Category: On Books

Unearthing Erotic Genius: On Rut Hillarp and Swedish Modernism

“Rut Hillarp was born 100 years ago this past Friday. She is one of the most unfairly marginalized authors in Swedish literary history. It’s as if we refuse to allow ourselves to discover just how damned excellent a poet she is.” — Bernur, February 23, 2014. “Her lyrical prose is fantastic: so beautiful, erotic, dark, perceptive and intense.” — Swedish novelist Therese Bohman… Read more →

All Monsters Must Die: An Excursion to North Korea

In late 2014, I spent a few months immersed in North Korea, translating Magnus Bärtås and Fredrik Ekman’s All Monsters Must Die: An Excursion to North Korea into English. I loved everything about the book: the interwoven cultural and political histories (specifically: film history), the surreal reality the authors were navigating as part of a group trip through North Korea, the cultural and… Read more →

London Literature Festival News!

I’m excited to share that I’ll be donning two guises at the London Literature Festival this October: co-conspirator (pixels and sharp angles) and moderator/fangirl (spectacles and exclamation points). For the next edition of Local Transport, Michael Salu and I have lined up a trio of exciting artists who will explore Data and Desire. What can all the data in the world tell… Read more →

From “The Memory of a Secret”

What do we know about our parents? They’re never anything but parents. They do what parents do, listen but never speak. Help you up but they themselves stay down. One day you’ll start to wonder who they are. Those people who’ve always just been there. You realize that you don’t know what they’re thinking about in their beds at night. You… Read more →

The Quietus!

A big thanks to Jen Calleja, Amanda DeMarco, Karl Smith for making this happen! Here’s the start of The Quietus interview. Read on, lovelies. Verfreundungseffekt: The Translator Is Present – Saskia Vogel Interviewed  By Jen Calleja  This month’s column swings the focus to the unsung hero – the literary translator – but just as much on contemporary Swedish literature and inventive ways… Read more →

Just Be: On “The Boys” and reluctant womanhood

As a pre-teen in Southern California, I was terrified of the day I would have to wear a bra. As soon as you wore one, the boys would stalk you around school, sneak up behind you, and painfully snap the hook and eye closure against your back. It was a humiliating hazing ritual of sorts, with one foot in the… Read more →

Press for New Swedish Fiction at the Ace Hotel Shoreditch

A splash of press from the Audible UK blog on a New Swedish Fiction Night, co-organized by Dialogue and SELTA. A Night in Translation by Claire O’Neill Last Thursday we had the pleasure of an invite to Saskia Vogel’s Swedish anti-crime lit session, including actors from Liars’ League and a select audience of East London’s lit folk. Huddled in the depths of Shoreditch’s The Ace… Read more →

From Books You Think I’ve Read

Recently, I read a profile of a female media mogul that made a passing reference to the fact that she and her husband read all of the same books. Each and every one. That’s real love, I thought, and immediately came down with a case of reader’s guilt. How does reading the same books strengthen our bonds, romantic or platonic?… Read more →

Kwani at 10: The Making of Pan-African Literary Community

In the ten years since its launch, Kwani?, East Africa’s first literary journal, has led the growth of literary life in the region — and now looks ahead. Reposted from Publishing Perspectives. By Saskia Vogel Kwani?, East Africa’s first literary journal, turned ten in November 2013 and the waves of their five-day long anniversary celebration continue to ripple half a… Read more → It’s the End of the World, Again

Growing up in Los Angeles, there was always the threat of the end: the earth would shake and take the city with it. After the 1992 riots, I couldn’t let go of the feeling that the city could rupture again, at any time. The hills would burn, the land would slide. Or we’d use up all the water and then… Read more →