January in Texas

Happy new year, world! It’s gray in Dallas, one of those rare “reading days” that combine a just-right amount of chill and drizzle into a perfect backdrop to snuggle up and read whatever it is you have been wanting to for a while . . . as for me? This morning I started Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah.

But fear not, Deep Vellum presses on with the good work, bringing to you the WORD(S), and I am here to update you on all the updates there are to be updated:

1) The Quarterly Conversation, a fantastic literary resource if there ever was one for those of us inclined towards world literature, has run their annual “Editors’ Picks” for 2013, and among them is a standout recommendation from James Tennant, poetry editor at The White Review (a gorgeous, incredible journal and their most recent issue is completely devoted to translation!):

“In the past months I’ve been most impressed by Simon Jarvis’s long and beautifully-crafted poem Night Office (Enitharmon, 2013) and El arte de la fuga [The Art of Fugue] by the Mexican master Sergio Pitol. This last, first published in 1996 and still not translated, is an exquisite example of memoir and feuilleton, being a record (it’s the first part of a trilogy) of a life lived entirely through literature.”

Thank you Mr. Tennant, we are inclined to agree, though we are going to publish Pitol’s memoir-essay-collection tour de force under the title The Art of Flight. I hope that’s cool with you (and all y’all Spanish speakers out there too!). Translator George Henson is hard at work finishing up The Art of Flight, and we hope to have some excerpts to share with y’all soon. The book will be out this fall, followed by the second novel in Pitol’s “Trilogy of Memory,” The Journey, set to appear in early 2015.

2) Mikhail Shishkin’s second novel to appear in English, The Light and the Dark, translated by Andrew Bromfield, was published yesterday in the US by Quercus in a gorgeous hardcover edition.

The Light and the Dark

Originally published in the UK last year, Quercus also just brought out the paperback version there with the lead blurb on the cover, courtesy of Monocle, declaring Shishkin to be the “Ian McEwan of Russia” (at least they call him Russia’s greatest living author). Maybe that will help Maestro Shishkin move some units? I certainly hope so. He deserves it. Maybe I’ll borrow that blurb for my own marketing for Calligraphy Lesson: The Collected Stories of Mikhail Shishkin. And The Light and the Dark is a gorgeous work that continues in the vein of the emotional power and love for beauty that he demonstrated so well in Maidenhair. So buy The Light and the Dark from your local bookstore, your favorite Amazon, or ask your local library to buy a copy, if they haven’t already. Just read Shishkin already, he will change your life.

P.S. All the stories in the Calligraphy Lesson collection have been translated . . . just need to do some final editorial touches and get this collection laid out and maybe, just maybe, this will be Deep Vellum’s lead title as early as this summer in an e-book form. Are you ready for the future?!

3) It’s 2014! The Year of Deep Vellum! And the World Cup! With some fine folks, including ringmaster Chad Post of Open Letter Books, we should have information for you soon about the World Cup of Literature . . . kind of like the Tournament of Books, but with better books, and more fun. And with knockout-round pairings based on countries actually facing each other in the World Cup! The possibilities are insane! Brazil vs. Croatia! Mexico vs. Cameroon! Colombia vs. Japan! Greece vs. Ivory Coast! Uruguay vs. Italy! Who would you want to win the World Cup of Literature? While I love Portugal and Ronaldo’s hair, in literature I have to pull for Russia. With the power of Shishkin’s Maidenhair as the entry, I think Russia could win the whole damn thing. Viva Russia!

4) Curious about how to get involved in world literature? Want to learn about publishing? Want to become an editor? Our friends at Asymptote have posted their (volunteer) job listings for 2014. Some seriously amazing opportunities within for those so inclined, as am I, towards literature from all across this beautiful world. Look at some of these job listings just for Editorial help! Insane!

Blog Editor

The Blog Editor will be working closely with our existing Blog Editor to ensure a daily stream of great content at our blog. The job will mostly consist of planning, commissioning and editing new translations/writing related to world literature.

Blog Columnist

Have a great idea for a monthly or fortnightly column related to translation or world literature? Pitch it to us, with writing samples. Queries welcome.

Section Editor, Writers on Writers

Since our debut in January 2011, we have published more than 60 essays under the aegis of our Writers on Writers (WoW) Feature connecting readers to deserving writers that have largely been overlooked by the English-speaking world. The new WoW Editor will continue this tradition by commissioning and editing high-quality WoW essays about authors from all corners of the world. Only applicants with editing experience and good literary taste need apply.

Section Editor, Criticism

Our Criticism Section has been home to many eloquent reviews, essays on translation, and even academic essays. As with the WoW editorship, applicants for this position must possess relevant experience and sharp editorial acumen.


We recently added new editors-at-large for Argentina, Australia, Nepal, Norway and the UK (see current masthead here). We’d like to extend our network even more to ensure a constant stream of quality content from underrepresented regions. We welcome applicants from other parts of the world especially but not limited to: Africa, the Middle East, Australia, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Editors-at-large also help to promote our journal locally, explore partnerships with local journals and even organize events (though the last is not a necessary requirement). – See more at: http://www.asymptotejournal.com/news.php#sthash.UkRXeOfg.dpuf

5) Dallas is finally getting an independent bookstore and soon! I visited the future home of The Wild Detectives (you get it), and am happy to report the renovations to their space on 8th St. in the Bishop Arts District look amazing, and they should be open for business as early as the end of the month. This is huge for the entire Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Finally a new bookstore. That will sell all the Deep Vellum books (mwahahaha!)!

6) In February, I’ll be hosting a reading (I think his first in Dallas) with Sean Cotter, Associate Professor of Literature and Literary Translation at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Center for Translation Studies. Sean is the man, flat out, and also is an uber-respected and well-loved translator (they do exist!) from Romanian, who’s gained some renown as of late thanks to his incredible last two translations for Archipelago Books, Wheel with a Single and Other Poems by Nichita Stănescu (winner of the 2013 Best Translated Book Award for Poetry) and the much-buzzed about Blinding by Mircea Cărtărescu that came out in late 2013. The books are amazing, and the reading will be in the house of a friend in east Dallas. If all goes well, we’ll host another reading at The Wild Detectives when they are open.

Boom. That’s the updates for now. There’s always more, but this post is quite long enough, don’t you think? It’s 2014, I should have made my resolution to stop being so wordy. Or to hire a grantwriting intern. Want to be a grantwriting intern for Deep Vellum? Email me.

0 Responses to January in Texas

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