Read the World: Translated Fiction

For many of us, if we want to read fiction written in a language other than English we need the help of a translator. This past week Frank Wynne, the chair of the 2022 International Booker Prize, called for publishers around the world to not only recognize the work of translators with full book cover credit, but to pay translators more fairly and to grant copyright to the translator for their creative work. I confess that I have not been reading much international fiction lately, but Wynne’s call to action prompted me to delve into some translated works recently published in the United States.

Blood Feast by Malikah Moustadraf, translated by Alice Guthrie
Moustadraf had already established herself as a vital voice in Morocco before her death in 2006 at the age of 37. This translation gathers together her short stories, unflinching vignettes of characters living precarious lives on the margins of society due to poverty, abuse, illness, or gender. (Morocco)

The Cat Who Saved Books by Sō­­suke Natsukawa, translated by Louise Heal Kawai
High school student Rintaro Natsuki is closing up his grandfather’s secondhand bookstore when he’s approached by a talking cat, Tiger, who convinces Rintaro to join him on an adventure to rescue mistreated books. (Japan)

Lucky Breaks by Yevgenia Belorusets, translated by Eugene Ostashevsky
The stories in this debut collection, set in the coal-mining regions of Eastern Ukraine, are snapshots of the lives of women in the aftermath of the 2014 conflict. Formerly a photojournalist, Belorusets’s images appear alongside her text. (Ukraine)

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Dina Rubina, Napoleon Wagon Train – Дина Рубина – «Наполеонов обоз»

If the name Dina Rubina sounds strange to an American ear, to a Russian it’s a house-hold name. The author of over fifty books; thirteen novels, twenty-nine collections of short stories, and twelve collections of essays, not to mention eight movie scripts is Rubina’s impressive accomplishment.

The Seattle Public Library has thirty-seven of Rubina’s books, are all in Russian. The library has just received the third volume of her second trilogy, Napoleonov oboz: Angelskii rozhok.

(Napoleon Wagon Train: Angel’s Horn); the first volume goes under the title Riabinovyi kiln (Rowan Wedge), and the second is called Belye loshadi (White Horses). Napoleonov oboz is this author’s second trilogy; the first one was Russian Canary (Russkaia kanareika), also offered by our library.

Following The White Dove of Cordoba and Russian Canary, Napoleon Wagon Train is Dina Rubina’s third and most successful foray into a full-fledged romance-adventure thriller genre. Lovers of Rubina’s work need no encouragement to get lost in her new trilogy while a few hesitant readers might consider five major reasons why Napoleon Wagon Train is worth a read. In fact, it will reward its reader with much delight and amusement. Continue reading “Dina Rubina, Napoleon Wagon Train – Дина Рубина – «Наполеонов обоз»”

Book vs. (Foreign) Film

I don’t know about you but when I read a book and then see a movie based on the book about 90% of the time I like the book better because of where my imagination was able to take me.  I have never really done the comparison though with non English films and the accompanying books which are often translated to English.

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Intriguing Middle Eastern Fiction

In a return to our intermittent series on interesting international fiction, enjoy this snapshot of titles by Middle Eastern novelists published in the US in the last year.

Beginning in Turkey, check out Elif Shafak’s latest novel The Three Daughters of Eve, a story set over a single evening in contemporary Istanbul, as Peri attends a dinner party at a seaside mansion while terrorist attacks occur across the city. Surrounded by well-healed guests, Peri reflects on the two friends she made as a student at Oxford, and the betrayal that ripped them apart but which she still might be able to fix. Continue reading “Intriguing Middle Eastern Fiction”

#BookBingoNW2018: Written by an author from another country

Sitting in the top right corner, the category Written by an author from another country could be vital to making bingo vertically, horizontally, or the elusive diagonal bingo. We’re here to help you get it filled. For inspiration, you could consult previous posts about intriguing African fictionEast Asian fiction, European fiction, Latin American fiction, or Australian mysteries from the past few years.

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