Tim Parks is Associate Professor of Literature and Translation at IULM University in Milan. He is the author of many novels, translations, and works of nonfiction, the latest being Life and Work: Writers, Readers, and the Conversations Between Them, and the novel Thomas & Mary: A Love Story.
 (October 2016)


The Pleasures of Reading Stephen King

Stephen King, Bangor, Maine, August 2013

Mr. Mercedes

by Stephen King

Finders Keepers

by Stephen King
Is it right for a single mother spending a cold night outside so as to be among the first for a job handout at her town’s government center to bring her croupy baby along with her? Isn’t that irresponsible? But what if she can’t find anyone to babysit, and couldn’t …


Jhumpa Lahiri, Rome, February 2013

In Other Words

by Jhumpa Lahiri, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein
Many readers will be aware of Jhumpa Lahiri as the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning collection of short stories The Interpreter of Maladies (1999), elegant, unsettling tales that invariably draw the reader into a state of anxiety for the welfare of a group of characters living for the most part …

The Road to Freedom?

Simon Critchley, Tilburg, the Netherlands, 2012

Memory Theater

by Simon Critchley


by Simon Critchley
In Samuel Beckett’s novel Malone Dies the eponymous hero becomes obsessed with the idea of reciting a complete inventory of his worldly goods in the few moments preceding his death: a unique occasion, he feels, for producing “something suspiciously like a true statement at last.” Needless to say, despite Malone’s …


Bob Dylan: The Music Travels, the Poetry Stays Home

Bob Dylan with Tom Petty, Modena, Italy September 13, 1987

The most interesting thing about this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature is that it divides the world, geographically and linguistically, in a way no other Nobel has done. The award has laid bare a fact that international literary prizes usually ignore, or were perhaps designed to overcome: that a work of art is intimately bound up to the cultural setting in which it was created.

Italy: Writing to Belong

Abner Dean: I can cure you (detail), from Dean's What Am I Doing Here?, which will be published in a new edition by New York Review Comics on October 11

It’s generally agreed that one of the most distinctive features of Italian public life is factionalism, in all its various manifestations: regionalism, familism, corporativism, campanilism. If Italian writers have always condemned factionalism, their work inevitably expresses the emotions, values, and stories of a world where belonging is more important than any other value, freedom, goodness, and success included.

Raw and Cooked

Looked at closely, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian is far from an epitome of elegance, the drama itself neither understated nor beguiling, the translation frequently in trouble with register and idiom. Studying the barrage of praise after the book won the Man Booker International Prize, it occurs to me there is a shared vision of what critics would like a work of “global fiction” to be and that The Vegetarian has managed to present itself as.

How Italy Improved My English

Tim Parks, Verona, 1987

The curious thing is how differently literary influence plays out when you are transferring to another language. In the same language, influence can look dangerously like imitation. But transferring Natalia Ginzburg into my English world, linguistic and cultural, made something new happen.