The Task of This Translator

Stylistically daring, morally perplexing, and outrageously funny, Todd Hasak-Lowy's The Task of This Translator marks the debut of a writer of extraordinary talent. In these seven stories, Hasak-Lowy captures the absurdity that often arises when very personal crises intersect with global issues such as ethnic violence, obesity, and the media.



“There should be no uncertainty about the author’s explosive originality: a mix of zany wit, reverse-spin writing and enlarged purpose . . . Only a novice writer, perhaps, would attempt a juxtaposition of such extravagantly disparate elements. It is far more than beginner’s luck, though, that he has succeeded in making out of them such a savagely dissonant tragicomedy . . . outrageousness on a Swiftian scale.” New York Times


“Hasak-Lowy writes stylistically transparent, pared-down and unmetaphorical prose that is nevertheless irradiated with a self-conscious knowledge of language and its discontents…Hasak-Lowy’s themes are inventive and his juxtapositions breathtaking…Todd Hasak-Lowy’s narratives…escalate with almost chaotic, though technically assured, unpredictability; as though, like a complicated jazz riff, they would finish somewhere completely different if he were to retell them.” Times Literary Supplement


“Timely, perceptive, magnetic, and real in the way only fiction can be, Hasak-Lowy's tales reflect the paradoxes of the global village.” Booklist


“This year’s most hilarious collection of stories…Hasak-Lowy’s greatest talent lies in his ability to address the complexities of global crises while at the same time demonstrating their tendency to stem from simple misunderstandings.” San Diego Union-Tribune