Category Archives: Reading in translation

A Fin de Siècle Fantasy: ‘Psyche’ by Louis Couperus

“My gentle Psyche!” Said he.  “My child and my wife and my tender princess! Kneel not to me.  In love it is sweet to give and to suffer.  Love gives, and love suffers” Oh, there’s nothing like a good, overblown, … Continue reading

Posted in Louis Couperus, Reading in translation | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Secrets and surprises: ‘The Key’ by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

From Adrian Mole to Zamyatin’s ‘We’, from ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ to Bridget Jones, very few things beat a good diary entry novel.  And if a single diary wasn’t powerful enough, the run-away success of Flynn’s ‘Gone Girl’ shows how much … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese Literature, Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, Reading in translation | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Frightening and Powerful: ‘Fever Dream’ by Samanta Schweblin

If it wasn’t for the fact that I want this review to sit alongside its fellows on the Man Booker International shortlist, I would be holding off until Halloween.  From witchcraft to pollution, from deserted hospitals to unexpected personality shifts … Continue reading

Posted in Man Booker International Prize 2017, Reading in translation, Samanta Schweblin | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Never knowing what’s coming next: ‘A Horse Walks into a Bar’ by David Grossman

Grossman’s novel begins enthusiastically and with cringing embarrassment.  ”Good evening!  Good evening!  Good evening to the majestic city of Caesariyaaaaaah!’ … A short, slight, bespectacled man lurches onto the stage from a side door, as if he’d been kicked through … Continue reading

Posted in David Grossman, Man Booker International Prize 2017, Reading in translation | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

One way of viewing the world: ‘Compass’ by Mathias Enard

I wonder if in future years, ‘Compass’ will appeal to those in search of obscure book challenges.  The novel is set over one insomniac night; instead of chapters, we are given timings, starting (after a prelude) at 11.10pm and tracking … Continue reading

Posted in Man Booker International Prize 2017, Mathias Enard, Reading in translation | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Navigating life: ‘Mirror, Shoulder, Signal’ by Dorthe Nors

I’m fairly certain this is the first book I’ve read in which the plot centres around the main character learning to drive.  It makes me wonder if I (and writers everywhere) are missing a trick, because the premise is fantastic.  From … Continue reading

Posted in Dorthe Nors, Nordic literature, Reading in translation | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

The Man Booker International Prize Shortlist

In 2015, ‘The Vegetarian‘ by Han Kang (translated by Deborah Smith) was one of my top reads of the year.  In 2016, it was rightly awarded the (newly reorganised) Man Booker International Prize.  In honour of those judges getting it … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Man Booker International Prize 2017, Reading in translation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments