Meet Mark, Operations Manager

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved books. Literature shows the possibility of the human spirit and, at their best, can change us. In high school I discovered satire and devoured everything by Kurt Vonnegut. Kurt Vonnegut introduced me to Céline who, in a sense, introduced me to the importance of translation. How could something as visceral as DEATH ON THE INSTALLMENT PLAN, I wondered, be rendered so beautifully from French into English? I spent my twenties obsessed by the 19th Century Russians, mostly Dostoevsky, but also Tolstoy, Chekhov and Lermontov. 

My obsession is still books, and a large amount of those have been translated into English. I am in love with Latin American and Spanish language writers especially, from Javier Marías to César Aira, from Garcia Marquez to Alvaro Mutis. Contemporaries like Valeria Luiselli, Yuri Herrera and Guadalupe Nettel are incredible and display some of the most vibrant minds of the Spanish language bending and shifting genre. I’m also a fan of Enrique Vila-Matas, Sergio Pitol, Mario Bellatin, Santiago Gamboa as well as the underappreciated books of Reinaldo Arenas. I’m also an enormous fan of the Portuguese writers Fernando Pessoa and Antonio Lobo Antunes. I love English language writers too, Herman Melville, Virginia Woolf, Raymond Carver, Thomas Wolfe, John Steinbeck, Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy to name a few.

In 2008 I had a collection of stories, Deathbed Conversions, published. In 2017 it was translated into Spanish and published by Editorial Argonautica in a bilingual edition. A novel, Reinhardt's Garden, was published by Coffee House Press in 2019 and nominated for a PEN/Hemingway Award. I have been a juror for the Best Translated Book Award for three years (2015-2017). In 2015 I was a recipient of the James Patterson Holiday Bonus for booksellers.

One of the best aspects of working in a bookstore is having wonderful conversations about books with the customers and (selfishly) having great books introduced to me as well. I hope to see you in Brazos Bookstore!

Mark's book recommendations
Mark's Kids book recommendations

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