Is translation really secondhand happiness? Me and Bonheur d’occasion


In Grade 12, at 17, my French teacher assigned us a new kind of homework: translation. I’d had plenty of experience with my little Harrap’s English-French dictionary – as an Anglophone kid in a French (not immersion, mind you) school, when things got tough on the assignment side of things, my teacher dad got me started getting my ideas down in English and make them happen in French. It had never occurred to me that I’d use the French-English side of the dictionary.

A Reader’s Prescription: Funeral for a Dog

maria_siobhan devlin

Every once in a while, I lose my ability to read. It’s not that I can’t make out the words on the page, or understand the sentences they form. It’s a kind of restlessness that comes over me, a dissatisfaction with the books on my shelves, a not knowing what I want to read (perhaps there’s too much choice?) and then, somehow, I can’t read anything.

Why Beloved is the most important book I never finished


As a wispy reader of 9 or so I spied a copy on the shelf built into my mother’s headboard, tucked among several books by Iyanla Vanzant and a John Grisham paperback or two. Its location on that shelf alone made it seductive; one of a collection so very unsuitable for my self. But prying into Adult Things while unsupervised was a favourite pastime of mine so…

The Moomins and Me


I remember my enthusiasm at decoding the black scratches that turned into words when my parents picked up books; I remember reading in a circle with my class, each of us sounding out a few lines. Especially I remember being confused when my turn came, because I had read on ahead and didn’t know what page the class was on.

Announcing the winner of the carte blanche/CNFC competition

kirsten fogg

A faded picture of me and my little brother pops up whenever I turn on my phone. Here, encased magically in modern technology that my brother never knew, is the past that we were. It’s his third birthday, we’re sitting on top of the picnic table in striped bathing suits. I’m holding a patterned punching ball in my lap and his arms are reaching out, as if towards the future, but I know what he really wants is that chocolate cake mum’s carrying towards us.

The NYRB And Me


If you’ve never read the NYRB, you’ve never read anything like it. It is profoundly, purposefully earnest, rigorous with itself, and in the best sense of the term, naive.

Posted on April 16, 2015