Grass calls in the translators

I listen to the BBC world service program The strand which feature a piece on the third volume of Gunter Grass auto bio /bio /fiction trilogy .The first two parts being peeling the Onion and the box .Now the third part  Grimms Wörter. Eine Liebeserklärung or in english Grimm’s Words: A Declaration of Love ,is a book in the form of a dictionary /bio involving Grass the Grimm brothers .Now this book is virtually untranslatable due to its layout and how its alphabetical layout also follows the story of grass and Grimm brothers .So grass called all his translators to meet him and be challenged to translate this book .Grass has always worked with his translators this led to the new tin drum translation in 2006 as grass felt the original cut to much of his original book, .Now he is want the translators to use their life to translate the book in to their languages ,now it seems as thou only the Dutch and Danish translators will be doing so as their languages closet to german ,there was no mention of the english translation sure one of our talented german translators my take up the challenge .

But this led to a question is the some books that can’t be translated ?

Blood sisters by Alessandro Perissinotto

Source -review copy from Hersillia press

Translated by Howard Curtis

This is a debut in English for the Italian writer Alessandro Perissanto ,He gain in a degree in semiotics but had many jobs whilst studying and eventually end up as a professor in Turin ,he had previously worked in multimedia .

The book centres on Anna Pavesi a psychologist ,that receives a call to come and look into the death in what seems a hit and run of Patriza by her half-sister Benedetta.Well anna is short of money and takes the challenge and heads of from her home to the surrounds of Milan .Now she has to dive into Patrica’s life see who she was and where she worked ,as we follow anna we grasp what may be clues or red herrings .A big question Anna needs to answer who was visited Patrica in the Red lancia Fulvia ? ,maybe this leads to the murder maybe not .She meets Anna’s boss a man full of chat and trying to show how good an employer he is but is he trying to hide something then there is Marco that Anna ends up sleeping with ,but was he involved .there is also the prostitutes near where the hit and run will they talk ,also a large SUV that might be the car that killed Patrica .

Please ,Patriza was my cousin .The person who knocked her down got away and they haven’t caught him .Please I beg you

“I didn’t see anything,but if you come tomorrow morning about seven you’re sure to find Alina .She has red hair very red hair .She might know .”

Thank you ,thank you very much .

Anna questions a prostitute near were the hit and run happened .

Now I really really like Anna and Alessandro’s writing style and the translation by Howard Curtis ,whose previous translation I ve all enjoyed he seems to keep the flow of the prose so well .This is classic crime fiction with a modern Italian twist Anna Pavesi is Miss Marple in tight jeans and forty years younger ,with a dose of Italian style thrown in there is a group of suspects and a good dose of red herrings to keep you turning those pages to the end and a wonderful finish ,Alessandro use modern world , modern cars mention Anna use’s a mobile also Italy’s modern problems like prostitution, which I like to see in a modern book this book was first published in 2006 in Italy ,now the book ends with the glimmer we might meet anna

in a few weeks or a few months I’ll get a call from someone who’s spoken to Benedetta ,someone who thinks I’m a psychologist who specialises in searching for missing persons .

on last page maybe Anna returns who knows ?

This is the second book from new Italian crime publisher Hersillia press ,a publisher worth keeping an eye on by this book ,as with the BBC Italian noir programme earlier this year ,crime fiction is thriving in Italy at moment .

March 2011


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