recent &
  of note



Album: Unpublished Correspondence and Texts

Roland Barthes

translated by Jody Gladding

Album provides an unparalleled look into Roland Barthes's life of letters. It presents a selection of correspondence, from his adolescence in the 1930s through the height of his career and up to the last years of his life, covering such topics as friendships, intellectual adventures, politics, and aesthetics. It offers an intimate look at Barthes's thought processes and the everyday reflection behind the composition of his works, as well as a rich archive of epistolary friendships, spanning half a century, among the leading intellectuals of the day.

Barthes was one of the great observers of language and culture, and Album shows him in his element, immersed in heady French intellectual culture and the daily struggles to maintain a writing life. The book also features documents, letters, and postcards reproduced in facsimile; unpublished material; and notes and transcripts from his seminars.

The first English-language publication of Barthes's letters, Album is a comprehensive testimony to one of the most influential critics and philosophers of the twentieth century and the world of letters in which he lived and breathed.

Columbia University Press, 2018

Read The New York Review of Books June 8, 2018 review of Album here.



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

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
          (from 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

Click here for an essay by Elizabeth Deshays on translating Small Lives. 




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





Wild Geese Returning: Chinese Reversible Poems

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, 2017

Read The Times Literary Supplement August 1, 2018 review of Wild Geese Returning here.