The Wall Street Journal asked me to contribute to “Who Read What in 2014,” a compilation of people’s favorites books published this past year, and I named Phil Klay’s Redeployment, Ben Lerner’s 10:04, and Damon Galgut’s Arctic Summer.
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.
I’ll be taking part in two events in New York in the next week or so. Please come!
On Thursday, May 1, at 6pm, I’ll be one of twenty nominees for Lambda Literary awards reading from their word at Greenpoint’s Word bookstore.
And on Tuesday, May 6 at 7pm, I’ll be talking with Stacey Knecht about her translation of the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal’s novel Harlequin’s Millions, which has just been published by Archipelago Books.
A few new reactions to Necessary Errors:
In a long review at Public Books, Ryder Kessler writes that the novel “captures the hesitance of two systems, or two selves, touching along a fragile filament.”
If you want to live abroad and are trying to figure out which book to read about the topic, the glasses-maker Warby Parker has a flow chart, and Necessary Errors is one of the possible termini.
Migs Bassig has a few kind words about the novel at his blog A Man in Manila.
Dana Trismen, editor of the Brandeis Hoot, interviewed me in advance of a reading I gave on campus Wednesday, and Andrew Elmers reported on the reading for the same paper. I had a great time both there and at Harvard this week! Thanks to all involved.
On Wednesday, April 2, at 5pm, I’m going to be reading from Necessary Errors at Brandeis. The reading will take place in the Shapiro Admissions Presentation Room, and is co-sponsored by the Department of English and the History of Ideas Program.
The next day, Thursday, April 3, at 4:15pm, I’ll give a reading on the Harvard campus. It will take place at the CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S354, and it’s co-sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian & Eurasian Studies and the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures.
If you’re in the Boston or Cambridge area, please come to one or both!
I became aware of two more reviews of the book this past week. On 2 March 2014, Michiel Heyns reviewed it for South Africa’s Sunday Independent (access by subscription only). Heyns called the novel “an exhilarating read, for its fineness of observation and its generosity of characterization.” And, though I only became aware of it months after the fact, Rebecca Panovka reviewed the novel for the Harvard Book Review on 10 December 2013, writing that it was “a perfect evocation of a certain type of aimless ambition.”