Novellas in translation

Cover image for A Perfect Day to Be Alone by Nanae Aoyama

A Perfect Day to Be Alone by Nanae Aoyama (transl. Jesse Kirkwood): A poignant, funny coming-of-age story

Nanae Aoyama’s A Perfect Day to Be Alone is already a bestseller in several European countries, translated into German, French and Italian before Jesse Kirkwood’s English version. Spanning a year in which twenty-year-old Chizu lives with an elderly distant relative, it’s a quiet coming-of-age story. It turned out that when you put three people with […]

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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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Idol Burning by Rin Usami

Idol, Burning by Rin Usami (transl Asa Yoneda): ‘My life without him was only an afterlife’  

I’ve long felt uneasy about the relationship between celebrities and the public, not least the way the media refers to them by their first name as if we know them intimately. It’s particularly painful when the celebrity in question was a child star. Rin Usami’s Idol, Burning examines that relationship through a young girl who

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Cover image for The Woman from Uruguay by Pedro Mairal

The Woman from Uruguay by Pedro Mairal (transl. Jennifer Croft): One day in the life

I’m not sure what it was that attracted me to Pedro Mairal’s The Woman from Uruguay. Perhaps it was simply that it’s a novella or that I’ve not read anything by a Latin American writer for some time. Whatever it was I’m glad I decided to read it. This short piece of fiction reads almost

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Cover image for Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri (transl. by the author): ’Solitude: it’s become my trade’

Four years ago, I was sent a book by Jhumpa Lahiri which had intrigued me when I saw it listed as a translated work. In Other Words is her account of a passion for the Italian language so intense she uprooted her family from the US so that she could immerse herself in it. The

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