#WITMonth Sale and Challenge!


With the start of August comes Women in Translation Month, also known by its hashtag as #WITMonth.This is an awesome invention that we at Two Lines Press fully support!

We do everything we can around here to keep the gender of our authors balanced and to generally promote the incredible writing being done by women around the world. So, of course, we love seeing Meytal Radzinski (aka Biblibio) putting together an awesome assortment of resources for all your #WITMonth needs, including a reading challenge (in 3 parts), a FAQ, and ways to participate.

And lots of other people are running with this, including Beyond Eden Rock, JacquiWine, and of course the incredible Tony Malone. You can also follow all of the action on Twitter.

Because this is such a cool thing, and because we like to believe we’ve got some of the coolest readers of all, we’d love to see Two Lines Press’s community participate in this celebration of women writers worldwide.

So do it TLP fans! Read, read, read!!!

To help get you in the mood, we’ve put together little challenge for you. We hereby challenge you, the Two Lines Press Community, to:

  1. read a woman in translation during August
  2. and send us a photo of yourself in action (or just your book, if you’re bashful)

The best way to do that is to tweet a photo at us (we’re @TwoLinesPress), along with the hashtag #WITMonth. You can also pop on over to our Facebook page and put your photo on our wall.

We’ll be thrilled to see any and all women in translation that you’re reading!

But, of course, we do publish and sell books around here, so we’d really love to see you reading some Two Lines Press titles. To help encourage you, we’re going to give you a huge WITMonth discount on our three titles by women in translation:

We are offering these at a WITMonth special of just $25—almost a 50% discount! (you can also buy them individually at the above links at 30% off)

Purchase them via Pay Pal by clicking on this link.

10/12: Naja Marie Aidt Reading and In Conversation with CJ Evans


Join us for Two Lines Press’s own Naja Marie Aidt at The Lab during Litquake. The author of Baboon will be talking with Two Lines Press’s editorial director, CJ Evans, about her long-awaited first novel, Rock, Paper, Scissors (Open Letter Books).

Rock, Paper, Scissors is a complex portrait of a man whose life slowly devolves into violence and jealousy. One of Denmark’s most decorated and beloved authors, Aidt will read from the newly released novel and share her thoughts on writing, being translated, and how she captures the dark secrets of her characters.

  • Monday, October 12th, 2015
  • The Lab, 2948 16th Street, San Francisco
  • 7:00 PM
  • FREE

Naja Marie Aidt was born in Greenland and raised in Copenhagen. She is the author of ten collections of poetry and three short story collections, including Baboon (Two Lines Press), which received the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize and the Danish Critics Prize for Literature. Her books have been translated into nine languages. Rock, Paper, Scissors is her first novel.

CJ Evans is the editorial director of Two Lines Press, and the author of A Penance (New Issues Press) and The Category of Outcast (Poetry Society of America). The recipient of an Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, he recently returned to the Bay Area from Aix, France.

Two Lines Sale


For a limited time we are selling all back issues of Two Lines for $1 each. (Plus $1 shipping per issue.)

That’s right, ONE DOLLAR EACH. That’s a discount of between 94.37% and 92.88% off, depending on which issue. INCREDIBLE!

The work of many hands, eras, languages, and world cultures can be yours for a scandalously low price.

For a limited time.


Each link below will joyfully fill your Pay Pal shopping cart with a back issue of Two Lines at the most discount price possible.


ISSUE 21 — FEATURING Johannes Göransson, Antonio Tabucchi, Marcos Giralt Torrente, Natasha Wimmer, and Edward Gauvin

ISSUE 20 — FEATURING Scholastique Mukasonga, Wolfgang Hilbig, Jeffrey Yang, Sergio Chejfec, Susan Bernofsky, and Christopher Merrill

ISSUE 19 — FEATURING Naja Marie Aidt, Lydia Davis, Katrina Dodson, Daniel Hahn, and Camille T. Dungy

ISSUE 18 — FEATURING Alejandra Pizarnik, Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, César Aira, Marilyn Hacker, Albert Cossery, Luc Sante, and Rosanna Warren

ISSUE 17 — FEATURING Inger Christensen, Lydia Davis, Oliverio Girondo, Mikhail Shishkin, Mikhail Shishkin, Natasha Wimmer, and Jeffrey Yang

ISSUE 16 — FEATURING José Manuel Prieto, Anna Szabó, Yoko Tawada, Mahmoud Darwish, George Szirtes, Margaret Jull Costa, and Marilyn Hacker

ISSUE 15 — FEATURING Antonio Muñoz Molina, Margaret Jull Costa, Rodrigo Rey Rosa, John Biguenet, and Sidney Wade

ISSUE 14 — FEATURING Tomas Tranströmer, Robert Hass, Vicente Huidobro, Mercè Rodoreda, and Forrest Gander

ISSUE 13 — FEATURING Jorge Volpi, Suzanne Jill Levine, Dahlia Ravikovitch, Charlotte Mandell, César Vallejo, and Rosmarie Waldrop

ISSUE 12 — FEATURING Ingeborg Bachmann, John Felstiner, Brother Anthony of Taizé, and Yehuda Amichai

ISSUE 11 — FEATURING Don Mee Choi, Donald A. Yates, Eunice Odio, and Marilyn Hacker

ISSUE 10 — FEATURING Pablo Picasso, Suzanne Jill Levine, Marian Schwartz, and Aleksandr Anashevich

ISSUE 9 — FEATURING Ko Un, Enrique Anderson-Imbert, Giovanni Giudici, and Félix Morisseau-Leroy

ISSUE 8 — FEATURING Yoko Tawada, Cesare Pavese, Umberto Saba, Amélie Nothomb, X-504, and Richard Plantagenet, Coeur-de-Lion

ISSUE 7 — FEATURING Karel Čapek, Luis Cernuda, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Pura López Colomé, and Forrest Gander

ISSUE 6 — FEATURING Henri Michaux, Charles Baudelaire, Beatriz Escalante, Parents & Teachers of Tierra y Libertad, Chiapas, and Saigyo

ISSUE 5 — FEATURING César Vallejo, Peter Handke, Daimon Searls, Jayadeva, and Ryuichi Tamura

ISSUE 4 — FEATURING Juan Goytisolo, Peter Bush, Stephane Mallarmé, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Marian Schwartz, Jack Hirschman, and Alexander Pushkin

ISSUE 3 — FEATURING Julio Cortázar, Eugenio Montale, Natsume Soseki, Dante Alighieri, and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain

9/24: Two Voices Salon with Katrina Dodson on Clarice Lispector

We are very pleased to announce our first Two Voices Salon of the 2015-16 season: translator Katrina Dodson discussing her translation of The Complete Stories of Clarice Lispector. Beginning with Lispector’s adolescence and ending just before her death, these 85 stories show a singular literary intelligence developing throughout an entire lifetime.

Katrina will be here live and in person, so be sure to bring your copies of Lispector with you, and be ready to participate in the conversation!

Katrina has spent years perfecting their English-language translation, and she will discuss with us all the ins and outs of working with Lispector’s famously bizarre Portuguese. We’ll also talk about how Lispector’s art evolved through the years and just why her mysterious, profound writing has touched so many readers.

Make sure to join us on Thursday, September 24th for the very first Salon of our new season of events! As always, refreshments and snacks will be served, and don’t worry if you have to join us late.

  • Thursday, September 24
  • 6:00 pm
  • Two Lines Press offices
  • 582 Market St, Suite 700, San Francisco, CA
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, plus snacks

An Offer 226 Years In the Making


On Tuesday, July 14, French individuals and Francophiles everywhere will celebrate the storming of the Bastille, an occasion that gave rise to such historical greats as the the guillotine, the Reign of Terror, and the 1979 bicentennial concert with Jean Michel Jarre on the Place de la Concorde.

We at Two Lines Press would like to mark this momentous occasion in our own small way by offering you ALL THREE of our French titles for the historic (and ridiculously low) price of $17.89. This price includes FREE SHIPPING, because more freedom is always better, and also for greater historical accuracy and our own convenience.

So release your inner Frenchman/woman, support the continuance of the Fifth French Republic, and get behind your favorite translation press by ordering right now via this link. France may live until the end of the baguette, but this offer will only stand until 11:59:59 PST on Sunday, July 19.

This is what you get for the craaaaazily low (and historically proven) price of $17.89:

Self-Portrait in Green by Marie NDiaye (tr Jordan Stump)

Winner of the 2015 CLMP Firecracker Award for Nonfiction, lauded by Flavorwire, the TLS, and many more, this book has been tearing it up so far. Maybe it’s a memoir, maybe it’s a novel, maybe it’s a memovel. Who really knows? But we can say for certain that’s it’s mysterious, powerful, GREEN, and revolutionary.

All My Friends by Marie NDiaye (tr Jordan Stump)

Five ridiculously good stories by the woman who writes stories that are more complex than most novels. Winner of a Starred Review in Publishers Weekly, beloved by critics in Rain Taxi, The Collagist, The Rumpus, and more, with this book alongside Self-Portrait in Green there will be no monarchical dungeon fit to contain your adventures of self-discovery.

The Fata Morgana Books by Jonathan Littell (tr Charlotte Mandell)

Described by The New Yorker as “four nightmarish novellas,” this is the book that the Marquis de Sade would have written had he received a solid education in post-structuralism and lived to see World War II. BOMB Magazine says “here genitalia prove as amorphous as the desires they incite,” and we say, free yourself from the heteronormative, largely imaginary binary of 2 human genders and a polarity-based sexuality.

You know you want it. Hit that cart right this second:

AUDIO: Benjamin Paloff Discussing The Game for Real with Alex Zucker at Community Bookstore


We were very honored to be able to present translator extraordinaire Benjamin Paloff with Czech master-translator Alex Zucker at Brooklyn’s own Community Bookstore. The book they came to talk about was Two Lines Press’s The Game for Real, by Czech modernist Richard Weiner, the first time this essential author has ever appeared in English, thanks to Ben.

Below you’ll find a table of contents and full audio for the entire event. Many, many, many thanks to Hal Hlavinka of Community Bookstore for facilitating this event, recording it, and publicizing it, and thanks as well to Alex Zucker for acting as an expert in all things Czech.


1:35 Description of The Game for Real and Richard Weiner

7:00 reading from The Game for Real

16:10 where Weiner fits into the “fantastic four” of Czech lit

19:10 Where Weiner fit into Czech literature at the time of his writing

27:00 Weiner and Proust

28:25 The writing of Weiner’s the came out of his association with the Surrealists

31:30 The emotion of shame as it relates to The Game for Real

35:00 Czech as a young language and the impact of that on Weiner’s writing and Czech literature in general

40:10 Weiner’s relationship to Kafka, particularly The Metamorphosis

42:00 Q & A

42:30 How engaged was Weiner with sexological thought, and Weiner’s feelings about his sexuality?

45:00 Weiner’s death

46:30 Weiner’s influence in Czech literature

54:20 How will Ben research Weiner’s biography in Prague

55:40 Ben’s translations from languages other than Czech, and Ben’s beliefs about translation

AUDIO: Ben Paloff on The Game for Real by Richard Weiner


photo by Sarah Coolidge

We were very pleased to welcome Ben Paloff to Diesel, A Bookstore in Oakland, CA, where he read from and discussed his translation of The Game for Real by Richard Weiner, just out from Two Lines Press. In addition to reading several pages of his translation, Ben talked about his research interests with Weiner, Weiner’s experiences on the front lines of World War I, his thoughts on Proust, and what it was like translating The Game for Real.

Table of Contents

0:00 Introductions

2:18 CJ Evans on Two Lines Press and The Game for Real by Richard Weiner

7:16 Intro to Benjamin Paloff

10:18 Benjamin Paloff reading The Game for Real

21:10 The roots of Ben’s interest in Richard Weiner

26:44 Weiner’s experiences during World War I and the literature that came of it

30:55 Weiner’s feelings on Proust, his long essay on Proust, and similarities between Weiner’s and Proust’s writing

38:00 Ben’s challenges translating Weiner, and how he handled “Weinerisms”

42:14 Weinerisms that have made it into Czech, and the trajectory of Weiner’s literature after World War II

49:50 How the two halves of The Game for Real entwine

53:45 Ben’s thoughts on Translating humor

59:45 The pleasures of translating Weiner

1:05:14 Lexican oddities in Weiner’s prose

1:06:55 “Losing himself” in the act of translation

1:13:30 Origins of the name “Giggles” in translation of The Game for Real and Weiner’s relationship to the Surrealists

AUDIO: Mario Bellatín, David Shook, and Zsuzsanna Szurka on Jacob the Mutant

bellatin02We were delighted to join Mario Bellatín, David Shook, and Zsuzsanna Szurka at Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco, CA, to discuss Bellatín’s latest book to appear in English, Jacob the Mutant, translated by Jacob Steinberg and published by Phoneme Media. David Shook is the publisher of Jacob the Mutant (as well as the translator of Bellatín’s Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose for Fiction) and Zsuzsanna Szurka is an artistic collaborator with Bellatín who created illustrations for the English-language edition of Jacob the Mutant, as well as future books of Bellatín’s.

The conversation ranged widely, from the mutations and enlargements purposely introduced into Jacob the Mutant during that book’s translation into English to the origins of Bellatín’s character Shiki Nagaoka, his thoughts on César Aira, and performance art he has arranged in various places, including academic conferences. Shook discussed his role as translator and publisher of Bellatín (in addition to serving as interpreter) and Szurka discussed how she renders Bellatín’s exceedingly complex frameworks as illustrated “maps” to his books.

Table of Contents

0:00 Introductions

4:45 David Shook’s reasons for being drawn to Mario Bellatín’s books, and why he has wanted to work with him

6:40 The orgins of Mario’s character, Shiki Nagaoka

9:00 How Mario describes the form his books take, and how Jacob the Mutant has changed as it has been translated into English

16:40 The maps that have been created for the English-language translation of Jacob the Mutant

19:45 The role of the intuitive in Mario’s work

22:00 The role of beginnings, endings, and transformations in Mario’s work, and how Mario works with contradiction to keep his books open-ended

27:30 Los Cien Mil Libros de Bellatín

31:35 How the ideas implicit in Mario’s work influence David as his publisher

33:30 Zsuzsanna’s favorite books of Bellatín’s and the ones she most likes to interact with

35:50 David’s translation of a book Mario has not yet written

40:25 Why Mario’s creativity works by building off of other things

44:20 How Mario’s distinctive work influences the translators David chooses to bring in on his books

47:10 Mario’s performance art vis a vis his books

1:00:00 Mario’s feelings on César Aira

AUDIO: Daniel Balderstone Discusses Silvina Ocampo

Silvina-tomado-por-Bioy-Casares-en-Posadas-1959Last week we were joined in the Two Lines Press offices by translator Daniel Balderston to discuss his translation of Silvina Ocampo’s short fiction, Thus Were Their Faces, published earlier this year by NYRB Classics.

Although underappreciated in her time, Ocampo was lauded by the elite of Argentine letters, among them: Borges, Bioy, Manuel Puig, Alejandra Pizarnik, and Julio Cortázar, and she has also been praised by Italo Calvino, Alberto Manguel, and Errique Vila-Matas. In this wide-ranging discussion, we talk about Daniel’s personal encounters with Ocampo, her life and work, the reasons for her neglect and the renewed interest in recent years, translation challenges of Ocampo’s prose, her poetry, and what comes next for this master.

Below you will find the complete audio of this event, plus a table of contents for the conversation.

0:00 Introductions

1:24: Daniel’s history with Silvina Ocampo and Argentina during the era of Bioy, Borges, and Ocampo

9:22 The details of Ocampo’s neglect during her life in Argentina, and the huge expansion of interest after her death

15:10 How the word “cruel” relates to Ocampo’s work and why people like to call her work “cruel”

18:50 The strangeness of the child narrators in Ocampo’s stories and preponderance of strange deaths (often narrated in a “light” way)

20:20 The element of the fantastic in Ocampo’s work

22:05 What distinguishes Ocampo’s fantastic literature from that of Borges and Bioy, and the relationship of Ocampo’s Irene to Borges’s Funes the Memorious

26:25 The fortune that Ocampo read for Daniel

27:15 The reasons Ocampo was overlooked during her lifetime

30:15 Ocampo’s relationship to Alejandra Pizarnik: influence on one another’s writing and their love affair

32:20 Ocampo’s ability to write about horror in a deadpan way and its influence on Pizarnik

34:40 The question of femininity and femininism in Ocampo’s writing

37:25 The selection criteria for the NYRB Classics volume

42:30 Bioy’s impact on Ocampo’s writing and revisions of her work

43:50 What untranslated books by Ocampo would you like to see translated into English?

45:50 The question of madness in Ocampo’s works

47:05 Challenges to translating Ocampo, in particular with regards to Ocampo’s use of gender, and the most difficult-to-translate sentence in the entire collection

52:15 Ocampo as a poet

56:40 William Carlos Williams as a translator of Ocampo’s poetry

1:01:10 Q & A