Fiction in Translation

Cover image for Malma Station by Alex Schulman

Malma Station by Alex Schulman (transl. Rachel Willson-Broyles) ‘You are never alone’

The blurb for Alex Schulman’s Malma Station was so impenetrable I’d have passed it by had I not been so impressed by The Survivors back in 2021. Schulman’s new novel explores similar themes following three journeys to the eponymous station deep in the Swedish countryside, separated by several decades. Often, when her parents fought, she […]

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Cover image for Where the Wind Calls Home by Safra Yazbek

Where the Wind Calls Home by Samar Yazbek (transl. Leri Price): ‘War! What is it good for…’

I’d only read one book by a Syrian author – Nihad Sirees’ Tales of Passion – before Samar Yazbek’s novella which seems a bit of a gap. Yazbek is acclaimed, both within her country and outside it, and has written in an impressively wide number of genres, from journalism to television drama. Where the Wind

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Cover image for Kids Run the Show by Delphine de Vigan

Kids Run the Show by Delphine de Vigan (transl. Alison Anderson): No, they don’t

I was a little wary of reading Delphine de Vigan’s latest novel having had mixed experiences with her writing – I loved Based on a True Story, was disappointed by Loyalties and enjoyed Gratitude – but the premise of Kids Run the Show was such an interesting one I put up my hand when I

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Cover image for Nothing Belongs to You by Nathacha Appanah

Nothing Belongs to You by Nathacha Appanah (transl. Jeffrery Zuckerman): No denying the past

I remembered enjoying Nathacha Appanah’s beautifully crafted The Sky Above the Roof last year which prompted me to put up my hand when a proof of her new novel was offered. Nothing Belongs to You is about a young woman, recently widowed, who buried her traumatic past when she married the doctor who helped save

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Cover image for Roman Stories by Jhumpa Lahiri

Roman Stories by Jhumpa Lahiri (transl. Jhumpa Lahiri and Todd Portnowitz): An exquisite collection

Back from my travels, more of which next week, with one I’ve been eagerly anticipating for some time. When I reviewed Jhumpa Lahiri’s beautiful novella Whereabouts, an Italian reader kindly left a detailed comment describing his response to her translation of the book, which she had originally written in Italian, mentioning that a volume of

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Cover image for Canoes by Maylis de Kerangal

Canoes by Maylis de Kerangal (transl. Jessica Moore): Giving voice to women

I was keen to read Maylis de Kerangal’s Canoes as soon as I spotted it in the publishing schedules having very much enjoyed Painting Time. Comprising one novella and seven short stories, its overarching theme is women’s voices, either heard or in narrative. As ever, I’ll pick out my favourites beginning with Mustang, the novella,

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Cover image for Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck

Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck (transl. Michael Hofmann): ‘The god of fortunate moments’

I was delighted to spot a new Jenny Erpenbeck on the horizon, putting up my hand as soon as I was offered a proof of Kairos. Erpenbeck’s books offer much food for thought on the events that have shaped modern Germany. Opening in 1986, her new novel charts an affair between Hans, a successful writer

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Cover image for Liminal by Liminal by Roland Schimmelpfennig

Liminal by Roland Schimmelpfennig (transl. Jamie Bulloch): An hallucinatory slice of Berlin noir

Roland Schimmelpfennig’s clever, smartly structured One Clear Ice-cold January Morning at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century was one of my books of 2018. Set in Berlin’s underworld, Liminal is very different but it also explores the darker side of modern Germany, following a cop whose life has been shattered by a tragic event. Sometimes,

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