Two Words: The Blog of the Center for the Art of Translation

Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day April 30!

Posted on April 25, 2016, 03:04:00 PM by Erin Branagan

We're looking forward to Independent Bookstore Day this Saturday, April 30. This incredible day, which started as California Bookstore Day just a few years ago, has now become a national day to celebrate independent bookstores.

With more than 400 bookstores in 48 states planning events, there's no shortage of fun activities near you!

In addition to special readings and events, stores will be offering exclusive merchandise created especially for the event. Many limited edition, unique items will be available only at participating independent bookstores, and only on April 30.

We've compiled a list of events at some of our favorite Bay Area bookstores, and we've prepared a handy guide for you to download and use as a reference! You can also check the national IBD website to find a participating store near you.

Green Apple Books (506 Clement St., San Francisco)
Kate Schatz and Miriam Stahl, author and illustrator of Rad American Women A-Z, will be signing books, playing with temporary tattoos, and listening to X is For….

Sylvi the Poet will be typing and giving away free poems!

Exclusive limited edition prints, signed books, free beer, and a prize wheel.

Green Apple Books on the Park (1231 9th Ave., San Francisco)
Morning purchases will include free mimosas.

Illustrators Lisa Brown (How to Be), Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Drama, Sisters), and Green Apple’s own Ashley Despain will run a How to Draw class, followed by a book signing. Advance tIckets required.

Lisa Swerling’s traveling book-themed dioramas, the world’s tiniest art installation, will be unveiled.

2 pm: Trivia Contest with prizes.

5 pm: French Consulate ribbon cutting and wine and cheese reception to celebrate our new French Corner.

6 pm: The Believer Book Swap.

Other activities include the first ever Bookstore Free Throw Shooting Contest, an annual Weird Book Give Away, and an exclusive limited edition signed poster featuring Daniel Clowes’ artwork.

The Booksmith (1644 Haight St., San Francisco)
Together with Papa Llama, SF’s letter press, greeting card, and printmaking gurus, they’ll have supplies on hand for you to catch up with your pen pals for Letter Writing Saturdays, as well as printmaking demonstrations and activities for all ages from 12-3pm.

Kepler’s Books (1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park)
Make book covers for your favorite books.

Literary trivia contest for adults.

Enjoy yummy cookies and drinks and make Book Cookie Catchers with book recommendations inside.

Diesel: A Bookstore (5433 College Ave., Oakland)
10 am: Big Kid / Little Kid Juice Stand (mimosas!)

11 am: Storytime with Kati Hites, author of Winnie & Waldorf

2 pm: C.D. Wright Appreciation & Release Party

8:30 pm: Free screening of John Huston's 1979 film adaptation of Flannery O'Connor's novel Wise Blood

Books Inc.  (various locations)
Opera Plaza, 2 pm: Pablo Hidalgo, creative executive at LucasFilm Story Group and author of Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary and co-author of Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, Updated and Expanded. This event will feature a visit from members of the Golden Gate Garrison of the 501st Legion and photo ops with Stormtroopers and Kylo Ren. A portion of this event's proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Laurel Village: Find the Duck & Goose Game for kids, Literary Trivia Game for Adults

Chestnut: Visit the selfie station and pose for a photo placing YOU on the cover of a book!

Palo Alto, 1 pm: Join the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre for Story Acting! Using familiar stories, improvisation, and creative movement, children leap into action as story characters! Classic children’s books are used to teach children how to use their bodies and voices to create fun and familiar characters. Space is limited; sign up at Books Inc. Palo Alto.

4 pm: Duck & Goose storytime featuring Lauren Savage. Lauren will perform the song that she wrote for the newest Duck and Goose book “Duck and Goose Let’s Dance.” (Ages 3+)

Burlingame, 3 pm: Author Jane Havemeyer reads from The Thinking Girl's Treasury of Dastardly Dames.

Berkeley: Become your favorite literary character with the LitBooth photobooh!! Props and accessories will be provided for customers to transform themselves into Harry Potter, Gandalf, The Cat in the Hat, and more!

Alameda, 11 am:  Local writer and rad woman Kate Schatz celebrates the limited edition Independent Bookstore Day vinyl, X is For . . . , an awesome companion to the hit book, Rad American Women A-Z, X is For…  features Angela Davis, Rebecca Solnit, Alice Bag, Charlene Yi, and many more rad women!

Pegasus Books (various locations)

Solano Ave: A special party featuring Dogstomers!

Downtown Berkeley: An "Ask Mary Anything" hour with science writer Mary Roach.

Pegasus Oakland:  Live Music by the "Dusty Case Duo"

Mrs. Dalloway’s (2904 College Ave., Oakland)
Bring your dog by for a homemade treat made from DIY for Your Dog: 30 Toys, Treats, and Treasures to Make by Rachelle Blondel, and get Rover ready for a close-up! We'll post photos on our website.

Grab the kids and try your hand at drawing some of your favorite illustrated book characters. We'll have a big table set up with paper, pens, and pencils. Best drawing will win a free copy of Draw Me! Aimed at ages 6-12, it includes step-by-step instructions on how to draw characters like Mo Willem’s Pigeon, Raina from Smile and Sisters, Curious George, Fly Guy, and many more. Also includes instructions for creating a flipbook and a multi-panel comic book.

And while you're at the drawing table, pick up a copy of The Neil Gaiman Coloring Book which includes 20 pieces of black-and-white art by Chris Riddell and quotes from Neil Gaiman—taken from the pages of Coraline, The Graveyard Book, and Fortunately, the Milk—all ready to be colored in by YOU with a set of colored pencils!

4 pm: Join us for a beer/wine/pizza pairing and tasting. We'll have unique brews and wine chosen by our neighbors at Vintage Berkeley paired with the delicious pizza made by our neighbors at the newly revived Nabalom Bakery.

Discovering Modiano's City of Lost Youth

Posted on April 19, 2016, 01:42:00 PM by Sarah Coolidge


Before winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2014, Patrick Modiano was a nobody in the English-speaking world. We’ve since seen the urgent attempt at playing catch-up. Translations of his works have been released, re-released, and consumed by readers hungry to know who this Modiano character is and why they had never heard of him before.

A few weeks ago, I decided to give Patrick Modiano a try in preparation for this week’s Salon with Modiano translator Chris Clarke. And so I read Young Once (tr. Damion Searls) and In the Café of Lost Youth. The truth is I devoured them; I read each novel in a single day, becoming one of those zombies who tries to read while walking, in the car before driving, in the car after driving, at the dinner table, etc. They are slim, easy reads, and yet brevity does not always guarantee binge-like consumption. I’ll readily admit that I’ve struggled to get through 70-page novels merely because I feel distractible, uninvested, my eyes on the page, my attention elsewhere.

But Modiano’s prose rises up like a city around you...

(Read the rest of this post on the Two Lines Press blog)

The details:
  • Thursday, April 21
  • Chris Clarke in conversation with Scott Esposito on In the Café of Lost Youth
  • Doors 5:30, event 6:00
  • Two Lines Press offices: 582 Market St., Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Free alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks for all

What Are We Reading for Poetry Month?

Posted on April 6, 2016, 03:26:00 PM by Sarah Coolidge


In celebration of National Poetry Month, we wanted to share with you the poets we've recently been reading and enjoying. We all know how difficult it is to choose a book–especially when there are so many incredible ones piling up around us–so here's a nice short list of recommendations–both in translation and not–for you to pick from this month:

Kim Yideum's Cheer Up, Femme Fataletranslated from the Korean by Ji Yoon Li, Don Mee Choi, and Johannes Görensson: "Very much in the tradition of Kim Hyesoon: rangy, with almost a polyphonic quality, incorporating both high and low registers." — CJ Evans, Two Lines Press Editorial Director

Olena Kalytiak Davis's The Poem She Didn't Write and Other Poems

Christopher Logue's War MusicWyatt Mason wrote a great letter of recommendation in The New York Times about this creative translation of Homer's Iliad

Tomasz Rozycki's Coloniestranslated from the Polish by Mira Rosenthal

Jorge Esquinca's Description of a Flash of Cobalt Blue, expertly translated from the Spanish by Dan Bellm

Beloved Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik's Extracting the Stone of Madness will soon come out from New Directions, translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert

The Mansion of Happiness by Robin Ekiss: "Vaguely inspired by old board games, curiosity cabinets, and automatons (as well as the poet's personal history)." — Erin Branagan, Communications Director

And of course, this year's PEN Award for Poetry in Translation winner The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa, translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu

So get dust off your bookshelves, hit the book stores, and get reading!