Publishers Weekly Names All My Friends a “Pick of the Week”

Publishers Weekly has selected Marie NDiaye’s All My Friends as a pick of the week for the week of May 13, alongside authors like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Joan Silber. Indeed, those are not bad comparisons for All My Friends: like Silber, the stories here show an intense level of attention to language and style on the sentence-level, and like Adichie, NDiaye is capable of turning dark themes into universal commentaries on all our lives. For more on just how exquisitely wrought these stories are, see this interview with translator Jordan Stump.

Here’s a little bit from Publishers Weekly’s starred review of the book:

Inhabiting the tense, anxiety-riddled interstices where things fall apart, the five stories in this collection don’t follow each other so much as collide like objects in a literary maelstrom, achieving a dizzying terminal velocity. NDiaye, who received France’s most prestigious literary prize for Three Powerful Women and may be that nation’s most startling new literary voice, brings to life an electrifying rogue’s gallery of social outcasts, disgruntled wives, and loony strivers.

All My Friends, which officially goes on sale next week, was also just named as a book to watch by Library Journal.

Celebrate The Launch of Two Lines Press

Join us to launch Two Lines Press in style! We’re celebrating on May 22 at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco with our first two titles: All My Friends by Marie NDiaye, the youngest person ever to be shortlisted for the International Booker Prize (translated by Jordan Stump), and Hi, This Is Conchita by Granta “Best Young Spanish-Language Novelist” Santiago Roncagliolo (translated by Edith Grossman).

There will be wine, food, and of course tons of partying. There will also be staged readings from both books (phone sex and a mother abandoning her teenage son!) with two Bay Area actors.

Here are the details. See below for more information about the books, plus the actors. And if you haven’t already, “like” us on Facebook and let us know you’re coming:

  • May 22
  • Doors 7:00 pm
  • Intersection for the Arts
  • 925 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
  • Admission: $10; $15 = admission + one of the new Two Lines Press titles; $20 = admission + both books

The books:

All My Friends: NDiaye’s fierce, unflinching stories, written in intricate and beautiful sentences, ask us how well we can possibly know each other, or even ourselves. Publisher’s Weekly said in a starred review, “The five stories in this collection don’t follow each other so much as collide like objects in a literary maelstrom, achieving a dizzying terminal velocity.”

Hi, This Is Conchita: Roncagliolo’s raucous novella Hi, This Is Conchita follows a series of phone conversations where nobody can make themselves quite wholly understood, with hilarious and tragic consequences. Daniel Alarcón raved, “Santiago Roncagliolo is one of the writers of my generation I most admire. He is rigorous, fearless, and funny, with a keen eye for absurdity embedded within the everyday.”

And the actors:

Delia MacDougall’s theatre credits include The Government Inspector, the world premiere of Philip Kan Gotanda’s After the War, A Christmas Carol, and The Learned Ladies (American Conservatory Theater) and Pericles, Man and Superman, King Lear, As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, and Arms and the Man, among others (California Shakespeare Theater). Additional credits include shows at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Aurora Theatre Company, San Jose Repertory Theatre, INTIMAN Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Alley Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, and La MaMa E.T.C. Ms. MacDougall is an actor, director, and company member with Word for Word Performing Arts Company and an actor and director with Campo Santo.

Juan Amador (DJ Wonway) continues his work with Campo Santo in merging music and theatre after collaborating, performing and composing for the Campo Santo project Block by Block, which premiered at the de Young Museum in November as part of Campo Santo’s Artist Fellowship led by Sean San Jose. As a DJ, MC, composer, performer, he is modern day renaissance man, all around b-boy and performer, Juan’s artistic resume includes emcee freestyle champion, educator, radio host of Thinkbeat Radio on KPFA and All Day Play FM. He began his theatrical career joining Pittsburg, California’s Teatro L.O.C.O.S while still in high school. Other projects include work with La Peña’s Hybrid Theater Ensemble, and various works with groups such as Intersection, SF State’s Playwriting program, recently as part of Cutting Ball Theater’s Vanguardia showcase of experimental Latino playwrights. Juan has also blended his passion for music and theater by creating Whose Rhyme is it Anyway? an improv troupe using freestyle rap as its focus. He performs weekly in clubs and venues throughout the Bay Area.