April News from New Directions
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New Directions Publishing
April 2012 News

New Directions Mourns the Death of Antonio Tabucchi

We begin with the sad news that Italian author Antonio Tabucchi died on Sunday, March 25, in Lisbon, his second home for many years. 

Born in Pisa in 1943, Tabucchi, the son of a horse trader, was one of the finest voices in the European literature. He was the author of novels, short stories, essays, and plays, as well as the renowned translator of Fernando Pessoa. Tabucchi’s books have been translated into more than forty languages and several of his novels have been adapted for the movies, directed by renowned directors like Roberto Faenza, Alain Corneau, Alain Tanner and Fernando Lopes. Tabucchi's many books have won prestigious prizes including the Prix Médicis Etranger, the Aristeion, the Nossack, and the Europaeischer Staatspreis. He taught at the University of Siena and lectured in many prestigious  universities abroad (Bard College in New York; the Ecole de Hautes Etudes and the Collège de France in Paris). A fierce critic of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, Tabucchi wrote for many Italian and foreign newspapers (Corriere della Sera, L’Unità, Il manifesto, Le Monde, El Paìs, Diario de Noticìas, La Jornada, Die Allgemeine Zeitung) and cultural magazines such as La Nouvelle Revue Française and Lettre International. He was a co-founder of the International Parliament of Writers.

New Directions publishes seven of his books, including Indian Nocturne, Requiem, Pereira Declares, and The Missing Head of Damasceno Monteiro.  His novels glow with Tabucchi’s special “enchantment, which transfigures even as it captivates” (The [London] Times Literary Supplement).

“[Tabucchi  has] the touch of the true magician, who astonishes us by never trying too hard for his subtle, elusive, and remarkable effects.”
— The San Francisco Examiner

“Internationally acclaimed as the most original voice in the new generation of Italian writers.”
— The Harvard Book Review

"Antonio Tabucchi continues his progress towards becoming an Italian Graham Greene."
— The Economist

"Whereas Calvino produced fiction that read like tightly controlled prose poems, Tabucchi creates stories that are elliptical puzzles, not so much concluding as trailing off — they appear to end just when we hope they will continue."
— The Nation


Michael Palmer, Christopher Middleton, and Michael Hofmann win Arts & Letters Awards

New Directions would like to congratulate Michael Palmer, Christopher Middleton, and Michael Hofmann for being recognized for their contributions to literature by The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Palmer and Middleton were awarded Arts and Letters Awards in Literature for their lifetime achievements and Hofmann was awarded the Thornton Wilder prize for Translation. You can read the entire announcement here

We're honored to publish such acclaimed writers and translators. 


Rabee Jaber Wins International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF)

The Lebanese journalist and novelist Rabee Jaber — whose groundbreaking novel The Mehlis Report will be published by New Directions in the spring of 2013 — was awarded the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2012 award. Rabee Jaber was born in Beirut in 1972 and has been editor of Afaq, the weekly cultural supplement of Al-Hayat newspaper, since 2001. 

The BBC interviewed Jaber on winning the prize. You can listen to the program here.  You can also read an excellent piece from journalist Susannah Tarbush on Jaber, the IPAF, and how we came to discover him here.


New Books:

The Secret of Evil

by Roberto Bolaño
translated by Chris Andrews and Natasha Wimmer
Read the story "Labyrinth" here

This collection of short prose represents everything that Bolaño was still working on at the time of his death in 2003. The various pieces demonstrate that he abided by his own writerly advice: to keep many pots cooking at once. He was writing in all manner of genres, revisiting familiar characters and sketching new ones, and exploring his constant theme: the abyss at the edge of humanity. Learn more here. (available April 24)

"Bolaño is a once-in-a-blue-moon rhapsodic reading experience."
— Jonathan Lethem, The New York Times Book Review


In the Sierra: Mountain Writings

by Kenneth Rexroth
edited, with an Introduction, by Kim Stanley Robinson
Afterword by Carter Scholz
View the table of contents here

In the Sierra: Mountain Writings is famed poet Kenneth Rexroth’s collection of musings on the Sierra Nevada, where he spent as much time as he could. In retrospect his views on environmental ethics were as progressive as those of Emerson and Thoreau before him, and the scenes and scenery he portrays will ring true to anyone who has spent time in the mountains. Containing poetry, short prose, newspaper columns, pieces for guidebooks, and correspondence all compiled and edited by Kim Stanley Robinson, along with illustrated maps and photographs, this collection reveals, above all else, Rexroth’s passion for the world around him. Learn more here. (available April 10)

"This book begins a new phase in the understanding of Rexroth — he stands as tall as Robinson Jeffers in the evocation of the West Coast wildness, and sees farther ahead."
— Gary Snyder


Notes on the Mosquito

by Xi Chuan
translated by Lucas Klein 
View the table of contents here

Notes on the Mosquito: Selected Poems introduces English readers to one of the most celebrated poets of contemporary China, highlighting the work of a deeply engaging poet whose poems intertwine the mountains and roads of Xinjiang with insects and mythical beasts, ghosts, sacred spirits, and a Sanskrit brick. Learn more here. (available April 12)

"Xi Chuan's Notes on the Mosquito intercepts the traditional loveliness of the pastoral lyric with the close inspection of city eyes."
— C.D. Wright 


Fall 2012 / Winter 2013 Catalog

Fresh from the printer, and now available online as a PDF, is our Fall 2012 / Winter 2013 seasonal catalog. Have a look; we're rather proud. 


From the Blog

In case you missed it, check out a (second) sneak peek at Anne Carson's forthcoming book, Antigonick

And if you haven't listened to the Three Percent Podcast (featuring ND's Tom Roberge and Open Letter's Chad Post), now is a good time to start. It's free!


High Praise for
Two Recent Titles

The March 18 issue of the The New York Times Book Review featured full-page pieces on two of our titles, and we simply couldn't resist the urge to share the praise with you.

In a review of László Krasnahorkai's Satantango, Jacob Silverman writes: 

“What does all this chaos add up to?” In the fiction of Laszlo Krasznahorkai, such questions are secondary. Instead, he offers us stories that are relentlessly generative and defiantly irresolvable. They are haunting, pleasantly weird and, ultimately, bigger than the worlds they inhabit.

Read the full review here

And in a review of César Aira's Varamo, Ben Ratliff writes:

There is something modestly cool going on underneath here, something to do with content following form. Aira seems fascinated by the idea of storytelling as invention, invention as improvisation and improvisation as transgression, as getting away with something — as anyone might be who essentially writes stories in real time.

Read the full review here.


Susan Howe and David Grubbs perform at the Bienecke Library

Poet Susan Howe, winner of the 2011 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry, and musician David Grubbs will perform a collaborative piece based on Howe’s award-winning volume That This on April 5 at Yale's Biencke Library.  For more info, click here.


William Bronk Festival

On April 13 and 14, join Columbia University, New York University, and Talisman House Publishers for a retrospective on the life and work of William Bronk. Events will take place on both campuses, and are free and open to the public. For more information, click here.


William Carlos Williams event at the Cervantes Institute

On April 23, Jonathan Cohen, acclaimed for his translations of Ernesto Cardenal, Enrique Lihn, and other Spanish-language poets, will read from and discuss his work compiling and editing By Word of Mouth: Poems from the Spanish, 1916-1959, the first collection of Spanish translations by William Carlos Williams. The multimedia event will include documentary images of Williams and the poets he translated, as well as recordings of Williams talking about and reading from his work. With introductory remarks by Declan Spring, Senior Editor, New Directions, and a poetry recitation in Spanish by actress Gy Mirano. For more information, click here.

This event will be simulataneously conducted in English and Spanish.


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