I’ve only done a couple of tags since starting this blog around three years ago. For no particular reason other than most of the times I can’t come up with answers to the questions, it’s usually not the type of content that I write. But when I was tagged by Callum to do the Translated Literature Book Tag, created by Diana, for once many books started to spring to mind to answer almost all of the queries.
In the context of this tag, I think it’s important to mention that I can read fluently in Portuguese and English. So, I now only read translations of books originally written in other languages besides those two. But, without further ado, let’s get into the questions.
- A translated novel you would recommend to everyone
No book can please everyone, so I can’t promise that you will all like my pick for this question. However, as Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch (translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett) mixes a crime story with musings on writing and fiction, I believe that it’s a book that readers of a wide variety of genres may appreciate. A murder is used to justify why reality and fiction have to differ. The story is told from various perspectives, and certain elements are introduced at specific moments to surprise the readers.
- A recently read “old” translated novel you enjoyed
I’m taking old to mean not from this century, so I had to go back to a book that I read at the end of last year – The Murderess by Alexandros Papadiamantis (translated from the Greek by Peter Levi). It’s also more a novella than a novel, but let’s ignore that! It delves into how being born a female was considered almost as a curse by some. This is a shocking tale which features a complex main character, who struggles to distinguish right from wrong.
- A translated book you could not get into
Panorama by Dusan Sarotar (translated from the Slovene by Rawley Grau) is supposed to mix fiction and journalism. I couldn’t retain any of the information being conveyed throughout the book, however. During his travels around Europe, the narrator spoke to immigrants living in various countries, but the characters and their views are utterly forgettable.
- Your most anticipated translated novel release
I’m not well informed about which books are about to be released, particularly those in translation. So, I don’t have an answer to this question. Sorry! Instead, I’m going to take the opportunity to share a post that I’ve written a while ago about books written in Portuguese that I think should be translated into English.
- A “foreign-language” author you would love to read more of
There are so many… I’m going to pick Jurgis Kuncinas, only because, although I would love to read more by him, I don’t think that I can, at least in the near future. I read Tula last year and was impressed by the poetic undertones of his writing style. But now I can’t find any other of his books translated into either English or Portuguese.
- A translated novel which you consider to be better than the film
I don’t remember watching many adaptations of books that weren’t originally written in either English or Portuguese. So, I’ll have to pick Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I didn’t dislike the 2012 adaptation, directed by Joe Wright, when I first watched it at the cinema, but while watching it again at home I ended up distracted by other things. It just didn’t grab my attention.
- A translated “philosophical” fiction book you recommend
I think that The Life of Hunger by Amélie Nothomb can be considered philosophical in the sense that it delves into hunger in various forms. This is a fictional memoir about the author herself. She was permanently hungry, not only for food, but also for almost everything that life can provide.
- A translated fiction book that has been on your TBR for far too long
I don’t have any translated books on my owned TBR at the moment. But one that has been on my wish list for years is War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. There are many others that I want to read soon, but this one has been on my radar since I read Anna Karenina more than 7 years ago.
- A popular translated fiction book you have not read yet
I feel like The Vegetarian by Han Kang was extremely popular a couple of years ago. I’ve been meaning to read it since then, but to be honest I’ve almost forgotten what it is about. I only remember that it focuses on a woman who decides to become vegetarian.
- A translated fiction book you have heard a lot about and would like to find more about or read
Many booktubers have shown A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos on their hauls, but I don’t remember watching or reading a review of it. I know that it’s fantasy and supposedly YA. The cover definitely caught my attention. I’ d like to know people’s opinion on it to decide if it’s a book I would like to read or not.
I’m not tagging anyone, since I’m not sure who has already done this tag. But if you’re thinking about doing it, please let me know!