Ledig House Reading, 11/1, KGB Bar

31 10 2009

Full-on World Fantasy Con madness this weekend! Meanwhile, back at the Batcave… go support Ledig House!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Location: KGB Bar 85 East 4th Street NYC

Ledig House residents will be reading brief excerpts from their work. Participants include: Martin Kimani (Kenya), Rien Kuntari (Indonesia), Keshni Kashyap (US), Linda Gaboriau (Canada), Tom Dryer (South Africa), Cailtin Doyle (US), Pravda Miteva (Bulgaria), Kaijamari Sivill (Finland), Kathrin Aehnlich (Germany), and Henning Kober (Germany). Also, special guest alumnus Mohan Sikka!

Come one come all. Exciting new literature from all corners of the world. Reading will last about an hour.

Katerine, Les Grands Restaurants

27 10 2009

I like Philippe Katerine: he’s witty, jaded, fanciful (“Je vous emmerde” is a classic, “Poulet No. 728120” bizarrely moving, “Pyjama de soie” goes well with a glass of red late at night). On a recent flight, this song popped up on shuffle for the first time in a while, and I was reminded how much I liked the lyrics, though I’d always heard the first line as “J’ai battu le néant dans un grand restaurant” (tr: I fought off nothingness in a fine restaurant). And the chorus as “Mais toi, tu n’y vois que tu fus” (tr: But you only see what you were). Or fumes (smoke)? Rorschach test, I guess…

J’ai combattu des lions dans un grand restaurant,
j’ai posé un avion dans un jardin d’enfant,
j’ai construit un immeuble dans une chambre de bonne,
monté un éléphant dans la rue de Charonne

Mais toi tu n’y vois que du feu
à croire que t’as de la merde dans les yeux

Nous vivons prisonnier dans le ventre d’un chien,
tout le monde le sais mais personne ne dit rien,
j’ai mangé l’Espagnol qui jouait de la guitare,
tous les dimanches matin sur le Pont des Arts

Où est-ce que tu es ?
ou, les châteaux a Santiago
ou une vallée de coquelicots
ferme les yeux on voit bien

Viens combattre les lions dans les grands restaurants,
faire la révolution sur un tapis volant
Viens vider l’océan en une seule gorgée,
viens fumer le monde en une seule bouffée

Translation follows (some liberties taken for meter, rhyme, and euphony): Read the rest of this entry »

World Fantasy Con 2009

25 10 2009

Well, World Fantasy Con 2009 is coming up, and the Clarion class of 2009 will make a showing in force. Before the event hits San Jose, I’d just like to give a heads-up that my Clarionmate Shauna Roberts will be on a Friday morning panel

10:00 AM Gold Room Writing Human Characters, Whether or Not They’re Human

Our panelists will discuss the challenges of writing relatable non-human characters in heroic and mythic fantasy that are both alien enough to be something more than funny-looking people but also human enough for readers to relate to.
David B Coe (moderator), Kate Elliott, Kay Kenyon, Shauna Roberts, Laurel Anne Hill

and, for her recent novel Like Mayflies in a Stream from Hadley Rille Books, be part of the

8:30 PM Regency Ballroom Group Autographing

Our traditional group signing is for all the authors and editors attending the convention. Everyone is welcome to participate, and there will be a no-host bar. If you’re planning on signing, it’s a very informal event. There will be tent-cards, alphabetical by last name, on a table at the door. Just grab your card, find a seat, and make yourself comfortable. Read the rest of this entry »

I Will Be Moderating

22 10 2009

The French Publishers’ Agency and La Maison Française of New York University cordially invite you to a roundtable discussion

“From Bande Dessinée to Graphic Novel: Drawing Two Traditions Together”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 12:30–2:30 pm

Lunch will be offered.

Panel participants will include

Sylvain Coissard, Copyright Consultant, Sylvain Coissard Agency

Dan Frank, Editorial Director, Pantheon Books

Thierry Groensteen, Publisher, Critic, Comics Historian
Mark Siegel, Editorial Director, First Second Books

La Maison Française of NYU

16 Washington Mews, at the corner of University Place

An evening reception will be held in honor of the French participants from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the French Publishers’ Agency
853 Broadway, suite 1509, between 13th & 14th Streets

Please RSVP for both events at stagiaire@frenchrights.com by November 6.

We look forward to seeing you!

Shauna Roberts Signing at Mystery and Imagination

4 10 2009

Friend and fellow 2009 Clarion classmate Shauna Roberts is signing her novel Like Mayflies in a Stream (Hadley Rille Books), a meticulously researched retelling of the epic of Gilgamesh, at Mystery and Imagination 2pm on October 11. Ken, Paul, Grady, Tiff, Heather, Liz, Paul Park, and I will be cheering her on from far-off Albany, as Albacon winds down. In this case, unlike the terrific Dar Williams song, Western New York (or just upstate) wants to be Southern California. Ken, man of many (entertaining) faces, reviews the novel on his blog. Go see Shauna at 238 N. Brand Blvd. Glendale (818.545.0206)! Read the rest of this entry »

Sic transit

3 10 2009
The Spotty Dog

The Spotty Dog

Bud Parr at Words Without Borders features a photo from the 9/18 reading in a recent blog post. More photos from the event pictured above can be found here.

Agur’s story, in WWB’s September issue, contains this memorable image:

“But the marvel of it strikes me: the cemetery is like a phone book engraved on pages of marble. Except that here, instead of being alphabetized, the names are arranged according to some hidden logic of fate, and the numbers represent years of birth and death. Only one rule is followed: a man always lies beside a man, and a woman beside a woman. So that no shame should ensue, God forbid, on the day the dead are resurrected.” Read the rest of this entry »

Foreign Correspondents: October in Words Without Borders

1 10 2009

Two new pieces up in the Words Without Borders “Foreign Correspondents” issue this month, one by Gébé and the other by François Vallejo. Gébé, a satirist after my own heart, looks into the mysterious activities of the International Bureau for Front Location, while Vallejo chronicles the 1988 fire that consumed the Chiado district of Lisbon.

Editorial cartoonist Gébé’s piece, featuring a short introduction by yours truly, is taken from his prose collection Not-Quite-Botched Dispatches (But a Hard Sell for the Nightly News), originally Reportages pas vraiment ratés mais difficile à vendre à France Soir, reprinted in 2001 by Le Diléttante (that last link for readers of French).

The excerpt by François Vallejo is the opening to his 2008 novel The Burning of the Chiado (L’Incendie du Chiado) from Éditions Viviane Hamy.

Check’em out!

Then the hearthstone, which was a fairy hearthstone, spoke:

22 09 2009

—Cinderello, why do you sigh?
—The wind outside makes moan and my heart mourns.
—Cinderello, the wind is silent and stirs not a leaf. Why do you sigh?
—The blood of all the animals I’ve killed glows red in my memory.
—Cinderello, in your memory is naught but the cool breeze on your cheeks, the crisp dawn grass beneath your feet, and the pond’s misty mirror. What is your sorrow?
—The loss of my beloved mother surrounds me with lament.
—The loss of your beloved mother never drives you from the books you both so cherished. Cinderello, you are lying.
~ Pierrette Fleutiaux, “Cinderello”

September Readings

15 09 2009

I’ll be making two appearances in September:

  • The first under the auspices of Words Without Borders at Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson, NY, September 19, in honor of their September 2009 issue “Walking the World,” the second installment of a two-month focus on international nature writing. I’m honored to be joining the astute, humane, and contemplative Israeli author Agur Schiff as he discusses his story, “How Old Is the Queen of England?” expertly rendered from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen. Schiff’s writing is cogent and urgent; his characters fully perceived and capable of unexpected gestures. His endings show a deft, light hand, striking off almost at a tangent from the tale into poetry. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Agur here at Ledig House, and in that short time my appreciation for the layers in his work has only deepened through our fascinating conversations. If you like his stuff–and Jessica’s!–be sure to read more here. My own contribution to the issue is an excerpt from Paradise… Kind Of, a gentle, dreamy travelogue by the artist Troub’s, who has made a name for himself in France with graphic travel memoirs. His fundamental amiability and the fresh-faced, wide-eyed curiosity he turns on the world around him come through amply in these meanderings around Balikpapan, Borneo. Of interest primarily for the pictures: Troub’s loose and cheerful linework. I’m not sure what Agur and I will be discussing… probably something to do with words, pictures, and Israeli politics.
  • The second: a community reading has been scheduled for Saturday, September 26th, at 5pm. It will be in the Charles B. Benenson Visitors Center at the Omi International Arts Center. (Off of Route 22 in Ghent. Between 9H and Route 21; adjacent to Letter S Road.) Ledig House residents will read from their work and there will be a BBQ to follow.

See y’all there!

Thursday Round-Up

27 08 2009

Some catching up:

  • My residency at Ledig House starts soon, and to get us even more amped up, the folks there have posted the names, bios, and photos of everyone staying up there this fall. Scroll down to find yours truly, grinning like an idiot. What’s a grin without a shirt?
  • I will, from time to time, be guest blogging at Absinthe Minded, the official blog of the literary journal Absinthe: New European Writing. Despite its relatively recent inception, it’s already attracted fascinating entries from the talented ensemble editors Dwayne Hayes and Jessica Bomarito have assembled, including pieces on Aleksandar Hemon, and Lars von Trier’s latest flick, a horror foray. I’m delighted to be round-robining with them, and will chirp up from time to time on books, movies, and many things Euro (mostly French). Here’s a link to my first post, a bit of chattiness courtesy Roland Jaccard, an author I translated for a recent issue of Absinthe.
  • Over at Comic Book Bin, Leroy Douresseaux has this pithy appreciation for manhua star Benjamin’s Orange, which I translated for Tokyopop: “It’s not so much a graphic novel as it is an illustrated short story or poem.  Basically, Orange’s narrative is a recollection of tragic event, as well as a list of grievances by the first person narrator, Orange.”