Yesterday, Jim Kates (former American Literary Translators Association president, and director of Zephyr Press) was on the NPR show “Here & Now” to talk about Bringing the World’s Literature to an American Audience.
Super-awesome that he namechecks us, but what’s really interesting is his list of recommendations:
Moscow Noir, (stories) edited by Natalia Smirnova and Julia Goumen (Russian)
The Rest is Jungle: Short Stories from Uruguay, by Mario Benedetti, translated by Harry Morales (Spanish)
Desolation of the Chimera, by Luis Cerneda, translated by Stephen Kessler (Spanish)
Forest of Eyes: Selected Poems of Tada Chimako, translated by Jeffrey Angles (Japanese)
69, by MLB [Milosz Biedrzycki] translated by Frank L. Vigoda (Polish)
Flash Cards, by Yu Jian, translated by Wang Ping and Ron Padgett (Chinese)
To the End of the Land, by David Grossman, translated by Jessica Cohen (Hebrew)
Visitation, by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky (German)
In the United States of Africa, Abdourahman A. Waberi, translated by David and Nicole Ball (French) (This is the second reference to Waberi on Three Percent in as many days . . .)
Agaat, by Marlene van Niekerk, translated by Michiel Heyns (Afrikaans)
And remember, you can listen to the complete conversation here.
The last five days of the eleventh-century Icelandic politician, writer of sagas, and famous murder victim Snorri Sturleleson (the Norwegian spelling, Snorre, is preserved in the book) make up Thorvald Steen’s most recently translated historical fiction, The Little Horse. Murdered. . .
We all know Paris, or at least we think we know it. The Eiffel Tower. The Latin Quarter. The Champs-Élysées. The touristy stuff. In Dominique Fabre’s novel, Guys Like Me, we’re shown a different side of Paris: a gray, decaying. . .
One hundred pages into Birth of a Bridge, the prize-winning novel from French writer Maylis de Kerangal, the narrator describes how starting in November, birds come to nest in the wetlands of the fictional city of Coca, California, for three. . .
At 30, the Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is already gathering her rosebuds. Faces in the Crowd, her poised debut novel, was published by Coffee House Press, along with her Brodsky-infused essay collection, Sidewalks. The essays stand as a theoretical map. . .
Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia (narrated by Julio Cortázar) is, not disappointingly, as wild a book as its title suggests. It is a half-novella half-graphic novel story about . . . what, exactly? A European tribunal, Latin. . .
Marie NDiaye has created a tiny, psychological masterpiece with her Self-Portrait in Green. In it she explores how our private fears and insecurities can distort what we believe to be real and can cause us to sabotage our intimate relationships.. . .
Reading a genre book—whether fantasy, science fiction, crime, thriller, etc.—which begins to seem excessively, stereotypically bad, I have to make sure to ask myself: is this parodying the flaws of the genre? Usually, this questioning takes its time coming. In. . .
The Sicilian Mafia has always been a rich subject for sensational crime fiction. The Godfather, Goodfellas, and The Sopranos worked the mob’s bloody corpses and family feuds to both entertainment and artistic value. Giuseppe di Piazza’s debut novel attempts this,. . .
Antoine Volodine’s vast project (40 plus novels) of what he calls the post-exotic remains mostly untranslated, so for many of us, understanding it remains touched with mystery, whispers from those “who know,” and guesswork. That’s not to say that, were. . .
It hasn’t quite neared the pitch of the waiting-in-line-at-midnight Harry Potter days, but in small bookstores and reading circles of New York City, an aura has attended the novelist Elena Ferrante and her works. One part curiosity (Who is she?),. . .