“Vita Nostra” by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, Translated by Julia Meitov Hersey

I picked up “Vita Nostra” largely out of curiosity. I’d never heard of the authors before, but I’m always up for some Russian literature in translation, and the fact that it was contemporary fantasy made it even more intriguing. But when diving into these things, you never know what you’re going to get. And indeed, […]

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“We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast” by Jonathan Safran Foer

In “We Are the Weather,” Jonathan Safran Foer argues, essentially, that it is our moral imperative to adopt a vegan-before-six diet if we care at all about attempting to prevent the destruction of the human race through human-caused climate change. Although it’s a bit more complicated than that. Safran Foer begins by laying out the […]

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#BookReview: “Iran: Make Love Not War” by Mary Jane Walker

“Iran” brings up a very specific image in the minds of most Westerners: Chadors, morality police, nuclear weapons, and other unsavory things. “Persia,” on the other hand, is redolent of some far-off, ancient Oriental exoticism. Mary Jane Walker’s contemporary account of her recent trek through Iran is thus a welcome corrective to both those images. […]

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#TranslationThursday: “Day of the Oprichnik” by Vladimir Sorokin, Translated by Jamey Gambrell

“Day of the Oprichnik” has been hailed as one of the classics of post-Soviet fiction, and for good reason. It’s a brilliant satire of Russian society past and present. It’s also deeply disturbing and difficult to read for that reason. But first, the title. Since Russian doesn’t have articles, the literal translation of the original […]

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