Someday we’ll tell each other everything by Daniela Krien

someday we'll tell each other everything

Someday we’ll tell each other everything by Daniela Krien

German fiction

Original title – Irgendwann werden wir uns alles erzählen.

Translator Jamie Bulloch

Source – Review copy

Despair and Deception, Love’s ugly little twins
Came a-knocking on my door, I let them in
Darling, you’re the punishment for all my former sins

I let love in

source Nick cave’s Let love in ,did Henner let love in was he ready ?

Time is running short for women in translation month I ‘ve three books left to put up for the month here is the first a German novel from one of my favourite publishers Maclehose .Daniela Krien was born in Jena in former East Germany  ,then lived in Lepzig ,she has been a scriptwriter for a number of years for a German film company that make films about artists .This was here début novel and won high praise in Germany for it use of  Powerful language it also was a best-selling German  Audiobook .

 Henner truly is a handsome man .I realised that when he was in the shop :a hulking body that moves powerfully , but with fine facial features .He has deep-set ,expressive eyes surrounded by small ,dark lines ,and a hint of bitterness around his mouth ,although when he smiles it disappears completely .You can’t tell he’s a drinker .

Maria first time see really sees Henner as the young women she is now .

Now it is 1990 the wall has fallen in Germany and slowly east is meeting west ,this story is the story of that summer .But this is in the hinterland of East Germany in a sleepy back water town .Maria is a 16  year old that is enjoying her first real summer of freedom .Now next door to her parents farm lives Henner a hard-drinking man ,that has many dogs and a reputation for being a womaniser.Now I have no need to say any more really .But it’s not as you may think ,no Maria is the one that falls for the rough unkempt Henner and starts to make moves for him .Henner responds as this affair grows it starts to cause Maria problems at home what will she do ? How does Henner really feel for Maria ? . where will they all be when summer is over ?

Shortly before midnight I leave Henner’s house carrying my case .As a goodbye he takes my head in his hands and plants a kiss on my forehead .Then he puts his index finger to his lips .I nod,perhaps not distinctly enough ; i sense that his eyes on my back lack their usual certainty .So I turn and repeat the gesture he was looking for .

The affair has to be secret at first .

I initially wasn’t keen on this when I was sent it from Maclehose something about the cover said a female read (I know I shouldn’t think this but I did ) .But I was sure there would be something in it I would like as Jamie whose previous translation choices I have always enjoyed .I am so pleased I looked past the cover on this one .The book is a reverse of what on the surface you imagine a 16-year-old girl and forty-year man would be and that is the Man seducing the younger girl .Maria is a great character a rebellious dreamy  teen want to shake the shackles of her family ,she is dreamy and sees Amour Fou in Henner .Yes this is a tale of passion ,passion for the wrong man but she sees more in him than maybe Henner sees in himself  .A summer romance but more than the average summer romance no this affair  is a raging forest fire of a romance and both may get burned in the end if they don’t control it .All this and in the background little hints at the joining  of east and west Germany ,one could almost say this relationship is rather like the joining  of the two  Germany’s  Maria as west German  young dreamy and in love and Henner broken ,stumbling through his life as East Germany .Have you a favourite book about romance desire or passion ?

The Carter of La Providence by Georges Simenon

#2 The Carter Of 'La Providence'

The Carter of La Providence by Georges Simenon

Belgian fiction

Original title – Le Charretier de la Providence

Translator David Coward

Source review copy

“He was somewhat of a loner by temperament–because though never wholly happy when alone, he was usually slightly more miserable when with other people.”
Colin Dexter, The Wench Is Dead source good reads ,I was looking for a quote about why the boatmen were so badly thought of at the time ,but this quote struck me as how Maigret was at times in the book. 

 

I was lucky to get sent two of the Maigret novels that Penguin are being brought out in their attempt to put all Simenon’s books out under one publisher .So I get to review two more from the series to add to the three books I have already reviewed this year.So as I’ve said before Simenon published over 400 books if not more in his life time .He like boats and in 1928 spent six months on the water living in a boat ,he wrote this book in 1931 in his own boat Ostrogoth ,which he had christen by a priest and spent many years travelling through Europe with it

For the first couple of days ,mary was the life and soul of the party .But on day three she disappeared .

“And do you know where we found her ? staying at an inn at Giens ,where she was happily passing the time playing mummies with a couple of unwashed brats .

They both had lovers and loved to party a lot .

Now this is a murder thriller from the Maigret series ,a body is found in the early hours of the morning in a stable near the canal .The body turns out to be an upper class women by the name of Mary Lampson ,who with her husband Walter Lampson are travelling through France on their pleasure boat the southern cross .Now Mary was known for her taking of lovers and partying .The body was discovered by Lock 14 (which happens to be the books original title and also the title of the first chapter ) ,records show there is only one other boat near by at the time she was killed a barge call La Providence .Now Maigret comes to the canal ,he is rather gruffer than in the other books from the series I have read .Now the prime suspect is of course the husband ,but what did the men on the La Providence see or hear that night ? And what happens when she died .Maigret dives into a world of boatmen ,cafe owners ,An upper class husband and lock-keepers .Who killed her and why ?

At four in the morning ,one of the Carters woke his mate ,and both began seeing to their animals .They heard the horses on the Providence being led out and harnessed .

At the same time ,the landlord of the cafe got up and lit the lamp in his bedroom on the first floor .He also heard the Providence as it got under way

The boat sets of just as Mary’s body is found that early morning .

Now this for me saw Maigret develop a little we see a side we hadn’t seen much before he is a little gruffier than in the earlier books .Now as for the novel as a whole well it is a classic country house crime moved on too boats ,but where as a lot of novels in this style focus on the upper class this is both about Sir Walter and the Late Mary’s connections and the rough boatmen of the Barge . The other thing that oozes of the page is the obvious love of Boats and canals that Simenon had ,the details of the boats ,running of the boats and locks and lock-keeper operations feel so real .Also a bit of Class issues surface as Maigret struggles to get the upper class ways at times .Now this isn’t the first book I’ve come across set on the canal of course Colin Dexter wrote the wench is dead which also follows the murder of a woman on the canal but in the 1850’s .Next up for me in the series is Yellow dog which is the first that is a reread .Have you read this book ?

Zone by Mathias Enard

zone_cover

Zone by Mathias Enard

French fiction

Original title – Zone

Translator – Charlotte Mandell

Source – review copy

There is only one thing a writer can write about: what is in front of his senses at the moment of writing… I am a recording instrument… I do not presume to impose “story” “plot” “continuity”… Insofar as I succeed in Direct recording of certain areas of psychic process I may have limited function… I am not an entertainer…”

William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch This caught me as a perfect summation of this book .

Well I was aware of this book from when it came out in the US from Open letter books a few years ago ,it was on my list of books to buy in London at some point .So when new UK publisher Fitzcarraldo editions (You have to instantly love a publisher that call themselves after a Werner Herzog film haven’t you ) were publishing this as one of their first two titles ,I was pleased to get sent a copy of this and their other title the memory theatre  which I have also read and shows a publisher boldly mixing challenging fiction with cutting edge non-fiction .Mathias Enard is a french writer who currently lives in Spain ,he has published eight books so far this is one of two to be translated into English .This book won the Prix de Livre inter and the Prix Decembre in France .It has been called the book of the new century by one french reviewer .

I read Tsirkas drifting cities ,without really understanding it ,without recognizing in the scheme of the shadowy figures in his pages my own steps as an international informant .

I choose this small quote as  an example of books mention in the novel which they are many ,this book is one I really want to get my hands on and read myself !

Zone is the story of a train journey taken by one man Francis Mirkovic he works for the French intelligence service ,he is travelling from Milan to Rome on a train .But the journey just forms a backbone to the book a Francis nears his final gold which is to deliver a briefcase of files on the activities of people with in the Zone ,now the zone is a region from Spain to Lebanon and from former Yugoslavia to north Africa .Now this book is set twenty years ago and uses the Balkan conflict as a springboard to an alternate reality in the past one where the conflict span out of control and drew in the surrounding areas from Palestine to north Africa ,making a lawless region full of arms dealers and petty warlords .Well Francis has the worst of these people in his files and is willing to sell them to the highest bidder .As the train moves through Italy we see through Francis thought how this all happened  the unravelling the past distant and far distant ,books upon books from the Iliad (a book this is compared too given its journey and drifting nature ) , true incidents in the 90’s  ,his own family history his mother was Croatian ,so he was involved from the start in the unravelling of the Zone .Does he sell the case and what will happen when he does ?

I burrowed into The Zone without passion but also without disgust, with an increasing curiosity about the dealings of the wrathful gods ,patiently in my armoured tent .

Another passage how he got drawn in by The zone .

Now as you can tell this book is one of what I call a snake of a book twisting turning and can always rear up and bite you and I was bitten this is a book that deserves a wider readership ,to show what we may be have been missing in recent years in English language literature .Now I must admit the first writer that came to mind when reading this book was Burroughs ,easily because naked lunch is set in a fictitious area roughly North Africa called the Interzone by Burroughs .But also the way Enard twists the recent past to make an Alternate past is something Burroughs frequently did in his books my favourite Burroughs book cities of red nights is rather like this book twisting through time using the real and surreal to draw a character through the past .Pynchon of course is another writer ,but all said and done these have all been mentioned in other reviews what else can I  say about this book ? Well I look back through all the french novels I have reviewed  through this blog 43 books a good slice of French fiction in the last few years to find if this is a one-off or if I had touched any book similar in style to this book and yes partly Where the tigers are at home  sprung of the blog another twisting novel that mixes past and present real and surreal although different in a lot of respects both show that french publishers seem more willing to take chances on long books both weight in at over 500 pages ,plotless books both have vague plots but are more formed of stories within stories twists within twists ,both have won prizes in France this shows maybe the way forward with the girl is a half-formed thing sounding like a similar style of book to these where plot and the everyday convention of what we view as a novel is thrown out of the window for books that challenge and draw us in as readers .would you like to see more challenging books coming out in English like this one ? Also must admit I love the homage in the cover to Joyce’s ulysses original cover .

Winston’s books favourite publisher writes

IMG_1903Well another week and three book have arrived at the house during the week a great selection .A writer whose two previous book I have really enjoyed ,A book from one of my favourite places to read books from Finland and lastly a favourite publisher that has a second book out .

Forever yours by Daniel Glattauer from Maclehose press ,I have reviewed the two previous book by him both also translated by Jamie Bulloch Love virtually and Every seventh wave were creavtive connected novels on love in the modern age a new take on the epistolary novel .Forever yours seems to take obsession and love itself as its main subject .

Rabbit back literature society by  PASI ILMARI JÄÄSKELÄINEN from Pushkin press A novel I had my eye on for a while as Pushkin as you all know is a publisher I love ,so to get sent this is a real bonus , plus its from Finland which to me is a favourite and much overlooked corner of European literature and to see a couple of bloggers and a review I trust mention in the press sheet made this tale of a women that has been invited to join the elite Rabbit back literature society ,only to find there is more than it seems to be ….

Clara’s Daughter by Mieke Ziervogel . Last and most important I got sent Meike’s second novel ,I am so happy as Meike is the force behind Peirene press  .I want to read Magda her first book ,but this second novel is set in North london and is a story of a daughter and her overbearing mother .We see how they end up living together and sorting out there relationship .

Which of this appeals to you or have you read ?

 

Fire in the Blood by Irène Némirovsky

fire in the blood

Fire in the blood by Irène Némirovsky

French fiction

Original title – Chaleur du sang

Translator – Sandra Smith

Source – Library

I think of myself… as a troubadour, a village storyteller, the guy in the shadows of the campfire.

Louis L’Amour Silvio is our troubadour here .

Another of my books read for Women in Translation month was a return visit too Irène Némirovsky ,whom I have review before her book Le bal and pre blogging had read Suite française this book which like Suite française is set in the same village as that book ,but years before .This book was discovered and first published in France in 2007 after the two parts that had been given to two separate people during the war by Irene were put together after her biographers discovered the parts .I did a bio on Le Bal but a brief recount  Irène Némirovsky was born in Kiev ,her family fled russia in 1918 first settling in Finland ,then france she started writing in the twenties and had a number of books in  print before the war ,her book written join the war were banned ,she died in Auschwitz in 1942 ,this book was written in 1941 .

“Why do people call you Silvio ” asked Colette .

“A beautiful women who was once in love with me thought I looked like a Gondolier “, I replied .”That was over twenty years ago and ,at the time I had black hair and a handlebar moustache .She changed my name from Sylvestre to Silvio .

How Silvio became Silvio

Fire in the blood is an interesting find really as it saw  Irène Némirovsky setting a second book in the village of  Issy L’Eveque the same as in  Suite fancaise,this is a country tale of morals thou and set before the earlier book .We meet Silvio his is old and we learn of his life in this book and his family his cousins and their kids .He has returned to his home village and we see him life the veil on the village secrets ,we hear of a middle-aged couple cousins of Silvio  and what is below the surface of their marriage  ,the death of a young man whom just married and drowned ,the daughter  Colette of the middle-aged couple whom is due to marry .This is told like an old man would tell it  in a series of small tales of the village  something Némirovsky really pulls of well here  .But he scraps the surface of the village that from the outside appears a peaceful place to reveal a simmering world of loose morals and double standards .

Jean Dorin was buried the day before yesterday.It was a very long service on a cold and rainy afternoon.The mill is up for sale .Colette is keeping only the land ;her father will look after it and she will go home to live with her parents

Through out the books are little piece like this of village news .

Now those of you that have followed this blog for a good while know I have a huge soft spot for books set in small villages ,because like Miss Marple says a small village is just reflects the wide world the closer you look at it .Know fire in the blood in some ways  remind me of Christie in that way she took small villages and like putting a pan on water on the heat  leaving  it long enough it starts boiling and that is what happens here the village is simmering away  .Ok there is no crime but we have everything else people dying ,affairs and secrets .You could question would Némirovsky maybe have tied a few loose ends and overall tighten the book ,I don’t know it isn’t one of those book published posthumously that feels like it should stayed were it was no it feels nearly complete just a final run through and edit ,would raise this to be her best book in my opinion .I need to read the rest of her books ,I said this after I read Le bal and it took me four years to get to this one ,Have you read her books ?

The extraordinary journey of the Fakir who got trapped in an Ikea wardrobe by Romain Puertolas

the extraordinary journey of the fakir who got trapped in an ikea wardrobe

The extraordinary journey of the Fakir who got trapped in an Ikea wardrobe by Romain Puertolas

French fiction

Original title – L’extraordinaire voyage du fakir qui étaitrestécoincé dans unearmoireIkea

Translator Sam Taylor

Source – review copy

The island it is silent now
But the ghosts still haunt the waves
And the torch lights up a famished man
Who fortune could not save

Did you work upon the railroad
Did you rid the streets of crime
Were your dollars from the white house
Were they from the five and dime

Thousand are sailing lyrics by the Pogues ,like Aja many Irish people tried to find a better life .

Now this book must win the title for the longest and funniest title this year .Sam taylor is fast become the big French title translator here is another book that is one of those rare books that can break across the divide of being translated and a best seller at the same time .Romain Puertolas has been many things in many places a dj ,singer-songwriter ,steward and just prior to this book as a police inspector with the French border services ,checking for fake documents .he has live in France ,Spain and here in the UK .I imagine that last Job Romain did inspired this book .

Ajatashatru was famous throughout Rajasthan for swallowing retractable swords , eating broken glass made from zero-calorie sugar ,stabbing his arms with fake needles ,and a heap of other conjuring tricks,the secrets of which were only known to him and his cousins ,and which he was happy to label magical powers in order to bewitch the masses

Aja knows all the tricks but does he ?

Now the book follows Ajatashartu Oghash Rathod (Aja from here on )a street Fakir (a street magician con man in India ) ,who has seen in an old Ikea catalogue a bed of nails for sail ,he finds the is a store in Paris so sets off to Paris to buy and bring back a bed of nails for him and his friends with just his wits and a poorly counterfeit 100 euro note on a piece of string .Any way he finally arrives at the store to find out the price he had seen was just an offer from a long time ago ,but while trying to decide what to do Aja ends up in a wardrobe and then finds himself in the UK where he is held as an illegal immigrate and is deported to spain ,then he ends up in Italy ,Libya and finally back in france .Along the way he meets officials that don’t like him is mistaken for an artist ,sells a hand written shirt comes into a lot of money and finally decides on a new path in life .

They had abandoned everything to go to a country where they believed they would be able to work and earn money .That was all they asked : to find some honest work so they could send money to their familes ,to their people ,so that their children no longer had those big ,heavy bellies like basketballs

Aja in Great britain ,how many times we hear these words ,isn’t that what we all want a better life ?

 

Now this book is very funny at times Aja is a hapless chap that seems to stumble from one disaster to the next almost an Indian mr Bean ,although he is a con man he is a loveable character just trying to get a bed of nails or even a better life for himself .But there is another side to the book a more serious side and that is what is in the background as we see Aja trip around Europe and North africa and that is the journey many people take to try to find themselves a better life in Western europe although Aja story is fable like ,how many others isn’t ! I enjoyed this one I manage to read it in a night and actually laughed out loud in a few places a perfect summer read light not too taxing ,but with actually a thought-provoking story behind it .We also see how immigrants are treated around western Europe with the rise of parties like UKIP and people falling for fascist sites like Britain first maybe we need to read a book like this and think about others from outside our cosy shores ! The book is also being made into a film .

Have you read this book ?

The colour of Dawn by Yanick Lahens

the colour of dawn

The colour of Dawn by Yanick Lahens

Haitian fiction

Original title –  La Couleur de l’aube

Translator – Alison Layland

Source – review copy

You better run You better run and run and run
You better run You better run
You better run to the City of Refuge
You better run You better run
You better run to the City of Refuge

You stand before your maker
In a state of shame
because your robes are covered in mud
While your kneel at the feet
Of a woman of the street
The gutters will run with blood
They will run with blood!

I thought this Nick Cave lyric caught the journey of the girls so well .source

 

 

Well I have only read one other book from Haiti on the blog ,that is the Alphabet of the night by Jean Euphele-Milche ,but that was over four years ago and I had always intend to try another from book from Haiti ,so when this dropped through the letter box from Seren with another book from their Seren discoveries series ,i was pleased as it also ties nicely into Women in translation month as Yanick Lahens is a female writer ,born in Haiti ,she left to study in France at the Sorbonne ,she return to Haiti where she teaches at the university and worked on projects for a foundation that helps the young people of Haiti get on with their lives amid the violence that sometimes surround in their everyday lives  ,like in this book .

All night my eyes peered into the shadows .All night my ears strained to hear the crackling of gunfire in the distance – something you always want to imagine distant ,very distant .Until that day when death comes ,bleeding to our door .Untill the day it splatters our walls like the others ,I am waiting

Waiting for their brother in the opening lines a reflection on their everyday life .

The colour of dawn is a story of siblings ,a brother  Fignolé a young man who is both a musician and an out spoken voice of his generation ,his two sister Joyeuse and Angelique one with a child that has found god ,the other is just discovering her self as a women  .Are worried when their brother disappears .So the two young sister set off through the city ,through their eyes as they hunt their brother we see the city as both a place when people know one another but also a much darker violent side that is just below the surface .Fignolé sings about the rebel cause ,he has spoken to foreign journalists ,has this landed him in trouble ,the sister need to find out and only have one day to do so .

I’ve been worried about Fignolé for too long , not because he smokes joints ,not at all ,but because of what these joints could lead him to do .I worry myself sick because of his music ,because of his rebelliousness .Because of everything that gets all mixed up and makes too much sense .The music won’t tear down walls ,Fignolé.

His music worries them ,why hasn’t he come home .

The story is told by the sister ,with frequent flashbacks on their past .Although they tell the story another main character is the city itself Port-au-Prince that comes to life of the pages .Yanick works with the young people of this city you feel the three siblings make up three faces of Modern Haitian youth ,one fighting for his freedom against the poverty of the city ,another finding god through a local priest and the last just discovering sex and maybe on a path but she is now just focused on her brother .I was reminded of films like city of god ,in parts of this book as the girls move through the city and see the darker sides it remind me the ghetto’s in that film ,also the was Caicedo novel I review Liveforever ,also about a young women ,also a journey through a city like this book .The book is one of the hidden gems that a month like Women in translation is their to uncover .

Have you read a book from Haiti

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His years of pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

IMG_1894

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His years of pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Japanese Fiction

Original title 色彩を持たない多崎つくると、彼の巡礼の年
Shikisai o motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, Kare no Junrei no Toshi

Translator Philip Gabriel

Source – Personnel copy

“Fragments came floating into his mind like bits of wood drifting down a stream, and he fished them out and fitted them together.”

Elizabeth Gray Vining an american writer who taught the Japanese Emperor .Source

 

As I posted yesterday the first chance I got after it had come out I couldn’t resist getting the new Haruki Murakami novel ,especially as all I had read about this book made me sure it would be one of his I would really enjoy and I did .As my mum who visited last week remind me I have never been one to wait and mull over the pleasures in life ,no I always ate my pack lunches on school trips early ,ate snack at the cinema before the film had start and now I’m similar with books I really want to read so at Half one this morning I finally closed the cover of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of Pilgrimage with a big smile of satisfaction on my face .Now I usually in this opening section mention about the writer as I have reviewed Murakami four times before I feel the need to skip this just mention his books now only need his surname to sell the on the cover and he is one of the few writers in translation that transcends place and nationality like Proust, Tolstoy  ,Camus and Hesse for example where people seem less nervous in trying them out as writers

Something must have happened ,something had taken place while he was away to make them create this distance .Something inapproaite ,and offensive .But what it was – what it could pssibly be – he had no clue

He returns the first summer after college and things have change

Any way on to the book the story is that of Tskuru Tazaki ,he is a 36-year-old salary man ,his job which he loves is visiting and designing stations for the railway system ,which is great for Tsukuru because for as long as he can remember he has always loved train stations .He is single live in a small kondo he inherited and on the whole is and average man just getting through his life .Anyway he meets a women called Sara ,she like him and wants to know more about him and his life anyway we hear the story of the five, so to speak ,this is the story of Tsukuru two boys Akamatsu (red pine ) and Oumi (blue sea ) and two girls Shirane (White root ) and Kurono (Black field ) and of course from the title we know that Tsukuru name isn’t connected to a colour no his means to build which given his job seems very apt .Anyway the five of them are best friends at high school until one day they all say they don’t want to talk or hear from Tsukuru again .This leads Tsukuru to his current lonely life and the move to Tokyo where he can be invisible .Sara listen and sees how this one event set of the following years of his life and his current place in the world and persuades Tsukuru to go back and find this four friends and what had happened to make them cut off all communication all those years ago ! A journey that see him go back to his home town and even to Finland .As he uncovers the past and the lives his former friends have had since the split .

“What exactly do you do in the civil engineering department ? The student asked him .

“I build stations ” Tsukuru replied .

“Station ?”

“Railroad stations .Not tv station or anything .”

“But why railroad stations ?”

“The world needs them ,that’s why “, Tsukuru said ,as it were obvious

Tsukuru had always loved station he sketch and looked at them as a student .

Now I enjoyed Murakami last book but said at the tim e that it felt too Murakami almost as thou he was throwing every trait and trick of his writing into the pot .This has a number of his usual traits but is a lot more straightforward ,the book is really a retelling of a quest novel in the modern age ,Tsukuru is on a quest for the answer to what made his friends so suddenly drop him all those years ago .The other part of the title his years of  pilgrimage refers to a piece of music by Franz Liszt  Années de pèlerinage that one of the girls used to play on the piano ,this tune also is a recurring motif through out the book as we see it crop up in different versions as Tsukuru discovers his past .Another Murakami theme is given a slightly different twist here and that is the love triangle which here becomes a love pentagon ,as there are three boys in the group and two girls and Tsukuru says he has had erotic  dreams about both girls in the past and was attracted to them both for different reasons when they were friends .A return to form for me this book sold a million in its first week in Japan and is very much a book for his target market in Japan the middle-aged Salary worker even the length means it easily can be read on the commutes to work that many salary workers have to make on trains which of course is the last theme of the book ,I’ve heard Murakami talk in the past about his love of trains and railways .I was reminded of Betjamin and his love of Victorian stations and the way that seeped into his poetry ,in this book .

Have you read this or do you intend too ?

Escape by Dominique Manotti

Escape Dominique Manotti

Escape by Dominique Manotti

French crime fiction

Orginal title – l’Evasion

Translators – Amanda Hopkinson and Ros Schwartz

Source – Review copy

 

Modernity signifies the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art of which the other half is the eternal and the immutable.

Charles Baudelaire   source 

Now for the second book for Women in translation month ,I’m choosing a crime novel for it is one of the few areas of translated fiction you do actually find a few more female writers available and Dominque Manotti is a perfect choice ,she has won the international dagger prize in the past .She was born in Paris ,was a union and political activist in the sixties and since a professor of 19th century economic history in paris .She has published ten novels in France ,her books have also won book prizes in France .

“We part company here ”  He places a canvas bag at Filippo’s feet .I’ve put everything I could find in the cars in there for you .Clothes, two sandwiches ,and some money “.Carlo pauses ,Filippo says nothin .” My escape will be in the news ,I think .And they’ll be looking for you ,because you broke out with me .You’ll have to keep a low profile for a while ,until things settle down “

But did he take Carlo’s advice in the long-term ?

Escape is the story of two men really one living and one now dead they are Carlo the dead leader of the Italian red brigade and Filippo who had escaped with Carlo from prison in Italy ,they were cell mates .Now Filippo has heard his former cell mate who had gone back to get further involved in his red brigade activities after he had escaped has died .On the other had Filippo had travelled north sneaked through the mountain passes between France and Italy ,were he eventually ends up with the help of political refugees and activists in France in Paris where he gets a job as a security guard at night .He decides to remember all that Carlo had told him whilst doing his job at night and try to make sense of why his friend had died .The writings are quite good and with some pushing from his landlady he is advised to make it a fiction book .But what happened to Carlo and his friend want Filippo to help them find out .

L’univers des livres ,review by Jeanne Champaud

A few days ago ,the publisher of Escape ,the novel by Filippo Zuliani that will be appearing in bookshops this week ,gave me a copy of the proofs saying ,”Read these .I think you’ll be surprised ” I was .And I’m prepared to bet  that I won’t be the only one ,and that we’ll be hearing about this novel when the literary prize season is upon us this autumn .

Well it had more of an impact than that !!

Now this book takes the old escape story and adds a few twists and turns too it .Of course the politics loom large at times ,with Manotti history of activism you feel what she writes about the inner working and way the red brigade operates rings true .I was reminded at times of Schlinks novel  the weekend which of course follows friends through the aftermath of the RAF .The story of the two former cell mates is one of paths we take in life one takes the high road to Paris and the other the low road to Milan so to speak .The book also touches that field of fiction /true life crime that has grown over the years ,I was reminded of the Italian writer Massimo Carlotto who of course in his own book the Fugitive recounts his own escape from an Italian prison .The book is well translated has a fast paces I read it in two sittings and was drawn into Filippo’s world and his history with Carlo .

Have you read any book by Dominique Manotti ?

The booker longlist is out but does it matter when most of the best books are in translation !

zone

Well my mind has been elsewhere and it isn’t to today I’ve fully come round to thinking about the booker longlist and what last years changes meant .I did say at the time the Booker prize missed a trick by not only opening it too all books written in English but they should have included all books translated into English .That would opened a global prize ,but maybe also helped get books into translation more into the limelight ,For since the list has come out there has been many newspaper articles and blog posts written about the long list ,for me I agree with Naomi and a few others ,the list is very male and very white,as some people feared the Commonwealth seems to have suffered with the Americans coming into the prize .Now as Susan pointed out in her recent piece for the blog the time is right to get a prize or more notice for books in translation .This week is a prime example I escaped into books to find solace in fiction and thus read two of the best books I have read in the last few months Bilbao – New York – Bilbao by Kirmin Uribe a Spanish lit prize-winning novel by a basque writer ,thinking on a flight to New York about the novel he is writing about his families past in fishing , that is  forthcoming from Seren Books .The other book is Zone by Mathias Enard ,now this book came out in the US last year and is one of the first two books from the new UK publisher Fitzcarldo editions ,this book strangely again about a trip we follow a French intelligence officer on a rail trip from Milan to Rome ,it is one of those sprawling books that is hard to pin down ,but drags you into another world .Now I had two thoughts about these books ,firstly would they even get a publisher if written in English as they break the mould of what is viewed as a novel ,recent case have shown books that maybe play with the novel as form or are maybe seen as to sprawling struggle to get publishers the two examples that spring to mind are A naked singularity by Sregio de Le Pava ,that did a tour of publishers to only first come out a s a self published book ,then people saw its beauty and both publishers in the US and the UK brought it out ,like wise the prize-winning A girl is a half-formed thing had a lot of rejections before it was picked up by a new small imprint and as you all know went on to win and be shortlisted for a number of prizes .I feel what translation would have brought if include in the book is challenging fiction books that break the creative writing stranglehold and market forces that  lead fiction published  in English these days .So how are we going to get the public to get books in translation a new prize is an idea ,a European booker ? a way to generate interest and like the booker maybe for once get the one or two book lit readers instead of the booker winner or shortlisted book that they have seen in waterstones or an independent bookshop for their  two weeks in say Tuscany ,and pick a book in translation because they know it has been a prize book ! One can dream but we in translation circles have to try new ways and stop scratching are goatees and thinking how clever it all is and break down the walls .SO the booker missed the chance ,we should make our own chance and make people sit up and see what they are missing .

Previous Older Entries

August 2014
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,561 other followers

%d bloggers like this: