Reviews and writing on literature and translation…

Review: ‘Simple Passion’, by Annie Ernaux, tr. Tanya Leslie

Intense passion does not last forever; it is brief, fleeting, abrupt, just like Simple Passion. Released by Fitzcarraldo Editions in Tanya Leslie’s brilliant translation, Ernaux’s latest English release encapsulates all that is great about her writing in a concise forty-eight pages.  A novella of autobiographical fiction, Simple Passion follows an unnamed, middle-aged, female narrator as she documents twoContinue reading “Review: ‘Simple Passion’, by Annie Ernaux, tr. Tanya Leslie”

Review: ‘Crocodile Tears’, by Mercedes Rosende, tr. Tim Gutteridge

Crocodile Tears, by Mercedes Rosende, is the latest publication from Bitter Lemon Press. Expertly translated from the Spanish by Tim Gutteridge, this crime fiction novella is the publishers first release from Uruguay, and Rosende’s first appearance in English. The intriguing plot begins in a dismal prison visiting room, where we meet Diego, recently charged withContinue reading “Review: ‘Crocodile Tears’, by Mercedes Rosende, tr. Tim Gutteridge”

Review: ‘London Under Snow’, by Jordi Llavina, tr. Douglas Suttle

After what has been an incredibly stressful year for the entire world, this Christmas I was looking forward to spending my two weeks off reading the pile of books that was nervously stacking up by the side of my bed. Top of my list was London Under Snow, by Jordi Llavina, translated by Douglas Suttle. IContinue reading “Review: ‘London Under Snow’, by Jordi Llavina, tr. Douglas Suttle”

Borderless Book Club ‘Palestine +100’

This week’s Borderless Book Club saw a wonderfully insightful discussion surrounding Palestine +100, an anthology published by Comma Press and edited by Basma Ghalayini. For the evening we were joined by Becca Parkinson of Comma Press, Basma Ghalayini, and also Thoraya El-Rayyes, a translator of one of the stories in the anthology. Palestine +100 isContinue reading “Borderless Book Club ‘Palestine +100’”

Borderless Book Club: ‘Summer of Reckoning’

This week’s Borderless Book Club welcomed Bitter Lemon Press to discuss Summer of Reckoning, written by Marion Brunet, and translated by Katherine Gregor. Bitter Lemon Press is a small independent publisher founded fifteen years ago that focuses on crime and noir translated literature. After reading a review of Summer of Reckoning in Le Monde, BitterContinue reading “Borderless Book Club: ‘Summer of Reckoning’”

Borderless Book Club: ‘Holiday Heart’

Last week’s book club saw a discussion of Margarita García Robayo’s Holiday Heart, translated by Charlotte Coombe and published by Charco Press. Joining us for the evening was the translator, Charlotte Coombe, editor, Fionn Petch, and co-founder of the press, Carolina Orloff. Holiday Heart follows the breakdown of a marriage between two Colombian immigrants toContinue reading “Borderless Book Club: ‘Holiday Heart’”

Translated Fiction Book Club: ‘Singer in the Night’

This week saw the final session for the online Translated Fiction Book Club where we discussed Singer in the Night by Olja Savičević, translated by Celia Hawkesworth and published by Istros Books. A warning that there are spoilers throughout this post! Singer in the Night is a Croatian novel in which we follow the protagonist,Continue reading “Translated Fiction Book Club: ‘Singer in the Night’”

Gender in Translation (3): Translating Gendered Constraints

A few posts back, in Gender in Translation (2): Translating Grammatical Gender, I discussed the difficulties of translating between different languages with different grammatical rules concerning gender. Translating grammatical gender is something that a translator normally doesn’t have to think twice about, as in most cases, the straightforward translation of ‘la’ and ‘le’ into ‘the’Continue reading “Gender in Translation (3): Translating Gendered Constraints”

Translated Fiction Book Club: ‘Thirteen Months of Sunrise’

This week saw the penultimate session of the online Translated Fiction Book club in which we talked about Thirteen Months of Sunrise, a collection of short stories published by Comma Press, written by the Sudanese writer Rania Mamoun and translated by Elisabeth Jaquette. The evening commenced with a conversation with Elisabeth Jaquette on her translationContinue reading “Translated Fiction Book Club: ‘Thirteen Months of Sunrise’”

Translated Fiction Book Club: ‘Restless’

In this week’s Translated Fiction Book Club, we were discussing Restless, published by Nordisk Books, written by Kenneth Moe and translated by Alison McCullough. This week’s discussion was great, as Restless was a book that divided opinions and welcomed some very interesting debates. In brief, Restless is a one-hundred-page letter, or perhaps even a journalContinue reading “Translated Fiction Book Club: ‘Restless’”

Gender in Translation (2): Translating Grammatical Gender

Translating grammatical gender is something that a translator normally doesn’t have to think twice about. In most cases, the straightforward translation of ‘la’ and ‘le’ into ‘the’ is all that is required. But what about when these definite articles mean something much more? In his essay, On Linguistic Aspects of Translation, Roman Jakobson discusses theContinue reading “Gender in Translation (2): Translating Grammatical Gender”

Japan Now East: Reading and Workshop with Hiromi Itō and Jeffrey Angles

This week I was lucky enough to attend a discussion and reading with renowned Japanese poet and writer, Hiromi Itō, and her friend and translator into the English, Jeffrey Angles. The following day, I also attended the workshop ‘Translating Cultures’, which focused on the difficulties of translating Japanese culture and language specifities into English cultureContinue reading “Japan Now East: Reading and Workshop with Hiromi Itō and Jeffrey Angles”

Review: ‘La Naufragée du Lac des Dents Blanches’, by Patrice Gain

Written by Patrice Gain, and published by Le Mot et le Reste in 2016, La Naufragée du Lac des Dents Blanches explores serious issues both within France and Canada in a delicate and quite remarkable manner. Patrice Gain takes the dreadful and long-standing issues of the European refugee crisis, and treatment of indigenous Canadians, and intertwines them with aContinue reading “Review: ‘La Naufragée du Lac des Dents Blanches’, by Patrice Gain”

Fluency in Translation: Avoiding Homogeneity and Ethnocentrism

Today, fluency is widely considered a necessity of literary translations into English. But what is fluency, and is it a goal to aim for in translating, or something we should avoid? First, we must address the question: what is fluency? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, one definition is ‘the ability to express oneself easilyContinue reading “Fluency in Translation: Avoiding Homogeneity and Ethnocentrism”

Gender in Translation (1): Gender and Translation Theory

After writing my undergrad dissertation on postcolonial feminism, and centering many of my essays on feminist texts in translation and gender in writing, it quickly started to become clear that my academic interests were centering around two particular topics: feminism and gender. Continuing to combine these topics with ideas from my current MA in LiteraryContinue reading “Gender in Translation (1): Gender and Translation Theory”

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