Travelling Light

Title: Travelling Light (original title: Resa med lätt bagage) Writer: Tove Jansson (translated by Silvester Mazzarella) Publishing House: Sort of Books Date of Publication: 2010 (first published 1987) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Light is Jansson’s insistence that no man or woman is an island. No matter how much we may long to escape others, we can’t;…

Shoko’s Smile

Title: Shoko’s Smile (original title: 쇼코의 미소) Writer: Choi Eunyoung (translated by Sung Ryu) Publishing House: John Murray Press Date of Publication: August 19th 2021 (first published July 7th 2016) Rating: 5 stars “I dig my hands into the cold sand and gaze at the black, shimmering sea. It feels like the edge of the…

Hurricane Season

Title: Hurricane Season (original title: Tempradas De Huracanes) Writer: Fernanda Melchor (translated by Sophie Hughes) Publishing House: Fitzcarraldo Editions Date of Publication:  February 19th 2020  (first published May 12th 2017) Rating: 3 stars ‘’They called her the Witch, the same as her mother; the Young Witch when she first started trading in curses and cures,…

Earthlings

Title: Earthlings (original title: 地球星人) Writer: Sayaka Murata (translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori) Publishing House: Granta Date of Publication: September 29th 2020 (first published August 31st 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Magical powers. I have to summon my magical powers. The power of darkness, the power of wind – any magical power will do, but I…

The Summer Book

Title: The Summer Book (original title: Sommarboken) Writer: Tove Jansson (translated by Thomas Teal) Publishing House: NYRB Classics Date of f Publication: May 20th 2008 (first published 1972) Rating: 5 stars ‘’One time in April, there was a full moon, and the sea was covered with ice. Sophia woke up and remembered that they had…

Things We Lost In the Fire

Title: Things We Lost In the Fire (original title: Las cosas que perdimos en el fuego) Writer: Mariana Enríquez (translated by Megan McDowell) Publishing House: Hogarth Press Date of Publication: February 21st 2017 (first published February 10th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The gaucho is good,’’ he said. ‘’But the other one isn’t.’’  He said it…

Magma

Title: Magma (original title: Kvika) Writer: Þóra Hjörleifsdóttir (translated by Meg Matich) Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication:  July 13th 2021 (first published February 12th 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’An attractive man like me can’t be with a girl who’s slept with so many creeps.’’ A narcissistic parasite. A psychotic pervert. A psychological and physical…

Women In Translation Month

August is already preparing to knock on our doors and we know what this means, right? It’s Women In Translation Month, the time when we discover – and re-read (he, he, he!) outstanding women whose work has been translated into English from every corner of our beautiful planet. These are the books I’ve read and…

Island

Title: Island (original title: Ø) Writer: Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen (translated by Caroline Waight) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: June 24th 2021 (first published August 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’She stands with her back to the low copse of planted trees, looking down the mountain to the village, blue in the August night,…

There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children Until They Moved Back In

Title: There Once Lived A Mother Who Loved Her Children Until They Moved Back In Writer: Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (tr. by Anna Summers) Publishing House: Penguin Modern Classics Date of Publication: 2014 (first published 2002) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Oh, great mother nature! Why do you have to trick us? Why do you need all this mucus,…

Wild Swims

Title: Wild Swims (original title: Kort Over Canada) Writer: Dorthe Nors (translated by Misha Hoekstra) Publishing House: Graywolf Press Date of Publication:  February 2nd 2021 (first published April 23rd 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Both fairground and field have been baking all day in the late-summer sun. It’s September now, and when she walks around the…

The Faces

Title: The Faces (original title: Ansigterne Writer: Tove Ditlevsen (translated by Tiina Nunnally) Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: January 26th 2021 (first published 1968) Rating: 5 stars ‘’She could think about the words in peace, without fearing that new ones would appear before the night was over. During this time the night held…

The Woman in the Purple Skirt

Title: The Woman in the Purple Skirt Writer: Natsuko Imamura (translated by Lucy North) Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: June 3rd 2021 (first published June 30th 2019) Rating: 4 stars ‘’Some people would pretend they hadn’t seen her, and carry on as before. Others would quickly move aside, to give her room…

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed

Title: The Dangers of Smoking In Bed (original title: Los peligros de fumar en la cama) Writer: Mariana Enriquez (translated by Megan McDowell) Publishing House: Hogarth Press Date of Publication: January 12th 2021 (first published November 2009) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Or she’d hear a rooster crow in the middle of the night and remember –…

A Sunday in Ville-d’Avray

Title: A Sunday in Ville-d’Avray (original title: Un dimanche à Ville-d’Avray) Writer: Dominique Barbéris (tr. by John Cullen) Publishing House: Other Press Date of Publication: April 27th 2021 (first published 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Some of the houses in the neighbourhood I passed through were still closed up – proof that their owners hadn’t yet…

Dogs and Others

Title: Dogs and Others (original title: Psi i Ostali) Writer: Biljana Jovanović (tr. by John K. Cox) Publishing House: Istros Books Date of Publication: November 5th 2018 (first published 1980) Rating: 4 stars ‘’Dogs always believe that they belong to Others (whom they consider to be, for unknown reasons enduring right up to our day,…

Fairground Magician

Τitle: Fairground Magician (original title: Vašarski mađioničar) Writer: Jelena Lengold (tr. by Celia Hawkesworth) Publishing House: Istros Books Date of Publication: December 17th 2013 (first published 2008) Rating: 5 stars ‘’It’s not that I need you to love me, but I need to suffer because you don’t.’’ I am a rather weird person. Strange things…

A Cage in Search of a Bird

Title: A Cage In Search of a Bird (original title: L’illusion délirante d’être aimé) Writer: Florence Noiville (tr. by Teresa Lavender Fagan) Publishing House: Seagull Books Date of Publication: September 15th 2016 (first published August 18th 2015) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Perhaps because I have too much respect for language, I suffer during conversations when nothing…

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982

Title: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 (original title: 82년생 김지영) Writer: Cho Nam-Joo (tr. by Jamie Chang) Publishing House: Scribner UK Date of Publication: February 20th 2020 (first published October 14th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Help out? What is it with you and ‘’helping out?’’ You’re going to ‘’help out’’ with chores. ‘’Help out’’ with raising…