The newly updated Visual Guide to Translated Fiction says that there are 32 works being published in October that are new in translation. If you want to check out the full list go here, and then click on October. Otherwise, stick around, because we’re about to explore 6 of them in closer detail.
The academic study of literature leads basically nowhere, as we all know, unless you happen to be an especially gifted student, in which case it prepares you for a career teaching the academic study of literature—it is, in other words, a rather farcical system that exists solely to replicate itself and yet manages to fail more than 95 percent of the time.
Houellbecq’s (The Map and the Territory) controversial bestseller finally arrives in English translation on October 20th. Submission takes place in the year 2022 where Mohammed Ben Abbes, leader of a Muslim brotherhood, is voted into power in France. As a result of his victory everything in the country turns Islamic. Woman abandon the workplace and the western wardrobe, polygamy is allowed, and teachers are forced to retire if they’re unwilling to convert to the beliefs of the ruling party. It’s amongst this turmoil that a literature professor named François finds himself in a bit of rut, both academically and sexually.
Look Dominique, I’ll be honest with you. I no longer give a toss about Mabel Hirsch, or Sabine, or you, or the money, or my career. I’ve had it up to here with that shit.
Another in a long list of short, grim tales from Pascal Garnier (The A26), Boxes follows the lives of an illustrator named Brice and his new bride Emma as they prepare to move into their spacious new home. Well, that is, until Emma up and disappears suddenly. Now alone, despondent, and off balance, Brice fills his time with walks and learning more about his neighbors. Could meeting one of these people, the eager woman named Blanche be just what needs to turn things around? Don’t count on it.
After the Circus
by Patrick Modiano
Translated from the French by Mark Polizzotti
Yale University Press
by Patrick Modiano
Translated from the French by Phoebe Weston-Evans
Yale University Press
Two more from the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature winning French author Modiano finally arrive in English language translation. After the Circus is a romance / detective novel about a man and woman who meet at a police station in the 1960s, while in Paris Nocturne, an accident involving a teenage boy who is struck by a car driven by a woman he knows he’s met before, but can’t quite place sets the stage for an even deeper mystery.
Writing resembled swimming in this sense: once you’d gotten your head above water, once you started to swim, it was impossible to stop until at last you felt the sand of the far shore.
Earlier this year Seagull Books published Hilbig’s novel ‘I’ (also translated by Fargo Cole) and this month Two Lines Press follows with Sleep of the Righteous, a collection of seven semi-autobiographical short stories, arranged chronologically, spanning more than four decades of the author’s life. From his early days in Mauselwitz, to his escape to West Germany in the late 1980s and through his return to the town of his youth after the fall of the GDR, the tales in Sleep paint a chilling portrait of a Germany divided.
It was said that he was tortured: that his teeth had been yanked from his mouth with pliers and his penis flattened beneath the leg of a chair. But it was also said that afterwards he had been allowed to go free and that he hadn’t been sent to some unnamed detention center, much less to the penal colony on Buru Island.
Winner of the Khatulistiwa Award, Home tells a fictional tale of exile during the time of Suharto’s reign. Beginning in the mid-1960’s and spanning through the late 1990’s, Chudori’s novel asking probing questions about the official history surrounding the government’s anti-communist killings. When you can’t get the true story from those who are responsible or the history books, when an entire generation won’t talk about what really happened, where do you turn for answers? The result of years of research and based on real people and actual events, Home delivers a very different take on Indonesia’s most violent years.
Still not satisfied? Check the Visual Guide for more translation goodness.
Which translations are you looking forward to reading in October? Are there titles missing from the Visual Guide? Let us know!