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.”
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:
- Pordenone. Sunday, September 21, at 3:30pm. An interview with Chiara Valerio at the Pordenone Legge book festival. Palazzo della Camera di Commercio, Sala Convegni.
- Bologna. Monday, September 22, at 6:30pm. A discussion at Il Cassero LGBT Center, with Vincenzo Branà and Bruno Pompa. Via Don Minzoni 18.
- Bassano del Grappa. Tuesday, September 23, at 6pm. A presentation at the Libreria Palazzo Roberti. Via Jacopo Da Ponte, 34.
- Rome. Thursday, September 25, at 6:30pm. A reading and conversation at John Cabot University, with Carlos Dews and Andrea Maccarrone. Aula Magna Regina, Guarini Campus.
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.
At the Lambda Literary website, Karen Schechner has interviewed me about Necessary Errors.
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.”
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.
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.
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.