Dallas Festival of Ideas This Weekend

February 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

Deep Vellum is proud to participate in the first ever Dallas Festival of Ideas this weekend, Feb. 27 & 28, in the Dallas Arts District. Want to know more?

The Dallas Festival of Ideas, presented by The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture in partnership with The Dallas Morning Newswill take place February 27-28, 2015, at venues across the Dallas Arts District. National keynote speakers Vishaan Chakrabarti, Ta-Nehisi CoatesElizabeth Green, Rahaf Harfoush, and Luis Alberto Urrea will join fresh local leaders from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise to help focus the power of ideas on shaping Dallas’ future.

Help make Dallas the city you want it to be. The Dallas Festival of Ideas will focus the power of smart thinking on our city’s next century. There’ll be compelling programs, interactive discussions, live music, visual art, and stage performances–all kicked off by a provocative opening night presentation. Don’t miss this important event–Dallas’ future won’t be the same without you. Tickets start at $30. Two-day passes start at $90. The Festival Headquarters in the Winspear Opera House with all-day programming that the entire family will enjoy (and where Deep Vellum will host a table), is FREE. To reserve your tickets, or to learn more, visit thedallasfestival.com.


Deep Vellum Publishing is proud to be in good company as one of the nonprofit partners for the inaugural Dallas Festival of Ideas. We will have a table in the Winspear Opera House from 9am-6pm on Saturday selling books (Boullosa & Pitol) & subscriptions and playing some fun translation games with the audience to open up the public’s understanding of how literary translation works. Join us, it’s free to come hang out in the Winspear.

Still on the fence? Use code FRIEND50 for half off passes.

Deep Vellum loves to love ya, Dallas. See y’all there.

Texas Wins Typographical Era Translation Award!

February 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Proud to announce our very first book, the remarkable Texas: The Great Theft has won the 2014 Typographical Era Translation Award!!!

 8 Books | 8 Publishers | 7 Countries | 5 Languages | 1 Winner

8 Books | 8 Publishers | 7 Countries | 5 Languages | 1 Winner: TEXAS THE GREAT THEFT

What an incredible honor for our remarkable author Carmen Boullosa & her marvelous translator Samantha Schnee!! From Typographical Era:

Holy shit. That was a close race. In fact, up until yesterday morning it seemed like any one of three different books could claim the prize, but in the final hours Texas went from third to first and won it all.

Congratulations to author Carmen Boullosa, translator Samantha Schnee, and publisher Deep Vellum. They’ll each receive one of our gold plated brass miniature vintage typewriters as a reward.

If you haven’t read Texas: The Great Theft yet, now would be an excellent time to check it out. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

Check out the amazing prize, miniature vintage typewriters!!

TypoEraTypewriter 2013TypoEraPrize

If you are in New York City tonight, please head over to the Instituto Cervantes NYC to catch Carmen Boullosa in conversation with Phillip Lopate, moderated by Daniel Shapiro, Literary Director of the Americas Society, for a discussion is entitled “Great Voices from Mexico & the USA” and the program will begin at 7:00pm. The event is free!!


For someone to write about what no one else dares to say regarding him or herself, and to do it through the particular freedom offered by essays and poetry, is an act of courage only attained by a select group of writers. It is an act that never ceases to be a reflection about the problems that concern them and to which they constantly return. Boullosa and Lopate, two Manhattan spirits, a pair as unintentional as it is exquisite, will delight the audience by sharing their desires, obsessions and reflections. Moderated by critic and writer Daniel ShapiroFree admission 

In more Boullosa & Schnee-related news, check out the timely review of Texas: The Great Theft that ran last week in People’s World by Jim Lane, “Racism isn’t new in Texas,” here’s the first paragraph:

When federal judge Andrew S. Hanen, an Anglo in Brownsville, Texas, ruled on Feb. 17 that four million undocumented workers should give up the hopes inspired by President Obama’s plan to ease up on deportations, he was following a long precedent from his area. Racism in Brownsville set off fabled historical events in 1859 that are explored in Mexican author Carmen Boullosa’s new book.

Also, Samantha Schnee was featured on the super cool blog Authors & Translators talking about her relationships with her authors, most notably her relationship with Boullosa and how they collaborated on Texas & other works, check out the full interview here: “Samantha Schnee & Her Authors.

What is the most enriching experience you have had?

The relationships you build with authors are incredibly enriching. Recently I did a reading with Carmen Boullosa to present her new novel TEXAS and it was fascinating to hear Carmen talk about how she felt about the translation. I feel very fortunate to have worked with the authors I’ve had the opportunity to translate.

What made you feel closest to an author?

I loved reading that, in Carmen’s interview with you, she said, “I have devoured my translators.” For me it conjures the image of a wild-haired, female Cronos, devouring Demeter, Hera, Hades and Poseidon, but we all know how that story ends and I don’t want to do battle Carmen because I would lose! I think of the author-translator relationship slightly differently: when Carmen and I were translating an excerpt from THE PERFECT NOVEL I was stumped by the references therein to a character called Sariux. Carmen had to explain to me that in Mexico City this suffix, ‘iux,’ is a term of endearment that husbands often append to their wives’ names—hence the narrator’s wife Sara became Sariux. After that I started signing my emails to Carmen ‘Samantiux’ because, in a sense, I felt like her wife (or helpmeet, or amanuensis). As a dear friend of mine once said (and she, like me, is a staunch feminist), “We all need a wife!”

What have you found most difficult to translate?

The voice of the narrator in TEXAS was really tricky for me to pin down because she’s (and that’s my guess, because his/her gender is never specified) an omniscient narrator who never appears as a character—the reader never learns anything about her other than how she thinks, her opinions. So it took me a long time to pin down that voice at the beginning of the novel. Then there’s the complicating factor of language; every language has its own personality (eg. direct vs indirect). So is it ever entirely possible to capture the precise personality of a narrator in a language other than the original? I don’t know; I think, after translating TEXAS, perhaps not.

And on a more somber note, but still relating to Texas: The Great Theft, the New York Times recently reported on a landmark study on the history of lynchings in the United States, which was then followed a few days later by an op-ed penned by Drs. William D. Carrigan & Clive Webb, co-authors of the book Forgotten Dead: Mob Violence Against Mexicans in the United States, 1848-1928, calling attention to the Mexican victims of lynchings throughout American history that forms the core of events at the heart of Texas: The Great Theft. From Carrigan & Webb’s article that is getting much discussion, “When Americans Lynched Mexicans:”

From 1848 to 1928, mobs murdered thousands of Mexicans, though surviving records allowed us to clearly document only about 547 cases. These lynchings occurred not only in the southwestern states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, but also in states far from the border, like Nebraska and Wyoming.

Some of these cases did appear in press accounts, when reporters depicted them as violent public spectacles, as they did with many lynchings of African-Americans in the South. For example, on July 5, 1851, a mob of 2,000 in Downieville, Calif., watched the extralegal hanging of a Mexican woman named Juana Loaiza, who had been accused of having murdered a white man named Frank Cannon.

Those who have already read Texas: The Great Theft will remember the Eagles sitting around the table at Mrs. Big’s chanting the name of Frank Cannon, the year 1851, boiling over to a rage, evoking the tortured history of racial relations in America…

All of these articles only serve to remind me why I signed on Texas: The Great Theft in the first place: it is a tremendous book, a truly important piece of historical fiction that is done so well that it seems the story could be contemporary. The issues (race, class, border) at the heart of Texas are, sadly, still the same as they were that boiling hot summer of 1859 when Juan Nepomuceno Cortina struck back and for the first time called for La Raza to stand up and fight…

Get your copy of Texas: The Great Theft today from us or your local bookstore, and see why D Magazine, in their insightful review of the book back in October, called “historical fiction, but it feels like current events.”

Uncle Vanya + Art of Flight + Bookseller Love

February 13, 2015 § 1 Comment

Translation & drama collide in Dallas this Sunday, February 15th!

It’s been a dream of mine since starting Deep Vellum to work with some of the amazing arts organizations we have across the Dallas area to talk about the intersections of translation and literature with visual, performing, and interpretive arts. So far the local arts community has responded in a big way that has left me equally impressed and grateful, we’ve booked such events as the upcoming GalleryLab talk on translation (“The Mother Tongue”) with Sean Cotter at the Nasher Sculpture Center, and this weekend I will be leading a Q&A with the performers after the Dallas Actors’ Lab’s performance of Uncle Vanya at the Wyly Theater in Dallas’s incredible Arts District (7pm, Sun. February 17, in the Wyly Theater’s 9th Floor Studio Theater).

This all came about because I work in an awesome coworking space alongside Theater Jonesthe destination for theater talk, reviews, previews, and awesomeness in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Theater Jones, knowing I specialize in publishing translations and am actively seeking local theater partnerships to start publishing & staging translated drama, asked me if I’d like to preview this Dallas Actors’ Lab production of Annie Baker’s adaptation of Uncle Vanya for them, interviewing the director Dylan Key, and turning the conversation around the issue of translation and, in my own way, trying to tie the art of translation to the art of staging a theatrical adaptation (of just about anything). It’s an interesting idea to stage Chekhov in Dallas, and doubly so in that this is the first time Annie Baker’s adaptation, working off a “literal translation” by Margarita Shalina, has run in Dallas. Triply interesting in that Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Flick just ran at the Undermain Theater in January (two months, two Annie Bakers, not bad, Dallas, not bad—PS, you can buy both of Baker’s plays through Theatre Communications Group, we share a distributor, Consortium, so I’m all about spreading the love).

The piece that resulted I’m quite proud of and was super fun to write, you can check it out here, “The Translation Game” at Theater Jones:

Our conversation veered from Annie Baker to Chekhov to Dallas as a regional theater powerhouse and about the state of the dramatic arts in Dallas to why the University of Dallas has such a good English program, putting out consistently impressive alumni who are not afraid to take creative risks in their careers at early stages. But the main gist of the conversation ran with the tripartite question: “Why this play? Why now? And why in this space?”

The answer to all three is simple, well, as simple as putting together a play in a space that is not quite home can be for a budding drama director and a cast of actors looking to flex their acting muscles in the classically cool Chekhovian style. Key explains that Kyle Lemieux of the Dallas Actor’s Lab approached him about directing a play as part of the Elevator Project that would see some of Dallas’s best underground (for lack of a better term; or literal in the case of Undermain) theater groups put on productions at the previously unavailable/unaffordable AT&T Performing Arts Center. Lemieux and the DAL are known for intimate, actor-driven plays, and wanted a characteristically DAL performance to fit in the Wyly.

After writing the piece I went to opening night (Feb. 6) and loved the performance. The living room setup, the intimacy of the actors sweating as much as the audience in that confined space, the whispers and the shouting mingling in a woozy haze of ennui was spot-on. I loved it. After that performance, the show’s Artistic Director & the head of the Dallas Actors’ Lab (and the actor who played the hunk of a doctor, Astrov), Kyle Lemieux, asked me if I’d like to lead a Q&A after an upcoming performance. And so this Sunday night, come see me & a bunch of professional actors talk about translation & adaptation, Annie Baker’s dialog & how it compares to other versions of Chekhov, and the cool chance to perform an intimate indie theater staging of a Chekhov classic in a unique space inside the otherwise-gargantuan Wyly Theater. It will be a great time. All info below:

Following the Sunday, February 15th 7PM performance of Uncle Vanya the Lab will host a post-show discussion with special guest Will Evans, Executive Director of Deep Vellum Publishing!

DAL Actors DAL Uncle Vanya

Performances of Uncle Vanya continue!
See why the Dallas Morning News calls it “another stand-out for the Elevator Project”! Tickets are selling fast! Reserve your tickets here or by calling (214) 871-5000!
$10 student rush tickets are available 90 minutes before each performance at the Wyly Theatre Box Office.

In other non-theater related news, copies of The Art of Flight will be delivered early next week. Review copies will be send first, subscriber copies at the end of the week or early the week after. And remember, we’re throwing a birthday party for Sergio Pitol on his 82nd birthday, March 18 at the Wild Detectives, the day after The Art of Flight, Pitol’s first book in English, will be released. The book’s translator, George Henson, will be defending his dissertation, which this translation is part of, a couple days before the reading, and so he and I will lead a conversation, a reading, and a massive celebration in Pitol’s life, in this work, in George’s remarkable translation, and in George’s undoubtedly successful PhD defense!!! Join us March 18 at the best place in Dallas, period, The Wild Detectives. It will be a party.

In other fun news, Jón Gnarr’s The Indian has been sent off to print! We should get copies the first week of March! Up next…Anne Garréta’s Sphinx, about a week behind!

And for those who were lucky enough to attend Winter Institute in Asheville, I hope you all had the chance to visit Malaprop’s, one of the finest bookstores in North Carolina, and truly the creme de la creme among bookstores in the entire country. And for those who went, perhaps you noticed our friend Justin Souther’s staff recommendations shelf, featuring four of the finest books you’ll see anywhere by publishers that are peers & inspirations. And I can’t state enough how grateful I am for the support of booksellers just like Justin, who love great books, who aren’t afraid to read the world, and who put these books before readers. A Staff Pick at a store like Malaprop’s means EVERYTHING to me (and not just because I’m a native North Carolinian and love to see a book I’ve published on sale in my beloved home state!), especially as a startup, but not only—this is the platonic ideal of the indie publisher-indie bookstore relationship, and booksellers like Justin make it all happen for us, forever pushing us forward, giving us the inspiration & strength to go out & sign ever better, ever more ambitious books, because we know we have an army of support behind us in the form of indie booksellers. Justin, thank you!Texas at Malaprops

And if you don’t think that these types of recommendations are the most important way to contextualize a book for readers to understand, to help guide them towards making the right decision to read good books, look at this display from the Foyle’s flagship bookstore in Charing Cross in the center of London, provided by Gary Perry, the Assistant Head of Fiction for the store. LOOK AT THAT SELECTION OF BOOKS!! THAT IS UNBELIEVABLE! FOUR TRANSLATIONS BY FOUR OF THE BEST PUBLISHERS IN THE WORLD, OUR INSPIRATIONS!! Archipelago, And Other Stories, us, Portobello (that Han Kang book, The Vegetarian, is one of the best I’ve read in a long time, thanks to Deborah Smith’s amazing translation from the Korean), all those books are AMAZING, and if I went back in time to being a reader, those are four of the exact books I would want to read, hand-selected by a bookseller who not only gets it but who really cares about only the best literature for readers. Gary, THANK YOU!
Texas at Foyles in London (2-10-15)

More photos from the wild…Carmen Boullosa is halfway through her West Coast tour that kicked off Tuesday in Los Angeles with a reading at Skylight Books (which used to be my neighborhood bookstore when I lived on Charles Bukowski’s old street, Carlton Way, in east Hollywood…this pic sent over from our friends at Unnamed Press):

Boullosa Skylight 2-10-15Carmen followed up the LA reading with a flight to the Bay Area for readings and discussions with students and professors at Cal State-East Bay in Hayward on the 11th and at UC-Berkeley the afternoon of the 12th before heading into San Francisco for a reading at the legendary City Lights Bookstore with Scott Esposito. And before her reading, City Lights interviewed Carmen, “5 Questions with Carmen Boullosa,” a great read, here’s a small, personal anecdote as an excerpt:

Carmen Boullosa: I went to City Lights during my very first “honeymoon” (even though we weren’t married–we were madly in love– it counts as a real honeymoon), many, many years ago (1976?). City Lights got imprinted on my memory with an incomparable glamor: love, desire, fear … youth … and the turmoil I was in. It’s all I remember, as if I’d never been there before. In a way, it breaks my heart to return.

Scott has interviewed Carmen before at Center for the Art of Translation event, is a true master of literary criticism and a damn good dude, and who has been tremendously helpful to Deep Vellum from the start, helping us out with marketing as well as setting up the bookstore readings on Carmen’s west coast tour. We couldn’t do this without him. Here he is with Carmen, live and in person in the wild (photo taken by an old, old friend and Deep Vellum supporter, dear Suejean Kim):

Boullosa & Esposito City Lights 2-12-15Carmen is reading as I write this at UC-Santa Cruz, and after her reading and lunch with students and professors today she gets a much-needed restful weekend off in beautiful Santa Cruz before flying up to Portland on Monday for a reading at the legendary Powell’s City of Books, then to the University of Oregon on Tuesday, and finishing up her tour Wednesday in Seattle at the remarkable Elliott Bay Book Company. Go to the events, and send us photos of Carmen! And go to your local bookstore, indie or otherwise, and send us photos of Deep Vellum books in stock.

These photos of our books “in the wild” not only make my day every time I see them, but also remind us all that we’re part of a huge and complementary ecosystem, we all need each other: indie publishers, indie bookstores, and the readers who support indie bookstores & publishers & read good books & love to be a part of a community of readership for the best books in the world. And plus, these pictures will help us build a Deep Vellum Readers’ Army. And if there’s some kind of critical mass maybe I’ll print some shirts and send them to subscribers and those from far away who buy our books in places like Elliott Bay, City Lights, or your own local indie haunt. And if your favorite bookstore doesn’t stock Deep Vellum yet, ask them to. Every bookstore that stocks Texas: The Great Theft so far has had to reorder copies, they fly off the shelves. Just ask Justin at Malaprop’s in Asheville, Carlos at The Wild Detectives in Dallas, Paul at City Lights in San Francisco, Jeremy at Brazos in Houston, Sarah at McNally Jackson in NYC, Gary at the Foyle’s flagship in London…these are some of the greatest bookstores in the world, this isn’t a Texas-specific book, our books are meant for the entire world to enjoy. Join the party!!

Carmen Boullosa West Coast Tour + Upcoming Events (Gnarr! Pitol!)

February 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

The iron is on the fire!

Deep Vellum’s next two books are currently at the printers (The Art of Flight & The Indian). Reminder, subscriptions will ship two to three weeks prior to publication dates.

If you are not a current subscriber, if you subscribe before Fri. Feb. 6 your name will make the list of acknowledged subscribers starting with Anne Garréta’s Sphinx, going to the printers next week.

One important thing to note is that we have dozens of events for our authors coming up in February and March, including a full 10-day West Coast tour for Carmen Boullosa, and events in Dallas for Jón Gnarr (March 5 at Turner House) and Sergio Pitol (Birthday & Release Party, March 18 at The Wild Detectives)! Plus Deep Vellum is taking part in an upcoming GalleryLab talk at the Nasher Sculpture Center with Romanian translator & all-around good dude, Dr. Sean Cotter. And the return of the Wildcatter Exchange, Fort Worth’s upstart literary festival is at the end of March, the 27th & 28th! Full information on our February and March events are below, but remember to check out our calendar as we’re always planning months down the road (look for Deep Vellum’s tables at AWP Conference in Minneapolis in April, splitting table 1527 with Anomalous Press; and at the Brooklyn Book Festival in September, splitting with our forever-bromance-life-partners Open Letter Books!).

We look forward to seeing you out & about in the land of the literary living.

Carmen Boullosa Upcoming Events:

Tue. Feb. 10 – Carmen Boullosa reading at Skylight Books - Los Angeles, CA – 7:30pm

Wed. Feb. 11 – Carmen Boullosa reading at Pioneer Bookstore, Cal State-East Bay – Hayward, CA – 1:00pm

Thu. Feb. 12 – Carmen Boullosa reading at the University of California (in 5125 Dwinelle, the library of the Spanish & Portuguese Department) – Berkeley, CA – 12:00pm

Thu. Feb. 12 – Carmen Boullosa in discussion w/ Scott Esposito at City Lights Books – San Francisco, CA – 7:00pm

Fri. Feb. 13 – Carmen Boullosa reading at the University of California-Santa Cruz (Humanities 1, Room 210) – Santa Cruz, CA – 10:00am

Mon. Feb. 16 – Carmen Boullosa reading at Powell’s City of Books on Burnside – Portland, OR – 7:00pm

Tue. Feb. 17 – Carmen Boullosa reading at the University of Oregon – Eugene, OR – 7:30pm

Wed. Feb. 18 Carmen Boullosa reading at Elliott Bay Bookstore – Seattle, WA – 7:00pm

Mon. Feb. 23 - Instituto Cervantes NYC presents “Great Voices from Mexico & the USA” w/ Carmen Boullosa – New York, NY – 7:00pm

Sun. March 15IBERIAN SUITE Literature Panel w/ Carmen Boullosa, Cesar Aira, Anne McLean & more at the Kennedy Center – Washington, DC – 4:30pm (Free!)

In a generous program that celebrates the stunning diversity of Spanish- and Portuguese-language writers, as well as the many resonances they share, this is a veritable symphony of voices from the past as well as the present. Contemporary writers from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal talk about their work amidst echoes from their literary predecessors.Juan Gabriel Vásquez of Colombia (with Gabriel García Marquez), Javier Cercas of Spain (with Pedro Salinas), Cesar Aira of Argentina (with Jorge Luis Borges), Dulce María Cardoso of Portugal (with Jorge Amado), Alonso Cueto of Peru (with Mario Vargas Llosa), and Carmen Boullosa of Mexico (with Octavio Paz). The event is hosted by the distinguished Canadian translator Anne McLean

Deep Vellum Texas Events in February & March

Fri. Feb. 27 & Sat. Feb. 28 – Dallas Festival of Ideas in the Dallas Arts District – Dallas, TX

Thu. March 5 - Turner House Salon Series w/ Jón Gnarr at Turner House - Oak Cliff, Dallas, TX – 7pm

  • Don’t miss Jón Gnarr’s first Dallas appearance!!

Gnarr Turner House March 5 Flyer

Wed. March 18 – Sergio Pitol‘s 82nd birthday party & The Art of Flight release party w/ translator George Henson reading & in discussion w/ Will Evans (Deep Vellum) at The Wild Detectives - Dallas, TX – 7pm

Thu. March 19Nasher Sculpture Center GalleryLab: “The Mother Tongue” Talk on Translation & Art w/ Will Evans (Deep Vellum) & Dr. Sean Cotter (translator & professor at UT-Dallas) at the Nasher Sculpture Center – Dallas, TX – 6:00pm

Nasher Gallery Lab with Sean Cotter & Will Evans 3-19-15

Fri. March 27 & Sat. March 28Wildcatter Exchange Literary Festival in the Historic South Main Village – Fort Worth, TX

Mon. March 30: Nerd Nite Austin presents Jón Gnarr & Dominic Boyer at The North Door – Austin, TX – 7pm


In other fun news, Carmen Boullosa‘s Texas: The Great Theft, translated by Samantha Schnee, is a finalist for the Typographical Era 2014 Translation Award. This is a huge honor, and the best part is you get to have a say in it, you can VOTE for the winner. Last year’s winner was the awesome The Devil’s Workshop by rad Czech writer Jachym Topol, translated by Alex Zucker, published by Portobello. This year: Vote TEXAS! Vote Boullosa! Vote Schnee! Deep Vellum army, let’s unite and win! Better together! And together forward!

 8 Books | 8 Publishers | 7 Countries | 5 Languages | 1 Winner

8 Books | 8 Publishers | 7 Countries | 5 Languages | 1 Winner

More fun news, CONGRATULATIONS to Fiston Mwanza Mujila & translator Roland GlasserTram 83 won a French Voices Award, and was shortlisted for the French Voices Grand Prize (one of three books as a finalist; the winner was La Nostalgie forthcoming from Fordham University Press; the other finalist was our friends New Vessel Press’s Guys Like Me). And if you can feel the buzz on Tram 83 building, good, that’s the whole point, this Congolese novel is going to BLOW YOUR MIND!! We’ll publish it in September as our lead Fall 2015 title!!

create a US-published series of books representing the very best of contemporary French writing in every field. This ambitious program is aimed to support translations from French into English. Applications are accepted twice per year and candidates are selected by a literary committee.

The French Voices Award honors both translators and American publishers for their work. The program’s goal is to create a US-published series of books representing the very best of contemporary French writing in every field. This ambitious program is aimed to support translations from French into English. Applications are accepted twice per year and candidates are selected by a literary committee.

In case you’re wondering, yes, the new website is still being built. It’s my secret goal to have it up before The Art of Flight‘s publication date, which is March 10. Might happen. By April at the latest. It’s close, y’all. Full ordering capabilities, smooth and beautiful design…it will be wondrous to behold.

A reminder to subscribe to Deep Vellum’s upcoming titles, if you have not done so already. And if you bought a copy of Texas and are curious about subscribing, check out out Spring 2015 catalog for information on the next six books we will publish. And if really want to know what the Fall 2015/2016 catalog will hold, email me. But it’ll all be announced soon. So soon. Super soon. Like, before the new website soon. But here’s the rundown: Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Sept.), Leila S. Chudori (Oct.), Ricardo Piglia (Nov.), Jón Gnarr (Jan.), Lina Meruane (Feb.), Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer (Mar.). That’s one hell of a list, y’all. And I haven’t even introduced you to Ms. Meruane yet, one of the hottest literary talents from Chile, she lives in NYC now and teaches at NYU, and her novel is going to blow your everloving mind.

Download our Spring 2015 Catalog by clicking the image below (PDF):



Our upcoming Spring 2015 release schedule:
March 10: Sergio Pitol – The Art of Flight (translated by George Henson)
April 14: Anne Garreta – Sphinx (translated by Emma Ramadan)
May 5: Jón Gnarr – The Indian (translated by Lytton Smith)
May 19: Mikhail Shishkin – Calligraphy Lesson: The Collected Stories (translated by Marian Schwartz, Leo Shtutin, Mariya Bashkatova, and Sylvia Maizell)
June 9: Alisa Ganieva – The Mountain and the Wall (translated by Carol Apollonio)
July 14: Sergio Pitol – The Journey (translated by George Henson)

Support Deep Vellum’s mission to publish the world’s greatest literature and host all these awesome events and teach the world how awesome translation is by subscribing or making a tax-deductible donation today!

Korea Recap: Seoul Man & K-Lit

February 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

Back in early December I was fortunate enough to participate in my third editors’ trip of 2014 (the other two were Germany & the Netherlands over the summer), this time to SOUTH KOREA!

I started writing this blog post BEFORE CHRISTMAS and got sidetracked by the holidays, and then spent nearly all of January prepping The Art of Flight to send to print, and other business endeavors. It’s hard running a publishing house single-handedly! Which reminds me, if you want to see your name in the backs of Jón Gnarr’s The Indian or Anne Garréta’s Sphinx, subscribe NOW! These books are going to press next week at the latest!!

Fun story: I gave blood the day before starting to write this post (weeks and weeks ago…all y’all should go give blood every 56 days; not only does it save lives, yadda yadda yadda, it’s really good for you. Consider it a detox, or a flush [literally!] or an oil change for your body!), and one of the attendants at the Red Cross remembered me from the last time I gave blood and so she asked me where I’d traveled most recently (they get a kick out of the responses I have to give them every time the question pops up: “Have you left the US in the past 3 years?”). So I told her I’d most recently been in South Korea, and she was like, “What does a book man do in Korea?! You read Korean??!?!” Of course, I don’t read Korean, but thanks to the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, I can read Korean literature like never before!

LTI Korea (which used to be called the Korean Literature Institute of Translation or something like that, but thankfully abandoned that woeful acronym!) is a tremendously useful organization for publishers: they provide synopses of Korean works, and often commission the translation of works, and then send those translated versions to publishers all over the world to let them know what is going on in Korean literature. They have language specialists dedicated to promoting Korean authors in English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, etc. (and I’m sure others, you get the idea).

I was invited on this totally awesome editors’ trip thanks to the recommendation of Chad Post of Open Letter Books, and also invited was Ross Ufberg of New Vessel Press (Consortium family, unite!). Yoonie of LTI Korea (pictured below) helped set everything up, and LTI Korea paid for our travel to & from Seoul, took care of our lodging while we were there, and all travel and a lot of food, and they also set up meetings for us with Korean publishers, authors, translators, and critics across Seoul (and Paju, more on that below). It was an unbelievable experience, not only was the hotel among the nicest I’ve ever stayed in, but the toilet in that hotel room was straight out of the 22nd century, and man, it makes you feel like you’re traveling back to medieval times when you come back to the US and you don’t have toilets everywhere that wash and dry your posterior WITH HEATED SEATS! Like, what are we wasting our innovations on if not toilets?!?!?!?!  Certainly not books. Certainly not toilets. Which are two of the more important things in MY life, I dare say.

Back to books. Korean books. Korean books have had a bit of a moment in the US & UK recently, including the successes of Your Republic is Calling You by Kim Young-ha (Mariner, 2010), Kyung-sook Shin’s Please Look After Mom (Knopf, 2011) & I’ll Be Right There (Other Press 2014—man, I love that cover), the Dalkey Archive Library of Korean Literature (they’re committed to publishing 25 books from Korea’s modern literature of the last 100+ years—if I recommend any, start with Jung Young Moon’s stories, A Most Ambiguous Sunday, he’s in pictures below, he’s so cool, tall, handsome, and an unbelievable writer), Hwang Sun-mi’s The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly (Penguin, 2013), Bae Suah’s Nowhere to Be Found (AmazonCrossing, 2015), or Han Kang’s The Vegetarian (Portobello, 2015, currently sitting at #2 on the Foyles London bookshop bestseller list behind mother___ Murakami!!) the list could go on. Korean literature rules. And it’s not bound by politics, style, or aesthetics: you can read everything from experimental fiction to feminist surrealist poetry (Kim Hyesoon FTW!!) or sentimental love stories or deep and dark political sagas & historical epics….KOREA RULES!


With Dr. Seong Kon Kim, head of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea outside of their offices in Gangnam

The current head of LTI is Dr. Seong Kon Kim, whom we met on our second day in Seoul. Their offices are in the neighborhood of Gangnam (the answer is yes, hell yes, we did the horse dance more than once on this trip and yes, everywhere we went in Seoul Yoonie & our interpreter Alice pointed out places Psy had played massive outdoor concerts in public squares and huge streets). Dr. Kim is finishing up his three-year term this month or next, which is a bummer, he’s a wonderful guy and an American literature specialist. In fact, he’s translated a few classics of American literature into Korean, including Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49!


Open Books offices inside the Mimesis Art Museum in Paju Book City

After landing on Sunday night and grabbing a dinner and feeling like WHOA I’M IN ASIA FOR THE FIRST TIME, we jumped right into our first full day of meetings Monday morning by hopping in a cab and setting out for Paju, a town about an hour northwest of Seoul, right across the river from North freaking Korea. But some years ago the Korean government asked the entire publishing industry to move to Paju, gave them some land and tax incentives or something like that, and most of the country’s publishers MOVED! It’s this weird quasi-urban space that feels distinctly American suburban, a sprawling city out among the hills of northwestern South Korea, and packed with beautiful modern architectural buildings that house a TON of publishing houses, and they told us that 100,000 people worked there every day. But the kicker is that almost NONE of them live in Paju, and have to commute an hour by BUS each way to get to Paju from Seoul! So in some respects it feels like the inverse of many American downtowns (*cough*Dallas*cough*) that are packed with office workers during the day and nearly ghosttowns at night.

We had some pretty awesome meetings right off the bat, including Open Books, an art and mostly-translated literature publishing house based inside the Mimesis Art Museum. We met with one of their acquiring editors, Gregory Limpens, a native Belgian who used to be a lawyer many moons ago who moved to Seoul for work, fell in love with the country, the language, and the literature, and who left his job in law to go work in publishing (only in Korea…).


Meeting with Open Books’ acquiring editor Gregory Limpens, a native Belgian (and lawyer!) who moved to Seoul, fell in love with the country (and the books) and helps acquire Open Books’ amazing translated (into Korean) titles


Open Books’ Bolaño box set (!)


Dinner with Deborah Smith, translator of, among other works, Han Kang’s (really disturbing & brilliant) The Vegetarian for Granta/Portobello #NameTheTranslator #GiveTheTranslatorAFace

Our first night in Seoul, to backtrack a bit, we got to hang out with Deborah Smith, a London-based translator of Korean literature who is single-handedly responsible for my obsession with Korean literature. She has impeccable taste, and she’s a damn fine translator (read her translation of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, out from Granta/Portobello).


Bromance! With Chad Post of Open Letter Books outside of our hotel in the holiday lights (and holding our thick volumes of translated samples of over a dozen Korean authors put together by Yoonie at LTI)

Day two of meetings included hitting up the traditional center of Seoul, near the palaces, and we met with Yi Mun-yol, pretty much the most widely-read and important author of the last half-century in Korea, who’s only had a handful of his books translated into English (most notably Our Twisted Hero, though he’s quite widely read and popular in France and Germany). Our meeting was in the amazing Arario Museum, and what’s cool is that building used to house a publishing house called SPACE, and the museum acknowledges that history on every floor by naming their cafes and restaurants after the former publisher, so we met at the Cafe in SPACE, there’s also the Boulangerie in SPACE, the Restaurant in SPACE, and the Bar in SPACE!!!! I LOVE IT!!


Ross Ufberg of New Vessel Press listening to one of Korea’s most well-known and admired writers, Yi Mun-yol at Cafe in Space in the Arario Museum


Ross of New Vessel with the poet Kim Yi-deum on the way to dinner

At Cafe in SPACE we also met with the poet Kim Hyesoon, who has several books of amazing poetry out in English, including the Best Translated Book Award-finalist ALL THE GARBAGE OF THE WORLD, UNITE! from Action Books. We were joined at dinner by Kim Yi-deum, a young poet who lives in Busan (and who was in town, sadly, for the funeral of a fellow poet). Yi-deum was “discovered” by Kim Hyesoon, and her poems are radical, amazing, feminist anthems that delve into the body and space in an awesome way. Can’t wait to read her debut collection in English when Action Books publishes it!


Dinner at the lovely restaurant Bok-Jung with the poets Kim Hye-soon and Kim Yi-deum


The poet herself, the inimitable Kim Yi-deum


In Korea’s largest bookstore, Kyobo, they have a poetry bestseller section!!!!!!!

Our meetings were all awesome: the Korean publishers we met with had great ideas for literature, and it’s amazing that we three American publishers combined publish 25-30 books a year, and each of the publishing houses we met publish 200-1000 books a year. This is the sad state of affairs in publishing, small publishing houses in the US can publish the biggest and most important authors of nearly any foreign country. While that’s sad in general, it’s a tremendous blessing that publishers like us can step into the void left by the “market” and help bring these incredible authors into English. Here’s Ross & I outside of Moonji, a really interesting and big-time publishing house who publish my favorite young Korean author, Han Yujoo (whose debut novel, Impossible Fairytale, will be out from Graywolf next year in Janet Hong’s translation, here’s a reader’s report PDF on it by Jake Levine).


Ross of New Vessel & I outside the offices of Moonji, a very awesome publishing house with some very awesome authors


Our lovely host from LTI, Yoonie, speaking with Jung Young-moon inside Munhakdongne Publishing Group’s bookstore/cafe: Cafe Comma

At one point we met with the publishers of Munhakdongne Publishing Group, I think the biggest publishing house in Korea (basically their Random House/Penguin). They publish an incredible list of literary titles in addition to commercial fiction, graphic novels, children’s books, cookbooks, etc. One of the most interesting things about Munhakdongne is that they’re part of an increasing trend in Korea where publishers are starting cafes (which are ubiquitous in Seoul, I’ve never seen a city with more cafes) that stock their own books. This bookstore/cafe concept is amazing (and something I’m trying to do in Dallas), and one of our meetings was at Munhakdongne’s bookstore/cafe: Cafe Comma (here’s an article about Cafe Comma, “Should Publishers Open Bookstore Cafes? They Are in Korea,” from Publishing Perspectives in February 2013).

At Cafe Comma we met with Jung Young-Moon, an extremely tall and handsome man who has one book already out in Dalkey Archive’s Library of Korean Literature series and has his newest novel coming out next year or so (it won the biggest literary prize in Korea last year). An alum of the Iowa International Writers Program, he was a hilarious guy to hang out with, apologizing when introducing himself to us because he had partied too hard with some friends the night before and he was a bit hungover. It was endearing, and he had a wicked sense of humor that only grew the more we talked. PLUS he’s an awesome writer, so keep your ears/eyes peeled for more news from him in English soon…


Our interpreter, Alice, on the left with the very awesome (and very handsome, and very tall) Jung Young-moon in Cafe Comma

From one cafe to another we bounced across Seoul, from Cafe Comma in the uber-hip student-packed neighborhood of Hongdae to the uber-hip, foreigner-foreignized neighborhood of Itaewon (also the namesake neighborhood of my favorite K-pop song, “Itaewon Freedom,” introduced to me by my sister, who lived in Korea for a year teaching English, this song inspired me to ask, quite seriously, Chad or Ross every time we saw Nam-san Tower, “Do you know Nam-san Tower?”), where we met Kim Ae-ran, one of the most exciting and buzz-worthy young authors in all of Korea.


The group with one of the brightest young talents in Korea: Kim Ae-ran

By this point our trip was almost over, we had three days (and nights!) of meetings, Monday thru Wednesday. Chad and I left on Thursday, Ross (who arrived a day earlier than us) left on the Friday. Wise man, that Ross. But for our “farewell” dinner, we met with several authors, a literary critic, and another colleague from the LTI Korea office. The food in Korea, by the way, is as good as the literature.


Ross of New Vessel with the super cool author Kim Yeonsu


Last dinner in Seoul at the lovely with (from top left wrapping around the table) Claire of LTI Korea, Jeong I-Hyeon, myself, Kim Yeon-Su, Ross of New Vessel, Kim Kyung-uk, Alice our interpreter, the critic Kwon Hee-chul, Yoonie from LTI, and Chad of Open Letter

On the Thursday morning & afternoon before my & Chad’s flights we were able to sightsee for a bit for the first time, and so we hit up the center of town to visit the Palace, the Namdaemun Market, a cat cafe, a fish-eating-your-feet spa, and other “When in Seoul…” types of sights. But of course, what did I hone in on?

Texas. In Seoul:


Yeehaw, y’all

This trip was a massive success for all parties involved. LTI Korea gave us an invaluable first-hand introduction to contemporary Korean literature and the lay of the publishing landscape in Korea today to us all. The three of us came home bursting with ideas and the desire to publish so many authors we’d met and those we’d heard about, which is exactly the point. Expect to hear more from all of us about publishing Korean literature very soon, and if you’re curious, some great resources for you to check out Korean literature are linked here:

If you have suggestions of South Korean authors and/or books for me (or Chad or Ross or anyone) to check out, please email them to me!

지금은 한국어를 배우고 갈 필요가 읽기 주셔서 감사합니다!! ^_^

2015 is Upon Us: The Year of Deep Vellum

January 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

Happy 2015 everyone! The year of Deep Vellum is now upon you!

First off, if you’re interested in seeing your name in print, subscribe to Deep Vellum by Wednesday, January 14th and your name will be listed in the acknowledgements section of the next book we are publishing, Sergio Pitol’s The Art of Flight, translated by Dallas’s own George Henson. If you’ve already subscribed, the book will ship out to subscribers in mid-to-late February ahead of its March 17 publication date. And if you live in Dallas, pencil in a party March 18 on your calendars: we will be hosting a reading of The Art of Flight and birthday party for Sergio Pitol, who will turn 82 that day, the day after the first of his magisterial works will ever appear in English. Hell, if you live in NYC or SF, you should book yourself a birthday party for Sergio Pitol. Maybe we’ll do that in 2016, plan a series of birthday parties for this genius…ah, I can’t wait for you all to read Pitol! You’re going to love him, his writing is from another time and place altogether (but not a fantasy world). I can’t even describe it…it’s…just…brilliant. And the introduction is being provided by Enrique Vila-Matas. Once you read Pitol, you’ll understand the genesis of so much postmodern & contemporary Spanish-language literature descending from the incomparably influential and profoundly erudite mind of one man, the man I’m dubbing “the Maestro of Mexican literature,” Mr. Sergio Pitol.

Speaking of introductions, fellow member of Oulipo Daniel Levin Becker has agreed to provide the introduction to Anne Garréta’s Sphinx, which we’ll be shipping off to the printers before the end of the month (April 6 publication date).

And if you have a mad genius idea for someone to provide an introduction to Jón Gnarr’s The Indian, let me know ASAP, I’m leaning towards publishing the book without an introduction, but if we could get the right person…

As I was writing up this entry we enjoyed ourselves a little earthquake here in Dallas (which has been happening frequently since fracking started in Dallas County last year, and has been happening across the region since the fracking boom started in North Texas), and I’ve also been distracted by the live broadcast by RT of Russian Orthodox Christmas service in Moscow in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on RT, which is being live translated brilliantly by somebody who sounds like a drunk Russian Kermit the Frog (I hope this is archived for you to enjoy forevermore).

But on to all the great news!

In the Dallas Morning News, Roberto Ontiveros reviewed Texas: The Great Theft right before the holiday, which makes me so happy to see this first book we published here in Dallas reviewed by the book section of our hometown newspaper (thank you to Books/Arts editor Mike Merschel for helping make this happen!). From Ontiveros’s review:

At its bones, Boullosa’s fourth novel to appear in English (and the first release from Dallas’ Deep Vellum Publishing) is a picaresque news report about police brutality and its justified aftermath. […] What is outstanding in Boullosa’s work is the deep sympathy expressed for every human encountered.

Texas was also just reviewed in the January 2015 issue of Bookslut by Matt Pincus, describing the novel as “masterful” and “a timely piece of historical fiction,” before delving into Boullosa’s style and language with great insight:

What is both moving and also lucid about Boullosa’s prose, though, is her ability to take one in and out of a scene fraught with disorder and violence, and place one back in the rich spirit of humility encountering sublime beauty. Before the Sheriff’s infamous words, the text takes us to the landscape: “The sun bears down, piercing the veil of shimmering dust.” Again, later in the novel, after tensions have risen to violence, “The buffalo hunter, Wild, leaves Mrs. Big’s Hotel to take a piss and get some fresh air. Santiago’s body is hanging heavily from the icaco tree without swinging, like a mangrove root searching for the earth. A blackbird lands like a stone on his shoulder.” The body almost melds into the landscape through the similes as one also sees the atrocity of the recent lynching, the corpse, and also Wild’s apathetic reaction. The text continuously expands on these moments, letting them accumulate for the reader in opacity of deferred fabulation, which does not point towards interpretation or totality, but rather frees one into possibility.

One of our favorite review sites that covers literature and film, The Mookse & The Gripes, has also just featured a preview of Texas in their latest podcast, along with discussions of other amazing books released in December 2014 & January 2015, alongside some other amazing books, like A Useless Man: Selected Stories by Sait Faik Abasiyanik (translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely and Alexander Dawe) published by Archipelago Books (released today—and I must say I am hugely excited to read this, I was considering publishing some of Sait Faik’s stories myself before finding out Archipelago had already signed this book!); Midnight in the Century by Victor Serge (translated from the French by Richard Greeman) published last month by NYRB Classics (and coincidentally I just bought a weird old hardcover 1960s British edition of this book I’d never seen before from Half Price Books last week!); and Subtly Worded and Other Stories, by the wholly underrated & amazing Russian author Teffi (translated from the Russian by Robert Chandler and Anne Marie Jackson), published last month by one of my favorite publishers, Pushkin Press. So head over to The Mookse & The Gripes & let them know your thoughts on Texas and your comments may be featured in their next podcast!!

Deep Vellum was featured in Janklow & Nesbit literary agent Rebecca Carter’s recent piece in Publishing Perspectives on the new crop of publishing houses starting up across the world dedicated to bringing more translated literary voices into English, “New Ways of Publishing Translations,” one of the quotes featuring Deep Vellum is here, but the whole piece warrants a read, it is exhaustively comprehensive of the challenges and rewards that come from so many startups getting into the business of translation:

Identity is so important for a small publisher that wants to attract a following. It’s not enough just to publish good books: those books need to create a world to which readers want to belong. To specialize or not to specialize is one of the questions. Will Evans of Deep Vellum is determined that, although his roots are in Russian literature, his publishing company is about ‘world literature’ and how authors in different languages speak to each other.

Our very own Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s Tram 83, translated by Roland Glasser, has been shortlisted for the prestigious French Voices Award!! On Wednesday, January 21, the second annual French Voices Award Ceremony will take place at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (which is now also home to the incomparably gorgeous Albertine bookstore). Honorary Chair Rick Moody will announce the winner. The three amazing finalists are Tram 83 (which we are publishing as our lead Fall 2015 title in September) alongside Barbara Cassin’s La Nostalgie (forthcoming from Fordham University Press in spring 2016, translated by Pascale-Anne Brault) and Dominique Fabre’s Guys Like Me (forthcoming from New Vessel Press in Feb. 2015, translated by Howard Curtis), The French Voices Award is a cool one because it not only honors French books that haven’t yet been published in English, but it awards the quality of the translation, giving a $4,000 bonus to the translator for their hard work (each translator on the nomination longlist of nine books gets a $2,000 bonus!). The winning author is also awarded the chance to do a book tour of the US. Honorary Chair Francine Prose presided over last year’s ceremony, which drew 200 attendees, so make sure you head out and root for Fiston to take home the prize this year! This event is free and open to the public, but please note that RSVP is required (click the link to RSVP). So please head to the Upper East Side on January 21 and represent Fiston & Roland & Deep Vellum!! We need a street team. A Deep Vellum nation (like Colbert Nation). A consortium, if you will!!!!!!!!!

In other, less sexy news, we here at Deep Vellum are working feverishly to get Deep Vellum onto firm financial footing so we can start hiring some employees to evolve into a stable, forward-thinking publishing house that can survive decades of changes in the industry, like a Dallas version of Graywolf or Coffee House or Milkweed who have all survived for 40 years or so in Minneapolis. We have submitted our application to the IRS for 501(c)(3) status and will hear back about that by the end of February.

We’re also working on a new website. I mean, we’re working on an ACTUAL website, designed by web wizard Justin Childress (who has designed some pretty damn amazing websites that Dallasites will recognize, including A New Dallas). It should go live this spring. Thank you for your patience with this low-functioning website (aka: blog with links).

Another post will go live sometime later this week with a recap of the editors’ trip I participated in last month with Chad Post of Open Letter Books and Ross Ufberg of New Vessel Press. And once I get these next couple books off to the printers, I’ll hopefully announce a few Korean titles for 2016 & 2017. And hopefully Open Letter & New Vessel will as well. We all fell in love with Korea, and even more so with K-lit. There is some seriously amazing literature coming out of South Korea in the next several months, we’ll keep you posted!

So now back to copyediting the Pitol layout and preparing the Garréta & Gnarr texts for layout & negotiating for a couple of absolute dream books & booking readings & travel for Carmen Boullosa’s tour up the west coast next month & remember to subscribe before next Wednesday to get your name included in the back of the Pitol book!!

Happy Holidays from Deep Vellum!

December 22, 2014 § 3 Comments

Happy holidays to you all from your friends at Deep Vellum!

DMN Arts & Life Cover (12-14-14)Since we last posted it’s been a whirlwind time, including an editors’ trip to Seoul, South Korea with our friends at New Vessel Press & Open Letter Books, AND we were featured on the front page of the Arts & Life section of the Dallas Morning News last weekend! This was huge for us, not only is it a great feature on Deep Vellum and what we are trying to accomplish, but we are in the ARTS section!! One of the goals I had starting Deep Vellum here in Dallas was to get literature & translation included in the discussion of the arts, and this feature goes a long way to making that goal a reality. Thank you to Elizabeth Hamilton for great conversations we had as she researched this article, and a double thanks to her and the DMN for including those snazzy book covers (designed by Anna Zylicz!!) on the front page of the Arts section too!!!!!! To read the article in full, click here or on the image above.

It is not too late to get your year-end tax-deductible donation in to Deep Vellum, every dollar helps so incredibly much. Please

And if you haven’t gotten any Christmas presents ordered yet, give books. If you can, give Deep Vellum books. Order a copy of Texas from your favorite online outlets (because we’re out of the office until the 29th!) or give a gift of a Deep Vellum subscription, we’ll ship the first book out just after Christmas, and it’ll be the gift that keeps on giving the next six months to a year!!!!!!

And just as the year draws to a close, start to get excited about Sergio Pitol’s THE ART OF FLIGHT (translsated by George Henson), the next book we are publishing. Scott Esposito included this remarkable book (which exists outside of any known genre of literature…) on his year-end wrapup of favorite books he read in 2014. Give his whole list a perusal over at Conversational Reading, and I am so excited to get this book in all your hands so very soon!

We have so much to be thankful for as the year wraps to a close, we’ll have more updates and thanks to everyone quite soon.


December Events Update: Marian Schwartz (Anna Karenina) & Oral Fixation

December 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Deep Vellum is proud to help present the following literary events in Dallas this week:

Marian Schwartz Anna Karenina Flyer
Acclaimed translator
reading from her new translation of
(Yale University Press)
Wed. Dec. 10th, 7pm. Free. 
More information can be found here.

Deep Vellum & The Wild Detectives present an unparalleled literary event: master translator Marian Schwartz (Austin resident and translator of Deep Vellum’s author Mikhail Shishkin) reading from and discussing her new translation of Tolstoy’s immortal Anna Karenina.

Tolstoy produced many drafts of Anna Karenina. Crafting and recrafting each sentence with careful intent, he was anything but casual in his use of language. His project, translator Marian Schwartz observes, “was to bend language to his will, as an instrument of his aesthetic and moral convictions.” In her magnificent new translation, Schwartz embraces Tolstoy’s unusual style–she is the first English language translator ever to do so. Previous translations have departed from Tolstoy’s original, “correcting” supposed mistakes and infelicities. But Schwartz uses repetition where Tolstoy does, wields a judicious cliche when he does, and strips down descriptive passages as he does, re-creating his style in English with imagination and skill. 

oral fixation dec 8-10

SHOW #1: Wyly – Studio Theatre
Mon. Dec. 8th, 8:00–9:30pm
Buy tickets here.

SHOW #2: Texas Theatre
Wed. Dec. 10th, 8:00-9:30pm
Buy tickets here.

Deep Vellum is proud to partner with our friends at Oral Fixation, one of the most remarkable true-life storytelling groups in the country, to present their latest show: “Outside the Box.”

This month’s show will feature stories about thinking differently, unconventional wisdom and, yes, shipping!

Highlights include April Swartz-Larson, the recently crowned lesbian homecoming queen at McKinney High School, Julia Cotton of Dallas Comedy House fame, Ernest McMillan sharing his chapter as a Black Power fugitive in West Africa, Jenny Block of the Huffington Post who will reveal the secret to her open marriage, and Maureen Bordelon, author of the how-to parenting guide, My Autism Hat Rack.

December Events Update & Press Release: Deep Vellum Publishing Announces Seven New Acquisitions

December 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

THANK YOU to every single one of you who made a donation to Deep Vellum yesterday as part of #GivingTuesday. And THANK YOU to everyone who’s subscribed to Deep Vellum. Or who’ve already bought copies of Texas, who’ve asked their bookstores to order copies, thank you ALL!!! You are amazing, and you are helping build a serious movement for serious literature across the world. I am in awe of the support Deep Vellum has received so far, and I have so much work to do to continue to live up to your expectations and goals. Let’s dream big. Including planning some events, like these:

– If you are in Dallas tonight, swing by the Wild Detectives to meet the cast of Oral Fixation, whose new show “Outside the Box” will go down December 8th at the Wyly Theatre in the Dallas Arts District and December 10th at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff.

– December 10th, Marian Schwartz will be at the Wild Detectives discussing her translation of Anna Karenina, out now from Yale University Press! DFW readers, you don’t want to miss this!!

December 10, 7pm, The Wild Detectives, Dallas, Texas

December 10, 7pm, The Wild Detectives, Dallas, Texas

And here’s a pretty sweet album of pictures posted by Arte Público Press from our awesome event at the Americas Society in New York two weeks ago with Carmen Boullosa and Rolando Hinojosa-Smith in conversation with the founder of Arte Público (which is based at the University of Houston, and bless them for it!), Nicolas Kanellos. This was such an amazing event, I was honored to take part (and this photo was taken in the incredible “Inca Room” in the Americas Society building, a gorgeous 19th century mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan!!):

(L to R: Dan Shapiro, Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, Carmen Boullosa, Nicolas Kanellos, Will Evans

(L to R: Dan Shapiro (Director of Literature for the Americas Society), Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, Carmen Boullosa, Nicolas Kanellos (Arte Público Press), Will Evans (Deep Vellum)

Below is the press release that went out into the world today to let everyone know what amazing things Deep Vellum has been up to recently, including signing our Fall 2015 list, which will be presented to you soon, but here is information on that list of books early. This is exciting stuff.

Scott Esposito, Director of Publicity

December 3, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Dallas-based nonprofit publisher of literature in translation Deep Vellum Publishing (recently named by Flavorwire as one of five small publishers who are changing the face of the industry) proudly announces seven new acquisitions. These books complete the press’s 10-title list for 2015 and build the foundation of its lists for 2016 and beyond.

Originally published in six different nations on four continents, these six new novels and one short story collection further extend Deep Vellum’s dedication to publishing the most interesting new literature from all around the globe.

Headlining these acquisitions is the hallucinatory, thrilling Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (translated by Roland Glasser), from the Democratic Republic of the Congo—shortlisted for both the Le Monde Literary Prize, and the Prix Wepler, and winner of the Société des gens de lettres’ award of the Prix Révélation and the Grand Prix du Premier Roman (grand prize to a debut novel). To be released in September 2015, Tram 83 tells a story of rampant capitalism and exploitation in a vast African city-state amid guerrilla wars of secession with great humor and a unique rhythm that gives the feeling of a jazz novel. It has been lauded as “a real discovery” by the acclaimed French/Congolese novelist Alain Mabanckou.

Tram 83 is joined by the intense, tragic, political noir Target in the Night by the widely respected, bestselling Argentine writer Ricardo Piglia (translated by Sergio Waisman). This King Lear–esque family saga centers around a detective who uses his madness to solve crimes, and it was awarded the prestigious Romulo Gallegos Prize and the National Critics Prize plus was named Book for the Year by El País—all awards widely known as honoring the top title in the entire Spanish-speaking world. To be released in November 2015.

Rounding out Deep Vellum’s 2015 titles are Homecoming by Leila S. Chudori (Indonesia; translated by John McGlynn; October 2015) and The Pirate by Jón Gnarr (Iceland; translated by Lytton Smith; December 2015). The Pirate will be the second Gnarr title for Deep Vellum (following Spring 2015’s The Indian), and it is the second work in an autobiographical trilogy following the childhood upbringing of the crossdressing former mayor of Reykjavik.

Homecoming is an epic social and political novel by Indonesia’s best-known, most outspoken journalist, one that expands the focus of Joshua Oppenheimer’s recent blockbuster documentary The Act of Killing and sheds much historical light on the mass killings that marked Suharto’s rise to power in the 1960s. We are particularly proud to announce that Homecoming will be released in conjunction with the Frankfurt Book Fair, where Indonesia will be the 2015 guest of honor.

Beyond 2015, Deep Vellum’s roster only gets deeper, beginning with La Superba by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer (The Netherlands; translated by Michele Hutchison; February 2016). Winner of the 2013 Dutch Libris Literatuurprijs, The Netherlands’ most important literary prize, and winner of the Tzum Prize for most beautiful Dutch sentence of the year (Pfeijffer is the only author to receive this award twice), La Superba has garnered acclaim both for its breathtakingly beautiful literary quality and for capturing the complexities of 21st-century Europe by detailing the lives of African migrants arriving in Genoa, Italy, the beautiful port city known as La Superba.

Last but not least, Deep Vellum’s new acquisitions are completed by a two-book deal with Morocco’s Fouad Laroui, acquired at the 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair. Deep Vellum first publishes Laroui’s 2013 Prix Goncourt Nouvelles–winning short story collection L’Étrange Affaire du pantalon de Dassoukine (to be translated by Emma Ramadan, also translator of Anne Garréta’s Sphinx) and his newest novel, Les Tribulations du Dernier Sijlmassi. Long known in Morocco as a talented journalist and literary light, Laroui’s emergence into English has long been hoped for by, among others, American novelist and Lannan Fellow Laila Lalami, who recently lamented: “As incredible as it sounds, Laroui has never been translated into English.” Deep Vellum is proud to announce that soon this will change.

These new acquisitions join Deep Vellum’s extant list, which includes Texas: The Great Theft by Carmen Boullosa—just named a top December release by the BBC. She is joined by The Art of Flight by the Cervantes Prize–winning Mexican novelist Sergio Pitol, Calligraphy Lesson: The Collected Stories by the Russian novelist (and Nobel Prize candidate) Mikhail Shishkin, Anne Garréta’s genderless love story, Sphinx, the first-ever full-length book by a female member of the Oulipo to be translated into English and a remarkable debut novel by Alisa Ganieva, winner of Russia’s prestigious Debut Prize, The Mountain and the Wall, the first novel ever published in English from Dagestan, the unknown and restive Muslim province in Russia’s Caucasus. Full release information for these titles can be found at deepvellum.org.

Deep Vellum Publishing is a not-for-profit literary publisher that seeks to enhance the open exchange of ideas among cultures and to connect the world’s greatest untranslated contemporary writers of literature and creative nonfiction with English-language readers for the first time through original translations, while facilitating educational opportunities for students of translation in the Dallas community, and promoting a more vibrant literary community in north Texas and beyond. Deep Vellum titles are distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution.

#GivingTuesday & BBC Recommends TEXAS

December 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

It’s #GivingTuesday, that magical day that falls just after the spending madness that mark Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


Every donation goes directly towards furthering Deep Vellum’s mission, helping us sign and publish the greatest works of literature from around the world, hire the best translators, put on translation workshops and literary events across the world, and advocate for literature’s place in the arts community. Without your support, none of this is possible.

In other delightful news, the BBC recommended Texas: The Great Theft as one of their Top Ten Books to Read in December!

What an honor! The BBC’s Jane Ciabattara notes, “[Boullosa’s] tale, loosely based on the Mexican invasion of the US known as the ‘Cortina troubles’, is populated with freed slaves and European immigrants, Mexican ranchers and Comanches, fortune-hunting gringos and vaqueros, evoking a history that couldn’t be more relevant to today’s immigration battles in the US.

And the BBC’s mention couldn’t come at a better time, as today, December 2nd, marks the official publication date for Texas! So head out to your local indie bookstore and pick up your copy. And if they don’t have it in stock, ask them to order it for you: booksellers across the country listen to readers like you, and they need your wisdom and guidance to help them know what books their readership want to see in the store. And plus, you’ll be an ambassador for Deep Vellum, which is the coolest thing you could be.

In other news, I am leaving for an editors’ trip to South Korea this weekend at the invitation of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, where I will join my friends Chad Post of Open Letter Books and Ross Ufberg of New Vessel Press (all three of us are distributed by Consortium, I should add) as we meet with publishers, authors, and translators to learn more about South Korean literature. I’ll put up a post about how amazing South Korean literature is before I leave, but I have so much to learn, and I am ecstatic about my first trip (hopefully of many) to Asia.

Thank you again for your support of Deep Vellum, and please consider a donation to Deep Vellum, and please ask friends, family, and your employers if they would consider making a tax-deductible end-of-year donation to Deep Vellum.

Thank you for your time, your support, and your generous donation, every bit helps as we continue to implement our mission of changing the world through literature in translation.