The longlist for the Man Booker International Prize is due to be announced on Wednesday 15th March. I am on the shadow panel again this year and have been thinking about which books could make the cut.
The pool of fiction in translation published in the UK is smaller than the huge number of books which are eligible for awards like the Man Booker Prize and Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. However, thanks to consistent championing by booksellers, bloggers and publishers helping to steadily raise the profile of translated fiction, it doesn’t actually make the predictions easier (which is ultimately a good thing, of course). I also have no knowledge of which books have actually been submitted for consideration so my choices are purely speculative. Continue reading
Translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell, ‘Fever Dream’ by Samanta Schweblin tells the story of Amanda, a woman who is critically ill in a rural Argentinian hospital, where David is trying to get her to remember the events which led her there. She recalls encounters with her daughter Nina and David’s mother Carla who once told her how David’s soul was split in two in order to save him after he was poisoned. However, David is not quite the same afterwards, and neither are Amanda and Nina. Continue reading
‘The Winterlings’ by Cristina Sánchez-Andrade was one of my Women in Translation Month reads in August and my rather belated review is finally here. Translated from the Spanish by Samuel Rutter, it tells the story of two sisters, Saladina and Dolores, from the small rural village of Tierra de Chá in Galicia in north-west Spain. After living in England for several years during and after the Spanish Civil War, the Winterlings, as they are known, eventually return to their grandfather’s cottage as adults in the 1950s. However, the sisters have secrets about why they have decided to come back while the villagers are equally evasive about what happened to their grandfather during the war. Continue reading
I have read a few French books translated into English by Frank Wynne including ‘Alex’ and ‘Irene’ by Pierre Lemaitre but I was unfamiliar with his translations from Spanish until now. ‘In the Beginning Was the Sea’ is Tomás González’s debut novel and was first published in 1983 by the owner of a Bogotá nightclub where he worked as a barman. Over thirty years later, it is the first of his books to be translated into English and has recently been longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Continue reading