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A Literary Journal in Book Form

Cover: Larry Rivers, Personage on the Lam II.
Portrait of the Cuban artist Wilfredo Lam

Current Issue

ISBN 1-928863-12-4

For the first time in one volume, THE READING ROOM presents to an American public the greats of contemporary Spanish literature. Juan Benet, Juan Goytisolo, Juan Marsé, Jorge Semprún, Ángel Vázquez, and Manuel Fernández Montesinos (the nephew of Federico García Lorca) were children during the Spanish Civil War, and their sensibility is permeated with the memory of that war. In their stylistic innovations, literary rebelliousness and opposition to the Franco era, their work has been the formative model for the next generation of writers in contemporary Spain.

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This issue features two superb international firsts: the debut publication in the English language of Journal de Trêve by the extraordinary French novelist Frédéric Berthet and the rediscovery of Jenny Ballou’s lost memoir Spanish Prelude. The two excerpts from Journal de Trêve , “Truce” & “Letter to Saul Bellow” (translated by Linda Coverdale) are introduced by Norbert Cassegrain, Berthet’s editor and close friend until Berthet’s untimely early death on Christmas Day 2003. Jenny Ballou’s “Café Revolutionaries” (from Spanish Prelude), is one of the most lucid accounts of the intellectual firmament in Spain just prior to the birth of the Spanish Republic.

Cover: Reading Room 7: Wendy Marks

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IT'S DEBATABLE is one of the new columns in the on-line READING ROOM. Our intent in the spirit of the famed little magazines of the twentieth century is casual — a smallish number of writers will talk to each other, arguing, agreeing or furious. Our first piece, coming out just days after Elizabeth Taylor's death, is Clancy Sigal's very special homage to her. Perhaps because she seemed to belong to all of us. Sigal, who holds a Pen USA lifetime achievement, actually met (flirted) with Elizabeth when he was a young screen agent just before he moved to England during the McCarthy era. Among his most known novels are "Going Away", "Weekend In Dinlock", and "A Woman of Uncertain Character", a memoir of his socialist union organizer mother. His essays have appeared everywhere and he is a steady contributor to "The Guardian." Click here to enter


Larry Rivers After Crossing His Delaware
by Barbara Probst Solomon


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Granada, Mario Muchnik, 1999

Discover in The Reading Room,
past and present issues:

Madison Smartt Bell · Saul Bellow · Binnie Kirshenbaum · Stanley Crouch · Elizabeth Gaffney · Juan Goytisolo · Don L. Maggin · Joseph Roth · Daphne Merkin · Amos Oz · Larry Rivers · Fanny Rubio · José Saramago · Barbara Probs Solomon · Maria Solomon · Carl Watson · Conversations: Saul Bellow · Larry Rivers · John Updike Art Portfolios: William Anthony · Richard Artshwager · Marcel Duchamp · Gonzalo Torné · Eugeen Van Mieghem

All material and writing ©2009 The Reading Room. All rigihts reserved. All art is copyright of artists shown. Any reproduction of material herein is prohibited. The Reading Room is Published by Great Marsh Press.