It’s “Bulgaria Week” at Granta, and you can celebrate by reading two of Ivan Landzhev‘s poems, a short story by Rayko Baychev, a piece by Georgi Tenev, and many more. In case that isn’t enough, however, FiveChapters has posted Miroslav Penkov‘s “Makedonija,” and he has a short essay on the FSG Work in Progress site.
“I don’t want to write ‘funny’ books where we all have to laugh our heads of all the time. The humor should come from behind, where we don’t expect it. And the life of a well-known writer is something you can laugh about quite easily.” On the occasion of his new novel Dear Mr. M, our own Claire Cameron interviews Herman Koch over at Salon.
“Would I have carried myself with the same swagger, or faced adversity with such feminine resolve, without Albertine as my guide?…I was drawn to a striking, remote face—rendered violet on black—on a dust jacket proclaiming its author ‘a female Genet.’ It cost 99 cents, the price of a grilled cheese and coffee at the Waverly Diner, just across Sixth Avenue. I had a dollar and a subway token, but after reading the first few lines I was smitten—one hunger trumped another and I bought the book.” Patti Smith introduces Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin, recently rereleased by New Directions.
“The easiest way to appear to be well-read is to socialize exclusively with uncultured cretins, which simply won’t do, so instead you should subscribe to the New York Review of Books and read it religiously, committing to memory one idea from each piece and praying to achieve a casual air when, at a dinner party, fobbing off this insight as your own.” Advice from Slate on how to appear well-read, with some bonus advice on how to actually become well-read, just for good measure.
Literary gold: Don Baiocchi’s list of books that are responses to other books.The top 50 film adaptations of books. The Guardian never seems to tire of such lists.Benetton, whose Colors magazine is one of my favorites, is participating in the New York festival of Internatonal Literature by hosting a conversation series. They’re looking to get people involved: “Through the BenettoTalk blog it is possible for everyone to join the conversations, posting questions and generating debate, some days before they happen. Authors like Jhumpa Lahiri, Jonathan Lethem, Rodrigo Fresan, Helen Oyeyemi and many others will answer you.” You can post a question here.