Emily Dickinson and “The Yellow Rose of Texas”

On Sunday, at Pordenone Legge, a book festival in northern Italy, my interviewer, Chiara Valerio, challenged me to tell the audience something about Emily Dickinson (one of her poems has a cameo in Necessary Errors), who, my interviewer said, is currently having a bit of a moment in Italy. Somehow, a minute or two later, I found myself singing an Emily Dickinson poem to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” And quindi, as the Italians say, when I was interviewed on the radio program Fahrenheit a few days later, the host, Loredana Lipperini, decided to ask me for a reprise, audible with all its involuntary tremolo here, if you click on the word “Ascolta.”

Rome, 2014

Bassano del Grappa


I gave a reading at Il Cassero, Bologna's LGBT center, which is housed in an 18th-century salt warehouse

Il Cassero's disco ball

The media library at Il Cassero, Bologna's LGBT center

Pordenone, day three

A "Nordic figure" on the side of a building on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Pordenone

A close-up of the clock tower on Pordenone's Communal Palace.

A reliquary, Pordenone cathedral

The sacristy, Pordenone cathedral

Sacristy, Pordenone cathedral

A fresco in the ceiling of the Pordenone cathedral's sacristy. Not sure I want to know what the dog in the lower left is eating.

St Erasmus, flanked by St. Roch and the Virgin Mary, by Pordenone, in Pordenone Cathedral.

A painting by Pordenone, in the Pordenone cathedral

Figures at the hem of the Virgin Mary's dress, in a painting by Pordenone in Pordenone cathedral.

Pordenone, day two

Jack London, The Valley of the Moon, in Italian, at Pordenone book fair

Le Petit Lavater, Pordenone book fair

Pinocchio. Pordenone Book Fair



A palm tree in Pordenone

Pordenone, 2014

Palazzo Communale, Pordenone

Pasta-making-machine statue, Pordenone

View from a bridge, Via San Marco, Pordenone

A christening at the Santissima Trinita, Pordenone

Window of the Museo Civico d'Arte, Pordenone

Window of the Museo Civico d'Arte, Pordenone

Window of the Museo Civico d'Arte, Pordenone

Puppy on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Pordenone

Italian book tour schedule

My novel Necessary Errors is coming out today in Italy: Errori necessari is being published by 66th and 2nd, in a translation by Federica Aceto. I’ll be showing up at a few places to talk about it, thanks in part to support from the American embassy, and here’s the schedule:

“Errori necessari” arrives this week

Errori necessari by Caleb Crain, 66th and 2nd, 2014, cover illustration by Philippine d'Otreppe

Necessary Errors is coming out in Italian this week, as Errori necessari. The publisher is 66th and 2nd, the translator is Federica Aceto, and the illustrator of the charming cover is Philippine d’Otreppe.

“Errori necessari” and other book news

This fall, my novel Necessary Errors will be published in Italian by 66th and 2nd. I’m afraid I can’t speak or read Italian myself, but to judge by the kind of questions she’s asked me, my translator, Federica Aceto, has done an incredibly thorough and careful job. She has even put together a Pinterest page of images that might illuminate scenes in the novel, shades of the extra-illustrations that I posted on this blog last fall. In conjunction with the release, I’ll be traveling to Italy in September to speak at Pordenone Legge, a book festival in a town near Venice, among other stops. If you happen to speak Italian and are interested, here are the Pordenone festival’s descriptions of my novel (“Jacob è a Praga per esplorare una nuova forma di libertà”) and of me.

In other news this summer, a blogger named Theobald wrote a thoughtful review of the book at a site called Loads of Learned Lumber. And a friend of mine from college, Richard Howells, now of King’s College London, wrote about the book for the Times Higher Education supplement.