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"The hard books are the ones that are most fun," says William Weaver, American translator of "The Name of the Rose."

"Simple books are no fun. You might as well translate the phone book."Working from the quiet of his home in Tuscany's rolling hills, Weaver arguably has done more than any one person to make modern Italian literature popular in the English-speaking world.

His highly readable English translation of Umberto Eco's complex novel "The Name of the Rose" helped make it an international bestseller in 1983. Now, in a small sun-lit room dubbed the "Eco Chamber," because it was built with money earned from Eco's book, Weaver is putting the finishing touches on a translation of Eco's new novel, "Foucault's Pendulum."

Weaver has been a leading English translator of Italian literature for years. He has translated major works by Alberto Moravia, Italo Calvino, Primo Levi, Giorgio Bassani, Elsa Morante and others.

Weaver, a pacifist, first came to Italy during World War II as an ambulance driver and settled permanently in the mid-1950s. He goes back to the United States about twice a year to keep up with lifestyle changes so his translations will be up to date. - Philip Pullella (Reuters)

- DULUTH, Minn. - Holy cow! A one-man publishing house milking the Midwest for poetry and prose and not pulling for a best seller?

Yep, and they call it just that: Holy Cow! Press.

Ask the boss, Jim Perlman, the owner, publicity agent, production department, accountant and lone editor.

"If I really wanted to make a lot of money I'd publish cookbooks, self-help, or a lot of childrens books," he says.

Instead, Perlman focuses on the literary works of a select group of writers who explore controversial issues - Associated Press

- A new four-volume "Encyclopedia of the Holocaust" will be released later this year from Macmillan Publishing.

The set, featuring approximately 1,000 articles by authors from around the world, will cover "the events, places, people, policies, issues, organization and basic concepts" of the Holocaust, Nazi Germany's World War II attempt to exterminate the Jews in Europe, according to Macmillan.