winstons coffee waterstone’s 11 what not one translation !!

Well sure you’ve seen around the blogosphere these last few days post about the Waterstone’s 11 for 11 debut novels due out this year or already out .Well I m disappointed as not one of the debuts is a translation ,as ever books in translation are not considered for this list .Well I thought for those who may like a few tips on debut books in translation I give you a few books that are due out and are debut’s or reissuses worth looking into  –

The coming by Andrej Nikoladis – A debut from the european literature prize-winning Montenegrin writer .A detective investigating a crime in a small town is drawn in to an odd world as the library burns down and you take a trip through the past and a medieval heretic that announced the second coming  also events that might happen . from the  new publisher  Istros books .

The brothers by Asko Sahlberg – the first of Peirene press year of small epics a book from finland about brother that thought on different sides of the war of 1809 between  finland and russia ,Meike calls it a historic novel in miniature form .

Trieste by Dasa Drndic A women waits to meet her son she hasn’t seen for sixty odd years after he was conceived under that nazi regime as part of the lebensborn project for pure Aryans .an inventive novel that use many styles of writing  and one that has been on my wish list since its first mention last year . I have mention this before but its publication was put back out next month .

Faces in the crowd by Valeria Luiselli  a mexican novel set in present day Mexico city with a 21st century Emily Dickinson and 1950’s Philadelphia  and the tale of lost Mexican Poet one of the most exciting voices from latin america and has been compared to Roberto Bolano another great voice from Mexico .due out may .

The family of Pascal Duarte by Camila Jose Cela – Not a debut but one of spain’s most highly regarded writers and a noble winner nice to see Dalkey Archive bring him back .A  murderer looks back on his hard life of poverty hatred and depravity whilst on death row .

The islands by Carlos Gamerro .I reviewed an open secret by him recently now and other stories are publishing his next book Felipe felix is given a mission that makes him remember the Falklands war and find a witness to a crime for a manganate .If it is half as good as open secret it will be excellent

I burn Paris by Bruno Jasienski  a controversial book in its day that lead to its writer being deported from france ,a man poisons Paris water supply and we see how it affects the population a classic of polish lit in english for the first time from twisted spoon  .

Fear of De Sade by Bernardo Carvalho

Bernardo Carvalho is a Brazilian writer and Journalist he has spent time in france and America as a correspondent for a brazilian paper ,fear of de Sade  is his sixth Novel .He has also translated books from English into Brazilian Portuguese by the likes of Oliver Sacks and Bruce Chatwin .

The fear of de Sade is a novel in two act the first is told in dialogue between an unnamed voice and the Baron of LaChafoi a forty-year old that is a bit of a libertine ,he had before been taken to prison had an orgy with three other people and spanish fly in the mix it becomes a scandal  ,he is being asked to remember this by the voice and thus solve what happened and how that some one  had died as a result of the orgy ,all this is set during the terror period of the french revolution .Over time the Baron feels the voice maybe the man he admires De Sade the infamous French noble man   and a man much admired by the baron .

VOICE : And what proves it wasn’t you ? that you’re not lying ? The fact that you don’t remember doesn’t mean much .Who can tell if you’re not really mad, and committed the crime in a fit ?

BARON :Master,I swear it !

Voice: don’t call me master !

BARON: I beg of you .My defence depends on you helping me .

the baron and the voice (de Sade?) talk

This first part does remind me of Kafka ,whether I d call it Kafkaesque I m not sure it is easy to put that title to piece that seem to not show the full picture and people on the edge or caught in the judicial system ,and I often see it mention and it is even ,mentioned on the back of the book ,But I feel this maybe owes something more to Beckett two unknown voices other than the baron’s  name and the act he has supposed to have committed we are told nothing else .I m remind of the plays of  Beckett detached voices ,people meeting in odd circumstances .

The second part of the book is about a couple,following a game that was devised by the Baron on his following of De Sade ,where the partners taken in turn to create fear in the other as the feeling is that when love dies all that can remain is fear its self  ,so we see the acts by each partner crank-up one by one ,but they act as thou this is normal  and thus this leads to the partners getting more radical with there ideas and thus leading to the husband taking a radical final step to put the fear in his wife .Again like the first part of the book this has no names the couple are just referred to as husband and wife .

In one of his books ,a moralising novel in dialogue form ,the baron recounted how he had avenged himself on the wife who was betraying him : he deflowered the illegitimate daughter she’d had by his cousin .Because according to the Baron’s philosophy ,only treachery liberates .Treachery is repaid with treachery .

The couple discover the Barons words .

This book is a gem an unusual and refreshing style of book inventive and an interesting insight into the human psyche .How far people will go in pursuit of an idea .

Have you a favourite Brazilian Novel ?


January 2012


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