Translated Fiction Roundup

Article by Danielle

Did you know that only 5% of novels published in the US today are translations? Think of how much we’re missing from vibrant literary cultures around the globe by focusing our attention only on work written in English! Reading world fiction allows you to really explore an unfamiliar culture without leaving your living room. I have recently been on a translated fiction kick and would like to share a few of my new favorites with you. -Augusta

Ways of Going Home Cover Image
By Alejandro Zambra, Megan McDowell (Translator)
ISBN: 9780374286644
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - January 8th, 2013

Zambra’s novella opens on the day of the 1985 Chilean earthquake and follows the narrator as he explores his memories of his childhood first love. Part love story, part remembrance of simpler times, the narrative is evocative, beautiful, and, at just under 140 pages, easy to devour in one sitting.

La Boutique Obscure: 124 Dreams Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612191751
Availability: Backordered
Published: Melville House Publishing - February 19th, 2013

I studied Cognitive Sciences in college and relish any opportunity to read about the awesome, unusual things that our brains sometimes do. Perec’s recently translated dream diary was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for! Inventive, modern, and surreal, this strange little book briefly outlines 124 dreams and gives us the opportunity to explore the ephemeral nature of our sleeping thoughts. This is one I’ll be reading and rereading.

Paprika (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307389183
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - February 12th, 2013

When the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred, things can get dangerous. Paprika, a dream detective, must go into the dream world to prevent mysterious opponents from sabotaging the real world. Thought provoking and entertaining, PAPRIKA is a page turner. Don’t forget to check out the accompanying anime film of the same name.

Maidenhair Cover Image
ISBN: 9781934824368
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Open Letter - October 23rd, 2012

MAIDENHAIR explores the stories we tell about ourselves in order to get where we want to be, namely through the gates of paradise. Like most thick Russian novels, Shiskin’s work takes on a variety of topics -- truth and fiction, death and life, love and war -- but the sum is greater than its parts. I’m only a third of the way through this one and it’s already one of the best things I’ve read this year. Don’t miss it!

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