Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ahhh .. We're Blushing

Over at Three Percent, one of a handful of book blogs I check into almost daily, Biblioasis has come in for a bit of praise I thought it best to share with the wider world. Chad Post runs the blog, as well as the International Translation Press Open Letters out of the University of Rochester. I'm looking forward to finally meeting him in New York at month's end: for this post alone I owe him a beer. For the whole thing, please go here. Note that there will be a review of Kahn & Engelmann forthcoming, which we'll direct your attention to when the time comes. An excerpt, as usual, below:

One of the most exciting Canadian presses that I’ve come across in recent times is Biblioasis, in part because of their International Translation series, and in part because of Joshua Glenn and Mark Kingwell’s The Idler’s Glossary.

The third book in the Biblioasis International Translation series is Hans Eichner’s Kahn & Engelmann, which is releasing this week and has been getting some good advance press, including this great review from Library Journal:

Narrated by Peter Engelmann, a middle-aged veterinarian working in Haifa, this work is at once the story of a family and a memorial to Viennese Jews. The narrative, the stream-of-consciousness recollections of a man caught between the need to remember and the desire to forget, opens in both 1980 and 1880 and chronicles the Kahn family’s move from rural Hungary to Vienna, the narrator’s 1938 flight to Belgium and eventual settlement in Israel, and all the family drama in between. The result is a moving book full of humor and humanity.

Eichner led a pretty interesting life, fleeing Austria at the start of WWII, being shipped off to Australia where he studied mathematics, Latin, and English literature, and eventually settling in Canada, where he was the chair of German Studies at the University of Toronto. Unfortunately, he passed away last month at the age of 87. Kahn & Engelmann is his first novel, and it was published in Germany in 2000 and translated into English by Jean M. Snook (who also translated Gert Jonke’s Homage to Czerny: Studies for a Virtuoso Technique).

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