At Lit Hub, Nikky Finney joins guest Walter Mosley on the The Quarantine Tapes to discuss her responsibility as a poet to share her different perspective with the wider world. “It is my responsibility as a poet to look at us as human beings,” Finney says, “but to also talk about the fact that things in our very different lives in this republic, in this country, have made us very different human beings. My experiences as a Black girl, Black woman, growing up in the South have given me entree into something that I know very well, that I speak of, because it is very important to me to put that perspective into the human circle. That’s really important for me to do.”
Tim Parks’s review of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian has some pretty interesting things to say about the nature of reviewing translation, but it also takes some shots at the novel and its proponents: “Looked at closely, the prose is far from an epitome of elegance, the drama itself neither understated nor beguiling, the translation frequently in trouble with register and idiom. Studying the thirty-four endorsements again, and the praise after the book won the prize, it occurs to me there is a shared vision of what critics would like a work of ‘global fiction’ to be and that The Vegetarian has managed to present itself as a candidate that can be praised in those terms.” Here’s a Millions review of Kang’s Man Booker International prize-winner.
Today arrives Barbara Kingsolver’s latest, Lacuna, “an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover.” Also out are a couple more of those nifty “Olive Editions” from HarperCollins, this time of Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Update: There’s a new edition of Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation too.