Most Anticipated Small Press Books of 2016!

Few exceptions aside, the most compelling, challenging, absorbing literary art is being produced by small presses and their respective writers. I asked a number of writers, editors, and publishers to send me a list of small press books to look out for in 2016. Below you’ll find my own list, which is informed by Kate Angus, John Cayley, Lauren Cerand, Samuel R. Delany, Rikki Ducornet, Andrew Ervin, Lily Hoang, Sean Lovelace, Scott McClanahan, Hubert O’Hearn, Jane Unrue, and Curtis White.

Below you’ll also find lists from Jeff Bursey, Tobias Carroll, Gabino Iglesias, Janice Lee, Dawn Raffel, Nick Francis Potter, John Reed, Adam Robinson, Michael Seidlinger, Terese Svoboda, Jason Teal, Angela Woodward, and Jacob Wren. All the abovementioned people are small press heroes and great writers in their own right. My thanks to all of them.

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“Folks want to know how to begin the practice of loving”: on Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s The Kid with a Bike

On Sunday night I went to see Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s new film Le gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike) in Cambridge. Luc Dardenne was there to discuss the film and answer questions; I tried to surreptitiously record the sound of some of the discussion, but now I regret being so discreet, first of all because I probably would have seen that the device shorted out early on in the discussion, hence why I only have eleven minutes out of a forty minute talk. But also because of the totally fucked up sexual politics implicit in the choreography of the discussion: Dardenne and a male interviewer sitting on bright red leather armchairs, while Dardenne’s female translator was made to sit on the ground next to Dardenne, literally at his feet. I thought I was going to have a rage blackout. There was plenty of time during the Q&A, someone couldn’t have found a chair, a stool for her, so she wasn’t kneeling at the master’s feet? Why didn’t she insist on it? Translation politics are so often gendered, too, aren’t they; the female mouthpieces for Great Men. The woman as filter. Next to me was a young woman who literally was leaning so far forward (the better to hear him with) I actually thought she’d fall over at some point: chin in hands, gazing adoringly and laughing delightedly at every joke, however minor. All the female adoration for male genius was driving me up the wall. And I like the films of the Dardenne brothers! Luc Dardenne himself did, at least, have the decency to look very embarrassed and uncomfortable by the situation, the placement of the translator.

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