In Conversation: Idra Novey, Rivka Galchen & Francisco Goldman
Thursday April 21, 2016
Francisco Goldman, Idra Novey, and Rivka Galchen discussed the challenges and benefits of moving between fiction and other genres and how that movement can lead to new ways of thinking about the novel as a form. Each read from their most recent books and talked about writing fiction while also working on essays, journalism, poetry, and translation.
About Little Labors by Rivka Galchen
About Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey
This highly acclaimed debut novel begins with the disappearance of a famous Brazilian novelist and the young translator who turns her life upside down to follow her author's trail. Deep in gambling debt, the celebrated Brazilian writer Beatriz Yagoda is last seen holding a suitcase and a cigar and climbing into an almond tree. She abruptly vanishes. In snowy Pittsburgh, her American translator Emma hears the news and, against the wishes of her boyfriend and Beatriz's two grown children, flies immediately to Brazil. There, in the sticky, sugary heat of Rio, Emma and her author's children conspire to solve the mystery of Yagoda's curious disappearance. Brilliant and compulsively readable, Ways to Disappear is a gloriously inventive novel about the ways we do appear to each other. Both playful and profound, it is as much a mystery as it is a manifesto on the joys of translation. It is a novel, as Dustin Illingworth writes in the LA Times, "that blooms in the spaces between languages, between continents, between selves past and present.” READ an excerpt
This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.
About the Authors
Rivka Galchen's 2008 first novel Atmospheric Disturbances and her 2014 story collection American Innovations were both New York Times Best Books of the Year. She received her MD from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “Conspicuously talented” (Time), Galchen lives in New York City.
Francisco Goldman is the author of Say Her Name (2011), winner of the Prix Femina Etranger, and of The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle (2014) and four other books. He has received a Cullman Center Fellowship and a Berlin Prize, among other awards and honors. His work has appeared The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Believer, and numerous other publications. Every year he teaches one semester at Trinity College in Hartford, Ct., and then hightails it back to Mexico City.
Idra Novey is the author of the debut novel Ways to Disappear, a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Born in western Pennsylvania, she has since lived in Chile, Brazil and New York. Her poetry collection Exit, Civilian was selected for the 2011 National Poetry Series. Her fiction and poetry have been translated into eight languages and she’s written for The New York Times, NPR’s All Things Considered, and The Paris Review. She’s also translated the work of several prominent Brazilian writers, most recently Clarice Lispector’s novel The Passion According to G.H.