“‘Pandora in the Congo’ by Albert Sánchez Piñol”

(Catch-up post, two of five.)

My review of Pandora in the Congo, Albert Sánchez Piñol’s second novel (Canongate, 3 March 2009), is in the Apr./May issue of Bookforum (print and Web).

You might ask: Is the translator, Mara Faye Lethem, Jonathan’s sister? Google replies: yes. Can we trust Google in this instance? It seems reasonable. Does it seem interesting and intriguing to start life in Boerum Hill and end up being able to translate a novel from the original Catalan? I think so.

A few lines from the cutting-room floor:

“(the minor-yet-pivotal character Roger Casement, British consul to the Belgian-controlled Congo Free State, was a real person)”

“it’s tempting to guess at what might be this novel’s American equivalent: an Edwardian thriller set in Barcelona starring the Catalonian equivalents of, say, W.E.B. Dubois, Brad Pitt, and Mike Huckabee?”

“‘Oh I see! […] Actually, it never struck me before. Smoke … Too … Much!‘”