“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.

Interview at Lambda Literary

At the Lambda Literary website, Karen Schechner has interviewed me about Necessary Errors.

Public Books, Warby Parker, a Man in Manila, and the Brandeis Hoot

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.

Readings at Brandeis & Harvard in early April

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.”

Finalist for a Lambda Literary Award

I’m happy to announce that my novel Necessary Errors is a finalist in gay general fiction for the 2014 Lambda Literary Awards. I appreciate the honor.

Bookish; Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau; and an Italian translation

At the website Bookish, the novelist Charles Finch has listed Necessary Errors in a round-up of “Great Expatriate Stories.”

On the brand-new literary blog Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau, there’s an in-depth review of the novel that calls it “delicate and slippery.”

I’m also happy to announce that 66th and 2nd will be publishing an Italian translation of the novel, currently scheduled for 2015.

“One of the best American novels of the last decade”

Geoff Mak has written a very generous and thoughtful review of Necessary Errors for the Los Angeles Review of Books, comparing the novel to Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers and trying to place it in recent literary history and make sense of its reception. Also, he exposes a literary forgery of mine.

Buzzfeed & FSG

With an apt quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald (“I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again”), Buzzfeed has put Necessary Errors on its list of “17 Books We Loved in 2013.” Meanwhile, and rather sportingly given that it’s published by a rival, the editors at Farrar Straus Giroux have listed the novel as one of the best books of the year.

UPDATE, Dec. 20: Edward Nawotka of Publishing Perspectives has listed the book as a “sleeper favorite.”

Enlisted and delisted

Necessary Errors is one of ten books on the Wall Street Journal‘s “Best Fiction of 2013″ list. At the blog I’ve Been Reading Lately, Levi Stahl puts it among his favorite fiction of the year. Literary agent William Callahan has also cited it, writing that he “was most moved by the depiction of what dating was like when people relied on landlines. Eek!”

A rather more qualified appreciation of the novel came from The Affenlights and Their Boyfriends, a Chad Harbach fanblog, whose author wrote that “I enjoyed it a lot, right up till the point I wanted to punch the protagonist in the face.”

UPDATE, Dec. 17: Necessary Errors is also on the personal best-of-2013 list of Anthony Domestico, books columnist for the magazine Commonweal, who calls it “the most intelligent and lyrical novel of the year.” My thanks to all!


The Millions asked me to give some highlights from my “Year in Reading.”

And in other news, I am on the long list of contestants being considered by the Morning News for a literary cage-fighting battle royale.