april 1–15, 2021

Books

  • Shawn Levy, Dolce Vita Confidential: Fellini, Loren, Pucci, Paparazzi, and the Swinging High Life of 1950s Rome
  • Muriel Spark, The Public Image
  • Donna Leon, The Anonymous Venetian
  • Donna Leon, Death & Judgment
  • Tim Parks, Italian Life

Films

  • Godzilla vs Kong, directed by Adam Wingard
  • Roman Holiday, dir. William Wyler

march 16–31, 2021

Books

  • Wayne Koestenbaum, Andy Warhol: A Biography
  • Curzio Malaparte, Diary of a Foreigner in Paris, translated by Stephen Twilley
  • Paul Scheerbart, Munchausen and Clarissa: A Berlin Novel, trans. Christina Svendsen
  • Ed Lin, Motherfuckerland
  • Georges Simenon, A Man’s Head, trans. David Coward
  • Roberto Bolaño, Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles, and Speeches 1998–2003, trans. Natasha Wimmer
  • M. John Harrison, The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again
  • Donna Leon, Death at La Fenice
  • Lee Jing-Jing, And Other Rivers
  • Donna Leon, Death in a Strange Country

Films

  • Ignoti alla città, directed by Cecilia Mangini
  • Tommaso, dir. Cecilia Mangini

march 1–15, 2021

Books

  • Gore Vidal, Point to Point Navigation
  • Jenifer Sang Eun Park, Autobiography of Horse: A Poem
  • Hope Mirrlees, Paris: A Poem
  • Roberto Bolaño, Cowboy Graves, translated by Natasha Wimmer
  • Roberto Bolaño, The Secret of Evil, trans. Chris Andrews & Natasha Wimmer
  • Paul Theroux, The Mosquito Coast
  • Guido Morselli, Dissipatio H.G., trans. Frederika Randall
  • Robert Walser, Little Snow Landscape, trans. Tom Whalen
  • Wayne Koestenbaum, My 1980s & Other Essays

Exhibits

  • “Heman Chong: Peace Prosperity And Friendship With All Nations,” STPI
  • “Roslisham Ismail aka Ise: Campur, Tolak, Kali, Bahagi, Sama Dengan (Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide, Equals),” NTU CCA

february 15–28, 2021

Books

  • Don Mee Choi, Hardly War
  • Charles G. Finney, The Circus of Dr. Lao
  • Lawrence Lacambra Ypil, The Experiment of the Tropics
  • Stanisław Lem, The Investigation, trans. Adele Milch
  • Gore Vidal, Palimpsest
  • Eliot Weinberger, Angels & Saints
  • Paula Mendoza, Play for Time: Poems

Films

  • Ten Years Thailand, dir. Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnnon Siriphol & Apichatpong Weerasethakul

february 1–14, 2021

Books

  • Tim Parks, Cara Massimina
  • Tim Parks, Mimi’s Ghost
  • Girolamo Cardano, The Book of My Life, translated by Jean Stoner
  • Tim Parks, Painting Death
  • Saul Friedländer, Proustian Uncertainties: On Reading and Rereading In Search of Lost Time
  • Jean-Patrick Manchette, No Room at the Morgue, trans. Alyson Waters
  • Gore Vidal, The City and the Pillar
  • Don Mee Choi, Translation Is a Mode = Translation Is an Anti-Neocolonial Mode
  • Gore Vidal, Kalki

Films

  • Bis ans Ende der Welt (Until the End of the World), directed by Wim Wenders

january 16–31, 2021

Books

  • M. P. Shiel, The Purple Cloud
  • Tania De Rozario, And the Walls Come Crumbling Down
  • Gore Vidal/Edgar Box, Death in the Fifth Position
  • Gore Vidal/Edgar Box, Death Before Bedtime
  • Gore Vidal/Edgar Box, Death Likes It Hot
  • Crazy Little Pyromaniacs: 35 Poets Under 35, ed. Crispin Rodrigues & Andrea Yew
  • Call & Response: A Migrant/Local Poetry Anthology, ed. Rolinda Onates Espanola, Zakir Hossain & Joshua Ip
  • Pooja Nansi, We Make Spaces Divine
  • James Sallis, Willnot
  • Carlo Emilio Gadda, That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana, trans. William Weaver
  • Bruno Jasieński, I Burn Paris, trans. Soren A. Gauger & Marcin Piekoszewski
  • Bruno Jasieński, The Legs of Izolda Morgan: Selected Writings, trans. Soren A. Gauger & Guy Torr
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, The Tombs of Atuan

Films

  • Marcel Duchamp: Art of the Possible, dir. Matthew Taylor

january 1–15, 2021

Books

  • Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination
  • Dino Buzzati, The Tartar Steppe, trans. Stuart C. Hood
  • Ermanno Cavazzoni, Brief Lives of Idiots, trans. Jamie Richards
  • Mynona, The Unruly Bridal Bed and Other Grotesques, trans. W. C. Bamberger
  • Mynona, My Papa and the Maid of Orléans and Other Grotesques, trans. W. C. Bamberger
  • John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
  • Leonardo Sciascia, The Council of Egypt, trans. Adrienne Foulke
  • Karen Tei Yamashita, Through the Arc of the Rain Forest
  • Claude McKay, Romance in Marseille

media consumption, 2020

Fiction

  • J. G. Ballard, High-Rise
  • J. G. Ballard, Vermilion Sands
  • Giorgio Bassani, The Heron, trans. Jamie McKendrick
  • Agustina Bazterrica, Tender is the Flesh, translated by Sarah Moses
  • Jean-Philippe Blondel, The 6:41 to Paris, trans. Alison Anderson
  • Boileau-Narcejac, Vertigo, trans. Geoffrey Sainsbury
  • Boileau-Narcejac, She Who Was No More, trans. Geoffrey Sainsbury
  • Boileau-Narcejac, Choice Cuts, trans. Brian Rawson
  • Jorge Luis Borges, A Universal History of Infamy, translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni
  • Jorge Luis Borges with Margarita Guerrero, The Book of Imaginary Beings, trans. Norman Thomas di Giovanni
  • Jorge Luis Borges, Evaristo Carriego: A Book About Old-time Buenos Aires, trans. Norman Thomas di Giovanni & Susan Ashe
  • Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Bioy-Casares, Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi, trans. Norman Thomas di Giovanni
  • Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Bioy-Casares, Chronicles of Bustos Domecq, trans. Norman Thomas di Giovanni
  • Ray Bradbury, Killer, Come Back to Me
  • Christopher Brown, Tropic of Kansas
  • Christopher Brown, Rule of Capture
  • Christopher Brown, Failed State
  • Anthony Burgess, Beard’s Roman Women
  • Amina Cain, Indelicacy
  • Andrea Camilleri, Hunting Season, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Sect of Angels, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Sacco Gang, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Safety Net, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Sicilian Method, trans. Stephen Saltarelli
  • Gianrico Carofiglio, A Walk in the Dark, trans. Howard Curtis
  • Gianrico Carofiglio, Involuntary Witness, trans. Patrick Creagh
  • The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction, trans. Pritham K. Chakravarthy
  • Piero Chiara, The Bishop’s Bedroom, trans. Jill Foulston
  • Julio Cortázar, Diary of Andrés Fava, trans. Anne McLean
  • Julio Cortázar, A Certain Lucas, trans. Gregory Rabassa
  • Albert Cossery, The Jokers, translated by Anna Moschovakis
  • Albert Cossery, Laziness in the Fertile Valley, trans. William Goyen
  • The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction, Volume 3, selected and translated by Rashmi Ruth Devadasan, Rakesh Khanna, V. Vinod & Nirmal Rajagopalan
  • Michael Dibdin, Ratking
  • Michael Dibdin, Vendetta
  • Michael Dibdin, Cabal
  • Michael Dibdin, Dead Lagoon
  • Michael Dibdin, Così fan tutti
  • Michael Dibdin, A Long Finish
  • Michael Dibdin, Blood Rain
  • Michael Dibdin, And Then You Die
  • Michael Dibdin, Medusa
  • Michael Dibdin, Back to Bologna
  • Michael Dibdin, End Games
  • Virginie Despentes, Vernon Subutex 1, trans. Frank Wynne
  • Bruce Duffy, The World as I Found It
  • Jean Echenoz, I’m Gone, trans. Mark Polizzoti
  • Jean Echenoz, Ravel, trans. Linda Coverdale
  • Jean Echenoz, Running, trans. Linda Coverdale
  • Jean Echenoz, Lightning, trans. Linda Covedale
  • Jean Echenoz, 1914, translated by Linda Coverdale
  • Jean Echenoz, The Queen’s Caprice, trans. Linda Coverdale
  • Jean Echenoz, Big Blondes, trans. Mark Polizzotti
  • Jean Echenoz, Cherokee, trans. Mark Polizzotti
  • Jean Echenoz, We Three, trans. Jesse Anderson
  • Jean Echenoz, Special Envoy, trans. Sam Taylor
  • Jean Echenoz, Piano, trans. Mark Polizzotti
  • Lucy Ellmann, Man or Mango? A Lament
  • Lucy Ellmann, Dot in the Universe
  • Lucy Ellmann, Doctors and Nurses
  • Lucy Ellmann, Mimi
  • Percival Everett, Cutting Lisa
  • Percival Everett, Suder
  • Percival Everett, The Book of Training by Colonel Hap Thompson of Roanoke, VA, 1843: Annotated from the Library of John C. Calhoun
  • Percival Everett, Telephone
  • Percival Everett, God’s Country
  • Percival Everett, Watershed
  • Percival Everett, American Desert
  • Percival Everett, Wounded
  • Percival Everett, Walk Me to the Distance
  • J. G. Farrell, The Singapore Grip
  • Leonor Fini, Rogomelec, translated by William Kulik & Serena Shanken Skwersky
  • Brad Fox, To Remain Nameless
  • Cristina Rivera Garza, The Iliac Crest, trans. Sarah Booker
  • Cristina Rivera Garza, The Taiga Syndrome, trans. Suzanne Jill Levine & Aviva Kana
  • Renee Gladman, Houses of Ravicka
  • Sam Greenlee, The Spook Who Sat by the Door
  • Garth Greenwell, What Belongs to You
  • Garth Greenwell, Cleanness
  • Yuri Herrera, Kingdom Cons, trans. by Lisa Dillman
  • Chester Himes, The Crazy Kill
  • Chester Himes, Plan B
  • Chester Himes, Pinktoes
  • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
  • Rita Indiana, Made in Saturn, trans. Sydney Hutchinson
  • Rita Indiana, Tentacle, trans. Achy Obejas
  • Tove Jansson, Fair Play, trans. Thomas Teal
  • Franz Kafka, The Lost Writings, trans. Michael Hofmann
  • Eka Kurniawan, Kitchen Curse, translated by Annie Tucker, Tiffany Tsao, Maggie Tiojakin & Benedict Anderson
  • Volker Kutscher, Babylon Berlin, translated by Niall Sellar
  • Volker Kutscher, The Silent Death, trans. Niall Sellar
  • Amara Lakhous, The Prank of the Good Little Virgin of Via Ormea, trans. Anthony Shugaar
  • Nathalie Léger, Exposition, trans. Amanda DeMarco
  • Nathalie Léger, The White Dress, trans. Natasha Lehrer
  • Nina Leger, The Collection, trans. Laura Francis
  • Stanisław Lem, Return from the Stars, trans. Barbara Marszal & Frank Simpson
  • Stanisław Lem, The Star Diaries, trans. Michael Kandel
  • Stanisław Lem, The Futurological Congress, trans. Michael Kandel
  • Stanisław Lem, Memoirs of a Space Traveler, trans. Joel Stern, Maria Swiecicka-Ziemianek & Antonia Lloyd-Jones
  • Primo Levi, Natural Histories, trans. Jenny McPhee
  • Primo Levi, Flaw of Form, trans. Jenny McPhee
  • Primo Levi, The Wrench, translated by William Weaver
  • Megha Majumdar, A Burning
  • Jean-Patrick Manchette, Nada, translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith
  • Francesca Marciano, The Other Language
  • Micheline Aharonian Marcom, A Brief History of Yes
  • Sabrina Orah Mark, Wild Milk
  • Ngaio Marsh, When in Rome
  • Eimear McBride, Strange Hotel
  • Patrick Modiano, Young Once, trans. Damion Searls
  • Patrick Modiano, Little Jewel, trans. Penny Hueston
  • Patrick Modiano, Suspended Sentences, trans. Mark Polizzotti
  • Augusto Monterroso, Complete Works and Other Stories, trans. Edith Grossman
  • Augusto Monterroso, The Black Sheep and Other Fables, trans. Walter I. Bradbury
  • Alberto Moravia, Contempt, translated by Angus Davidson
  • Alberto Moravia, 1934, trans. William Weaver
  • Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Untamed Shore
  • Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honorable Defeat
  • Iris Murdoch, The Book and the Brotherhood
  • Iris Murdoch, The Good Apprentice
  • V. S. Naipaul, The Mystic Masseur
  • Ng Yi-Sheng, Lion City
  • Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood
  • Jenny Offill, Weather
  • Hiroko Oyamada, The Hole, translated by David Boyd
  • Francesco Pacifico, Class
  • Dexter Palmer, Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen
  • Enrico Pellegrini, Something Great and Beautiful
  • Walker Percy, Love in the Ruins: The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World
  • Charles Portis, Masters of Atlantis
  • Charles Portis, Norwood
  • Charles Portis, The Dog of the South
  • Manuel Puig, The Buenos Aires Affair, translated by Suzanne Jill Levine
  • Manuel Puig, Betrayed by Rita Hayworth, translated by Suzanne Jill Levine
  • Manuel Puig, Heartbreak Tango, trans. Suzanne Jill Levine
  • Manuel Puig, Kiss of the Spider Woman, trans. Thomas Colchie
  • Manuel Puig, Pubis Angelical, trans. Elena Brunet
  • Iain Reid, I’m Thinking of Ending Things
  • Gianni Rodari, Lamberto, Lamberto, Lamberto, translated by Anthony Shugaar
  • Joel Townsley Rogers, The Red Right Hand
  • Frederick Rolfe, Baron Corvo, An Ossuary of the North Lagoon, and Other Stories
  • James Sallis, The Long-Legged Fly
  • James Sallis, Moth
  • James Sallis, Black Hornet
  • Severo Sarduy, For Voice, trans. Philip Barnard
  • Severo Sarduy, From Cuba with a Song, trans. Suzanne Jill Levine
  • Severo Sarduy, Firefly, trans. Mark Fried
  • Severo Sarduy, Beach Birds, trans. Suzanne Jill Levine & Carol Maier
  • Alberto Savinio, Childhood of Nivasio Dolcemare, trans. Richard Pevear
  • Samanta Schweblin, Little Eyes, translated by Megan McDowell
  • Leonardo Sciascia, The Death of the Inquisitor, trans. Judith Green
  • Leonardo Sciascia, Salt in the Wound, trans. Judith Green
  • W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz, trans. Anthea Bell
  • Akhil Sharma, A Life of Adventure and Delight
  • Georges Simenon, The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien, trans. Linda Coverdale
  • Georges Simenon, The Late Monsieur Gallet, trans. Anthea Bell
  • Georges Simenon, The Yellow Dog, trans. Linda Asher
  • Georges Simenon, Night at the Crossroads, trans. Linda Coverdale
  • Georges Simenon, Pietr the Latvian, translated by David Bellos
  • Georges Simenon, The Strangers in the House, translated by Geoffrey Sainsbury & David Watson
  • Georges Simenon, A Crime in Holland, trans. Siân Reynolds
  • Georges Simenon, The Grand Banks Café, trans. David Coward
  • Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö, Roseanna, trans. Lois Roth
  • Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö, The Man Who Went up in Smoke, trans. Joan Tate
  • Cordwainer Smith, Nostrilia
  • Paolo Sorrentino, Youth, trans. N. S. Thompson
  • Muriel Spark, The Public Image
  • Muriel Spark, The Bachelors
  • Muriel Spark, The Ballad of Peckham Rye
  • Muriel Spark, The Abbess of Crewe
  • Muriel Spark, Robinson
  • Muriel Spark, The Comforters
  • Muriel Spark, The Driver’s Seat
  • Muriel Spark, The Hothouse by the East River
  • Theodore Sturgeon, The Dreaming Jewels
  • Paco Ignacio Taibo II, An Easy Thing, trans. Willie Neuman
  • Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Some Clouds, trans. Willie Neuman
  • Paco Ignacio Taibo II, No Happy Ending, trans. William I. Neuman
  • Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Return to the Same City, trans. Laura Dail
  • Jean-Philippe Toussaint, The Truth about Marie, trans. Matthew B. Smith
  • Jean-Philippe Toussaint, The Bathroom, trans. Nancy Amphoux & Paul De Angelis
  • Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Reticence, trans. John Lambert
  • Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Naked, trans. Edward Gauvain
  • Monique Truong, The Sweetest Fruits
  • Valerio Varesi, River of Shadows, trans. Joseph Farrell
  • Fred Vargas, The Chalk Circle Man, trans. Siân Reynolds
  • Fred Vargas, The Three Evangelists, trans. Siân Reynolds
  • Fred Vargas, Dog Will Have His Day, trans. Siân Reynolds
  • Fred Vargas, The Accordianist, trans. Siân Reynolds
  • Elio Vittorini, In Sicily, trans. Wilfrid David
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
  • David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
  • Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One
  • Evelyn Waugh, Love Among the Ruins
  • Evelyn Waugh, The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold
  • Edmund White, A Saint from Texas
  • P. G. Wodehouse, Mike & Psmith
  • P. G. Wodehouse, Psmith, Journalist
  • P. G. Wodehouse, Psmith in the City

Poetry/poetry-adjacent

  • Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau, The Origin of Name
  • Stephanie Anderson, In the Key of Those Who Can No Longer Organize Their Environments
  • Stephanie Anderson, Lands of Yield: A Poemlogue
  • Michelle K. Angwenyi, Gray Latitudes
  • Fatima Camara, YellowLine
  • Henneh Kyereh Kwaku, Revolution of the Scavengers
  • Afua Ansong, Try Kissing God
  • Mok Zining, The Orchid Folios
  • Eugene Ostashevsky, Iterature
  • Carmina Archilochi: The Fragments of Archilochos, trans. Guy Davenport
  • Annaliza Bakri, ed., Sikit-Sikit Lama-Lama Jadi Bukit: An Anthology
  • Christine Chia, The Law of Second Marriages
  • Christine Chia, Separation: A History
  • Don Mee Choi, DMZ Colony
  • Dante Alighieri, Hell: Dante’s Divine Trilogy Part One Decorated and Englished in Prosaic Verse, trans. Alasdair Gray
  • Natalie Diaz, Postcolonial Love Poem
  • Russell Edson, What a Man Can See
  • S. C. Gordon, Harbouring
  • Hafiz Hamzah, Blooms of Ire, trans. Ede A. Hamid
  • Will Harris, Rendang
  • Sadia Hassan, Enumeration
  • Susan Howe, The Quarry
  • Kathryn Hummel, Lamentville
  • Joshua Ip & Martin Villanueva, editors, 11 × 9: Co-Authored Poetry from the Philippines and Singapore
  • Safia Jama, Notes on Resilience
  • Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic
  • David Kinloch, In Search of Dustie-Fute
  • Theophilus Kwek, Giving Ground
  • Theophilus Kwek, Moving House
  • Henri Lefebvre, The Missing Pieces, trans. David L. Sweet
  • Paul Legault, The Madeleine Poems
  • Lee Lozano, Notebooks 1967–70
  • Nadra Mabrouk, Measurement of Holy
  • Nkateko Masinga, Psalm for Chrysanthemums
  • Daljit Nagra, Look We Have Coming to Dover!
  • Daljit Nagra, Tippoo Sultans Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!!
  • Daljit Nagra, British Museum
  • Jamila Osman, A Girl Is a Sovereign State
  • Alice Oswald, Woods Etc.
  • Alice Oswald, The Thing in the Gap Stone Stile
  • Ron Padgett, Big Cabin
  • Ron Padgett, Alone and Not Alone
  • Alvin Pang, What Gives Us Our Names
  • Claudia Rankine, Just Us: An American Conversation
  • Amelia Rosselli, Obtuse Diary, translated by Deborah Woodard, Roberta Antognini & Dario De Pasquale
  • Michael Robbins, Patricia Lockwood, Timothy Thornton, Modern Poets Two: Controlled Explosions
  • Cyril Wong, Satori Blues
  • Cyril Wong, Animal Season
  • Stephanie Ye, The Billion Shop
  • Tryphena Yeboah, A Mouthful of Home
  • Andrea Yew, In These Curved Spaces
  • Unica Zürn, The House of Illnesses, trans. Malcolm Green

Non-fiction (and everything else)

  • Giorgio Agamben, What Is Real, trans. Lorenzo Chiesa
  • Eve Babitz, I Used to Be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz
  • John Bayley, Elegy for Iris
  • Elias Canetti, Party in the Blitz: The English Years, trans. Michael Hofmann
  • Emmanuel Carrère, 97,196 Words, translated by John Lambert
  • Jean Cocteau, My Contemporaries, trans. Margaret Crosland
  • John Crowley, Totalitopia
  • Samuel R. Delany, The Atheist in the Attic
  • Marguerite Duras, Me & Other Writing, trans. Emma Ramadan & Olivia Baes
  • Gerald Durrell, My Family and Other Animals
  • Gerald Durrell, Birds, Beasts, and Relatives
  • Gerald Durrell, The Garden of the Gods
  • Elena Ferrante, Incidental Inventions, translated by Ann Goldstein
  • Françoise Gilot & Carlton Lake, Life with Picasso
  • Natalia Ginzburg, The City and the House, translated by Dick Davis
  • Michael Glover, John Ruskin: An Idiosyncratic Dictionary Encompassing His Passions, His Delusions & His Prophecies
  • Shirley Hazzard, Greene on Capri: A Memoir
  • Shirley Hazzard & Francis Steegmuller, The Ancient Shore: Dispatches from Naples
  • Aleksandar Hemon, My Parents: An Introduction/This Does Not Belong to You
  • Yuri Herrera, A Silent Fury, translated by Lisa Dillman
  • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
  • Franz Kafka, Aphorisms, trans. Willa & Edwin Muir and Michael Hofmann
  • Franz Kafka, Letter to the Father, trans. Ernst Kaiser & Eithne Wilkins
  • Franz Kafka, Letters to Ottla and the Family, trans. Richard & Clara Winston
  • Ben Katchor, The Dairy Restaurant
  • Frigyes Karinthy, A Journey Round My Skull, trans. Vernon Duckworth Barker
  • Robert Katz, Naked by the Window The Fatal Marriage of Carl Andre and Ana Mendieta
  • Richard Kennedy, A Boy at the Hogarth Press
  • August Kleinzahler, Cutty, One Rock
  • Primo Levi, The Truce, trans. Stuart Woolf
  • Primo Levi, Moments of Reprieve, trans. Ruth Feldman
  • Suzanne Jill Levine, The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction
  • Suzanne Jill Levine, Manuel Puig and the Spider Woman: His Life and Fictions
  • Norman Lewis, Naples ’44: An Intelligence Officer in the Italian Labyrinth
  • Norman Lewis, The Honoured Society: The Sicilian Mafia Observed
  • Norman Lewis, Jackdaw Cake: An Autobiography
  • Norman Lewis, I Came, I Saw: An Autobiography
  • Norman Lewis, In Sicily
  • Zoë Lescaze, Paleoart: Visions of the Prehistoric Past
  • Patricia Lockwood, Priestdaddy
  • Curzio Malaparte, The Skin, trans. David Moore
  • Ira Nadel, Cathay: Ezra Pound’s Orient
  • Sheere Ng, When Cooking Was a Crime: Masak in the Singapore Prisons, 1970s–80s
  • Ng Yi-Sheng, Black Waters, Pink Sands
  • Jay Parini, Borges and Me: An Encounter
  • Prince, The Beautiful Ones, edited by Dan Piepenbring
  • Jacques Rancière, Short Voyages to the Land of the People, translated by James B. Swenson
  • Joseph Roth, What I Saw: Reports from Berlin, 1920–33, trans. Michael Hofmann
  • Maurice Sachs, Witches’ Sabbath, trans. Richard Howard
  • Severo Sarduy, Written on a Body, trans. Carol Maier
  • Severo Sarduy, Christ on the Rue Jacob, trans. Suzanne Jill Levine & Carol Maier
  • Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship, trans. Harry Zohn
  • Ben Sonnenberg, Lost Property: Memoirs and Confessions of a Bad Boy
  • Saul Steinberg & Aldo Buzzi, Reflections and Shadows, trans. John Shepley
  • Alexander Stille, Excellent Cadavers: The Mafia and the Death of the First Italian Republic
  • Patrik Svensson, The Book of Eels, trans. Agnes Broomé
  • Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Urgency and Patience: Essays, trans. Edward Gauvain
  • Ultra Violet (Isabelle Collin Dufresne), Famous for 15 Minutes: My Years with Andy Warhol
  • Beatrice Wood, I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood
  • Mary Woronov, Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory

Re-readings:

  • Carmina Archilochi: The Fragments of Archilochos, trans. Guy Davenport
  • Jorge Luis Borges, A Universal History of Infamy, translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni
  • Jorge Luis Borges with Margarita Guerrero, The Book of Imaginary Beings, trans. Norman Thomas di Giovanni
  • Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Bioy-Casares, Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi, trans. Norman Thomas di Giovanni
  • Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Bioy-Casares, Chronicles of Bustos Domecq, trans. Norman Thomas di Giovanni
  • Julio Cortázar, Diary of Andrés Fava, trans. Anne McLean
  • Julio Cortázar, A Certain Lucas, trans. Gregory Rabassa
  • Jean Echenoz, Piano, trans. Mark Polizzotti
  • Brad Fox, To Remain Nameless
  • Chester Himes, The Crazy Kill
  • Stanisław Lem, The Star Diaries, trans. Michael Kandel
  • Augusto Monterroso, The Black Sheep and Other Fables, trans. Walter I. Bradbury
  • Alberto Moravia, Contempt, translated by Angus Davidson
  • Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood
  • Charles Portis, Masters of Atlantis
  • Charles Portis, Norwood
  • Charles Portis, The Dog of the South
  • Manuel Puig, Kiss of the Spider Woman, trans. Thomas Colchie
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One

I assembled this list thinking that it would show a significant amount of re-reading over the past year. I don’t think it does show that, or at least as much as I imagined; rather, it shows a lot of re-reading over the last quarter of the year and a huge number of books that I have very little memory of. The reason for this isn’t very surprising: one response to the craziness that was 2020 was to turn to escape reading because I didn’t feel like I had the attention span to deal with anything else – a lot of detective fiction, a bit less science fiction, both of which I end up growing tired of pretty quickly though for different reasons. I always want to like science fiction more than I actually do (with a handful of notable exceptions); and the ludic element of detective fiction doesn’t do very much for me, while rooting for the forces of order begins to wear, especially this year; atmosphere and style are sometimes enough, occasionally an ersatz version of travel.

A very high proportion of my reading this year was done electronically, on a tablet; this isn’t the best way of reading, and I notice that my retention suffers compared to reading in print. But the Singapore national library’s electronic holdings were available while libraries and local bookstores were closed and the mail wasn’t reliable. I will say that a major impact on what I read was as the result of the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library program: what’s in there (and available for download) is odd, to say the least, but there are a lot of out-of-print things that I’ve had on lists for a long time.

(I will note that one of the things that shaped my reading was acquiring books during what might be seen as the golden age of used books on the internet – for about ten years you could get almost any book shipped to you for a few dollars if you lived in the U.S., could wait a week or so, and didn’t mind the chance of getting an ex-library copy. I don’t know when this really came to an end, though it seems like automated inventory systems are pricing things much more aggressively than they once did; also, if you’re trying to find anything old, stocks are polluted with unreadable Gutenberg-sourced editions. While I have no doubt, for example, that there exist plenty of old copies of Henry James’s The Ivory Tower, tracking one of them down is trickier than you’d imagine if you don’t want to pay collector prices. Having this kind of book suddenly available online was a return to a past I hadn’t realized we’d lost: for a reader, this is wonderful. For book culture, this is more confused – although certainly Amazon’s done far more to destroy the used book market than the Internet Archive ever will.)

What sticks with me from this year of reading? Going back to Borges’s strange early writings; finally letting myself finish reading Austerlitz; systematically reading through most of Manuel Puig’s strange monologues; Ben Katchor’s very own Arcades Project. Don Mee Choi’s DMZ Colony. Reading more of Percival Everett’s astoundingly varied catalogue convinces me that he might be the greatest working American novelist. Christopher Brown’s novels were difficult to read this year, though I’m very interested in what he’s doing. Early in the year I tore through Lucy Ellmann’s undersung fiction; Ducks, Newburyport still waits for me.

december 16–31, 2020

Books

  • Walker Percy, Love in the Ruins: The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World
  • Alberto Moravia, Contempt, translated by Angus Davidson
  • Severo Sarduy, Beach Birds, trans. Suzanne Jill Levine & Carol Maier
  • Joel Townsley Rogers, The Red Right Hand
  • Alberto Moravia, 1934, trans. William Weaver
  • Mary Woronov, Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory
  • Bruce Duffy, The World as I Found It
  • Henri Lefebvre, The Missing Pieces, trans. David L. Sweet
  • Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship, trans. Harry Zohn
  • Franz Kafka, Aphorisms, trans. Willa & Edwin Muir and Michael Hofmann
  • Franz Kafka, The Lost Writings, trans. Michael Hofmann
  • Franz Kafka, Letter to the Father, trans. Ernst Kaiser & Eithne Wilkins
  • Unica Zürn, The House of Illnesses, trans. Malcolm Green
  • Franz Kafka, Letters to Ottla and the Family, trans. Richard & Clara Winston

december 1–15, 2020

Books

  • Jorge Luis Borges, A Universal History of Infamy, translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni
  • Suzanne Jill Levine, The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction
  • Frigyes Karinthy, A Journey Round My Skull , trans. Vernon Duckworth Barker
  • Augusto Monterroso, Complete Works and Other Stories, trans. Edith Grossman
  • Jorge Luis Borges with Margarita Guerrero, The Book of Imaginary Beings, trans. Norman Thomas di Giovanni
  • Jorge Luis Borges, Evaristo Carriego: A Book About Old-time Buenos Aires, trans. Norman Thomas di Giovanni & Susan Ashe
  • Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Bioy-Casares, Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi, rans. Norman Thomas di Giovanni
  • Sheere Ng, When Cooking Was a Crime: Masak in the Singapore Prisons, 1970s–80s
  • Julio Cortázar, A Certain Lucas, trans. Gregory Rabassa
  • Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Bioy-Casares, Chronicles of Bustos Domecq, rans. Norman Thomas di Giovanni

Films

  • Knives Out, dir. Rian Johnson
  • Le Mépris, directed by Jean-Luc Godard