THAT OTHER WORD | Episode 9 | February 2013 | Ethan Nosowsky

“That Other Word,” a collaborative podcast between the Center for Writers and Translators at the American University of Paris and Two Lines Press in San Francisco, offers discussions on classic and contemporary literature in translation, along with engaging interviews with writers, translators, and publishers.

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At the beginning of this episode, Daniel Medin and Scott Esposito are happy, along with the rest of the Anglosphere, to be rediscovering Nikolai Leskov’s The Enchanted Wanderer and Other Stories, newly translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. They also look forward to a recent success from the Netherlands that’s been making waves abroad, Arnon Grunberg’s Tirza, and take an anecdote-filled trip through modernity in Roberto Calasso’s La Folie Baudelaire. They continue to be impressed by Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle: Book Two: A Man in Love, the second volume in a hugely ambitious series that describes (albeit amid a number of digressions) how the author fell in love with his wife.

Scott Esposito then sits down with Ethan Nosowsky, a former Editor-at-Large at Graywolf Press who has recently been named Editorial Director at McSweeney’s. Nosowsky discusses his early career and several of his experiences with editing translations at Graywolf, most notably with regard to Daniel Sada’s Almost Never. He talks not only about seeking out great Mexican writers and getting to know Sada’s work, but also about the working relationship he developed with translator Katherine Silver as she produced the English version. He muses on what makes a manuscript in general attractive to him as an editor and explains McSweeney’s innovative publishing model. In conclusion, Nosowsky enthuses about the latest issue of McSweeney’s Quarterly, which has been described as a long game of “translation telephone,” and resolves to pursue more literature from China.


INTRO: Daniel Medin and Scott Esposito

0:45 Nikolai Leskov’s The Enchanted Wanderer and Other Stories
3:28 Arnon Grunberg’s Tirza
4:52 Roberto Calasso’s La Folie Baudelaire
8:13 Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle: Book Two: A Man in Love
12:52 Scott Esposito introduces Ethan Nosowsky

FEATURE: Scott Esposito interviews Ethan Nosowsky

14:13 Getting into publishing; first experiences with editing translations
22:42 Working relationships with translators and authors at Graywolf
28:44 Procuring, translating, and publishing Daniel Sada’s Almost Never
36:42 Transitioning to McSweeney’s; recent and forthcoming translations at McSweeney’s
50:02 McSweeney’s profit-sharing publication and publicity models
52:16 McSweeney’s Quarterly translation issue