Sunshine Abroad

The trials and rewards of French translation and beyond

Studying the Backlash

Sadly, there's a new trend that's emerged, one that disproportionately affects people who are curious and inclusive by nature: hateful backlash and threats on the Internet.

Good job, humanity.

It's the kind of thing that makes you weep, that makes you scared, but it always happens to other people. It's just in the video game industry, right? It could never happen to me. It could never happen to us writers. All we have to deal with is censorship, right? (Not that that couldn't be dangerous, too.)

But I read a very interesting article the other day, a report by Chloe Angyal, an editor at the Huffington Post. "I Decided Not To Read Books By White Authors For A Year. Conservatives Lost Their Damn Minds." Take a moment and go read it, then come back here and we can debrief.


Hi, welcome back.

Besides the general problem I have with people hating other people, the fear of things unknown that makes people lash out in anger, and what could possibly ever lead someone to threaten the life or well-being of another human just for implying that other humans are in fact human, there's a weird dichotomy here. Angyal is receiving vitriolic backlash for publicly stating her intent to read books by non-white authors in 2016. But Ann Morgan's project (and subsequent book) to read one book from every country in the world, A Year of Reading the World, received no such hatemail. (It's true. I asked her.) Whew.

On the surface, these two projects don't seem that different. One is publicly championing "minority" or "non-white" authors; the other, "foreign" authors. Both of these groups are part of the "unknown other" for the large section of the literary world that is white Anglophones. And although Angyal has a bigger online presence than Morgan, the latter has attracted a relatively sizable following in recent years. She's even given a TED talk.

So what is it? Is Angyal's project, shall we say for the sake of argument, designed to attract racists, by explicitly stating she won't be "reading any books by white people" this year? Whereas perhaps Morgan's project played more into the concept of exotic and attractive foreigner? Is it as simple as Angyal's idea being to NOT read certain things, and Morgan's idea being to read MORE things? I'm certainly not saying (oh gods please no) that either of these women deserve any hatred or backlash. But why the difference?

I don't have an answer. I can't figure out why Angyal's getting the response she is. I enjoy being optimistic and believing that we all can just love everyone, and I'm often disappointed. I think that reading books is fantastic, that everyone can read whatever books they'd like, and that reading books by authors who aren't like you in some way can open your worldview and bring you immense joy.

But then again, I'm a translator. Of course I would think that.

Tracing Word of Mouth

Before the Internet, that's how everything spread. Word of mouth was like wildfire. Sometimes it would beat newspaper headlines to the other side of the country. We may forget it, in this era of instant tweets, but people used to talk to each other all the time.

Geez, where did we go wrong? (I kid. The Internet is awesome and creates many opportunities that never existed before.)

Anyway. I've mentioned before that the Internet is not quite ubiquitous in Madagascar. All the authors I'm working with (save one) have an email address, but response times from them can range anywhere from a few days to a few months. Word of mouth is alive and well there.

And oh, in so many ways. Let me count them.

Way #1: Random Phone Calls

Week two into my Madagascar visit, I finally get an email from an author I adore! We set up a meeting! The meeting goes great! I ask him for a favor: there are a handful of authors I haven't been able to contact yet. Does he know them? Why yes! He'll contact them that evening and give them my information.

I'm an American. I found him via email. I assume he means email.

Fast forward four days, I'm in the bus (taxi-be -- remember those?) when my phone rings. My Malagasy phone. With a number I don't have programmed into it. Who the heck in Madagascar could have found that number if they didn't already have it? It's loud on the bus, so I can't even hear her name. She just starts going on and on about how somebody I met on Saturday told her to call me because I was interested in what she'd written . . . Oh. It's only one of the most lauded authors in all of Madagascar on the other end. What's proper talking-on-the-phone-on-the-bus etiquette, again?

Way #2: That Elusive Catch

A couple months ago, I was desperately trying to contact an author whose work I wanted to put into the issue I'm guest-editing for Words Without Borders. I'd only hit dead ends. No email online, no university posting that might have a phone number, no blog that talked about her, no contact from her publisher, no nothing. And yet, her bio mentioned her prolific writing career and the radio shows (plural) that she hosts in Mada. Someone had to know her, right? . . . Right??

I ended up mass-emailing all the authors I'd met while there to see if any of them knew her. Finally, one wrote back to say that he had a phone number for her . . . but it was disconnected. Sigh.

A week later, something must have changed. She was back on the grid! I put credit in my Skype account and dialed away. After a very awkward explanation of who I was and why I loved her so much, we set a date to have a call where she would answer all the questions I had about her work. (We ended up talking for so long that time that the call disconnected because I had run out of credit on my end. It's a common occurrence in Mada. She thought an American running out of credit was the funniest thing she'd ever heard of.)

Finally, I asked her the best way to get the contract for rights to her. Did she have an email address I could send it to? Well, no. And no postal address, either. Umm. Okay. I can't send a contract via phone.

What about that other author who'd given me her phone number in the first place? Was she friendly enough with him to have him serve as printer-and-email-holding intermediary? Why yes! Lovely. Excellent. All's well that ends well.

Way #3: Just Talk to People

My very first full day in Madagascar last year, I was running on terrible jet lag, four hours of sleep, and precious little ability to take care of myself. My host family had delivered me to the founder of the first non-profit organization I was visiting, who drove me two hours outside of the capital to rural Ambatolampy. The only way to stay awake (and be polite) was to talk, and he and his assistant were fascinated by what in the world I was doing in their country. I explained my job reporting on some non-profits, and then my own personal reasons for coming, mostly having to do with literature.

The assistant bursts out laughing from the back seat. The founder grins and says, "Oh, you must meet my wife."

He goes on to explain that he's married to the daughter of General Ramakavelo, a cultural figurehead of Madagascar and probably the only politician who's ever been beloved in that country. This daughter -- his wife -- is a champion of all things artistic, and has a wide network of authors whom she champions and runs events with. They're even going to a gala thrown by the Minister of Culture in a few weeks. I wouldn't want to come with, would I? (Sadly, it ended up taking place after I'd already left the country. But I got the contact.)

Is there a moral to this story? No, not really. It's just a story.

But talking to people is generally worth it.

Mispronouncing Everyone's Name

A few weeks ago, I got to attend what has become my favorite weekend of the year: the annual ALTA conference, this year held in Tucson, AZ. (This should surprise no one.) I had an absolutely wonderful time! (This should also surprised no one. But if you are surprised, then welcome to this blog! Feel free to check everything out.)

One of my favorite parts has become almost too popular in recent years: the Bilingual Readings. Anyone who signs up in advance is given the chance to do a reading of whatever translations they've been working on or had published, along with a snippet of the original text. It's a really fun opportunity to hear unfamiliar languages spoken -- this year, along with my usual French, I heard Albanian, Armenian, Bosnian, Chinese, Croatian, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Turkish.

But you read that part where I said it was almost (but only almost) too popular? So many people have started becoming so excited about these readings that they're now being double-booked. One of the things this means is that Alexis Levitin, the fearless leader/organizer of these readings for over a quarter of a century, can no longer be the emcee for every reading (as he'd like to be).

So I helped him out this year, at the "Romance and Mediterranean" session. My job was simple: introduce the readers, read their bios from the back of the program, and make some attempt at timekeeping. Turns out, I'm pretty good at that last one, but, despite years of theater experience, kind of crap at the first two.

Most of this is probably because some of my favorite translators like listing many of their authors in their bios, which I then have to read. But I found myself doing something odd. Something, for me, unexpected. I started glossing over all the author names, apologizing, even teasing the translators for having so many hard-to-pronounce names in their bios.

Now, perhaps all of this makes sense for an American who's studied French and is asked to read a Turkish name. But I've also studied Italian and Hebrew pronunciation in symphonic choirs. Why did I suddenly start giving up on those, too?

Sigh. I'm better than that.

There's also been a lot in the media recently, from academia to Tumblr, about microaggressions. (See this tool from UCLA with explanations and examples.) Plus: privilege, and biases, and safe spaces. Lots of good articles and starting points all over the place. And it got me wondering: should we translators and editors be doing more to work on this? How much harder is it for people who work in vastly international realms to figure out pronunciation rules for dozens, if not hundreds of languages? And is that any excuse?

I've been struggling with mispronouncing Malagasy names for the last two years. Yes, they're long. Yes, they have a few unfamiliar sounds in them. But shouldn't I just be working harder and practicing? Is apologizing enough?

Andriamangatiana. Jaomanoro. Rafenomanjato. I should be getting to the point where these names slide easily over my tongue.

Sigh again.

At least I've gotten to the point where I can spell them correctly on a consistent basis.

Well, frick that, then.

A friend of mine passed away today.

Except he couldn't have been a friend, right? We only exchanged a few emails.

And it wasn't today. Today is just when the news reached me.

David Jaomanoro is a Malagasy writer who spent the last eighteen years living in Mayotte. He won the Grand Prix RFI-ACCT de la nouvelle, a French short story prize, for "Funérailles d'un cochon". That story (and one other, along with a handful of his poems) was translated into English for the bilingual anthology, Voices from Madagascar/Voix de Madagascar.

This guy was a master of short stories. I read an entire collection of his, and you know how many stories I earmarked? 90% of them. I only earmark stories that I really want to work on.

I started translating one of these stories, "Nenitou", over a year ago, before I even went to Madagascar. I loved it, but I didn't understand half of the references. While in Madagascar, I asked everyone I met if they had an email or phone number for David. No luck. He was the only author I wanted to contact that I didn't reach by the end of my trip.

Months later,  I finally found a lead online. I sent him an email introducing myself and my project, held my breath, and let it out almost instantly -- he responded within just a couple of days. I asked him general questions about "Nenitou" and the rest of his writing, and he answered with grace and gratitude. He was incredibly sharp and well-spoken, and it was wonderful to read all his explanations. I promised to send him a list of all the specific questions I had about "Nenitou".

That email was sent on December. I never heard from him again. I followed up in March, just to see if it had gotten lost in the shuffle, but still no reply.

This weekend, I am in DC, working with a Malagasy-American author on a co-translation from Malagasy (not French) directly into English. We got to talking about other authors from her country, of course, and she started listing some of her favorites. She mentioned David's prize-winning short story and grabbed the collection it had first been published in, and then said, "Oh, but wasn't he the one who died?"

I hate it when my heart stops like that. When there's ever a reason for my heart to stop like that.

David Jaomanoro passed away from a stroke on December 7, 2014 -- the day before my last email to him.

It's the strangest feeling to suddenly understand the lengthy silence, to know that your questions will never be answered, to try to mourn someone you never met and knew little about.

Anyway. There's a nice obituary in French here, and a hefty bio also in French here. The first result I found online for an English-language biography is a one-line mention in a Wikipedia list. Maybe I can do something to change that. Maybe that's what I can do.

Revert, Revise, Reconfigure: My Brain

Here’s what being non-natively bilingual means.

It means that I didn’t grow up speaking French, but I speak it now.

It means I’m proficient, not fluent. It means I speak French well enough that a surprisingly high number of people have been mislead into the assumption that I’m actually French, but I still sometimes have to ask French people about vocabulary words.

It means that I can write pretty darn well in French, but if it’s a professional thing, I’ll have a native French speaker edit it.

It means I can slip very easily between French and English. It means I can slip very easily between the US and France and England and Madagascar.

It also means that my brain is wired one way, with additional circuits that have been added as the years have gone by.

When I’m in a French-speaking environment, I think in French. (That was one of the ways that I knew I was finally becoming comfortable with the language, when I could think and dream in it.)

When I’m in an Anglophone environment, my brain reverts to its original programming. And it reverts so much that all my memories transform into English memories. Any recalled speech from a French conversation is automatically recalled in English, and if I were to want to recount the actual French words for someone, I’d have to retranslate it back to my second language in my head.

Brain circuitry is weird. I don’t quite understand it sometimes.

Security, Life, and Madagascar

Point of order #1: I realize I haven't written much about Madagascar in the months since I traveled there. I've been hard at work doing lots of translating, both of stories and novel excerpts. The first piece has been picked up for an anthology from Serving House Books, and more announcements will be coming soon! If any of you lovely readers are interested in helping out, either from a publishing or translation standpoint, please do let me know.

Point of order #2: The main reason I haven't written much here is that I've been busy. (See above, plus life.) But the secondary reason is that I'm still trying to process a lot about my trip to Madagascar last summer/fall, and consequently about the decision I made to learn more about the culture to be able to introduce it to my home culture.

Here follows some processing.

I knew that I would experience major culture shock going to Madagascar. It was going to be like nothing I'd ever experienced before. I talked with some friends and colleagues before I left to get tips on traveling to an impoverished African country as a white American female, and I prepared as best I could. I also had essentially an entire family looking after me the entire time I was there, guiding me through the city, the food, the bathrooms, the expectations, and the very very few bookstores.

Because I had help, my experience was worlds easier than I'd expected. And yet it was also infinitely harder than I could have ever imagined. I was sleeping almost twelve hours a night, and I eventually realized it was because my mind and my senses were so overwhelmed with being constantly on guard. There was nothing I could take for granted, from the electricity being on or the water being hot, to being able to communicate with people or keeping myself safe.

This is hard to explain with the proper subtleties, so let me illustrate this with contrasting stories: a few weeks ago, I was pulled over by the police on the interstate in New York. (The reason was legitimate, but also unimportant to this discussion.) Although it was my first time being pulled over while driving, I knew exactly what to expect. I know a few cops, and they all say that traffic stops are the scariest parts of their jobs. They want to have as much control over the situation as possible, because anything could happen. So if they approach a car and the driver has already rolled down the window, turned their interior lights on, and put their hands in plain sight on the steering wheel, with their license and registration within reach, they feel better. Safer. So that's exactly what I did.

And I felt safe, too. I wasn't driving on a suspended license, the cop was just doing a routine stop, and I knew why. There was nothing for me to be afraid of, and no reason for me to not trust the cop.

(I understand that much of that feeling of security is because I'm white. That's a different discussion, but for now, I'll just acknowledge that I have that privilege.)

Let's contrast this to when the taxi I was riding in was pulled over by the cops in Madagascar around 11 at night in the middle of the capital city. I was going home from a party, one that I'd only attended because I'd been assured that the host would have a taxi driver friend of his available to take me home whenever I wanted. Madagascar doesn't have an official curfew, but it's not really safe to be out and about at night, especially for foreigners. Especially for a white vazaha. So I'd arranged a ride home well before the party. But come 11pm, when I wanted to go home, the host's friend was nowhere to be found. About five young Malagasy men, high schoolers, immediately volunteered to escort me to a taxi. They were friendly and protective (and still slightly in awe of me, the American girl), and they helped me find a taxi and negotiate a good price. The driver spoke a little French, and I knew the route home, so I felt as in control of the situation as I could have, given the circumstances.

The taxi was stopped by the cops as we were driving through the central square of the city. That was quite common, a practice set up to check the registration of taxi and bus drivers, and it does help to cut down on crime. But when we got stopped, they didn't care about the driver. There was a vazaha in the backseat. So I got asked for my papers, instead.

For security reasons—actual security reasons—I didn't carry my passport around with me. I had a copy of it and my visa. But as I discovered that night, that wasn't enough. I had to have my copy certified at the town hall. Fine. I said I'd do that come Monday morning. But that wasn't enough.

"Step out of the car, ma'am."

Well, it was that, in French. Said by a very uniformed gendarme with a semi-automatic weapon strapped across his chest. For all the talk about curfew, all the talk about corrupt politicians, no one had told me whether or not the police were trustworthy. I had no idea whether to cooperate or be scared out of my mind. Or both.

Ten minutes of questioning followed, while my taxi driver got out to smoke a cigarette. The questions started rather harshly, what are you doing in Madagascarwhat do you do for a living,  where are you fromwho are you staying with (which had the most terrifyingly hilarious response of "I don't know", because although I knew everyone's first names and had memorized the neighborhood name I was staying in, I hadn't yet memorized the last names of the huge family I was staying with . . . mostly because every generation has a different last name, and last names are quite long, and 95% of the last names start with A or R anyway). Eventually, the policeman turned a little chatty, was genuinely interested in what I thought of Madagascar, and I thought that maybe he was just bored and needed something to do.

Then, another police SUV pulled up onto the curb . . . in such a fashion that I was caught between the taxi and the first policeman, getting my shirt caught on the end of his rifle barrel as my toes tried to evade the SUV tires as they came by.

More questions followed, which now included the phrase well, we'll have to take you down to the station. Definitely not a situation I want to be in. I just kept answering any questions they asked, all the while asking if I could call my "host mom" to have her bring me my actual passport. The number I was actually bringing up on my phone, surreptitiously, inside my bag, was the emergency after-hours line to the US Embassy.

Suddenly, I got a new question: "It's dangerous to be out at night. Do you trust your taxi driver?"

Somehow I figured that if I answered "no", I wasn't going to get home that night. And the taxi driver hadn't done anything to make me not trust him. So I answered "yes".

My copies were handed back to me, and I was told to have a good night.

Now, the point of this story is not to say that Madagascar is a terrifying place to be. Nor to illustrate how naive I can be sometimes. (I realized later that they were only looking for a bribe, and one that would be equivalent to about 5 USD, at that.) It merely stands in contrast to the uneventful, non-worrisome, and routine traffic stop that I experienced in the States.

Madagascar is a hard place for an upper-middle class American to be. Most of Antananarivo runs about as well as early 1800's New York City, if someone had waved a magic wand and suddenly there were cars and cell phones dropped in. There are some slum areas where sewage literally runs through the gutters, where it looks like cell phones have been dropped into the Middle Ages. Basic expectations of life are different. Electricity is not a given. Freedom is not a right. Red zones of rioting are known as easily as the names of streets (and neither are marked on maps, generally speaking). It's a different world. And from my perspective, a difficult one.

But for some people in the world, that is just their life. I went, and I stayed, and I endured, and I left after six weeks to come back home to my spring-filled mattress and my shower with running hot water and my country where political unrest means angry Internet comments instead of life-threatening protests. And while I will never claim that my experience in Madagascar gave me PTSD, I do have some lasting reactions that approximate a very mild version of similar symptoms. I have had nightmares about the night I got stopped by the police in Madagascar. I play stories over and over again in my head that people told me about boarding up their houses and fleeing for the country in front of rioting mobs. And, while I have been working on translations and talking to all the authors I met there, I haven't necessarily proffered up many stories to friends and family here, for fear of . . . well, fear.

So. That's that. I'd been avoiding writing this post for a very long time, because I don't want anything to get in the way of Madagascar's chances for entering the international literary scene. I don't want my hard, not-perfect, but still glorious experience to dull the excitement of their literature.

Because here's the thing. Madagascar isn't perfect, but Malagasies know that, and they're working on it. They're not doing it in the same way as America, and that's fine. They're not at the same developmental point as America, and that's also fine. They know they have corrupt politicians, and unsafe streets, and questionable water supplies, and racism, and children who die during the rainy season because the country roads get so washed out that they literally can't get to the doctor. But they also know about the good things they have to offer: vanilla and lemurs, of course, but also completely organic food, a really great basketball team, a proud history of unifying the island before the Europeans came, the actual honest-to-goodness friendliest people I have ever met, and stories. Oh, the stories.

And that's what I love about Malagasies, and about Madagascar. They're not quite as far along the development scale as the States, but that's okay, and they're on their way. And there are lots of very, very smart people who live there and write remarkable works. So even if part of me is scared to go back for more research, I will go, and I'll get better at adapting, and I'll learn how to do that from Malagasies. I'm under no illusions that I can fix anything, but maybe I can help English speakers broaden their horizons a bit. And isn't that why we all translate, anyway?

"Erfurt" Giveaway Winners!

Happy Monday, everyone! And let me be the first to bring you good news. I don't have an envelope in my hand, but I do have your two winners for the e-book giveaway of Return to Erfurt, Story of a Shattered Childhood: 1935-1945.

Please give a big congratulations to two winners from Twitter:

James Garza (@GarzaWords) and Debbie Garrick (@DebbieTranslate)

I'll be contacting both of you shortly with how to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone who commented and spread the word! If you're interested in purchasing your very own copy of the book, you can. There are even options: paperback or e-book.


My Memoirs, Three Ways

Because I have to play my own game.

One of the things you can do in order to enter my giveaway (the contest is open through TONIGHT at 11:59pm EST) is to leave a comment explaining who you'd want to write your memoirs, if not you. There are a few ways one could go about this. The way I see it, I have three options:

1. Évelyne Bloch-Dano

Évelyne is a very well-known French biographer with many works to her name, including biographies of Proust's mother, Zola's wife, and a certain writer named George Sand. She'd make my life sound textured and romantic, delving through my emails (and grade-school handwritten correspondence) to paint a picture of the most interesting parts of my life. She wouldn't shy away from scandal--not that I've had any, mind you--but she wouldn't fabricate any, either.

There would probably be a scene dedicated to the time we met in Paris at Angelina, across from the Tuileries Gardens, and I gushed for a few minutes too long about the Mont Blanc. (I was nervous to meet her, and the dessert was amazing . . . )

2. My husband

Lots of you, dear readers, have mentioned family members, friends, or significant others who could write your memoirs, with the idea that they know you best. However, I'd have to nix this option as soon as it came to the table.

Not because my husband can't write. He can. He writes very good stories. No, it's because my husband is too biased. The man thinks I'm the best thing since sliced bread. And that's fantastic for a marriage, one might even say ideal. But if he wrote my memoirs, it would basically just be a list of my accomplishments in increasingly capitalized letters, with an increasing number of exclamation marks, in increasingly large font sizes, with an increasing number of superlative adjectives stuck in front of my name, so that eventually, an entire chapter would be a sentence of adjectives with one word on each page.

That's just bad formatting. I should spare the world that.

3. Neil Gaiman

I have no idea if world-famous, bestselling, award-winning sci-fi author Neil Gaiman has ever written anyone else's biography. I'd imagine his only interest would be in Terry Pratchett. But if I could convince him to write my memoirs, they would be laced with magic and mystery, in all the most ordinary ways. My American Girl dolls from childhood would have a strange power, my mother would probably have buttons for eyes, I would have befriended the old woman feeding pigeons in Union Square Park to start an adventure, and I'd be learning to play the carillon for use in the next war of the gods. But only in the most ordinary ways. The ocean, after all, is only at the end of the lane.


And there, that's my answer. If you'd still like a chance to win a free e-book copy of Return to Erfurt, leave a comment or spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #Erfurtgiveaway to enter by TONIGHT, Friday, February 27, 2015, at 11:59pm EST. Winners will be announced on Monday!

"Erfurt" Giveaway

I was going through old posts this morning and discovered that, the first time I did this, I called it something ridiculous. But tradition must be upheld. And thus, please prepare yourselves for:

The Second Not-Nearly-Regular-Enough-To-Be-Called-Annual A.M.C. Giveaway!

*assorted cheers and trumpets*

The Prize: Two (2) randomly-chosen people will each receive one (1) e-book copy of Return to Erfurt, Story of a Shattered Childhood: 1935-1945, by Olga Tarcali, translated by yours truly, published by Centro Primo Levi Editions, released this month. I can't inscribe them this time, but you have the option of receiving a handwritten letter from me to go along with your book, if you so choose.

The Entry(-ies): There are two ways of entering, each of which grants you one entry (so every person can enter up to twice).

  1. In honor of Olga Tarcali, Marianne's best friend who wrote her story in book form, leave a comment on this post of who you would want to write your memoir (other than yourself). Bonus brownie points for explaining why.
  2. To help spread the word, tweet a link to this post. Must either tweet at me (@sunshineabroad) or include this hashtag: #ErfurtGiveaway

The Deadline: End of this week! Friday, February 27, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

The Rules: After the contest, I will randomly select two entrants (by assigning a number to each comment and Twitter account and using a random number generator), and announce the winners on this blog on Monday, March 2. I will then contact the winners for their email address and, if desired, mailing address. Anyone with a valid email address anywhere in the world may enter. Limit two entries per person.

The Why: This is the most important book I've ever worked on, and it's a damn good one. I'd like to share it with people.

Good luck to all!

Announcement Time!

Remember that oh-so-emotionally-challenging yet ultimately rewarding book I told you lovely readers about a while back? This one. The book that I refuse to call my "Holocaust book". The one about a German girl's exile to France, hiding in Italy, and then life in France after the war . . . the girl-turned-woman who I got to meet, Marianne Spier-Donati. One of the bravest and most wonderful women I've ever met.

(There seems to be a theme, here. The first book I translated was also about another great woman, author George Sand. Huh. Nice connection.)

Anyway, back to the point at hand. This is a publishing announcement!

Yes, that's right: my translation of Return to Erfurt, Story of a Shattered Childhood: 1935-1945, by Olga Tarcali, has officially been published by Centro Primo Levi Editions.

Isn't it pretty? It fits in really nicely with all the different series that CPL Editions has started publishing. All of the books are fantastic. (Check them out here.)

Things to note:

  1. Yes, I will be doing a giveaway shortly. Stay tuned! More info TK.
  2. If you find yourself in New York City next week, CPL Editions is reopening the SF Vanni bookshop in celebration of all their new publications. The party will be on Tuesday, February 17th, 6-9:00 p.m., at 30 West 12th St. Full announcement here.
  3. Finally, and most importantly, you can purchase the book now! Paperbacks here, ebooks here, and more info from the publisher here.

Go forth and read! (I mean, it doesn't have to be this book; you should be reading excellent things, anyway.)