José Emilio Pacheco, love letters to learning, and more

January 31, 2014

Neil Gaiman quote over a library

What a week! The links below are full of the excitement, pleasure, and sadness that marked this week’s literary news. Most notably, find information about the death of José Emilio Pacheco, who passed away last weekend in Mexico.

News, Reviews, and Interviews

The Guardian notes that we have small presses to thank for the number and scope of translations on the market today.

Last week, Nobel Prize laureate Alice Munro participated in a live chat on Google+ with Margaret Atwood.

A new story translated by J. M. Coetzee is up now at Asymptote’s website.

Though it’s not a new trend, gloom and doom themes in newly published books are more numerous than ever, probably due to the gloomy world economy.

Though literary prizes often come with a cash payout, do they do more for a writer’s career than we give them credit for?

Mexican poet José Emilio Pacheco passed away at the age of 75 this week. You can read his translation of Dana Gioia’s “Words” in our September 2011 issue, and PEN International has also published three of Pacheco’s poems on its website.

Do reading challenges, like the one promoted by Goodreads, give a bad name to reading?

Penguin Books UK recently published a never-before-online video interview of Brazilian author Clarice Lispector from 1977, the same year in which she died.

Several new online initiatives aim to make this year the year of reading women.

For Your Calendar

All February long, donations are being accepted to help rebuild the Al Sa`eh Library in Tripoli, which was viciously burned down in early January.

English PEN is gathering support for its Sochi Winter Olympics Campaign protesting the treatment and censorship of LGBT persons by the Russian government.

Fun Finds and Inspiration

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, consider a unique idea this year: sending a love letter to learning, like these famous authors have done.

To marks its 200th year, the Bristol Central Library is debuting a new book art installation that celebrates the joy of reading and books.

Being a writer doesn’t mean you have to play by the rules—these authors definitely didn’t.

We recently stumbled across a new language justice project called Antena, which “explores how critical views on language can help us to reimagine and rearticulate the worlds we inhabit.”

If you’ve ever wanted to be a fly on the wall in a famous author’s house, these poems won’t help. But they will give you a look into famous authors’ fridges, and that’s almost the same, right?

How many locations written about by Mark Twain can you name? If it’s less than 20,000, you need to reference this interactive map.