I have been reading ‘In Other Words’ by Jhumpa Lahiri for Women in Translation Month hosted by Biblibio for the third year running. I enjoyed Lahiri’s short stories and novels which mostly focus on themes based around the experience of Bengali immigrants living on the east coast of the United States so I was intrigued that she had recently written a non-fiction book in Italian about her experiences of learning the language with Ann Goldstein’s translation into English on the opposite page.
Tag Archives: Italy
‘The Story of the Lost Child’ is the fourth and final novel by Elena Ferrante in her series of Neapolitan novels translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein. While the third volume Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay ended with Elena and Nino seemingly walking off into the sunset, it will come as no surprise to readers that it isn’t long before all is not well in their relationship. Having returned to Naples to be with Nino, Elena is reunited with Lila and becomes embroiled in the politics and violence of their neighbourhood once again. Continue reading
Translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein, ‘Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay’ is the third volume of Elena Ferrante’s series of Neapolitan Novels following My Brilliant Friend and The Story of a New Name. The book opens with Elena and Lila aged in their sixties coming across the body of their childhood friend Gigliola in a church flower bed. Lila doesn’t want Elena to write an autobiographical novel about their friendship causing Elena to reflect on their early adulthood towards the end of the 1960s. Elena is engaged to be married to Pietro, a professor she met at university, and has recently published her first novel which has caused something of a stir amongst critics. Meanwhile, having left Nino, Lila is living with Enzo and working in Bruno Soccava’s sausage factory whilst bringing up her son Gennaro. Nevertheless, they remain bound to each other through their friendship and rivalry. Continue reading
‘The Story of a New Name’ is the second in the series of Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante and translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein. The book opens with Lila asking Elena to hide a box of notebooks from her husband. Instead, Elena dumps them in the river but not without reading them first and the story continues where the first book ‘My Brilliant Friend‘ left off with Lila leaving school and getting married to Stefano Carracci, a well-off local grocer. Unsurprisingly, their marriage is tempestuous from the very beginning while Elena is planning to continue her education and go to university. Continue reading
‘My Brilliant Friend’ is the first in the series of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels. Translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein, it tells the story of two young girls, Elena Greco and Raffaela “Lila” Cerullo, spanning their friendship over the years. The series opens with Elena, aged in her sixties, taking a telephone call from Lila’s son Rino who informs her that Lila has gone missing. Having received this news, Elena looks back on her childhood and adolescence growing up with her lifelong friend outside Naples during the late 1950s and 1960s. Continue reading
Now that the shortlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has been released, I am taking a break from reading and reviewing translated fiction for a while. ‘How to be both’ by Ali Smith has been shortlisted for just about every major literary award in recent months including the Man Booker Prize, the Folio Prize, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Costa Book Awards as well as winning the Goldsmiths Prize and the more I have heard about it in recent months, the more I have wanted to read it. One half is set in fifteenth century Italy and tells the story of al fresco Renaissance artist Franceshco del Cossa. The other half is set in modern Britain and tells the story of a sixteen-year-old girl called George whose mother has recently died. Continue reading
‘Bloodlines’ by Marcello Fois and translated from the Italian by Silvester Mazzarella tells the story of the Chironi family during the early twentieth century in Sardinia. Michele Angelo Chironi, a blacksmith and Mercede Lai are both orphans who marry seven months after they first meet at a church in 1889. While the early years of their marriage are happy ones, their lives are plagued with misfortune after the turn of the century. Continue reading