Amusements & Useful Devices from K. A. Wisniewski
Calypso Editions, a cooperative press dedicated to publishing quality literary books of poetry and fiction with a global perspective, publishes four books each year. In order to maintain our successful track record of discovering exciting new works, we’ll be holding two open submission periods, one for English-language authors (September) and another for work translated into English (May), each year.
Calypso’s complete catalog is available at our website (hyperlinked above). Please check out our most recent book, Margaret McMullan’s Aftermath Lounge and our forthcoming title of Andre Gide’s Morasses (translated by Tadzio Koelb).
Paperback; 2015; 146 pages.
Praise for Aftermath Lounge
“I love these stories. They’re so smart, beautiful, true—and so real—that they seemed like part of my own history. I felt homesick in the best way, flooded with a kind of saddened joy. They snuffed the gimlet-eyed adult and brought to life again, for a while, the wondrous child.”
—Brad Watson, Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives
“I like these new stories so much it’s hard to know where to start. But a good place to begin would be . . . well, Place. She brings it to life like few writers can. You can almost feel the heavy air on your skin. As for her characters, they’re three-dimensional people who are so real, you feel like they’re in the room with you. She’s got a great ear, a fine eye, and something else that you can’t buy—namely, a very large heart.”
—Steve Yarbrough, The Realm of Last Chances
“Aftermath Lounge is a beautiful, compelling collection, the emotions as powerfully charged as the winds of a hurricane. Margaret McMullan writes movingly about those living in and pulling themselves out of destruction and chaos and loss to salvage all they can of love and redemption. From the voices of orphaned children to the least likely man to don a Santa Claus suit, there are moments of devastation, comic relief and grace.”
—Jill McCorkle, Life After Life
“In Aftermath Lounge each short story, like a homing pigeon, returns to the Gulf Coast to explore how its people struggle with the ghost of Hurricane Katrina. With riveting prose, Margaret McMullan tracks the weblike connections of family and friends haunted by the storm from Pass Christian, Mississippi, to Chicago.
—William Ferris, The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists
“How strange, that the best apocalyptic fiction of the year should come to us, not borne on the maelstrom of nuclear fire or horrific epidemic, but rather in this series of beautifully crafted and masterfully interwoven literary stories. In Aftermath, our humanity is not simply swept away by the fury and chaos of Katrina; rather, it is tested, sometimes broken, sometimes intensified, and ultimately renewed by the deluge. A hopeful Book of Revelation.”
—Pinckney Benedict, Miracle Boy and Other Stories
Margaret McMullan is the author of six award-winning novels and editor of the new anthology Every Father’s Daughter. She currently holds the Melvin Peterson Endowed Chair in Literature and Writing at the University of Evansville in Indiana.
Visit her website at margaretmcmullan.com.
Praise for Morasses
“A leisurely stroll through the hall of mirrors of a writer’s mind (never was a book more aptly named), this deadpan comic fantasia on the creative life is not typical André Gide, but like a parody of the games he later played in The Counterfeiters. It’s a grandparent to My Struggle by Karl Ove Knaussgaard, only much funnier.”
“Discovering Gide’s Morasses is like finding that there’s one more chocolate left in the box when you thought they were all long gone. Tadzio Koelb’s note-perfect translation of this neglected miniature by the master ironist captures both the subtlety and freshness of Gide’s prose. Morasses is faux-fiction wrapped in a faux journal (by the greatest of 20th century diarists). This tale of swamps, ducks and pretentious poets defies genres and expectations. It is hilarious and it is delicious. It’s a gift not to be resisted, an indulgence I’d advise you to give in to today.”
—Robert Marshall, author of A Separate Reality
“Tadzio Koelb has found a voice in English for Gide that artfully recreates the elegance of the prose in Morasses and also the humor. An assured and delightful translation.”
“Before explaining my book to others, I wait for others to explain it to me. To explain it is to restrict its meaning; although we know what we wanted to say, we can’t know if that is all we have said. – and we always say more than THAT. – And what interests me most is what I put in without knowing…”
“The emotion that gives me life, that is what I want to express: boredom, vanity, monotony…”
“For they are sad, my thoughts; and serious, and, even around others, morose; I love them more than anything and it is because I carry them with me that I seek out plains, unsmiling ponds, moors. I carry them gently.”
“A book… is closed, full, smooth as an egg. You can’t put anything in it, not a pin, except by force, and then its shape is broken.”
André Gide (1869—1951) was one of France’s most controversial and influential writers. A novelist, playwright, critic, essayist, translator, and co-founder of La Nouvelle RevueFrançaise, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and became the first living author to see his collected work published by the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade.
Following trips to Africa and the USSR, he published anti-colonial and anti-Soviet works that earned him enemies of every political stripe. The Catholic Church placed his work on its Index of Forbidden Books shortly following his death, claiming, “He made of his sin a coefficient (and not the least) part of his fame.”
Tadzio Koelb‘s fiction and poetry have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, >kill author, The Madison Review, The Brooklyner, and Sakura Review, among others. Tadzio regularly reviews fiction, non-fiction, and art for a number of publications on both sides of the Atlantic, including The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Guardian, and his short critical biography of Lawrence Durrell appeared in Scribner’s Sons’ British Writers series. He is deputy managing editor of The Brooklyn Quarterly and teaches creative writing at Rutgers.