being so wonderful to work with!
-Edward Gorey’s Victorian drama of library paste and throbblefooted specters: (video)
-So you want to hear a mbira, caxixi, talking drum, surdo, dumbek, and tabla all at once? You’re in luck! Check out “Hall of Mirrors,” composed by Rick Baitz, and featuring percussionists Christian Lundqvist, Jeremy Smith, and Brian Shankar Adler.
It’s been a week since I returned from my travels around Japan, and already I’m in that “Did I actually go there? Did this actually happen?” phase. I was there for two weeks, traveling around Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kyoto, and Tokyo. I had a few contacts there, but because of the New Year holiday, many of those contacts were abroad and unavailable. The major purpose of the trip was to research for my novel, particularly in and around Hiroshima. However, the immersion of just being in the country for that amount of time was research in itself. I loved knowing that somewhere out there, my characters were walking around me. Maybe I had passed one of them at a crosswalk, maybe one had walked out the restaurant door as I walked in, maybe one was staring at me from the second story window of a house, maybe I was sitting behind them in the Shinkansen. Stories lurk everywhere; they don’t just stay on the street corner you happen to be writing about. They are in the air you breathe, the food that touches your tongue.
This was also the first weeks-long solo trip I had ever embarked on. How to describe it? Empowering, inspiring, emotional, exhausting (in the best way), delicious, and to be honest, sometimes lonely. I’m forever thankful for the wonderful people I met along the way, and for every person who helped me when I made a mistake or didn’t know what to do or where to go. I hope our paths cross again soon!
Here are a few photos from the magic that is Japan:
Now, I just need to keep plowing away at my Japanese language practice, so when I go back, I will be able to speak with my characters when I see them!