Featured Translation: 100 Days of Happiness by Fausto Brizzi

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There were over 450 new translations published this year, and trust us, we know from experience, keeping track of them all can be a maddening exercise. Each weekday from now until the end of the year we’ll highlight a different title that you may have missed. From short story collections to epic novels, from award winning works of the highest literary caliber to trashy romantic beach reads, we’ll feature the very best, and the very worst that 2015 had to offer, one book at a time.

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Mr Adamson by Urs Widmer

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What will happen next, only the gods know

Ghost stories are a tricky beast to get right. Ghost stories in translation, told across cultural and language divides, even more so. With the exception of perhaps The Darkest Room by Johan Theorin (translated by Marlaine Delargy) there are almost none that I can think of that I’d go out of my way to personally reread or to recommend to others. In fact I almost didn’t even bother to crack open Urs Widmer’s Mr Adamson for this very reason. What a huge mistake that would have been. Continue Reading

The A26 by Pascal Garnier

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Nothing But Motorway

Bleak. Honest. Raw. Powerful. I have dozens of adjectives spinning through my head as I close the cover of Pascal Garnier’s novel The A26, place it down on the table beside me, lean back, breathe for what feels like the first time in ages, and sink deep into the couch in my living room. For the past ninety minutes or so I’ve felt trapped in darkness, lost in a damaged world where insanity reigns supreme and hope is nothing more than a cruel, nonexistent joke. I’m not exactly frightened by what I’ve just read, that’s not the right word, but do feel slightly unsettled. Am I sweating a little bit? Fuck. I am. The A26 has left me feeling a bit dazed, a bit off balance, and truth by told, a touch sickened. This a good thing though for it signals that ultimately the author has accomplished his desired effect. Point to Garnier. Consider my outer defenses not just breached, but utterly destroyed.

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The Dirty Dust by Mairtin O Cadhain

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Fuck The Fucking Fruitcake

Originally published in 1949, Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s notorious novel The Dirty Dust is widely considered to be a masterpiece of Irish literature. Yet in the fifty-plus years since it arrived on the scene, shocking the sensibilities of many of the upstanding citizens of Ireland with its liberal use of crass and filthy words, no one has attempted to provide non-Irish speaking readers with an English language translation. All that finally changes today however, thanks to the arrival of Alan Titley’s energetic take on the classic text from Yale University Press.

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Happy are the Happy by Yasmina Reza

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Clap Your Hands

It’s odd talking about happiness as if it’s somehow this attainable thing always just beyond our reach when the truth is, as soon as we finally realize that one burning desire that we’ve carried for so long, the moment of actual enjoyment is a fleeting one, and then another goal quickly rises to the surface to take it’s place. We’re forever chasing what we think will make us happy, but when that person, that thing, that job, that object of our endless yearning, finally becomes our ours?  We’re never quite satisfied by it, not completely.

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