Category Archives: Reading in translation

A Chilling Summer Read: ‘The Birds’ by Tarjei Vesaas

Tarjei Vesaas’ The Ice Palace was one of the most memorable reads from my immersion in Nordic literature last January.  After the magical and terrifying evocation of winter in that most chilling of Norwegian novels, I was fully prepared to shiver … Continue reading

Posted in Nordic literature, Reading in translation, Tarjei Vesaas | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Musings on Time and Space: ‘Flights’ by Olga Tokarczuk

With its beautiful stark blue cover, the Fitzcarraldo Edition of ‘Flights’ doesn’t give away much about the book’s content.  The blub, starting with the sentence ‘Flights, a novel about travel in the twenty-first century and human anatomy, is Olga Tokarczuk’s … Continue reading

Posted in Man Booker International Prize 2018, Olga Tokarczuk, Reading in translation | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

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

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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

Posted in Eugène Sue, Reading in translation | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

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

Posted in Hans Fallada, Reading in translation | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments