Literary roundup: a Slovak Forrest Gump and a writer’s Bucharest

The Missing Slate has published an excerpt from the fantastic novel  Samko Tále’s Cemetery Book by Slovak writer Daniela Kapitáňová and translated by Julia Sherwood. The book was published in the UK by Garnett Press in 2011 but has yet to find a US publisher. First published in Slovakia in 2000 to great success the book, according to its publisher, “is narrated by an intellectually and physically stunted creature and arch-conformist who enthusiastically embraces every kind of prejudice both under Communism and in the newly independent Slovakia.” Or, to put it another way, it’s a bit like Forrest Gump’s evil twin.

Cărtărescu + Bucharest

At Words Without Borders Romanian novelist and author of the recently published Blinding, Mircea Cărtărescu, speaks about his native city, making it sound very mysterious and evocative, with a “subterranean life, full of mysteries” and how “it is half Oriental, looking as much like Istanbul or Cairo as like Paris, Brussels, or Vienna.” He mentions reading associated with the city and an iconic literary site as well as the personal associations that have entered into his work.


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