GLLI Translated YA Book Prize Shortlist: La Bastarda by Trifonia Melibea Obono (Equatorial Guinea)

The first novel by an Equatorial Guinean woman to be translated into English, La Bastarda is the story of the orphaned teen Okomo, who lives under the watchful eye of her grandmother and dreams of finding her father. Forbidden from seeking him out, she enlists the help of other village outcasts: her gay uncle and … Continue reading GLLI Translated YA Book Prize Shortlist: La Bastarda by Trifonia Melibea Obono (Equatorial Guinea)

GLLI Translated YA Book Prize Shortlist: Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan (China)

Sunflower is an only child, and when her father is sent to the rural Cadre School, she has to go with him. Her father is an established artist from the city and finds his new life of physical labor and endless meetings exhausting. Sunflower is lonely and longs to play with the local children in … Continue reading GLLI Translated YA Book Prize Shortlist: Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan (China)

Title Pick: I’m an Old Commie! by Dan Lungu (Romania)

Emilia, a pensioner in northern Romania, is forced to confront the nostalgic illusions she nurtures as a reaction to the grim post-communist present when her daughter, now living in Canada, telephones urging her not to vote for the former communists in upcoming elections. Determined to discover in her own mind why ‘things were better back … Continue reading Title Pick: I’m an Old Commie! by Dan Lungu (Romania)

The Beautiful Contradictions of Rosario Ferré’s Flight of the Swan

This month we will be taking in and discussing some of the literature of the island of Puerto Rico, whose beautiful prose is matched by the strength of its people’s character. Rarely have I come across a novel so masterfully layered as Rosario Ferré’s Flight of the Swan. Like the movements of its ballet prima … Continue reading The Beautiful Contradictions of Rosario Ferré’s Flight of the Swan

Memories of a GLLI Intern: Must-Read Adult Literature from the Middle East and North Africa (Part 2) – by Nneka Mogbo

The works I chose for my adult and college-aged list tell stories of conflicts (both good, bad and internal or external) that stem from interacting with different cultures. An interaction may be caused by one’s exile from a home country, moving to a new country for better opportunities, changes in generational beliefs or living in … Continue reading Memories of a GLLI Intern: Must-Read Adult Literature from the Middle East and North Africa (Part 2) – by Nneka Mogbo

Translators Association – 60 Years of Classic Translations: Season of Migration to the North (1969)

SEASON OF MIGRATION TO THE NORTH was selected by the Arab Literary Academy as the most important Arab novel of the 20th century, and is frequently cited as one of the most important post-colonial works in any language. Eminently readable, the metaphorical exploration of the relationship between colonial powers and their victims and the politics … Continue reading Translators Association – 60 Years of Classic Translations: Season of Migration to the North (1969)

TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION – 60 YEARS OF CLASSIC TRANSLATIONS: The Master and Margarita (1967)

“рукописи не горят.” – “Manuscripts don’t burn.” Mikhail Bulgakov’s extraordinary socio-political satire THE MASTER AND MARGARITA, in which Satan (in disguise) and his demonic cat wreak havoc among Moscow’s literary elite, was first published in book form in 1967. Bulgakov wrote the novel during the Stalinist repression of 1930s Russia and was still revising it … Continue reading TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION – 60 YEARS OF CLASSIC TRANSLATIONS: The Master and Margarita (1967)

Translators Association – 60 Years of Classic Translations: Labyrinths (1962)

1962 is represented in The Society of Authors #TA60 series of classic translations by Jorge Luis Borges, whose surreal prose is often seen as having opened the door to magical realism. The influential Argentine writer was largely unknown in the English-speaking world until he was awarded the prestigious Prix International jointly with Samuel Beckett. The … Continue reading Translators Association – 60 Years of Classic Translations: Labyrinths (1962)

Translators Association – 60 Years of Classic Translations: The Tin Drum (1961)

Oskar Matzerath, the diminutive anti-hero of Günter Grass' THE TIN DRUM, was unleashed upon the English-speaking world in 1961. This first translation from the German was by Ralph Manheim. Weird, sweeping, brilliant, it’s frequently nominated as one of the great 20th century novels. Manheim’s translation contributed to the book’s huge international success, but from the … Continue reading Translators Association – 60 Years of Classic Translations: The Tin Drum (1961)

Minority Languages Translated Book Pick: I Stared at the Night of the City by Bakhtiyar Ali (Kurdish)

Iraqi Kurdistan at the turn of the twenty-first century is a territory ruled by strongmen, revolutionaries, fixers, bureaucrats, and the "Barons" who control everything from livestock and land to Kurdish cultural life. Defying the absolute power wielded by the Barons, a band of friends led by an enigmatic poet embark on an odyssey to find … Continue reading Minority Languages Translated Book Pick: I Stared at the Night of the City by Bakhtiyar Ali (Kurdish)