Since her death in 1977, Clarice Lispector has earned recognition as Brazil’s greatest modern writer. And Benjamin Moser, editor of her anthology The Complete Stories, is often quoted as saying she’s the most important Jewish writer in the world since Kafka. Perhaps the most Kafkaesque of Lispector’s nine novels—yes, it involves a cockroach—is the mystical The Passion According to G.H., first published in 1964 as A Paixão Segundo G.H., and released in a superb translation by Idra Novey by New Directions in 2012. To learn more about this existential masterpiece, have a listen to Malvernian Schandra’s Book Talk below (and be sure to attend our monthly Novel Night reading series for more Book Talks!)
Summer may be on its way out, but there’s still time for ice cream—and I Scream! Last Friday night we dusted off the Malvern stage for round three of I Scream Social, the ever-so-chill summer reading series that celebrates young women poets and ice cold treats. This month’s edition was rather special, as Malvern’s very own Annar and Schandra, the Social’s hosts, were sharing their own work. And we also enjoyed readings from the talented Griselda Castillo and a host of fearless and delightful open mic-ers.
Today we’re delighted to introduce you to another member of the Malvern Books team, Schandra, who in turn would like to introduce you to a very necessary poetry collection. (And if you’re contemplating picking up your own copy of Here, Bullet, do remember that our very generous poetry offer ends on April 30th!)
When I saw Brian Turner read at an ACC Veterans Day Reading in November 2012, he took a moment during a heavy pause between poems to ask if anyone in the audience knew how to say ‘hello’ in Arabic. Only one hand in the large auditorium was raised. He then inquired if anyone knew the word for ‘love’. When there was no reply, Turner wondered aloud how is it we can go to war against nations we don’t even know how to say hello to.
Here, Bullet, Turner’s debut collection, details his experiences as a soldier in the Iraq War. Turner’s unfiltered language holds nothing back, scrutinizing with the sight of a sniper all the players in the theater of war, from power-drunk Officers to Iraqi child soldiers to indifferent American civilians removed from the violence by thousands of miles yet still no less a part of the act. He maintains almost a military strictness in the balance between the beauty of his words and the brutality of his subject. His attention to Islamic cultural heritage and to the too often neglected issue of Military Sexual Trauma lends Here, Bullet unique importance. This is a collection that is necessary to our understanding of the consequences of war and the part we all play in perpetuating it.
Turner’s second poetry collection Phantom Noise is also available at Malvern Books.