A spotlight on translated fiction this month

If you’re looking to read more works in translation this year, we’ve compiled a list of nine new works of fiction that bring you voices from around the world.


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I’m Staying Here by Marco Balzano (translated by Jill Foulston)

Curon, 1920. In a small village in South Tyrol, Trina longs for a different life. She dedicates herself to becoming a teacher, but the year that she qualifies Mussolini’s regime abolishes the use of German as a teaching language. In this new climate of fear and uncertainty Trina works for a clandestine network of schools in the valley, always with the risk of capture. Years later, Trina’s life is again thrown into uncertainty when communities in South Tyrol are given the opportunity to move to Germany. The town splits and ever-increasing rifts form among its people. Then one day Trina comes home and finds that her daughter is missing.


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The Great Homecoming by Anna Kim (translated by Jamie Lee Searle)

1959, Seoul. Divided from his family by the violent tumult of the Korean civil war, Yunho arrives in South Korea’s capital searching for his oldest friend. He finds him in the arms of Eve Moon, a dancer with many names who may be a refugee fleeing the communist North, or an American spy. Beguiled, Yunho falls desperately in love. But nothing in Seoul is what it seems. When a series of betrayals and a brutal crime drive the three friends into exile, Yunho finds himself caught in the riptide of history. Might a homecoming to North Korea be salvation?


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And Their Children After Them by Nicolas Mathieu (translated by translated by William Rodarmor)

Over four sultry summers in the 1990s, Anthony and his friends grow up in a France trapped between nostalgia and decline, decency and rage, desperate to escape their small town, the scarred countryside and grey council estates, in search of a more hopeful future. Nicolas Mathieu’s eloquent novel gives a pitch-perfect depiction of teenage angst. Winner of the Prix Goncourt, it won praise for its portrayal of people living on the margins and shines a light on the struggles of French society today.


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Waiting for Bojangles by Olivier Bourdeaut (translated by Regan Kramer)

A young boy lives with his madcap parents, Louise and George, in a Parisian apartment, where the unopened mail rises in a tower by the door and his parents dance each night to Nina Simone’s mellifluous classic ‘Mister Bojangles’. As his mother, mesmerising and unpredictable, descends deeper into her own mind, it is up to the boy and his father to keep her safe. Fleeing Paris for a country home in Spain, they come to understand that some of the most radiant people bear the heaviest burdens.


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The Mountain by Massimo Donati (translated by Brigid Maher)

The year is 1981. Twelve-year-old Roberto, returning to the mountain village where he spends his summer holidays, renews his friendship with the intense, brooding Mattia. Bound together by contempt for ‘baby-children' and a thirst for grown-up adventure, they drive each other to test their courage and daring. But then they decide to take on the mountain, and the expedition ends in tragedy and guilt. 30 years later Roberto is an art dealer in Zurich. When his father dies he is forced to confront the unresolved issues of that distant summer, to unearth a guilt kept secret for too long. But to do this he needs Mattia. And to go back to the mountain, one last time.


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Elly by Maike Wetzel (translated by Lyn Marven)

Eleven-year-old Elly is missing. After an extensive police search she is presumed dead, and her family must learn to live with a gaping hole in their lives. Then, four years later, she reappears. But soon her parents and sister are plagued by doubts. Is this stranger really the same little girl who went missing? And if not, who is she? This is a gripping tale of grief, longing, and doubt, which takes every parent’s greatest fear and lets it play out to an emotionally powerful, memorable climax.


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Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami (translated by Sam Bett & David Boyd)

This book explores the inner conflicts of an adolescent girl who refuses to communicate with her mother except through writing. Through the story of these women, Kawakami paints a portrait of womanhood in contemporary Japan, probing questions of gender and beauty norms and how time works on the female body. This is a thrilling English language debut from Japan’s brightest young talent, Mieko Kawakami.


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The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (translated by Michele Hutchison)

Ten-year-old Jas has a unique way of experiencing her universe: the feeling of udder ointment on her skin as protection against harsh winters; the texture of green warts, like capers, on migrating toads; the sound of ‘blush words’ that aren’t in the Bible. But when a tragic accident ruptures the family, her curiosity warps into a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies – unlocking a darkness that threatens to derail them all. A bestselling sensation in the Netherlands, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s radical debut novel is studded with images of wild, violent beauty: a world of language unlike any other.


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Three Apples Fell from the Sky by Narine Abgaryan (translated by Lisa C. Hayden)

In an isolated village high in the Armenian mountains, a close-knit community bickers, gossips and laughs. Their only connection to the outside world is an ancient telegraph wire and a perilous mountain road that even goats struggle to navigate. As they go about their daily lives – harvesting crops, making baklava, tidying houses – the villagers sustain one another through good times and bad. But sometimes all it takes is a spark of romance to turn life on its head, and a plot to bring two of Maran’s most stubbornly single residents together soon gives the village something new to gossip about.

The Discomfort of Evening

The Discomfort of Evening

Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, Michele Hutchison

$29.99Buy now

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