Category Archives: Books in Translation

The Informers by Juan Gabriel Vasquez, translated by Anne McLean-a Colombian story?

This is a story of informers and betrayal. Set in the Colombia of 1991, the narrative goes back to the Second World War and Colombia’s role as a place of refuge for Europeans of every political hue: German Jewish escapees … Continue reading

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Gehen, ging, gegangen- Go, went, went by Jenny Erpenbeck.

Jenny Erpenbeck’s latest novel, now available in English translation by Susan Bernofsky, explores the plight of refugees in Germany today. Told from the point of view of Richard, a retired academic, who befriends a group of refugees, the novel relates … Continue reading

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The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich- A polyphony of voices.

In this extraordinary book, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Svetlana Alexievich gives voice to women from all parts of the former Soviet Union who fought on the Soviet side in the Second World War. Travelling over several years, … Continue reading

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Die Mittagsfrau-The Blind Side of the Heart by Julia Franck- translated by Anthea Bell.

As little Peter is woken up by a ray of sunshine falling across his bed, to the morning call of seagulls and his neighbour singing softly, we are drawn into the intimacy of his world in a town near the … Continue reading

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To Die in Spring, Ralf Rothmann, translated by Shaun Whiteside.

With memorial services marking the First World War’s battle of Passchendaele and the release of Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk, the horrific and senseless loss of life in war has been playing on my mind.  So it seemed timely to turn … Continue reading

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Human Acts- Han Kang translated by Deborah Smith

This novel is an account of the 1980 Gwangju Uprising in South Korea and the massacre and repression which followed. Told from different points of view, the accounts are pieced together like a mosaic and tell us of those who … Continue reading

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Thus Bad Begins-Javier Marias

This most recent novel by Javier Marías is set around 1980, four or five years after the death of Franco. Taking this period, la transición, as one of its themes, it depicts a nation coming up for air after nearly … Continue reading

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