Tag Archives: Fiction

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 […]

Herve Le Tellier- Electrico W

Dissecting Layers: Hervé Le Tellier’s Electrico W, Translated by Adriana Hunter

Reviewed by Lara Vergnaud Electrico W is about fragments – of time, memory, language and relationships, which rudely brush against one another, and which don’t seem to cohere until they do. This latest work by experimental French author Hervé Le Tellier, published in France by JC Lattès in 2011, and now available in English thanks […]

Hilda Hilst-With My Dog-Eyes

At the Intersection of Poetry and Mathematics: Hilda Hilst’s With My Dog-Eyes, translated by Adam Morris

Reviewed by Amanda Sarasien That the name Hilda Hilst is not more widely recognized by English-language readers, particularly admirers of her contemporary, Clarice Lispector, should come as no surprise considering the experimentalism of Hilst’s work. Thankfully, Adam Morris’ translation of With My Dog-Eyes, “perhaps the most novel-like prose work” (xvi) of a largely poetic oeuvre, […]

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

Forgotten Histories: Pierre Michon’s Winter Mythologies and Abbots, Translated by Ann Jefferson

Reviewed by Amanda Sarasien History is not the sole domain of great men and “shot-heard-round-the-world” events. At least, not for Pierre Michon, one of France’s most acclaimed contemporary writers, who pored over historical archives to imagine the tales of long-forgotten figures for his most recent English-language release, Winter Mythologies and Abbots. These tales were originally published […]

Felicity, the Tale of the Simple Heart

Access & Aesthetics: An Interview with Luis de Miranda, Haute Culture Books

The young and exciting Haute Culture Books has already made a name for itself with its innovative take on the participative publishing model. Governed by the philosophy “digital books should be free, physical books should be sublime,” HCB rewards its “Book Angels” with beautifully crafted art object limited editions that subsidize the wide distribution of […]

Surrealist Texts by Gisele Prassinos

Bleak Fairy Tales: Gisèle Prassinos’s Surrealist Texts, Translated by Ellen Nations

Reviewed by Lucina Schell, Editor Born in 1920 and discovered at just fourteen by André Breton, Gisèle Prassinos became the darling of the surrealists. Regarded as a sort of living incarnation of the surrealist ideal of the child-woman, a pure, uncorrupted talent, she had been writing ecstatic literature from her unconscious with no knowledge of the […]

Red Grass

Rhapsody in Red: Boris Vian’s Red Grass, Translated by Paul Knobloch

Reviewed by Amanda Sarasien Though the French film adaptation of Boris Vian’s novel L’Écume des jours has yet to be scheduled for release in the US, it seems already to have generated a buzz capable of reviving American interest in this regrettably overlooked, but wildly inventive, author.  Fortunately, TamTam Books has just released another novel […]

Passionate Nomads

Passionate Nomads by María Rosa Lojo, Translated by Brett Alan Sanders

Reviewed by Lucina Schell, Editor Ideally, literature in translation can illuminate an aspect of our own culture that deserves further reflection. Passionate Nomads by Maria Rosa Lojo, translated by Brett Alan Sanders, is such a work. Tackling Argentina’s difficult history of indigenous genocide, which bears striking resemblance to that carried out in the United States, […]

A Breath of Life

A Breath of Life by Clarice Lispector, Translated by Johnny Lorenz

Reviewed by Amanda Sarasien Readers familiar with the lyrical style of Clarice Lispector will appreciate the difficulty of translating her.  Nevertheless, Lispector’s posthumously published novel, Um Sopro de vida, or A Breath of Life in English, arguably presents the translator with an even greater challenge.  Fortunately for Anglophone readers, Johnny Lorenz, in this recent introduction […]

Tips for Reviewers

Tips for Reviewers: Translators’ Introductions Are Your Cheatsheet

Years ago, a friend shared with me Richard Pevear’s introduction to his and Larissa Voloknonsky’s translation of War and Peace. In it, Pevear writes, “Translation is not the transfer of a detachable ‘meaning’ from one language to another, for the simple reason that in literature there is no meaning detachable from the words that express […]

Lydia Davis brings her concision and ironic sensibilities to a new translation of Madame Bovary

Reviewed by Lucina Schell, Editor As a great admirer of Lydia Davis’ short fictions, I am very enthused to see her tackle new translations of classic texts from the French by Proust and Flaubert. The recent Man Booker Prize winner, acclaimed for her concision and humor—many of her “short stories” are only one sentence long—possesses […]

Translating Music: Foam of the Daze by Boris Vian, Translated by Brian Harper

Reviewed by Lucina Schell, Editor In the Harvard Crimson’s 1969 review of Mood Indigo, John Sturrock’s translation of Boris Vian’s L’Écume des jours, the author provides this disheartening forecast: “It is unlikely that Vian’s novels will become particularly popular in this country: they’re very French, and they suffer in translation. But Mood Indigo has a […]

Soldados de Salamina

“…gane quien gane las guerras, las pierden siempre los poetas” / “…whoever wins wars, poets always lose”: Soldados de Salamina by Javier Cercas

Reviewed by Lucina Schell, Editor In his fascinating novel, Soldados de Salamina (Soldiers of Salamis), Javier Cercas allows his readers to discover the peculiarly symbolic life of the real historical figure Rafael Sanchez Mazas as we follow the journalistic detective work of the novel’s metafictional narrator. The unnamed narrator, a frustrated novelist turned journalist, first […]