Bookforum has an interview with Juan Goytisolo, conducted by Peter Bush, who has translated some of his work. This is what Goytisolo has to say about State of Siege, his forthcoming novel: “I went back to Bosnia in winter. It was bitterly cold. The journalists had all gone. I felt I couldn’t write a second chronicle of events, that only fiction could communicate what was happening to the city and its inhabitants. I felt that I had to besiege readers as the Sarajevans were being besieged. They should feel desperate, that they’d lost control of everything. Locked in a room, they would find a key to a door that only led to another locked room. There is no way out.”
A room of empty white shelves commemorates the book-burning carried out by the Nazis. The Babu read this Boston Globe report and wondered what memorial the Americans would leave behind to Iraq’s cremated library.