Welcome back to The Pigeon’s Picks, where Ox and Pigeon’s editors share the good stuff we’ve been enjoying this week. We’d love to hear your own recommendations on Facebook or Twitter. (And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our special sale on Álvaro Bisama’s Dead Stars. ) Alright, on to the picks!
Jason: The Four Corners of Palermo, a collection of Italian crime stories by Giuseppe Di Piazza, translated by Antony Shugaar. I’m only one story in, but I’d say this one’s worth a look if you’re a crime story fan looking for a taste of Sicily’s crime families.
Lucas: El jorobadito y otros cuentos by Roberto Arlt (1900-1942). I read Arlt’s The Seven Madmen (available in English translation) when my Spanish was only recently good enough to tackle a whole novel, and I think his charms were lost on me at the time. For years, I was puzzled by his revered status in the canon of Argentine literature as the first and perhaps ultimate outsider in a country whose literature is full of outsiders. Now, reading this collection of short stories, I find myself absorbed in his tales of seediness, poverty, alienation—even sleaze—narrated in the flowery, overwrought yet tongue-in-cheek prose of an autodidact. Utterly unique.
Tim: Music & Literature 5. This journal is the real deal: the highest editorial standards, the highest production value. Each issue of Music & Literature features work by and about three notable creators, so the emphasis is on depth rather than breadth. You really get to know the featured artists. This latest issue features original work by composer Kaija Saariaho and writers Stig Sæterbakken and Can Xue.