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‘Translation is amazing’ [book review]

Catching Fire: A Translation Diary by Daniel Hahn Translation is an art quite unlike anything else. For those who work in the field – and probably some who don’t – it is an endless source of fascination, frustration, and a particular kind of delight. Put a group of literary translators together in a room andContinue reading ‘Translation is amazing’ [book review]

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The Monthly Booking: August 2022

August is Women in Translation Month, a time for much celebration – or, more specifically, to focus on reading works by women writers from around the world who have been translated into English. Women are still a vastly underrepresented group in this area, writing less than one-third of all translated literature, but thanks to thisContinue reading The Monthly Booking: August 2022

‘Motherhood has always been very porous’ [book review]

Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated by Rosalind Harvey I first came to the work of Mexican writer Guadalupe Nettel through Bezoar, a collection of short stories as memorable as it is slender, filled with sharp, unsettling observations on the human condition. A brief encounter it may have been, but perhaps for that very reasonContinue reading ‘Motherhood has always been very porous’ [book review]

‘The worst of all tsunamis’ [book review]

Here Be Icebergs by Katya Adaui, translated by Rosalind Harvey ‘Family is family,’ says the narrator’s mother in ‘This Is the Man’, the seventh story in Katya Adaui’s Here Be Icebergs and one of the hardest to stomach, if least ambiguous, tales in this fascinating collection. Translated into English by Rosalind Harvey and published byContinue reading ‘The worst of all tsunamis’ [book review]

‘A woman on the path of men’ [book review]

Witches by Brenda Lozano, translated by Heather Cleary At first glance they couldn’t seem more different, Feliciana and Zoe. Zoe, in her thirties, is a journalist from Mexico City who has carved out a niche for herself reporting on violent crimes against women, wearied by the unrelenting nature of her work yet not inured toContinue reading ‘A woman on the path of men’ [book review]

The Monthly Booking: July 2022

After a rather extended break, The Monthly Booking is back – and diving straight into summer with a Latin American-themed reading list. As usual, I’ve picked four titles from my digital and physical bookshelves, covering fiction, non-fiction, translation and independent publishers. Happily, having given myself a geographical theme for this month, July’s list is veryContinue reading The Monthly Booking: July 2022

‘The light comes in cautiously’ [book review]

A review of Never Did the Fire by Diamela Eltit, translated from the Spanish by Daniel Hahn In Diamela Eltit’s novel Never Did the Fire, the two main characters, an unnamed man and woman, spend most of their time in a room. In a bed, to be even more specific. Sometimes they lie in it,Continue reading ‘The light comes in cautiously’ [book review]

‘Truth is merely our perception of the truth’ [book review]

A review of The Night Will Be Long by Santiago Gamboa, translated from the Spanish by Andrea Rosenberg Santiago Gamboa’s The Night Will Be Long takes its title from a line by Spanish poet José Ángel Valente. Gamboa has chosen it as one of two epigraphs for his novel – the other is a lineContinue reading ‘Truth is merely our perception of the truth’ [book review]

‘A poet, in a time of ashes’ [book review]

A review of Occupation by Julián Fuks, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn Julián Fuks is a man who chooses his words with great care. Fortunately for his English readers, Daniel Hahn is very much the same (anyone wishing for evidence of this might dip into his excellent Translation Diary from earlier this year,Continue reading ‘A poet, in a time of ashes’ [book review]

‘Zero transport. Zero meat. Zero hope.’ [book review]

A review of Havana Year Zero by Karla Suárez, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney Only once in Havana Year Zero is the city ever explicitly given human characteristics. On a balcony in the rain, towards the end of the novel, as her life seems to be falling apart around her, our narrator, Julia,Continue reading ‘Zero transport. Zero meat. Zero hope.’ [book review]