Author Archives: lschell

Melinda Nadj Abonji-Fly Away Pigeon

Boundless Language: Melinda Nadj Abonji’s Fly Away, Pigeon, Translated by Tess Lewis

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

Two to One: Periscope’s Eastern European Poets in Translation

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 […]

The translator Alex Zucker, Brooklyn, New York, February 19, 2014. Photo © Beowulf Sheehan +1 917 450 2345 mail@beowulfsheehan.com

Translating Fact into Fiction: Alex Zucker on Heda Margolius Kovály’s Innocence

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

Not One: Asymmetries. Anthology of Peruvian Poetry by 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 […]

City Blocks: Elvira Navarro’s The Happy City translated by Rosalind Harvey

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

The Hero That History Forgot: Mikheil Javakhishvili’s Kvachi, Translated by Donald Rayfield

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

The Filmic Eye: Saadat Hasan Manto’s Bombay Stories, translated by Matt Reeck & Aftab Ahmad

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

“The Country of Old Men”: Maxim Leo’s Red Love, Translated by Shaun Whiteside

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

Navigating troubled waters: Marie NDiaye’s Self-Portrait in Green translated by Jordan Stump

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

The Invisible Swell: José-Flore Tappy’s Sheds

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 […]

Tips for Reviewers

Tips for Reviewers: The Politics of Reviewing Translations

The theme of this year’s American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) conference was politics and translation, and Aviya Kushner and I were thrilled to kick off the very first session of panels on November 13 with “An Insider’s Look at the Politics of Reviewing Translations.” The standing-room-only attendance attested to the highly politicized nature of this […]

Mr. Gwyn-Alessandro Baricco

At Home in Translation: Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn, translated by Ann Goldstein

Reviewed by Stiliana Milkova Can a literary text faithfully represent a person’s identity? Can a writer capture someone’s likeness and portray it accurately on paper? These questions lie at the heart of Alessandro Baricco’s novel Mr. Gwyn, a text which probes the boundaries of the novel as a literary genre while weaving a narrative about […]

Fernández-Pintado-A Corner of the World

Notes from an Island: Mylene Fernández-Pintado’s A Corner of the World Translated by Dick Cluster

Reviewed by Charlotte Whittle The question of whether to stay or to leave is central to the lives of almost all of the characters in A Corner of the World, Mylene Fernández Pintado’s first book-length work in English translation. Trained as a lawyer, Fernández-Pintado is known in Cuba for her novels and short stories, for […]

Hassan Daoud-The Penguin's Song

Bridging the Distance: Marilyn Booth’s Translation of The Penguin’s Song by Hassan Daoud

Reviewed by Ghada Mourad The Penguin’s Song (ghināʾ al-batrīq) tells the story of a family of three whose lives are completely transformed as a result of their displacement out of the old city of Beirut. The twenty-year old son, whose upper body deformation makes his figure and way of walking evocative of a penguin’s, narrates […]

More than Márquez: Hispabooks’ Ana Pérez Galván on Contemporary Spanish Literature

Brand new, Madrid-based independent publishing house Hispabooks has already generated buzz in the literary translation community and the publishing world, enriching the English-language book market with their first batch of releases from some of the most exciting and innovative contemporary Spanish authors. Founded in October, 2011 by Ana Pérez Galván and Gregorio Doval, two editors at large with […]