Sunday, January 30, 2011

Event with Peter Filkins Proves to be Bigger Deal than we Thought, A Visit to a Girls' Night Out, a Little Bestseller Talk

You know we love books in translation, so when we were offered Peter Filkins, in conjunction with a guest visit to UWM, we jumped at the chance. Filkins is a poet, author of the recent collection, Augustine's Vision, but I've learned that poetry and translation often go hand in hand, and his new translation of H.G. Adler's Panorama, has turned out to be a big deal.

Adler was a Czech writer, a Holocaust survivor whose work is often a witness to the experience. In the new novel, the protagonist, Josef Kramer, moves from an unhappy childhood in Prague to bureaucratic suffering as an adult, and yes, life in a concentration camp. It's a delicate structured novel, in a stream of consciousness style, layered like...a panorama. Comparisons have been made to W.G. Sebald, who claimed Adler as an influence. I've also seen "direct literary descendent of Kafka."

It's not linkable (yet), but Panorama was the major review in this week's issue of The New Yorker. Judith Shulevitz in the New York Times Book Review called Filkins' translation "mellifluous." I also just learned that Adler was also the translator of The Journey, considered Adler's masterpiece, though Panorama is said to be more accessible. It's out of stock with our wholesaler, but I'm hoping we'll find it at Random House.

Peter Filkins, poet and translator, is appearing at Boswell on Friday, February 18th, 2011.


Our bestseller list is filled with award winners this week, with Jaimy Gordon and Paul Harding taking the top spots in fiction. Nonfiction was dominated by our outing to sell books for Bethenny Frankel's appearance at the Pabst. The event was a prelude to the release of her new book in March, A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life. We stuck a promo postcard of each of her other books, as well as her recent exercise video. From what I heard, there was enthusiasm for more licensed Frankel product. If only we had embroidered jackets! That said, the Skinnygirl Margarita proved to be quite popular. Who knew?

We did have a little pop of The Invisible Bridge in paperback as I started talking it up. Our event is now scheduled for April 29th. Re-mark your calendars, please. And speaking of events, here's the Journal Sentinel round-up of events for the week, including one at Stan's Fit for your Feet in Brookfield!

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