12/8: Two Voices Salon with Chris Andrews in Conversation on César Aira

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On Thursday, December 8, join us as super-translator Chris Andrews discusses his in-depth and wide-ranging work with Argentine maestro César Aira on the occasion of the publication of Aira’s Ema the Captive in Andrews’ translation. Andrews will be in conversation with Two Lines Press’s Scott Esposito.

The author of over 80 books in his native Spanish, Aira has seen more than a dozen of them translated into English in recent years as his reputation has caught fire. Andrews, his lead translator, will provide rare insight into Aira’s surreal and playful works, which also discussing the sizable challenges an author like Aira presents.

As always, free snacks and alcoholic beverages. Doors at 5:30, event starts promptly at 6:00 pm.

  • Chris Andrews in conversation with Scott Esposito on César Aira
  • Doors 5:30, event 6:00 – 7:00
  • Two Lines Press offices
  • 582 Market St., Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Free snacks and beverages

Two Voices Salon: Donald Nicholson-Smith on Moroccan Poet Abdellatif Laâbi

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Abdellatif Laâbi is without a doubt the major francophone voice of Moroccan poetry today, and Donald Nicholson-Smith has translated a massive, career-spanning collection of his work, In Praise of Defeat. Join us for the next Two Voices Salon on November 10, as we present a spirited discussion of this classic and contemporary Moroccan poet.

Per Wikipedia, “Laâbi was imprisoned, tortured, and sentenced to ten years in prison for ‘crimes of opinion’ (for his political beliefs and his writings) and served a sentence from 1972-1980. He was, in 1985, forced into exile in France.” His poetry is a gripping, visceral trip through that experience, as well as the politics and events in the years to follow, including such incidents as the Atocha Station bombings in 2004.

Donald Nicholson-Smith is a leading translator of French literature, with over a dozen titles to his credit, including titles with City Lights, New York Review Books, University of California Press, and Seagull Books. Join us as he talks about his impressive career and this remarkable poet.

As always, the Two Voices Salon provides free beverages and snacks, plus great conversations and new translation-loving friends!

  • Thursday, November 10
  • doors 5:30, event 6:00
  • Two Lines Press offices, 582 Market St., Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104
  • free drinks and snacks

See Lidija Dimkovska and A Spare Life in a Bookstore Near You

“A kaleidoscopic, bighearted novel”
— Publishers Weekly

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Come see Two Lines Press’s latest author and its biggest book ever! Throughout October, we’re putting TLP author Lidija Dimkovska on an epic, 10-city, coast-to-coast tour for her major, EU Prize–winning novel A Spare Life (beautifully translated by Christina Kramer), which we release next month.

“Bringing to mind Elena Ferrante and Magda Szabó in its social observation and mordant humor” (Katie Kitamura, author of The Longshot and A Separation), A Spare Life is the story of conjoined twin sisters growing up under communism in Yugoslavia. It’s a story of transitions: transitions from communism to capitalism, the disintegration of the Balkans, and the poignant story of two sisters whose bond is repeatedly tried.

Dimkovska is already known in the U.S as an incredibly talented poet (with books from Copper Canyon and Ugly Duckling), and A Spare Life introduces her as a major novelist. Dubravka Ugrešić, reigning queen of Balkan literature, says “Lidija Dimkovska enriches our contemporary museum of literary wonders with her powerful, grotesque, weird details and episodes told within the merry old novelistic tradition.”

Thank you so much to all the incredible partners across the nation that have made this tour possible! See Lidija Dimkovska at these amazing venues:

October 5, 7:00 pm
Community Bookstore
143 7th Ave.
Brooklyn, New York 11215
on Facebook

October 7, 7:00 pm
The Ivy Bookshop
6080 Falls Road
Baltimore, MD 21209
on the Web

October 12, 7:00 pm
Malaprop’s Bookstore
55 Haywood St.
Asheville, NC 28801
on Facebook

October 13, 7:00 pm
Prairie Lights Books
15 South Dubuque St.
Iowa City, IA 52240
on the Web

October 14, 6:00 pm
Seminary Co-Op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
on Facebook

October 15, 1:30 pm
Twin Cities Book Festival
TAXI STAGE, Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1265 Snelling Ave. North
St Paul, MN 55108
on the Web

October 18, 7:00 pm
Elliott Bay Bookstore
1521 10th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
on the Web

October 19, 7:00 pm
City Lights Booksellers
261 Columbus Ave. at Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133
on the Web

October 20, 7:00 pm
Diesel, a Bookstore
5433 College Ave.
Oakland, CA 94618
on Facebook

October 21, 7:30 pm
Skylight Books
1818 N Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
on the Web

9/8: Two Voices Salon with Bela Shayevich on Svetlana Alexievich

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On Thursday, September 8 we welcome translator Bela Shayevich to discuss her translation of the massive new work by 2015 Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich. Called Second-hand Time, it is a massive look at generation that saw communism fall in the USSR, as well as the first post-Soviet generation in Russia and former USSR states.

We’ll talk with Shayevich about the challenges presented by Alexievich’s idiosyncratic style, which is composed almost entirely of interviews she conducts with ordinary people. We’ll also delve into Alexievich’s consistently groundbreaking career and what her observations of Russia during and after communism tell us about that massive country and where it is headed in the future.

It all takes place at the Two Lines Press offices at 582 Market St., Suite 700 in downtown San Francisco. As always, snacks and beverages will be provided. And if you’ve read Alexievich or have insights about Russia, be ready to jump on in and participate in the conversation.

  • Bela Shayevich in conversation with Scott Esposito on Svetlana Alexievich’s Second-Hand Time
  • Thursday, September 8, 2016
  • doors 5:30, event begins 6:00 pm
  • Two Lines Press offices: 582 Market St., Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Snacks and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will be served

5/19: Iranian Author Yaghoub Yadali Presents Rituals of Restlessness [EVENT]

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Next Thursday, May 19, we proudly partner with Diesel, a Bookstore and Phoneme Media to present Iranian author Yaghoub Yadali as his discusses his book Rituals of Restlessness.

Engineer Kamran Khosravi wants to die in a car accident. His professional life in the Iranian hinterlands is full of bureaucratic drudgery, protecting dams, for example, from looters. His wife Fariba can no longer stand it, and has left him to rejoin her family in Isfahan. She is anxious for him to choose a life with her, or to let her go and persist with things as they are, but Kamran’s issues run deeper than anybody imagines. He has lost all feeling for his wife, and his plans for a car accident are escapist, not suicidal. He is having an affair with a married country girl, and thoughts of her lead him to foolish distraction. Most recently, he has found a day laborer who matches his approximate build and hair color, and his intentions grow increasingly dark, along with his nihilistic outlook.

Rituals of Restlessness won the 2004 Golshiri Foundation Award for the best novel of the year and was named one of the ten best novels of the decade by the Press Critics Award in Iran. However, in 2007 Yaghoub Yadali was sentenced to one year in prison for having depicted an adulterous affair in the novel. Rituals of Restlessness and his short story collection Sketches in the Garden have been banned from publication and reprint in Iran.

Yaghoub Yadali, a fiction writer from Iran, has directed for television and worked for Roshd Magazine as the editor of the film section. In addition to Rituals of Restlessness and Sketches in the Garden, he is the author of the short story collection Probablitiy of Merriment and Mooning. His short stories, articles, and essays are published in Iran, Turkey, and the U.S. He has been writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa, Harvard University, and City of Asylum in Pittsburgh, PA.

  • Yaghoub Yadali discussing and signing Rituals of Restlessness
  • Thursday, May 19, 2016
  • 7:00pm
  • DIESEL, A Bookstore
  • 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618-1502

5/5: Two Voices Salon with Doug Slaymaker on Hideo Furukawa

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Hideo Furukawa has built a name for himself as one of the titans of contemporary Japanese literature. His book Horses, Horses, in the End the Light Remains Pure is a groundbreaking work of creative nonfiction that deeply entwines his own life and the disaster the occurred at Fukushima, Japan, as it was devastated by an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.

To better understand this powerful, moving story, we’ll talk with Doug Slaymaker, who brought it from Japanese into English for Columbia University Press. We’ll talk about how he dealt with the various strands of fiction, history, and memoir in this book, as well as touching on some authors whose work this book resembles, including W.G. Sebald. We’ll also discuss the unique aspects of the Japanese language and culture that make this such and interesting book to translate.

It all takes place at the Two Lines Press offices on Thursday, May 5, 2016! This will be our last Salon until the fall, so please do join us for a wonderful night of literature, friends, snacks, and drinks.

The details:

  • Thursday, May 5
  • Doug Slaymaker in conversation with Scott Esposito on Hideo Furukawa’s Horses, Horses, in the End the Light Remains Pure
  • Doors 5:30, event 6:00
  • Two Lines Press offices: 582 Market St., Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Free alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks for all

4/21: Two Voices Salon with Chris Clarke [EVENT]

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Modiano, Modiano, Modiano! Ever since receiving the Nobel Prize in 2014, Patrick Modiano, the French author of intense, short noir-like novels, has seen his profile in English grow explosively, with over a dozen new translations since October 2014.

On Thursday, April 21, we’ll welcome Chris Clarke, one of the translators responsible for these new Modianos appearing in the English language. Chris has translated In the Cafe of Lost Youth, one of Modiano’s best-regarded works, for NYRB Classics, and he will be in conversation via Skype with Two Lines Press’s Scott Esposito. We’ll talk with Chris about the challenge of translating Modiano’s incredibly spare, enigmatic prose, as well as what it’s like to work on the prose of a recent Nobel-winner.

It all happens in the Two Lines Press offices on Thursday, April 21. Please join us for a wonderful, translation-centric conversation!

  • Thursday, April 21
  • Door 5:30, event 6:00
  • 582 Market St., Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Free alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks for all

2/11: Two Voices Salon with Valerie Miles on Enrique Vila-Matas

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Join us on Thursday, February 11 for the first Two Voices Salon of 2016, as we welcome powerhouse editor and translator Valerie Miles, who will be in conversation with Two Lines Press’s Scott Esposito via Skype.

Miles will be discussing her newly translated novella Because She Never Asked by the Spanish writer Enrique Vila-Matas. Called “Spain’s most significant contemporary literary figure” by The New Yorker, Vila-Matas excels in creating witty fictions out of his real life that deconstruct the act of writing and make us reconsider many of the key figures of literature and cinema of the 20th century.

In Because She Never Asked, Vila-Matas plays with both his own life and the life of the famous artist Sophie Calle. As Vila-Matas writes, “Something strange happened along the way. Normally, writers try to pass a work of fiction off as being real. But in Because She Never Asked, the opposite occurred: in order to give meaning to the story of my life, I found that I needed to present it as fiction.”

We’ll also talk with Valerie about her distinguished career as an editor, working with a who’s-who of the greatest writing in the Spanish language of the last 30 years.

  • Thursday, February 11
  • Doors open at 5:30, event start at 6:00
  • Two Lines Press offices, 582 Market St., Suite 700
  • Free snacks and alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages

Toni Sala 2016 The Boys Tour!

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We are very happy to be bringing the acclaimed Catalan author Toni Sala back to the U.S. to tour for his novel The Boys. Centering around the sudden deaths of two young men in the Catalan village of Vidreres, The Boys is a powerful meditation on the centrality of death to our existence, the Spanish economic crash of the 2010s, and the loneliness of Internet culture. With its many philosophical digressions, Sala’s prose is reminiscent of Javier Marías, and its tautness is indebted to the prose of Roberto Bolaño. It is brought to English in Mara Faye Lethem’s beautiful translation.

Below you can see some of the things being said about The Boys. Here are the tour dates:

2/18: Brazos Books, Houston, TX
2/19: Malvern Books, Austin, TX
2/23: Seminary Co-op Bookstore, Chicago, IL
2/24: Penn Book Center, Philadelphia, PA
2/25: Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY (with translator Mara Faye Lethem)

We hope you will come out and see one of Catalonia’s most prominent and powerful authors. For a preview of what to expect, here’s an interview Toni gave to BOMB magazine, with Community Bookstore bookseller Hal Hlavinka.

And here are some of the things being said about The Boys:

“Translation-savvy readers might hear a little Rodoreda and Monzó in Sala’s prose, but the most significant comparison could be to Bolaño’s more Iberian-inflected work—light-footed, death-haunted sentences that tumble along at the shuddering speed of a car crash.” — BOMB magazine

“The Boys is a stark tale of confused people trapped in a wrinkle in time, rendered with painful sensitivity and gut-wrenching bleakness. No surprise that Toni Sala has been praised as one of Catalan’s most important writers.” — Counterpunch

“A compelling existential mystery . . . a sort of Catalan answer to Russell Banks’ The Sweet Hereafter, with a closing as haunting as a tale by Poe. Altogether brilliant.” — Kirkus, starred review

“Sala is a master of meditation, and the excitement and intrigue are never sacrificed despite digressive passages on Internet alienation, art, violence, phrases of grief, the Spanish recession, and love. One hopes this tremendous novel, already an award-winner overseas, will receive the attention it deserves here.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Beautifully composed, The Boys (winner of Catalonia’s highest literary award) heralds a stirring, unique new voice in English translation. Sala’s novel, set in an age of increasing detachment and anxiety, espies unflinchingly the tenuous connections and moral ambiguities of modern life. With vivid characters, confident prose, and a heady mix of style and substance, The Boys deserves major attention from devotees of international literature (and especially fans of António Lobo Antunes, Javier Marías, Gonçalo Tavares, and Roberto Bolaño).” — Jeremy Garber, Powell’s Books

11/20: Two Lines Press at Pegasus Books On Solano

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Executive Director Michael Holtmann, Production Editor Jessica Sevey, and Associate Editor Marthine Satris will talk about publishing literature from around the world as a small press, and will read selections from recent Two Lines Press publications.

Join us at Pegasus Books Solano Avenue location in Berkeley!

  • November 20, 2015
  • Pegasus Books
  • 1855 Solano Ave., Berkeley
  • 7:30 pm
  • FREE