Women of Karantina by Nael Eltoukhy

Women_Of_Karantina

The Severed Finger Is Never Abscessed

The reviewer, who was in the habit of using words to describe his feelings on what he’d recently read, could not find the words he was in the habit of using. To put in another way, he was at a loss for words. There are other, more important things that you, the prospective reader of this review, should know about this particular reviewer as well. There are other facts that we should share with you. For starters, he’s woefully under-equipped when it comes to critiquing Arabic literature. He knows little of the social or political climates that lead to frequent periods of unrest in Egypt. Secondly, and perhaps far more telling, reading Eltoukhy’s novel left him with a near debilitating fear of train stations. We shall address this absurdly unfortunate side effect more in due time. For now, let us begin where these thing generally seem to begin, at the beginning.

Continue Reading

Beyond the Best Translated Book Award: 20 More Great Translations from 2013

Beyond_The_BTBA

The 2014 Best Translated Book Award nominees have been announced! Bang it here for complete descriptions of all 25 titles.

Missed our peek at what each of this year’s Best Translated Book Award novels looks like around the globe?  Click here for part five, and then work your way backwards. 

Missed our look at this year’s crop of nominated translators?  Click here for part five, and then work your way backward.

The 25 books that fought their way onto this year’s Best Translated Book Award longlist represent only a fraction of what was a pretty great year for translated literature.  According to the Three Percent database, 42 8 6 (Time Regulation Institute should be removed, shouldn’t it?  And why is Jonke’s Awakening to the Great Sleep War from 2012 in there?  Maybe Chasing the King of Hearts should be INCLUDED?  GAH!  Let’s say 430ish) works of fiction were introduced to the English language for the very first time last year.  Unfortunately the database doesn’t break down genre any further so we can’t take a closer look at how many of those were crime fiction (a lot I’d wager), or romance (bleh says I), or horror (LINDQVIST!), etc. On the plus however we can sort by publisher, a nice touch which allows us to successfully avoid having to suffer through another AmazonCrossing book ever again.

Continue Reading

Best Read in 2013: A Top 20 Year-End List

Best Read In 2013

As we round the corner of Typographical Era’s first anniversary, we’ve decided to continue our Best Read in the year tradition, and what a year it has been!  Between translations, short stories, novels, memoirs, and essays, readers of all genres will surely find Typographical Era’s Best Read in 2013 list to be a great place to start for reading endeavors in 2014.  At least we hope so.  Here’s to a great year in reading and to another great year for Typographical Era.  Cheers!

Continue Reading

The Best of the First Half of 2013

The Best of the First Half of 2013Thus far, 2013 has been an excellent literary year for me.  I launched Typographical Era with Aaron Westerman, finished my Master’s Degree in Information Sciences, and got a job in my local public library system.  But on top of all that, I’ve also managed to read some really amazing books in the last 6 months.

As Aaron said in his Best of the First Half of 2013 post, readers love nothing more than literary lists (and a good book of course), and I am no exception.  When I’m not reading, reviewing, or painting my nails, I spend a great deal of time devouring lists.  From topical/subject-focused lists to upcoming release directories, these mini-catalogs are a great way to reach out to all reader niches in a timely and effective manner.

So before I get too far down the list loving rabbit hole, here is a brief register of the best books of 2013 according to me:


Continue Reading