So you find yourself wanting to discover works in translation…
September 10, 2013 § 6 Comments
Alain Mabanckou, Black Bazaar – Congolese writer. Translated from French in 2012 (2009 original). Here is an excerpt. Made the 2013 International Foreign Fiction Prize longlist. Among many other things it is a satirical look at how outsiders view African societies.
Laurent Binet, HHhH – French writer. Translated from French in 2012. Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Review here.
Sjón, From the Mouth of the Whale – Icelandic writer. Translated from Icelandic in 2011. Finalist for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize. Review here.
Diego Marani, New Finnish Grammar – Italian writer. Translated from Italian in 2011. Finalist for 2012 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. I discussed it briefly in a post that also lists other outstanding translated fictions near the end of the post.
Liliana Bodoc, The Days of the Deer – Argentine writer. Translated from Spanish in August 2013 (originally published in 2000). I enjoyed her Spanish-language epic fantasy when I read it several years ago and I perhaps might write a review after judging the translation against the original.
Shani Boianjiu, The People of Forever are Not Afraid – Israeli writer. Originally written in English and published in 2012. Including this because Boianjiu is a non-native English speaker and her story is a wonderful look into contemporary Israeli society, particularly in regards to young Israeli women and the effects of continual guardedness have on their outlooks on life.
Inga Ābele, High Tide – Latvian writer. Translated from Latvian in September 2013. Open Letter, the translator, claims this might be the first Latvian novel translated into English and if this is indeed the case, then Ābele’s twisted mystery narrative is an excellent choice. Wish I could read more of her works.
Juli Zeh, The Method – German writer. Translated from German in 2012. One of the better dystopian novels that I’ve read and one that comments more forcefully on women’s issues in particular than most other such dystopian fictions.
Jean-Marie Blas de Robles, Where Tigers are at Home – French writer. Translated from French in 2011. This book is one of the best I’ve read in years in any language (also read it in French). A must-read for most readers.
Zoran Živković, Find Me – Serbian writer. Translated from Serbian, but not yet available from US or UK publishers. Sequel to his excellent literary mystery, The Last Book. Lives up to the standards of that book. Will attempt to write a review before the year is out.
Yuri Andrukhovych, Perverzion – Ukrainian writer. Translated from Ukrainian in 2005. Older translation than others listed here, but when I was thumbing through my books to come up with a short starter list of translated fictions that I enjoyed, I just had to include this one.
I could easily spend several more hours writing a very exhaustive (and exhausting!) list of other translated works that I think deserve greater consideration. But these should make for an excellent beginning. Feel free to suggest other recent translations of literary and/or genre fictions. Doubtless I’m overlooking several, perhaps because I didn’t read them in translation and thus cannot comment on the quality of the translations.