Category Archives: Reading in translation

Melancholy Beauty: ‘The Hour of the Star’ by Clarice Lispector (translated by Giovanni Pontiero)

It is hard to know where to begin with this review.  ‘The Hour of the Star’ is a novella that is so short and so full of perfectly crafted sentences and images, my strong temptation to fill the blog post … Continue reading

Posted in Clarice Lispector, Reading in translation | Tagged , | 3 Comments

First read from the Man Booker International Prize longlist: ‘The Impostor’ by Javier Cercas

It’s that time of year again: the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist was announced (16 books and the only one I’ve read so far is The Ministry of Utmost Happiness), followed immediately by the Man Booker International Prize longlist (13 … Continue reading

Posted in Javier Cercas, Man Booker International Prize 2018, Reading in translation | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Les Misérables and Les Mystères de Paris: a comparison

When raving about ‘The Mysteries of Paris‘ last week, it was clear there was an elephant in the room, because when you describe thousand plus page novels using characters to explore social issues in 19th century Paris, no-one thinks you’re … Continue reading

Posted in Eugène Sue, Reading in translation, Victor Hugo | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Addictively Silly: The Mysteries of Paris by Eugène Sue (1842-43)

The Mysteries of Paris begins in the dank alleyways of the Parisian underworld.  A mysterious stranger ‘darted with hasty step into the Cité, that labyrinth of obscure, narrow, and winding streets which extends from the Palais de Justice to Notre … Continue reading

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Isolated and Hidden Away: ‘The Drinker’ by Hans Fallada

A couple of years ago I read the wonderful ‘Blood Brothers‘ by Ernst Haffner, a book which explores the desperate underbelly of interwar Germany.  ‘Blood Brothers’ shows the reader life at the bottom of a society on the edge of … Continue reading

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Developing a relationship: ‘Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay’

In general, when I find an author or series that I like, I race through it uncontrollably.  It’s this kind of attitude that has lead to my uneviable position of never being able to read a new Christie Poirot or … Continue reading

Posted in Elena Ferrante, Italian Literature, Reading in translation | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

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