Cheap Thrills in Neighborhood Bookstores, Part One: “A Swinger’s Club For Books” at the Booksmith!

I have several close friends who have joined the Witness Protection Program just to escape their awful book groups. That’s why the Booksmith’s new “Found in Translation” reading group is such a welcome new development. “It’s like a book club but without the commitment,” says Constance of the Booksmith. “Think of it as a swinger’s club for books.”
But that’s not the only reason why the Booksmith’s reading group — which kicks off tomorrow with Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya — is a nice change of pace. The reading group is also unusual in the sense that it features contemporary translated literature. Christin Evans, co-owner of the Booksmith, explains that the group emphasizes “a certain category of books that get overshadowed, amazing writers who are published in translation and don’t get a lot of publicity from American publishers.”
Moya — the first featured author — was born in Honduras, grew up in El Salvador, and has lived in Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. His book was hailed by Russell Banks as a “brilliantly crafted moral fable, as if Kafka had gone to Latin America for his source materials.”
The Found in Translation Reading Group meeting takes place this coming Thursday, March 19th at 630 p.m. at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street, San Francisco, Ca. (415-863-8688.) And there’s still time to read the book if you haven’t done so already. It’s really skinny.

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