Melinda Nadj Abonji-Fly Away Pigeon

Reviewed by Rachel Harland In an interview given shortly after receiving the 2010 German Book Prize* for her semi-autobiographical novel Fly Away, Pigeon, Serbian-born Swiss author Melinda Nadj Abonji was asked whether it annoyed her that in the run-up to the award announcement commentators had labeled her book “immigrant literature.” Her response? “It doesn’t annoy […]

Periscope A Midsummer Night's Press

Reviewed by Lucina Schell, Editor Periscope, a new imprint of A Midsummer Night’s Press focusing on poetry in translation by women, launched in 2014 against long odds. Among the 3% of books published in the United States which are translations, only 26% of works from all languages and genres are by women writers. Periscope’s first […]

Innocence-Heda Margolius Kovály

Interview by Stacey Knecht Stacey Knecht, a translator from the Czech and Dutch based in the Netherlands, spoke with Alex Zucker via Skype on May 22, 2015 about his latest translation, Innocence; or, Murder on Steep Street by Czech author Heda Margolius Kovály, just out from Soho House Press. “Set in and around a cinema where […]

Asymmetries-Cardboard House Press

Reviewed by Charlotte Whittle Asymmetries, an anthology of Peruvian poetry produced by new bilingual press Cardboard House, introduces readers to an extraordinary diversity of voices that represent the course of Peruvian poetry since the post-avant-garde moment of the 1940s. Edited by Paul Guillén, Giancarlo Huapaya, Cristian Medina, and Maggie Messerschmidt, the collection includes the work […]

The Happy City

Reviewed by Kate Lynch Granta introduced the anglophone world to Elvira Navarro by naming her one of the best young Spanish language novelists in 2010, but Rosalind Harvey’s translation of her second novel The Happy City marks her first full-length work in English. The 2009 Spanish original earned both the Jaén Fiction Award and the Tormenta […]

Mikheil Javakhishvili-Kvachi

Reviewed by Amanda Sarasien It would seem with tongue in cheek that the narrator of Georgian author Mikheil Javakhishvili’s novel, Kvachi, first recounts the birth of his picaresque hero, Kvachi Kvachantiradze. Intensely audible descriptions of an unprecedented storm, juxtaposed with equally vivid depictions of his mother’s labor screams, lend an epic quality to Kvachi’s entrée, […]

Saadat Hasan Manto-Bombay Stories

Reviewed by Amanda Sarasien It is tempting to view Saadat Hasan Manto and his work as representative of India at a pivotal moment in its history: The Bombay Stories are shot through with such vivid detail as to seem firmly rooted to their setting, Bombay of the 1930s and ’40s, and it is no surprise […]

Maxim Leo-Red Love

Reviewed by Rachel Harland “I had the feeling that the GDR only really came to an end at that moment,” writes Berlin-based journalist Maxim Leo in the prologue to his autobiographical narrative Red Love: The Story of an East German Family. “Eighteen years after the fall of the Wall the stern hero had disappeared. Before […]

Marie NDiaye-Self Portrait in Green

Reviewed by Lara Vergnaud Self-Portrait in Green, written by French author Marie NDiaye and translated by Jordan Stump, is a short book, clocking in at 103 pages. Right from the start—as the narrator watches the floodwaters of the Garonne River in southwest France rise—the reader is swept up by a sense of unease. The author […]

Sheds/Hangars-José-Flore Tappy

Reviewed by Emily Thompson To hold an author’s complete works between two fingers is wonderful and disorienting—how can it be possible to condense so much experience and so many years into an inch of shelf space? Yet José-Flore Tappy’s recent collection of poetry, Sheds (in the original French, Hangars) does just that, benefitting from the […]

Christiana Hills

French>English Literary Translator

Brouillon – the French word for draft – is a place for translators of all languages to explore and examine those endlessly fascinating and infinitely frustrating words, phrases, and motifs that seem impossible to translate. Brouillon is a collection of these moments. Comments and discussion are encouraged.


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