Texas on PEN Translation Prize Shortlist & 5-Book Subscribers RENEW NOW!!

April 17, 2015 § Leave a comment


Trans Prize Shortlist-smaller

Congratulations to Carmen Boullosa & Samantha Schnee, an author/translator dream team the likes of which are hard to find in any corner of the planet—it is an honor to have published this book, and it’s all thanks to these two amazingly creative women it’s all possible. Thank you Carmen, and thank you Samantha, for believing in me as I got Deep Vellum started, for your patience, for your wisdom, for your talents. It’s a true honor to be on this shortlist, alongside publishing friends & idols Two Lines Press (with TWO books on the shortlist: Baboon by Naja Marie Aidt, translated from the Danish by Denise Newman & Self-Portrait in Green by Maria NDiaye, translated from the French by Jordan Stump); New York Review Books (Catalan legend Josep Pla‘s The Gray Notebook, translated by Peter Bush), and FSG (Andrei Bitov‘s The Symmetry Teacher, translated from the Russian by Polly Gannon). Also, the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation shortlist is amazing, check it out (and I highly recommend from that list Kim Hyesoon‘s Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream, translated by Don Mee Choi, published by Action Books).

Check out the full list of shortlisted PEN prizes, including Dallas’ own MERRITT TIERCE shortlisted for the amazingly prestigious PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction! And thank you to our very own Dallas Morning News for covering the prize shortlist announcement and mentioning Deep Vellum. We love y’all (and thanks for being among the first to review Texas: The Great Theft and among the first to profile Deep Vellum when we were starting up! THANK YOU!!!!).

Texas is the book that Deep Vellum was always meant to publish. I alway said when brainstorming the idea for Deep Vellum that the two books I needed to publish were a book about Texas from the Mexican perspective and a German book about Dirk Nowitzki (which I’m working on, and attended the North American premiere of the German documentary Nowitzki: The Perfect Shot at the Dallas International Film Festival earlier this week to spend more time with the author of a forthcoming German biography of Dirk that I hope to publish simultaneously with its German release…)—I’ve published the book about Texas, and it’s remarkable the attention it is so deservingly receiving. Thank you all who have read it, shared it, debated it—that’s what this is all about. Books do not live in a bubble unto themselves, they are living, breathing things, and it is the reader who brings them to life, and every time you share it with a friend, review it online, mention it to someone looking for something to read: you are the embodiment of all that is good in the world of books.

If you are a 5-book subscriber to Deep Vellum, renew your subscription NOW to ensure your name is included among the list of subscribers at the back of our sixth (!) book (just like it has been in the first five), about to go to print, the debut novel by the Russian Alisa GanievaThe Mountain and the Wall, translated by my graduate school mentor Carol Apollonio, with an introduction by Ronald Meyer of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute that contextualizes this unique novel of the Caucasus within the entire span of Russian literature. And check out this beautiful revised cover we’ll be sending to print:


In Sphinx news, Anne Garréta’s long-awaited English-language debut will be officially published on Tueday, April 21. Many bookstores out in the field already have copies on their shelves, and if your favorite doesn’t have it yet, ask them to order it for you! And if they ask why they should stock it, tell them it’s the first book ever by a woman member of the Oulipo (insane fact), and it’s also a perfect book, and you can send them to the stellar reviews that are rolling in that agree with me, including Typographical Era’s 5-typewriter review of Sphinx: 

…a shockingly intimate portrait of the complexities of desire, what it’s like to truly lose yourself in another person, and the hidden costs of finally conquering the object of your ultimate affections.

(I must add that I feel like Typographical Era‘s 5-typewriter review rating is like the literary equivalent of The Source Magazine’s famous 5-mic rating system, and I feel like this, our first 5-typewriter review, is the equivalent of when The Source famously gave Nas’ Illmatic 5-mics at a time when both the magazine and the now-legendary rapper were both starting up and searching for a type of crossover appeal and legitimacy that the review then provided to both. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but Sphinx is a perfect book!)

There’s also an incredible thorough review of Sphinx up at The Mookse & The Gripes:

The porous membranes of Sphinx let it be a novel of openness, as if a living being, letting you in and out, affected and changed each time you begin or cease reading.

Deep Vellum is also a proud partner of Literary Hub, the newest literary venture started up by the fine folks from Grove and a bunch of their best friends (aka: every amazing publisher and bookstore you could ever imagine, we are in some seriously incredible company). This is a cool concept, and so far the writing (updated daily!) has been great: in the near future it’ll feature excerpts from upcoming books, exclusive interviews, all sorts of media content, and great essays by people way smarter than me about things I am interested in, like Alexander Chee’sFrom Potter to Tartt to Ferrante: How We Came to Love the Multi-Volume Novel.” You’ll also get some fairly-regular updates from yours truly about the literary community in north Texas, as I’ve joined up on the personal side as the Dallas Literary Correspondent. Sign up for their daily emails, and get into it!

And if you’re looking for a non-Deep Vellum book to read while you wait for Mikhail Shishkin’s Calligraphy Lesson: The Collected Stories to appear in your life, may I recommend Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow just published by Open Letter Books?! This Bulgarian masterpiece will change your life. And if you don’t believe me, check out this incredible profile of Gospodinov in the New Yorker that came out today. Enjoy, and thank me later.

Deep Vellum at AWP, Literary Death Match in Dallas & MORE

April 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

AWP 2015 is upon us!

Greetings from Minneapolis, where I’ve come to serenade the assembled #AWP15 masses with the siren song of translation. If you’re in town, join me at Table #1527, which Deep Vellum is sharing with the always-rad Anomalous Press which are run by Erica, who is also running the American Literary Translators Association these days, which was, as some Dallasites may know, founded at UT-Dallas once upon a time, and was based at that university in the fair city I call home until right around the point I moved to town. Funny how life works. Also, Anomalous is publishing books that are primarily translation-minded (with a couple translations!!), but so far in English, but what’s cool about that is that Anomalous publishes the types of books I wish more American writers would write. And also because they’re publishing Dallas’ very own A. Kendra Greene‘s Anatomy of a Museum about the Reykjavik Phallalogical Museum (and featuring a blurb from our very own Jón Gnarr!); and sometime in the next year they’ll publish our own marketing director/dear dear friend Scott Esposito‘s Transgender Triptych (and not to mention a new book from Duke professor/insanely amazing poet Nathaniel Mackey!). Good books, good people. It’s our first AWP, but I’m so happy to share it with such a forward-thinking press just outside of the normal circle of indie publishers I run with, and that is what it is all about: new friends, new readers, new writers, new translators, expanding the circle ever-outward, towards ever-more awesome heights.

  • Friday is Deep Vellum’s big day at AWP: join us at our table (#1527) at 3pm for Jón Gnarr & his translator (and poet in his own right!) Lytton Smith signing copies of The Indian!!!
  • Join Deep Vellum as we partner with Anomalous Press and some of our other indie publishing friends for our off-site event Friday night at Gamut Gallery, only two blocks from the convention center. There will be lots of free food, drinks on-hand, and Jón Gnarr & Lytton Smith will be there to read & sign & blow your everlovin’ minds.


And in Dallas this week!!! Don’t forget while I’m gone that LITERARY DEATH MATCH is coming to town for the first time in five years!! This one features Ben Fountain, Merritt Tierce, Tim Rogers, Will Clarke, J. Suzanne Frank, Alice Laussade, and Joaquin Zihuatanejo all reading, bantering, being the best, and it’s all going down at the beautiful, amazing, impeccably-well-programmed Texas Theatre. Tickets are $8 in advance (including fees! $8 flat!) and $10 at the door, and

LDM Dallas Ep 2 Preview

The 2014 VIDA (Women in Literary Arts) count is up, and with it a call to action for every reader, writer, editor, publisher, human being on what we can all do to change the game when it comes to the massive gender disparity in every corner of the literary world. If you take away one thing from the VIDA count, take away this handout of Things You Can Do Right Now to Advance Women’s Writing—it is a must-read:.


When I’m back from Minneapolis, you’ll catch me at the Dallas International Film Festival, which has really outdone itself in its programming this year. Two translation-related movies that I absolutely won’t miss are screening at the festival: NOWITZKI: The Perfect Shot, a German documentary on one of the all-time great basketball players, the Dallas Mavericks‘ greatest franchise player, the Big German, 2011 NBA Champion, #7 all-time leading scorer in the NBA (and climbing), Dirk Nowitzki; and The Look of Silence, the follow-up documentary to the mind-blowing and seminal The Act of Killing by director Joshua Oppenheimer, this one follows the victims of the “anti-Communist” purges that led to the massacre of over a million Indonesians around the time of Suharto’s rise to power in 1965—and this fall we are publishing a book that complements Oppenheimer’s documentaries, Home by Leila S. Chudori, translated from the Indonesian by John H. McGlynn, that follows those who fled into exile to flee these purges and those who stayed behind from 1965-1998 (when Suharto was ousted from power), and we’ve asked Joshua Oppenheimer to provide an introduction to the book, and he’s reading the text now.

And next week you can catch Deep Vellum on Wednesday night hanging out with PEN Texas as they present the great Ecuadorian poet Santiago Vizcaíno & his translator Alexis Levitin reading & in discussion at The Wild Detectives. The event starts at 7:30pm and is free.

From Minneapolis to Dallas, the road goes on forever, and the party never ends.

Megabus March Madness

March 31, 2015 § Leave a comment

Hello from a Megabus hurtling up I-35 from Austin to Dallas!

Yesterday I hopped on a Megabus with a rolling suitcase packed full of books for Jón Gnarr’s talk with Dr. Dominic Boyer (Rice University) at Austin’s Nerd Nite at the North Door. The talk was called: “The Comedy of Politics and the Politics of Comedy” and it was awesome. The crowd of 120ish nerdy souls learned about stiob as a form of satire from Dr. Boyer, setting up Gnarr’s talk on the creation and execution of the Best Party idea. It was so so so so so so fun. Thank you to everyone who came, you’re all an inspiration, and an extra special thanks to those who came and bought copies of The Indian even though it has nothing to do with Gnarr’s term as mayor or Björk or any of the other things people are obsessed about with Iceland. Good times!


Dominic Boyer & Jón Gnarr before hitting the stage at the North Door

Review copies of Anne Garréta’s much-anticipated, long-awaited English-language debut, Sphinx, are out in the world in Emma Ramadan’s ingenious translation! Subscriber copies will be mailed out tomorrow so that our beloved subscribers receive their copies roughly two weeks ahead of the book’s publication date (April 14th).

Sphinx is a novel of dancing — A*** is a dancer, the narrator becomes a DJ — and itself dances the way a boxer does. Garréta lands her smattering of punches, fiercely, precisely, covering the body of the reader: intellectual hooks in philosophy, aesthetic jabs in prose, emotional haymakers in the rises and falls of love. She moves carefully, quickly, tuned to the pace of the dance of the fight. In one of the most gorgeous, devastating scenes, the narrator utters an enigmatic sentence to herself, which many novelists would leave, simply content that it suggests meaning, but Garréta’s narrator admits that though it satisfies, it is utterly enigmatic. The next move, the type that makes Sphinx the tight masterpiece that it is, is when the events that follow blow away the mist that obscures clear sight of the utterance, so it becomes portent. Mysterious and obscure to physical and emotionally wrought is the shift that Sphinx makes again and again to the very end, until the difference is no longer definable, all in the growth and preservation of love, even when that love can only continue in memory.

Sergio Pitol’s The Art of Flight continues to profoundly impact any and all who read it, like Maud Newton, who “will savor it as a daily devotional” and Rosie Clarke’s in-depth review at the always-remarkable Music & Literature Magazine:

As Pitol weaves together memories, dreams, literary criticism, brief histories of twentieth-century Mexico, and odes to writers he regards as exemplary,The Art of Flight circumnavigates neat categorization. In trying to situate this book both culturally and historically, Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectivesmakes for an obvious if imperfect comparison, alongside Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six-part quasi-fictional bildungsroman My Struggle, Ben Lerner’s mesh of fiction and autobiography in Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04, and, with Pitol’s fixation on place, even Hemingway’s memoir-cum-love letter to Paris A Moveable Feast. But despite attempts to locate the book among these, it resists comparison; The Art of Flight has none of the obsessive, Proustian detail of Knausgaard, or the metafiction of Lerner. It resists the light-heartedness of Bolaño’s depictions of youth and escapades, and the moroseness of Hemingway. Instead, it resembles a cloudy gemstone: at once glimmering and opaque, layered and precise.

Our March madness is about to turn into April/May madness: in the next two months we’ll publish three books: Garréta’s Sphinx, Gnarr’s The Indian, and Shishkin’s Calligraphy Lesson. 2015: the year of Deep Vellum continues.

P.S. Among the Final Four college basketball teams left in the NCAA tournament, it just so happens that my graduate school alma mater, Duke, is facing off against Chad Post of Open Letter’s alma mater Michigan State. And Garréta has been a professor at Duke for some time now. That’s your literary sports fun fact for the day…Go Duke!

PEN Translation Award List & Art of Flight Release Day!!

March 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

It’s The Art of Flight release day!!!!

Oh, you mean there’s some other kind of holiday today too?! May I suggest one way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year that doesn’t involve reinforcing alcoholic stereotypes: you can pick up a work of Irish literature. I mean written in Irish, not in the language of the oppressor English. Here’s a suggestion, a new work in translation from the Irish written by Máirtín Ó Cadhain published by Yale University Press (details borrowed from Chad at Open Letter/Three Percent‘s March translation preview post):

The Dirty Dust by Máirtín Ó Cadhain, translated from the Irish by Alan Titley (Yale University Press)

Interesting Facts: 1) Ó Cadhain is considered to be the master of modern Irish prose writing, but has never been translated into English; 2) Dalkey is publishing another book of his, The Key later this year; and last, but most interesting, 3) from the press release, “Yale University Press will publish another translation of this novel, Graveyard Clay: Creé na Cille, translated by Liam Mac Con Iomaire and Tim Robinson, also as part of the Margellos World Republic of Letters series, in a special annotate edition in 2016.”

But I probably will always remember March 17th as the anniversary of the first day that a book by Sergio Pitol was available to the world in our own Dallasite George Henson‘s translation. Shocking, no?! Well, thankfully we did something about the problem, and you can join in the celebration of Sergio Pitol‘s life and work tomorrow on his 82nd birthday here in Dallas at The Wild Detectives:


Pitol March 18 PartyTypographical Era published a review of The Art of Flight today that highlights this masterwork, this lesson in literature, from one of the world’s greatest writers and stylists:

Yes! Go ahead and call the Art of Flight unclassifiable if you want, call it a historicaltraveldiaryessaybiography if you must, label it whatever or however you want to, but what it really is, pardon the alliteration, is a love letter to literature lovers everywhere. Even the most voracious of readers and most learned of scholars are bound to come up against some unfamiliar names within the pages of this book, but it doesn’t matter how familiar you are with the subjects or subject matter being discussed. Pitol—and let’s give credit where credit is due—translator George Henson have a rich command over language, one that keeps you enthralled through it all. You’re never spoken down to, you’re never handheld or held back by endless footnotes, and you’re never meant to feel ashamed for any literary shortcomings you might possess. Instead, The Art of Flight reads like a long overdue celebration for a timeless art form that is constantly changing, constantly reinventing itself through the years, but rest assured, will never die.

And in more amazing news for Carmen Boullosa & Samantha Schnee, following hot on the heels of their 2014 Typographical Era Translation Award win, the PEN Literary Awards longlists were announced today, and Texas: The Great Theft has been listed for the PEN Translation Award! What an amazing honor for this remarkable author/translator team. And the best part is to be recognized among such illustrious company. The full longlist for the PEN Translation Award (but copy & pasted from Three Percent’s rundown because they link to the publisher’s page for each book):

For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2014.

Judges: Heather Cleary, Lucas Klein, Tess Lewis, and Allison Markin Powell

Trans-Atlantyk by Witold Gombrowicz, translated from the Polish by Danuta Borchardt (Yale/Margellos)

The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla, translated from the Catalan by Peter Bush (New York Review Books)

The Symmetry Teacher by Andrei Bitov, translated from the Russian by Polly Gannon (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The Master of Confessions by Thierry Cruvellier, translated from the French by Alex Gilly (Ecco)

The Man Who Loved Dogs by Leonardo Padura, translated from the Spanish by Anna Kushner (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

I Ching translated from the Chinese by John Minford (Viking Books)

Baboon by Naja Marie Aidt, translated from the Danish by Denise Newman (Two Lines Press)

Texas: The Great Theft by Carmen Boullosa, translated from the Spanish by Samantha Schness (Deep Vellum Publishing)

Self-Portrait in Green by Marie NDiaye, translated from the French by Jordan Stump (Two Lines Press)

The Woman Who Borrowed Memories by Tove Jansson, translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal & Silvester Mazzarella (New York Review Books)

In more translation news, the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation list is INSANE. If you’re the kind of writer or poet looking for some new voices, some new places to explore how to construct the human language in a fundamentally new and amazing way, check out any of these books. ESPECIALLY Kim Hyesoon, she is too amazing, had the pleasure of meeting her in Seoul in December, and her books, published by Action Books, are incredible! (Again the copy & paste is from Three Percent for their links to the publisher’s page for each book:)

The $3,000 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation recognizes book-length translations of poetry from any language into English published in the previous calendar year and is judged by a single translator of poetry appointed by the PEN Translation Committee.

Judge: Ana Božičević

Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream by Kim Hyesoon, translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi (Action Books)

Love Poems by Bertolt Brecht, translated from the German by David Constantine & Tom Kuhn (Liveright)

I Am the Beggar of the World by Eliza Griswold, translated from the Pashto by the author (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Selected Poems by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman (W. W. Norton & Company)

Where Are the Trees Going? by Venus Khoury-Ghata, translated from the Arabic by Marilyn Hacker (Northwestern University Press)

Breathturn into Timestead by Paul Celan, translated from the German by Pierre Joris (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Guantanamo by Frank Smith, translated from the French by Vanessa Place (Les Figues Press)

Skin by Tone Škrjanec, translated from the Slovenian by Matthew Rohrer and Ana Pepelnik (Tavern Books)

Diana’s Tree by Alejandra Pizarnik, translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert (Ugly Duckling Presse)

Autoepitaph by Reinaldo Arenas, translated from the Spanish by Kelly Washbourne (University Press of Florida)


Another awesome fact, something that like…never happens. Valeria Luiselli‘s sensational essay collection Sidewalks, translated by Christina MacSweeney, and published by our inspiration/forever bros Coffee House, is nominated for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays published in 2014 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature. Valeria is the best. Congratulations to her, and to Christina, and to Coffee House (who have more than one nomination! Amazing work y’all!)

And in the sweetest news, we aren’t the only Dallasites and Texans with a PEN Award nomination today! Congratulations to our dear friend & supporter Merritt Tierce, whose Love Me Back is like a punch in the gut of awesomeness! From the Dallas Morning News: “Texas writers inscribed on PEN longlist:”

The longlist for the 2015 PEN Literary Awards has plenty of names that Dallas readers will recognize.

Local writer Merritt Tierce is listed in the debut fiction category for Love Me Back, as is Texas-raised Cynthia Bond, for Ruby. That award carries a $25,000 prize.

S.C. Gwynne, a former Dallas Morning News writer, is nominated in biography (a $5,000 award) for Rebel Yell

And Texas: The Great Theft, by Carmen Boullsa, has been nominated for the $3,000 Pen Translation Prize. That novel, translated by Samantha Schnee, was published by Dallas’ Deep Vellum Publishing. (You can read a profile of founder Will Evans here.)

Congratulations to all the PEN Award nominees, but of course most especially our dearest author/translator team: Carmen Boullosa & Samantha Schnee! Without them, we would not be here. Without them, we would all be the poorer for it. Thank you forever, Carmen & Sam.


Art of Flight Release Party March 18!

March 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

The release date for The Art of Flight, our second book, is one week from today!

To celebrate we’re throwing a party March 18th at The Wild Detectives. Translator George Henson will read from his transcendent translation and I (Will Evans) will lead a discussion w/ George & Dr. Ignacio Ruiz-Perez of UT-Arlington, who studied under and worked closely with Pitol at the University of Veracruz in Xalapa. We will discuss his life and work and celebrate his 82nd birthday that same day!!!!!!!!! As Pitol writes at the closing of The Art of Flight: “But we must think that if it is true that we are living in cruel times, it is also true that we are in a time of wonders.” Amen, maestro.

Pitol March 18 Party

And just today one of our favorite booksellers in the whole world, Mark Haber of Brazos Bookstore in Houston, wrote the very first review of The Art of Flight in English, and he’s speechless with the beauty of the book and Pitol’s wholly unique style:

I don’t have a lot to say about THE ART OF FLIGHT because my exuberance and passion for its existence leaves me somewhat speechless. I don’t have a lot to say because I have too much to say. Sometimes zeal foils language, and this is one such case. 

…—if you are one who does not believe in the transportive and life-affirming nature of literature, than this book is not for you.

That being said, this book is for everyone else.

You’ve got to get your hands on a copy of The Art of Flight to see what the fuss is about. To see why and how every Spanish-language author of the last fifty years has been influenced by Pitol’s work, from Enrique Vila-Matas (ESPECIALLY if you’re a fan of Vila-Matas!! And Vila-Matas provided the introduction for this book) to Valeria Luiselli (whose piece in Granta on Pitol as a “Great Untranslated Writer” helped spark me to publish this book in the first place) to Juan Villoro to Álvaro Enrigue (who provides the breathtaking introduction for the second book we’ll publish by Pitol, The Journey, that will help you contextualize just what it is you’re holding in your hands, because it’s like nothing you’ve ever read before in a book, it is more than a book, it is a trapdoor into an alternate artistic universe) and the list could go on…Pitol used The Art of Flight as the first book in a so-called “Trilogy of Memory” to explore the very boundaries of literature itself, breaking down every wall between genres to create an entirely new form of novel with himself as the central character. Yes it is nonfiction. Yes it is fiction. Yes it is memoir. Yes it is novel. Yes it is everything. It is literature embodied in a way that we have never read before. Ask your local indie bookstore to order a copy for you today, or order directly from us, or join us at the Wild Detectives on March 18th and buy all the books in stock, because the Wild Detectives is now reporting their sales to the New York Times bestseller lists, and let’s make Pitol a bestseller to really punk the system.

Speaking of punking the system, while he was in town last week for his first-ever English-language book reading (world class) courtesy of Lytton Smith‘s marvelous translation (actually while he was cooped up in his hotel room at the Belmont Hotel [who generously donated a room to Gnarr for two nights during his stay in town, go stay there, they are the best!!] during a freak early March snow & ice storm shut down the city last Wednesday night), Jón Gnarr signed a massive stack of copies of The Indian, and because we love our subscribers so so much for investing in Deep Vellum’s future, we’re sending every subscriber a signed copy of The Indian as their next subscription title six weeks ahead of the book’s publication date (May 5)!! This means we’ve switched up the third & fourth books we’ll send to subscribers, copies of Anne Garréta’s Sphinx will go out to subscribers in late March or early April, 2-3 weeks ahead of its publication date (April 14).


And speaking more of punking the system, D Magazine arts editor and one of our finest writers of urban policy & planning, Peter Simek, came out to the Gnarr reading at Turner House and felt inspired (it’s hard not to after hearing Gnarr talk), and wrote a blog post the next morning about our own Dallas political situation (focused on the ill-advised Trinity Tollroad proposal, which I am wholeheartedly against; I’m also in favor of tearing down 345 & reconnecting downtown & Deep Ellum by replacing the elevated freeway with a system of boulevards that would restich the urban fabric of our city that was torn asunder 50 years ago…but enough about that, back to Gnarr). Simek opens his piece with this, check out the rest here: “Poll: If the Trinity Toll Road Is Built, Will You Leave Dallas?

Last night I was lucky enough to hear Jon Gnarr speak at the Turner House in Oak Cliff. Gnarr is worthy of his own post. In the wake of Iceland’s particularly awful financial meltdown in 2009, Gnarr — a former punk rock musician, Icelandic comedian, radio personality, and self-proclaimed anarchist — launched a campaign for mayor of Reykjavík as a joke. Then, he won. Then, he took his job seriously. Then, he changed the politics of his home country forever. As he spoke, I thought of our own political situation in this city and couldn’t help but wonder if such a situationalist-ish approach to rethinking Dallas politics is overdue.

And the piece closes with this powerful sentiment. Get involved. Punk the system:

I sympathize with this sentiment. But if I’m honest with myself, I know I’m not going to leave Dallas if the Toll Road gets built. I identify too much with Jon Gnarr; when it feels like there is no way to beat the system, that’s exactly when you know it is time to start punking the system. But I do think the day the earth movers start clawing into the Trinity Floodway prepping for the flow of concrete will be an extremely depressing day. I hope we don’t find out what that day feels like.

For those who live in New York and know how leer en español, McNally Jackson‘s Spanish Book Lab led by good friend & good due Javier Molea has chosen as their April book to read the Chilean sensation Lina Meruane‘s remarkable novel Sangre en el ojo, which we will publish in UT-Dallas alumna Megan McDowell‘s English translation in February 2016. So if you live in NYC, head down to McNally Jackson at 7pm on Friday, April 3rd to discuss this harrowing psychological & autobiographical novel about a woman who suffers a stroke/aneurysm that leaves her blind for a month. See why Bolaño described Meruane as one of the young Chilean authors destined for greatness. she has a quality of writing completely unique and powerful, as El País describes, “A novel where not only the blood pouring from the eyes is palpitating; so is the quality of the literature,” and as Álvaro Enrigue wrote in a review of the novel, “Meruane’s writing is acid, so corrosive that sometimes sentences dissolve before meeting the end that they deserved.” Want to read this yet?! Me too!! I’m willing to bet Lina will be there herself on April 3rd, as she lives in NYC & teaches at NYU. And you like sneak peeks, yeah? Here’s a sneak peek of the book’s cover, you’re the first in the world to see it (well, aside from the designer & me & Lina & Megan & Consortium’s design catalog team…), which reflects the working translation title Seeing Red:


Speaking of Fall 2015-2015 titles, LA SUPERBA, our March 2016 book, today won one of the coolest prizes I’ve ever heard about: De Inktaap, in the Netherlands. The winner of the De Inktaap prize is selected by 1,250 15-18 year old high school students in the Netherlands, Flanders, Curaçao, and Suriname out of four titles: the three winners of the Netherlands’ biggest book prizes: the Gouden Boekenuil, the AKO Literatuurpijs, and the Libris Literatuur Prijs; plus a title selected from the Caribbean published in Dutch. I can’t even imagine the audacity of someone asking 1,250 US high school students to read the big three literary prize-winners plus a foreign book and to pick the winner. In fact, I CAN IMAGINE IT. Why don’t we have prizes like this?!

And the best part is the student comments in this article, they’re like the best blurbs I could ever hope to acquire from reviewers and booksellers, but these are high schoolers! You know high schoolers tell it like it is, they can’t be tainted, they’re so far outside the publishing insular world, so you know these are all gold!!!! (translations courtesy of Google Translate):

  • “Pfeijffer forces the reader to reflect. While reading, you do not only adjust the world, but also constantly question yourself.”
  • Pfeijffer takes us us to the dark alleys of the labyrinth, the corridors of the palace of mirrors and knows how to get us in the mood perfectly.”
  • Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer lets illusion and disillusion ingeniously overlap.”
  • However, that is what the author wants you to believe, the top layer. If you are brave enough to peel off that layer, you discover a work that is more complex than you ever thought possible.
  • La Superba was witty, grotesque, perverse, imaginative and deeply human.”
  • “Pfeijffer has our unconditional readers that we are rewarded for our trouble. He gives us a book that concerns us after the pages. For quid pro quo. So we raise our glass of gin and tonic to Genoa. La Superba! 

In fact De Inktaap is probably the second coolest literary prize I’ve ever heard of, after another prize La Superba won last year: the Tzum Prize, for the “most beautiful sentence written this year in Dutch” (and Pfeijffer is the only author to win this amazing prize twice):

Het was het witte uur na het middagmaal, de blanke pagina waarop hooguit iets met potlood wordt gekriebeld in geheimschrift, iets om onmiddellijk weer uit te gummen zodra de rolluiken omhoog worden getrokken en het leven opnieuw zwart op wit een aanvang neemt met bonnetjes, bestellingen en bezwaarschriften.

Translator Michele Hutchison is hard at work trying to bring this most beautiful of Dutch sentences into English, but the whole damn book is so beautiful and hilarious and amazing I can’t wait to share with the world the rapacious wit and deep stylistic brilliance of Pfeijffer. In the meantime, read Rupert: A Confession, Pfeijffer’s only other book in English so far, published by Open Letter back in 2009 in Michele’s translation as well. And as long as we’re doing sneak previews, here’s the sneak preview of the cover for La Superba: La_Superba_Cover_RGB

Deep Vellum’s book designer, Anna Zylicz, has outdone herself this fall. Our spring 2015 catalog showcased one ridiculously amazing style of book design and created a Deep Vellum aesthetic out of the gate, and we hope to continue to expand that aesthetic and always loop back around to what is most important to us in all of our future catalogs. Anna works tirelessly, not only designing the book covers, but also our catalog, and she typesets and lays out all of our books. Bless her heart. We’d be nothing without her. If you want some books designed, hit her up, she is the best.

Wait til you see the rest of the covers for the Fall 2015-2016 catalog…in fact I should write something up about all the awesome books we’ve signed recently as part of the Fall season AND next year’s Spring 2016 season which I think is full now…onward and upward, books!! The best books!! Deep Vellum books!!!!!

Gnarr in Dallas!

March 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

Jón Gnarr is in Dallas!

The man, the mayor, the anarchist, the crossdresser, the legend himself, Jón Gnarr has made it to Dallas ahead of the icepocalypse for his reading tomorrow night at Turner House! Don’t miss out on Gnarr’s first-ever Dallas appearance tomorrow, Thursday, March 5th, at the  Turner House Salon Series at Turner House in Oak Cliff, Dallas, TX. Doors are at 7pm, the event starts at 7:30pm. Tickets are $20 for the public, $15 for members & students.

Gnarr Turner House March 5 Flyer

Gnarr and I will have a discussion about life, books, our friendship, and more, and he will read from Lytton Smith’s marvelous translation of The Indian, his literary debut, a memoir-novel about his brutal childhood that is somehow told with warmth and unprecedented insight into the psyche of a child lashing out at the world, which we will publish to the world on May 5th. But lucky you, Dallas audience, you have the chance to get a copy of The Indian tomorrow night and get Gnarr to sign your copy for you after the reading. If you are a Deep Vellum subscriber, come to the event and I will give you your subscriber copy in person for Gnarr to sign for you. These books are beautiful, they arrived yesterday, and review copies went out to major trade & review outlets immediately. Proud to announce these are the first books we have printed with vellum stock covers! Finally, Deep Vellum is living up to its name!

Gnarr The Indian


Otherwise, subscriber copies will not be mailed until the end of March or early April (I’m debating whether to send it together with the subscriber copy of Anne Garréta’s Sphinx, which publishes three weeks earlier than the Gnarr, not that the reading public gives a damn about publishing industry dates, but I’m more worried about what happens when you send someone two books at once…does that make them MORE or LESS likely to read one OR both books?!?!? Reader psychology, the type of thing that now keeps me up at night…

And for all the subscribers and supporters of Deep Vellum who were planning to join us tonight for a meet & greet with Gnarr, please note that event is now CANCELLED. The weather is already treacherous and only promises to get worse as this pouring rain hardens into ice in the next hour or two. Go home, hunker down, and come hang out tomorrow night at Turner House.

Dallas Festival of Ideas This Weekend

February 25, 2015 § 2 Comments

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!