Archipelago's 2010 South African World Cup Promotion

One of my favorite New York presses is Archipelago Books, the most serious independent press publishing translations in this country right now. With the soccer world cup going on, Archipelago is doing a promotion — & believe you me, there is no better way to get you through some of the games or through the waiting for the next round, than by reading one or the other of their books. Thus the lovely offer below:

In honor of the 2010 South African World Cup, we are offering two special deals—a set of nine Archipelago titles by authors from the host and quarterfinal-qualifying countries for only $90, or three of the nine titles of your choice for $35!

In the words of Aleksander Hemon, writing in The New Republic’s excellent World Cup blog, “The thing that bothers me most about the Americans-not-accepting-soccer story is the underlying notion that if the majority of Americans have no interest in soccer, then Americans have no interest in soccer. By the same logic, Americans have no interest in reading novels, as survey upon survey shows that the majority of Americans prefer television to reading. I don’t know the numbers, but I would venture to guess that the number of Americans reading literary fiction is in the neighborhood of the number of Americans interested in soccer.”

We would even venture to guess that there might be some cross-pollination between the two groups. Soccer fans have a natural love for drama, are notoriously patient, and are personally, if not politically, committed to their teams. In other words, imbued with the qualities that also mark lovers of great literature.

Support your favorite teams—and international literature in translation—by purchasing a World Cup set. (In an effort to eschew favoritism, the books are listed below in alphabetical order by country.)
ARGENTINA
Autonauts of the Cosmoroute
by Julio Cortázar and Carol Dunlop
translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean

“Idols invite respect, admiration, affection, and, of course, great envy. Cortázar inspired all of these feelings as very few writers can, but he inspired, above all, an emotion much rarer: devotion. he was, perhaps without trying, the Argentine who made the world love him.” —Gabriel García Márquez
$20 paperback
ISBN 9780979333002

BRAZIL
Education by Stone
by João Cabral de Melo Neto
translated from the Portugese by Richard Zenith

“João Cabral de Melo Neto is one of Brazil’s most acclaimed poets . . . Marked by a captivating use of simple language.” —The New York Times Book Review

$16 paperback
ISBN 9780974968018

GERMANY
Lenz
by Georg Büchner
translated from the German by Richard Sieburth

“A great work of art. . . . Works that change how literature is written are few and far between . . . Lenz is one of them. . . . Without Büchner, fiction as we know it would be unthinkable.” —The Los Angeles Times

$14 paperback
ISBN 9780974968025

The Novices of Sais
by Novalis
with illustrations by Paul Klee
translated from the German by Ralph Manheim

“The Novices of Sais is a kaleidoscope of interpretations, visions and allegories of nature . . . a transfiguration of the commonplace, giving ‘the ordinary a mysterious countenance, the known the dignity of the unknown.'” —The Nation

$18 paperback
ISBN 9780974968056

Selected Prose of Heinrich von Kleist
translated from the German by Peter Wortsman

“Kleist’s narrative language is something completely unique. It is not enough to read it as historical—even in his day nobody wrote as he did. . . . An impetus squeezed out with iron, absolutely un-lyrical detachment brings forth tangled, knotted, overloaded sentences painfully soldered together . . . and driven by a breathless tempo.” —Thomas Mann

$15 paperback
ISBN 9780981955728

THE NETHERLANDS
The Twin
by Gerbrand Bakker
translated from the Dutch by David Colmer

Winner of the 2010 IMPAC Dublin Award
An NPR pick for Best Foreign Fiction of the Year
A Powell’s Indispensable Pick
A School Library Journal Best Adult Book for High School Students

“A novel of restrained tenderness and laconic humor.” —J. M. Coetzee

$16 paperback
ISBN 9781935744047

SPAIN
Plants Don’t Drink Coffee
by Unai Elorriaga
Translated from the Basque by Amaia Gabantxo

“Both comical and moving. . . . All three characters are so quirky and endearing. . . . A smartly written tale of a family of nutballs trying to sort things out.” —Bookslut

$16 paperback
ISBN 9780977857685

host country SOUTH AFRICA

Mafeking Road
by Herman Charles Bosman

“A revelation. . . . Tightly written and beautiful. . . . [These stories] have at their heart a concern for human connection and communication that almost inevitably brings Hemingway to mind.” —The L Magazine

$15 paperback
ISBN 9780979333064

Voice Over
by Breyten Breytenbach
a nomadic conversation with Mahmoud Darwish

“Breytenbach’s passionate desire to know and serve the truth, whatever it may be and whomever it might offend, is deeply admirable.” —The Washington Post

$9 paperback
ISBN 9780981955759

P. S.—Archipelago Books does not (yet) publish works from all of the quarterfinal-qualifying countries, but heartily recommends Mohammed Naseehu Ali’s The Prophet of Zongo Street (Ghana), Augusto Roa Bastos’s I the Supreme (Paraguay), and Juan Carlos Onetti’s A Brief Life (Uruguay).

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