We’ve had an eventful (and exhausting) start to summer already, so just in time for relaxation we’ve put together suggestions for translation titles to check out. No weighty political tomes on this list!
If Yuri Herrera’s The Transmigration of Bodies (translated by Lisa Dillman) is as thought-provoking as his earlier Signs Preceding the End of the World, you’re in luck.
If you enjoyed Danish author Naja Marie Aidt’s Baboon (translated by 2015 PEN Translation Award winner Denise Newman), you’ll be excited to read fellow Dane Dorthe Nors’s newest release, So Much For That Winter (translated by Misha Hoekstra). It’s on the July IndieNext list and has gotten raves in multiple media outlets.
We hosted some amazing writers and translators at the Bay Area Book Festival at the beginning of June, and their books are great additions to any summer reading list.
French writer Jean-Philippe Blondel’s The 6:41 to Paris (translated by Alison Anderson) is “a touching portrayal of how any of us might feel when unexpectedly confronted by the detritus of young love” (from a New York Times review).
Chilean-Norwegian writer Pedro Carmona-Alvarez has just released The Weather Changed, Summer Came and So On, “a haunting novel about love, loss, and identity” translated from the Norwegian by Diane Oatley.
Swedish actor and author Jonas Karlsson’s, The Room (translated by Neil Smith), is the Kafka-esque tale of a government clerk who discovers a secret room that no one else will acknowledge. Read an interview with the author about his writing process.
Algerian-Italian Amara Lakhous’s newest book, The Prank of the Good Little Virgin of Via Ormea (translated by Antony Shugaar) is a “fun and farcical” examination of identity in today’s multicultural society. And check out his earlier titles, including award-winning Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio (translated by Ann Goldstein, who also translated Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan Novels–another excellent summer read).
Another young Norwegian author, Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold, penned The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am (translated by Kerri A. Pierce), which won the Tarjei Vesaas First Book Prize in 2009.
Deborah Smith, translator and recent Man Booker International Prize winner for her translation of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, includes some choice summer reading options in her Five Book Plan on the Verso Books website. She highlights Marie NDiaye’s Ladivine as her top choice. (If you like that book, be sure to read her titles from Two Lines Press, All My Friends and Self-Portrait in Green–all translated by Jordan Stump).
Also on Smith’s list: Vaseline Buddha by Jung Young Moon (translated from Korean by Jung Yewon), Second-Hand Time by Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich (translated from Russian by Bela Shayevich), Load Poems Like Guns: Women’s Poetry From Herat, Afghanistan (translated from Persian Dari by Farzana Marie), and Fever by Samaresh Basu (translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha). You can find more Verso summer reading choices on their website.
For those for whom summer is not complete with at least one good detective novel, Melville House Press has an entire International Crime imprint.
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