of note



Titles by acclaimed historian Michel Pastoureau, translated by Jody Gladding (from Princeton University Press):

{NEW} Red: The History of a Color

Green: The History of a Color

Black: The History of a Color

These beautiful and richly illustrated books present a fascinating and revealing history of the colors green, black, and red in European societies from prehistoric times to today. Examining the evolving place of these colors in art, clothes, literature, religion, science, and everyday life, Michel Pastoureau traces how culture has profoundly changed the perception and meaning of these colors over millennia.

Read The New York Review of Books' September 2014 review of Green here. 



Novels by author Pierre Michon, translated by Jody Gladding and Elizabeth Deshays
Yale University Press
, Archipelago Books):


Rimbaud the Son

Click here for an interview with Jody Gladding on translating Rimbaud the Son.

The Eleven

Winner of the 2009 Académie française Grand Prix du roman

Small Lives

Winner of the 2009 French-American Foundation Translation Prize





From beloved French writer Jean Giono, translated by Jody Gladding (from Archipelago Books):

{forthcoming} Giono's Occupation Journal

forthcoming from Archipelago Books

Serpent of Stars

The Serpent of Stars takes place in rural southern France in the early in the 20th century. The novel’s elusive narrative thread ties landscape to character to an expanse just beyond our grasp. The narrator encounters a shepherding family and, glimpse by glimpse, each family member and the shepherding way of life is revealed. The novel culminates in a large shepherds’ gathering where a traditional Shepherd’s Play—a kind of creation myth that includes in its cast The River, The Sea, The Man, and The Mountain—is enacted.

Finalist for the 2004 French-American Foundation Translation Prize

Archipelago Books, 2004






recent translations


Michèle Métail

translated by Jody Gladding

For nearly two thousand years, the condensed language of classical Chinese has offered the possibility of writing poems that may be read both forward and backward, producing entirely different creations. The genre was known as the “flight of wild geese,” and the poems were often symbolically or literally sent to a distant lover, in the hope that he or she, like the migrating birds, would return.

Its greatest practitioner, and the focus of this critical anthology, is Su Hui, a woman who, in the fourth century, embroidered a silk for her distant husband consisting of a grid of 840 characters. No one has ever fully explored all of its possibilities, but it is estimated that the poem—and the poems within the poem—may be read as many as twelve thousand ways. Su Hui herself said, “As it lingers aimlessly, twisting and turning, it takes on a pattern of its own. No one but my beloved can be sure of comprehending it.”

With examples ranging from the third to the nineteenth centuries, Michèle Métail brings the scholarship of a Sinologist and the playfulness of an avant-gardist to this unique collection of perhaps the most ancient of experimental poems.

New York Review of Books



What is a People

Alain Badiou, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, Georges Didi-Huberman, Sadri Khiari, and Jacques Rancière

translated by Jody Gladding

What Is a People? seeks to reclaim "people" as an effective political concept by revisiting its uses and abuses over time. By engaging this topic linguistically, ethnically, culturally, and ontologically, the voices in this volume help separate "people" from its fraught associations to pursue more vital formulations. What Is a People? expands an essential exploration of political action and being in our time.

Columbia University Press, 2016


Everyone Dies Young

Marc Augé

translated by Jody Gladding

"We are awash in time, savoring a few moments of it; we project ourselves into it, reinvent it, play with it; we take our time or let it slip away: it is the raw material of our imagination. Age, on the other hand, is the detailed account of the days that pass, the one-way view of the years whose total sum when set forth can stupefy us. Age wedges each of us between a date of birth that, at least in the West, we know for certain and an expiration date that, as a general rule, we would like to defer. Time is a freedom, age a constraint."

Time can be liberating, Marc Augé finds; it is a resource we can squander or relish. Yet age is a burden, bound by our personal and cultural neuroses. With an ethnologist's understanding of construct and practice, Augé isolates age from the development of consciousness, desire, and representations of the self. In bold, eye-opening strokes, he casts age as a physical marker and treats one's youthful approach to the world as the true measure of life's value.

Columbia University Press, 2016


The Book of Beginnings

François Jullien

translated by Jody Gladding

How can a person from a Western culture enter into a way of thinking as different as that of the Chinese? Can a person truly escape from his or her own cultural perspectives and assumptions? French philosopher François Jullien has throughout his career explored the distances between European and Chinese thought. In this fascinating summation of his work, he takes an original approach to the conundrum of cross-cultural understanding.
Jullien considers just three sentences in their original languages. Each is the first sentence of a seminal text: the Bible in Hebrew, Hesiod’sTheogony in Greek, and the Yijing (I Ching) in Chinese. By dismantling these sentences, the author reveals the workings of each language and the ways of thought in which they are inscribed. He traces the hidden choices made by European reason and assumptions, discovering among other things what is not thought about. Through the lens of the Chinese language, Jullien offers, as always, a new and surprising view of our own Western culture.

Yale University Press, 2015