Well I have spent a long time thinking of this year’s best books and finally got down to ten books which I must admit two of which Ive not reviewed on blog yet,so here we go in no particular order –
Down the rabbit hole by Juan Pablo Viilalobos – A young Mexican boy wants a pygmy Hippo and his dad is a Mexican drug baron,so he might just get it . This book is a glimpse of another world that of the drug cartels . A wonderfully crafted novella from a new publisher .
Tomorrow Pamplona by Jan Van Mersbergen – I still amazed at Laura’s translation of this book how well she kept the maleness of the voices so well and I love the story of men at a crossroads in their life .As they head to the annual Bull running in spain .
Parallel stories by Peter Nadas Is maybe one of the true epic books of the 21st century ,ok it has a lot of sex but also you feel the dirt and grim of everyday communist life in eastern europe through the eyes of his characters within its covers .
Phantoms of Breslau by Marek Krajewski A dark atmospheric crime novel set in post world war Poland ,I love his use of language and the way he brings Breslau to life .The best crime novel I ve read this year.
Beauty and the Inferno by Roberto Saviano This book typifies non fiction at it best from a writer that is fearless these pieces range from the trivial stories of footballers to the deadly serious with pieces on the environment , all written in Saviano’s wonderful prose style
Kamchatka by Marcel Figueras -This is my favourite south american book this year in what has been a good year for Argentina fiction ,a little boy on the run with his parents in the seventies that dark time in Argentina and the best of a number of books about this time that came out this year .
Khirbet Kizah by S Yizhar is the first of his two masterpieces to reach us English his epic follow-up to this due out sometime in the next few years ,this book follows a battle in a small Palestine village from the view of the Israeli soldiers doing the mission.
I was born there ,I was born here by Mourid Barghouti yet again his poetic prose bring his homeland to life ,not with angry voices but with quiet words showing the everyday to him that seems outrageous to us .A must read for anyone that wants to know the Palestine side of the conflict
Glorious Nemesis by Laidslav Kilma another gem turned up by the wonderful twisted spoon this follows a man haunted by an old women he saw briefly and its driven him mad and to poverty.
New finnish grammar by Diego A book about language , memory ,learning who you are .This by a man who is found and assumed to be finnish by the contents of his bag .I was told about this at the Iffp by the Nick Lezard of the guardian and finally read it last week this maybe just nudges book of the year.If push comes to shove .
So that is that all of my books of the year are translations ,it what has been a great year for translations .
What was your translation of the year ?
If your on twitter hashtag it with #translationthurs for all I will rt them all .