Tag Archives: Fiction

Jung Young Moon-Vaseline Buddha

Wandering Words: Jung Young Moon’s Vaseline Buddha, Translated by Yewon Jung

Review by Kalau Almony Jung Young Moon’s Vaseline Buddha, translated by Yewon Jung, is a strange and wonderful novel. First and foremost, it is a page-turner, but in a way entirely different from what the phrase “page-turner” usually evokes. It is not a tightly plotted novel. In fact, attempting to map out the bits of […]

João Gilberto Noll-Quiet Creature on the Corner

The Refracted Existence: João Gilberto Noll’s Quiet Creature on the Corner, Translated by Adam Morris

Reviewed by Amanda Sarasien Perhaps the self is light refracted through a prism: Multiple. Bent by every twist of fate. And ultimately hovering just beyond our reach. Or so Brazilian author João Gilberto Noll’s Quiet Creature on the Corner, recently released in a stirring translation by Adam Morris, provokes us to consider. This slim volume […]

Ladivine-Marie NDiaye

Modern ghosts: Marie NDiaye’s Ladivine, Translated by Jordan Stump

Reviewed by Lara Vergnaud Tense, horrified, apprehensive–the reader is anything but indifferent to Ladivine, the latest offering from French author Marie NDiaye. The novel, translated by Jordan Stump, and nominated for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, follows three generations of women from one family through mysterious and tragic circumstances. From the first encounter with […]

Recounting the Past: Michèle Audin’s One Hundred Twenty-One Days, Translated by Christiana Hills

Reviewed by Amanda Sarasien How to tell the unspeakable story…Perhaps numbers tell what words cannot? Our instinct is to rebel against this notion. We think of numbers, cold stats, as faceless, even violent. The Nazis were obsessive counters, tattooing concentration-camp prisoners with numbers to strip them of identity, performing experiments which transformed human beings into […]

Dissonant Anthem: Han Kang’s Human Acts, Translated by Deborah Smith

Reviewed by Kalau Almony The Korea of Han Kang’s Human Acts is not the Korea of the war or the vivid neon country of K-Pop. It is a vision of the Korea that existed somewhere between the two, where years of military dictatorship are coming to a head. It’s also a vision of the Korea […]

Valeria Luiselli-The Story of My Teeth

A Catalog of Reviews of The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, Translated by Christina MacSweeney

or, a hyperbolic meditation on the ways in which literary reviews manipulate value and affect sales HYPERBOLIC LOT NO. 1: “The Story of My Teeth” Starred Review WRITER: PW Staff PROVENANCE: Publishers Weekly LISTING: 10M The coveted starred review in Publisher’s Weekly, a steadier buzz-generator than an electric toothbrush, set a high valuation bar for […]

Georgi Gospodinov-The Physics of Sorrow

In Defense of the Minotaur: Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow, Translated by Angela Rodel

Reviewed by Stiliana Milkova “I imagine a book containing every kind and genre,” declares the first-person narrator of Georgi Gospodinov’s novel The Physics of Sorrow. And then he elaborates, “From monologue through Socratic dialogue to epos in hexameter, from fairy tales through treatises to lists. From high antiquity to slaughter house instructions. Everything can be […]

Jessica Powell

Passing in Translation: Jessica Powell on Antonio Benítez-Rojo’s Woman in Battle Dress

Interview by Lucina Schell, Editor Woman in Battle Dress, the last published work by renowned Cuban writer Antonio Benítez-Rojo, is just out in translation by Jessica Powell from City Lights Books. The sweeping epic imagines the remarkable life of 19th-Century historical figure Henriette Faber, who lived as a man in order to study medicine and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]