New in Translation: May 2015

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According to the Visual Guide to Translated Fiction there are 33 works being published in upcoming month of May that are new in translation. If you want to check out the full list go here, and then click on May. If not, stick around, because I’m about to break down the six novels and three story collections that you don’t want to miss.

I’m officially back from a vacation that found me wasting so much time standing in lines for amusement rides that I actually managed to read an entire book while doing so (I’m looking at you, The Indian). Have you ever read an entire book while standing? It was a new experience for me, but I’m thinking maybe I should lug more books around with me so that I can fill our woefully neglected Instagram account with selfie pics of me standing in DMV and post office lines reading translated literature.

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Blood Brothers by Ernst Haffner

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Underworld Is A Style

What became of Ernst Haffner? That’s a question no one can seem to answer. Details about his life are scarce: he was a social worker and a journalist, and in 1932 he published his first and only novel. This book, Blood Brothers, would be burned and banned when the Nazi party came into power a year later, and all traces of its author would mysteriously vanish during World War II. That’s it, that’s all we know. All these year’s later we’re left with but a single book to judge Haffner by, a mere 192 pages with which to assess his literary merit and determine his historical significance, but what an accomplished book it is.

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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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New In Translation: January 2015

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Happy New Year! For 2015 I figured why not try something new, something different, something, well, something that’s not as labor intensive as posting regurgitated descriptions of what’s new in translation on a weekly (!) basis.

Yup, the move to monthly is purely to make things easier on myself. It’s one of my New Year’s resolutions. Actually the only one. Make shit easier to get done. I figure that way stuff might actually have a fair chance of, you know, getting done. Larry the Cable Guy I ain’t, but we shall see. Maybe I’ll make some more resolutions along the way. Someone pass the Prilosec please.

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