35 comments on “The Translated Literature Book Tag

  1. Nice list! I am hoping to read “The History of Bees” soon. I have heard lots of good things about it. I hardly understood a thing in “Fever Dream” – that is one book that left me feeling impatient and disappointed – I did not finish it. “Sulphuric Acid” is also an excellent choice. I am still “reading” it even though I began in June. It is so short that it can be finished in an hour, but it has so many themes to talk about that I am still (after many weeks) gathering my thoughts for a review.

    • Thank you! I’m definitely hesitant about Fever Dream. I’ve seen such polarising reactions that I expect I’ll either love it or just not click with it at all… That’s great to hear about Sulphuric Acid! It always feels like a good sign when a book can linger in the mind like that.

  2. I’m going to have to read Blue is the Warmest Colour – I was really disturbed by the fact that the ending is tragic in the novel, especially as I thought it was so well measured in the film, but obviously that isn’t the only factor that would feed into rating the two.

    • I’d be very intrigued to hear your thoughts on the book! Despite what I said here, part of me still wants to give the movie a shot, not least because it seems to elicit such a strong response one way or the other.

  3. Great list! I have to agree about Daydream and Drunkenness – a friend of mine highly recommended Clarice Lispector so I thought that it would be a good place to start but I was completely disappointed. I would like to try some of her full-length work though; I think the form of Daydream just didn’t give me enough to get into.

  4. Great choices! I think you’ll really like We Should Have Left, if ever you should get your hands on a copy. UPS informs me that my copy of THE LIAR is out for delivery today 👀

    • I swear I saw it EVERYWHERE for a while, and then the moment I decided to pick up a copy it disappeared from every bookshop in Scotland. I mean, I could have ordered it online by now, but STILL.

      I’m not sure what this book you speak of is, but I can highly recommend Liar 😂

      • Ordering online for me is only for books that I REALLY WANT URGENTLY, and then bookstore buys are more like ‘oh yes this was a thing I wanted to read eventually.’ I have so many books on my TBR that I will probably never read because they aren’t even published in the US but I don’t want to read them badly enough to order them. RIP.

  5. Fever Dream is amazing. It’s so hauntingly hypnotizing, I read it in a single day. Would have read it in a single sitting if I didn’t have to work that day.

    And if you enjoy Fever Dream, I highly recommend her short story collection that came out this year, Mouthful of Birds.

    • I’m glad to hear you liked it so much! I’ve heard lots of good things about Mouthful of Birds as well, so she’s an author I definitely want to try sooner rather than later.

      • She is one of my favorite discoveries of the past couple years. Her translator is working on translations of a novel and another story collection of hers, and I am drowning in anticipation.

        A side note, who was the translator of the Clarice Lispector stories you read? I have a a copy of her Collected Stories and am curious if it was translated by the same person.

        • It’s exciting when an author starts picking up traction in translation and they already have an extensive back catalogue for translators to work their way through!

          I believe it was Katarina Dodson. I saw reviews from a couple of native Portuguese speakers that said they thought her word choice and phrasing were often strange and messy when compared to the original, but obviously I can’t attest to that myself!

          • Oh boy, her Collected Stories are also translated by Katarina Dodson. This worries me. I recently read Lispector’s debut novel, Near to the Wild Heart, and while I appreciated her evocative writing style, the complete lack of narrative and overwhelmingly abstract stream-of-conscious thoughts of the narrator made it a difficult read. I’m still hoping her experimental style works better (for me) with her stories. And I still plan on giving The Passion According to G.H. a shot. Have to stay hopeful because I have read so much writing on her work and she *sounds* like a writer I would get very into.

  6. Thanks for the tag! This one was on my radar but now I really must give it a go! 🙂
    It looks like you’ve got a great selection here. I hope you enjoy Fever Dream when you get to it, that one definitely left a good impression for me! I’m also bummed that I haven’t gotten to The History of Bees this month like I wanted to, but it’s still high on my list. That new release of Lunde’s looks great as well!

    • My pleasure! I look forward to seeing your answers if you get to it 😊

      I’m relieved to hear you enjoyed Fever Dream. The author’s style appears to be quite polarising, but she feels like a writer I could really gel with. Fingers crossed!

      I’ll keep an eye out for your thoughts on The History of Bees. I’m glad to see more people picking it up, and I really hope you like it 😊

  7. I’ve got a Clarice Lispector on my shelves = The Hour of the Star – but haven’t read it yet. Do you know it (I think its meant to be one of her best?).

    Waking Lions by Gundar-Goshen starts of really powerfully but kind of lost its way

    • I’ve heard the title before but I haven’t read it. I hope you enjoy it when you get around to picking it up!

      That’s a pity about Waking Lions. I’m still excited to give it a try, but I’ll know to keep my expectations in check.

  8. Thank you for tagging me! I’ll try to do it next week!
    I also want to read Sulphuric Acid. I read The Life of Hunger last year and enjoyed Amélie Nothomb’s writing style a lot.

  9. The End of the Ocean sounds incredible! I’ll definitely have to check that out! Great list 🙂 There were sooo many I need to look up!

  10. It is nice to see that more and more people in the Anglophone world are showing increasing interests in translated literature. While those of us living in different postcolonial countries have always been reading and engaging with literary texts translated from other languages (probably our historical situations also demanded that), it was hardly the case in the Anglophone world until, say, 15 years ago. Nevertheless, this is a very interesting tag making the rounds.

    I found Maja Lunde’sThe History of Bees a truly arresting read, too. As for your experience with Clarice Lispector, I think her short fiction is an acquired taste, like Borges, Cortazar and Calvino, and I think her longer works make better starting points. If you wish to give her a go again, maybe you could choose oneof her novels: The Passion According to G.H., The Hour of the Star, or A Breath of Life. All astonishing works.

    I read Han Kang’s The White Book earlier this week and was moved by the sheer quality of the writing, and made a small post on my blog.

    • I’m glad the English speaking world is taking more notice of international voices as well. There’s definitely still progress to be made, but tags like this and schemes like Women in Translation Month are a big help.

      Thanks for the recommendations! If I reach for Lispector’s work again, I’ll probably opt for one of her novels, and hopefully I’ll have better luck there.

      • Indeed! And more and more small independent publishing houses in the UK and the US are bringing out outstanding works in translation. A very good move towards a more inclusive cultural and epistemic exchange.

  11. Pingback: The Translated Literature Book Tag – A Bag Full Of Stories

  12. 2 years late, but thanks so much for the tag!! I need to read more translated work before answering it though… unless I cheat and count books in English I’ve read in Portuguese, HA.

    I love this tag, translated works deserve so much more recognition!

  13. Pingback: The Translated Literature Book Tag | Naty's Bookshelf

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