Book Markers: 08.20.15

Local book news

Keeping Up With Kundera

Linda Asher, an editor and translator who lives part time in Sagaponack, was last seen in these pages reviewing Ina Caro’s travelogue, history, and meditation “Paris to the Past.” She’s been at work, of course, on, among other things, translating Milan Kundera’s “The Festival of Insignificance.” The new novella was written in French, unlike “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and Mr. Kundera’s earlier novels, which were written in Czech.

This one follows four friends in Paris and philosophically, comically comments on contemporary society and its self-important preoccupations, from sex and death to art and identity. Even Stalin isn’t spared. From an 86-year-old author, then, a kind of summation.

 

Guess Who’s Back . . .

And now for something completely different: Standing at a confluence of a life summed up (speaking of) and the pages of The Star is one Hy Abady, who is just out with a follow-up collection of “Guestwords” pieces, “Back in The Star Again Again!” An explanatory subheading doubles down, promising “Further Stories From the East End. And Beyond.”

In them we find Mr. Abady most memorably recounting his decades-long career in the advertising biz, which, take it from him, ain’t what it used to be. Elsewhere, he explores the explosion in the use of clichés, picks apart the current state of theatergoing, ridicules his own retail skills, and bids adieu to his beloved Amagansett. All in a trim 76 pages.