August-Romina Paula

Reviewed by Peter Hegarty In southern Argentina, where Paula sets most of the novel, August is bright and cold, and colder still in Esquel, the Andean mountain town to which the protagonist, Emilia, returns for the scattering of the ashes of her best friend, Andrea. The novel takes the form of an extended letter to […]

Olvido García Valdés- And We Were All Alive

Reviewed by Jessica Sequeira “There were those who compared her to Santa Teresa, others who said she was too serious, even sullen, and people who swore her pride was chilling to those who met her,” wrote Roberto Bolaño of Olvido García Valdés. When he read her work, however, it “dazzled [him] the way that only […]

Agnes-Peter Stamm

Reviewed by Daniel Kennedy Although Agnes is the sixth of Peter Stamm’s books to be published in the US by Other Press in Michael Hofmann’s translation, it is in fact his debut novel. With this slim volume, first published in 1998, Peter Stamm established himself as one of the most promising Swiss writers of his […]

Tasks-Víctor Rodríguez Nuñez

Reviewed by Kelsi Vanada I often find myself explaining my desire to translate by expressing that it is an inherently collaborative project, one in which my voice gets to support another’s. tasks, which was longlisted for the 2017 Best Translated Book Award, is the most recent, luminous product of years of collaboration between poet Víctor […]

Brothers by David Clerson, translated by Katia Grubisic, and Listening for Jupiter by Pierre-Luc Landry, translated by Arielle Aaronson and Madeleine Stratford Reviewed by Alex Andriesse American readers can be counted on to name at least three or four Canadian writers: Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, and Michael Ondaatje come immediately to mind. Munro is from […]

Hirato Renkichi-Spiral Staircase

Reviewed by Jordan A. Y. Smith Spiral Staircase, an engaging collection of poems and works by the dynamo of Japanese futurism, Hirato Renkichi, ably fulfills the translator and editor’s declared mission: “providing English-language readers a focused survey of Hirato’s life-long literary output” (8). Considering the brevity of his life (1893-1922), Hirato accomplished much, experimenting with […]

Vilna My Vilna-Karpinowitz

Reviewed by Ellen Cassedy Prostitutes, thieves, racketeers, and gangsters populate the short stories of Abraham Karpinowitz. But as translator Helen Mintz points out, the main character in his work is the city itself. “Vilna” to the Jews, “Wilno” to the Poles, “Vilnius” to the Lithuanians, it was a polyglot city, the site of multiple “crossings” […]

Antonio di Benedetto-Zama

Reviewed by Andrea Shah Originally published in 1956, Zama took over 60 years to appear in English (as translated by Esther Allen), despite having been deemed a masterwork by literary luminaries such as Juan José Saer. Zama is the first and best-known novel written by Antonio di Benedetto, then a young Argentine journalist who had […]

Forrest Gander

Yoshimasu Gozo is a one-of-a-kind artist. While he’s usually referred to as a poet, such a categorization almost always comes with some sort of qualification. His work is often called “unconventional” or “unorthodox.” Others stress that his poetry draws heavily from performance, music, and/or multimedia art. In a word, he writes the sort of poetry that’s […]

Atilgan-Motherland Hotel

Reviewed by Amanda Sarasien Zeberjet Kechiji is lonely. As manager of Motherland Hotel, an ancient, familial manor cum lodging house, remote in both time and place, he meticulously records the name of every guest in the hotel register but remains distant, outside, glimpsing an entire life as if through a keyhole. And there is one […]

Christiana Hills

French>English Translator

brouillonjournal.wordpress.com/

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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Blog de la Biblioteca del Instituto Cervantes de Chicago

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