Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Another Longlist

 2016  Best Translated Book Award - fiction longlist

 I've read some, others are in my possession but not yet read, some are on my to be acquired (purchase or borrow), and a few I know little about. 

Arvida by Samuel Archibald, translated from the French by Donald Winkler (Canada, Biblioasis)
Library doesn't own 

Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan, translated from the Indonesian by Annie Tucker (Indonesia, New Directions)
  Submitted request to library (3/30/16) Read it in May, really liked it

Berlin by Aleš Šteger, translated from the Slovene by Brian Henry, Forrest Gander, and Aljaž Kovac (Slovenia, Counterpath)
 Library doesn't own

The Big Green Tent by Ludmila Ulitskaya, translated from the Russian by Polly Gannon (Russia, FSG)
  Submitted request to library (3/30/16) 

The Body Where I Was Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from the Spanish by J. T. Lichtenstein (Mexico, Seven Stories Press)
 owned but not read (kindle)

The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector, translated from the Portuguese by Katrina Dodson (Brazil, New Directions)
want to read, but in no rush. Library has

The Four Books by Yan Lianke, translated from the Chinese by Carlos Rojas (China, Grove Press) read, library book of the ones I've read, I liked this the least--but it is good and worthy of inclusion.

French Perfume by Amir Tag Elsir, translated from the Arabic by William M. Hutchins (Sudan, Antibookclub)
Library doesn't own

A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn (Angola, Archipelago Books)
 Library doesn't own has, requested 6/4/2016

I Refuse by Per Petterson, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett (Norway, Graywolf Press)
library request pending not sure about the subject matter, I may not stick with it. Status is "in transit" but library having delivery problems so it will be a week or so. Read in May, liked it

The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud, translated from the French by John Cullen (Algeria, Other Press)
 read, library book liked it

Mirages of the Mind by Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi, translated from the Urdu by Matt Reeck and Aftab Ahmad (India, New Directions)
Submitted request to library (3/30/16) read about half (in May) had to return it, will get again and finish it

Moods by Yoel Hoffmann, translated from the Hebrew by Peter Cole (Israel, New Directions)
Library has, but I may pass on this one

Murder Most Serene by Gabrielle Wittkop, translated from the French by Louise Rogers Lalaurie (France, Wakefield Press)
library doesn't own

Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah, translated from the Korean by Sora Kim-Russell (South Korea, AmazonCrossing)
library doesn't own

One Out of Two by Daniel Sada, translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver (Mexico, Graywolf Press)
 Submitted request to library (3/30/16) read in April, really liked it

The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov, translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel (Bulgaria, Open Letter)
 owned but not read

Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman (Mexico, And Other Stories)
 read, own fantastic

The Sleep of the Righteous by Wolfgang Hilbig, translated from the German by Isabel Fargo Cole (Germany, Two Lines Press)
  owned but not read

Sphinx by Anne Garréta, translated from the French by Emma Ramadan (France, Deep Vellum)
 owned but not read   

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Italy, Europa Editions)
Someday I may read this, I have the first book but haven't read it

The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney (Mexico, Coffee House Press)
 Submitted request to library (3/30/16)  Read in May, didn't like it

The Things We Don’t Do by Andrés Neuman, translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia (Argentina, Open Letter)
 read, own really liked it

Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, translated from the French by Roland Glasser (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Deep Vellum)
read, own fantastic

War, So Much War by Mercè Rodoreda, translated from the Catalan by Maruxa Relaño and Martha Tennent (Spain, Open Letter)
 owned but not read

Monday, March 14, 2016

March (first half) 2016 Reads

Started March with a trip to the library to return a batch (10) of books and pick up four waiting holds. Checked out the four plus three from browsing. Actually returned more than I checked out. 

Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy ; Hotta, Eri
An examination Japanese history, politics, and foreign policy in the year leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor. It helped clarify a confusing period of history.
Library book.

The Yid ; Goldberg, Paul
Promos for this compared it to Catch-22 and it was a little like that, but I also thought of  The Golden Calf by Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov (translated by Konstantin Gurevich and Helen Anderson). And the disposal of the bodies reminded me of the 1955 movie The Lady Killers. Whatever it reminds one of, it's a great book all by itself. Library book.

Zoli ; McCann, Colum
Gypsy life in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s through the 1950s. An agonizing escape to the West. Told from several points of view.  I just read McCann's Dancer, which I liked very much. I also liked his TransAtlantic and Thirteen Ways of Looking so I decided to read something else by this author. I was not disappointed. The title character in this novel is "loosely inspired by Papusza" a polish poet (1910-1987) so I decided to explore that more: see Online Reading below. Library book.

The Heart ; Kerangal, Maylis de;  Sam Taylor (Translation)
This amazing novel follows a multiple organ transplant procedure including the ethical considerations, medical decisions, bureaucratic necessities, and emotional impact on all concerned. The technical aspects never overwhelm the human nature of what is happening.
(note: this the American translation; the UK/Canadian translation by Jessica Moore is titled Mend the Living and is on the 2016 Man Booker International Prize longlist. French title: Réparer les vivants)

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding ; Copleton, Jackie
Survivors of Nagasaki seek redemption and recognition many years after the tragedy. Worth reading. Library book.

Heat and Light ; Neerven, Ellen Van
I chose this because of the reviews linked on the 2015 Wrap Up: Diversity of the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I had to order this from Book Depository since it was not available at local libraries. It as worth the effort and price. I want to read more from this resource and/or 20 reasons you should read Blak  ("Blak" is not a typo).

Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams ; Thomas, Louisa
Excellent biography of the wife of John Q. Adams. I enjoyed it in spite of the dreaded Adobe Digital Edition. Free from Penguin's First to Read program. 

And After Many Days ; Ile, Jowhor
Family life and politics in Nigeria. So-so read. Library book.

Ways to Disappear ; Novey, Idra
Uh, why did this get so many raves? A Brazilian novelist goes missing, her American translator goes to Brazil to search for her, stuff happens. I thought of the movie Romancing the Stone though I doubt that's what the author intended. Library book.

The Dance of the Seagull (Inspector Montalbano, #15) ; Camilleri, Andrea; Stephen Sartarelli (Translation)
Maybe I've read to many of these, or maybe this really isn't as good as the others I have read in the series. It seemed a bit tedious. My copy

Online Reading:

The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley by Michelle Richmond 
This is one of the first offerings from Technically Literate, CNET's (yes, CNET) new fiction "with a tech twist" site featuring Bay Area authors (and others). This story is fun with some animated illustrations. Looking forward to following this venture.

Some information on Polish poet Papusza (including some poetry in English translation) from - an interesting website to explore (operated by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute).

The next two are from Short Fiction, a print and online journal short stories from around the world. The online edition is free and has one or two short stories a month. Great illustrations. Archived.
Blue Limitless Emptiness by Lania Knight
Spare Room Ethics by Helen Oyeyemi (just picked up Oyeyemi's new story collection at the library today and am liking it.)

Tom Vowler on the Short Story, a guest post on The Literary Sofa Vowler is a novelist, short story writer, and editor of the literary journal Short Fiction (see entry above). I had already pledged to support his new short story collection on Unbound when I came across this post.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Longlist Time

Two long lists have been announced. I've underlined those I've read and briefly noted whether I liked what I read.
 Baileys' Women's Prize for fiction longlist:

Kate Atkinson: A God in Ruins liked it
Shirley Barrett: Rush Oh!
Cynthia Bond: Ruby
Geraldine Brooks: The Secret Chord
Becky Chambers: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
Jackie Copleton: A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding liked it a lot
Rachel Elliott: Whispers Through a Megaphone
Anne Enright: The Green Road
Petina Gappah: The Book of Memory
Vesna Goldsworthy: Gorsky
Clio Gray: The Anatomist’s Dream
Melissa Harrison: At Hawthorn Time
Attica Locke: Pleasantville
Lisa McInerney: The Glorious Heresies
Elizabeth McKenzie: The Portable Veblen did not like
Sara Nović: Girl at War
Julia Rochester: The House at the Edge of the World
Hannah Rothschild: The Improbability of Love
Elizabeth Strout: My Name is Lucy Barton liked it a lot
Hanya Yanagihara: A Little Life

  Man Booker International Prize long list:

José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola) Daniel Hahn, A General Theory of Oblivion (Harvill Secker)
Elena Ferrante (Italy) Ann Goldstein, The Story of the Lost Child (Europa Editions)
Han Kang (South Korea) Deborah Smith, The Vegetarian (Portobello Books)  liked it
Maylis de Kerangal (France) Jessica Moore, Mend the Living (Maclehose Press) 
  I read the American translation- The Heart translated by Sam Taylor -and liked it
Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia) Labodalih Sembiring, Man Tiger (Verso Books)
Yan Lianke (China) Carlos Rojas, The Four Books (Chatto & Windus) liked it
Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo/Austria) Roland Glasser, Tram 83 (Jacaranda) liked it a lot
Raduan Nassar (Brazil) Stefan Tobler, A Cup of Rage (Penguin Modern Classics)
Marie NDiaye (France) Jordan Stump, Ladivine (Maclehose Press)
Kenzaburō Ōe (Japan) Deborah Boliner Boem, Death by Water (Atlantic Books) liked it
Aki Ollikainen (Finland) Emily Jeremiah & Fleur Jeremiah, White Hunger (Peirene Press)
Orhan Pamuk (Turkey) Ekin Oklap, A Strangeness in My Mind (Faber & Faber) liked it a lot
Robert Seethaler (Austria) Charlotte Collins, A Whole Life (Picador)