A spotlight on translated fiction this month

We’re recommending five recently released books in our October round-up of new fiction in translation.

We’re also pleased to have a new compact edition of Nino Haratischvili’s bestselling The Eighth Life (For Brilka) in store this month, and make sure you check out the finalists for the 2020 National Book Award for Translated literature here.


Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Cafe by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (translated by Geoffrey Trousselot)

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a cafe which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than 100 years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time… A follow-up to last year’s year bestselling Before the Coffee Gets Cold, here is a story of four new customers, each of whom is hoping to take advantage of Cafe Funiculi Funicula’s time-travelling offer.


Earthlings by Sayaka Murata (translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori)

From the author of cult sensation Convenience Store Woman, comes another fiercely original story about people who are unable to conform to society’s expectations. As children, Natsuki and her cousin Yuu, both know they are different from others and they find comfort in their close bond. A terrible sequence of events threatens to separate them forever. Now an adult, Natsuki leads a quiet life with her asexual husband, pretending to be normal as best she can – until she can’t anymore.


Crossed Lines by Marie Darrieussecq (translated by Penny Hueston)

When her mother offers Rose a Mediterranean cruise with her two children, she jumps at the chance to get away from her husband who drinks too much, and the renovations of their holiday house in the south. But one night the cruise ship comes upon a shipwrecked boat full of refugees, who are taken aboard, and, without telling her teenage son, Rose secretly gives his mobile phone to a young Nigerian among them. Crossed Lines With her trademark wit and acid intelligence, Marie Darrieussecq, like Rachel Cusk or Jenny Offill, shines a light on issues of individual responsibility in our complex world.


At Night’s End by Nir Baram (translated by Jessica Cohen)

A writer wakes up in a hotel room in an unfamiliar city. When he attempts to reconstruct his lost days, Yontan learns that he told people at the festival he was attending that his best friend had died. But in fact, his friend is still alive. From the acclaimed Israeli author Nir Baram, At Night’s End is a compassionate and personal novel about an extraordinary friendship between two men haunted by a shared past.


Sunlight Hours by Caroline Caugant (translated by Jackie Smith)

Thirty-something Parisian artist Billie is working towards her next exhibition when she receives the news that her estranged mother has drowned in the river near her nursing home. In an attempt to understand the circumstances of her death, she returns to V, the village where she grew up in the parched, sun-drenched hills above the Mediterranean. And on her arrival, she find herself reliving memories of another river drowning, one she has tried to forget.

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Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori

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