The Reading Pickle: November 9, 2020

Check in every Monday for our weekly list—ten handpicked articles from newspapers and literary magazines across the world.


The Thirty Names of Night
Read an excerpt from Zeyn Joukhadar's latest novel, following his debut, The Map of Salt and Stars.


Paranoid Wonder: A review of Yi Sang’s Selected Works
Four translators, Jack Jung, Sawako Nakayasu, Don Mee Choi and Joyelle McSweeney, acquaint the English-speaking world with Sang's poetry, prose, essays and illustrations in conjunction with their own experiences of translating him.


A Pre-Columbian Bestiary: Tepeyólotl
Ilan Stavans' words and Eko's illustrations bring to life creatures from distinct indigenous Latin American cultures; this excerpt introduces Tepeyólotl, the Aztec god of earthquakes.


The Best Witch Novel Is One Nobody Talks About
J. Nicole Jones reviews Maryse Condé's novel that explores the life of a Black woman who was the first to be accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials in 1690s Massachusetts.


Love Poem
Kateřina Matuštíková and Simon Pettifar present a poem by the Czech poet, Jan Skácel, in translation.


Bryan Washington’s ‘Memorial’ is a tender look at modern family life
Ron Charles highlights a few lessons on family and relationships that Washington's latest work offers in its own funny ways.


A Mother and Son Scam Their Way Into the American Dream
Elaine Castillo probes into the the idea that inspired the narrative, the linguistic echoes of Filipinx languages in Tenorio's English and also takes a trip down memory lane to an earlier work, a short story called “The Brothers".


Reviews of the Week with Philip Gefter, Jef Aerts, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, and More!
Michael Ruzicka is succinct in his brief reviews of 111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl, by Rina Singh and illustrated by Marianne Ferrer, and The Blade Between, by Sam J. Miller among others.


A Compendium of Severance
Jess Bergman underscores the novel's resonance with the author's own life that goes behind her troubled marriage into the domains of crumbing relations with one's nation and religion.


The Book That Brought Writers’ Fears and Self-Doubt
Into the Open
In conversation with Christina Baker Kline, Bonnie Friedman revisits her collection of essays that started conversations about writerly insecurities for the very first time.