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 social history of North and South Korea and Japan. Yes, it’s about a high-profile kidnapping of two South Korean film legends, but it’s also a look at special effects on Godzilla…and the cultural lineage of Godzilla from Japan to NK to the US…and about how the dictator is created as a god/eternal icon, drawing from art history, world literature, and more.
Read an excerpt about a strange night in a (fake?) village and “culture shock” as a medical diagnosis at Literary Hub, and if you’re into reviews, here’s a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and a great review from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. And here’s a taste of Pulgasari…Godzilla’s brother from another mother?
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 us about the unknowable, the intangible, the essential mystery of life? Dystopian graphic novels, love at first sight, the S.O.U.L…. Give your weekend some byte.
I’m delighted to be sharing the stage once again with Lina Wolff for the First Look Book Club, where you’ll get a preview of her excellent novel Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs (translated by Frank Perry for And Other Stories). She’s one of my favorite Swedish authors. And her book. Oh. Divas. Death. Despair. Desire. Stories nestled into stories. From Mexico to Madrid. Check out an interview we did for Grantahere.