Writing Roundup: Nov. 14, 2016

November 14, 2016

Over the past couple of weeks School of the Arts students, alumni, faculty, and staff have been busy at work, publishing stories, giving interviews, and, in the case of one faculty member, receiving a lifetime-achievement award from the Paris Review. Read more in our biweekly roundup of work by Columbia Writers.
Susan Bernofsky, associate professor and director of Literary Translation at Columbia
Writing program associate professor and director of literary translation Susan Bernofsky recently gave an interview in the Los Angeles Review of Books about translating Memoirs of a Polar Bear, a novel by Yoko Tawada, from the German. She says of translation, “My biggest emphasis when I am teaching translation is on being as good of a writer as one possibly can be, while translating. You are not just writing the text the only way you can: you need to have a whole quiver full of stylistic arrows to match what the author is doing.”
Ari Braverman ’16
Alumna Ari Braverman has published a short story, “Spring,” in BOMB magazine. The story chronicles an evening in the life an unnamed woman beset by yearning and anxiety: “The small bathroom smells like a barnyard because so many people have gotten piss on the floor. As she squats over the bowl and looks down, dizzy with feeling, the woman knows that's where she's going: down and under, flushed by a springtime wind.”
Rivka Galchen, adjunct professor
Galchen has published an essay in the New York Times Magazine about Arunachalam Muruganantham, an Indian innovator who “reverse-engineered the making of sanitary pads.”

Eric Helms ’12
Alumnus Eric Helms, the founding editor of the literary magazine Floor Plan, has announced the release of the publication’s latest issue, “issue_e.” It includes writing by Jay Deshpande, Joseph Harms, and Hilary Dobel.
Richard Howard, professor emeritus
Professor emeritus Richard Howard will receive the 2017 Paris Review Hadada Award, a lifetime-achievement prize that is “presented annually to a distinguished member of the writing community who has made a strong and unique contribution to literature,” according to the Paris Review Web site. The award will be given out at the magazine’s annual Spring Revel. Past recipients of the award include Lydia Davis, Philip Roth, and William Styron.
Alexandra Kleeman, ’12
Writing Program alumna Alexandra Kleeman recently gave an interview in Guernica as part of the online literary magazine’s relaunch. Kleeman, the author of the novel You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine and the story collection Intimations, said of her approach to writing: “I always thought it was pushy, if not violent, to tell your story rooted in the supposed real world about supposedly real people, describing their motivations but also squishing them into one version of who they can be.”
Damien McDuffie ’16
Current student McDuffie recently published an essay in Complex, “Torn Apart By Reagan, One Family Gets A Second Chance From Obama,” about a man who, after serving 26 years in prison on a drug-possession charge, was granted clemency by Obama.
Rebecca Solnit, current Mellon Visiting Artist & Thinker
Writer Rebecca Solnit, a Columbia School of the Arts Mellon Visiting Artist and Thinker, recently published an open letter to Donald Trump  on Literary Hub. The letter examines the disconnect between Trump’s idea of New York City and the city as Solnit experiences it: “I wonder if you have ever actually explored the New York City you claim to live in,” she writes. “I recommend it, because it has beauties and splendors that undermine so many of the assertions that I have heard you make during your campaign.”