miami university

Hafez book coverWinner of the 2014 Miami University Press Novella Prize


by Tote Hughes

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Fountain seems not unlike a witty and elegant English translation of some peculiar allegory from another land and another time. It’s wonderful, in other words. I deeply admire this antic, atmospheric, and dreamily vivid tale. 
  – Chris Bachelder, author of Abbott Awaits and U.S.!

Tote Hughes's Fountain is one of the strangest books I've come across in years, and I mean that as an extraordinary compliment. Hughes has the bureaucratic weirdness of Kafka, the twisted mystery of Hitchcock, the obsessive introspection of Bernhard, and a wholly original, funny-as-hell voice that makes me sure we'll be seeing lots more of this writer for a long time to come.
–  Amber Sparks, author of May We Shed These Human Bodies

When Pinson Charfo wakes one morning to find a strange note at his bedside from a Mr. Ralfo to a Mr. Cormill, neither of whom he knows, it proves to be the first in a series of odd clues designed specifically for him to follow, embroiling him in a complex mystery featuring plagiarized manifestos, narcotized cultists, the search for pornographic prints, and a busted fountain whose runoff forms an underground lake beneath the never-named city’s unsuspecting feet. Tote Hughes’s Fountain is a metaphysical detective story unlike any other, a comic tour de force set in a labyrinthine world of shifting signs and dreamlike insolubility.

Tote Hughes lives in Geneva, Switzerland, working at CERN in pursuit of a PhD in high energy physics.

Hafez book cover

Hafez Awarded 2014 Lois Roth Person Translation Prize!

Miami University Press is proud to announce that the American Institute of Iranian Studies has awarded Geoffrey Squires’ Hafez: Translations and Interpretations of the Ghazals its Lois Roth Prize for 2014. The prize recognizes demonstrated excellence in literary translation from Persian to English.

The award selection jury wrote as follows:

Since Sir William Jones first made the attempt to set in English the “orient pearls at random strung” of Hafez, the most canonical of Persian lyric poets, dozens of translators have attempted English translations and versions of Hafez, but few have succeeded. Squires’ Hafez captures the energy and depth of this fourteenth-century poet in contemporary English without archaisms or predetermined interpretation. It displays a supple and at times even exhilarating handling of language and form. The integration of annotations and commentary provide the uninitiated reader with the right balance of background information and a personal, lyrical encounter with the raw poem. Squires’ intimate familiarity with the poems, and the clarity and crispness of the diction he employs, almost makes Hafez a contemporary writer, but without obscuring from today’s reader the chronological and cultural difference, and the unique qualities of the fixed-form ghazal he practiced.

The American Institute of Iranian Studies is a non-profit consortium of universities and museums, founded in 1967, for the purpose of promoting the interdisciplinary study of Iranian civilization and US-Iran cultural dialogue. The 2014 Lois Roth Persian Translation Prize awards committee was chaired by Franklin Lewis, Associate Professor of Persian, University of Chicago. A formal announcement about the award will be posted on the Institute website in January. Read more about the book...