no better, no worse, no change, no pain

put the well in houellebecq

In Literature on May 25, 2010 at 11:02 pm

If you want to sound worldly when discussing literature, getting a grasp on pronunciation is a must. McSweeney’s Issue 33, The San Franscisco Panorama, came with a nifty little guide to pronouncing authors’ surnames. It was quite a blow to the self-esteem to discover how many crimes of mispronunciation I have committed over the years! I’ve written a few examples below, but for an exhaustive list with links to audio clips, see this article from The Millions.

Anais Nin ah-NAYH-us NIN
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie en-GO-Zeh ad-DEE-chay
Chinua Achebe CHIN-wah a-CHEY-be
Chuck Palahniuk PAHL-a-nik
Colm Tóibín COL-um toe-BEEN
J.M. Coetzee kut-SEE-uh
John Le Carré luh kahr-AY
Kazuo Ishiguro ka-ZOO-o ish-i-GU-ro
Michael Chabon SHAY-bahn
Michel Houellebecq WELL-beck
Paulo Coelho PAW-lu co-AY-u
Salman Rushdie sahl-MAHN
Vladimir Nabokov na-BOE-kof

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