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Donald Nicholson-Smith

Donald Nicholson-Smith’s translations of noir fiction include Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Three to Kill; Thierry Jonquet’s Mygale (a.k.a. Tarantula); and (with Alyson Waters) Yasmina Khadra’s Cousin K. He has also translated works by Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Henri Lefebvre, Raoul Vaneigem, Antonin Artaud, Jean Laplanche, Guillaume Apollinaire, and Guy Debord. For NYRB he has translated Manchette’s Fatale, The Mad and the Bad, Ivory Pearl, and Nada and Jean-Paul Clébert’s Paris Vagabond, as well as the French comics The Green Hand by Nicole Claveloux and Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures by Yvan Alagbé. Born in Manchester, England, he is a longtime resident of New York City.

Chapter 12 from NADA

In Ivry, at 2:00 p.m., Épaulard took possession of the green Jaguar and the paperwork. The machine dated from 1954. Its suspension was a horror, and acid escaping from successive batteries had made holes in the partition between the engine bay and the interior of the car.

Les Halles, Belly Of Paris
from Paris Vagabond by Jean-Paul Clebert

It is a cliché to say that Les Halles is the belly of Paris, but it is not fully understood that the place really does fill the guts of a whole horde of people, that it is a magnet for all the diurnal and nocturnal bums who come there to glean fragments of nourishment.

from Ivory Pearl

The black Oldsmobile proceeded cautiously over the sand of a beach. Balazs was at the wheel. In the back seat Maurer and Branko sat on either side of a seven-year-old girl wrapped up in a sleeping bag whom they had rendered unconscious with a morphine shot.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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