Fresh Air: Figuratively & Literally

Tram 83 was reviewed on Fresh Air with Terry Gross today!

NPR’s Fresh Air w/ Terry Gross raved about Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s Tram 83 as an “exuberantly dark” debut on today’s show, and noted the light-footed skill” of Roland Glasser’s translation!

Fiston evokes the textures of the city in all its deliriousness, blowing marvelous riffs on everything from the sleaziness of foreign visitors to the differing shapes of streetwalkers’ buttocks to the way the poor patrons of Tram 83 like jazz, because it’s so classy. Virtually every scene is punctuated by the come-ons of the prostitutes — too lewd to quote here — that serve almost like a Greek chorus repeatedly saying, “Live for now, live for now, live for now.”

Fiston & Roland are still conquering the US, today they arrived in the Bay Area, where they will read at UC-Berkeley this evening (5-7pm), and at the in SF tomorrow night, culminating in their Litquake Literary Festival appearance atGreen Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco this Saturday, October 10th, at 7:30pm:

Thu. Oct. 8 UC-Berkeley’s French Dept. presents Fiston Mwanza Mujila &translator Roland Glasser reading & discussion at the University of California, Berkeley (Dwinelle Hall) – Berkeley, California – 5pm

Sat. Oct. 10 – Fiston Mwanza Mujila & translator Roland Glasser reading at Litquake at Green Apple Books on the Park (9th Ave.) – San Francisco, CA – 7:30pm

The Offing Magazine agrees with Fresh Air, and has included Tram 83 as one of its Early Fall Fiction Picks, and they love Tram 83 down under too, where the Sydney Morning Herald, selected Tram 83 as its Pick of the Week!!

And if you live in Texas, make sure to pick up a signed copy of Tram 83 from Brazos Bookstore in Houston; Malvern Books in Austin; The Wild Detectives in Dallas; or from us at Booth #214 at the Texas Book Festival next weekend! Plus, for your enjoyment, here’s Fiston & Roland’s performance from Malvern Books on September 30th, improvising their reading accompanied by saxophonist Chris Hall:

Speaking of picks, the Dallas Observer has put together a “10 Books To Read This Fall” list that includes Alisa Ganieva’s The Mountain and the Wall!!

At first, the Republic of Dagestan, in spite of being a very real region at the southwestern tip of Russia, seems far away and utterly unreal. Perhaps that is because Ganieva’s debut novel, published and translated by Deep Vellum, is one of the first books set in this part of the world published in English. Or perhaps that is because of Ganieva’s writing, which has a kind of magic.

Come visit us at the Texas Book Festival next weekend in Austin, October 17-18, in and around the State Capitol Building! We’ll be there slinging books in Booth #214 (up by the Kirkus Reviews tent!), shared with the homies from Restless Books, you can hang out with our new managing director, Jennifer Smart, and grab some signed copies of Tram 83 and The Indian!!

tx book fest map

Our friends at Mexico City Lit have posted a (beautifully-formatted) excerpt fromSergio Pitol‘s remarkable travel novel-memoir The Journey, “May 29,” which you can read by clicking this beautiful book cover image below:


And today Svetlana Alexievich of Belarus won the Nobel Prize in Literature!! Congratulations to all who have ever and shall ever publish this remarkable author, starting with Dalkey Archive Press (Victoria, TX represent!), where my publishing mentor Chad Post edited this book and helped bring it into English in Keith Gessen‘s translation. Though we didn’t win the Nobel Prize this year (though I tried to sign Alexievich’s new book, Time Second-Hand, which is coming soon fromFitzcarraldo Editions in the UK & a TBA publisher in the US!), it was fun to seeSergio Pitol and Mikhail Shishkin‘s names pop up in this New Republic piece on Nobel Prize odds!

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